The Election and Pentecostal/Charismatics

According to a 2011 Pew Forum survey, there are twice as many Pentecostal and Charismatic Christians in the world as there are Evangelicals. An earlier Barna survey notes that in the U.S., as many as a quarter of U.S. Christians identify as Pentecostal or Charismatic.

There is a wide range of practice among these brothers and sister. Some attend Assemblies of God congregations or unaffiliated independent Charismatic churches; others belong to Evangelical, mainline Protestant or Catholic churches but keep their Pentecostal fires burning by attending Charismatic conferences or prayer meetings “on the side”.

Though it’s been years since my husband and I were a part of Vineyard and other Third Wave Charismatic congregations, we still have a number of friends who are actively involved in the Charismatic world. They are evenly divided between those who attend Pentecostal or Charismatic churches and those who attend non-denomination or mainline churches and “supplement” their spiritual diets with conferences, seminars, and books with the offerings of ministries like the Mike Bickel-helmed International House of Prayer or Bill Johnson’s Bethel Church.

During and after the recent Presidential election, the polls I read didn’t measure Pentecostals and Charismatic voters as separate groups. They were counted via the banner of the church affiliation (Evangelical, Mainline, Catholic). It’s probably a fair statement to say Charismatic and Pentecostal believers were a sizable number of the 81% of self-identified Evangelicals who voted for Trump.

Early in the election cycle, many of my Charismatic and Pentecostal friends supported conservative Tea Party candidates like Ted Cruz, but it wasn’t long before the support of many teachers and those offering prophetic “Thus saith the Lord” imprimateur. These words from Jeremiah Johnson from July, 2015 capture the flavor of many of the pre-election messages given by those recognized as prophets within this stream of the church: [Read more]

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