Hi. I have made a new friend who is Pentecostal. I was wondering if any Pentecostals (or others) could outline their beliefs for me, to help me in talking about our respective faiths?

Thank you in advance.


There are many variations. It would help if you could tell what the particular denomination, if any, your friend is a part of. Besides several pointedly pentecostal denominations, there are also pentecostals, or charismatics, found in most of the the mainline Protestant denominations, and also Catholicism. I’ve been away from organized pentecostalism for many years, and get the impression that the Catholic charismatic movement is fading away nowadays. But I’m sure it is still there, in places.

Pentecostals run the gamut, from hardcore to softcore. The hardcore ones will say that speaking in tongues is the only way to know that one has received the baptism of the holy spirit. The more softcore pentecostals will deny this, but say that the experience, while not absolutely necessary for salvation, is nevertheless something that no one should avoid or prohibit.

Try to find out the denomination your friend is in. That will give clues as to what he/she believes.


There is also a sharp devide between “Apolostic Pentecostals”, also known as “Jesus Only” pentecostals, and more mainstream Pentecostals, as one would find in, say, an Assembly of God church.

“Jesus Only” pentecostals deny the Trinity. Assembly of God pentecostals don’t.

In some branches of Pentecostalism the women do not cut their hair, wear makeup, pants, etc. But again, this is not all pentecostals.


All churches should have a statement of faith. Ask your friend for a copy of theirs, it could even be online if the church has a website.

Thats the simplest way to actually know what they believe. Then you could even exchange views


I want to know if the pentecostals ascribe different attributes to ChristianGod- father, son, spirit- three persons of the ChristianGodHead as compared to say Catholics, Protestants or JWs. I am interested.
I am an Ahmadi – a peaceful faith in Islam bridging gaps between faiths/denominations/religions/agnostics


OK, I’ll try and find out the denomination.

Thanks for your help so far!


If they are oneness pentecostal, Dan Marsh has a ton of information on them.


As a ex-pentecostal, well…the beliefs are as varying as their are churches within pentecostalism.

The only real core belief that stands out from the last church was the speaking in tongues belief.

You are saved, but you are not sanctified until you have been given that special language channel between yourself and God via the gift of tongues.


There are two major branches of Pentecostalism, and virtually all Pentecostal denominations fall into one of these two branches.

  1. The Holiness Pentecostals: These churches, which include the Pentecostal Holiness and the Church of God (Cleveland, TN) trace their roots through the Holiness movement which came out of the Weslyean revivals in the 19th century.

  2. The Baptistic Pentecostals: These churches, which include the Assemblies of God as the largest example, trace their roots to through Baptist ecclesiology.

Theologically, the two branches are very different.

The “Oneness Pentecostals” or the “Jesus Name” Pentecostals (of which the United Pentecostal Church, International is – by far – the largest) are not Unitarians in the “Unitarian-Universalist” sense of the word, but rather are “modalists” in the Early Church heresy sense of the word. They believe that in the Old Testament God revealed Himself as Father; in the New Testament God revealed Himself as Son, and in the Age of the Church, God reveals Himself as Holy Spirit – and in each “mode”, His Name is Jesus. They are an early schism from the Assemblies of God (who reacted to this Trinitarian heresy by going too far in the other direction) but in ecclesiology and practice, have more in common with the Holiness Pentecostals.

The Society for Pentecostal Studies (of which I am a member) is an academic society comprised largely of Pentecostals and Catholics. I have been engaged in an ongoing discussion/academic debate with a “Oneness” scholar over the nature of New Testament baptism.

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