What am I doing here I wonder? I feel a little bit like that little boy who ran away from home because his family was strange and quite naïve, now finding myself sneaking across the front lawn at night so as not to be noticed, and peering through the side window at the recent and exciting family developments, a little bit missing his heritage, and wondering if he’s been missed at all.
I have become quite distant and antagonistic toward my Pentecostal heritage mostly because of the anti-intellectual “spirit” I’ve perceived there. But I’ve also been longing for the good old days of altar calls, “intense” worship, tears and surrender – the full package minus the emphasis on “tongues” and “end times”. This dry “intellectual” Christianity I feel I’ve somehow wondered into sometimes whereby we’ve somehow separated emotions from knowledge and rituals and criticisms is not my cup of tea. I want it both ways.
I want intellectual engagement, but I also want old time revivals. I desire “the move of the Spirit” (what can I say, somewhere inside is Pentecostal wanting to come up), but not at the cost of proper discernment and wisdom exercised through intellectually engaging Gods Word.
I want to be Pentecostal without having to believe that the world is only six thousand years old. I want to be Pentecostal without having to believe that tongues are the initial evidence of the baptism of the Holy Spirit or that tongues are for everyone. I want to be Pentecostal without having to believe in a secret rapture theory coupled with a seven year tribulation, a rebuilt temple or a single really, really bad guy named Anti-Christ. I want to be Pentecostal without having to feel like a sub-class Christian because I don’t speak in tongues. I want to be Pentecostal without worrying that someone in Church will look down on me for going to the movies, listening to a secular radio station or having gotten a tattoo after I was a Christian. I want to be Pentecostal without having to listen to a “salvation” message or a “prosperity” message or an “end times” message every Sunday morning in Church.
I want some Peter on Pentecost, but I want some Paul at Antioch too.