adventures-from-fiction asked a question:
Can you talk a little bit more about the pentecostal church and how it works in Asian communities and even other ones? Because I really find that stuff super useful and important to know, and I dont know very much about it at all.
Hey dear friend! You’re referring to this post.
As far as I know, the Pentecostal or “Charismatic” movement (I’m using these terms interchangeably, though I understand that one is a denomination and the other is a tradition) has been a huge part of churches in the last two or three decades, though it’s actually been a part of first century Christians, too. I think it appeals to Asian, Eastern, and third world communities because the spiritual/transcendent aspect of faith is more emphasized, such as communing with the Spirit, getting visions, interpreting dreams, gifts of healing, and exuberant praise.
While I know that we can get carried away with these things, the Bible is pretty clear that believers are meant to have a full spectrum of faith that covers both intellectual and metaphysical elements. God is always trying to make us more human, and that means we grasp the entire range of the spiritual experience in all its glory.
Continue reading “The Hidden Treasure of the Pentecostal/Charismatic Movement” →
Singleness doesn’t define your value, ever.
What exactly is “singleness”? I wish we would stop defining things by the absence of something else. Being single doesn’t mean you’re somehow “incomplete” until someone else completes you. Let’s pause to consider that even the idea of singleness is false at its best, and oppression at its worst.
In the first century, Apostle Paul wrote 1 Corinthians 7 specifically to address single people. To paraphrase, he said, “If you want to get married, good. If you want to stay single, good, and it could be better.” To you, this might sound ordinary. But at the time, it was a loaded bombshell. This was actually an entirely revolutionary view of sexuality that had been previously unheard of.
During Paul’s life, the Emperor of the Roman Empire was actually charging a fee for the unmarried because it was considered bad for the economy and the family (never mind that Caesar was already bad for both). Being married with a family was considered the gold status of society, and a single person could only have been a widow or prostitute; there was no middle ground.
So Paul comes along, and moved by the Spirit of God, completely wrecked the whole idea of family and marriage and singles. Though marriage is desirable, it’s not a “state of completion,” and we have an entire church of brothers and sisters in Christ who are meant for deep soul-community, for both singles and couples. Paul legitimized singleness as an absolutely acceptable life-choice, but more than that, said it can often be better for carrying out God’s mission on earth (1 Cor. 7:29-35). Paul himself was single, which itself would’ve been quite a scandal.