I came across an article published in Jesus Name News about Kim Davis that basically that she was given Pentecostals a bad name by her actions. I want to consider a few things and correct some major errors in the article in question.
In the story, An Open Letter to Kim Davis, Megan Geiger made claims that Kim Davis should do her duties as he works for a secular government, that she is bringing shame on Pentecostals, and not to support the behavior of Davis.
There is much that I could say here but I want to address a few of them.
To be clear, I am Pentecostal. I pray in tongues every day. I cast out devils. I heal the sick. I believe in the end time revival. I also believe in the trinity. I also believe that tongues is the evidence of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, not salvation!
I understand that people like Megan might not be willing to hear me because my heritage is from the very movement that rejected her people. In fact, the issue of Jesus Only was the very reason that the people in the movement I am from had to form what we call Fundamental Truths.
Kim Davis is giving Pentecostal a bad name…
This type of position is very interesting coming from someone claiming to be a Apostolic Pentecostal. In short, this is a group that has set themselves as the only ones that are right and everyone else, including Pentecostals, are on a bobsled to hell. In my article about United Pentecostals, I made it clear that I believe they are our brothers even if they do not share the same view.
I look like you. I have uncut hair and a long skirt. I worship with the same fervor. I feel the same Spirit. And now when I try to reach out to gay students on my campus, to liberal-minded young people, to non-Christians, they will not see my face. They will not hear my message of Christ’s love, of his forgiveness, of his everlasting mercy. They will not see me.
Instead they will look at my hair and my skirt and they will see a stereotype. They will avoid our church because they will expect it to be full of homophobia, and ignorance, and hate. They will put up barriers. They will build walls.
The problem with this that being a Pentecostal is not defined by how long your hair is, how long of a skirt you wear, or what translation of a bible you have. It is not defined by how long you can pray, either. Being a Pentecostal is a person who believes in the Baptism of the Holy Spirit with evidence of praying in tongues. That’s it.
Many could (and some have) claimed that what you call Apostolic Pentecostalism has given the rest of us that believe in the Acts 2 experience a bad name and that you have no idea what being apostolic really is. Here is a hint: none of us can be truly apostolic because we are 20 centuries too late and we are not Jewish.
We want to be known for healing the sick, raising the dead, and casting out devils; not our hairdos, skirts, and how public education is the whore of Babylon. At the end of the day, being anti-government and just sending everyone to hell is not the will of God. In fact, Jesus came to seek and to save. As far as I am concerned, that is more important than if I have the “official Pentecostal haircut.”
Who is the face of Oneness Pentecostalism?
My heart is broken about this, not just because of your discomfort and anxiety. I am broken because you have become the face of Apostolic Pentecostalism all over this country, and you are now being used by the World as a symbol of homophobia, ignorance, and hate. I don’t believe you to be guilty of any of those things, but I have to say that your choice to loudly rebel against your employer has caused us a few problems.
The problem with this thinking is that Kim Davis is not the face of Oneness. She never will be. She is just a woman that God used some Apostolic Pentecostals to help set her free from her addictions. Nothing more.
If you was to walk into a room and ask 10 people who the face of Oneness is, you would get the same answer ten times. It would be Tommy Tenney is the face of Apostolic Pentecostalism. His book, God Chasers, had more impact on the wider Pentecostal movement and really the Body of Christ than anything to come out of the Oneness movement in the last fifty years.
He has continued to be a voice of Pentecost and taken the message of the Spirit filled life to places that no one else out of your movement has in history. He has even been able to make a movie. One Night with the King has major impact beyond the Pentecostal movement.
Is the United States Christian?
You pledged your allegiance and service to a non-Christian government. You are the servant of a non-Christian public. And that was your choice.
This is a wider issue than I can address here. The fact is only people can have faith and the government can only have people of faith in them but itself can be not be of faith. However, the government has, and has had people of Pentecost at high levels for quite some time. Yes, there has never been a Pentecostal president. John Ashcroft was the Attorney General.
The fact is that America was found by people of faith and that at every phase in history there has been people of faith in congressional leadership. We will never have complete control and to be honest, I would not want a Pentecostal Congress in Washington. America is a nation, not a camp meeting. We need them to be making laws not laid out, praying in tongues and having open vision. As cool as that might sound, we have a country to run.
The truth is that America is full of people who are backslidden and people who have never seen the power of God. However, what are you (and I) doing to bring the power of the Holy Spirit to this generation so they can repent and come to faith in the Spirit?
Before we judge the nation too harshly, let’s not forget that Pentecostal churches all over America was full of hypocrites. It is widely believed that over 90% of people in our own churches do not pray in tongues daily. I would be amiss if I did not remind you that judgement begins at the house of God.