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Tuesday, November 1, 2005

Charismatics "investigated"

Last week I was doing a Web search on the name of my church, Grace Fellowship, and the name of one of our Sunday School classes (I knew the class had a Web site at one time and was hoping to find it.) I didn't find the site I was looking for, but I did find this:

It's a research paper written by a college anthropology student who had come back home to Oklahoma to study "evangelicals" (which he defined as Pentecostals/charismatics, although I'm not sure that definition is 100% accurate). The report is very lengthy, and actually covers a lot of events I remember. He visited three churches simultaneously... Grace, Church on the Move, and Broken Arrow Assembly of God, and his analysis covers each of them in quite a bit of detail.

Although many of the "negative" comments he had (things that upset him or angered him) were because he didn't quite understand what was going on, his comments are valuable to someone who is a charismatic/Pentecostal/non-denom and wants to know what outsiders see when they look in. Another interesting point is that this young man grew up in a church that did not engage him on an intellectual level, and he figured if there were no intellectual Christians, he'd better go looking elsewhere. Pity, too, because intellectual Christians aren't THAT hard to find if you're looking. Maybe there just weren't any at his church (or maybe they never spoke up!)

One thing that I thought was interesting was that several of the statements that ministers made that upset him were actually quotations of Scripture, and perfectly in context. Just goes to show you that the Word really IS offensive to unbelievers, without us having to add our own offensive personalities to it at all!

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