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Published: 2021-06-18 05:20:24
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Category: Belief, Religion, God, Theology, The Holy Trinity, Baptism, Holy Spirit, Holiness

Type of paper: Essay

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Abstract
Despite receiving little attention from many, the subject of Pentecostal soteriology continues to confuse majority of the congregation with a few of them having little insight, if any on matters of the Holy Spirit and baptism. Often these subjects are tackled by church ministers who often suffer from prejudice, sometimes lacking the expertise to interpret scripts from the bible. Previous studies also do not offer convincing enlightenment on the same subject. Following this trail, this paper refers to some prior studies and continues to guide the reader through a journey on the study of the Pentecost along with its integration to the lives of the congregation. It follows a stepwise breakdown that is clear and free of any ambiguity. The paper can be used as reference by church leaders as well as the congregation.
Pentecostal theology often relays a mixed school of thought regarding matters of the Holy Spirit and the salvation theory. Different religions hold doctrines, which they hold onto with reference to their interactions with God. Most of the said beliefs tend to have common assumptions with regard to their life and different phenomena they encounter. In the same respect, several scholars have come out to air publicly some ideologies that at some point seem rather provocative especially considering the sensitive nature of religious matters in the dynamic world we live.
The ever evolving world presents dilemmas on critical subjects such as immorality, idolatry, as well as the general conception between good and bad. Further the conflicting views on the said matters risk losing the public to cracks created by the religious diversity (Noel, Brian 2011.2-4). This transforms the secular ideologies to rather objective thoughts in the eyes of an open minded individual. To a traditionally set the mind, the revolution questions the presence of any genuine pneumatology in the current religious fronts. It is such rhetoric’s that are the major causes of backsliding and fallbacks. This is common even among pivotal religious heads with such behaviors again worsening the sorry state of religion. Unfortunately, the condition is evident across all religions from Christianity, Islam, and Buddhism to even Hinduism.
It is such a scenario that has continuously provoked widespread soteriology and promotion of true religion in an effort to salvage human beings from the anticipated hell. Various scholars have championed the cause trough writing newspaper features, blogs and magazines. The aim of such essays is to offer a clear perspective in matters of life and the mission of the church.
This paper offers objective arguments on the study of people with reference to their interactions with God. At some point, it critiques major points and eventually makes a conclusion with the general conviction that the piece attempts to pass.
Key Arguments
Pentecostal hermeneutics; this is the interpretation of the religious books like the bible for instance as well as exceptional religious events and phenomena. Initiated early in the 20th century, the Pentecostal movement has evidently grown, spreading tentacles all over the world (Studebaker Steven, 2003. 258-270). Emerging from a small town the movement has continued to win over hearts across the international divide. Some characteristics of the movement traditionally set it apart distinctively against other religions and include; the separation of baptism and sanctification with baptism coming out as the apparent proof of baptism of the Holy Spirit. It also promoted the belief that contemporary experiences in life ought to be conducted as apostolic Christendom with absolutely no distinction of the two. The speaking in tongues was to be assumed to be one of the gifts received from the Holy Spirit with a few students being able to share the experience of glorifying God in different dialects. Later this tradition was to be incorporated into the young Pentecostal group through the various religious heads, and it was to be made a doctrine in the church. It has consequently been practiced at the same time accorded some sophistication until recent theological studies have revealed more clarity in the matter. This is after thorough investigation and analysis on the subject.
Scholars have often evoked statements regarding the religious beliefs and in regard to directions that ought to be followed by the public on matters of baptism. The Holy Spirit and its manifestation; at such moments as when speaking in tongues is another matter that has sparked off heated deliberations. Theologists have had individual convictions with each one of them advocating for their own ideologies. However, a common ground exists when they hold to a similar understanding on the primary purpose of baptism. Both aged and recent scholars believe that the core reason of baptism is the strengthening of earthly believers with power from God Himself. That gift of power was to be seen to be manifested through the ability to speak in tongues amongst witnesses holding the same faith.
Another element of biblical understanding that has often been advocated for is the discipline in interpretation. This could be expounded to mean the observance of strict terms when referring a rare element in an occasion to the unfair advantage in a given context. Soteriology has often faced challenges when interpreting passages from the biblical context to the present world setting. Instances that have brought this confusion include; the transformation of water into wine and the defending of a prostitute, to name just but a few. Both of them being acts of Jesus, they pose a risk of wrong interpretation as they seem to possess secular motives. Thus, due to their volatile state, they require learned theologists to pass across the correct message to the audience.
Thorough analysis of the two incidents stated above show nothing short of Godly behavior, which is by far distanced from the secular conception that it is to be believed to exist. Acts by Jesus that defy the normal human mindset require faith and belief from a Christian so as to conceive the intent. Changing water into wine, for example, does not imply that God by His son Jesus expects His children (Christians) to be drunkards. Far from it, the passage in the New Testament was an illustration from Jesus on the need for good eating habits for proper digestion. On the other hand, the act by Jesus to defend a prostitute (outlaw) was an important lesson on the crucial need to give second chances to neglected people. It supersedes the surface eye that sees the act as a tendency to aid a criminal and rather it is a godly act of offering redemption. Furthermore, it is significant given the fact that baptism implies a new birth, pure of heart with no prior sins.
Epistemology is the study of beliefs and the advocacy of justified convictions. In the biblical context, epistemology could be expounded to mean the overwhelming trust in the presence of a superior being with the ability to control everything in the universe (Stronstad Roger, 2014. 1). As a manifestation of His presence, certain phenomena are experienced by earthling’s especially human beings that comprehend and also sense this great power. Some of these acts of God’s power include; miracles and earthly conditions such as heavy rains. Miracles vary in size and stature, ranging from simple blessings, to even healing of serious health conditions. The mere belief in the ability of supernatural being solving a startling predicament is an act of faith. Furthermore, it is from this small amount of conviction that timely miracles spring.
Despite the powerful ability of God’s miracles, normal human reasoning tends to fight back, offering a setback to the works of the Omnipotent (all-powerful). The presence of the setback essentially is the mysterious ways which cannot be comprehended even by the smartest human brains. That alone puts human beings in an unfamiliar ground given their special powers to perceive majority of occurrences in the worldly setting. In the hearts of believers, however, the Holy Spirit offers the much needed sense of direction at such compromising situations. A sense of calm is ensured, and the link with God enhanced. The Holy Spirit also links the world only read in history, the present as well as the future.
Following continued research and objective analysis, these acts of God are now far from myths; rather they can be perceived as real. Prophetic abilities as well as divine healing that have come to pass coupled with increased awareness; thanks to renewed evangelism have all worked for the Pentecostal faith. The repetitive nature of the same occurrences can only emphasize the assertions and with illustrative evidence further backing up the assertions.
Critique
Unfortunately, most of the same religious scholars offer no analysis on their statements rather they only assert without even supporting their convictions. The underlying assumption in such a behavior is that the mere assertion is authentic enough on its own to the extent that it does not require any other evidence. This portrays a sense of weakness due to the apparent need to offer convincing discussions with reference to the hermeneutic base of relaying Pentecostal doctrines and beliefs.
Until the recent past, individuals of the Pentecostal faith have been rather oblivious to the criticisms raised on traditions relating to their religion. The Pentecostals would be on the struggling end of discussions with no clear cut arguments on their side. It is this among other mitigating factors that triggered the analysis of hermeneutic issues, promoting the serious study of religious beliefs so as to offer a strong, reliable pillar of hope to Christians. Given its almost mature state and the widespread evangelism taking place, the general attitude towards the faith of Pentecostals changed (Noel, Brian, 2011. 2-4). Again coupled with strong leadership, soteriology has continued to experience a transformation to become a powerful industry that even economists are wary of given the money flow, as well as its grown dominion. So powerful has the Pentecostal movement become, to the extent that the political authorities consider taming it. The revitalization has also brought with some sophistication in terms of directions to be followed in theology. Such issues that come up entail the separation of secular values from religious values, with a distinct line separating the two. Vast students of theology have continuously advocated for literary interpretation in times of interpreting biblical passages for instance. They claim that more to the grammar that is to be used, the intent of the reading is of primary importance due to the history that ought to be referred to. It is also clear that the biblical hermeneutics are to be repeated and simultaneously offer a pattern that could be inherited to put across important points.
One exact example of a pattern that has its initiation from the historical days of Luke and Paul; is the previously introduced aspect of Christian life known as speaking in tongues. Over the years, this repeated experience among Pentecostals has signaled the complete conversion to the Christian way of life. Now, the question that has often left many believers confused is whether the lack of the ability to speak in tongues implies incomplete conversion into the faith. The cause of this dilemma is the heavy significance that accorded to the ability to converse in a peculiar dialect as a manifest of the presence of the Holy Spirit.
Conclusion
The article on Theology and Missiology has broadened my perspective on the study of religious matters, with a keen focus on the Pentecost. Presence and repetition of religious doctrines offer a strong support for my personal beliefs, further supported by the occurrence of similar events in the historical past. Evident to me also is the common ground shared by learned scholars of theology despite divergent opinions. Such affirmations on trivial matters such as baptism and the Holy Spirit have cleared any possible dilemmas, simultaneously forming a base of strong argument. In particular, I have understood that baptism is a tradition whose intention is to purify a sinful soul and invite the holy spirit to assist the believer in making right decisions at the same time linking them to God the Father, the Son and the Holy spirit. Speaking in tongues is a clear charismatic manifestation of the Holy Spirit being in a believer. Before reading the article, most of these details were rather ambiguous but not anymore.
Works Cited
Noel, Brian. " Pentecostal hermeneutics and Postmodernity." Pentecostal hermeneutics and Postmodernity 2.3 (2011): 2-4. Print.
Stronstad, Roger. "Pentecostal Soteriology and Pneumatology." Enrichment Journal 1.1 (2009): 1. Assemblies of God. Web. 25 Jan. 2014.
Studebaker, Steven. "Pentecostal Soteriology and Pneumatology." Journal of Pentecostal Theology 11:2.2 (2003): 258-270. Print.

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