Sunday, July 11, 2010

Sun. July 11, 2010 (Joseph Dutko)

Joseph Dutko returned to speak to the church on Pentecostalism - from the Ghetto to the World. Despite various fanciful representations of Pentecostals as “holy rollers” or people who handle snakes, this tradition goes back to the turn of the twentieth century with an emphasis on 1st century living. This is no fringe group - one respected authority notes that Pentecostalism has had a greater impact on Christianity than the Reformation. Globally, about ½ billion people are Pentecostal or Charismatic, and Philip Jenkins notes much of its growth since the Second World War trends away from Euro-American Christianity and toward a Southern hemisphere expression. All branches originate with the theology of Charles Parham who, in a Topeka, KS, bible school in 1901 taught that glossalalia evidenced presence of the Holy Spirit, and his student, freed slave William Seymour founded the Azusa St revival in 1906 in LA. The movement gained strength as others flocked to the church of “heavenly tongues”. Various schisms have divided the church along theological lines, including a Canadian branch, the 1919 Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada with Mennonite George A. Chambers as the first leader of the church. Pentecostal theology stands primarily on baptising in the holy spirit, gifts bestowed include tongues, bodily healing, and eschatology - belief in the return of Christ as the end of time. Joseph insists many ties bind Mennonites and Pentecostals - both saw themselves as standing outside ordinary society, pressures to conform are common to both, and the blood of Christ has washed away not only the colour barrier, but also the gender barrier. Though the pacifist stance has become a matter of personal choice in Pentecostalism, its underpinning and rejection of nationalism still echo for Mennonites. A lively response time indicated a desire for open dialogue between the two traditions. [AP] Listen to the sermon audio MP3 recording from Sunday, July 11th, 2010 using your browser's preferred media player.



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