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Particulars of Christianity:
310 Pentecostalism,
the Charismatic
and Faith Movements

Basic Introduction to the Charismatic Movement

Our Background and Objectivity
Comparing Modern Tongues to Biblical Tongues
Basic Introduction to the Charismatic Movement
Opening Remarks and Introduction to the Gifts
Survey 1 - Continuity of the Gifts in the First Few Centuries
Survey 2 - Decline of Orthodox Gifts and Rise of Counterfeit Gifts
Survey 3 - A Change in Tune Regarding the Gifts
Survey 4 - From the Renaissance to the Modern Era
An Introduction to the Gifts in Modern Times
The Origins of the Modern Charismatic Movement

Section 1 | Section 2 | Section 3 | Section 4
| Section 5

Up to this point in the article, we have used the joint-term Charismatic Faith Movement. This we have done for simplicity. However, it is necessary before we move ahead, to properly distinguish between the Charismatic Movement and the Faith Movement. In truth, the Charismatic Movement or Charismatic branch of the Church is a very broad category that includes some formal denominations as well as some loosely affiliated and altogether unaffiliated non-denominational churches. On the other hand, the term "Faith Movement" has been coined to denote a specific subcategory within the broader Charismatic category.

Although this is only a loose rule of thumb, in our experience, formal denominations are usually just Charismatic and not part of the Faith Movement, while the unaffiliated or loosely affiliated non-denominations Churches within the Charismatic Movement tend to be Faith Movement Churches. In addition, Faith Movement churches can get rather large in size, sometimes reaching thousands of members in a single congregation. But this is not a rule. Many Faith Movement Churches are smaller in size as well and comparable with what we might consider an average-sized congregation. On the other hand, denominational Charismatic congregations are typically small or average in size as well and there numbers probably vary on a local basis as much as any other denomination.

The following are some of the names of formal Charismatic denominations:

1.Pentecostal (United Pentecostal Church)
2. Assemblies of God
3. International Church of the Foursquare Gospel
4. Church of God in Christ
5. Church of Christ
6. *(Charismatic groups on local levels in the Catholic Church)
7. *Vineyard Churches (more of an "informal" denomination than a formal denomination)

Because Faith Movement leaders often appear on television, Faith Movement Churches and Ministries are often more readily identified in terms of their ministers than the names of the Churches themselves. The following are the names of some of the larger, more well-known Faith Movement ministers in the country:

1. Kenneth Copeland
2. Kenneth Hagin
3. Benny Hinn
4. Frederick Price
5. Morris Cerullo
6. Marilyn Hickey
7. Oral Roberts - Oral Roberts University
8. Jesse Duplantis
9. Jerry Savelle
10. Creflo Dollar

While it is not necessary to be exhaustive or overly explanatory, it would perhaps provide some clarity to briefly describe some general similarities and differences between the Charismatic category as a whole and the Faith Movement as a smaller subset within that category. Of course, do to the accessibility of Faith Movement and Charismatic teaching on television and in bookstores, the line of distinction between the two may be growing more blurred all the time.

By definition, all members of the Charismatic community, including the Faith Movement, believe that the spiritual gifts found in the Bible are alive and well and functioning in the modern Church today, specifically in the Charismatic churches. However, those in the Faith Movement typically add to these beliefs other doctrines that are not held by other Charismatics in general.

Perhaps the clearest distinction between Charismatics in general and those in the Faith Movement is the extent to which those in the Faith Movement teach financial growth and gaining of control over the circumstances of life through the expression of faith. While Charismatics in general do believe in the empowerment to perform miracles, such as healings, which can supernaturally change the natural circumstances, Faith Movement believers take this notion a step or two further. The notion that all of our circumstances including our financial status, our careers, our health, our life-goals, our family situation, and virtually everything else in life can be controlled and changed through acting and speaking in faith is a belief that is uniquely a part of the Faith Movement and does not pertain to Charismatic Movement in general.

It is this belief that acting and speaking in faith can reshape the world around us, which has led to the terms "Faith Movement," "Health and Wealth Movement," or "Name-it-Claim-it" as names for this subcategory of the Charismatic Movement.

So, when we see the terms Charismatic and Faith Movement, we must understand that these are groups that are somewhat distinct. While all Faith Movement believers are by definition charismatic, not all Charismatics are in the Faith Movement. The Charismatic Movement is a broad category in the modern Church and the Faith Movement is a smaller category within the Charismatic Community. Because this is the case, some of the issues discussed in this series of articles will pertain to the entire Charismatic Movement while others will pertain only to the Faith Movement.

In general, below are some of the types of beliefs and practices that can be found in the Charismatic category as a whole, some of which apply more directly to the Faith Movement. It is our intent to discuss these issues as well as other issues and the history of this subject in the following series of articles. In general, items that appear earlier in the list below tend to be associated with all Charismatics in general while later items in the list tend to relate more to the Faith Movement.

1. Baptism in the Holy Spirit is believed to be a "second work of the Holy Spirit," which provides sanctification, as opposed to the "first work," which might be defined as the rebirth.

2. Speaking in tongues (and prophesying), are defined as the primary evidence of Baptism in the Holy Spirit.

3. The Spiritual gifts, such as those listed in 1 Corinthians 12:8-10 are practiced and believed to still operate in the church:
a. Gift of wisdom
b. Word of knowledge
c. Miraculous healing
d. Miracles in general (which don't fall into other more identifiable categories)
e. Discerning of spirits
f. Interpretation of tongues

4. The practice of casting out demons - Mark 16:17 (which could be include among "e." above.

5. Belief in "the anointing," (a term which can be defined in various ways.)

6. The office of Apostles and Prophets continues in the Church today.

7. Emphasis on tithing and giving (seed sowing) for personal financial growth.

8. Emphasis on health and wealth - speaking in faith and acting in faith to obtain these.

9. Emphasis on a special calling and destiny for each individual (and, therefore, pursuing your dreams and "dreaming big for God.")

10. Laying on of hands (which is also often associated with being "slain in the spirit".)

11. Uncontrollable laughter (and other ecstatic behavior "under the Holy Spirit.")

12. Spiritual warfare (depicted as worship and prayer affecting the battling of angels and demons - as described in the fictional novels by Frank Peretti: This Present Darkness, and Piercing the Darkness.)

13. Ministry of "helps," particularly as a way of serving the church in "small ways" as a way of "sowing seed" for God's plan in your life.

Some other beliefs or notions that have been popularized or at least developed by the Charismatic and Faith Movements include:

1. In general how people approach prayer, including what we can ask for and explaining why we don't always receive (particularly such passages as Matthew 21:22 and John 15:7)

2. The frequent use of such phrases as "God told me" or "God's called me" or "the Lord's teaching me" or "I have a word for you from God" (or even "I had a dream from God"), etc.

3. A general belief in western, particularly American churches that God generally wants us...
a. to have the things we want
b. to be happy
c. to be well-off to varying degrees
d. to be in good health and without suffering

4. General "broadening" of the use of the term miracle - in order to allow a larger number of events to be qualified as miraculous.

5. Characterizing faith and reason in opposition to each other.