letters to surfers

Why have Pentecostal churches grown so much?

by Robert Brow   (www.brow.on.ca)

It is true there has been a huge growth of churches with a Pentecostal emphasis in South America, and in some of our big cities (e.g. the Toronto Airport Fellowship). One reason is that they were able to begin with music that appeals to young people. They also allow people to express their emotions (as in a hockey match or football game). They also recovered the basic New Testament truth that it is impossible to function as a Christian without the power of the Holy Spirit. "If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised the Messiah from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies" (Romans 8:11). Making a decision, believing in Christ, infant and/or adult baptism, church going rites and disciplines are only means to begin learning about the power that Paul wrote about in Romans 1:4,16, 8:5-7,15:13. And without that supernatural power no amount of study and education like Nicodemus, and no amount of self-effort can enable us to experience the fruit and gifts of the Spirit. When a person first experiences the infilling of the Holy Spirit there may be strong emotions and manifestations such quaking, shaking, crying, laughing, falling to the ground, speaking in tongues. Some excitable people may get carried away. But things only go badly wrong when people imagine it is producing these signs that counts, and they feel the need to experience these manifestations again and again to be sure of their faith. .

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