pent01 Why I am not Pentecostal explains the doctrinal and practice errors of the Pentecostal movement. Note that not all Pentecostal groups nor Pentecostal churches are involved in these errors, just the majority.
Why I am not Pentecostal
Do they truly represent the truth of God?
by David Cox
[pent01] v1 ©2006 www www.coxtracts.com
This tract can be photocopied and printed freely.
But now ye seek to Hill me, a man that hath told you the truth. John 8:40
Their History: Much of the theology of this movement began with Edgar Irving (the Keswick Movement, or Abundant Life) in England in 1873. These groups wanted spiritual cleansing and power to serve and promoted a renewal of the spiritual gifts to achieve this. They used the concept of the Spiritual baptism as a second work of grace after salvation and thousands supposedly received this. Others later associated this with speaking in tongues. In the US, A.B. Simpson and A.J. Gordon included divine healings in the atonement.
why I am not pentecostal
Officially the Pentecostal Movement began in 1901 in Topeka, Kansas in Parham’s Bible Institute with a dozen students. Its roots run back to Methodism (Wesley) and the Holiness Movement that came out of the Anglican Church. In 1993 Pentecostalism had more than 420 million members around the world.
Their Authority IS in Not the Bible
Truthfully, the authority structure of Pentecostals is emotionalism. They use the Bible to promote their “take” on the things of God, but they themselves are not submissive to the divine authority God presents in Scripture. They feel that “something has to be” (their feelings), and for them, this is the truth that the Bible presents and nothing else matter. This is their foundation, that they seek miracles, healings, and supernatural experiences to establish their religious experience.
In Matthew 7:22, Jesus warned us of the false prophets and said that in judgment day they would defend themselves before God using their miracles. But Jesus said that they would be cast into hell anyway because they did not have a saving relationship with God. It is a grave error to seek and defend oneself with supernatural miracles and not with clear obedience to the will of God presented as essential in the Bible.
On the other hand, the Bible presents us with the Devil as the God of this world who can copy almost any kind of supernatural event that God can do, and he does this specifically to deceive the simple. We see this power in the conflict between Moses and Pharaoh’s magicians. The miraculous and supernatural should not surprise us, but should cause us to contemplate, Where did this power come from (from God or from demons)?
We can also say that their foundation is settled in the heart and not the mind. God has imposed spiritual importance on His very words. What we feel is not always the will of God. God has given us His word, and we have to believe it to be saved or blessed, and feelings are secondary. If the Bible is in agreement with what we feel, everything is fine. But if not, then the Pentecostal will reject the Bible to follow his feelings. They have lost sight of the blessing of God that comes from hearing, understanding, and obeying the will of God. Their approach to things is a mess where understanding and Scriptural logic is pushed out of consideration because they “feel the Spirit moving” in some other direction. They seek guidance from the Spirit yet despise the Word (Logos) of God (Jesus Christ), so they follow their slippery feelings which are unstable and changing.
They Abuse the Bible
Pentecostals are experts in the use of the Bible, but better said, in the abuse of the Bible. They are very adept at manipulating the Bible to show what they beforehand have already concluded is what it says (their feelings have guided them). When a Bible teaching touches their own doctrines and practices, they are very expert at not allowing the Bible to change or bother them, but simply twist verses and fabricate doctrines to defend themselves. We see that God put restrictions on speaking in tongues in 1 Corinthians 14, but Pentecostal churches unilaterally have set aside these guides. For example, it is forbidden that women speak (in tongues or in any other official, authoritative form) in the church. Paul explains that tongues will cease and that it was a sign for unbelieving Israel. But the Pentecostals take tongues as they want, ignoring the clearest biblical passage (Acts 2) where clearly it is known foreign languages of people present, never is more than one person speaking at a time, and never women speaking in the service. They ignore what they want, and pick what they will. In Rev. 22:18-19 God curses all who would add, take away, or change from the closed Canon of Scriptures, but Pentecostals regularly have visions and add to revelation as if this verse were not in the Bible. In many points, Pentecostals are extremists demanding obedience to Scriptures, yet in others, they just ignore what doesn’t suit them. They are extreme in outward visible details, but the obvious is very obscure for them. Christ rebuked these types of Pharisees in the Gospels.
Initiation by Experiencing
Their twisted view of biblical authority goes right along with their emphasis in experiencing “faith” instead of knowing by conviction (true faith). In other words, they seek mystic experiences and impose authority and validity in these supernatural experiences. Typically they reject biblical believers as being “dry” and “without the blessings of God” because they do not have or enjoy these mystic and supernatural experiences. Faith that is seen is not faith (Hebrews 11:1). Our faith is something that we follow even though there is no outward evidence. But the faith of the Pentecostal is a faith that dies quickly and fatally when there is not another dose of the emotional and mystical drug (sensationalism, the supernatural, and heavy injections of emotionalism).
They Honor Men Rather Than God
The typical Pentecostal service has a man and his carnal pleasure as the center. The music is always the type that pleases man instead of God. If you listen to this music, you will find it difficult to see a difference between it and typical bar music or night club music that raises the sensual. It is carnal. It is music to move the body, not reflect on God. God deserves something more than pagan leftovers. His music is distinct and solemn.
In place of preaching what God says to man, they preach that man likes to hear, the humanly popular. While God has a priority on salvation, true holiness (not sinning), and obeying God’s will, the Pentecostals preach what is superficial, external, and “light.” Instead of themes like mercy, grace, the Christian witness, and holiness, they try to deceive by shouting and screaming about externals of religion like hair length, using cosmetics, and other external superficial rules. They are extremely proud and arrogant about their own spirituality, their spiritual superiority over everybody else, and they like to parade this for all to see degrade everybody else. The external can be faked, but true love, mercy, charity, longsuffering, etc. are more difficult to fake.
They reject clear Bible Norms
God has given us clear Bible norms which the Pentecostals simply ignore. This is a grave error. For example, the Bible declares very clearly that women are not to be pastors, teachers (of men), preachers, or leaders (take the dominion over men) in any way. But they reason away all of this as if it were of minor importance, but to not obey is not spiritual. A few verses after Paul affirms the woman’s prohibition in the ministry, Paul says, “If any man thinks himself to be a prophet or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord” 1 Cor 14:35. Their rejection or ignorance is a lack of spirituality.
It is equally impossible to understand why they pretend to be mature and close to God but at the same time, their preachers are commonly discovered to be living in carnality, worldliness, and scandalous sin. If they supposedly have a deeper filling of the Holy Spirit, why doesn’t it show up in holy living? Speaking in tongues, slain in the spirit, miracles, healings, are not signs of spirituality. Not sinning is the sin the sign God proposes. They struggle with sin, and it appears have less success than others at victory. Where’s the holiness that goes with true spirituality?
Their Emphasis in the Spirit, not the Son
God has exalted Jesus over everything else to be the center of our salvation and spiritual life. I doubt in the light of passages like John 10:1; Phil 2:9-10; 1 Tim. 2:5, and Acts 4:12 that somebody really saved can focus on the Spirit to neglect the Son (Hebrews 10:29). It is very telling that their priority is that others speak in tongues, experience the slain in the spirit, etc. and they have a minor or no interest in that person’s salvation relationship with the Son of God. It is not first.
They are Immature
The guiding principle of Pentecostals is that they always seek the blessing of God in everything. Their understanding of this is to enjoy, be served, and not necessary to serve. Any parent understands that true enjoyment comes in serving, not pleasing one’s self. Their mindset is stuck in entertaining their flesh. Their services, experiences, music, arrogance, entertaining preaching all orientate around this fault in their thinking. Parents understand that kids left to choose will always choose candy instead of what is good for them. Sacrifice is not what comes naturally except to responsible, mature people. Adults have learned to sacrifice their lives for the benefit of others (true love), and they become providers, not so many consumers. Centering on enjoying one’s own emotional and spiritual experiences is being a consumer, not a provider. This goes worse as we see their leaders failing in the biblical requirement of not seeking to enrich yourself in the ministry, i.e. ministerial covetousness. They are pastors that like to eat lamb chops.
They do not correct the wrong among themselves but do what is popular and likable. Being different from the typical biblical interpretation of things is their strength it seems. The novel is their delight even if it has no biblical basis. They never separate from erring ministers it seems, only covers their continuing sin before their flock.
More Tracts for Pentecostals
- pent01 Why I am not Pentecostal
- pent02 Spiritual Baptism: baptism in the Holy Spirit
- pent03 Kundalini and Tongues
- pent04 Modern tongues speaking
- pent05 Is it correct for women preach, teach, or lead?
|Date:||January 26, 2016|
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