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March 23, 2007


Excellent topic Shane, and might I say, an excellent article! I thoroughly enjoyed it.
I would encourage all readers of this topic and especially those wanting to comment to get a copy of the article to read in its entirety to be able to see the logic of Shane's argument in full. the topic at hand.
While I consider the 'traditional biblical debates' on this topic to certainly be of great importance, I agree totally with your desire to avoid those specific arguments in this topic to be able to discuss the matter from a different angle.
It is with this in mind that I submit my questions to you for you to decide whether they will be diving off on an unhelpful tangent at this stage.
You have stated that "The universal expectation of baptism in the Spirit for people of all genders, races, classes, and intelligences actually makes the pentecostal position thoroughly opposed to any elitism."
To this statement I say "yes" and "amen!"
However you also state that the doctrine has certainly been understood and used by some to support an elitist understanding that denies the Spirit to those who do not claim this experience.
Although you state that "...the specific declaration that the baptism in the Spirit is distinct from and subsequent to salvation can be read as an affirmation of the spirituality of all Christians, since salvation is a work of the Spirit," this is precisely the point of confusion, and hence the basis of my questions.
What exactly is THE 'Pentecostal' view of the Spirit at work in believers who do not claim the pentecostal experience of the 'baptism of the Spirit?'
It is my experience that many people on all sides of the debate find it difficult to articulate exactly what it means to 'recieve the Spirit' at salvation, but then again to 'receive the Spirit' as a second and subsequent experience (usually) after salvation.
Taking it a little further, many would probably answer this question by stating that at salvation a believer recieves the Spirit for salvation and the ongoing process of sanctification, and then receives the Spirit as empowerment for mission in this second and subsequent experience.
It seems interesting to me to affirm this, however, because it is my understanding that the pentecostal movement has at least some roots in the holiness movement which, as I understand it (and please correct me if I'm wrong), saw the 'second blessing' in the Wesleyan tradition as the 'empowerment' for sanctification.
Is there a specific point in time when the focus shifted from empowerment for sanctification to empowerment for mission?
In any case, I do submit these questions to you to decide whether at this point they may be unhelpful or liable to lead us away from the discussion you have in mind at this point.


Sorry...the above post was from Joshua Dowton

Cameron Thompson

Loved the post Shane, looking forward to readind the next one.
I think it is so important that we have a solid understanding of where we ourselves stand, before we attempt to talk to other Christians anything. In any ecumenical, (pr inter-religious) dialogue, each of the parties need to be faithful to their own tradition and experience for a real exchange to take place.
I would have to agree that I have witnessed some forms of elitism in regard to the baptism, not just against other denominations, but against people within our own churches. I doubt that it is intentional, but there can definitely be a tension experienced for people who don't receive the baptism when it seems that others all around them do. It is precisely the expectation that all should receive it that seems to lead to this tension. How do pastors deal with this in their churches, when they preach, expect and read in the scriptures one thing, and see something else in actuality in their congregations?


I Love you girls



It is elitism, if you judge others, even within your church. God knows the heart, but this elitism places emphasis on a physical action, which I define as legalism, and is a "requirement" for salvation, when Christ already paid the price for our salvation/sanctification.
The trouble with putting requirements on people is they start to measure themselves against their neighbors, and may feel either insignificant or superior, and this is not what God's will is. If you have faith and believe, that is enough. Live to please God, not just Man. There is freedom and liberty in knowing you are saved,and not questioning it all the time, due to someone else's judgment of you.You must have peace between God and yourself, first, then all else will fall into place.


Thanks for raising this issue.
I have been involved in the ministry of praying (lying hands) to believers to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit now for over ten years. The experience differs from person to person. Some will receive even before you minister while others may not receive at all. This should not be seen as elitism as God gives as He wills and we may not fully understand why it works that way. What I think need to be done is to have the congregation properly taught on these things and to fully understand from the early churches experience what to expect and what the Lord expects from them. You may also agree that not every body is able or willing to take the responsibility that come with this empowerment.
My understanding is that this is not a requirement for salvation, nor a requirement for ministry. The experience has however made my salvation easier and ministry a pleasure. We need to encourage every one to desire the infilling of the Holy Spirit.


Hi Caxton,
I have a few questions for you.
Firstly, you say "some will receive even before you minister while others may not receive at all."
Can you outline for me how you know if someone has received the baptism of the Holy Spirit? Traditionally pentecostals have pointed towards the 'evidence' of speaking in other tongues as THE proof that someone has received. Is this what you are talking about, or are there other 'evidences'? How accurate are any of these 'evidences'?
Secondly, you state that what needs to be done is "to have the congregation properly taught on these things and to fully understand from the early church's experience what to expect and what the Lord expects from them."
Can you outline for me:
a) the proper teaching
b) the early church's experience, and
c) what the Lord does expect from someone who has had the experience.
And finally you state "The experience has however made my slavation easier..."
Can you 'flesh out' for me what you mean by this?
Sorry for all the questions but I look forward to your response.


I can apreciate the need for forums on doctrine and realize that there is a need to be taught by others as i have been. at a certain point we should turn to the source of the word not the professer of it.for scipture says we are to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling.


My brother-in-law is a non-denominational, Charismatic pastor. His church, and his beliefs, take their roots from Pentecostal tent-revivalists.

He encourages his parishioners to partake of water baptism (but, of course, holds to the belief that it is symbolic ritual only), and then encourages another, second baptism (in the Holy Spirit)--of which he then explains is not necessary for salvation.

In conclusion, it would seem that Christ's call for one baptism has been divided up into two, within Pentecostalism. To worsen matters, neither one of them is necessary, whilst the Scriptures say otherwise. So, why bother at all? If no one is held to the doctrine, then what is its importance?

My brother-in-law says that, for those already saved, even the Baptism in the Holy Spirit (the gifts of the Holy Spirit and their receipt), is OPTIONAL. Doesn't that sort of render the doctrine useless and relatively void?

Basically, all are called to partake, but no one is bound to actually do so. A gift is offered, and there are saved people who would forfeit it? Seems a pointless doctrinal belief.

It's still listed in his community's creedo (We believe in the Baptism of the Holy Spirit). We believe, but we don't necessarily have to do anything at all beyond a verbal (and heart-felt) profession for Christ (which most all Christians can also claim).

Very peculiar sort of theology and profession of faith.

David Tinberg

I question if the "All the doctrine is saying is that there is another dimension of the Spirit available, labelled by pentecostals as baptism in the Spirit in appropriation of the biblical language of John and Luke/Acts, associated with (or evidenced by) the gift of tongues." Jesus told his disciples to wait for the B/HS before doing ministry. Is that "other dimension" that is available an option for emotional and expressive worshippers, spiriutally hungry folk with a desire to press in, OR is it an essential dimension without which all other ministry is deficient?


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