Charismatic vs Pentecostal

Jay Forrest

The Anglican middle way embraces Orthodox and Charismatic tendencies. But it is not Pentecostal. Let me explain.

Both Pentecostals and Charismatics believe in an infilling of the Holy Spirit that takes place sometime after conversion. This infilling is sometimes also called the baptism in the Holy Spirit, the enduement of power, and charismation (Acts 2:4). It is at the point of this infilling that one receives the spiritual gifts and anointing from God (Acts 1:8). 

Many people mistakenly assume that Charismatics are Pentecostal. But there is historically a difference between these two labels. 

Pentecostals insist that speaking in tongues is the initial physical evidence of the baptism in the Holy Spirit. If you don't speak in tongues, you don't have the baptism in the Holy Spirit. Charismatics would say that such a requirement is unbiblical and that any spiritual gift may serve as evidence that one has been anointed and infilled by the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:30).

Some may wonder if Charismatics would consider themselves Full Gospel. Most would consider themselves such, but still avoid the term. For some people, the term Full Gospel has an arrogant sound to it. It says we have the Full Gospel, while your Gospel is not full. 

In fact, I would argue that many churches that call themselves Full Gospel are not full at all. I would like to believe that the Episcopal Church has all the truth, but I know better. No church has all the truth, truth is too big for any one church. This should keep us humble and teachable.

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Jay N. Forrest is an Anglican mystic pursuing God through prayer, meditation, simplicity, solitude, and silence. He is the author of The Deeper Life: Finding God on the Mystic Path.

Jay N. Forrest was an ordained Pentecostal minister for over two decades. He earned his doctorate of ministry degree from Trinity Evangelical Christian University. He has deeply explored many philosophical and religious traditions and is certified to teach mindfulness meditation.

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