Brian Pipkin’s and Jay Beaman’s new book documents some of the pacifist and social justice convictions of early Pentecostals, many of whom were called traitors, slackers, cranks, and weak-minded people for extending Jesus’ love beyond racial, ethnic, and national boundaries.
They wrestled with citizenship and Jesus’ prohibitions on killing.
They rejected nation-worship, war profiteering, wage slavery, patriotic indoctrination, militarism, and Wall Street politics–and many suffered for it.
They criticized governments and churches that, in wartime, endorsed the very thing forbidden in their sacred book and civil laws.
They recognized the dangers of loving your country too much, even more than Jesus and his words, and viewed nation-loyalty as a distraction from a higher and more inclusive loyalty–devotion to God.
These articles, once accessible only to academics, are now available to the public. These voices, often forgotten within today’s mainstream Pentecostal history, offer an opportunity to revisit the passions of early Pentecostal leaders and to examine Pentecostalism in fresh ways.
Voices about the book:
“When you think of Christians committed to peace and social justice, Pentecostals may not be the first folks who come to mind. But this book is about to blow your mind and shatter your stereotypes. These authors are Pentecostal insiders, and they know their history. Here is a book that shows that not only are peace and social justice compatible with Pentecostalism, they are inseparable from it.”
– Shane Claiborne, author and activist
“This edited collection brings together texts that illustrate how a significant number of early Pentecostals criticized instances of institutionalized violence and reflected on various themes surrounding social justice that are still familiar to twenty-first-century readers. These texts were often controversial, some of their assumptions are problematic and rather reactionary, but in the main they provoke necessary reflections for contemporary Christian communities. Presented together, they also constitute a valuable resource for those wishing to study the many writings of early Pentecostal on nonviolence.”
– Alexandre Christoyannopoulos, author of Christian Anarchism
“This timely witness to nonviolent peacemaking is a most welcome resource when violence is everywhere around us and ‘terror is on every side.’ This wide selection of testimony speaks urgently against the long-standing and current illusion of US morality in international affairs. The editors have patiently sorted out valuable and often forgotten voices of courageous truth-telling, not least Frank Bartleman. This choir of witnesses has an immediacy and practicality for our time and place in our season of faith.”
– Walter Brueggemann, Columbia Theological Seminary