Pentecostalism and Christianity

Topics: Pentecostalism, Holy Spirit, Christian terms / Pages: 2 (385 words) / Published: Aug 13th, 2005
Pentecostalism has become the fastest growing segment of Christianity. "It is growing at a rate of 13 million a year, or 35,000 a day. With nearly a half billion adherents, it is, after Roman Catholicism, the largest Christian tradition" (Christian History, "The Rise of Pentecostalism," issue no. 58, vol.17 no. 2, p.3). In addition, the largest church in the world, the Yoi Do Full Gospel Church, is a Pentecostal church in Korea, with a weekly worship attendance of 240,000. Two Pentecostal Churches in Buenos Aires attract together 150,000 each week. Most consider the father of Pentecostalism to be Charles Parham, a young college student from Kansas with roots in the Methodist Church. While the Wesleys, John and Charles, could not be defined as Pentecostals, their theology laid the foundation upon which the Pentecostal movement would be built. Above all, it was the Methodist view that sanctification was a second work of grace, separate from salvation, coupled with the Holiness belief of a third experience, the Baptism with the Holy Ghost and fire, that interested Parham. Parham was also influenced by a fresh desire within his denominational circles to experience divine healing and speaking in tongues, practices that most Christians at the end of the nineteenth century believed had ceased with the apostolic age. In 1900, Parham opened a Bible college to promote these views, which he deemed "Apostolic Faith" theology. An interesting footnote is Parham's theory that God would soon give His church the gift of tongues, in the form of known languages, so that the world could be quickly evangelized. This end–time revival, accompanied by believers speaking in known languages they had never learned, would bring to an end the church age and bring back a triumphant Christ" (Ibid. "American Pentecost" by Ted Olsen, p. 12). Of course later, this theory proved weak, and a new theory that tongues were unknown languages rose to the top. While Parham and his followers would not be

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