I foresee serious dialogue with a knowledgeable Pentecostal that I know of, and would like to know more about this group of Protestants. Perhaps many of you who are Catholic were once Pentecostal, and can tell me about the history of this denomination, as well as its philosophical and theological leanings. Do they have any special trends that I should be aware of with regards to reading scripture and interpreting Church history?

When I was outside of the Church I had experiences with Baptists and “non-denominationals”, but never Pentecostals. This brand of Protestantism is practically alien to me, and I need to be informed of it if I am to be of any practical use to the Church Christ founded.

Please share with me your experiences when you were a Pentecostal, with Pentencostals, or as a Pentecostal.

Thank you and God love you,

Try a google search on History Pentecostal Religion.

I am Catholic and work with some Pentecostals. I think there might actually be different denominations of Pentecostals, so they might not all believe the same thing.

I can say that the ones I work with truly have a love for God and try to live their lives in a way that reflect that. One of them gets up every morning about 3:30 to have time to pray before she comes into work!

This group believes in Faith + Works. They believe that you can lose your salvation even though you’ve been baptized. I think some Pentecostals might believe “once saved, always saved.”

They, like other Protestants, believe in scripture alone as an authority. One of their weaknesses seems to be that they don’t really have a good handle on Church history or even the history of scripture. They think they have a superior knowledge to Catholics concerning the bible, but are unfamiliar with passages that support Catholic beliefs like church history and confession, etc. When asked about those passages it becomes apparent that their pastor has never preached on those chapters of scripture.

Like other Protestants, they have been falsely taught what “Catholics believe” and while they don’t accept my beliefs as their own, I think they have gained a new respect for Catholics in general. For instance, on their own, they have begun to “give up something” for Lent. It’s not something that their church practices, but after explaining the Lenten season to them, they decided they liked the idea of using this time to prepare for Easter.

I don’t know if this helps or not. Like I say, I don’t know if all Pentecostals believe the same way!

I talk to one Pentecostal who believe in Jesus Only Baptism. His denomination deny that God is a Triune God. They deny the Trinity.

I don’t know if this will help you at all, but Pentecostalism comes out of the Methodist tradition, which in turn comes out of the Anglican tradition.

If I were to guess, I would say that they have no history of “bible alone” or “faith alone” - if they do use these ideas, they are borrowing them from outside their own tradition - but “mix and match” religion is quite common nowadays, especially in traditions that don’t have any kind of centralized teaching authority - which means that your mileage will definitely vary - he may or may not hold to one or both of these concepts - in any case, don’t assume that he does because there is nothing in the history of this tradition that would put it there.

There are a variety of different kinds of Pentecostals, including Oneness Pentecostals, who do not believe in the Trinity.

One thing they all have in common is their belief that true believers are identified by their ability to speak “in tongues,” which is a kind of holy babbling.

St. Paul makes reference to this phenomenon in one of his letters; I’m not remembering off hand which one, but if you do a search on “tongues” in the letters of Paul using an on-line concordance, you’ll find it - he didn’t forbid the practice, but he did consider it the least important of the gifts. There is no evidence in Scripture that he himself had or ever used this gift.

PS: their particular “hobby horse” is the Holy Spirit, so one excellent thing to do while preparing to meet this person would be to read everything you can find in the Catechism and in the Bible about the Holy Spirit, and also track down and at least skim through any documents that are referenced in the footnotes, so that you have an idea of the Church’s teaching on this important Person of the Holy Trinity. :slight_smile:

One thing they all have in common is their belief that true believers are identified by their ability to speak “in tongues,” which is a kind of holy babbling.

Yeah, I forgot about that! The ones I know also believe that if you don’t speak in tongues that the Holy Spirit isn’t in you! They asked me one time how I could identify a believer if they didn’t speak in tongues! I just said I thought that the bible said something about “by their fruits you would know them.”

Paul speaks about the gift of tongues in 1 Corinthians. I think it’s chapter 12. He specifically says that not all Christians are gifted with tongues - yet somehow they get around that. I can’t remember how!

When is it required that you must speak in tongues? I told them that in the Book of Acts, when the Apostles were speaking in tongues, they were speaking other languages. tongues means language in those days. They were speaking in his own language.

Act 2:7 And they were amazed and wondered, saying, “Are all those who are speaking Galilean? And how is it that we hear them, each of us in his own native language? Perthians, Medes, and Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea, and Cappadocia, Pontus, and Asia…”

I went to a Non-Denomination Christian service and I ask what language are they speaking. They say, its cannot be translated. It’s the Holy Spirit.

I read Acts time and time again, and I don’t think the Holy Spirit babbles…

It isn’t.


There are two kinds of tongues, and they both still exist in the Catholic Church just as they did in the Apostolic times.

The one is the ability to speak many languages and be understood in every nation.

The other is the “holy babbling” that St. Paul talks about in I Corinthians 12, and I think in other places, too, although I don’t remember for sure.

there are a variety of pentecostal denominations.Some are Jesus only,some believe in the Trinity.All of the ones I know are bible only and believe you should live a holy life.They believe all christians have the Holy Spirit but not the Baptism of the Holy Spirit with the evidence of “speacking in tongues”.Some scriptures that may give you some common ground are:Acts 10:44-48.1Co:chap.12,13,and chap.14.According to 1Co.14:18,Paul did speak in tongues.May I suggest a web site that may our Lord Bless you.:slight_smile:

I was brought up in the Pentecostal Church. They believe all the phenomenon described in Acts still happen today. They are heavily scripture-based, and generally know their scripture very well.
There is a lot of variation from my experience. Have you heard of five-fold ministry, Toronto blessing, being “slain” in the Spirit?
All Pentecostal Churches believe in the Trinity AFAIK - certainly all those I have attended.

I didn’t know Pentecostalism came out of Methodism/Anglicanism. I’ll have to read some links online or a book here or there on the history of it.

Thanks all.

I’ve been around Pentecostalism and “non-denom” for awhile now and here’s what I’ve learned.

  1. When they speak in tongues and it sounds like babble, I’ve heard them use this scripture out of 1 Cor 13. Though I speak with tongues of men and angels…. So they said, "If you don’t understand what we say as an earthly language, it’s because we’re speaking a heavenly language - tongues of angels.

  2. Only a few Pentecostals think you’re not a believer if you don’t speak in tongues. But I think all of them will separate your experience with the Holy Spirit into two different categories. When you become a believer, the Holy Spirit comes to live inside you. Then they say there’s a separate experience called “the baptism in the Holy Spirit” when the Holy Spirit comes and enables you to speak in tongues and so on. One of the verses used for this is a verse that I can quote but I’ll have to look it up for the exact reference. A couple of the apostles stumbled across another couple of believers and said. Have you received the Holy Spirit since you’ve believed? And the reply was that they didn’t know what they were talking about. The apostles laid their hands on them and they were filled with the Holy Spirit.
    Pentecostals will point out that these guys were already believers, but didn’t have the “infilling” or “baptism” of the Holy Spirit which comes from laying on of hands. You will see that in many of those churches today. They will ask if any believer desires to be baptized with the Holy Spirit. Then that person will come forth and many people will lay hands on them and pray, first in English (or whatever native language is) and then in tongues, until the person begins speaking in tongues themselves.

  3. They use the scripture passages that speak about “praying in the spirit, and praying with understanding.” as well. Again, I’m a little pressed for time so I’ll have to look up the exact references later. They take “praying in the spirit” as praying in tongues, a private devotion that does not involve speaking out loud nor requires interpretation. And “praying with understanding” means just regular praying in your own language. And actually, there is evidence that Paul spoke in tongues. Isn’t there a scripture that states, “I thank God I speak with tongues more than you all…” Again, I’ll look these up…I promise. :o

  4. You’ll find some Pentecostals that believe it’s a sin for their women to wear pants or shorts, cut their hair, or wear makeup. Some are extremely strict about what music they listen to or movies they watch.

  5. They do a lot of praise and worship, with hand raising, sometimes they will sing in tongues, and sometimes they will dance around when the music plays.

That’s all for now. Hope it helps

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