Pentecostalism today is the largest Protestant branch, and it has clearly influenced the other divisions of Christianity. Interestingly, the global path of Pentecostalism is relatively short compared to other Christian movements, only taking up less than two centuries. Historical development makes it especially remarkable to notice the impact this movement had on other denominations in terms of charismatic expression. This paper will observe the growth of pentecostalism and its influence on other Christian movements supported by my personal experience.
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Initially, the Pentecostal movement was provoked by various evangelical revival groups in the late nineteenth century. However, it has obtained several subdivisions and strains through the following decades and became more than a single phenomenon. Miller and Yamamori (2007) have even created a new term for the contemporary branch of this movement called Progressive Pentecostalism. Those churches have active social ministries and well-established principles of life with the Holy Spirit.
It is evident that the beliefs of Pentecostals were very close to a lot of Christians because this movement has spread beyond the countries where Protestantism is prevalent. Miller et al.’s (2007) research has explored Latin America and Brazil, where Pentecostalism was winning over Catholicism and reshaping major Christian institutions. With this in mind, it becomes clear that the Pentecostal movement has an immense power of credibility and persuasion that motivates many people to join their path.
The mentioned above power that attracts people to Pentecostalism is based on the beliefs this movement presents. With the dominating principle of a spirit-filled, empowered life, Pentecostalism is majorly inspired by the earliest expressions of Christianity (Miller and Yamamori, 2007). These origins explain why this branch is so commonly embraced. Although Pentecostals created the idea of charismatic expression, Spirit baptism, and spiritual gifts, it was very close to other churches. As Miller et al. (2007) explain in their study, there are many other Christians who are participating in the charismatic movement and Spirit-led lifestyle but do not identify themselves as Pentecostals.
Catholic Charismatic Movement, in particular, is very similar to Pentecostalism in its traditions and rituals. There are differences in specific beliefs between those groups, but mainly their separation is historical. While Pentecostals were spreading as a new denomination from the very beginning of the twentieth century, the Charismatic Movement appeared later as a part of the traditional Catholic church under the influence of Pentecostalism. Generally, the beliefs of Pentecostals are very close to those of other Christian churches, so it was natural for various denominations to adapt them.
Regarding my personal experience with the Pentecostal movement, it was difficult to evaluate the direct impact on my perception of faith. Nevertheless, I was surprised to learn about a neighboring family whose beliefs are very likely to be influenced by general Pentecostal ideas. Those people are Catholics, but they acknowledge the presence of the Holy Spirit in their everyday lives and grateful to him for their luck and success. Based on Miller et al.’s (2007) research, this approach to spiritual communication might be evidence of Pentecostalism. Ultimately, it is difficult to identify the source of each particular belief in people’s lives, but some have definitive traces of Pentecostalism since this movement is rather widespread.
To summarize, the Pentecostal division is an exciting example of a movement that was able to gain large popularity in a relatively short time. Its success resulted from a very attractive belief in the Holy Spirit, which naturally comes from the earliest evangelic interpretations. Pentecostalism has influenced many Christian groups and individuals with their idea of spiritual communication. Therefore, it is common to notice similarities between Pentecostals and other religious branches because their lifestyle seems close and engaging to members of most of the Christian Communities.
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Miller, D., & Yamamori, T. (2007). Global Pentecostalism: The New Face of Christian Social Engagement. University of California Press. Web.