Charismatic Christianity

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Charismatic Christianity (also known as Spirit-filled Christianity) is a form of Christianity that emphasizes the work of the Holy Spirit, spiritual gifts, and modern-day miracles. Practitioners are often called Charismatic Christians or renewalists. Although there is considerable overlap, Charismatic Christianity is often categorized into three separate groups: Pentecostalism, the Charismatic Movement, and Neo-charismatic movement. According to the Pew Research Center, Pentecostals and Charismatic Christians numbered over 584 million or a quarter of the world's 2 billion Christians in 2011.[1]

Etymology[edit]

The term charismatic derives from the Greek word χάρισμα charisma ("gift", itself derived from χάρις, "grace" or "favor"), which means charism in English.[2]

Beliefs[edit]

Charismatic Christianity is diverse, and it is not defined by acceptance of any particular doctrines, practices, or denominational structures. Rather, renewalists share a spirituality characterized by a worldview where miracles, signs and wonders, and other supernatural occurrences are expected to be present in the lives of believers.[3] This includes the presence of spiritual gifts, such as prophecy and healing. While similar in many respects, renewalists do differ in important ways. These differences have led to Charismatic Christianity being categorized into three main groups: Pentecostalism, the charismatic movement, and neo-charismatic movements.[4]

Pentecostals[edit]

Main article: Pentecostalism

Pentecostals are those Christians who identify with the beliefs and practices of classical Pentecostal denominations, such as the Assemblies of God or the Church of God (Cleveland, Tennessee). Classical Pentecostalism grew out of the holiness movement and developed a distinct identity at the start of the 20th century. At a time when most denominations affirmed cessationism (the belief that spiritual gifts had ceased), Pentecostals held that the gifts of the Holy Spirit were being restored to the Christian church.[5] The distinctive doctrine of Pentecostalism is that there is a second work of grace after conversion, which Pentecostals call the baptism in the Holy Spirit, that is evidenced by glossolalia ("speaking in tongues").[6]

Charismatic Movement[edit]

Main article: Charismatic Movement

While early Pentecostals were often marginalized within the larger Christian community, Pentecostal beliefs began penetrating the mainline Protestant denominations from 1960 onward and the Catholic Church from 1967.[7] This adoption of Pentecostal beliefs by those in the historic churches became known as the charismatic movement. Charismatics are defined as Christians who share with Pentecostals an emphasis on the gifts of the Spirit but who remain a part of a mainline church. Also, charismatics are more likely than Pentecostals to believe that glossolalia is not a necessary evidence of Spirit baptism.[6] The movement led to the creation of independent evangelical charismatic churches more in tune with this revival of the Holy Spirit. Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa, California is one of the first evangelical charismatic church in 1965.[8] In United Kingdom, Jesus Army, founded in 1969, is an example of the impact outside USA. [9] Many other congregations were established in the rest of the world. [10]

Neo-charismatic movement[edit]

New churches and denominations emerged alongside the Charismatic Movement since 1980 onwards that are termed neo-charismatic. Being neither Pentecostal nor part of the charismatic movement, they share with these groups a common emphasis on the Holy Spirit, spiritual gifts, miracles, and Pentecostal experiences.[11]

Statistics[edit]

In 2011, there were an estimated 584 million Pentecostal and Charismatic Christians worldwide. They made up 8.5 percent of the world's population and 27 percent of all Christians. There were 279 million Pentecostals and over 300 million Charismatics (the figures for Charismatics include both the Charismatic Movement in the historic churches as well as the neocharismatic movement).[1] Pentecostal and Charismatic Christianity is second in size only to the Roman Catholic Church (Note that the figures for Charismatics includes 120 million Catholic Charismatics who would also be counted as part of Roman Catholicism).[12]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life (December 19, 2011,), Global Christianity: A Report on the Size and Distribution of the World's Christian Population, p. 67. See also The New International Dictionary, "Part II Global Statistics: A Massive Worldwide Phenomenon".
  2. ^ Merriam-Webster Dictionary
  3. ^ Margaret M. Poloma and John C. Green, The Assemblies of God: Godly Love and the Revitalization of American Pentecostalism (New York: New York University Press, 2010), 64-65.
  4. ^ Stanley M. Burgess and Eduard M. van der Mass, eds., The New International Dictionary of Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements, Rev. ed. (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan, 2003), Kindle edition, "Introduction".
  5. ^ The New International Dictionary, "Introduction: Classical Pentecostals".
  6. ^ a b The New International Dictionary, "Introduction: Pentecostal-Charismatic Differences".
  7. ^ The New International Dictionary, "Introduction: The Charismatic Movement".
  8. ^ Douglas A. Sweeney, The American Evangelical Story: A History of the Movement, Baker Academic, USA, 2005, page 150-151
  9. ^ Simon Cooper,Mike Farrant, Fire in Our Hearts: The Story of the Jesus Fellowship/Jesus Army, Multiply Publications, England, 1997, page 169
  10. ^ Ed Stetzer,Understanding the Charismatic Movement, Christianity Today, USA, October 18, 2013
  11. ^ The New International Dictionary, "Introduction: Neocharismatics".
  12. ^ David Barrett, "Christian World Communions: Five Overviews of Global Christianity, AD 1800-2025," International Bulletin of Missionary Research, Volume 33, No. 1, January 2009, 31.

Further reading[edit]

Encyclopedic:

Supportive:

  • Deere, Jack. Surprised by the Power of the Spirit
  • Grudem, Wayne. The Gift of Prophecy in the New Testament and Today
  • Maria Stethatos. The Voice of a Priest Crying in the Wilderness

Critical:

Neutral:

  • Grudem, Wayne (editor). Are Miraculous Gifts for Today?

Literature:

External links[edit]

Academic study: