The Holy Spirit: Does GCI Reject Pentecostal Churches?

Comment: Some church members liked our interview with Hank Hanegraaff. Other members, however, feel that the contents of those articles to be contradictory to our friendship with churches that practice tongue-speaking. Some of those churches also have slaying in the Spirit, holy laughter, crying, moaning and barking. Haven’t these practices (with the possible exception of tongues) been denounced by Hank Hanegraaff and others as unbiblical?

Response: Most charismatic churches believe in and practice the gift of tongues. However, they are not all alike. The degree of pentecostalism varies from congregation to congregation. Some Pentecostal pastors do not accept practices such as being slain in the Spirit, holy laughter, etc. Although these “manifestations” happen in some Pentecostal churches, their denominational headquarters do not also encourage or emphasize them. Simply because a minority of members in a denomination are teaching or practicing something, it doesn’t mean that every church in that denomination is in favor of it.

The Four Square Gospel church would generally be regarded as a “moderate” pentecostal group — not affiliated with the Toronto blessing or the Pensacola revival. Four Square has an orthodox statement of faith. Unlike well-known word of faith teachers like Kenneth Hagin, Kenneth Copeland and Benny Hinn, Four Square does not teach that we are little gods, that Christ had to go to hell to make atonement for our sins, etc.

We do not condemn the gift of tongues, but we do not encourage it in our worship services. If a member has that gift, we would see it primarily as a “prayer language.” We do not foresee any place in our worship services for manifestations such as holy laughter, barking or being slain in the Spirit.

Further, our interview with someone does not endorse everything else they happen to say.


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