Struans is mugging up on Evangelicals he seems to have experienced difficulty in finding any to communicate with him so picked on me that’s OK I’m quite used to being picked over. So I sent him this broad rundown of the different camps of evangelicals and we thought it might help others to cope with them. You should not be surprised at what’s below as camping often gets muddy. Camping is an allusion is to Tabernacle rather than Temple typology for the church both of which have a place.
a) Cessationist Evangelicals: believe that the ministries of apostles, prophets, the gifts of the Holy Spirit Rom. 12 & 1 Cor. 12 and any types of miracles were only for the apostolic age. They see Pentecostal’s and Charismatic’s experience at best as a psychological aberration or worse a demonic deception.
The charismatic experience has become that of many non evangelicals and of Roman Catholics. Cessationists see this as evidence that the Charismatic Movement is a deception particularly due to Roman Catholic participants. Cessationists rant against Charismatics and oppose the ecumenism of their relationships and experience.
b) Reformed Evangelicals: Are strictly Calvinistic. Calvin was a cessationist believing that the current church ministry consisted of only the pastor/teacher. Today a minority of Reformed believers are charismatic. The reformed will usually describe c) and d) as teachers of heresy – while acknowledging that they are at least Christians. Many would not join the Evangelical Alliance of UK due to, as they see it, the heresy it allows and in Wales they have a separate reformed organization ‘The Evangelical Movement of Wales’.
c) Armenians in the tradition of Wesley and Open Theistic Evangelicals: are non Calvinistic evangelicals.
d) Pentecostal and Charismatic Christians: emphasise the present activity of the Holy Spirit, many would also define themselves as Evangelical they believe in the continuing ministry of apostles, prophets, evangelists, the gift of the Holy Spirit and miracles. The growth of this form of Christianity within a little over 100 years is phenomenal causing commentators to refer to it as ‘The Third Force in The Body of Christ’ i.e. Catholic, Protestant and Charismatic, see Charismatic Christianity – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia … In 2011, Pentecostals and Charismatic Christians numbered over 500 million, a quarter of the world’s 2 billion Christians.
Pentecostals are virtually exclusively non Calvinistic their roots being in the Wesleyan ‘second blessing’ tradition/theology and numerous early twentieth century revivals. A very small minority of Pentecostals see the Charismatic Movement as a deception, chiefly due to its entrance into the Roman Catholic Church and the subsequent experiential ecumenism of most Charismatics.
The Charismatic Movement of the 1960s in main line churches and the 70’s in RC Church (Catholic Charismatic Renewal – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) going forward resulted in the Pentecostal experience entering most of the historic Christian denominations and was the origin of many new church movements throughout the world. Charismatic’s are in agreement with Pentecostals on ministries and gifts of the Holy Spirit. The majority of Charismatics follow c) in theology and their common experiences has created a charismatic ecumenism of believers crossing all denominational divides.
Some reckon there is a total of 500, 000, 0000 Charismatic believers in Pentecostal, historic, evangelical, new churches and underground churches combined.
According to a document titled Baptism in the Holy Spirit, published in Rome by the International Catholic Charismatic Renewal Services (ICCRS), more than 120 million Catholics in 238 countries have been baptized in the Holy Spirit. Though that may be a conservative figure, it indicates the Pentecostal/charismatic movement remains alive in the modern Catholic Church. Is Charismatic Revival Exploding Among Catholics?
If the number is anything like that for a theological emphasis resurfacing on a wide front just over 100 years ago it requires serious consideration. Charismatics now span the church spectrum making it an interesting phenomena, which must, whatever one’s conclusions, lead us to question whether it is a genuine work of the Holy Spirit and where it might lead, for many it promises an alternative form of ecumenism. I recently read a Catholic comment on the ‘ecumenism of the martyrs’ add to this an ‘ecumenism of the Spirit’ and we may see that the Lord is working among us in a deeper way that we may initially perceive.