On March 13th, 2010 - six years ago - my dear friend sinde 2002, Dr. Samuel Lee, the President of Foundation University in Amsterdam, wrote an article on his blog that shook the Pentecostal-Apostolic Movement. He wrote that "if we do not change our style and if we do not correct our mistakes, the Pentecostal movement will lose ground in the Western world".
On March 13th, 2010, Dr. Samuel Lee wrote this article on his blog.Dr Sam gave some pointed challenges that really are about getting Pentecostalism back to its roots, and I endorse his analysis. Whereas the anti-Pentecostalism in some nations is moving away from the true Pentecostal orthodoxy, orthopraxy, dunamis and exousia, Samuel Lee is calling us to move forward into the mandate which has made "the Pentecostal movement shine(s) in its own beauty. Whenever I say that I am Pentecostal, I do not mean that I belong to a Pentecostal religious system, organization, or denomination. Instead, I believe in the very essence, the very foundation of Pentecost that took place in the Book of Acts and also in my own life 18 years ago" (Samuel Lee 2010).
Here are his main points:
- I am Pentecostal because I believe in the power of the Holy Spirit, and I believe that the Holy Spirit’s power is still at work today; nevertheless, I don’t agree with some of my Pentecostal friends who use the name of the Holy Spirit in a simply abusive way, i.e., as an escape to do and say what they want in the name of the Holy Spirit.
- I am Pentecostal because I believe and emphasize the miracles of the Holy Spirit. I cannot deny them. I have seen with my own eyes people healed from sicknesses, some even instantly, when others prayed for them. At the same time, I disagree with some of my fellow Pentecostal friends who merchandize the works of the Holy Spirit.
- I am Pentecostal and do indeed believe in the Holy Spirit, but I do not believe that the Pentecostal denomination or churches have exclusive rights on Holy Spirit. I believe that the Holy Spirit is free to move among any Christ-loving church or denomination.
- I am Pentecostal, and I believe that the Bible is an inspired work of the Holy Spirit; yet, I am also aware that the Bible was also written by the hands of man, so some aspects of the Bible must be viewed in its historical and cultural context. I am Pentecostal, but I disagree with some of my fellow Pentecostals who recklessly quote the Bible out of context and hurt others by doing so or use Scripture to manipulate others for various reasons.
- I am Pentecostal, but I disagree with my Pentecostal friends who quote the scriptures to enrich themselves financially. I am not against blessings or prosperity. At the same time, I do not believe in manipulative and exaggerative methods of fundraising or tithe-raising systems that are used by some men and women who claim to be Pentecostal.
- I am Pentecostal, and I indeed believe in the end times and the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Yet, I disagree with some of my fellow Pentecostals who describe with the end times and the coming of Christ. I am against commercializing eschatology because our end-time theologies can create fatal consequences in dealing with other people and other nations!
- I am Pentecostal because Pentecost honors racial and cultural diversity. Pentecost is about people. Jesus Christ came to restore us to the Father; the Holy Spirit came to restore us to each other.
- I am Pentecostal because Pentecost is about hope, visions, and dreams. Indeed, the prophet Joel prophesied about such things on the day of Pentecost. On Pentecost, the Holy Spirit came to give you strength and power to believe and hope, to dream about goodness, righteousness, dignity, integrity, and unconditional love towards people and creation.
- I am Pentecostal because Pentecost is the day of equality for all mothers, daughters, and sisters! Pentecost is about equality between men and women in the Church.
- I am Pentecostal because Pentecost means sharing and participating in social action! In chapter two of the Book of Acts, we read that the believers devoted themselves to prayer and fellowship, and those who had much sold what they had and gave it to those who had less such that they had all things in common. The true Pentecost is concerned for the poor, the oppressed, the orphans, the widows, and the migrants.
- I believe that, if we do not change our style and if we do not correct our mistakes, the Pentecostal movement will lose ground in the Western world. We need a reformation in the Pentecostal Movement, just like other Christian movements in the past.
For the whole article by Dr. Samuel Lee, read here.