July 14, 2012

“Queering” the Pentecostals

(Photo Credit: The Pew Forum)

By Julia Polese

Mainline Protestants in liberal-led denominations are long used to advocacy of GLBT causes.  But is this advocacy now even in generally conservative Pentecostalism?   Seemingly so, based on presentations at the Society of Pentecostal Studies (SPS) gathering at, ironically, Pat Robertson’s Regent University earlier this year.

The SPS is an academic organization “dedicated to providing a forum of discussion for all academic disciplines as a spiritual service to the kingdom of God.” Started in 1970, the SPS is the oldest academic society in the charismatic movement and was founded principally to serve the mission of the Pentecostal church worldwide. Pentecostals and charismatics take up a unique place in the world of evangelicalism. While charismatic denominations like the Assemblies of God and the World Church of God in Christ are not known for their liberalism, Pentecostalism has birthed its fair share of heresies. The Oneness movement – a Modalist aberrance that imitates the Sabellians of old by denying the three persons of God in favor of three modes – grew out of charismatic circles.  And some charismatics are associated with the “Word of Faith” movement that has birthed many a televangelist.  However, the SPS seems to have been established as a means to counteract this tendency in Pentecostalism. Applying rigorous academic study to a movement occasionally plagued by fideism is commendable, especially as it continues to grow exponentially in South America and Africa.

This year, the SPS Meeting was held in March at Pat Robertson’s Regent University in Virginia Beach The theme was “Pentecostalisms, Peacemaking, and Social Justice/Righteousness.” Papers covered a variety of historical, theological, and philosophical themes unique to the world of Pentecostalism including “Willing to Know: Searching for Inspiration in the Epistemological Approaches of Bonaventure, Duns Scotus and Blaise Pascal” and “African Pentecostal Biblical Hermeneutics: How Do ‘Ordinary African Pentecostals’ Read / Interact with the Bible?” Two papers in particular, however, seemed a bit out of the ordinary for the Pentecostal movement at large.

In “Queer Tongues Confess, ‘I Know, That I Know, That I Know’:  A Queer Reading of James K.A. Smith’s Thinking In Tongues,” Jared Vazquez of Philips Theological Seminary argues that the Twentieth Century hermeneutics of suspicion initiated by Freud, Marx and Nietzsche and continued by Foucault and Derrida later is the  pentecostal (small ‘P’) hermeneutic. He argues that “queering” theology is natural for charismatics because “queer model or methodology is similar in metaphor to speaking in tongues, phenomenologically, epistemologically, and affectively. If Pentecostals speak in tongues and subvert language, queers embrace embodiment that subverts social norms.” The paper is general Foucault and Derrida, peppered with words like “deconstruction” and “transgression” and phrases like: “Thus our work begins first by deflecting textual violence, then outing the text, and finally befriending the text.” But it argues that this hermeneutic is natural to the charismatic experience and should be embraced by those seeking to affirm homosexuality in the church.

Another paper that engaged how sexuality is viewed within Pentecostal circles was Queen’s University’s Pamela M. S. Holmes’ “’Can We Find A Way To Address Human Sexuality Without Fighting About It?’  One Pentecostal’s Response to Brian D. McLaren.”  Her arguments are largely experiential, beginning with her personal testimony about growing up in Canadian Pentecostalism with a mother who had been divorced and then remarried and continuing with her story about considering abortion when she and her husband became pregnant at an inconvenient time in their lives. Using Nietzsche’s preferred genealogical approach to history, Holmes reproduces McLaren’s exploration of the discontents of “Greco-Roman narrative with its dualistic frameworks including a distinction between the real and the idealregarding sexuality. Proving there’s nothing new under the Sun, McLaren betrays himself as a run-of-the-mill progressive, arguing that while God does not change, the Old Testament records reveal only the Israelite tribe’s understanding of him as a “a warring and vengeful tribal god…who demanded that enemies be wiped out.” Only as humanity “matured” could the true, loving nature of God be revealed. Thus, Holmes argues, it falls to us, who, presumably are even more mature than the people of the New Testament, to question the “heteronormativity” of our predecessors and, in a Foucaultian fashion, to reveal and deconstruct the power behind traditional ideas of homosexuality in the church.

Though these approaches may be shocking to the charismatic community, they are not new. The intellectual heritage of Nietzsche, Foucault, and Derrida even touches the Pentecostals. Vazquez and Holmes begin with experience and try to make Scripture conform to their arbitration of what is good.

J.I. Packer wrote about the growing differences of authority in the 1950’s in “Fundamentalism” and the Word of God. Evangelicals take Scripture alone as the final authority, Catholics, Scripture and Tradition, and, responding to the intellectual trends at the time, Packer explains that modernists take empiricism as their final authority, discounting all supernatural events recorded in Scripture. Updated for today, the hermeneutic of suspicion still makes the individual skeptic the final authority, but now the individual does not even stand on solid ground. While I might argue that Pentecostalism is, in fact, epistemologically more responsive to this sort of interpretation with its affirmation of continuing personal revelation in the form of the spiritual gifts, these trends can be seen across the theological board. It is truly kowtowing to the spirit of the age over the authority of God’s revealed word. Progressive hermeneutics like Vazquez’s or the process theologians at Claremont could not exist without the development of post-modern interpretations and their myriad discontents.

What orthodoxy needs to stem this flow is an understanding of biblical epistemology. What does Scripture tell us about what it means to “know”? If the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, how do we respond to the process theologians of the world? It is a charge for members of the Society for Pentecostal Studies and others to form robust responses to these ideas that understand their origin and the roots of their departure from biblical understanding.

 


15 Responses to “Queering” the Pentecostals

  1. Pudentiana says:

    The danger of Pentecostalism has always been to lift the experiential above the Word. The flesh is willing but the spirit is weak.

    • paandma says:

      This view in no way speaks for Pentecostalism, either in Canada or anywhere in the world. I think that you meant to say that the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.

  2. Darrin says:

    I am a member of SPS and attended the two presentations by Pamela Holmes and Jared Vazquez. It should be noted that while Vazquez was raised in a Pentecostal church, he no longer identifies with the Pentecostal movement. Holmes, however, is an ordained Pentecostal minister.

    In the Q&A session after the presentation I asked how she would respond if her denomination were to inquire, “Do you think it’s acceptable to have sex outside of a heterosexual marriage?”

    Holmes refused to respond to that question. She deflected it by claiming that Canadian Pentecostals don’t ask questions relating the acceptability of sex outside marriage. She stated, “How would I respond to within my Fellowship to the question of do I believe in sex outside of marriage? You have to understand that I am in good standing with the Fellowship of Christian Assemblies. I am accountable. But that question would never be asked in Canada. It comes across to me — and I say this kindly but I mean it — as a Caucasian-American effort to police theology within Pentecostalism. Within Canada, anyone can be married, okay? They would ask different questions of me, and it’s a different discussion that we have.”

    According to Holmes, the Fellowship of Christian Assemblies does not care whether its ministers teach that sex outside of a heterosexual marriage is sin. I suspect that the leaders of her denomination would be surprised to learn this.

  3. Darrin says:

    This is a serious matter. Those who advocate the acceptance of sex outside of heterosexual marriage don’t have a platform within the churches, so they are trying to use SPS as a platform to promote gay marriage, etc. within the movement. SPS identifies itself as “an international community of scholars working WITHIN the Pentecostal and charismatic traditions.” According to the SPS constitution, the mission of SPS is to provide “a spiritual service to the kingdom of God.” SPS bylaws provide parameters for membership, therefore accountability is inherent in SPS’s structure. I care deeply about the Church and about SPS, and I would hate to see SPS marginalized within the Pentecostal movement because it fails to live up to its mission. If SPS comes to be viewed by the churches as undermining the mission and beliefs of the church, this will place distance between SPS and church leaders, and both SPS and the churches will be impoverished. I pray for wisdom for SPS leaders.

  4. Russell says:

    These central committees are always taken over by leftist activists for the purpose of destruction, which they call deconstruction, which is obviously the same thing. There is no scriptural precedent for such bureaucratic monstrosities to exist.

    • paandma says:

      The result is to see theology as a social contruct, in which man constructs his own view, and his own image of God, rather than as a divine revelation, in which God, our original Creator, reveals Himself to man. The Christian faith has always been built on the foundation that God created mankind in His own image and likeness. Mankind does not create a deity of his own imagination, and project that on to the cosmos.

  5. G.K. Thursday says:

    “What orthodoxy needs to stem this flow is an understanding of biblical epistemology.”

    Alas, this problem is intractable. Just go ahead and read James K.A. Smith’s “Thinking In Tongues” (Smith adamantly holds that he is writing from THE genuine, but non-orthodox, Pentecostal tradition). Without some “orthodox” method of interpreting the biblical text ahead of reading it, it is impossible to tell what is an “orthodox biblical epistemology” and what is “heterodox biblical epistemology.” But having some method ahead of reading the biblical text begs the question of how it could provide a _biblical_ “epistemology” in the first place. So the question of “which interpretation?” (i.e., hermeneutics) throws a wrench into any attempt to simply use the biblical text alone as a gauge for orthodoxy. At least that is true when starting from James K.A. Smith’s, Jared Vazquez’, Pamela M. S. Holmes’ or Brian McClaren’s position. Their vicious circle goes round and round, yielding nothing remotely like a historical orthodoxy. And furthermore they don’t care a whit for orthodoxy in the fist place.

    The problem that these thinkers have is contained in their first step, i.e., accepting Nietzsche, Derrida, Foucault, etc., as reliable guides to philosophy. Alas, it is the nature of academic life to latch onto a recent intellectual movement (postmodernism in this case) and try to turn it into the basis of one’s tenure. Thus is the orthodox tradition consistently undermined by academics in pursuit of tenure.

    Only an divinely instituted authority giving consonant historical testimony to the biblical text can break this circle and give a ground to genuine orthodox interpretation.

  6. […] Studies (SPS) gathering at, ironically, Pat Robertson’s Regent University earlier this year. http://juicyecumenism.com/2012/07/14/queering-the-pentecostals/ Share a link to this post: This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. […]

  7. G.K. Thursday says:

    The problem of finding “an understanding of biblical epistemology” is intractable from Scripture alone. In order to know what “Scripture tell us about what it means to ‘know’?” you have to already have an approach to knowledge, that is, knowing-about-something, which already is an epistemology. That means that our coming-to-know-a-biblical-epistemology is already based on some previous epistemology that was presupposed before we began our investigation.

    Clearly, the problem isn’t about epistemology per se, but about the unreflective presuppositions of modern ways of thinking (by “modern” I mean after Descartes, who died 1650 A.D.). Modern ways of thinking place ‘knowing’ before ‘being,’ or in philosophical terms, epistemology before metaphysics. Once that is presupposed in a thinker’s mind, it subtly undermines any attempt to find “an understanding of [any] epistemology,” since with every proposed understanding, the question of coming-to-know-about-that-proposed-understanding keeps the proposed understanding from taking any root. This is what the philosophical movements of Nietzsche, Foucault, and Derrida trumpeted vigorously in the twentieth century (one could also add the American philosopher Richard Rorty). However, the roots of their ways of thinking go all the way back to the 17th century Enlightenment.

    Pentecostalism was formed at the height of the triumph of modernity in the United States and it has an intellectual heritage derived from the age in which it was born. Perhaps that’s why our author thinks that if we could just find “an understanding of biblical epistemology” it would be all right. Perhaps he or she is unaware that since the 17th century many, many Protestant thinkers (including Berkeley, Kant, Schleiermacher, Dooyeweerd, etc.) have labored mightily to do just that, each in their own way of course. But it is precisely the “each in their own way” that shows the intractability of the author’s stated problem.

    So unsurprisingly, Holmes and Vasquez, starting from Nietzsche, Foucault, and Derrida, would use the Bible to come up with conclusions already embedded in the epistemology they began with. Finding yet another “understanding of biblical epistemology” won’t “stem this flow” because the underlying presuppositions of placing epistemology first, prior to metaphysics, play right into the Enlightenment trap of modern thought.

    What is needed is the historical presence of the Holy Spirit which helps guide the interpretation of Scripture on the basis of a living teaching authority in the Church. As Pope Benedict XVI has written:

    This permanent actualization of the active presence of the Lord Jesus in his People, brought about by the Holy Spirit and expressed in the Church through the apostolic ministry and fraternal communion, is what, in a theological sense is meant by the term “Tradition”: it is not merely the material transmission of what was given at the beginning to the Apostles, but the effective presence of the Crucified and Risen Lord Jesus who accompanies and guides in the Holy Spirit the community he has gathered together. Tradition is the communion of the faithful around their legitimate Pastors down through history, a communion that the Holy Spirit nurtures, assuring the connection between the experience of the apostolic faith, lived in the original community of the disciples, and the actual experience of Christ in his Church [throughout history]. (_The Apostles_, 29-30)

    Only this “effective presence of the Crucified and Risen Lord Jesus who accompanies and guides in the Holy Spirit the community he has gathered together” will stem the flow of harmful dicta such as Holmes and Vasquez promulgate. Only the effective presence of the Lord Jesus with the Holy Spirt through the teaching of legitimate apostolic Pastors provides a true orthodox “understanding of biblical epistemology”.

  8. G.K. Thursday says:

    A further note on this post. It is not correct to say that Roman Catholics take “Scripture and Tradition” as “as the final authority”, since Roman Catholics regard these as inseparable, as “a single sacred deposit of the Word of God, which is entrusted to the Church” (Dei Verbum n. 10) . It is the Word of God in its entirety that is the final authority. To split the Word of God into two is to fundamentally misconstrue Roman Catholic teaching. So although what our author writes about J.I. Packer’s 1950’s book may exactly relate Packer’s error, it would be good to mention that it is an error. It would also be good to recall that the Orthodox Churches hold a very similar teaching with regard to the “single sacred deposit of the Word of God” which also allows them to avoid the intractible problem of finding “an understanding of biblical epistemology” from Scripture alone.

  9. For those who are interested, and to make the record clear, here is a statement of what the leaders of the Fellowship of Christian Assemblies in Canada believe about the biblical worldview on human sexuality. While I have written this statement myself as just one elder within the FCA, I know that it also reflects the views of the other national elders.

    We believe that the Bible is a very comprehensive and consistent Book which describes past human history, the present human condition, and future human destiny well. Theology is not merely a human or a social construct, but reveals the God of History, the Beginning and the End, and so is His Story, the Story of the unfolding plan of God from beginning to end. He is the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last.

    God had the first word in Creation, and He will have the last word in Redemption. To that end, it is significant to note that the Bible both begins and ends with a Marriage, marriages that bring together male and female, the masculine and the feminine gender as equal but in complementarity. Further, everything in between the beginning and the end only eventually proves, generation after generation, that humans can never improve on God’s original plan for the covenant of marriage.

    To that end, the Bible, right from Genesis (the Book of Beginnings) to Revelation (the Consummation of all things in Christ) is not many mini-narratives, but rather one, comprehensive metanarrative with three foundational and overarching themes:

    1. Creation

    “God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them” (Genesis 1:17). Notice that man did not create a God in man’s own image and imagination, but God created mankind in His image as male and female to reflect the Creator’s image and glory into the creation. Wherever the word “man,” or the Hebrew word “adam” is used, it must be understood to refer, as it does in this scripture, not simply to the male of the species, to all mankind, both male and female.

    The Bible is neither male chauvinist nor radical feminist. It was in the loving coming together of male and female, equal but in complementarity, that the ability to create life became visible, and the Creator’s image would become multiplied into the creation through cross-gender and cross-generational relationships. No other relationship other than heterosexual marriage reflects either the coming together of the masculine and the feminine as equals, nor do other relationships reflect the ability to produce children who can be both fathered and mothered. There is something about God’s character and likeness of which the masculine image is the counterpart, and there is something about His character and likeness of which the feminine image is the counterpart. It takes the two together, flowing together in covenant relationship to reflect the faithfulness of God and the integrity of His promises to unite gender, rather than leaving them separated and broken.

    From the beginning, God’s original design in creation was one man and one woman to become ‘one flesh,’ or ‘one body’ to reflect something of His unity within diversity. Genesis 2:24. When Jesus was asked for His opinion on things like marriage, He always went back to God’s original design in creation, His design ‘”n the beginning” (Matthew 19:4-6).

    After the Fall, divorce was conceded “because of the hardness of your hearts” (Matthew 19:8), and it was the condition of the heart that Jesus came to redeem and to heal, applying the law to the internal world of the heart (Matthew 5-7). Divorce is certainly redeemable, as is any brokenness, but it is the heart that God wants to heal. He came to “heal the brokenhearted,”, not merely the external and outward behaviour.

    2. The Fall

    “’For all have sinned, and come short of the image and glory of God’” (Romans 3:23). The effects of the Fall were such that it distorted the image of God in man, and the relationship between male and female was no longer one of equals, and human sexuality began to express itself in different ways in the pagan world that were a distortion of the original image in creation. Human relationships now became dominant-passive relationships which were controlling rather than mutual, and often abusive rather than loving.

    Ever since the Fall, without allegiance and submission to a loving Creator, and with humans in charge, the issue in sexual relationships and all other relationships has been, “Who is going to be in charge? Who is going to be in control?” Sexual relations then become motivated more by “the love of power” than by “the power of love.”

    This is the effects of the Fall: the distortion and the marring of a loving Creator’s image in man, a God who wants love to be mutual, with the heart and freewill of all parties involved. The Fall, then, was the descent from walking in the light of God’s glory to living in chaos, darkness and brokenness, with much pain, and with many hurts and with many broken relationships.

    Religious systems which reflect the nature of the Fall are seen in pagan societies through history in ways that the dominant partner abuses the passive and the powerless, most often women and children, or whoever the passive partner is. This was reflected in the ancient world in temple prostitution and child sacrifice. “Temple prostitution” is reflected in our society through religious rites that call sexual acts outside of heterosexual marriage as ‘sacred’ and as reflective of “the sanctity and the covenant of marriage.”

    “Child sacrifice” is also reflected in the western culture in ways that justify child pornography, child abuse, child sex slavery, and abortion. This is the effect of the Fall, as it is reflected in the sexual revolution, and it disrespects the image of God in man. It disrespects human freewill, and the rights to life and freedom that is in other human lives, humans who also have been created in the image of God, not to be dominated and subjugated, but to be free. The concept that sexual activity is acceptable within the confines of whatever is desired “by two consenting adults” completely violates the rights of children, and children today have paid a big price, and have suffered greatly because of the sexual revolution of the 1960s.

    3. Redemption

    The culmination of history, and the destiny of a redeemed humanity is to see one heavenly Bridegroom married to one earthly Bride in a passionate and mutual love relationship. Jesus is not coming for a harem. He is coming for one redeemed, pure, spotless Bride, in which the spots and the stains of sin have been cleansed by the blood of Jesus, so that the same bodies which have become defiled by sin can become as pure as a virgin, and reflect the image and the glory of our Creator into the creation once again.

    “Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband” (Revelation 21:2).

    “For we are members of His Body, of His flesh and of His bones. ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’ This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the Church” (Eph. 5:30-32).

    “For I have betrothed you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity and the purity that is in Christ” (II Cor. 11:2, 3).”

    I realize that we all have more to learn in this area, but I suspect that the Fellowship of Christian Assemblies in Canada would be in agreement with the statement made on the web-site of the Society for Pentecostal Studies, whose intent is “to support fully, to the extent appropriate for an academic society, the statement of purposes of the World Pentecostal Fellowship.” Particularly would they be in agreement with the final purpose stated on their web-site, “to uphold and maintain those Pentecostal truths ‘most surely believed among us.'” I would strongly suspect that the belief in the sanctity of heterosexual marriage is one of those core beliefs that get to the core of how God created us in the beginning, the consequent damage to the human condition that took place with the Fall, and why Jesus came to restore us back into the image of our Creator as male and female. That is not a merely cultural thing, but it gets right to the core of the gospel message itself, which is to heal human brokenness rather than to normalize it.

  10. paandma says:

    Since this debate is now into the open, right on to the Internet, I might as well add my two cents worth, for whatever it might be worth. Keep in mind that I separate human identity from belief, and that while I can totally respect the personhood and dignity of another individual, that to differ with their beliefs is not to attack their personhood. Belief is a heart matter, and cannot be coerced, or forced, so there needs to be freedom to express our beliefs without fear or favour.

    I know that the following statement would speak for the leadership of the Fellowship of Christian Assemblies. Unfortunately, my username in WordPress is logged in as “paandma,” but my personal name is Roger Armbruster, a fellow minister with the FCA in Canada, and one who has the ear and the pulse of the leadership within the Fellowship. So I present this prayerfully, humbly and respectfully.

    We believe that the Bible is a very comprehensive and consistent Book which describes past human history, the present human condition, and future human destiny well. Theology is not merely a human or a social construct, but it is a revelation that began in the heart and the mind of God, and History is His Story, the Story of the unfolding plan of God from beginning to end, the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last. God had the first word in Creation, and He will have the last word in Redemption.

    To that end, it is significant to note that the Bible both begins and ends with a Marriage, marriages that bring together male and female, the masculine and the feminine gender as equal but in complementarity. Further, everything in between the beginning and the end only eventually proves, generation after generation, that humans can never improve on God’s original plan for the covenant of marriage.

    The Bible, right from Genesis (the Book of Beginnings) to Revelation (the Consummation of all things in Christ) is not many mini-narratives, but rather one, comprehensive metanarrative with three foundational and overarching themes:

    1. Creation

    “God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them” (Genesis 1:17). Notice that man did not create a God in man’s own image and imagination, but God created mankind in His image as male and female to reflect the Creator’s image and glory into the creation. Wherever the word “man” is used within the context of this paper, it must be understood to refer, as it does in this scripture, not simply to the male of the species, to all mankind, both male and female.

    The Bible is neither male chauvinist nor radical feminist. It was in the loving coming together of male and female, equal but in complementarity, that the ability to create life became visible, and the Creator’s image would become multiplied into the creation through cross-gender and cross-generational relationships. No other relationship other than heterosexual marriage reflects either the coming together of the masculine and the feminine as equals, nor do other relationships reflect the ability to produce children who can be both fathered and mothered. There is something about God’s character and likeness of which the masculine image is the counterpart, and there is something about His character and likeness of which the feminine image is the counterpart. It takes the two together, flowing together in covenant relationship to reflect the faithfulness of God and the integrity of His promises to unite gender, rather than leaving them separated and broken.

    From the beginning, God’s original design in creation was one man and one woman to become “one flesh,” or “one body” to reflect something of His unity within diversity. Genesis 2:24. When Jesus was asked for His opinion on things like marriage, He always went back to God’s original design in creation, His design “in the beginning” (Matthew 19:4-6). After the Fall, divorce was conceded “because of the hardness of your hearts” (Matthew 19:8), and it was the condition of the heart that Jesus came to redeem, applying the law to the internal world of the heart (Matthew 5-7). Divorce is certainly redeemable, as is any brokenness, but it is the heart that God wants to heal, not merely external and outward behaviour.

    2. The Fall

    “For all have sinned, and come short of the image and glory of God” (Romans 3:23). The effects of the Fall were such that it distorted the image of God in man, and the relationship between male and female was no longer one of equals, and human sexuality began to express itself in different ways in the pagan world that were a distortion of the original image in creation. Human relationships now became dominant-passive relationships which were controlling rather than mutual, and often abusive rather than loving.

    Ever since the Fall, without allegiance and submission to a loving Creator, and with humans in charge, the issue in sexual relationships and all other relationships has been, “Who is going to be in charge? Who is going to be in control?” Sexual relations then become motivated more by “the love of power” than by “the power of love.”

    This is the effect of the Fall: the distortion and the marring of a loving Creator’s image in man, a God who wants love to be mutual, with the heart and freewill of all parties involved. The Fall, then, was the descent from walking in the light of God’s glory to living in chaos, darkness and brokenness, with much pain, and with many hurts and with many broken relationships.

    Religious systems which reflect the nature of the Fall are seen in pagan societies through history in ways that the dominant partner abuses the passive and the powerless, most often women and children, or whoever the passive partner is. This was reflected in the ancient world in temple prostitution and child sacrifice. “Temple prostitution” is reflected in our society through religious and satanic rites and rituals that call sexual acts outside of heterosexual marriage as “sacred,” acts which replace the broken image for the original image and reflection of our Creator.

    “Child sacrifice” is also reflected in the western culture in ways that justify child pornography, child abuse, child sex slavery, and abortion. This is the affects of the Fall, as it is reflected in the sexual revolution, and it disrespects the image of God in man. It disrespects human freewill, and the rights to life and freedom that is in other human lives, humans who also have been created in the image of God, not to be dominated and subjugated, but to be free.

    3. Redemption

    The culmination of history, and the destiny of a redeemed humanity is to see one heavenly Bridegroom married to one earthly Bride in a passionate and mutual love relationship. Jesus is not coming for a harem. He is coming for one redeemed, pure, spotless Bride, in which the spots and the stains of sin have been cleansed by the blood of Jesus, so that the same bodies which have become defiled by sin can become as pure as a virgin, and reflect the image and the glory of our Creator into the creation once again.

    “Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband” (Revelation 21:2).

    “For we are members of His Body, of His flesh and of His bones. ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’ This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the Church” (Eph. 5:30-32).

    “For I have betrothed you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity and the purity that is in Christ” (II Corinthians 11:2, 3).

    So it is believed that the topic of human sexuality gets right to the core of the gospel message itself, and at face value, the Fellowship of Christian Assemblies would be in agreement with the Society for Pentecostal Studies in their intent, as stated on their web-site, “to support fully, to the extent appropriate for an academic society, the statement of purposes, of the World Pentecostal Fellowship.” I am sure that they would find themselves especially in agreement with their final statement of purpose, which is “to uphold and maintain those Pentecostal truths ‘most surely believed among us.'” Surely the biblical worldview on human sexuality is one of those truths most surely believed among us.

  11. Rocky Cassiano says:

    Theology exist in the the absents of faith. If there is but one God and he is a spirit; then: who is walking in the garden? Who fought with Jacob? Who talked to Moses in a burning bush? Read John chapter 1 and replace the phrase, ‘the Word’, with the name, ‘Jesus’. vs 14….and Jesus was made flesh and dwelt among us. 3000 Jews were saved on the first day of the Church. Acts ch2. These 3000 had no theology. History says, “Martin Luther chattered like a crane.”. Tongues? Puritans, the founders of the USA, Shakers, Quakers, Pentecostals.

    • Understanding and teaching flow out of a move of the Holy Spirit. I believe this is why Paul said, “I will pray with my spirit,” and then “I will pray with my understanding also.” Revelation is truth that comes to our MIND by way of our SPIRIT rather than by way of our five senses.

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