I am Pentecostal by belief system - pretty much. This is not the case if the point of determination is tradition, and praxis. I don't look typically Pentecostal - perhasp I wold look Charismatic, but that's a distinction to be made by those who know the finer points and care.
I do believe in the Baptism with the Holy Spirit, and am convinced that all the gifts of the Spirit are active today, and are necessary for ministry - especially evangelism. Yet I do not hold altar calls, nor do I feel that the gift of "Tongues" is necessarily initial physical evidence of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.
I believe that Pentecostalism (and her sister, the Charismatic revival) has given more to the world of Christianity in the last hundred years than any other movement. This point would be difficult to disprove considering the phenomenal growth of the movement. What is has given unfortunately falls into the categories of both good and evil.
Enter stage right: The witch children of the Congo.
Pentecostal theology, and its step sisters have filled the cities, the villages, and the slums of Africa. Faith teaching, and deliverance ministries with their emphasis on spiritual warfare, and faith as thing of power are common theological traditions.
In Kinshasa's slums children as young as 4 or 5 are being accused of witchcraft and sorcery, and people claiming to have spiritual power to cast out demons charge money to deliver these children from the power of witchcraft. Often it does not work, and more money may be required to finish the task, or the parents may be encouraged to cast the child out of the home. These children are being blamed for the ills of the household or even of the neighborhood. Sick animals, sick people, the lack of food and water are all blamed upon them.
Are these children the children of our Pentecostal doctrines of spiritual warfare? Have the superstitions of American Pentecostals bred itself into 3 and 4 generations to bring us "God-fearing" parents who throw their own children out on the street because they believe that they are witches?
Some people are estimating there are 20,000 to 40,000 witch children in the slums of Kinshasa alone.
I think these are the children of American Pentecostal superstition. We are responsible, and we should clean up our mess.
That's what I think. What do you think?
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