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Old 03-07-2011, 06:35 AM   #1
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Pentecostalism

I was skimming through a few threads here and noticed one comment about Pentecostalism being a "false teaching"
Now, I have no wish to defend this denomination entirely. I was raised pentecostal and I'm all too aware of the kinds of neuroses that upbringing can impart on an individual. A quick viewing of Jesus Camp should convince anyone of the dangers of Pentecostalism.

However, I'm interested to know what doctrines exactly are viewed by other denominations as being false teachings. Growing up, I was given the impression that to be Pentecost meant to abide strictly by the words of the Bible. Catholics were viewed as having strayed from this (since many Catholics in our area weren't very religious and still drank and smoked and...gasp...had dances.)

anyway, that's that

(full disclosure: I am now an atheist)
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Old 03-07-2011, 07:00 AM   #2
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Catholics don't have any specific teachings barring them from drinking, smoking or dancing. We figure if Jesus made water into wine, the least we can do is drink it. I mean, it'd be rude not to.
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Old 03-07-2011, 10:30 AM   #3
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I take such beliefs as bizzare manifestations of belief based upon a messianic figure or fiction in ancient Judea. The claim that it is a false teaching is itself a flawed argument given the position of the poster, they are equally false.

I am an atheist and the more I think and understand of the world justifies that position. There are very few good reasons to believe in any gods given the nature of the world. The suffering of the world is explicable in a mechanical and material universe but becomes inexcusable in any special creation. Religions are all false teachings making unjustifiable claims about the nature of the universe that nobody has any decent cause to say.
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Old 03-07-2011, 11:30 AM   #4
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Catholics view the Bible as a "book of faith." We don't interpret it as being literal or even completely acurate.
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Old 03-07-2011, 02:04 PM   #5
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The Evangelicals I am aware of have an interesting view of most all other denominations. And by "interesting view" I mean 'general disdain'.
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Old 03-07-2011, 03:23 PM   #6
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A lot of the Southern Baptists where I grew up spoke of this all the time, "false teachings," "false religion" etc. Catholics were the most frequent target of their allegations. Transubstantiation, infant baptism, veneration of Mary, 'faith + works,' belief in papal authority...these were all said to be "false teachings," the idea as I understood it being that they directly endanger your soul/salvation by misleading you into thinking that anything other than accepting Christ as your savior could save you and keep you right with God. I went to a Catholic high school in that area and after I got the scholarship to go there, a couple 'friends' disapprovingly related these kinds of things to me about Catholicism. I still remember half-jokingly telling one of them that seeing how I'm Jewish anyway, this should at least be a step up for me, and to my astonishment he said something like, No, at least you know you're rejecting Christ, whereas Catholics call themselves followers but aren't, that's a false religion. I don't think I've ever personally heard anyone explain why Pentecostalism might involve "false teachings," but my guess would be that for starters the emphasis on speaking in tongues might be considered "false teaching" in that it suggests accepting Christ as your savior gives you special magical powers, or something to that effect.
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Old 03-07-2011, 03:42 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Inner El Guapo View Post
The Evangelicals I am aware of have an interesting view of most all other denominations. And by "interesting view" I mean 'general disdain'.
The Evangelicals I know have an interesting view of most all other denominations too.

And by "interesting view" I mean "broad open-mindedness and the willingness to partner with like-minded people."

So...
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Old 03-07-2011, 03:48 PM   #8
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well, I'm gonna dust off my old evangelical hat here.

I think one of the most important verses, with respect to abstaining from the various vices, demanded that we "avoid the very presence of evil" (paraphrased, I'm sure.) This influenced my parents condemnation of dancing (school dances included.) One was to avoid even quasi-intimate association with the opposite sex because there was a possibility that lust could be introduced into the mind (i.e. presence of evil)

When it comes to drinking:
What does the Bible say about drinking alcohol / wine? Is it a sin for a Christian to drink alcohol / wine?

Even though there may be no explicit pronouncements against drinking in moderation, it was well known that many catholics got drunk, which is fairly explicitly forbidden.

The position against smoking was influenced by the passage imploring people to take care of their bodies since it was a temple of the Lord. (drinking also fell under this verse)

The larger point I will try to make here (as I place the atheist hat back on) is not to defend what I consider to be a very insidious denomination, but to point out that the Pentecostal faith IS very much supported by the Bible.
Even worse, the bible also supports the position taken by Fred Phelps. Sure, he cherry picks, but so does the liberal Christian who tries to sweep all the homophobia, genocide, slavery and patriarchal dominance under a rug. But, they must do exactly that.

Christianity has had to undergo sweeping reforms in order to catch up with modern ethics, morals, and values (human rights, etc) not the other way around. And this will continue to happen. What is recognized as Christianity 200 hundred years from now may no more resemble its current form than today's Christianity resembles that which was followed 2000 years ago.
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Old 03-07-2011, 03:59 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yolland View Post
I don't think I've ever personally heard anyone explain why Pentecostalism might involve "false teachings," but my guess would be that for starters the emphasis on speaking in tongues might be considered "false teaching" in that it suggests accepting Christ as your savior gives you special magical powers, or something to that effect.
speaking in tongues usually has to do with prophesy, and is one of the gifts of the spirit. Interpreting tongues is also something that comes part and parcel with it.
“And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name they shall cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues” (Mark 16:17)

I frequently observed people, including close friends at the time, speaking in tongues. And for a long time it was the thing that kept me believing in god. How else could it be explained? Nowadays I think there are perfectly acceptable explanations to be found in the material world (look up glossolalia and xenoglossia)
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Old 03-07-2011, 04:04 PM   #10
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Even worse, the bible also supports the position taken by Fred Phelps. Sure, he cherry picks, but so does the liberal Christian who tries to sweep all the homophobia, genocide, slavery and patriarchal dominance under a rug. But, they must do exactly that.

Christianity has had to undergo sweeping reforms in order to catch up with modern ethics, morals, and values (human rights, etc) not the other way around.
Well this is only true if you understand the Bible as much as Phelps does or the poster that made the "false teachings" comment.

Homophobia doesn't exist in the original texts. There is not one mention of gay relationships(as we know them today) in the original texts.

Just like there is not any support for genocide or slavery.
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Old 03-07-2011, 04:15 PM   #11
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Well this is only true if you understand the Bible as much as Phelps does or the poster that made the "false teachings" comment.

Homophobia doesn't exist in the original texts. There is not one mention of gay relationships(as we know them today) in the original texts.

Just like there is not any support for genocide or slavery.
well, as much as I'm sure you're a trust-worthy source, I would need to see some proof of that other than just your word.

God commands Saul to kill every man, woman, child, and animal in Amalek. Are you saying that is not in the original text?
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Old 03-07-2011, 04:18 PM   #12
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i would imagine that "evangelical" in this thread denotes a fairly political understanding of a certain kind of Christian -- "evangelicals" are certainly understood as a very, very large voting block who are traditionally moved to vote by conservative social issues.

however, i'd imagine that there are a wide variety of people who might self-identify as "evangelical" but wouldn't fall under the commonly understood definition of an "evangelical." i would imagine it's a broad group and we'd have problems with generalizing.

all that said, things like speaking in tongues and other Jesus Camp-type activity looks completely and utterly bonkers to me as does any pretense to a literal understanding of the Bible. it also seems rather uniquely American, the self-absorption and self-importance.
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Old 03-07-2011, 04:22 PM   #13
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Last year, I read The Case for God by Karen Armstrong where she proved something I always suspected: that the Old Testament was meant to be, and viewed until recently, as allegory. Meaning, the whole book of Genesis and most of the OT was never taken seriously or as the absolute word of God.

Just my two cents, since Basstrap asked for "some proof..other than just your word".
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Old 03-07-2011, 04:33 PM   #14
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well, as much as I'm sure you're a trust-worthy source, I would need to see some proof of that other than just your word.

God commands Saul to kill every man, woman, child, and animal in Amalek. Are you saying that is not in the original text?
But there aren't any texts that show Christ relating back to these type of texts are there?
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Old 03-07-2011, 04:37 PM   #15
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Last year, I read The Case for God by Karen Armstrong where she proved something I always suspected: that the Old Testament was meant to be, and viewed until recently, as allegory. Meaning, the whole book of Genesis and most of the OT was never taken seriously or as the absolute word of God.

Just my two cents, since Basstrap asked for "some proof..other than just your word".
Well, lets not treat the word "proof" too lightly. I'm doubtful she proves anything. One could probably find any number of books that argue convincingly for more literal interpretations.

At any rate, it would clearly be a good thing if all Christians believed as Ms. Armstrong. Since it appears that Christianity will not go the way of Greek myth anytime soon, the more Christians who embrace allegorical interpretations of the Old Testament the better!
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