Is there anyone here that identifies as either Pentecostal or Charismatic here? If so, have you ever had to share your beliefs about evolution to others in your congregation?
Greetings! I am not Pentecostal in background, though we are brothers, and I know there are those here that are from that background @1god. The book by @jstump and @Kathryn_Applegate, “How I Changed My Mind About Evolution,” has a Pentecostal minister, Amos Yong, who specifically addresses Pentecostal thought, if it helps. “The Spirit of an Evolving Creation: Surmisings of a Pentecostal Theologian.”
I believe that Kathryn Applegate (or Deborah Haarsma) that recommends in the book that it’s better to discuss the issue if it comes up (it may not need to; depending on whether your church will find it a stumbling block or not–mine would), while focusing on mutual praise–such as the Psalms. That helps concentrate on unity. The book was helpful to me to understand more about all our concerns and hangups.
I’m no longer in a charismatic congregation, but my wife and I spent several years in the Vineyard churches here in Canada. I consider myself charismatic. We’re in a Mennonite Brethren church now, and I’m happy to report that it is accepting of evolutionary creation as one of the faithful options for believers to hold.
You might also be familiar with Denis Lamoureux - he is also a charismatic (but I’m not sure if his congregation at present is). I think he has a Pentecostal background.
I’ve been Pentecostal/Charismatic pretty much all my life. I currently attend a fairly lively Charismatic church in the south of England, where I worked on staff for several years after graduating from university. My late father taught in our church’s Bible College, where he developed a Bible study programme for Pentecostals and Charismatics called The Way of the Spirit. At the time that he wrote it in the mid 1980s, there was not much theologically-oriented teaching aimed at the Pentecostal/Charismatic scene that was readily accessible to everyday Christians.
I think it’s fair to say that the views on creation and evolution in my church are fairly mixed. We have a contingent of fairly staunch YECs but on the other hand when I posted on Facebook a couple of years back that I wanted to see some honesty and factual accuracy in the whole debate, my comments were generally well received. It’s probably fair to say that while a lot of them are wary of evolution, I’m far from alone in having serious concerns about the lack of honesty and integrity that comes from the young-earth crowd.
Then again, the most common attitude at church towards these things seems to be, “I’m not a scientist, it’s all too complicated for me.” My father always cautioned his students not to let themselves get distracted by the debate, because, as he pointed out, it completely misses the point of Genesis 1-11. Words that I sometimes think I need to heed a bit more closely myself…
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