All posts by Micael Grenholm

Writer, speaker and charismactivist residing in Falcopia, Sweden. Doctoral student of church history. Love revival, peace, justice and evangelism.

Why Most Pentecostals Around the World are Progressive

When sociologists Donald E. Miller and Tetsunao Yamamori decided to study indigenous churches with active social programs in the developing world, they were astounded to find that the overwhelming majority of them were Pentecostal or charismatic. They studied the dynamic of Pentecostal social engagement further in their book Global Pentecostalism: The New Face of Christian Social Engagement in which the coined the term “Progressive Pentecostal”. PCPJ’s Micael Grenholm asked Dr. Miller to expand on their findings in an email interview.

don-miller
Donald E. Miller

What does it mean to be a “Progressive Pentecostal”?

The stereotype about Pentecostals is that they are focused exclusively on salvation and not social transformation. In our research, this was a false dichotomy since we encountered many Pentecostal and charismatic congregations that were engaged with their local community, addressing issues related to poverty, drug addiction, mental illness, corruption, etc. It is relatively rare that Pentecostals are addressing social policy issues at a political level and, unfortunately, they have sometimes supported right-wing dictators.   Continue reading Why Most Pentecostals Around the World are Progressive

Trump or Jesus: We Do Have to Choose

America’s new President is controversial, to say the least. Saying outrageous things concerning women or ethnic minorities to gain massive media attention and popularity, just to then lie about the statements ever being made, sounds like an absurd way to become the most powerful person in the world. But it tragically seems quite effective.

Hillary Clinton was also criticized for being unreliable when it comes to security and honesty, and so during the election, America found itself in a bizarre situation where most people didn’t really want any of the candidates to become President. It was an election about who you dislike the least rather than who you like the most. When people want a leader with dignity, morals and faithfulness, turning to politicians seems to guarantee a letdown. Continue reading Trump or Jesus: We Do Have to Choose

First Pentecostal Pastor on Presidential Inauguration Prays for Trump

PE News reports that for the first time, a Pentecostal pastor is going to participate in a presidential inauguration. Samuel Rodriguez, an Assemblies of God senior pastor at New Season Christian Worship Center in Sacramento, California, will do a reading and invocation as Donald Trump officially become President of the United States this Friday.

Other clergy that will lead prayer on Inauguration Day will be Franklin Graham, the son of Billy Graham who has expressed that it thanks to God that Trump became President; Paula White, a televangelist who claims that she led Trump into a genuine born-again experience last year; but also Catholic Cardinal Timothy Dolan who has criticized Trump’s immigration policy, as well as Jewish rabbi Marvin Hier.
Continue reading First Pentecostal Pastor on Presidential Inauguration Prays for Trump

Suffering and Revival in the Congo – the Story of Helen Roseveare

Recently, missionary Helen Roseveare went home to the Lord. She was an example of a committed Christian who went through a lot of pain while also experiencing many miracles. This paradoxical relationship between suffering and glory may be hard to understand, but for Helen it was simply reality. Continue reading Suffering and Revival in the Congo – the Story of Helen Roseveare

Worship as a Revolutionary Act of Resistance

The charismatic revival has not just been about signs and wonders, but about worship and music as well. Similar to previous revivals like Methodism and Salvationism, early Pentecostalism had a lot of zeal and passion in their hymns, with a renewed focus on the Holy Spirit and miracles. The African American influences and inspiration from the mission field also impacted the tone of the music so that it became more inspirational.

Continue reading Worship as a Revolutionary Act of Resistance

Ending Homelessness by Giving the Homeless Homes

A Canadian city called Medicine Hat has now eliminated homelessness by giving the homeless homes. Utah is doing this as well – every homeless person gets a home and access to a social worker and a case worker who will help them getting a job, be intergrated in society and get mental health care if they need some. At first, the home is free, and if they get a job they’ll pay 30% of their income for the house.

Continue reading Ending Homelessness by Giving the Homeless Homes

An Interview with Candy Gunther Brown

brown-candy_lgHow does science relate to the supernatural? This intriguing question is one of the issues that professor Candy Gunther Brown at Indiana University has been researching. An expert on the international Pentecostal and charismatic movement, she has been particularly interested in Christian supernaturalism in the Global South, which broadly corresponds to Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Micael Grenholm of PCPJ got the chance to conduct an interview her.

Continue reading An Interview with Candy Gunther Brown

Why I as an Activist Love the Gifts of the Holy Spirit

The Pentecostal and charismatic movements have a bad reputation among Christian anarchists and activists. There are too many examples of healing evangelists who control the masses through manipulation and hysteria, with promises of supernatural encounters only to gain money and status for themselves. Furthermore, many Pentecostals and charismatics support nationalism, war, discrimination and inequalities. They bless the Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands, they preach a prosperity gospel where strong faith leads to great wealth, they deny climate change and don’t care about the environment.

Yet, I am totally convinced that every Christian activist should embrace the gifts of the Spirit and pursue signs and wonders. Why? Because the mess I just described is of course not genuine a fruit of the Spirit, it is a result of what I call the Corinth Syndrome, when charismatic Christians portray their own crazy ideas and practices as divinely inspired.

The church at Corinth was experiencing charismatic chaos; they loved spiritual manifestations and everyone spoke in tongues simultaneously, but they showed no care for the poor and some were living in sexual immorality.[1] Paul’s solution to the Corinthian problem is not commanding them to be less charismatic; on the contrary, he urges them to seek the gifts even more![2] However, he emphasizes that this must be done in order and in love.

Continue reading Why I as an Activist Love the Gifts of the Holy Spirit