IS ANGLICANISM EXTRANEOUS TO PENTECOSTALISM by Bishop Dr. J. Akin Atere

A TALK DELIVERED AT THE DIOCESE OF IJEBU SOUTH WEST CLERGY SCHOOL HELD AT P. A. F. ABEOKUTA ON JULY 2ND, 2015 AT 11AM.

 

TOPIC: IS ANGLICANISM EXTRANEOUS TO PENTECOSTALISM

I say it emphatically without iota of reservation that Anglicanism is not in any way extraneous to Pentecostalism. The word “extraneous” is synonymous to irrelevant, unrelated, unconnected, not pertinent, superfluous, not on the subject, inappropriate and off the point. None of these words is appropriate to describe the belief of the Anglican Church on the subject of Pentecostalism. Anglicanism in all forms embraces Pentecostalism. Every Bible believing Church is a product of Pentecostalism, Anglican Church is not an exception. It must be noted that no one can claim monopoly of Pentecostalism.

In the course of this school, a lot had been said on Anglicanism but for the purpose of this lecture, it is expedient that I also define it. That is to say that Anglicanism is a tradition within Christianity comprising the Church of England and churches which are historically tied to it or hold similar beliefs, worship practices and church structures. As an adjective, “Anglican” is used to describe the people, institutions and churches, as well as the liturgical traditions and theological concepts, developed by the Church of England. As a noun, an Anglican is a member of a church in the Anglican Communion. Adherents of Anglicanism are called Anglicans. Anglicans found their faith on the Bible, traditions of the apostles through, apostolic succession (“historic episcopate”), and writings of the Church Fathers.  Anglicans understand the Old and New Testaments as “containing all things necessary for salvation” and as being the rule and ultimate standard of faith. ‘Reason’ and ‘Tradition’ are seen as valuable means to interpret Scripture (a position first formulated in detail by Richard Hooker).

Exclusive to Anglicanism is the Book of Common Prayer (BCP), the collection of services that worshippers in most Anglican churches used for centuries. It was called common prayer originally because it was intended for use in all Church of England churches which had previously followed differing local liturgies. The term was kept when the church became international and the book was adopted by all Anglican family throughout the whole world.

The belief of the Anglicans is contained in the Book of Common Prayer, which is an encyclopedia of statements that are strongly connected with the BIBLE. While the Book of Common Prayer has since undergone many revisions, Anglican churches in different countries have developed other service books. But the Prayer Book is still acknowledged as one of the ties that bind the Anglican Communion together. For the purpose of this lecture, we shall extract aspects that speak about the belief of the Anglican Church on the subject of the Holy Spirit, other materials are the creeds, the catechism, and the 39 articles of religion. It is an undisputed fact that the writers and compilers of the book of common prayer, Creed, catechism and 39 Articles of faith were guided by the Holy Spirit. This is because every part is relevant to every generation.

What is Pentecostalism? The Christian movement called Pentecostalism derives its name from the event of Pentecost (the Greek name for the Jewish Feast of Weeks). For Christians, this event commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the followers of Jesus Christ, as described in the second chapter of the Book of Acts. Pentecostals believe that when a believer is “baptized in the Holy Spirit”, the gifts of the Spirit (also called the charismata) are activated in the recipient to edify the body of Christ, the church. Some of these gifts are listed in 1 Corinthians 12.:3-20. All these gifts are present and active in the Anglican  churches especially in this 21st century.

Pentecost speaks of Holy Ghost Power. One consistent manifestation of that Pentecostal power then and now is divine healings. Illustrations of such supernatural healings can be found throughout the Book of Acts in the time subsequent to the Acts 2 Pentecost (for example, Acts 3:6-8, Acts 5:16, Acts 8:5-7, Acts 9:33-34, Acts 14:8-10, Acts 19:11-12, Acts 28:8-9). Yet healing is just one out of numerous numbers of Gifts of the Spirit, that are available after the baptism with the Holy Spirit. First, is Baptism (Admission).

Every Christian is wise (and biblical) to seek his/her  own personal baptism with the Holy Spirit. At Salvation you are ‘Born’ of the Holy Spirit. At Pentecost you are ‘filled’ with the Holy Spirit. The main subject of Pentecostalism is HOLY SPIRIT. Wherever He is present is pentecostal. Another area of emphasy is the question of speaking in Tongues. Pentecostal emphasis on this again “speak in another TONGUES.” The same initial evidence of speaking in tongues occurs in Acts 10:44-46, in Acts 19:1-6, and in the Apostle Paul’s life (First Corinthians  14:18). It was  the same experience received by the first 120 at Pentecost (compare Acts 2:1-4 with Acts 11:15-17) “as the Spirit Enabled them” – the  baptism with the Holy Spirit plunges you into the realm of the supernatural, the realm in which  the Holy Spirit moves through you with His power and begins to manifest spiritual  gifts in your life and ministry. Acts 2:36-39 “therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has ,made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ,” When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?”  peter replied , REPENT and  be BAPTIZED everyone of you, in the  name of  Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off – for All whom the Lord our God will call.” Peter’s Spirit anointed sermon on the Day of Pentecost adds some insights and reinforces others we have seen. This shows that, the evidence of Pentecostal Church is shown in the power of the word of God to bring people to the body of Christ. Correct dissemination of the word makes Anglican Church the best of the Pentecostal Church.

The baptism with the Holy Spirit is part of a total package for the Christian repentance, water baptism and the baptism with the Spirit. The emphasy of Anglican teachings and preaching centered on Salvation, which required repentance and not coming back to sin. Certainly this message is hard to take unlike the prosperity message that erroneously claimed as pentecostal

The doctrine of the Anglican Church is mix of Catholicism and Protestant Reformation theology. The Apostles’ Creed and Nicene Creed are authoritative declarations of belief for the Anglican Church and are typically recited in worship services, because Anglican is Doctrinal and liturgical.

Let’s now examine the belief of the Anglicans on the subject of the Holy Spirit in relation to the bible as contained in the Book Of Common Prayer, Creeds, the Articles of Religion and Catechism.

An extract from the Book of Common Prayer, Church of Nigeria Anglican Communion (New liturgy) Pages 485 – 486 questions 57 – 61.

God The Holy Spirit

  1. Who is the Holy Spirit?
  2. The Holy Spirit is the Third Person of the Trinity, God at work in the world and in the Church even now. (John 14:26; 15:26).
  3. How is the Holy Spirit revealed in the Old Covenant?
  4. The Holy Spirit is revealed in the Old Covenant as the giver of life, the One who spoke through the prophets. (Genesis 1:2; Psalm 33:6; 104:30)
  5. How is the Holy Spirit revealed in the New Covenant?
  6. The Holy Spirit is revealed as the Lord who leads us into all truth and enables us to grow in the likeness of Christ. (Joh. 16:13; Acts 8:39; 1 Cor. 2:13; 1 John 2:27)
  7. How do we recognize the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives?
  8. We recognize the presence of the Holy Spirit when we confess Jesus Christ as Lord and are brought into love and harmony with God, with ourselves, with our neighbours, and with all creation (Joh. 3:5,6; 1 John 5:4; Tit. 3:5; Jas. 1:18; 1 Pet. 1:3)
  9. How do we recognize the truths taught by the Holy Spirit?
  10. We recognize truths taught by the Holy Spirit when they are in accord with the Scriptures. (2 Tim. 3:16; 2 Pet. 1:21)

The Apostles’ & Nicene Creed on “Holy Spirit”

In Christian terminology a creed is a statement of beliefs. Creed summarizes the beliefs of the Anglicans.  The oldest of these formal Creeds is the Apostles’ Creed.  Despite the name, there is no evidence that it was written by any of the Apostles; the title indicates that the principles stated were believed by the Apostles and therefore should be believed by all Christians.

The other Creed that is frequently used is the Nicene Creed, which was formulated at the Council of Nicea in 325 A.D.  Basically, it slightly expands on the Apostles’ Creed; for instance, instead of beginning “I believe in God” the Nicene Creed begins “We believe in one God”.

Every Christian must understand what Christianity teaches, it is therefore compulsory that a minister in Anglican Church should know and understand the meaning of each phrase of the confession in the Creed and See if he is leading Pentecostal church. There are three principal characters in any of the creeds. The Father-God, Son – Jesus, and Holy Spirit.

THE APOSTLES’ CREED

I BELIEVE in God (Isaiah 44:6; 45:5) the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth: (Genesis 1:1; John 1:1-3; Acts 14:15)

And in Jesus Christ (Luke 2:11; John 20:28) His only Son(John 3:16; Proverbs 30:4) our Lord, (John 20:28) Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, (Luke 1:35) Born of the Virgin (Luke 1:27) Mary, Suffered under Pontius Pilate, (Luke 23:23-25) Was crucified, (John 19:20; Acts 4:10) dead, (1 Corinthians 15:3) and buried: (1 Corinthians 15:4) he descended into hell: (1 Peter 3:18; Luke 23:43) the third day (1 Corinthians 15:4) he rose again from the dead; (1 Corinthians 15:4) he ascended into heaven, (Mark 16:19; Luke 24:51, Acts 1:11) And sitteth at the right hand of God (Mark 16:19; Hebrews 1:3) the Father Almighty; From thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead. (2 Timothy 4:1; John 5:22)

I believe in the Holy Spirit; (John 15:26; 16:7-8, 13-14; Acts 13:2)  The Holy Catholick Church; (Galatians 3:26-29) the communion of Saint; (Revelation 19:14; Hebrews 10:25) The forgiveness of sin: (Luke 7:48) The Resurrection of the body, (1 Thessalonians 4:16; John 6:39) And the life everlasting. (John 10:28; 17:2-3). All the above three personalities were present at the birth of the Church at Pentecost. There are some so called Pentecostal churches who does not believe in Trinity or the Godhead. Who then is Pentecostal?

THE NICENE CREED

We believe in one God, (Mark 12:29, 12:32, Ephesians 4:6) the Father, the Almighty, (2 Corinthians 6:18) maker of heaven and earth, (Genesis 1:1, Revelation 4:11) of all that is seen and unseen. (Colossians 1:16, Hebrews 11:3)

We believe in one Lord Jesus Christ, (1 Corinthians 8:6, Ephesians 4:5) the Only Begotten Son of God, (John 3:16) eternally begotten of the Father. (Colossians 1:15, 1:17) God from God (John 1:1-2), Light from Light, (John 1:4, 1:9, 2 Corinthians 4:6, Hebrews 1:3) true God from true God, (1 John 5:20) begotten, not made (John 1:18), of one being with the Father (cf. 1 John 1:5 & John 1:4, 1:9);  through him all things were made (John 1:3, 1:10, Colossians 1:16, 1 Corinthians 8:6, Romans 11:36, Hebrews 1:10). For us men and for our salvation (Matthew 1:21, 1 Thessalonians 5:9, Colossians 1:13-14) he came down from heaven, (John 3:13, 3:31, 6:38) by the Holy Spirit He became incarnate of the Virgin Mary (Luke 1:34-35), and was made man (John 1:14, Hebrews 2:14).

For our sake he was crucified (1 Peter 2:24) under Pontius Pilate (Mark 15:15),  he suffered death (Matthew 27:50) and was buried, (Matthew 27:59-60) on the third day, He rose again (Mark 9:31, 16:9, Acts 10:40) in accordance with the Scriptures (Luke 24:45-46, 1 Corinthians 15:3-4). He ascended into heaven (Acts 1:9) and is seated at the right hand of the Father (Mark 16:19, Luke 22:69). He will come again in glory (Mark 13:26, John 14:3, 1 Thessalonians 4:17) to judge the living and the dead (Matthew 16:27, 2 Corinthians 5:10, 2 Timothy 4:1, 1 Peter 4:5) and his kingdom will have no end (Hebrews 1:8, 2 Peter 1:11).

We believe in the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8), the Lord, the giver of life, (John 6:63, 2 Corinthians 3:6) who proceeds from the Father (John 15:26) and the Son (John 16:7), with the Father and the Son is worshipped and glorified, (2 Corinthians 3:8) He has spoken through the prophets (1 Peter 1:10 11, Ephesians 3:5).

We believe in one (Ephesians 4:4), holy (Ephesians 1:4, 5:27), catholic (Matthew 28:19, Acts 1:8) and apostolic (Ephesians 2:20) Church (Matthew 16:18, Romans 12:4-5, 1 Corinthians 10:17). We acknowledge one baptism (Ephesians 4:5, Galatians 3:27, 1 Corinthians 12:13) for the forgiveness of sins (Colossians 2:12-13, Acts 22:16) and we look for the resurrection of the dead (Romans 6:4-5, 1 Thessalonians 4:16) and the life of the world to come (2 Peter 3:13, Revelation 21:1). Amen.

THE ARTICLES OF RELIGION

“The Articles of Religion” is one of the expressions of how Anglicans understand our Christian faith. The Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion is the historically defining statements of doctrines of the Church of England with respect to the controversies of the English Reformation. First established in 1563, the articles served to define the doctrine of the Church of England as it related to Calvinist doctrine and Roman Catholic practice. The full name for the articles is commonly abbreviated as the Thirty-Nine Articles or the XXXIX Articles.

Articles 5

Of the Holy Ghost.

The Holy Ghost, proceeding from the Father and the Son, (John 15:26; 16:7) is of one substance, majesty, and glory, with the Father and the Son, very and eternal God.  (Heb. 9:14; Psalm 139:7-13; 1 Cor. 2:10; Luk. 1:35; Rom. 15:19)

The Anglican Church believes in the Personality of the Holy Spirit and all that is taught about Him in the Bible which I think is the whole essence of Pentecostalism. As a Pentecostal church, we believe like all genuine other churches that the Holy Spirit which came at the day of Pentecost manifest in the following status:

– He creates and gives life Job 33:4

– He appoints and commissions ministers Isa. 48:16; Acts 13:2; 20:28

– He directs ministers where to preach Acts 8:29; 10:19,20

– He directs ministers where not to preach Acts 16:6,7

– He instructs ministers what to preach 1Cor. 2:13

– He spoke in, and by, the prophets Acts 1:16; 1 Pet. 1:11,12; 2 Pet. 1:21

– He strives with sinners Gen. 6:3

– He reproves John 16:8

– He comforts Acts 9:31

– He helps our infirmities Romans 8:26

– He teaches Joh. 14:26; 1 Cor. 12:3

– He guides John 16:13

– He sanctifies Romans 15:16; 1 Cor. 6:11

– He testifies of Christ Joh. 15:26

– He glorifies Christ Joh. 16:14

– He has a power of his own Rom. 15:13

– He searches all things Rom. 11:33,34; 1 Cor. 2:10,11

– He works according to his own will 1 Cor. 12:11

– He dwells with saints Joh. 14:17

– He can be grieved Eph. 4:30

– He can be vexed Isa. 63:10

– He can be resisted Acts 7:51

– He can be tempted Acts 5:9    etc

DEALING WITH WRONG DOCTRINES OF “THE PENTECOSTALS”

Jesus warned, “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravening wolves” (Matthew 7:15). False teachers do exist (2 Peter 2:1), and the ideas they advocate are dangerous. Therefore, the Anglican Church disagrees in all forms with any person or group, be it denomination or organization or sect that teaches wrong doctrines about the person of the Holy Spirit such as:

Holy Spirit Is Not a Person

One of the most fundamental errors regarding the Holy Spirit is the tendency of some cults to deny his very personality. A Watchtower publication asserts that the Holy Spirit is the active force of God. It is not a person but is a powerful force that God causes to emanate from himself to accomplish his holy will (Reasoning from the Scriptures 1985, 81).

Mary Baker Eddy, founder of “Christian Science,” characterized the third person of the Trinity as “Divine Science” (n.d., 55). Parley Pratt, one of Mormonism’s original “apostles,” once described the Holy Spirit as a force like “magnetism” or “electricity.” He further spoke of the Spirit as “a divine fluid” and “impersonal energy” (see Jackson 1993, 26). Each of these notions is quite foreign to the truth. The Holy Spirit is a divine person.

In today’s world, people are a little less reluctant to bring dishonor on the name of God and the name of Christ, but they think they have a free run at dishonoring and abusing the Holy Spirit, apparently, because so much of that goes on.  I am not capable of defending the Holy Spirit; He can defend Himself.  But I want to let all Christians, especially Anglican clergy men that reproaches that are falling on God’s holy name are falling on us as well, and mostly this comes in the professing church from Pentecostals and Charismatics who feel they have free license to abuse the Holy Spirit and even blaspheme His holy name – and they do it constantly.

How do they do it?  By attributing to the Holy Spirit words that He didn’t say, deeds that He didn’t do, and experiences that He didn’t produce, attributing to the Holy Spirit that which is not the work of the Holy Spirit.  Endless human experiences, emotional experiences, strange experiences, and demonic experiences are said to come from the Holy Spirit.  Visions, revelations, voices from heaven, messages from the Spirit through transcendental means, dreams, speaking in tongues, prophecies, out-of-body experiences, trip to heaven, anointing, miracles – all false, all lies, all deceptions – attributed falsely to the Holy Spirit. They establish “school of the Holy Spirit” where they train people on how to speak in tongues and dramatize the activities of the Holy Spirit.

It is open season on abusing the Holy Spirit, outrageous dishonor of the Holy Spirit, claiming He is saying things and doing things and generating things that have nothing to do with the Holy Spirit at all.  It is a reckless kind of movement.  It is a shameful and dangerous sin to heap such abuse on the Holy Spirit.  In fact, the idea of bringing dishonor on the Holy Spirit ought to make any thinking person tremble.  People seem less interested, in claiming that God is doing certain things or saying certain things or that Christ is doing things or saying certain things than they are at saying the Holy Spirit did this, the Holy Spirit said this, the Holy Spirit is producing and generating this, that there just seems to be no restraint on the things that are blamed on the Holy Spirit. All these are not the real Pentecostalism. Pentecostalism agrees with the God of the Bible and would do every possible thing to protect His name from being reproached.

Unfortunately, some of us “Anglican ministers” has joined in this act, trying to emulate a wrong and false doctrine in order to be like them. Pentecostalism is not measure or synonymous to agility, diction, flamboyancy, noise, miracles signs and wonders, etc. But more of faith, love, discipline, orderly, care for the flock, right teaching/doctrine, decency, etc. Anglican Church ministers are very proud of these qualities. After the experience at Pentecost; How many of the Apostles lived a life our so called Pentecostal ministers are living today. Some of what we see today are demonic manifestations.

CONCLUSION

Now that almost everybody seems to believe in the counterfeit demonstrations of Pentecostalism, let those of us who are learned, trained, cultured and grounded in the scriptures rise to the challenge of our time. Anglican Church is the standard of Christianity, we possess the original, other denominations are looking unto us for answer, and they know we are disciplined when it comes to the practice of the scriptures. The acclaimed Pentecostals look down on us because some of us are not just spiritual; there is no distinction between us and the world. It is high time to rise, and exhibit the right lifestyle of the Holy Spirit in order to silence the erroneous teachings around us invented to jeopardize our Christian faith. It is not time to keep quiet, but it is a ripe time to present the original to the world by teaching the undiluted Word of God with our words and deeds.

 

It is a pity that some of us have descended so low to join the wave of wrong teachings presented by the so call “Pentecostals”. We speak in tongues without the experience of the Holy Spirit baptism; we erroneously use the Spirit to manipulate our members. Some of us are professional fire extinguisher, we hinder the move of the Holy Spirit, make jest of those exhibiting the true character of the Spirit because we refused to allow Him take over our lives. Those of us who have lost focus on the real identity of the Holy Spirit should as a matter of urgency re-focus on the Bible. Those who are yet to start operating under the influence of the Holy Spirit, should surrender to His authority, and let the world know that truly the Holy Spirit is a person and resides in those who give Him a chance. You can’t give what you don’t have.

Clergymen and all Anglicans, we own the Bible, we preach the Gospel, we believe the bible, we practice the bible, and we are the authentic Pentecostal.

 

Remain blessed in Jesus name.

 

Rt. Revd. Dr. J. Akin Atere

Awori Dicoese