Imagine flying confetti raining down from the sky and balloons dancing in the air and a cacophony of noise-makers blaring away. What’s the occasion? Good question! This is my 100th blog post – a momentous achievement in which to celebrate and give thanks to the Lord. I also thank you, dear blog readers, in sharing this journey of discovery into God’s world and how He impacts our daily lives in every little thing. This being my 100th blog post, I am still working on getting things right and may need to write a 100 more to come close to producing the perfect blog post. I will use this post to give some clarifications, make a correction and a share a conclusion regarding my last post (Alas!).
Clarification #1: According to Wikipedia, “Pentecostalism began in the early twentieth century. It’s doctrinal distinctive was a dramatic encounter with God termed baptism with the Holy Spirit. This EXPERIENCE was one of empowerment for Christian life and service, and the EVIDENCE for receiving this experience was speaking in other tongues. Before 1955, Pentecostal doctrinal distinctive were not embraced by the religious mainstream [Evangelical Protestants]…The charismatic movement was a reversal of this previous pattern as those influenced by Pentecostal spirituality chose to remain in the original denominations [Anglican Communion (including Episcopalian), Lutherans, Eastern Orthodox, Reformed Churches, Roman Catholicism and Seventh-day Adventist]. The high church wing of the American Episcopal Church was to first feel the impact…of the charismatic movement…usually dated to Easter 1960, when Dennis Bennett, rector of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Van Nuys, California, recounted his Pentecostal experience to his parish. The resulting controversy and press coverage created an awareness of the emerging charismatic movement. The movement spread to other mainline churches, where clergy began receiving and publicly announcing their Pentecostal experience. These clergy began holding meetings for seekers and healing services where the sick were prayed for and anointed. The Catholic Charismatic Renewal began in 1967 at Duquesne University in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. The term ‘charismatic’ was coined by American Lutheran minister Harald Bredesen in 1962 to describe what was happening in mainstream Protestant denominations. Confronted with the term ‘neo-Pentecostal’, he preferred to call it ‘the charismatic renewal in the historic churches’.”
Clarification #2: According to Wikipedia, “Charismatic Christians believe that the Gifts of the Holy Spirit as described in the New Testament are available to contemporary Christians through the infilling or baptism of the Holy Spirit, with-or-without the laying on of hands. These spiritual gifts are believed to be manifest in the form of signs, miracles, and wonders, including, but not limited to, speaking in tongues, interpretation of tongues, prophecy, healing, and discerning spirits. While Pentecostals and charismatics share in these beliefs, there are differences. Many in the charismatic movement deliberately distanced themselves from Pentecostalism for cultural and theological reasons. Foremost among theological reasons is the tendency of many Pentecostals to insist that speaking in tongues is always the initial physical sign of receiving Spirit baptism. Although specific teachings will vary from group to group, charismatics generally believe that baptism with the Holy Spirit occurs at the new birth and prefer to call subsequent encounters with the Holy Spirit by other names, such as ‘being filled’. In contrasts to Pentecostals, charismatics tend to accept a range of supernatural experiences (such as prophecy, miracles, healing or ‘physical manifestations of an altered state of consciousness’) as evidence of having been baptized or filled with the Holy Spirit. Also, Pentecostals have traditionally placed a high value on evangelism and missionary work. Charismatics, on the other hand, have tended to see their movement as a force for revitalization and renewal within their own church traditions.”
Correction: The name of one of the bridges connecting Shelburne Falls and Buckland, Massachusetts is The Bridge of Flowers. If you are a blog follower of mine, you get my post with all the typos I find after I have already sent it out. I did have my friend proof-read my last post, but I added the photos and their descriptions after the post was already edited. The typos I make keep me humble (Alas!).
Conclusion: The last days of my August Birth-Month Celebration was spent with my dear and long-time friend Holly, at her parents’ farmhouse in Becket, Massachusetts. We enjoyed peaceful quiet times, good conversation, and excellent simple gourmet meals with BACON, STEAK, SHRIMP and CRAB CAKES. We also watched wild turkeys meander in the field and spotted a deer with her fawn and had friendly visits from country neighbor folk. It was a wonderful ending to a very happy birth-month. I am so thankful to the Lord for His gifts of faith, family and friends. Now, onto “The Gifts of the Holy Spirit (Part X)” for next time.
With a Thankful Heart,