Pentecostalism Is An Anti-Intellectual Plague To Biblical Missions Work

Pentecostalism Is An Anti-Intellectual Plague To Biblical Missions Work

        During my Biola University days I had to read chapters of a book by Timothy C. Tennet, a modern missiologist and pragmatist. The book is titled Theology in the Context of World Christianity and calls for a contextualization of the gospel and the use of pragmatism for his idea of evangelism. I believe this author is in serious error. One chapter I had to read was chapter 7 which was all about Pentecostalism being an acceptable form of Christianity as well as praising the movement. The following is my reaction…

Four observations I made when reading chapter 7 of Tennet’s book were the following claims he made: (1) Pentecostalism is a movement that was started by people who were uneducated without an emphasis on theology. (2) Pentecostals are bigger than the Roman Catholic Church and have influenced many different sects, and denominations of Christianity. (3) Pentecostals have a missionary zeal which is a positive attitude to have for Christianity, and (4) Pentecostalism has caused many Latin Americans to leave the Catholic Church and become evangelical.

Three questions I have are (1) why is it okay for a Christian movement to be based on anti-intellectualism and allowed to be considered valid by the Church? Does that not seem strange to most people? (2) Why did Tennant briefly mention the bad things about the Pentecostal movement and push them aside if they are not a big deal when in fact Pentecostals are the ones who have caused many, many problems within the Church? They have brought greed, false miracles, false signs, and even worse: false doctrines and false prophecies out in the open which makes a mockery of true Christianity! (3) Do Pentecostals decide to change their theology whenever they want in order to make it better sounding in the future? And if a theological system does change from its historical claims of belief does it keep the system valid? Pentecostals first claimed that the 2nd baptism of the Spirit had to occur for a person to be saved and proclaimed that that was the true anointing of the Spirit. Now days in Pentecostal theology they have decided that the 2nd baptism of the Spirit does not have to happen to be saved. They have changed their theology to fit their experiences over time and Tennet claims this is an acceptable thing.

Two reflections I have about Tennet’s claims are that first, if a belief system is based on an anti-intellectual idea or lack of theology it could not possibly be a true anointing of the Holy Spirit. I think Pentecostalism is based on a false revival and people have been duped into believing it is real because of the ecstatic emotional states people go into. Emotions manipulate people. Also just because a lot of people become Pentecostal all over the world does not make that form of religion true or even Christian. That is a logical fallacy called “appealing to a majority.” This shows Tennet does not use logic when explaining missionary work, or biblical theology. Another reflection I have is that Pentecostalism is guilty of so many false claims, and corruption that people seem to ignore. I wonder why Tennet feels Christians should ignore it or make it sound light hearted. It is serious when someone claims something was done in the name of the Lord, but it was actually a fabrication from a person’s mind. This is a dangerous belief and none of the miracles in my experience have ever been proven. I do not agree with the author Tennet’s view on Pentecostalism.

A startling statement I found was on page 174 which says, “In the early ‘sunrise’ of a new movement, there is little time for formal theological or missiological reflection.” I think that this statement is dangerous because it is saying that whenever something “new” in religion happens it does not need to have theological backup because people can just worry about figuring it out later. I think that if people are in tune with God and the Bible any event that would occur would be easy to line up with Scripture at the moment and not have to be made up later. We should always test any experience that happens within the church and always line it up with Scripture.

Biblical, especially Reformed missionaries, should be aware of the Pentecostal movement and realize that they are a strong missionary force that has been, and is, converting people from all over the world into their sect of Christianity based on unbiblical beliefs. Most foreign people in Asia and Latin America are Pentecostal or charismatic within their denominations. This is especially true with Korean missionaries and places like the Philippines which is being invaded with thousands of Pentecostal Korean missionaries promoting serious error. Africa has been bombarded with the “health, wealth, and prosperity” heresy and all of its charlatans who claim false healings and miracles. With the conversion of people groups by the Pentecostal movement, many times sadly, people are converted into these major problems which were only briefly mentioned by Tennent. He seems to have a biased attitude that is afraid to emphasize the errors of the movement. Christians should be aware of these false doctrines and understand the kinds of competition missionaries and evangelists have to deal with within Christian, evangelical circles. Also, ecumenicism which was mentioned by Tennet is not something good because it relaxes theological boundaries and that is something that should never be wavered in the search for absolute Truth.

Keep in mind that I do not that believe every single Pentecostal is not a Christian. I think there are many who are; even if they have a weak experience in theology. There are Pentecostals who are real Christians, but the movement itself is not Christian and has been mightily used by Satan to cause more confusion within the Body of Christ.

Tennet is just another typical modern missiologist with an M. Div. degree from a typical modern Evangelical seminary that has relaxed it’s biblical standards and has been saturated with liberalism. He also got his B.A. from none other than Oral Roberts University (Oral Roberts being one of the biggest “word of faith” heretics of our time) a Pentecostal university which explains why he is so soft on the major errors and unbiblical actions of Pentecostalism. He is also an ordained minister in the United Methodist Church (a liberal universalist sect of Christianity). The Pentecostal movement has thrived within evangelicalism and is only reinforced by liberal Christian academics who make the calls of when the “next big movement of God” is occurring every so often when new ideas are formed outside of the Bible’s wisdom.

17 thoughts on “Pentecostalism Is An Anti-Intellectual Plague To Biblical Missions Work

  1. Was the apostle Paul anti-intellectual when he wrote “the world by wisdom knew not God” (I Cor. 1:21) or where he urges that our faith not reside in the “wisdom of men, but in the power of God?” Paul does not give regard for man’s intellect as having saving value. Yet Paul was not an “anti-intellectual” as implying a rejection of reason, as many other verses would show. Pentecostals merely state the same. “Let your faith be in the power of God, and not in your own light.”

  2. Every aspect of the true Trinitarian Pentecostal movement comes straight from the Bible. It is not anti-intellectual. And it is not false doctrine. It is the only religion I have found that complies to the Bible, and the only church I have felt God move in.

    • I agree that the Trinitarian beliefs of the Pentecostal churches such as Assemblies of God and others who understand the truth of the Trinity have got this particular doctrine straight from the Bible. I believe a lot of Pentecostals from such churches are Christians. This particular doctrine is not anti-intellectual. My article about Pentecostalism is not about the Trinity though, it is about their anti-intellectual beliefs about the supernatural and other nonsense such as babbling in tongues and other unbiblical practices that make them a problem. “Feeling” God move is not the same as God moving. Just because you feel special or some emotion in a church does not mean God is not moving in a reformed Baptist type church. What Pentecostals do is seperate classes of Christians and say they have special powers and healing abilities while other churches are dead. What they are actually doing is insulting the Holy Spirit and making Him out to be some force that gives out special powers and miracles. Much of the false prophets of today and TV preachers came out of Pentecostal churches such as Benny Hinn and other TBN preachers. This insult to the Holy Spirit needs to stop.

      • Speaking in tongues is biblical. Have you ever read Acts? I was skeptical myself until I experienced it myself. I was not raised this way, and I am the only person in my family that believes this way. And I know God has moved, I have experienced it myself. I have been healed, and have seen others healed of cancer among other things. There are gifts of the spirit mentioned in the Bible as well, and healing is one of them. The Holy Ghost, as the first English translation of the Bible reads, does give gifts of the spirit to those who seek after God and His will, if God wants them to have that gift. I do not watch TV, so I do not know about these preachers you have mentioned, but I do know that many televised preachers may get caught up in the spotlight and stray from the truth because they want to be more widely accepted rather than preach the truth. Some people may also change it just because they do not want to have to change something about them. I do not know if you may have been around some Pentecostals that have strayed away, but from all that I have looked into and read all that my church preaches and stands for goes hand in hand with the Bible. And I am referring to the King James, not some other translations that are more of what people want it to be instead of the non-biased truth.

        • Sorry but the King James Bible is not the sacred holy perfect version of the Bible many people make it out to be. It is not even the most accurately literally translated bible either and has added alot of stuff for poetic reasons as well as 1 verse in 1st john was actually added in and not found in early copies of the Bible.
          A better translation is ESV or HCSB. Anyway, Assemblies of God is not perfectly biblical as they allow females to be pastor’s which is clearly against what the bible teaches.

          Also I have read the entire bible more than once obviously since ive written this blog so much about the bible. Acts does not explain that tongues are special magical languages of unintelligble speech. The Tongues in the bible actually are just languages. Tongues in old english means languages. Tongues is not a special theological supernatural term. Its just saying “language.” The tongues (languages) spoken in Acts were all foreign languages from the world that everyone around them understood.

          Charismatics and pentecostals do not even use interpreters to interpret their nonsense babbling jibber jabber. The bible clearly states someone must interpret it or they should be quiet.

          It does not matter what you experience or feel. What matters is what the bible actually says. The Bible does not at all teach such ecstatic behavior. Also many healings are easily faked or a delusion and people die anyway.

      • Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will. For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.
        (1Co 12:4-12)

        • Ya one BODY IN CHRIST as in ONE. Not believing random stuff and accepting foreign doctrines taught by men and not by God’s Word. 1 Thess. 2:15, 3:14, 1 Cor. 4:6, Romans 16:17-18 and there are many more that say ONE doctrine ONE MIND, ONE SPIRIT, ONE BODY in ONE GOD WHO IS CHRIST. You simply cannot accept that,

  3. Alright, so now instead of answering me when I back up what I’m saying with scripture you just delete my posts? What did I even say here that was offensive? I was legitimately trying to have a conversation here.

    • I don’t have time to go over every single verse that you took out of context and I don’t care to waste time on postmodern drivel. Go have a “conversation” on Rob Bell’s blog he loves that.

  4. Rather than turning the question of how much Holy Spirit we have into an argument would it be possible to ask God (the Father) for more of Him in our life? To take up our cross daily and receive ANY gift He would offer us? Are we so proud and set in our doctrine that we cant humble ourselves and ask for more of the Holy Spirit? Is that “anti-intellectual”?

    • I will not argue with you whitedragon, as that would just fuel your fire against Pentecostals. However I will say, I am standing firm in my belief, and that all I believe comes from the Bible. I have been involved in other churches and God placed me in the church I am in now, and changed me for the better, and has used me as a witness. I know my experience is real and anyone that truly experiences it knows as well. Instead of pointing fingers why not just read the bible and try to live by it and lov. Evertime as we are commanded?

      • *love everyone as we are commanded? You don’t have to be a certain religion to go to Heaven. But the blood is required and so is trying to live by the Bible and having a relationship with God.

        • I do not agree with you. You must be a Christian to go to heaven. No other religion is from God nor can you worship false gods and still think you are saved into holiness by God. You cannot have a relationship with God and still believe the doctrines of demons.

      • I wrote this article to encourage people to actually live bu the Bible and not by “experiences” they think are from God when they are not.

    • Yes that is anti-intellectual and biblically inaccurate. God is already full in our lives, there is no more or less of God. I think you are the one who is too proud to follow truthful doctrine from God’s word and are not happy with what the bible actually says so you make stuff up.

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