jepta 1991 10-1 - European Pentecostal Theological Association
THE JOURNAL OF THE
I'urposes ot EXTA
1 , To promote cxcclle~lceand eKcclivet~cssin I'cr~tccostulscholurship, mi~~isteriul
inid dicologicul lilcruk~re,
2. To foster cxchur~gc,fclltrwship uutl cuqcrution hctwecn iucnrlxr i~~stitutiooti
3. To foster cxclrtragc aorl fellowship bclwcctl the Associutioa iri~tloll~crussociutions
w i h si~nilerobjcctivcs nntl co~n~niuncnls.
4. To slrcoglhcn h e tcslieiony or Jesus Cluisl and His Clitrrch in liurop rrud to bring
gbry to God in 1111 oclioes unil couccrtlti.
This corntniltcc wus cstublishcd in 1980 lo encoilrug6 utld assist [hc tlcvelop~ncnlof Lllcologicul
and ministcriill lriiiniog in I?nslern Hurop. Tbc c o ~ ~ ~ ~ n seekti
i l t c c to link h e rcaurceti
nnd kuchers williiu Ule Associutiw wiU~t11116e c l ~ u r c l ~o re colleges
rhcm. Thc comnit~ccnlso seeks lo ruitic! fit~unciulrrtlpprt for tlelegules f ~ o mIiuctela Ilurnpe 10
nttcnd EFTA cnnferenccs.
For more information aboul the European Pcnrccosl:~l 'I'licologic:rl Aaaoui;~lionnncl
details of membership please see ihc back covcr.
EPTA BULLETIN articles ilrc illdcxcd
Religion Index One: I'crioclicals
book ~ w i c w arc
Index to Book Reviews in Rcligion
11, 6020 1, IISA
published by ATLA, 820 Church S l ~ ~ c cI"vaslo~~,
Copyright 199 1 European Penlccostnl 'I'hcological A s s o ~ i i \ l i o ~ ~
Elim Diblt Collcpc,
Nnncwich CWS 61,W.
Fax: 44.270.61001 3
L1association thbologique pcntcc6tiste curopCcnnc 'EI?TA' (Ruropenn Pentecostal Theological
Association) a dtC f d d c en 1979 cn vue d'cnceurngcr Ct de fncilitm Ifl fomntion thPologiqllc a"
sein du Pentccbtismc. Pcuvent devcnu membms, Ics inslilutinnr at ~ r r i o n n c sin~livicluclle~
souscdvent aux objectifs de I'mssociation ct en acccptent le fondcmcnt Ihbalogique. II cst b Doter
quc parmi Ics qcmhrcs d'EPTA figurcnt q i ~ c l ~ i ~ ~dcs
~ - meillcurs
colltgcs ou s6minaires
tht%logiqucs penlec8tistcs dlEurope,
L'association aouscrit aux objcctifs suivants:
1. pomouvoir la recherche th4ologique1 la farmalion aux minislb~sdc l'dgliac ct
lcs publications pcntec0tistcs;
2, ddvelopper les contacts, et st'mulcr Ics Cchnngcs ct la coopcSrntion fnlre Ics rncmbrcs
3, lablir des licns ct encourager lcs contack nvcc d'uulres nasoeintiona aynnl cles
engagements el dcs objcctifs similaircs.
Le but principal eat, bien-entcndu, de rcnforccr Ic temoignngc dc I'Rglisc chrfticnnc en Suropc.
Soli deo glonal
Lcs Conlbrencw ElTA
L'aasociation organise unc recontre curop6cnc annuellc. Ccllc-ci n lieu, an rEglc gCnBrnlc, dnns Ics
locaux dc I'une dcs Bcolcs thdologiqucs mcmbrcs dc I'BPTA el csl Icnuc chnquc nnndc dans un
aube pays europ+ien, Au programme dc ccs confbronccs figurcnt, en dehorn dca affnire~relntives b
la gestion dc I'association dcs exposbs, s h i n a i r e s 61 canrcfour~lnynnt pour ohjcl cla facilitcr
llCchange d'iddes et d'informations, et dc stimulcr la rdflcxion ct IC ciinloguc th8ologiquc.
Camltd do I'Europe d'cst
Ce comitd B 6tC dtabli en 1989 pour encourager ct aider n u d6vclappctncnt dc I'dducntion
thhlogiquc et de la formation dc ministbrca en Europe dc I'cst, I,c Comild chcrchc h rclicr Ics
ressources et les professcurs dc I'association avcc Ies dglisca aux Ccolcs d'Eunrpc clc l'cst qui cn
ont besoin. Le Comitd cherchc aussi B augmcnlcr lc support financier tlcstintl h pnncttrc aux
ddKguCe de I'est d' aller aux confdrencea dlEPTA,
Le Cansell d'Education
Le conseil d'education B 6th dtabli en 1991 pour encourager le ddvcloppement dcs dtudcfi
thdologiques avancdes parmis lcs institutions membrea, Au debut ccla catisixtc cn un dipl6rnc
avancd en thtologie du niveau d'unc licence. Lcs cours ntcesaairea scront cnscign4s aux
L'adheslan a EPTA
Toutes demandcs d'adhCsions devront @Ireadressfes au secr6tnireltrdsoricr.
Elim Bible College,
Nmtwich CWS 6LW.
C a n M exfcutlf
Triula SNP 73,
040 I 1 Kobice,
Coml(C de I'Europe de IIEdr
3188 Circle Lane,
Nya Slottct, UjHrka4Wby,
Conscll d' EdueaUonr
Aufgrrben der EI'TA
1, Theologische Ausbildung und Porschung inncrhulb dcr Pfingstbcwcgung ftlrdenl.
2. Konlukte, Xusmnmenurbcit zwischen pfingstlichen Semi~inrcnund Porsclicm mit
3, Konlnktc zu mndcrcn Vcrbiinden thnliclncr Art herstellen.
Dicse Zielc sallen dnzu diencn dia Gcnlcinde Jcsu Cliristi in Europn zu stbken und GOUElire zu
Diescs Komitce wurde 1989 gegrIlndct zwecks 16rderung und UntcrslUlzuny dcr Bntwicklung dcr
theologischen uncl pustonleu Ausldtluny in Osleurapu. Auf Anfrnge der ostcuropiiiscl~enKirchcn
und Schulcn inncrhulb dcs Vcrbundcti benlllhl sich dus Ko~nitccum die Vennittlung van
Hilfsmitleln und Dozenten, Xm weitern bemllhl cs sich dm111 oslcuropliscl~cn Dclcgiertcn den
Bcsuch der EPTA Konfcmnzcn finturzicll zu ern~tlglichcn.
Der Ausbildungsuusschuss wurde 1991 geyrllndet zwecks Plirderung tlcr Enlwicklung 11Ohcrer
thcologischer Studicn irn Kuhn~cntler Ausbildungsstllucn tles Verbundcs. FUr Promovierlo sol1
anfinglich ein Advanced 1)iplomu in Theologie ungcslrebt wcrdcn. Hntsprcchenrlc Pflichllllcl~er
worden an den tilnehmenden Inslilulio~icngeflllnrt.
Anfkugcn bcuclfend Mitylictlschall sind un den Sckrctiir/Kassierer zu richten.
Elim Uiblc Collcge,
Nnntwich CWS 61,W.
Y a q h Urcnkun,
'I'riddn SNP 73,
0401 1 Kutlcc,
N ~ ISlotlct,
Matthias Wenk Christian Social Responsibility
Raymond Pfister Some Reflections on Social
Ministry in European Pentecostal Churches:
Three Case Studies
Japie Lapoorta The Necessity for a Pentecostal
Witness in South Africa
A Declaration of Solidarity with the Relevant
Pentecostal Witness in South Africa
' Howard Marshall (ed)
Christian Experience in Theology and Life
Alice Rasmussen Schick and Dean Helland Talbert
La Iglesia Metodista Pentecostal, Ayer y Hoy
Signs of the Spirit, How God Reshapes the Church
A Force in the Earth: The Charismatic Renewal and
Ten years ago, a few Pentecostal theologians, teachers and ministers decided to pool
their resources to start a publication for the purpose of encouraging the exchange of
information relevant to the history, theology and educational programs of Pentecostal
Bible schools in Europe. What began in a basement as a circular letter for EPTA
members, has become a informative periodical with a readership on five continents and
in many non-Pentecostal libraries. The editorial committee has decided to respond to this
positive development by changing the periodical's size, and by publishing it on a biannual basis.
It is our pleasure to include in this issue three articles on social ininislry. Matthias
Wenk's contribution focuses on the theological notion of 6la~0vlCXand its basis for
social ministry in church life. Raymond Pfister provides three case studies on how
different local churches in France and Gennany have faced the challenge to care for
those in need. From a yet different point of view, Japie Lapoorta presented a paper on
the sixth Conference on Pentecostal and Charis~naticResearch in Europe in Kappcl a,A,,
Switzerland, on the need for a Relcvclnt Pcntecoslrrl Wilness in South Africa. Thc
participants of that inlcrnational gathering were moved by the apparent lack of a clear
PentecostallCharismulic response in support of Christian efforts for a non-vialenl
transfo~mationof South Africa loward a post-apartheid socicty. As a result, a declaration
was drawn up and signed. This staletnent is included as a witness to our moral
commibncnl to peacc and justicc.
Finally, the modern m a n s of data transfer are likely to encourage participation in
putting this journal logether. It is our hope that the EPTA BULLETIN will conti~luelo
play its part in bringing scholars from East and West, from North and South and from
different churches closer together through the power of the Spirit of God.
Christian Social Responsibility
by Matthias Wenk
I am not sure how we should speak about Christian social responsibility. Is it our
resportsibility, or should we speak of it as Ule natural expression of a Spiril-filled life?
How can my brother in need be my responsibility?
The approach I havc chosen is not to comment extensively on particular arcas of social
action, but rather to lay thc theological foundation for our ministry in any social
framework, and the resulting challenge lhat lhis presents for the Pentecostal church
The Doctrim ofthe Trinity
The issue of Chrislian social responsibility is rooted in the doctrine of the Trinity.
Whenever wc refer lo the Trinity we not only say that God exists, but also that he coexists. From eternity, God is in relationship with himself, He does not exist in isolation.
God is not impersonal. He is personal because of his relationships wilhin lhe Trinity.
God is not static. He is not ArisloUe's unmoved mover, but rather dynamic. God lives.
God loves. God hurts. Only out of lhis relational aspect can we Iry to dcfine God. Thus
we can say, "God is love (1 Jn 4:8)." The quality of God is the quality of his
relationship. This love refers both to the relationships within the Trinity as well as to his
relationship with mankind (Gal 2:20 and Ro 55-1 1). God's love includes his enemies,
for he loves those unworthy of his love. God's love towards mankind found its most
dramatic expression a1 the cross of Calvary (Jn 3:16). God expressed his love in a very
concrete way: in sewanthood and through Chrisl's sacrificial death (Mk 10:45).
We further say lhat God is gracious, This loo is a relational term, and defines God's
love. It makes love unconditional and not calculated. Lastly, we chsraclerise God's
relationship by his holiness and justice. God is holy and jusl. He, therefore, hates sin and
the consequences of sin such as sickness, injustice, oppression, poverty and dcspair.
In the same way, man is not an isolated being. Man, like God, is social. He is constantly
in relationship. Man is not only in relationship with God but also with his fellow man
(Mt 22:36-39). Our relationships to one another have to be patterned according to God's.
This means that our relationships must be chmctcrised by lovc, which finds its personal
expression in caring for my brother (1 In 3:10; 1 Co 8:3). Christian social ministry is the
& W A BULLETIN Jaurnnl of the Runpnn Pentcccrstal Thealogicnl Afitiociatian
expression of this love, It docs not primarily orlent Itxlf to the nccds of pcoplc, but to
the example given by God. It furthcr rncnns that our love hus to he u. gracious as G M * ~
love, Our love is an uncondidonal lovc, not calculatin& and docs not cxpcct anything in
return (e.g,, conversions or church membership). And finally, our relitlionships have to
be characlerised by justice and holiness. Christian social tniniatry will always hkc a
stand against oppression and injustice. It hns a prophetic dimcnslon.
Survey of Old Teskunent Passages
In Genesis 3:20-21, God providcs Adam find Eve with clothes, 'Illis cvcnt is prcccded by
man's fall and God's promise of a Saviour (3: 15). Irnmcdintcly after thc fall, God cares
for Adam and Eve's spiritual condition and, at thc same timc he providcs for thcir
physical needs, We must also remember that the n ~ ofd nlrrn is u sclf-cnuscd problc~n,
Yet God, because he is gracious, still provides help. In Gcncsis 3: 15-21, God ties
spiritual and physical hclp togcthcr, Bath arc necessary ancr thc full; M h nrc an irnswcr
to the problem of sin. The boak of Exodus also gives us nn cxan~plcof the link bctwccn
the spiritual and physical aspects of rcdcmplion. God rcdccrns slaves. God is a God who
hears the cries of the slaves; who places h i m W n h v c thc gods of Egypt (thc gods of
the rich and ruling class). Slaves, peoplc without m y pcrmnl rights, bccoine thc objccl
of God's love. He hears those who normally havc no voice to spcnk on lhcir own behalf,
Again, the spiritual dimension and thc social dimension are i n a p m h l y linked wilh onc
another, This event brings about a new society wilh new social nonns which are
expressed in the Mosaic law,' Throughout the law, acccptahlc worship and gcnulne
social behaviour are linked with one anothcr. In passages such as Excxlus 22:20-26 there
are four groups of people for whom the Isrrrclikzl must care:
- the aliens
- the widows
- the orphans
- the poor.
Even in the laws that we normally cansider as ceremsninl or liturgical, wc find thc
emphasis on social responsibility (e.g. Dt. 15: 1-1 1; 24: 14-15; 14:29; 16: 1 1- 12; 26:6-12;
Ex. 23:ll; Lev. 19:lO; Dt. 10;18-19). In the book of Deuteronomy we find that the poor
and needy had to be included in all of Israel's religious festivities. Also the rccciving of
the tithes is not limited b the Levite, but extended to the poor. Thercforc, Ihc paying of
one's tithes has not only a cultic, but also a social dilncnsion. Schneidcr, i n his
commentary, notes that in doing so, the Levite and the needy hccotnc Ihc personified
The idea of acceptable worship and genuine social behaviour is then carried forward in
the wisdom literature: "He who oppresses the paar shows contempt for thcir Maker, but
whoever is kind to the needy honours Gad (Pr. 14:31);" "If a man shuls hia cars to the
cry of the poor, he too will cry out and not be answered" (Pr. 21: 13): (Further passages
are found in Ps. 146:7-10; Ps. 9:9; Ps. 10:17-18; Pr.. 175; 19:17; 29:7; 23:lO; Ps. 68:s6, etc.)
Acceptable worship and genuine social behaviour belong together. This can bc seen in
its negative sense in the prophets of Israel. Whereas in the Exodus God created a new
social order of justice and mutual care, the feudal society under Solomon turned il
around. The alternative society of God's people gave way to the establishment of a
ruling class, which immediately began to oppress the people ( I Ki. 513-18 and 4:2228). Such passages seem to be in sharp contrast to passages like Lev. 25:35-42.4
The prophetic call was a call Lo repentance. Throughout the Old Testament the sin of
Israel was twofold: idolalry and Ule neglect of social responsibility (Is. 3: 14; 10:2; Jer,
2:34; 5:28; Ezek. 16:49; Zech. 7:lO; Mal. 3:s; Is. 1:23; 9:16; Ezek. 22:7 and the book of
Amos). The prophets made it clear; to neglect social responsibility is to violate the
holiness of God and to evoke his judgment upon his people. Repentance always included
the restoration of social relations as indicated in the Mosaic law:
Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and
untie the cords of lhc yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it
not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with
sheller - when you see the naked, to clothe him and not to turn away from your
own flesh and blood? Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your
healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the
glory of the Lord will be your rear guard (Is. 58:6-9).$
Spiritual decline in Israel was always linked with a neglect of social care. Likewise,
spiritual renewal was always characterised by a responsible social behaviour:
Survey of New Testament Passages: Galatians 5.4 and James 1:27
In the New Testanent appear the terms, S ~ x ~ o v S~taa ~, o v t a and
, d ~ a ~ o v o from
which we have derived the term, "deacon". The authors of the New Testament make it
very clear that Jesus is the prime example of all ministry. He is the "deacon" (Tit, 3:4;
o "to wait at the table"
Rom. 158). In its most narrow meaning, the term ~ l a ~ o v &
or to provide for somebady's living.' Hess notes that, "The NT meaning of ~ ~ ~ K O Vis&
derived from the person of Jesus and his gospel (Mt.20:28, par, Mk. 10:45). It becomes
a term denoting loving action for a brother and neighbour, which in turn is derived from
divine love, and also describes the outworking of ,.. fellow~hip,"~
~ in a very broad way in the New Testament:
The terms Swrovta and S ~ K O Vare
- 1 Cor. 12: 5 spiritual gifts are described as S i a ~ o v m
- Rorn. 12:7 the gifts of grace are gifts of Slalrovla
- Rom. 128 Christ is called a ~ ~ ~ K O V O $
- Rom. 11:13 Paul speaks of his ministry as his Gla~ovla(alsoRom. 15:31)
- Acts 19:22 Titus and Erastus are called 8 t a ~ o v o t
- Eph. 4: 12 the ministry of the saints is the 6ia~ovt.aof the mints (also Col. 4: 17)
Considering all lhese passages, it bcomes very obvious that ministry in any regard is
never lhe duty of a Christian, but rather the natural expression of his new life. Chris1 is
the prime e ~ a r n p l eand
, ~ we later find the church doing exactly what he did (for an
interesting case study see 2 Co 8-9).
Von Harnack identifies 10 areas in which the early church lived out its social
I, Alms in general and their conneclion wlth the cults and officials of thc church,
2. The support of teachers and officials.
3. The support of widows and orphans.
4. The support of the sick, the infirm, and thc dlwblcd.
5. The care of prisoners and pcople languishing In thc mincs,
6. The care of p r people needing burial, and of the dcad in general.
7. The care of slaves.
8. The care of those visited by great calamities,
9. The churches furnishing work, and insisting u p n work,
10.The care of brethren on a journey (hospitality), and of churchcs in poverty or ~)cril.lo
THE IMPLICATIONS FOR THE CHURCH TODAY
This brlef survey leads us to several conclusions in r c g d to our social rcslxlnsibility
Very oRen the church found itself in conflict over spiritual ministry vs, social mlnislry,
Our biblical survey has shown thal it is never an cilhcrlor situation, hut rrithcr onc of
requiring both. When the church bcgins lo cmphasisc onc avcr the olhcr, it no longcr
follows the example of God and of Christ. Like Christ, the church today is cnllcd upon to
fulfil its wholistic ministry. God sees man a whole, and rcdccms man ns a whole;
therefore, the church is called to minister to man as a wholc. "Thc church is rcslx,nsible
for the whole person during his whole life,"11 Sin causes spiritual and
physicaYpsychologicaI needs. We havc lo mecl bolh nccds. Every prayer for divine
healing lestifies to this, But like the early church, we will havc to link our pmycrs with
our deeds. Schober notes that the proclamation of thc Gospel and the bringing of healing
belong inseparably logether. Our deeds of love are the expression of Christ's llfe in us, If
they are missing, the church represents a dead Chdst who shows no concern for pcople's
slluation.12 In order to support his messianic scnding, Christ said utx)ut hl~nsclf,"Go
back and report to John what you have seen and heard: The blind rcccivc sight, the lame
walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hcar, the dcad arc raisd, and the good
news is preached lo the poor" (Lk 7:22).13
Social Ministky Is Person-Otiented
The Bible does not contain a detailed list of social ministries, There is no job
description. In truth, we do not even find any description of what thc deacons did except
for waiting at the tables. We find the spiritual prcrcquisi1cs for dcacons in I Ti 38-13,
but no word is said about their ministry.
This is not surprising. However, the consequent emphasis af ministry is pople-oriented,
The church is not called upon to fulfil a programme, but mlhcr to reach people and lhcir
needs. Christenson slates: "The emphasis is not merely on mccting a nccd, hut, more
ndamentally, on meeting a person."14 This solves the tcnsion bctwccn a nccd-oricnled
or a goal-oriented social ministry. Christian social ministry is neither purely need nor
goal-oriented; it is person-oricnled. And since various persons have various needs at
various times, there is no set agenda lhat is binding once and forever. How the early
church responded lo the needs of its lime can only be inspiring for us, but it never can be
duplicated. Each church has lo identify the needs of its time and the people in and
around it. Christian social ministry, therefore, musl be dynamic in its approach and not
Orthodox Faith and Orthodox Minisky
Our survey has further proven h a t true faith and worship were always accompanied by
true social behaviour. If the emphasis on accepted worship was tninimal, lhen h e social
responsibility was also deemphasized. The Evangelical Movement is very concerned
about the true faith; but true faith should not and cannot be separated from genuine
social behaviour. If we do this, we face the danger of elevaling a set of dogmalic
statements hat do not affect our Christian life and ministry. Wagner said that "Christian
social ministry is a sign upon which heallhy theology can look in order lo maintain its
concreteness and actuality".15 He further says, "Christian social ministries as part of
theology will give a ministering qualily lo theology in general; and every systemtic
concept would thereby be placed under the law of minislry."16
It is this element that not only raises the question about a church's beliefs, but also about
its ministry. Both have to live up to the standard of Scripture. We also see lhal whenever
the people of God repent, lhis includcs a new behaviour in their social relalionships.
True confession and lrue repenlance arc always followed by a new emphasis on correct
social behaviour. Our belief must influence our minislry; and social ministries have a
confessional dimension. What a person believes is crucial because it will delermine how
the minislry will he done. Social minislry is not neulral in regard to values. One's beliefs
in the supernatural work of God (or non-belief) will be reflecled in one's approach lo
Kiinnelh states: "Christian social ministry is not simply social behaviour, but rather it
presupposes and demands a theological reflection."" The truth of right belief and righl
ministry are illustrated in an almost shocking way in Mt 25:31-44. The difference
between the sheep and the goals is not thc correct nor incorrect confession of faith. The
only difference bclwcen the sheep and the goats is what they did and did not do.
The Church as the Agent of Social Ministries
To derive a final conclusion from our survey, we must recoghse that social
responsibilily is the church's responsibilily. It was the Jewish family lhal cared for
widows, aliens and other people in need, It was one local church that cared for another
one. Today we havc a tendency eilher lo turn our responsibilily over lo the Slale, or even
more so, lo a para-church organisation. Bul the question is not whether a church has a
programme of social ministries or cooperates with para-church organisations. The
question is, "Is the church ministering?" The whole body is challenged to live oul its
mission. Each local church has to minister in ils specific conlexl, Mollmann said:
"Christian social ministry is Christian only if it flows out of a community's life".1gAt the
of the Eun~m
Sme time, his raises the question Of jnsl~lUljon~~Ijs~lj~~n,
e’hrisldan social mspnnsjbiIily
is rooted in l&J’s love for mankind, LOW always has an elemenl of sponlancjly,
Institutjon~jsatjoneasily lends to pmfessionnlisrn and can reduce our social minishy lo
the donation of money for Certain projects.lo At times the church may come lo the
decjsjonof jnstitutionalisingcertaiu a~pcts of its [email protected]‘. 1t1(ho.%th~~.?S
it hm 10watch
car&lly not to hide behindthoseinstitutions and to neglect jls rcspnsibilily,
Wagner stales,“Chrjstian social mjnistry IS lhf: question about the servant-characterof
The Theologyof the Curing Church
We have already mentioned lhat our lhcology wjll determine our approach to social
actions,The issueof social actjon vs. evangelism ShOUldhe clnrifkd by Ol$ survey, Yet
there aresomeother importantaSI%lS:
Jllrgen Mollmann says:
Withouta Kingdom of God Perspective,our socjal minislry tmnmcs n love
withoutcontentthat is only compensalingand lries lo restore condiljons..,,
Withoutsocialministryour hopefor lhc Kingdom of God becomcwa lovclcss
utopiathat is only demandingandaccusing,Withaul hope for lhc Kingdom of
God,our socialministrylosesits Christjan approachand bccamcaboth in theory
and praxissimplya part of our slate’ssocial serviccs.‘a
This statementsummariseslhc importance of having an eschalology, and al lhe same
time, raisessomequestionsabout it. How do WCpcrceivc lhc kingdom of God? Qo we
expectit now in its tolal fullness?Whelher ane is a pre-miUjcnnialisl, posl-millcnnialisl
or amillennialistwill reflect itself in our actions.Do we view lhe world naa Iazarcl,full
of sickpeople,andfor which our ministry is to provide help7 Or do WCsee lhjs world a8
the placeto preparefor the coming of Christ? In this case,our social mjnjslry would be
parl of thetransformationof this world so thatChrist can rcturn,XIDo we cxpccl lo creale
a “ChristianSociety”,or do we simply provide help for people in necdl Nollmnnn calls
the two approachesthe apocalypticview and the messianic cxpcclation in history?
Connectedwith our eschatologyis lhe questionof pain and suffering: Do we allow rooln
for pain in the Christian experiencel” Will all pain and suffering bc rcsolvcd in lhis
lifetime? Or are there times when we will have lo live wjlh jl wilhoul undcrslandlng
why7 How we answerlhosequestionswill delermjne whal kind of help we will provide
for peoplein need,and what kind of answersWCwill give them, Most books on social
ministrks arebasedon a given eschalology,nnd il is very helpful to bc aware of those
The most critical question is the one of anthropology, and linked wilh it thal of
&#gj1solerioIogY.Nothing will delermine our action more lhcn our anlhrt)pt)ltjgy,
Seiberl examinedvarious views of manaslhey are reflected in social ministries:
1. Man haswilhin himself all the potential heneeds.It only needsto be activated.
2. Training by rules with rewardsis the stimulation-reactionschemeof modern
3. Man is createdin lhe imageof God. He is lost,depravedandin needof redempti0n.l’
As Pcntecoslalswe confess that man was created in the image of God, but man has
sinned and is in need of redemption, The caring church will be confronled with sick
people, handicappedand mentally retardedpeople.And it is from this point lhat we have
to define what it meansto be createdin lhe image of God. If we limit the imageof God
to somethinglhal cannot be applied lo every person,we lhen think of him as lessthan a
What does it meanlo be human?What doesit meanlo be healthy?Mollmann poinls out
how society answers those queslions. To be human and lo be healthy means to be
productive and able lo consume.?*In his article on aspectsof biblical anlhropology,
Seiberl concludesthat in lhe New Teslamenl,the image of God can only be received in
and lhrough Chrisl.*9The implicalion of this is lhat we do not define the image of God
by any humanpolenlial, but rather by the God-given new life, And then we can say lhat
“Man - and eachman - reflecls the imageof God. For in the crucified Christ, we can all
find ourselves becauselhe crucified Christ reflects himself in each one, regardlessof
how handicappedhc is.“3o
In regard lo mentally relardedpcoplc, lhe problem is extendedinto soleriology.Minislty
in this area will never show a high numberof converts.Al limes we will nol even know
whether a personis able lo commil his life lo God in lhe way that we normally define it,
But lhis doesnot give us the right lo neglectthosepeoplein our minislry.
Mental defectsbasically have lwo origins: either brain damage,which then is a “normal”
sickness,or lhe whole person is sick (not simply certain func1ions),31
Kbberle tells of
some examplesof mentally relarded children, who on their deathbed,gave clear signs
about the religious cducalion that lhey received??
Any oulreach 10people who are handicappedin one way or anolher should bebasedon
the following criteria:
1. Can lhc statementwe makeabout lhosepeoplebealso madeabout Christ?
2. Does God hold a cenlral part in our approachas 10how we reachout to lhem?
3. Is man defined as a “closed system”or an opensystem?That means:is thereroom
for the supernatural,or must all help comefrom within lhis world’s system?
4. Does what we call “personal restoration” also bring restorationlo communitylife?”
I want to conclude this section with a warning from both Uhich Bach and JUrgen
Mollmann. The labels of “handicapped”, “ imprisoned”, and “elderly”, are simply our
own cIassificaUons.Basically, however, there is only man: man with lhis limilalion or
that problem, The handicappedperson reminds us of our own handicaps,and also how
fragile our life is. The agedperson tells us that our valuesof productivity andability lo
enjoy life are not what life is all about.They all remind us lhat we, loo, aredependenton
Clod and on each
In tegard to our sotcriology, we confess that our final stage haa ycl to culxrc, As long as
we Hve we will bc crrntrontcd with death, slckncss nrrd .auflcring, frolwr which S& will
ultimately deliver us, We can have a theology Of ~rlcnl~ticln,
c m , and healing only
when we have a theology of suffering and of pain."
Peter Helbich stales: "Christian Social Ministries will not create a perfect world; but it
testifies to the corning kingdom of God"" For us as teachers in Pentecostal Bible
Schools the im~ncdiatcchallenge is two-fold:
I , We need to work on our christology. Traditionally we define the three functions of
Christ as King, Priest and Prophet; and perhaps this is not sufficient, We should
include his fourlh function: Christ the Deacon.
2. Many deparhncnls of Practical Theology offer courses on homiletics, catechelics
(Christian Education) and counselling. I strongly encourage the inclusion of a
required course on Christian Social Ministries.
I would like lo end this overview wilh Christ's words in Matthew 2533440:
Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who arc blessed by my
Father; take your inherilance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of
the world. For I was hungry and you gave me somclhing to cat, I was thirsty and
invited me in, I needed
you gave me something 6 brink, I w& a stranger and
clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison
and you came to visil me.'
Then the rinhtcous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and we
feed you, (;; thirsty and give you something to drink? when did wifsee you a
stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see
you sick or in prison and go lo visil you?'
The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of lhe least of
these brothers of mine, you did for me.'
European Bible Seminary
D - 7062 Rudemberg
The Minisky of the Caring Church
Even a.. no clear job description exists for thc dcacon, so thcre 1s n o given agenda for tho
caring church, The caring church can best he dcscrilxd as Ihe acwsnt church. When we
consider the servant church, we must ask: who is Ihe maslcr? Christenson has stressed
the fact that the scrvant church is always the scrvant of Ond, ncvcr of lhis world;
otherwisa the world would becamc it8 tncslcr, Wc csnfcss Cjtxl 10 be [he rrraalcr; and the
field for our servanthood is the people of this
Traditionally, the field for socinl action is described as Ibc following:
Oecumenical ministry: this includes help for pcoplc who are f ~ c with
such as earlhquakes, famines, etc, (we 1 Car. 8-9).
The nursing ministry, including tho hnndlctlppcd, rnenlally rclsrsled, agcd people,
sick people in general (AIDS), and addicb. Work with Ihc handicapped goes far
beyond nursing per se, Xl includes reaching out on a aocinl Icvcl, job (raining,
schooling and all the other aspccls of life In which a tiandicnppcd person is nffeclcd.
Prison ministries generally servc those already ,scntcnccd, mnd includes [he rninislry
to their families, and help for those relcmed from prison.
4. Oulreaches to aliens and refugees: special altcntlon is given lo w o m n who oftcn
suffer great loneliness, as well as to the children who grow up In n dicholomixd
world of two cultures: the one a1 home and the one ut school?7
5. Care for poor people in general.
Other areas of outreach exist, but thcsc fivc m gencrally the mnln ones,
The caring church will not be a church far handicapped, or for rtdtlicts, l~ulrather a
church with them, They are seen as valid rncmbcrs of ihc body of Christ, who
themselves must contribute something lo the edification of the bcxIy.l8 I1 will tnkc time
for a church to overcome certain anxieties conneclcd with such nrini8lrics. Several
barriers must be overcome, and certain values we hold must bc: redefined, Thc result,
however, will be a new encounter wilh God. All thc limitations, needs and pains will
confront us with our own limitations, needs and pains. Some of our pre-fixed opinl~ns
about life and God will no longer be applicable; but our fmsh encounter with Cod will
result in our knowing who the ultimate healer is. Woundccl oursclvcs, wc will point
others to the Healer, who himself brought healing by allowing hixnself to bc woundcd on
A church lhat hears the cry of the needy, that sees Ule pain of paplc, that is willing lo
understand the feeling of a person in despair, will always bc a city that shines and is
placed on lop of the hill. Such a church will reflect the love of God and IIC his agent in
For further reading in rcgnrd to tho altcr~rntivccomlnuliity of Moses that c a m into existence bccnuse of the
The I'ropl~etlcImaglnallon (Pl~ilndelphia:1biw-s~ Press, 9th Printing,
Exodus, see: Wnlter Brueggcmun~~,
1989),pp. 1 1-27,
Dictcr Schncider, DM EllPle Uudl Mo~e,(Wuppcrtulcr Studicnbibol) edited by Ulrich Bclz und Adolf Pohl
(Wuppcrtnl: R. Brockhnus Vcrlag), p. 151,
All Scripture quotnliolis nrc Donl the NIV (Cirn~idRapids: Zondcrvnn), 1978.
For furlher re~dingin rcgnril lo the social and religious changes hat took place under Solomon, see:
pp, 28-43. Bmeggamarln shows the link betwmn Ihc king's
attempt to gunrantee the acwsuibility of God and to conlrol the pcople.
7'hc same nwvsugc is also seen in the sermon of John the Uaptist, the last of the Old Testament p-ophcls:
"'What shouid wc then do?' the crowd uskcd, John snswercd: " h e man with two tunics should share with
him who has none, und l l ~ eone who hns food should do tho same."' (1,k 3:lO-11).
Richard Lovclncc studied the grcut ypiritual awakenings of the last tllrec centuries and found that ell these
revivalv were nccompnnicd by n strong cmphnsis on swial ministries nnd coring for the needy, Richard
Lovelace, Tlicolugle dcr Erweckung, trans, by Alexander IWew (Marburg: Verlag der Prnnckc
Buchhadlung, 19841, pp. 34R.359.
e of the cxpnwion or the BWIY c h ~ h A. d d l v, llarnack hag pclid .rpcinl rtlcntion to lh
social dimendon of thc Clospd in his buak, The MkdtW
E X ~ ~ Od Ca t Ih d ~ L h 1 l yIn Ih ~ l n l
Three Centurlca. In thia chapter, 'Iha & l p l d h v c and Chflly", pp. 147 1811, he nhowctl that tho link
M w w n evangeli$tic nclivilicr and rocin1 minixtricr of chc c l d y rhurclr WM r c ~ w i t - hfor tile rapid rwld
a l h a Uo~pelin its beginnings,
Klaulr Haas, "Serve, Denmn, Wwrllip", ~~d~~~ New Tajrlcurrcnl 'Xhed~,
etlital by C'allin Drawn
(Orand Rnpids, MI: Zondwvnn Publishing Xla~w,19R6), V d 3 , ph$46,
Ibld,, Val, 3, p,547,
For Christ-centctod rncial ministry sco: llcinrich=llcrmann Illrich, "llirkanic nlr [irundfunklian
theologischen I)cnkens", Cenell~chnflnIa Wlrlrutr~rrlcldd e r Illrkanla, edited Iry 'lhetdur Schohr
(Verlrgawsk der Dinkonic Gmhl I), pp. 97.105.
Also: Ulrich Bach, "Ilinwcndung xuni S c h w ~ c h c n1st nitht Srhwllchlirhkcit", i5cacllrchalt 818
Wlrkungalcld der Mnkonlc, pp, 130.134; Rach notun ha! Jcsru' cctwcrn ror the work nnd cnltcnct is in
sharp contrast to the Greek gods,
Another aurvey on the subject of Jesus and (harmvea i# written by Vulksr dtnishdf, "l)i~kanic:waq irl
dacr', In~omaHambrlelNr, 144 der &kcnnlnlrbewe#un(t, "kdn andcm Evwfldlt~nr". (kh, 1991,
Harnack, The Mlslllon nnd Axpanriot1 or Chrlfillahlty In the Mrat X
' hm I'en!urlca, 11, 13.1, In fie
following pages, v. tiarnmk describes each of chcre nspcLq in n tl6cnilad way. T1oc fu'urtltcr infwnntinn an the
early church and aocial ministries, sca: Pxich Dcputhcr, Cie$d~ichtotier INaktrnia tflerlin: C%V Verlng),
pp. 11-15, and Mwin M.Yarnnuchi, "IIow thc !My ("lrurdi Rerpndad to Scxinl I~roldtmq",Clrirtinnity
Today (Nov. 24,1972), pp, 186.189.
'' W. Harth, Chrlslllcher Dlcnat a n d c r Wellt 7, RinlMhrung und Wlakumenls klrchllchtr
S o z i d ~ c r k ( L n d l g(Munich:
k l i n n n d Schhibh, senmd atlition, 197Y), 13.27 (my Iranqlntion).
I' Theodor Schobcr, "UcschnfCcn xu guten Werken: Diakonie nlr (;'lrrirtua~ru~nis",
dlakonlscher und rnllralonarlrchar Veraritwortun~,cdilcrl hy 'thtcuicr Scholwr rind I h n s 'l'himmc
(Stuttgart: Quell Verlng), pp, 273.274,
I' Lovelace, Theologle der Erwcckung, pp, 340.341. I.avelatu: rtntrn thnt cvan~clir.alrhnvr ilncn ernphuized
for, one ia morc
spiritual experience over socinl rcspanribilily. Ilc aces in thin r rorrn of ~ e l r ~ a n t c t d n c w
concerned with onc's "ecstatic" expcricncc than the need of n fellow nlnn*
I' Larry Christenson, A CharlsmaUc Appmuch L
o Salrrl Acllnn (Mifinerptrlia: Rcthany I~cllowrhip,Inc,,
1974). a. 113.
me mma 1s h
Heinz Wagner, "Die Diakonie", Handbuch dcr Pmktltchen Thsalopllc, Vol. 3, ctlitcd hy Jenmn ud
Siinget (Berlin: Evangelische Verlagsanslal!, 1977), p. 273 (my tranalnkion),
Walta Khneth, "Diakonie ah Bekcnntnis", G d l s c h n N all Wl&unpTdd d e r IHakanle, w. 30%3IO,
KUnneth points out that the first mnftyr of the church, Stephen, wna a deacon, Ar a dcntrrt~wc iind him
being one of lhe great confessors of tho Christian faith.
Ibld,, Q. 317,
~orgenMoltmann. Makonle Im Horlzont det~Releha Gotten (NactkirchenmVluyn: Neukirchncr V~rln8~
1984), p. 21 (my translation).
that [here is dcfinitcly a conncctioti between one's faith and onc's socinl involvcmcnt.
Moltmnnn, Dlukorrie in1 Horizon1 dcs Reicha Gotles, p, 19.
sr For an overview on tlus topic scc: Friedrich 'fhiclc, "Lcidcn - in dcr Pcrspcktive dcr Diukonic", [)lakol& 111
den Spannungs!slelden~d e r Gel(enwart, cditcd by II.1I. Ulrich (Stutlgiut: Quell Verlug), pp. 220-225.
ra Larry Chrisccnsi)n, A C h a r l s n ~ u t l cApprouch lo Social Action, p. 106. I b r Pcntccostals, Larry
Christcllson's book is very helpful in h i s regard. llis response lo this issue is: "'lhc New Tcs~nmcnt's
response to socinl ills is neither the rcform of secular insdtutio~u;,nor individualistic piety, but a new social
organism, the body of Christ, living out her life and mission in the midst of the world."
17 llorsl Sciberl, "Zur Ucurtcilung nktucller Mcnschenbildcr in1 diakot~ische~i
WirkungliCcld dcr Ulukodc, pp. 62-65,
U J. Moltn~ntitl,Dlnko~llc
1111Ilorlzonl d ~ hlchcv
C o l t c ~p., 59
Hmst Scibcrt, "Aspekte biblischcr Ac~thropologie",Dlakanle 111 den Spannungsfeldcnl dcr Crcyenwnd,
pp. 1 w 1 0 1 ,
" 1. Moltn~rnn,I)lukonle IIII Hotlzonl dcs Relches Gottea, p. 67 (my tmnslution).
v ~ d o l K(Ulerle,
"lJsychii11rischeKrn~lkhcitim IIwiwnt dcs biblischcn Mctlschenverstiindnisscs", Cenicinde
In dlakonlsehcr und rr~lsulonarlscherV C M I I ~ W O ~pp,
Ibld,, p. 324
11 I.I.Sci&rt, "Zur [$curtcilung nktucllcr Mcnschcnbildcr in1 diakonischen Raum", p. 68.
u J. Moltnrnna, Diuko~de1111 H O ~ L U deli
I I ~ Relcheti Galtts, pp. 53. 68; and Illrich Unch, Bodc~runtcr den
FLsen hat Lelacr, pp. 93-97,
r' T)lc i~~terrolstedncss
belwwn the two war brought to my attenlion by 'I'am Rosson,
" L. Christcnsoa, A Churlvnrullc Approach to Swlul Acllm, pp. 101-103.
For this list I am i ~ d e b t c dto lrnlgurd Knollc und her lectures in Introduction to Chrlstlnn Socld
Moltnluntl says hut the hcnlit~gpower of Christ lies within his power to suffw. IIe heals not by dispelwing
sirnply with d l kind or sickt~wses,but rather by taking lbcn~upon Iiimscll; and going Uirwgh the prun (J,
Moltmnnn, I)lukol~lclnr Horlzont tlcr Rclchci GMea, p, 64),
For suggestions on leading u church to reach out, scc: OUnthcr llcinz Onschc, "Gen~indcnuhcDiakonie",
Gesellschufl nls Wirkurylsfeld der I ) l u L ~ ~ lpp
e , 150.156.
Peter Ilclbich, "1)iakotlic unil I~rbn~rnigkeit",
Dlnkonlc In den Spmnuly)~feldcnlder Ccpenwnr(, pp. 108111 (my translution).
Bach, Ulrich. "liIinwcnduag Z U ~ $cllw~~chen
iat sicht Schwlichlichkeit". GcrcllscLaN
I)lakonle, pp.130.134; cdilcd by 'I~eodorSchohr. Verlug~werkdcr 1)inkorie Gmbll.
Bach, Ulrich. I M e n unlcr den Fbticn hut kclncr: MDdoycr lllr cine tiolldarlscho Dlakonlc. GBttingen:
Vandcnhoeck & Ruprccht, 1980,
Beyreuthcr, Erich. Die Gcschlchle der I)Iakonio, Berlin: C1.V Vcrlag.
Brown, Collin. I ) l c l I o ~ ~ ~d.
r yNew Tcstwnenl 'I'hedogy, 4 vols. Grund Rapids: Zondcrvnt~Publishing kIouse,
Brueggemann, Walter, The IBrolhcilcl ~ ~ ~ u y l n u l lI'llildclphin:
I'ortrcss Press, 9th ptinting, 1988.
Clwse, K&rt Ci, 'l'hc Mcanlng ul [llc Mlllcnlunr: I h u r Views, Dowacrr Orove: her-Varsity Press, 1977.
Christcnron, Knrry, A Cllarisr~rutlcApproach to Saclal Actlon. Minneapolis: Bcthuny 17cllowship,1974.
Dehncn, Munfred, unil Richtcr.Junghiil(cr, Ciisela. C;ernelndc.plunu~~gals suzlulcr Vroress, Gelnhausen:
Gaschc, Iicin~CEilotlzet."Cicmciadcrllthc 1)iukonic". Gescll~rh& nls Wlrku~yls~cls
d e r Dlukode,
156; editcd by 'lh. Schobcr. Vcrlngswerk dcr 1)iukonic (imbll,
I-larnack, Adoll'. Tlic Mlslilon and l Z x p w i m of Chrlstlunlly In the Rwt l'hree Centuries. Reprint 1961,
EPTA BULLETIN Journal of the European Pentecostal Theological Association
Harth, Werner, Chrlstllcher Dlenst an der Welt: ElnlUhruna und Dokumente kirchllcher
Sozldve&flndlgmg. MUnchen: Ferdinand SchOnin*, 2nd edition, 1979.
HelH&, Pcta. "Diakonie und Frtimmigkeit". Dlakonle In den Spannungsleldern der Cegenwart, pp, 108111; edited by H.H. Ulrich. Suttgart: Quell Verlag.
K&rle, A&lf. "Psychiatrische Krankheit im Hnizont des biblischen Menschenvetstlndnisses". Gemelnde in
dl&oafscher m d mlsslonarlscher Vernntworlung, pp. 321-327; edited by Th. Schober and H. Thinlme,
Stuttgart: Quell Verlag.
KUnneth, Walter. "Diakonie als Bekenntnis". GesellschaN als Wlrkungsleld der Dlakonle, pp. 307-311;
edited by Theodor Schober, Verlagswerk der Diakonie GmbH.
Lovelace, Richard. Theologle der Enveckung. Transl. by Alexander Priew, Marburg: Verlng der Francke
Moltmann, JUrgen. Makonle lm Horizont des Rdches Gottes, Neukirchen-Vluyn: Neukirchner Verlag, 1984,
Schneider, Dieter. h lUMe Buch Mose (Wuppertaler Studienbibcl, edited by Ulrich Be12 und Adolf Pohl);
Wuppertal: R. Brockhaus Verlag, 1982.
Schober, Theodor. "Cieschaffen zu guten Werken". Gemelnde In dlakonlscher und rnlsslonarlscher
Verentwortung, pp. 272-284; edited by Theodor Schober and Hans Ihimme, Stuttgart: Quell Verlag.
Schulze, Hans. "Evangelische Ethik im diakonischen Handeln". Gemelnde In dlakonischer und
mlsslonarlscher Verantwortung, pp. 285-29; edited by Theodor Schober and Hand 'Ihimme. Stutlgart: Quell
Seibert, Horst. "Zur Beurteilung aktueller Menschenbilder im dirkonischen Rnum". Gcscllschafl ah
Wirkungsleld der Makonle, pp. 62-69; edited by Th, Schober. Verlagswerk der Diakonie GmbH.
Seibed, Horst. "Aspekte biblischcr Anthropologie", Dlakonle In den Spnnnungfeldern der Gegenwart, pp.
94-101; edited by Heinrich-Hermann Ulrich; Stuttgsrt: Quell Vcrlag.
Steinhoff, Volker. "Diakonie: was ist das?", Informatlonsbrlel der Bekenntnlsbewegung "keln andem
Evnngellmnv.Nr. 144, Feb. 1991, pp. 15-19.
Thiele, Friedrich. "Leiden in der Perspektive der Diakonie", Dlakonle In den Spannungsreldern der
Gegenwari,pp. 220225; edited by H.H. Ulrich; Stultgart: Quell Verlag.
Ulrich, Heinrich-Hermann. "Diakonie als Orundfunktion des theologischen Denkens". CesellschaN als
Wlrkungsfeld der Makonle, pp. 97-105; edited by Th.Schober; Verlagswerk der Diakonie Gmbll.
Wagner, Heinz "Die Diakonie". Hsndbuch der hktlschen Theologle, edited by I-1.11. Jenssen und A.A.
Siinger; Berlin: Evangelische Verlagsanstalt, 1977.
Yamauchi, Edwin, M. "How the Early Church Responded to Social Problem". Chrlstlanlty Today, Nov. 24,
1972, pp. 186-198.
Some Reflections on Social Ministry in European Pentecostal
Three Case Studies
by Raymond Pfister
~ ~ ~ n g e l i cina lgeneral
and Pentecostals in purticular have k e n crilicisctl for thcir
elnphasis on individual salvation and morality, and for thcir lack of conccrn for social
issues. My contention is that, on the conlsury, Pcntccostalisin is a sociul rnovcincol
which has been marked since its very bcginning by a deep conccro f'or thc social
implications of the Gospel. hnporlanl to the original success of' lhc Pcnteceslal
movement has been its ability to "preach UK good ncws Lo lhc ~x)or,lo proclaim rcleusc
to the captives, and recovery of sight to thc blind, and to scl at lihcrly those who urc
oppressed." In its cfforts lo make this mandate (cf. Lukc 4) tncaningf'ul,il rccogniscd tllc
necessity to meet people, as Jesus did, at lhcir point of'nccd. This rcsultcd in lhc fact (hat
its early members came from Ulc lower classes anti the "disinhcritcd," ra(tw than from
the middle and uppcr circles.
The Pentecoslnl moVClnCn1 in Europc, for i n ~ l ~ n c hils
e , clearly pcrccivcd ~ O ~ i l l l
conditions diffcrenlly than other social rcfonn movcn~cntsfor the following reasons,
FirsUy, it saw itsclf as slirnding outsidc Ulc ~x)lilimlslructurcs of' socicly, trnd undcrsltnd
a religious response as Ihc only upproprialc answer b u situitlion where only God crrn
intervene, Secondly, ils lcadcrs had a sotncwhut limited social and prrlfcssitrnrrl
experience, and thus forinulatcd dilfcrcnl answers lhal~lhc doxninunt socirrl
Larry Christenson, in his book A Churhmaib Apprwch to S t ~ i u Action,
pointed out that the issue is not "whcihcr wc should txcomc involved in socicly, bul
where and how we should bccornc in~olved."~~)
The Pcntccostal i~ppcoachto socirrl
issues, as cornparcd lo other modcls, is dif'fcrenl u rcgiu~dsits tnotivulion, iLq operation,
and ih ultimate purpose, In lhe Alsncc: rcgian, w: we shall scc, il is UIC undcrswnding of'
Christian servanthood and obcdicncc lo the Lord which chucuctcristically mslivntcd
works of social action in the Pcntccostal churches Ihcrc, At its a r w c was ihc whole
Christian body, the catn~nunilyof'l)elicvas. Thcy would agrcc with Larry Christcnwn in
saying, "The emphasis is no1 lncrely on mccling a nccd, but, rnore fundamcnlirlly on
meeting a person."(') As church, they ulli~nalclyseek Lo dcmonstratc Christian rcality
through a new lifc-stylc which announces tho fulurc cslablishlncnl of thc Kingdom of
It is my understanding that Pcntccoslul churches can draw from their religious roots us
well as from thcir past social involvcmcnl. It is the purposc of this paper to cxulninc ll~e
underlying molivations, the struggle and challcngc, as well uy Ihc failure and/or succcss
of such endeavours in three different church setlings in Ulc Alsace region of Frmcc and
in Germany. The first two cases rcprcscnt thc work of Assctnblics of God churches in
Alsace. The third sludy focuscs on the w i d prograrnrnc of a F~enlccoslalcl~urchin
Hamburg, which is affiliated with the Bund Frcikirchlichcr Pfingslgclncindcn in
Gemany, ~ a c hexample will enable us to study social lnini~lryin different phases of
development, i.e. church planting, church growth, and church in~titutionalisati~~,
socialMinistry and Church Planting
The Pentecostal Church in Strassbourg had a rclatlvcly smlrll Gcr1nan-spcaking
at the timc whcn Gilbert Ringcnbach, a Frcnch Arscmblics of
joined L e leadership of the church in Scplc[nher 1967. Bcing ~ C S Sthan thiny ycars of
age, elderly people had a hard time gctiing used to Ihc new WHYS and now vicws of a
man who believed that the Frcnch Pcntccostal undcrslnnding of cvrlngclism had yct to bc
put in pactice in Sbassbo~g.Ringcnhach had great n~nhitionsand wantcd to rcach out
with the Gospel in ways that bear wi!ness 10 Ihc VWCr Of Gtd. 'fhc undcrstanding of
pastoral ministry which gmws out of the French Asscrnbllcs of G ( d PUIS groat cmphasis
on pioneering churchcs and planting new oncs. Tllc Frcnctl Pcntccostal pnstor is,
therefore, first of all a passionate evangelist.
As soon as Ringenbach established himself in Stmssbourg, hc dernonstrt~tcdhy his vcry
life that evangelism is more than proclamation, His cffOrl3 10 rcach out lo young pcople
in need took concrete forms. As hc wanlcd to help thc hotnelcss and thc hclplcss In
particular, he decided to transform his own apartment inlo an "(mnhomc" whcrc lovc
and hospitality became a living demonstration of ttlc Gospel, !!is lnain mnccrn was to
communicate a mcssagc that could bc inlcrp~tcdas "g(nd ncwf hy tmyonc whose own
state of life was anything but good. Even though Rlngcnbnch ilnd his wifc wcrc living on
a very madest salary, thcy did not hcsitirlc to invitc thc nccdy lo Slay at lhcir home and
eat at their table, Their sense of hospitality had no rcstriclions in ordcr to cross thc
borders of human despalr and loneliness, Up to fifteen young pcroplc j0hcd them at
times at the dinner table. Some of them wcrc drug addicts, othcrs homosexuals,
To be involved in such a ministry did not ncccssarlly lcad to ndtniration and
encouragement from others. Some local shopkccpcts and buslncss people hclpcd thc
Ringenbachs occasionally with gifts. But k i n g assoclatcd with lnarginal pcoplc nwokc
suspicions in the mind of local authorities who wondcrcd nt the aclivitics of such an
"unorthodox" pastor. The police deparhncnt was cspccially Irrllalcd, hccausc lhcy
received little cooperation from him, as illustrated by Ihc following cxtlxnplc, Pastor
Ringenbach tells the story of a young homosexual who, aflcr his conversion, wcnl (o the
police to confess his crimes. After having told lhcm all hc had done, thc policc askcd
him to denounce his accomplices. Thc young man rcspondcd: "Only i f Pastor
Ringenbach tells me to do so." Thc police callcd in Ringcnhach tlnd cxpectctl him to
collaborate with them. Little did thcy know that thcy would bc .x;urncddawn, Ringcnbach
explained to them that he was trying to do his job just as much as thcy wcrc trying to do
theirs. He told them, "Those people trust me and confide in me, As stxm as thcy find out
that I have betrayed them, my ministry among them will bc over, and I wlll not bc able
to help them any more. My goal is to save thcm by bringing thctn to thc 1,ord." Gilbcrl
Ringenbach did not understand himself as bcing a policc assisttlnl nor a stwial workcr,
He was an evangelist who was trying to build bridgcs to n world in nccd ol' God. In order
do so, he established relationships with needy pcoplc and cotnmittcd liiti~sclflo l h c ~
As long as lhc relationship existcd, hc felt responsible. In h e particulw
case mentioned above, lhc young man ~venluallyleft the walk oF faith and stopped
listening to Pastor Ringcnbach. AS soon as the relationship was broken, Ringenbach
cdled the policc lo tell thCm that hc was not any more responsible for him.
When one rcaliscs the slressful situations wising from d c lack of understanding of
outsiders, from the PCftnanCnl sacfifi~esand consla111fruslmtions which we involved in
this type of minislry, it is casy to understand that such an evangelistic enterprise could
not last very long. I1 is also diflicult to keep a long t c m moral conwact wilh people
when lasting results are few. Many young pcoplc did not mind receiving matcrial help,
but resisted a total co~nmilmcnlto Christ. Thc major reasons why a Christian lifestyle
was turned down wcrc rclalcd 10 a rcfusal of the implications and changes of a tolally
new life oricnlation.
Social ministry as a rneans for cllurch planting was hcrc bound to Pdil, Resting only on
the shoulders of the pastor and his hmily, it did not havc thc larger fra~ncworkof a
community of bclicvcrs to carry on the burden. Furthcrmorc, the pastor-centered
approach to tninistry Icd Ringcnbach away from Strassbourg into the Vosges region
h a week. By
whcrc hc was holding cvangclistic lncetings in Epinal and St, ~ i twice
doing so, he was leaving his wife alone wiU1 "all thesc lions" (to use his own words) in a
permanent climate of insecurity,
Thc cxpcricncc lastcd a little over two ycars. In 1970, Ringcnbach took a difficult, ye(
crucial decision: he considered it ilnpcrativc thal hc change his strategy, and he came
back to more traditionul cvangclistic ~nclhods,He fclt that he needed lnorc global
methods that would apply to till peoplc and not just to the socially marginaliscd. He
rcaliscd thal hc would no1 bc able 10 build a church with social cases, In order to have a
solid congregation with co~nlnitledpcoplc, he would nccd lo addrcss a broader audience
representing a beltcr balance bctwccn social and spiritual needs. In less than six years,
Ringenbach cstablishcd u church four lilncs larger than at its beginning, counting 130
The results may speak for thc~nsclvcs,but what lessons can bc learned from this
observation? It is my opinion that many Christian analyses of social minislry, besides
being frequcnlly loaded with c~ictlBsand slogans, focus on somc underlying principlcs
of social action without cxamining thcir viability in the markctplacc. One nccds to
realisc that the mandate of social minislry may lcad lo problcms regarding church
Social Ministry nnd Church Growfh
Thc Asscmblics of God church in Mulhousc, 'France, was twelve years old and had over
onc hundred members, when Pastor Moisc Lonnicr shared his vision a h u i helping
young pcoplc in dist~ws.Even though he did not rcccivo unanimous support in the
church, hc went ahcad in April 1975 and opcncd a "SOS Youlh" Ccnlrc wilh Lhc help of
volunlccrs from his clw.Ar. In one year, the 152 rtxrms of a ninc story building werc
occupied for that purposc. Scxm thc church also ~novcdinto that facility and uscd the
first floor for its ~rlectirlgs(~~
In 1981,Lormier called Pierre Dupret, long term lnissionary in BuMna Faso (1948.
lggo), to come and help him in his work. Duprd's adlninistrative talents were a
(nmendous support to the work, and led eventually 10 SOlnC financial help from the Slab
D e p ~ m e n for
t Social Affairs. That help madc it possible 10 pay a salary to some
workers and release some of the pressure put On vdunlccr p ~ r ~ o n nSix
~ l .years of
dependence on volunteer workers added to the strain between the church and the cent^,
as it had worn out the resources of the congr~gali~n.
Biscouragcmcnt and lassitude
replaced vision and confidence. However, the church leadcrrhip remained convinced
that social ministry was a major responsibility of thal pftrticular church. As a result, the
parallel st.ructure became eventually more important than the actual church, which
experienced little growth.
In 1982,Lormier left Mulhousc, and Duprct took over the "SOS Youth" work, which at
that time received only male resldcnts. In 1984, he therefore opcncd another centre for
women called "Foyer Bethel," the first being called "Cenlrc Emmanuel," By giving
them biblical names, he wanted to make il clear thal Ihc social work had a Christian
foundation, and that its goal was to confront young people in distress with (hc Gospel
In order to raise the possibilities of soclal a?juslmcnt for those who really wanted to
change their life, a third structure was opened in 1985, the "Penlel" farm. There,
different jobs were offered in order to develop the clients' talents, a sense of
responsibility, and social aptitude in society.
In 1985, each of the three centres had a full-time director, and (he work was indcpcndent
from the church. In 1986 the Emmanuel Cenlrc bccamc morc involved in prison
ministry; it now receives some young people who me sliXl serving a primn tcnn, bul are
allowed to work outside.
In 1987, Daniel Brion, Assemblies of God pastor from ~onthhliard( h u b s ) , opened an
old folks home which became part of the social work of Mulhau.~e.As a result, it
changed its name to "SOS Youth and Elderly People."
What lessons can be learned from this experience? Several young people had a
conversion experience, were baptised by immersion and wcre Integrated into the church.
The testimonies of former drug addicts witnessed to a radical cht~ngcof life and a newly
discovered happiness."' But this only represents one sidc of the picturc, Some were
baptised only for the sake of social acceptance, Somc came rind left again soon aftcr,
Others took advantage of the hospitality of church members. When one consitlcrs the
outcome of such an approach, one wonders if a church should spccialisetl in social
ministry or for that matter specialised in anything at all! Docs Ihc C;OR~CIcall for
specialised churches, or rather for churches with a balanccd ministry, including the
social dimension? In the case we examined, the church was actually swallowed up by
the social minisw, and became a by-product incapable of laying a foundation of its own*
Taking seriously the social mandate of the Gospel is one thing; \jut the lnanlicr in which
the praxis is understood and how it affects church growth is another. Social ministry
does not automatically lead to a church growth succcss story,
Social Minkfry and Church Institutionalisation
Founded in 1926, the "Christengemeinde Elim" in Hamburg has a long history of
spontaneous, loosely organiscd social minislry (diakonischcrDienst).Especially elderly
church members, but in prillciple needy pcopk in general, are taken care of by means of
visitation, financial help, prdctical help and the like,
The church celebrated its 65th anniversary this year and it comes as no surprise that
about 113 of ils members are over 70 years old. The major emphasis on social minislry in
this church is on the elderly. In 1972, aparhenls were built next to the church sanctuiuy
in order to accoln~nodatethose members who could no longer come to the church
services. In 1988, a second block (19 beds) was built to function as an old folks horne,
called "Eden", for those mmbcrs who werc dependent on daily help. The church was
getting older and wanted to act responsibly towards ils aged members. The home was
organised from its kginnings wilh full-time professional leadership and service.
It needs to be added thal such a project could not be carried through without reluctant
and critical voices questioning the viability and necessity of such an enterprise. TWO
young people even wrole an article entitled "Mostly Dark Colours: A Generation Facing
the Abyss?"('' The article was written as a general assessment of the necd of senior
Citizens in German socicty followed by a critical evaluation of the alternative Ihc church
intended lo offer. The article was written in order to encourage church members to
reflect on the implicaliotls of such a project. However, as it has happened in European
Pentecostal Churches before, such voices were silenced as the article was never
published in the church magazine Elim Gruus. This censorship illuslrates a monopoly of
some Penlecoslal leaders: thcy arc the ones asking the questions as well as the ones
providing the answers. Allowing lay people to raise critical questions and provide
distinct answers was apparently considered by some leaders to be a potential threat to the
ecclesial structure as a whole.
Be it as it may; what effecls on church life did the new buildings have? The positive
aspects werc that those people could fed at home (in comparison to non-Christian
bomes), thcy could lislen in their rooms to the Sunday ~norningservices via Radio, they
could benefit from pastoral counselling and rcgular prayer support, The negative aspects
included a lack of inlcrest on the part of most church tnembers since they considered
"Eden" as an inslitulion of ils own, a self~sufficienlpara-church organisation founded
and hosted by a local church. Furthermore, it seems that the younger generations felt
uneasy in a church facility surrounded by two blocks representing the fragility of old
In order lo provide a more complcte picture, it needs lo bc stated that the church used to
have a "Teen Challenge" ministry in the scvenlies and early eighties. However, the
"Coffee bar" approach to young people was abandoned for lack of volunteers and
adequate rooms. Since 1990,the church has managed a kindergarten (21children, ages 4
to 6) as an evangelistic tool to reach families, Two full-time leaders are in charge of it.
Interestingly enough, i t is not cansidered officially as purl of the church's social
ministry. Only "Eden" is thc olficial Soziulwerk of thal church. Since 1977,there has
The necessity For A Relevant Pentecostal Witness in
by Japie Lapoorta
D - 2000 Hamburg 76
Stanley M. Burgess and Gary B, McGec, cds, D l c t l a n ~d~ Pcnteccmld and Churlsmnllc Movcmenta
(Grand Rapids, MI:Zondervan, 1988), s,v, "Sociolagy of Pentcct~stnlinnr,"by Jerry W. Slrepperd.
Lany Christenson,A Chsrlnmatlc Approach l o Sdd Actlon (hnrlon: lakelnnd, 1915), 23.
Interview with Gilbert Ringenbnch, St, Die, Decemkr 15111,1982,
Circular letter, "Associadon SOS Jcuncs," Mulhowe, 21 Mny 1985.
Circular Idler, "Qu'esbce qu' SOS Jeunesl" Mdhousc, X985(?).
Stefan Olagowski and Monika Jirnva, "Vorwicgcnd d(lstcrc Pnrbcn: cine (lcncrntion vtx dcm Abgrundl"
Interview with Rita Brandt, Hamburg, May 2214 1991,
Interview with Siegfried Orzechowski, Hamburg, May 13h, 1991,
1.1 In this paper we shall be discussing the lncntioned thcmc undcr thc following subheadings:(l) The South African COntCxl, (2) h c conlradictlons between thc theory and
practice in Pentecostal lhcology in South Africa, and (3) the black roots as
hemenelltical kcy of Xihcmthl encOUmgemcnt and h o p . The South African aparfhcid
context of political opp~ssionand cconomic injustice logcthcr with thc con&adicuons
between thc theory and pmcticc of Pcnlccostal theology, arc lhc rcnsons for thc nccd and
elnergence of thc Rclcvant Pcntccoslal Wltncss, nn or&mis~rtiunof black and whltc
Peniecos(altheologians and ministers in South Africa,
In view of the fact that "South Africa is a land of unequal opp)rtunitics,,, and of two
worlds - a world of the rich minority and a world of the poor mt~jorily." (Rclcvant
pentecostal Witness, hcrcaftcr R.P,W+, 1988:7), 1 need to rwakc it quitc clear from. the
outset that the analysts, views and conclusions in thi,u pupcr arc from (hc black
Under the third sub-heading wo shall bc dcwling with thc rodiscovcry and
reappropriation of the hlack roots of Pcntccostallsm, bccnusc this scction f s m s tho
hermenculical basis on which this Rclcvanl Pcnleco,slal Witness in South Africa Is
based, The rcapproprlation of the black melts ofrcrs signillant possibilitlca for both
black and whiie P~nt~cOstah
in South Afrlca lo overcome thclr fe'cnn and nlicnatlon, It
enables blacks in particular 10 rcgdn and assCrl lhcir CJcnl-given dignity on tho one hand,
and on the other hand it also provldcs n positlvc irnpctus for both black rrnd whitc
Pentecostals to tnovc forcefully togelhcr towards u nan-raciel nntl non-scxiat church in
south Africa. I n this rcfiard the hlack roots arc both a "lihcrativc and clangcrous
memory" (Metz: 1980:90),
1.2 The South @ricnn C'ontmt
The context in which the Rclcvant Pcnlccoslal Wllncss ctncrged forcefully to Lhc
surface, is an spnrthcid situaticrn in which while s u p m a c y nnd black subjugution plsycd
a fundamental rolc, It is thcrcfoxe; impWmt to notc that thc trpartllcid phila.sophy which
was dcscribccl by thc lalc Mr. W J . Vcrwtwd, a.8 un act of "8txx.I ncighlx~urllncrrn"
(R,P,W.: 1988:5), 1s Inore thrrn just rr plltlcal ayslem, though it Is a poliklcal policy in
which thc godgivcn humanity of blacks Is cliarcgardcd to such an cxtcnt that they wcre
stripped of all bi~sichuman rights. It h8s stxltrl, cconomlc and religious irnpllcntlona for
both black and whitc, hi\sctl nol on tho contcnl of thcir chnructcr or thcir ability, but snd
LO say an lhc colour of thcir tiklns, or thcir ctlrnic origin. Soclr\lly, people wcrc
scgrcgntcd, untl incqnnlilic.cr in all spheres of soclal Iifc wcre In&cxluccrl. Economically
the while minority hcncfltcd t\t thc axpcnsc of lhc black majority, Thcsc votclcss,
segrcgatcd pcsplc wcrc diiscnf'rilnchi.wd and arc: still hcnvily exploited aa worken. Thy
are not vulucd in terms of lhclr h u m n worth, but on tho basis of thclr ccunomic
productivity, lo crcate wcillth for corillnucd wl~ilcauffclcnllon in afflucncc, "Onc docsn't
have to look far to know that aparlheid is dcsigned to keep political and economic power
[email protected] or world, as
theology, particularly from Ulcologians ~ ~ r e ~ n t the
i n while
in the hands of the white minority at the expcose of the black majority" (R,P.w,:
will conccntratc on the
largest and oldest Pentecoslal church, the Apstollc Faith Mission of South Africa,
Anti-apartheid movemenls have been ruthlessly reprcsscd and banned, while a state of
Dr. F.P. Mdller, in his book Church and Polltb: A P i M ~ ~ d View
n l of the South
emergency was introduced, " the government wants lo dccide what should no, 1%
preached from the pulpits" (R.P.W.: 1988:6). In this regard, some of the religious
elements of apartheid come into play when victims of aparlhcid wcrc buried. ~h~
government prescribed how many people should be allowed to nllcnd the funeral and
more or less the following: memkm were fm to vole for pcrlidcnl candidates of their
how the funeral should be conductcd. This was very obnoxious lo blacks, bccausc thcrc
are two church services or occasions that are of paramount imporlance in the black choice, but were discouraged from becoming actively h d v d in WrtY pdlllcs,.,
gra(lufi11~accc~tcdpfidci~alionof its nWYhxS in Party poiitic~,
community, wedding ceremonies and funerals. It is illso ilnporbnt lo Ixar in mind that Pentecostal ~hI~rchcs
tho Waliflcalion that party wliticnl m n t k n wcrc ncver to he
the underlying presupposition in African or Black culture is a commnunal one. ~ u s hl i n g
together implies some solidarity.
r ythc Apostolic Fnith Mission, Pnstcw Justus
It was in a situation of polilical confusion in the black world in South Africa, (hat church In the same line a former Gencrnl ~ c c ~ ; t nof
South Africnn Council of Churches at
leaders like "Archbishop Tutu, Rev. Frank Chikanc, Dr. Allan Bocsak and Dr. Beycrs
topic 'The Role of Ulc Pcnlccnslrrlls In ~ h
Naude have been presented by the government media as insiigalors of violcncc and arc
Church in South AMca T ~ ~ ~ aaacrtcd:
o w " "nEChurch as a C O ~ r H ( rb0dy
accused of being Marxists in Christian clothing" (R,P,w,; 1')88:6), [or [heir rotcs i,,
and should not nllianccd to any ~ ) l i t i c dpi\rty"
filling the gap in the palitical wildemc-s of blxks that was created by the [ncnlioncd IICVCe' be involvcd in ~ l l f l mactivity
action of the government, Almost nll Pentecostal Churchcs in South Africa during this @uplessis: 1975:11)
period kepi silent in the face of the vicious acts of reprossioll by the security f(mmand we shall now endeavour to show that the Apololic Rllh MIsslon wns not generally a.
the South African Defence Force. In this situation of sul'l'oring and pain that Was political, neither dld its lcndcrs always keep pmy polilics out of [he church, m hcse two
imposed on fie people who had the courage oftheir conviclionfh who s l ~ UdP find were gentlemen assumed. Thcse assomplions, by Ihc way, arc applicdrle to all lrt\ditional
counted by resisting 0ppfe~~i011,
preached Ihc gospel as if they wcra Pentecoshl churc[les in south ~ f f i m ,
living in a totally different conlext, They preached u gospcl lhal conccnlraled only on tho
i c Mission Was 8tlWd on South African soil In May 1908, nlld (ha(
souls of human beings as if they had no bodies. They closed their cycs to [he situation in The A p ~ s t ~ lFaith
CoMck whkh Conshkd Of whites oflly, rcaalvcd: "'chat the
which they were placed by God to wilncss and 10 proclaim the full gospel to the
human being. Surely, the gospel hey proclaimed in their situation was not ttlc fullness of baptism of nalivcs shall in future take plnce after (he hnpli~tnof whi(c pcoplc" (Burger:
the Gospel of fie Kingdom of God which Jesus proclaimed ( ~ u k 4:
c 18-21) "The N C ~ 1978:175). This decision of ~grO#!tiOn Was further entrenched a few months later whcn
Testament followed the Hebrew tradition concerning its view of huinan kind," because the Executive Cauncil decided: "In future the bllpthn Of w h h , colourcds alnd natives
"our spirituality can only be seen in rclation lo our humanity, for a lrec is only known by shall be separate" (BuWr: 1978:175).
its fruit" @.P.W.: 1988:lO).
During the cmergcnce of Afrikaner nationallam In thc 194O1r, thc ,upiril of the tlare
In order to cover up this lop-sided and unbiblical view of humans and Ulc world, lhcy swept through all fie churches Including Ihc Pcnlccostal ones, II,wt1.9 during llrls lhnc
interpreted everything spiritually in the Platonic sense. In this challenging situation, that h e Apostolic h i t h Nfmion t)JK?nlyhMl 10 dcclarc whcrca their polillcnl alle&iance
Pentecostals had the tendency to flee from the world, In so doing Ulcy failed to sce lhat Were, when fie While Workers Caunclil decided during April 1944:
witm~JeSto it. It is a world which C'~od loved so m ~ c hthat he gave his only Son 10 il
(John 3: 16)" (R.P.W.: 1988:10).
1.3 The Conkadiehbns in the Theory and Practice of Pentecostal Theology
In this section, we shall be dealing with the theoretical assertions in Pcnlccostal
In this rcgard, Dc Wel rcfcrs to the rnotlvcr of Mr. W.F. V c r w ~ m lIlehiml the policy of
apartheid in gcncral and to the gut level ducwlion of nallvc,a (o ~choolthem to bccolno
nothing else but labourers whosc duty it wa3 k) do ~nantrellntnrtrr In thc country. (Xk
Wel: 1989:170). He furlhcr asserts: '"hut m y church could n ~ r c cwith thla blatt\n(
discriminalion and cvon @kc It up in thoir yx,licy is unthinkalrlc, yel il vcrvcl n n gcxXI
example of how easily a church can conform lo a lhis-worldly system, without
realising it" (De Wet: 1989:170).
In this period of Afrikaner nationalism, the Whitc Workers Council adopted in April
1947 a resolution in which they acknowledged Dccembcr 16th Dingaansday (the
commemoration day when the Boers made a vow to God and killed a large number of
Zulus at Blood River), as a religious holiday on the samc level as Chrishnas and ~ m d
Friday (Horn: 1987:81). The further Afrikanerization of the church is evidenl in a lcltcr
wriltcn by Pastor Juslus du Plessis to advocate J.G. Strijdom in 1950, in which
remarks "Vandag, dank God is die AGS 'n suiwer Afrikaansc Kerk" (Thank God, today
the AFM is a pure Afrikaans church) (Horn: 1987:981).
The political involvement of the AFM church became crystal clear whcn onc of its
ordained pastors, its vice president entered party politics, Pastor G,R. Wcssels was thc
most popular preacher in the period of Afrikaner nalionalism, and his scnnons on the
church and communism drew large crowds of Afrikaners to ihc AFM churches whcrc he
was preaching. Due to these sermons on the Communisiic onslaughl againsl lhe country
and the church, he was nominated by the Nalionalisl Party to the cxtcndcd Scnatc in
1955. The then Prime Minister Slrijdom enlarged thc Senale lo gel a 213 majority in a
joint sitting of both houses of Parliament to remove the so-callcd Colourcd people from
the common voters roll.
The election of Pastor G.R. Wcssels sparked off a heated debatc in the church
concerning whether or not a full-lime worker (an ordained minister) could IE actively
involved in party politics, At the 1956 White Workers Council a motion stating ihat "no
full-time worker should be actively involved in prrrty polilics, and should hc wish to do
so, he must retire" (Burger: 1987:329) was discussed lhoroughly for two consecutive
ihal no full-lime worker
days. It was eventually amended and the council resolved:
should be actively involved in party political affairs and neither should hc serve on any
political body, except when the spiritual committee deemed il to bc in ihe inlercst of the
Kingdom of God and of the Church of Christ, That the Excculive Council also
determines the status of any such full-lime worker" (Berger: 1987:329).
This decision resulted in the 1958 schism of the AFM and marks thc beginning of the
Pentecostal Protestant Church (PPC). It is important to poinl out that the bone of
contention in this regard, Pastor G.R. Wessels was as Vice-president a member of both
the determining bodies mentioned in their resolution. He was elected to this posilion in
1943 and remained Vice-president of the while AFM up to 1970, when hc frccly dccidcd
to retire from the ministry thereby relinquishing the powerful position in the church,
which he had held while he was an active politician.
A further confirmation of the political involvement of the white AFM is cvldcnt in the
fact that they annually invited high ranking members of thc Nationalisl Govcrnrncnt to
address the workers' Conference. This practice continued up lo 1986, in spite of
numerous objections to this practice from the black AFM churches. Thc worst of all
these addressees by bonafide Nationalist leaders and ministers was when the Minislcr of
Defence visited their conference and this gathering was screened on television.
In a letter to the white church dated 09/01/86 the Oenaal Secretmy of the so-called
u ~ ~ l Church"
~ ~ r refers
~ d to the television coverage of the Minister of Dcfence, MI,
Malan, at (he White Annual Confercnee. He asscrtcd that this uncritical asoclatim of
the white church with the Nationallst h r l y poIi(ician8 has ~ u s in~lculable
and embarrassment to the churches In thc black community (General Sec, "Colaurcd
ihc shtcmcnls in which MdllerandhWM'J+Du
Inthe light of these hMmical
plessis asserted that Penlccoslnls were no1 involved in party polilica, or wen: not and
ought not to be aligned with any particular pgllucal pwy, are rcfuted by the hlstorlcal
1.3,1, The Issue af [email protected]
In this regad Pentecostal Ulcology affirms all: the positive aspects of our unity in Chdst
theoretically, but whcn It comes to the pncllcal sldc, thesc theoretical a!scrlions an: not
concretised and rnusl even mtrke way Tor a political a-prior1 such as aparthold. On
~ugust2nd, 1985, the AFM drew up a hlstorkal declaration of Intent, In which all races
in the church parlicipabd. This statement afllrmcd the following:
1. The Apstollc Faith Mlsslon of South Afrla conflrms 11s acceptance of the Blblical
principles of unity,
2, The Apostolic Faith Mission of South Africa rejects all systems of dhcrimination as
a principle in the Kingdom of Qad and within the slruclures of the Church.
3, The Apostolic Faith Mlsslon of South Mdcn acccpls the principle that the Church
d tho above principles,
should operatc as a single structural unlt b a ~ on
4, The Apostolic Faith Mission of South AMca agrecs that worship and membership
should be bascd on the 8ponbnwus grouping of believers (Horn; 1987:57).
On the practical level, (hew geod intenllons were accepted by the synods of the Ulree
black churches, while the white church unilaterally amended them to such an extent that
lhey were stripped of all credibility, Bocause of thb the three black churches finally
Dr,Mdller mentions the problem of apartheid in the church with regard to the Dutch
Reformed Church In South Africa when he states: "The D.R,C. was samelimes jokingly
referred lo as the 'National Party in prayer'. In this there is a measure of (Nth. The
Reformed Churche%accordingly made a clear distincllon between White, Coloured,
Indian and Black bellovers" (MOller: 1989:8), Although Mdller is exposing the Dutch
Reformed Church, he Is apparently silent about a similm type of close relationship
between his church and the Nationalist Party, and about the fact that the born again,
tongue speaking, Pentecostals who ought lo be an example also have ethnically
segregated churches. Mdller, In my opinion, is figuralively in the same boat as the
D.R.C.; for one, because lhey also have very close links with the Nationalist Party, for
the other, because they Lao have divided the church along ethnic lines. The D.R.C.
misused (he sacrament of the Lonl's Supper at the renowned 1857 Synod, where they
made a special concession for the 45 white members from Stdchenstroon assembly in
the Kat River valley, to have separated, white only, Holy Communion services.
The AFM m&usedhe sacramentof the Holy Baptismin 1908introducing Segregutionat
the baptismal pool. Both these Afrikaner churches in South Africa misused the
which the Lord gave lo the church as an eXprOSSiOll
Of ilS Unity in dividing
theBody of Christ along ethniclines. The positive aSSumpliOnS
white Pentecostalsin theory are contradicted by their adherence to the ideology of
1.3.2. The Issue of the Baptism in fhe Holy Spirit
In theory,it is assumedthat theHoly Spirit baptismshowsthe fullness and power of the
Spirit given to an individual, It is acceptedthat the Holy Spiril will lead and guide us
into aU truth,convincingus of sin and righteousness,Furlhermore, as the Holy Spirit is
of God who is holy, onemust confessone’s sins anddevote one’s lift to God in order to
befilled or baptisedwith the Spirit. The questionarises,“How is it possible for someone
to be a racistand yet be Spirit filled at the sametime?” It is in this regard that black
in SouthAfrica arebluntly statingthat il is impossibleto be Spiril filled and
still remain a racist.Consequently,blacksare even inclined lo say it is impossible for a
racistto be born again,for if someoneis in Christ he/sheis a new creature. If a racist
stubbornlyassumesthat he is Spirit filled, then we are apparently no1lalking about the
sameexperienceor the sameHoly Spirit.
220.127.116.11.The Gif ofthe Spirit
Concerningthe spiritualgifts of 1 Cor. 12:4-l 1, the Bible statesthat Paul does not want
us to be ignorant,In this regard I had discussionswith numerouswhile colleaguesand
they assuredme that all the gifts are operative throughout their churches.Whcncvcr
someof thempreachin black churchesor are togetherwilh blacksat prayer meelingsor
seminars,wherethe issuesof unity,and the prophetic role of the church in South Africa
arediscussed,somenormally would discernevil spirits.Particularly the spirits of halrcd,
bitternessand unforgiveness.I fiily believe thal the spiritual gifls arc given lo the
church for today, but I am very concerned and sometimestroubled when I hear that
whitesarediscerningthesementionedevil spirits amongblacks,but (hey fail to discern
the evil spirit of racism,which, in my opinion, is the root of bitterness,hatred and an
unforgiving spirit in blacks. Any attempt to uphold a while racist ideology by
manipulating spiritual gifts for one’s own interests is a contradiction of Pentecostal
theologyin SouthAfrica anddemandsa RelevantPentecostalWitnessof integrity,
1.4. The Black Roots of Pentecostalism
In the RelevantPentecostalWitnessdocument,theologiansreflect on the black roots of
It is from there that they develop a paradigm for social action in their
presentcontextwhich is almost identical with the situation in which lhe world wide
Pentecostalmovementwas born. Of particular significancefor them is the fundamcnlal
role that Bishop William Joseph Seymour played in similarly racially hostile
[email protected] The fact that God choseto use an uneducatedblack person to be the
initial leader of this movementhas a particularly liberating significance for the South
1.4.1. The Black Roots of Pentecostdism
nr a ham
of Restorivtg the Black Person’s
In an oppressive society such as ours, when the Ood given humanity of blacks is
ruthlessly disregarded, the recapturing of the black roots of Pentccostalism is a
“liberative memory” (MCtz: 1980:90). I1 is iibeMln8 in the sensethat it conveys to
blacksa messagethat lWtXk¶ their humanity, It affirms to blacks that the God of the
Bible 1saware of their abilities, a8 ln the casewith JosephSeymour, Furthermore, it
implies that a black person 19“SCmrChodY”
not “something”, To be createdblack is not a
mistake,but this divine intcntlon 18that all ate made in the image and likenessof God
andequal to any other person,whatever the CO~Wof his or her skin may be, In God’s
choiceof an uneducatedblack person, the son Of former slaves,God hasshamedthat
part of the white educalcd world, that assumedthat nothing good could emergefrom
blackslaves.To put it dlffcrcntly, God’s calling of Seymouraffirms the black person’s
1.4.2. The Black Rooti of [email protected] and Determines the Black Person’s
view of God
Theblack roots of PenteCostalism,Wohing aroundthe calling of Seymour,have made
it possiblefor black Pentecost& in racially segregatedSouth Africa to understandthat
theGod of the Bible has a specialconcern for the poor, oppressedand disenfranchised.
TheAzusa&reel revival in Los Angelesactually refutes the assumptionthal somewhite
PentecostalsIn South Africa have concerning God’s prefcrcntial option for them. It
denouncesassumptilonslhat C;odhasa specialbias for whltcs,and insteadconfirmsthat
Godis no respecterof a person’s colour, but is conccmcdabout humanbeingsassuch.
Dueto theseroots, black Pcntccostalsin Soulh Africa know for certain thal the God of
theBible Is not a whitc racist wha is concernedabout the well being of whitesonly.
1.4.3. The Black Roots Create a Basis for Pentecostalism to Become a Prophetic
The RelevantPcntccoslalWitnesstheologiansregard the black roots of their movement
asthe basisfor 8 prophetic wilneas and their involvement in socialaccton.In the Azusa
StreetRevival we find the legitimacy to continueour witnessasPentecost&.It washere
thatGod called to himself a prophetic rnovemcntin an oppressivesocietytiat belied the
dignity of black people. It was hem that God called to himself humble peopleto be hls
witnessesin a hostile world, 11was here that powerlesspeoplewere baptisedin the Holy
Spirit and infused with power to preach the good news of JesusChrist, “with signs
following” (R,P,W.: 1988i3-4). In this hostile silualion of racial prejudice andeconomic
exploitation,the Relevant PcnlecostalWitnesstheologiansassumethat the Pentecostal
Church ought lo bc that salt of the ear(h and light of the world, In their view, the
Pentecostalmovement in Its humble beglnnings did not try to run away from their
situation,but they insbud tried to influence and changethe world through evangelism.
Therefore,lhc R.P.W. theologians assumethat the Pentecostalchurch in SouthAfrica
hasa positive contribution to offer in the transformationof churchand society.
1.4,4. The Black Roots as a Starting Point towarh n Nun-Racial, Not#-Sexist Church
In South Africa, the recognition of the black roots of the llnovclnenl by white
Pentecoshls poses a potential basis for mutual c0-Opcrillbn hlwcen black and white,
The acceptance of Seymour as lhc early lcudcc Of the Azusa Slrcct rcvival could enable
whites to also acknowledge black leadership in thc rnovclncnl today,
The quotation from W. Hollenweger's book I h i e c ~ Ihiween
Muck and While "the
colour line was washed away in blood" (Hollenw~gcr;19641% and the fact that while
Southerners came in the scores to be prayed for the baptism of the Spirit by Seymour at
Azusa, marks the fact that the black roo& of (he lnovctneni should not IE intcrprcted in a
sectarian way. Though Seymour was black, oppressed rrnd the son of fonncr slnves, hc '
was a person of vision. He had a &cam of a non-racial, non-sexist church where black
and white, male and female, poor and rich, could worship together in love and hannony, ' Japie LAPOORTA
so that the racialy hostile world could know and see that (hey wcre disciples of thc risen
1. Driebcrgcn Slr,
Lord, Jesus Christ.
Highburg, Kuils River 7588, RSA
It is precisely this vision of Seymour lhat the R.P.W. thcalogians in Struth Africa
espouse and want to express, In the light of the mentioncd possibilities, the R.P,W,
theologians assert, "11 is in this tradition that wc come bearing a Rclcvat~tPentecostal
Witness" (R.P.W.: 1988:4)
The awareness of the black Pentecostal roots can fonn the btrsis for a lrue libcrution
within the Pentecostal movement in South Africa. In the first place, it can scrvc as a
basis for Liberating blacks from indoctrination through apartheid both in the church and
society. This is the starling point of all liberation, becausc "the slrongcst ally of Lhc
oppressor is the mind of the oppressed" (Boesak: 1977:57), I1 is thcrcforc in this regard
that the black roots of the movement in un oppressive society such as ours bccomcs u
"dangerous memory" as J.B. Metz put it, because it qucslions Lhc status quo with an
intention for radical transformation, The black raots of the tnoveinent spcaks lo the lmrl
of the black person, and demands of him an awareness of lhcir God given hurnanily.
This liberative memory says to blacks, "You are capable of becoming lenders of both
blacks and whites in South Africa, in the same fashion as Seymour bccatne lcadcr of the
Pentecostal Movement in the Azusa Street revival." It confirms Lhc fact that Ood is no
respecter of persons, and that God has no colour bias in installing thc gifts of (he Spirit.
Secondly, the black roots, if acknowledged and accepted by all whilc Pentecostals,
forms the basis of their liberation from a false sense of superiority, which has thus far
been the bone of contention in both the church and society. The acmphncc by whites of
blacks as equals and the possibility of black leadenhip is a prcretluisitc for future co.
operation that will inevitably lead to a non-racial church, The other significant I:dcl some
whites need to appreciate is that the non-racialism lhat occurred under Seymour's
leadership is not an accident hat is never to happen again in history, Non-ricialism is u
gift of the Spirit just like longues. The emergence of Pentccosuilism in South Africa
confirms this, because it also started as a non-racial movement, The libcralion of whiles
as a result of a relevant Pentecostal witness must also lead lo a non-sexist church, where
~u Plcsai8, JOT+Tha Role or lhe ~etNlrcaal*laIn (ha Church In SeuUl AMcu Tnmamw, unpuhlishad pqMr
deliverad m l Ihc S.A,C,C. Conferanca, Ilr~nn~nakrral,
Iiorn, NoJ,and h u w , J.J. Fhi kwdda, Fhn Herder, (Kuikrivor: Ekkla~inArliklm, 1987),
Metz, J,B, Fnlth in H l o q and W c l y , (Inntlnn: Rwng nnd Oaks, 19BO).
Fdlh Mllurlgn In k u l h AMccr XW 1988, A Crure Study In Church Growth
In A Scgnpullon Sncfdy, unpubliahcd PhT), thodin, Ilnlveralty d Chp Town, 1989,
Wd, C.R,Do, The A p l o l l c
6th Conference on Pentecostal and Charismatic Research in Europe,
Kappel a.A., Switzerland
July 3 - 6, 1991
A Declaration of Solidarity with the Relevant Pentecoshl
Witness in South Africa
We, the undersigned, assembled in a special session at the sixth Conference on
Pentecostal and Charismatic Research in Europe at Kappel a.A., SwiVzerland on July 6,
1991, make the following Declaration of Solidarity with the Relevant Pentecostal
Witness in South Africa, although we are concerned about injuslicc whercver it reigns.
We express our deepest appreciation to Nico Horn and Japic Lapoorla for lheir forthright
challenge in calling the participants of lbis conference to break our silence, to rcpent and
to assume our responsibility for the well-being of the church in South Africa.
We affirm that the Spirit of the Lord anointed Jesus for the exprcssed purpose of
preaching good news to the poor and releasing the opprcssed (Luke 4: 18). As
Pentecostals and Charismatics, we believe that the same Holy Spirit that anoinlcd Jesus
was transferred to the church of Pentecost, and was also outpourcd in the non-racial
church at Asuza Street, Los Angeles, as a divine empowenncnl to continuc God's
redemptive mission in the world. We believe that God desires love, jusiicc and shalom
to reign in the human family and in the whole creation.
We acknowledge the present progress towards democracy and the dismantling of
apartheid as the work of the Spirit and rejoice that it was brought about by non-violcnt
actions. We lament the fact that Pentecostals and Charismatics have taken so long to see
the Spirit of God at work in these events and to follow the initiatives in their own
We regret that we did not speak out courageously and consistently against apartheid and
the political oppression and economic exploitation that this itmoral system has caused
for our brothers and sisters in South Africa. We also acknowledge our uncrilical aultudc
in accepting the information disseminated by the media without independenlly verifying
the facts about the ongoing struggle of the church in the South African situation.
Therefore, we repent of our apathy to the human suffering that has occurred, and ,
continues to occur, in South Africa and we renew our commilrnenl to the claims of the
liberating gospel of Jesus Christ. As a consequence, we declare our solidarity wilh the
Relevant Pentecostal Witness and its action plan (A Relevant Pentecostal Witness,
P.O. Box 45244, Chatsglen 4012, RSA, p. 11) for bringing meaningful social changc.
Moreover, we pledge our tangible support in assisting the suffering black pcntccostal
church in South Africa in the tasks of proclaiming the gospel nurturing the church's
koinonia and promoting love, justice and peace in society. We affirm those white
Pentecostals and Charismatics who have joined in partnership with their black brolhcrs
We pray that those white Pentecostals and Charismatics resistant to change will colnc to
James E. Bradley, Amctlcnn Baptl"; Rogcr Ctrh7~8,Pcntcccxl(n1 Mission of Fnith nnd
Holjness, Costa Rica; Bcrtit Carlsson, Swedish Pentccorlul Church; Barry Chant,
pentecosiaI, Australia; Edwnrd Czajke, Penlccoatal Church, Polnnd; Dariuz Cuplal,
Roman Catholic, Poland; M u m y W, Demptcl, Assemblies of sod, U.S,A,; Cillbcrt
Dia$, Roman Catholic, Switzerland; Manuel Gaxlola, Apoalollc Faith of Maxico;
Annemari~Gmf, Swiss PcntccosW Mlsslon; Pcbr Mocken, Roman Catholic, U,S,A.;
Walter J. Hollcnwcgcr, Swiss Rcformcd; Nlccr Horn, Ayx3slolic Faith Mission, Narnibia;
~aroldI), Hunter, Church of C3txJ of Prophecy, U.S.A.; Hcnric(tc Knuffmnnn, Dutch
Reformed; Japle 3, Lapc)or(a, A p t n l i c h l t h Mission, Rep, of South Africa; Hcnry
Lederle, Reformed Church in Amerlen; Frank Macchin, Assctnblics of God, U,S,A,;
Kenneth McKlnney, Swiss Refomcd; Raymond Pflzllcr, Bund 1Frcicr Pflngslgcrneladen,
Germany; Jean-Daniel PIUss, Swiss Reformed; Cecil M, Robcck Jr,, As,acmbXles of God,
U,S,A,; Trandafir Sandru, Pcnlecot&l Church In Rurnnnln; Russel Spitllcr, Assemblies
of God,U.S.A.; Bobbie Splttlcr, Asscrnbllca of Gal,U.S.A,; Gcorgc Slotts, Assemblies
of God,U,S.A.; Phlllys SlrNts, AsscrnbXics af Clod, U.S.A.; Cnrnclls van dcr Laan,
Brotherhood of Pcnlccostal Churches, Netherlands; Huibert Zcgwaarl, Brothcrhd of
Pentecostal Churches, Netherlands,
Howard Marshall (ed.), Christian Experience in Theology and Life, Papers read at the
1984 Conference of the Fellowship of Europcan Evangelical Theologians, Special Study
2, Scottish Bulletin of Evangelical Theology (Edinburgh: Rulhcrford House Books,
1988) Reviewed by John L. Karsten, Luntercn, the Netherlands.
The theme of these eight papers is bnporlant, especially since Pc~~ccOSQIS
stressed their affinity with the Evangelicals, and sincc lhcy valuc the phcnorncnologicd
dimension in religion and faith, The first five articles are authored by scholars from the
United Kingdom, The contributions by Burkhardl and Licbschner urc of Gcnnan origin,
and their Evangelicalism shows Pictislic rools. The collcluding article is wriltcn by the
Dutch professor Runia, who remains (rue to his staunchly Calvinistic position, Taking
the articles in turn, we only highlight distincl reflcclions and problems.
Tidball, a pastor trained as a sociologist, sketches the position of lhcology in lhc
contemporary scene using insighls from Berger and Turner, The sul~jecltntrltcr covcrcd
is vast, but five implications bear repcaling. I) We need n theology of cxpcricncc,
possibly along the lines of J. Dunn; 2) The henncneutical question of personality
requires a resolution. Perhaps Malena is correct in asserting that individual subjeclivity
is modern, and that ancient man perceives himself as dyadic. (Unfortunalcly, this
question is not treated in any of the other papers in this collection,) 3) Whal is distinct in
Christian experience? What is distinct in comparison to olhcr religions' 4) A llicology
against idolatry is needed. 5) A theology of ordcr and skucturc is ncedcd in ordcr to sel a
context for experience. Tidball concludes that more expcriencc, bcllcr understood, is
Max Turner writes on "Prophecy and Spiritual Gifts: Then and Now" (condcnsed by D.
MacKinder; full edition in Vox Evangelica IS, 1985, pp, 7-64), As the litlc indicitcs, he
engages in both: exact exegesis, uskg the whole r h g c s of recent studies, and in an
assessment of current applications. Turner holds that to see lhc gift of the Spirit
(epexegetical genitive!) as either the beginning of the disciples' expcriencc of the new
age (with Dunn and Brunner) or as an additional gift of empowering is conlrary to
Luke's view. Both views are necessary. The firs1 relates lo the cxpcricnce of the
disciples with Jesus on earth (the Gospel story). The second, lo Christ's continual
activity through the Spiril of prophecy. His presence guarankcs maoifcstalions such as
tongues, prophecy, etc. It almost appears as if Turner is equating thc Spirit with thc
manifestations. His treatment of prophecy is superb, diffcrenlialing it from tcaching and
preaching. Spiritual gifts are granted lo those who seek them, Thal any or all the gifts arc
necessarily or actually reslricted lo apostolic times is firmly rejectcd with sound
exegetical arguments. Prophecy is to be expected at any lime. An intcrcsling turn cotncs
when Turner compares Charismatic and exba Charismatic cxpcricncc, claiming that the
Charismatics do not have a unique experience. A Charismatic rejoinder could bc to
welcome all who manifest appropriate experiences into Lhc Charismalic fold pointing
David Wright looks at Luther and the "Schwbner." Luther did not like ihcm, As a
consequence many Luthcmns tend to vlcw nll expcrirnenlal mliglon as suspect. A,J,
Torrancc compnros Christian experience and r c v c l a l l ~ nwllh lhc though1 of
Schleicmacher end K, Barth. Schlelcnnachcr finds a nexus for religion in GelUhl,
which is more than just feeling, ns ll point8 to Iho b i ~ i human
precedes knowing and doing, Melhodologically, Schlcicrrnachcr rullows Rant, who
found room for God, thc world and thc soul a8 nccesstuy carrcla(ives af practical reason,
K, Barth will have nono of all this, All the same, Earth was a joylul Chrilsthn who
enjoyd and admired thc inspinlions af Mozart,
Chdstlna Baxtcr Is the sole lady contributor, She cxamlnes the "role of experience in
theology after Bnxu~"In recent major works, The authors range from K. Rahner to W.
Pannenbcrg and includc H.D.Lowls, J. Moroux and Thornton. Studenla will flnd this
essay a good shrkr,
H. Burkhardl wrltca on thc "cxpericnce of conversion," Hc has writlcn a boak on the
subject which has been translated inlo English by Paternoster Press, Although his
conclusions arc not innovallvc, thc subjcct remains Impodant and b a r s repclilion,
Liebschncr examines the experience of guidancc by the Holy Splril, concenlraling on
biblical and Iheologicnl Issues wllh a prefcrcncc on guidancc of Ihc whole congregation.
His poinlcrs nnd cautions arc common to both Lutheran Pietism and healthy
Pcnlccostalism, His baslc rnodcla uppar biblically sound and praclical. This article may
end up king thc most red in this collection, as lhc subject maller treated is a prescnl
conccrn of many, Thc artlcles by the German spcaklng scholars are also available In
Jahrbuch IUr evanglellhle Thealogie 1987,
Prof, Runia remains well withln reformed lmdition and in trgrecmenl with the Lutheran
F.D. Brunner, by rejecting anything that appears to be a two-stage experience position,
In stating that "all believers receive the Holy Spirit" it appears that he may confuse
possibility with actuality. He carefully avoids any reference to infant baptism, which
would compound the theoretical difficulties.
While the authors would not wish to be identified with Charismatics, their work deserves
careful reading. As Pentecostals and Charismalics emphasize the Holy Spirit's
sovereignty, they will not be held back by the theoretical problems discussed in this
collection, for they know that the Spirit answers to openness, longing and faith.
Alice Rasmussen Schick and Dean Helland Talbert, La Iglesia Metodista Pentecostal,
Ayer y Boy, Tomo 1 (Santiago: Plan Mundial de Asistencia Misionera en Chile, 1987),
159 pp. Reviewed by David Bundy, Indianapolis, USA.
The study of the history of individual Pentecostal and Methodist national and regional
denominations in Latin America is just beginning. This volume is devoted to the
Pentecostal Methodist Church in Chile, an indigenous ecclesiastical body with historical
ties to the Methodist Episcopal Church. It began under the influence of W.C. Hoover,
who was appointed (1889) missionary in Chile by thenquasi-independent "SelfSupporting Mission" established earlier by William Taylor (See D. Bundy, "Bishop
William Taylor and Methodist Mission: A Study in Nineteenth Centurv Social Historv."
Methodist h is tor^ 27 (1989),197-210; 28 6989), 3-21). The ~ a ~ l strategyv&
empowering converts to manage their own affairs and his policy of allowing
missionaries on the field to determine their priorities and procedures were intentionally
and systematically eroded by the Methodist Mission Board in favour of a more imperial
model which was then current in North American mission theory; see William
Hutchinson, Errand to the World: American Protestant Thought and Foreign
Mlssions (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1987). Out of the conflict over mission
theory and practice came the Iglesia Metodista Pentecostal. Unforlunately, the authors
appear to be unaware of this history and interpret the development primarily as a
theological crisis and the acceptance of the Pentecostal solution.
The volume begins by summarising the history of Norlh American missions in Chile
(James Thompson, William Whellwright, David Trumbull), but without demonstrating
their relevance to the history of the denomination. However, chapters 2-7 (pp. 27-67)
describe the pre-Pentecostal ministry of Hoover and other eventual Pentecostal
Methodist leaders and the initial controversies over glossolalia. The authors go on to
describe (chapter 8, pp. 69-75) the events surrounding the 12 September 1909
experiences of Elena (Helen) Laidlaw, providing helpful corrections to the version of
1.T. Copplestone in Twentieth-Century Perspectives: The Methodist Episcopal
Church, 1896-1939 (History of Methodist Missions, 4; New York: Board of Global
Ministries, 1973), pp. 589-610. The furor raised in the national press is described (ch. 910, pp. 77-99) as well as the involvement of Hoover and others in the discussion. In
response to the sensational press coverage (ch. 11, pp. 101-108), the periodical Chile
Evangdico (11 Sept. 1909 - 2 Nov. 1910) was developed from the base of the Iglesia
presbiteriana de Conception (with a quotation on the mast-head from John Wesley!). It
served as an instrument of liaison between disparate elements of the developing
Pentecostal movement, reported international Pentecostal developments and promoted
pentecostal religious experience. It was succeeded by Chile Pentecostal on 24
November 1910, also published at Conception.
Chapters 12-16 (pp. 109-145) describe the early development of the denomination.
Particular attention is given to the expansion in the south, the organisation of the Annual
Conferences and other administrative procedures as well as the leadership structures.
This is followed by three chapters, actually appendixes (ch. 16-19, pp. 147-154). The
first of these reprints reports of the visit of A.B, Simpson to Chile, published in Chile
Evangelico (3 March to 6 April 1909); the second reprints letters relevant to the
resignation 0f.W.C. Hoover from the Methodist Episcopal Church; and the third reprints
the announcement of the formation of the Iglesia Metodista Pentecostal written by
Hoover for publication in Chile Evangdllco on 9 June 1910,
The volume makes several contributions to the historiography of Methodism and
Pentecostalism. It narrates the events with extensive citations from the original
documents (ecclesiastical statements, correspondence, and periodicals), to which few in
other parts of the world have access, and makes use of oral history interviews, It offers
some correctives to Methodist accounts of the development of the denomination, but
unfortunately without placing these evenls in the context of the larger Methodist mission
experience in Chile during the period before 1909. Interaction with the earlier historical
work of Copplestone (see above) and J.B,A. Kessler, A Study of the Older Protestant
Missions and Churches in Peru and Chile (Goes: Oosterbaan & Le Cointre, 1967), as
well as the article by Walter Hollenweger, "Methodism's Past is Pentecostalism's
Present: A Case Study of Cultural Clash in Chile," Methodist History 20 (1982), 169.
182, would have been helpful. The volume is enhanced by the detailed table of contents,
numerous photographic plates and bibliography. Despite its historiographical problems,
the volume will be a standard source for the history of Latin American Methodism and
Howard Snyder, Signs of the Spirlt: How God Reshapes the Church (Grand Rapids,
MI: Academie Books, Zondervan Publishing House, 1989), 336 pp, and David Shibley,
A Force in the Earth: The Charismatic Renewal and World Evangelism (Altamonte
Springs: Creation House, 1989), 176 pp. Reviewed by Peter Hocken, Gaithersburg,
Howard Snyder has become known for his interest In the dynamics of church renewal
and strategies for translating revival into social embodiment, as in his study of John
Wesley and the Methodist system of classes and bands. In the introduction to this new
book, Snyder notes: "The stories of the great revivals of the past have been told and
retold. Yet there is a large, untold story about the inner dynamics of renewal movements
throughout church history - a very significant story which still remains largely hidden"
(p. 9). Signs of the Spirit addresses this task seeking to uncover the inner dynamics of
three major renewal movements in the Protestant world: German Pietism, the Moravians
and the Methodists. Snyder's interest is in the renewal of received lraditions, and hence
the selection of three exemplars of structured movements within Churches in need of
One chapter is given to each of these renewal movements, and these are by far the
longest chapters in the book (chs. 3 - 5, pp. 31 - 242). Snyder combines clear and
accurate presentation of what is often a complex history with an ability lo highlight the
features significant for his purpose. While these chapters form an excellent in&oduction
for any reader not acquainted with this history, they still contain something for those
with more familiarity, He stresses the importance of the priesthood of all believers in
Pietism,and the development of its evangelistic and missionary implications among the
Moravians. Snyder makes many enlightening comparisons, e.g. "Methodist societies
were not total, closed communities like the Moravian settlemenls, yet they were more
distinct and separately organised than were most Pietist collegia. Methodist bands,
classes, and societies were tied together in one movement, under Wesley's direction, in a
way that was never true of Continental Pietism. In this sense, the Methodist experience
of community falls roughly midway between the fellowship of the Pielisl collegia and
the Moravian settlements" (pp. 234f.).
The chapters that follow the historical analysis seek to distil h e inherent dynamics of
renewal movements, to sketch a theology of renewal for the Church today. At the hear1
of Snyder's analysis is the attempt to bring inlo necessary and creative interaction both
institutional and charismatic models of the Church. He argues for distinct renewal
movements with their own ethos and identity, but which nonetheless have slructural
links with their parent denominations. He identifies five dimensions of renewal:
personal, corporate, conceptual, structural and missiological, Here he states: "Renewal
must become personal and corporate to be genuine.. .. Renewal musl become conceptual
and structural to be long-lasting.... Renewal must reach the missiological level to be
biblically dynamic'' (p. 292), His conclusions are too numerous to mention, but they are
eminently practical concerning issues that every denomination and local assembly has to
A friend to whom I recommended this book expressed surprise thal I was enlhusiaslic
about a book that implicitly compared the Pentecostal and Charismatic movements to
historical antecedents, for I have been convinced for many years Ulal this 20th century
movement of the Spirit is not just another renewal movement of the same type as were
found in some preceding centuries. Was I being inconsistent? Snyder does not presume a
generic category "renewal movement'' of which all instances have a similar significance.
He is seeking to learn lessons from Christian history to detennine why parlicular
movements did or did not lead to schism, why they did or did not last, whcther they had
or did not have an impact on the wider Church. He examines each previous movement
for what it was, not as an instance of a category. His conclusions are well worth
pondering, and leave open the question of whether the Pentecostal-Charismatic
movements contain elements and raise questions beyond those present in these earlier
The foreword in Shibley's baok recmmendlng its use as a callcge text-book ought to
have been in Snyder's! A Force on the F ~ r i hreflects thc weakness of much "pop"
literature for the Charismalic market, using inflated language about the Spirit's work, but
alas revealing a rather limited world-view. In Cncl, Ihc Charismatic rcnewal of the subtitle largely equals non-denominational nnd para-church groupings. Intcndcd to fire
w p l e with a vision for world evangelism, it will undoubtedly inspire some rcadcrs. To
me it conveys an atmosphere of brcathlcss Crlumphalism, as though God is dolng such
marvellous things, there is no time to check out the details, no need for prolonged
reflection, no time for detailed analysis, Thus, despitc Inany valid points Shiblcy also
purveys a fair ration of exaggeration and over-si~npllfication,not to speak of occasional
nonsense, like the following: "Penteco~tdShave becn racially intcgratcd from tho
beginning" (p. 142).
Monika K. Hellwig, "In Spirit and in Truth: A Catholic Perspective on the Holy Spirit,"
Quarterly Review 812, Summer 1988,36-48.
Although Catholic theology has at no time denied the prophetic role of the Holy Spirit, it
has tended to domesticate the power of lhe Spirit and to see it operating mainly Ulrough
ecclesiastical channels. New opportunities, however, were offered by Pope John XXIII
when he called for the Second Vatican Council. The model revived by the Council is
dynamic and allows for differences as well as for learning by lrial and error, The new
vistas on Scripture and on the early Christian tradition suggest that prophecy can be seen
as an ordinary, communal and individual mode of Christian life in the course of history
as the Spirit works in the Church and the world in preparation for the Kingdom of God.
This article is but one sample from a collection of studies on the Holy Spirit published in
this issue. Others include: Albert C. Outlet on the Spirit and spirituality in John Wesley;
Edward Wimberly on the Black experience of the Spirit; and Timothy Smith on the Holy
Spirit and the Holiness movement.
Beginning with an historical sUrVCy of fir? last twcnty.flvc years, Malcr shows how the
Lutheran Church has dealt with the Charismatic clcments in its ranks, He continues by
offeringa critique of thesc clcmcnts in the Missouri Synod, He challenges especially the
statements recently published by a group of Lutherans called Rencwal in Missouri. He
concludes that many of the claim of this Luthcran Rencwal nrc incompatible with a
traditional Lutheran undcrstunding of rcncwnl, which is believcd to come through the
preaching of the word and the administration of sacramenls nnd not through
Press Release: Romnn CathollrlPentect~ltL,I
Dlalogus,Venicc, July 14-21, 1991.
Kilian McDonnell and George T. Montague (eds.) Fanning the Flame: What Does
Baptism in the Holy Spirit Have to Do with Christian Initiation? Heart of the
Church Consultation (Collegeville, MN:The Liturgical Press, 1991), 30 pp.
"The Heart of the Church Consultation" of Roman Catholic theologians and pastoral
leaders met May 6-11, 1990 in Techny, Illinois, to examine the pastoral implications of
the evidence from early post-biblical authors that baptism in the Holy Spirit is integral to
Christian initiation. In addition, the biblical evidence of baptism in the Holy Spirit was
reviewed. As a result, the implications for evangelization and liturgical life were
formulated in a document, for it is believed that Spirit Baptism is vilal to the growth of
the Church. The Ad Hoc Committee for the Charismatic Renewal in the Roman Catholic
Church in America gave the document lo its fellow bishops with wholehearted
encouragement for serious consideration.
This document is also important for Pentecostals and Evangelicals, for it illustrates the
current Roman Catholic understanding of the issue and presents an opportunity to make
comparisons with traditional PentecostaVCharismatic views. Two quotations may serve
as thought-provokers: "...baptism in the Holy Spirit is not a matter of private piety, but
part of the official liturgy, and of the Church's public life;"(p. 16) and ".. the baptism in
the Holy Spirit includes both the Spirit's sanctification and charismatic gifls ... 11
increases the devout use of reconciliation, and renews both the sacramental and the
charismatic ministry of healing in the church. It transforms families into cominunilics of
grace... It encourages authentic ecumenism." (p. 13)
The second rnccting of Lhc fourth phage of thc Roman CaCholk/PcnbcoshI Dialogue
was held in Venice, Italy, July 14-21, 1W1, at Casa Cardinale Piazza. The rnceling was
co-sponsored by the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and some
Classical Pentecostal Churches and Icadera, Thc participants were officially welcolned
by Msgr. Giuseppc Viscntin, Vicar Gcncral of thc Archdiocese of Vcnicc.
The general topic chozlen for this meeting was: 'The Blblicd and Systematic Foundation
of Evangelization." Theological position papers wcrr? prcparcd by Rev, Karl MUller,
SVD (Director of the Missiologlcal Institute, St. Augustin, Germany), on the Catholic
side, while the Pcntccostal vicw of the same issue was prcscnlcd by Dr. Wllllam
Menzies (Assemblies of God) of Asia Pacific Theological Seminary, Bagulo City,
Philippines. Although thc unity of the Church is a concern of Pcntecoslals and Roman
Catholics alikc, thc dialogue has not had as its goal or its subjcct either organic or
structural union. Thcsc discussions were rncant to develop a climate of mutual
understanding in matters of faith and pracllcc, to find point.. of genuine agreement, as
well as to indicatc nrcns In which further dialoguc is required.
The dialogue team explored Roman Catholic and Pentccoslnl understandings of
evangelization, and differences In approaches to evangelization. Building from the
Rcporl of the previous quinquennium "PerspcctXvcs on Koinonia," a major issue which
emergcd in thc discussions was the relationship bclwccn the individual and Ihe church
community in the work of cvangclization, Other issues which surfaccd from the
discussions included thc biblical mandatc for cvangelixation, the role of laity In
evangelization, the accountability of evangelists, the demonic and evangelization, and
the basis on which salvation of non-Christians might be accomplished. The discussions
which took place in an open and warm atmosphere were concluded by a joint prayer
Serving as co-chairs were Rev. Kilian McDonnell, O.S.B. (St. John's University,
Collegeville, MN:U.S.A.) and Rev. Justus du Plessis (Apostolic Faith Mission, Faerie
Glen, Republic of South Africa).
Official delegates sent to h e dialogue from the Pentecostal side included Dr. Fran~ois
Mliller (Apostolic Faith Mission, Sandton, Rep. of South Africa); Rev. Japie Lapoorta
(Apostolic Faith Mission, Kuils River, Rep, of South Africa), Dr. Coleman Phillips
(International Church of the Foursquare Gospel, Escondido, CA, U.S.A.); and Dr. James
D. Jenkins (Church of God Cleveland, TN,Jackson, MS, U.S.A.).
Other participants included: Dr. Cecil M. Robeck, Jr. (Assemblies of God, Pasadena,
CA, U.S.A.); Dr. Miroslav Volf (Yugoslavian Pentecostal Church, Osijek, Yugoslavia);
Dr. Ronald Kydd (Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada, Keene, Ontario, Canada); Dr. Del
Tam (Assemblies of God Theological Seminary, Springfield, MI, U.S.A.); Dr. Vinson
Synan (Oral Roberts University, Pentecostal Holiness, Oklahoma City, OK, U.S.A.).
Rev. Chris Stathis (Church of God of Prophecy, An0 Glyfada, Greece) was delegated by
the Church of God of Prophecy (Cleveland, TN,U.S.A.) to serve as an official observer.
Dr. Cees van der Laan (Dutch Assemblies of God, Doom, The Netherlands) and Rev,
Luiz Carlos Pinto (International Church of the Foursquare Gospel, Campinas, Brazil)
were also officially delegated by their denominations. Dr. Edith Blumhofer (Assemblies
of God, Wheaton, IL, U.S.A.) and Rev. Paul Tinlin (Assemblies of God, Schaumburg,
DL, U.S.A.) attended the Dialogue as Pentecostal Observers.
Increased Pentecostal interest in the Dialogue may be seen in lhe growing number of
Pentecostal denominations who are sending official participants and observers to the
Other Roman Catholic participants included Msgr. John A. Radano (Pontifical Council
for Promoting Christian Unity, Vatican City); Rev. Heinz-Albert Raern, co-secretary
(Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, Vatican City); Prof. HervB Legrand,
O.P.(Institut Catholique, Paris, France); Rev. Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa, 0,F.M. Cap.
(Milan, Italy); Rev. John C. Haughey, S.J. (Loyola University, Chicago, IL, U.S.A.);
Rev. John Redford (Maryvale Institute, Birmingham, England); Sr. Helen Rolfson,
O.S.F. (St. John's University, Collegeville, MN,U.S.A.).
Contributors: J.D.P. = Jean-Daniel Pliiss; C.M.R. = Cecil M. Robeck Jr.;
hlt T h ~ l ~ l ~ w (ShillgW:
d h 4 V ~ r h gW. Kohlhamma,
1990), 240 s*
Wilfim K,Kay. Inside Story. (MnlleflW Mnttcracy Hall PuMlcatlons, 1991), 383 pp.
K. Kay, Prophecy! (Mntterscy, Lifcslrelun c Mntterscy Hnll Publicntluna,
Walter Kirchschlilger, Die [email protected] Rlrche: Elno blblische Rllckhit~nung,(~rnz:
Styria Verlag), 207 S,
David Petts, You'd Retter nelleva It. (hhttersey: Lifestroam
+ MatLcrst?y Rnll
Ludger Schenke, Dle Uruemelndle: Ge~chichtlichieund theolqischa Kntwlckl~mg,
(Stuttgart Verlag W, Kohlhmmer, X990), 360 S.
Leif Svensson, Den vlxande FOrsrmlinmn (bebm: Evangcliipress, n.d,), I67 pp,
FRANCE. RAYMOND PFISTER has taken his doctor's degree at the University of
Strassbourg with a thesis entitled: "Soixante ans de e en tech is me en Alsace" (Sixty
Years of Pentecostalism in the Alsace). The study covers the origins and the decline of
German-speaking Pentecostalism, the development of French-speaking and bilingual
Pentecostalism, the birth and growth of regional pluralist Pentecostalism and provides a
sociological analysis of Pentecostal leaders and the general orientalions of Penlccostals
in the Alsace. The work includes an important biography of the French Pentecostal
pioneers Paul and Rosa Siefer. It is the fast study of this kind about the subject and is
likely to be published in the near future.
PHILIPPE PLET recently defended his thesis entitled: " ~ ' ~ u t o r i tdans
Mouvemment Charismatique Contemporain en France" at the Sorbonne University in
Paris, obtaining a doctor's degree in Religious History. The study analyses the
mechanisms and structures of authority within the national Charismatic movement, It
contains a number of interviews with leaders of the movement and the laity, which are
analyzed in detail and compared with one another. Both Roman Catholic and Probslant
Charismatics are included. Philippe Plet comes to the conclusion that the charismatic
renewal may be original in some respects, but is essenlially comparable with other
revival and renewal movements in Christian history. (Correspondent: Evert Veldhuizen)
GERMANY. PHILIP and MARY MORRIS have been granted a year's leave-ofabsence from the European Bible Seminary in Rudersberg. The purpose of the leave is to
give them time to travel among the churches in the USA and raise their own financial
support. Funds which were formerly used to support them will then be freed to meet
other needs in the EBS budget. Upon their return, they will resume teaching at the
Seminary as well as leading the EBS Extension and Music Ministries.
Since coming to EBS in 1982, the Morrises have ministered in sixtcen countries of
Europe mainly through the EBS Extensions and choir lours by the EBS Singers. In
addition, Mary has served two years as director of the Maranathachor in Germany, and
Philip, who was chairmen of EPTA for two terms, is senting the church as chairman of
the European Education Committee. (Correspondent: Hubert Jurgensen)
GREAT BRITAIN. The THEOLOGICAL STREAM of the International Charismatic
Consultation on World Evangelisation in BRIGHTON met from July 9 - 12, 1991,
About 150 Pentecostal and Charismatic scholars constituted an unprecedented
assemblage of ecumenical breadth and international depth. The conciliar movement was
well represented with participants from the World Council of Churches, the National
Council of Churches of Christ USA, the Graymore Institute, Latin America Council of
Churches, Latin American Theological Fraternity, the International Roman
CatholiclPentecostal Dialogue, and the NCCUSA-Pentecostal Dialogue in addition to
other regional groups. With the exception of the lack of a pan-continental organisation in
Oceania-South Pacific, major continents were properly represented by the Society for
pentecostal Studies (North America), Latin America Pentecostal Encounter, Conference
on Pentecostal and Charismatic Research in Europe, Asian Charismatic Theological
Association, and the Association of Evangelicals of Africa and Madagascar, Other
organisations of some acclaim present included WEF,Lausanne, PFNA, PWC, and
EPTA. The eventual publication of papers from this conference should lay to rest a vast
array of myths which frequent established academic societies. Chief among them is the
complaint that serious scholarly work is absent from the movement. This conference
illustrates also why Pentecostalism is not properly classed as a subcategory of
Evangelicalism and that many Charismatics are not accurately described as Protestants.
Concrete evidence of social awareness was demonstrated by the input of the Relevant
Pentecostal Witness about transforming South Africa into a post-apartheid society.
Orthodox participation evoked the possibility of setting up an Orthodox-Pentecostal
dialogue. Professor Jan A.B. Jongeneel told of the eventual formation of an endowed
chair for Pentecostalism at Utrecht University, Announced also was a forthcoming
scholarly Pentecostal journal and monograph series from the University of Sheffield. An
EPLA conference slated to convene in Brazil late in 1992 mentioned joint sponsorship
by the WCC and CLAI. The opening session featured Dr. George Carey, Archbishop of
Canterbury and Professor JUrgen Moltmann. Their contribution alongside many other
valuable sessions encourage the organisers to believe that this network of Pentecostal
and Charismatic scholars must stay alive. (Correspondent: Harold D. Hunter)
DAVID ALLEN was recently awarded a Ph.D. from the University of London. His
thesis is entitled "Signs and Wonders: The Origins, Growth, Development and
Significance of the Assemblies of God in Great Britain and Ireland 1900 - 1980."
ELM BIBLE COLLEGE is happy to announce that Siegfrid SCHATZMANN and his
wife Magdalena are joining the faculty this fall. Siegfried Schatzmann gained his Ph.D.
at Oral Roberts University with a thesis entitled "The Pauline Concept of Charismata in
the Light of Recent Critical Literature." Previous to his coming to Elim he was professor
of New Testament at Oral Roberts University.
VERNON RALPHS (Matkrsey Hall, Mattersey, DNlO 5HD) gained an M.Th. from the
University of Notlingham this year and is proceeding on to a Ph.D. His thesis is entilled
"The Pauline Concepts of Faith, Hope and Love, especially in the context of 1
Corinthians 12-14." We would appreciate comments and observations.
The British Assemblies of God have made a decision to re-enler the publishing business
after an interval of many years. The new imprint is called "Lifestream" and will deal
with general books for the Christian market, However, alongside "Lifestream", is
another publishing division named "Mallersey Hall Publishing." See: Recent
Publicalions in this issue for the first titles from this publishing venture. (Correspondent:
The EUROPEAN PENTECOSTAL THEOLOGICAL
ASSOCIATION met at Osijek, April 2-5, 1991, for its 13th Annual Conference. It was
the first time that such a meeting was held in Eastern Europe and providcd a new
opportunity for the participants to deepen 'contacts, gain insights and communicate about
the new situation in the East.
A major emphasis was given to the problems and promises of Bible school education in
Eastern Europe with reports given from Romania, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Bulgaria and
the Soviet Union. The EPTA "Eastern Europe Partnership Programme" is providing
scholarships, visiting teachers, theological books and financial support in this respect,
Papers on Christian Social Responsibility and on the Trinity were presenled by Matthias
Wenk and Julian Ward (see this and the coming issue of the EPTA Bullelin).
New officers were elected at the business meeting: Malcolm Halhaway (GB), chairman;
Jozef Brenkus (CZ), vice-chairman; John Cooke (S), secretary/lrcasurcr. Apprecialion
was expressed to Connie Karsten (NL) and Philip Morris (D)for their much appreciated
executive services to EPTA. The venue of the 1992 EPTA Conference was chosen lo be
E l i Bible College, England. The meeting will be held form the 20th - 24th July 1992,
(Correspondents: Huibert Zegwaarl and Jean-Daniel PIUss)