July 21, 1999






'Charismatic' and 'Pentecostal' not same
___By Stacey Hamby
___Missouri Word & Way
___JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (ABP)--Though commonly misunderstood, the words "Pentecostal" and "charismatic" aren't the same thing in American theological terms.
___The word "charismatic" is derived from the word "charis" in the New Testament's original Greek, which is translated into English as "grace." Webster's Dictionary defines "charism" as "a special divine or spiritual gift."
___In a literal sense, the term "charismatic" would therefore apply to the use of "grace gifts" or spiritual gifts.
___"The word 'charismatic' is a big umbrella term, and many people fall under it--from the most wacky Pentecostal you can think of to a totally traditional Baptist who believes in the gifts of the Spirit," explained Todd Hunter, director of the Association of Vineyard Churches USA.
___John Wimber established the first Vineyard church in 1977 in Anaheim, Calif. Today, with about 900 churches in 49 countries, the Vineyard is one of the largest organized charismatic groups.
___"Charismatics are people who believe in and practice the gifts of the Spirit and who have rather expressive modes of worship," Hunter said.
___But these charismatics are not Pentecostals.
___The beginning of the American Pentecostal movement is usually traced to a 1901 revival at Bethel Bible School in Topeka, Kan. A woman began speaking in a language not known to her (a practice referred to as "speaking in tongues"), and the school's leader, Charles Parham, identified the act as the evidence of "baptism" in the Holy Spirit.
___The doctrine of a "second blessing" subsequent to salvation and evidenced by speaking in tongues remains key to Pentecostal doctrine today.
___A preacher named William Seymour heard Parham teaching at a revival in Texas a few years later. Seymour became a believer in the doctrine of Spirit baptism and in 1906 began preaching it at the Azusa Street Mission in Los Angeles.
___The resulting Azusa Street Revival continued until 1909, with thousands of people visiting the mission from around the world. Visitors flocked to participate in the "outpouring of the Holy Spirit," much as they go today to Smithton Community Church near Sedalia, Mo., or Brownsville Assembly of God in Pensacola, Fla.
___In many cases, Azusa Street visitors who received the so-called "baptism of the Spirit" returned home only to find their churches no longer welcomed them. Thus, the "Pentecostals" --a name derived from their belief that the Holy Spirit's outpouring on the Day of Pentecost in Acts 2 is available to all believers for all time--began to form their own churches and, eventually, their own denominations.
___But it was not until 1959 that what became known as the "charismatic renewal" began.
___Episcopal rector Dennis Bennett of Van Nuys, Calif., reported being baptized in the Spirit and speaking in tongues. Some church members opposed him, and he resigned.
___In 1960, Bennett became vicar of an Episcopal congregation in Seattle. From there, teaching about the baptism of the Holy Spirit began its spread into mainstream denominations, both Protestant and Catholic.
___That distinction remains one of the main differences between charismatics and Pentecostals, said Ken Keathley, visiting professor of theology and philosophy at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City, Mo.
___"Charismatics remained within their denominations, but Pentecostals are more separatist," he said. "But both hold to a subsequent experience (to salvation) of being baptized in the Holy Spirit."
___Now, what has been dubbed the "third wave" of spiritual renewal is underway. Begun about 20 years ago, it is similar to the charismatic movement. One defining characteristic of this movement, however, is that adherents generally believe the baptism of the Holy Spirit occurs at the time of salvation rather than as a "second blessing."



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