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Author Topic: Pentecostal churches flourish in Kerala.... (Ever thought why???)  (Read 8182 times) Average Rating: 0
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Kefa
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« on: July 13, 2005, 11:37:27 AM »

http://religioscope.info/article_72.shtml

India: Pentecostal churches flourish in Kerala

Sanu George - Indo-Asian News Service


The Pentecostal church is flourishing in Kerala, apparently due to the growing infighting in the traditional churches.

Thiruvananthapuram, Jan 6 (IANS) - "Today we are 500,000 in number and the growth appears to be tremendous in recent years. May be it is because there is growing unrest in most frontline traditional churches," said Sam Kuzhikala, media coordinator of the Indian Pentecostal Church (IPC).

"We do not run any campaign but believers on their own come to our church," Kuzhikala told IANS. The IPC was set up in 1924.

As if to assert this, the Pentecostal church is to hold an eight-day international convention at Kumbanad near Thiruvalla from January 18. Close to 100,000 devotees are expected to attend, as are 3,000 pastors.

The unrest in the traditional churches may not be of recent origin, but a sudden exodus seems to have taken place as is evident from the number of Pentecostal churches that have mushroomed in Kerala in the past five years.

"We had about 700 churches in Kerala in 1996. Today we have grown to more than 2,500. Also, close to a thousand Pentecostal churches have applied to us for affiliation. Isn't this enough to show that the once traditional churches have shrunk?" asked Kuzhikala.

Another recent phenomenon is that the majority of those coming into the Pentecostal fold are non-resident Indians settled mostly in the Middle East and the U.S.

"The basic reason for this is may be the September 11 attack that led to a general sense of anxiety among many. They realised the only way out is to come closer to God," maintained IPC supreme head Pastor T.S. Abraham.

Church spokesmen say the essential difference between the traditional and the Pentecostal churches is that while the latter believe in the full gospel doctrine of the Bible, the traditional churches are more Episcopal in nature.

Divine Feast, a Pentecostal church in Kottayam that opened just three years ago, has grown to a congregation of 8,000 in the town alone.

"I was an alcoholic and when my church ignored me, a friend brought a Divine Feast pastor to my house. In a matter of three days, I was a transformed man.

"I wanted to change but when my own church ignored me I got solace from the Pentecostal movement. Now I am a fulltime member of the new church", said another believer, declining to give his name.

Asserted Pastor Abraham: "We are not for mass conversions as propagated by our adversaries. Instead, we are into mind conversion and that has to happen inside one's own mind. If that does not happen, then their sojourn with us would be short-lived."

Traditional church leaders are not worried about the exodus.

"Our followers are with us. The trend of some leaving the church has always been there but there is no mass exodus," said Baselius Mathews Mar Thoma II, the Malankara Metropolitan now involved in a war of words with the Patriarch faction in the Orthodox church.



« Last Edit: July 13, 2005, 11:40:14 AM by Kefa » Logged
MAXAIPA
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« Reply #1 on: July 13, 2005, 01:07:25 PM »

Maybe Paul2004 is secretly working for the Pentecostals.
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paul2004
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« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2005, 02:16:46 PM »

Dear friend,

The Indian Orthodox church has mission in different parts of India and if this church survived 2000 years from the time of Apostle Thomas, Almightly will show a way to continue in the future.   Our Bishops today and in the past were active in Evangelism.  There will be always people working against the Church (especially churches from the West  trying to divide and take its people) , but the Church will continue as it continued 2000 years. It was H.H. Baselius Mar Thoma Mathews 11 who took the lead in establishing a bible college and having training there for people, mobile evangelical unit of Orthodox church, theological education for lay people (correspondence course) etc.

As for your allegation, people from all church groups convert to other groups. I know many Jacobite people who converted to pentecostal and protestant churches. My own aunt in Jacobite faction got converted to pentecostal. In another example, an altar servant from Jacobite church converted to Baptist church. In one case I told a member of Jacobite church not to commune from Methodist church, but the response he gave me (which hurt me) was that he will continue to commune from Methodist but will never commune from Orthodox church. In college I was giving educational materials on Orthodox faith and prayer books to some of my Jacobite friends who were being converted by other groups.

So what Kefa wrote  does not give the correct picture. He may be posting selected news items with a purpose in mind (which he knows), especially those having the name of His Holiness in it. There are people of all churches  converting to other churches. In India people are not satisfied with the street shows led by rival Catholicos HB Thomas 1 and his group. These street shows lead to fight. 

BTW, what Kefa posted looks like is a news item and perhaps shoud be posted in Christian News section.

-Paul
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« Reply #3 on: July 14, 2005, 03:09:17 AM »

We do not run any campaign but believers on their own come to our church,"
500,000 people sleep walked into pentecostal churches overnight!

if it was anyone else claiming this i wouldnt have had a problem , but pentecostal churches? COME ON!
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« Reply #4 on: July 14, 2005, 09:29:31 AM »

I posted it so it be an eye opener to all denomination to safe guard their folk.  But our dear friend Mr. Paul has to jump on the gun and blame it on our Jacobite people…lol. I never seen one post by this guy saying anything good about his church without saying anything bad about another church.  I really look forward to see him say something good about his church without mud sliding another church.  Now he is blaming Syrian orthodox church for the conversion to Protestantism.  At the same time he fails to realize that he himself as he proudly proclaims is a convert from Syrian Orthodox Church to Indian Orthodox Church.  Half their bishops who he receives sacraments are converts from SOC to IOC.  Their saint and their church founder is a convert from SOC.  Half their catholicos’s were ordained into SOC converted to IOC…….. Roll Eyes
 
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Kefa
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« Reply #5 on: July 14, 2005, 09:32:57 AM »

Dear friend,

The Indian Orthodox church has mission in different parts of India and if this church survived 2000 years from the time of Apostle Thomas, Almightly will show a way to continue in the future.  ÃƒÆ’‚Â

-Paul


This Church survived for 2000 years as you claim.  Tell me some things this church achieved in this 2000 years. 
Let us see if you could do this post without throwing mud on another church.  Grin
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paul2004
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« Reply #6 on: July 14, 2005, 11:25:15 AM »

Dear Kefa,

Unfortunately I am dragged in to this discussion.

For the first time in the history of Indian Church Protestant faith entered through the British CMS missionaries. Indian Orthodox Church resisted the protestant movement started by a priest named  Abraham who sided with missionaries. At that time the Orthodox church included the Jacobites also (i.e there was only one legal Malankara Metropolitan).  Priest Abraham introduced a liturgy which was protestant in faith, i.e. removed the name of St. Mary and other saints, intercession, prayers for departed etc. Once this movement started, priest Abraham tried to get his nephew ordained. Indian Orthodox church refused ordination and excommunicated priest Abraham.  Now Dn. Mathew (the nephew) was sent to Syrian Patriarch in Mardin to get ordained. Syrian Patriarch ordained him a metropolitan in the name Mar Athansius without consulting with the head of the Indian Orthodox Church.  Had he consulted Indian orthodox church would not approve that ordination (it is happening even today - people going to Syrian Patriarch without the approval of  the head of the Indian Church).

The ordination given to Dn. Mathew is the first ordination a Patriarch of Antioch gave to an Indian in the history fo Christianity in the world. He was instantly ordained priest, monk and Metropolitan by the Patriarch. (did the Patriarch think that he can gain control over the Indian church through this ordination? This is very much a possibility).

In 1843 he came back as Metropolitan and claimed that he is the legitimate Malankara Metropolitan (arguing that he is directly ordained by Patriarch).  None of our bishops received ordination from patriarch before this incident. 

So, the practise of Indian men going to Patriarch and getting ordained vioalting the Malankara Metropolitan is a tradition started by Protestants and continued by Jacobite faction.  Mar Athansius seperated from the Church and formed the Protestant church.

Indian Orthodox church had a hard time fighting the Protestants, because they had the support of ruling Brits. There was one option, to invite the Patriarch himself (as he was the one who did it) and give him some more authority towards getting Brits to disapprove Mar Athanasius. Indian Orthodox Church won and got old churches and the theological Seminary back from protestant control (very similar to what is happening now after Jacobites legally seperated with a new consitution and registered as a new Church in India).

So, the Protestant movement would not have gained any importance in India if Patriarch consulted the head of Indian Orthodox church before giving ordination.

Peopl leaving the Church and going to Pentecostal etc. is not anything new. Neither was  it due to present issues. To some extent the division between Orthodox and Jacobite sections of Malankara would have conributed to it.

But Indian Pentecostal movement was founded in 1924 by pastor K.E Abraham.  Then came numerous other groups from the U.S.  From that time they were converting people from all Orthodox, Roman Catholics and Mar Thoma churches.

So, I believe that Protestant church got a footing in Malankara due to the act of Patriarch not consulting with the head of Indian Orthodox church before giving ordination. Indian church had excommunicated this group, but Patriarch did not know this. Also, the Patriarch at that time had some connection with British authorities related to some issues in Syria.

Indian Orthodox church fathers always lead the Church in true faith and they did not enter in to any alliance with Protestant or even Roman Catholic. Even today it is only the Indian Orthodox church resisting Roman Catholic activities, while Jacobites are keeping smooth friendship with them and even communion.

So, it is a history of suffering we have and we believe that truth triumphs as H.H. Catholicos Gheevarghesee 11 said.

First thing is to remain humble and obey the head of Indian church infront of you and then honor unseen Patriarch serving the West. No one can serve two masters at the same time.

You asked me about what the Indian church did in 2000 years. Your existence in Christian faith is proof for that. If St. Thomas did not come to India and Indian fathers did not continue the mission you and me won't be knowing Christian faith.

It was H.H. Catholicos who encouraged Evangelism by approving the movement called 'Servants of the Cross' started by Metropolitan Mar Osthathios of Kandanad (I read in the biogrpahy of this great father that the Jacobites used to cast stones at him). The Bishop baptised about 20,000 through Servants of the Cross.

Here is one example of our mission: http://www.icbs.com/makodiya/  you can see H.H. Catholicos Mar Baselius Mathews 11 with metropolitan Mar Stephanos.  H.H. is travels to any part of India, even at his age of 91 years to support our mission. 

Please do not spread false stories about the Holy father of our Church.

So, people will leave, but more may join as directed by Almighty. Things are not in the control of you or me. If Almighty desires the Church will survive and withstand any difficulties.

Two years ago Coptic Bishop Mar Boulos visited our Indian Orthodox Church. Hope you know that H.G. Baulos is also doing evangelical work in Africa.


-Paul



« Last Edit: July 14, 2005, 11:40:00 AM by paul2004 » Logged
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« Reply #7 on: July 14, 2005, 11:35:02 AM »

I posted it so it be an eye opener to all denomination to safe guard their folk.  But our dear friend Mr. Paul has to jump on the gun and blame it on our Jacobite people…lol. I never seen one post by this guy saying anything good about his church without saying anything bad about another church.  I really look forward to see him say something good about his church without mud sliding another church.  Now he is blaming Syrian orthodox church for the conversion to Protestantism.  At the same time he fails to realize that he himself as he proudly proclaims is a convert from Syrian Orthodox Church to Indian Orthodox Church.  Half their bishops who he receives sacraments are converts from SOC to IOC.  Their saint and their church founder is a convert from SOC.  Half their catholicos’s were ordained into SOC converted to IOC…….. Roll Eyes
 


Dear Kefa, Is there any basis in your argument. Indian Orthodox means the Orthodox Church of India. Please refer to all official dialogues between Oriental Orthodox and RC/EO churches. You will find only Orthodox Church of India or Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church there.

Jacobite church never participated in any one of these dialogues. They want to be known as Syrian Orthodox  and confuse people about insignificant issues about name etc.  Orthodox Church of Eritrea is known as Eritrean Orthodox church.  Everyone accepts it in good will. Even the missionary church in Britain is known as British Orthodox. So why your Jacobite faction confuse people with insignificant issues about name.

Do you think the official name of you church, i.e. 'Jacobite' is canonical? To the best of my understandind the name 'Jacobite' is uncanonical for all Oriental Orthodox.  It is a nick name given to us by those who are against us, especially the RC and other Chalcedonians in 6th and 7th centuries.   Why we take such nicknames as official? Isn't it right to follow the original name?

Why are you (and you faction in general) is so much against using the name 'Indian'? We are all Indians and all our ancestors were also Indians, except very rare cases. So, based on what Apostle Paul taught, don't we have the freedom to be knwon as Indians. Why deny this charity to us when all our sister churches have the freedom to be known in their ideintity?

Our Church is not against the word Syrian. It was the language used by Apostle Thomas and in the Edessan Church founded by him, hence we use both Indian and Syrian in the name of the Church.

Regards,
-Paul


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Kefa
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« Reply #8 on: July 14, 2005, 03:38:56 PM »

Paul you are so filled with hatered for others.  Fanatism has brought you to a point that you cannot say anything glorios about your own church without throwing dirt at other churches.
You are a classic example of a kid who wanted to say his mother is good by going around saying bad things about other mothers.

I hope you will get a chance to read a book written by one of your own bishops.

http://Orthodoxy.cjb.net/

http://www.geocities.com/malankarav5/ThomasAthanasius.htm
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« Reply #9 on: July 14, 2005, 07:28:30 PM »

Paul you are so filled with hatered for others.  Fanatism has brought you to a point that you cannot say anything glorios about your own church without throwing dirt at other churches.
You are a classic example of a kid who wanted to say his mother is good by going around saying bad things about other mothers.

I hope you will get a chance to read a book written by one of your own bishops.

http://Orthodoxy.cjb.net/

http://www.geocities.com/malankarav5/ThomasAthanasius.htm


Dear Kefa, Finally you are now engaging in personal attack. This is called a logical fallacy in argument (forgot the name of this specific fallacy), that when there is no further argument to make attack the person. Did I say anything like this about your person?  If so please forgive.

However you did not get it right.  I have only love towards you, that is why I believe in the unity of the Indian church. Otherwise why should I care for Jacobites?  I hope you believe with me that there is only one OO faith and our immediate duty is to have the church grow in India, which is possible only in unity.

-Paul

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« Reply #10 on: July 14, 2005, 10:52:16 PM »

My dear brothers and sisters.

Pentecostalism has been making headways against the Orthodox not only India, but in Ethiopia, the Middle East and North America (though, since the Orthodox are a minority in NA it doesn't get the coverage). The reasons are numerous and complex but include:

-a simple service and theology
-the use of the vernacular
-a promise of "health and wealth"
-emotionalism
-a strong sense of community and a focus on the needs of the individual person

If you think about it, many of these attributes are the same as those of Islam (which, by the way, was originally seen as a heretical form of Christianity by both Byzantine and Oriental Orthodox)

Not all is lost. The Copts of Egypt have done well with an emphasis on the teaching of the bible, education as well as the resurgence of monasticism and the traditions of the church. In Ethiopia, the Orthodox Church is "fighting back" with a switch to the vernacular and an increased sense of community and care for people. Finally, we have to remember that the growth of Orthodoxy in NA is driven by the conversions of previously evangelical and pentecostal Christians!

Basil
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« Reply #11 on: July 15, 2005, 02:44:42 AM »

My dear brothers and sisters.

Pentecostalism has been making headways against the Orthodox not only India, but in Ethiopia, the Middle East and North America (though, since the Orthodox are a minority in NA it doesn't get the coverage). The reasons are numerous and complex but include:

-a simple service and theology
-the use of the vernacular
-a promise of "health and wealth"
-emotionalism
-a strong sense of community and a focus on the needs of the individual person

If you think about it, many of these attributes are the same as those of Islam (which, by the way, was originally seen as a heretical form of Christianity by both Byzantine and Oriental Orthodox)

Not all is lost. The Copts of Egypt have done well with an emphasis on the teaching of the bible, education as well as the resurgence of monasticism and the traditions of the church. In Ethiopia, the Orthodox Church is "fighting back" with a switch to the vernacular and an increased sense of community and care for people. Finally, we have to remember that the growth of Orthodoxy in NA is driven by the conversions of previously evangelical and pentecostal Christians!

Basil
this is all very true
but one thing i cant forget is the muslim connverts i use to see in the pentecostal church i use to go to. never seen that in an orthodox church...sad but true
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« Reply #12 on: July 15, 2005, 10:43:38 AM »

My dear brothers and sisters.

Pentecostalism has been making headways against the Orthodox not only India, but in Ethiopia, the Middle East and North America (though, since the Orthodox are a minority in NA it doesn't get the coverage). The reasons are numerous and complex but include:

-a simple service and theology
-the use of the vernacular
-a promise of "health and wealth"
-emotionalism
-a strong sense of community and a focus on the needs of the individual person

Basil


 Dear brothers and sisters
             i agree with the above, on top of this  Orthdoxs(IOC and SOC) in India Busy fighting each other giving them an open invitation i am sick of their arguments nobody bothered about the spiritual need of faithfull  can my other orthodox friends from outside India  do something to convince these guys spiritual need is more important than fight for wealth of parishes.
                    Kerala orthdodx x'ns are in delema  their  spiritual urge is not met by our preists and churchs ,pentacostal churchs sneek in to their mind ,be their when they need ,visit them in their home ,spend time to pray,while our leaders only go there to get money  and spending milions on court cases how can  we blame them or our poor faithfull who been left to face their fate with out even visit from preists.
             Look at the replays above they again far too busy argue each other .i hope they will open their eyes  soon(hopefully before they loose too much
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« Reply #13 on: July 15, 2005, 11:26:47 AM »

Dear Mr. Paul,

I have been following up on your posting for quite a long time.  You deliberately evade the questions asked towards you by jumping off the topic.  I see your postings in numerous public forums and it is so funny that every time there is a crisis in our Indian Orthodox Church you fire rounds of lethal hate messages full of lies aiming at the Jacobite Church.  Is this the image that you want to show other denominations representing the Indian Orthodox Church?  We need unity in our own church first then we could proclaim unity with the Jacobites.  When our leaders are running to court after court to file court cases, millions of beggars are sitting in front of these courts to get one rupee from these bishops to feed their family.  How much more money are we going to waste when we could spend that money to fill the stomach of a hungry child.  The bible strictly tells us not to go to the courts, does our bishops not know this?  When the faithful are voicing to open their churches for worship, our leaders are encouraging to close it down and even disowning the spiritual children.  Our leadership has to change then our church will reach new glory.  Had to write this post to stop you from disgracing the Indian Orthodox church.  The converts like you who came from the Jacobite church are the real trouble makers in the Indian Orthodox Church that includes the four bishops who switched over also.
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« Reply #14 on: July 15, 2005, 10:26:52 PM »

djrak,

You asked why you have seen Muslims in Pentecostal churches and not Orthodox? Well, I met an Orthodox priest who was Muslim (He lives in India) and he said the Pentecostal churches were an easier "jump" to Christianity. They tend to have no Holy Communion, no icons, no screen/curtain, no long services. Just simple praise and emotionalism.  We have to remember that Islam was originally seen as, not a new religion, but as a heretical form of Christianity!  Pentecostalism is a herectical form of Christianity and, thus, is closer to Islam than our faith (at least in my opinion)

Basil
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« Reply #15 on: July 16, 2005, 02:20:06 AM »

You asked why you have seen Muslims in Pentecostal churches and not Orthodox? Well, I met an Orthodox priest who was Muslim (He lives in India) and he said the Pentecostal churches were an easier "jump" to Christianity. They tend to have no Holy Communion, no icons, no screen/curtain, no long services. Just simple praise and emotionalism.ÂÂ  We have to remember that Islam was originally seen as, not a new religion, but as a heretical form of Christianity!ÂÂ  Pentecostalism is a herectical form of Christianity and, thus, is closer to Islam than our faith (at least in my opinion)
hey Basil, thanks for the response. What you said is very true. so can we say Pentecostals are needed in the world today for this purpose? Do we actually need them, to bring non-Christians to Christ?
But then i remember the damage they do to believers' faith.  Huh
God works in mysterious ways
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« Reply #16 on: July 16, 2005, 10:07:37 PM »

Pentecostals are heretics and should be viewed the same as other ancient Christian heretics (i.e. Bogomils, Paulicians etc.). If all the Orthodox (Oriental and Byzantine) stopped infighting amongst ourselves, maybe we would be successful in keeping these heretics at bay. Remember, if the Orthodox church had not been divided in the 7th century, Islam may never have been so successful. Our divisions tend to be 90% politics and 10% theology. We often just use theology to justify a political and social movement.

Basil
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« Reply #17 on: July 18, 2005, 09:09:03 AM »

KERALA July 18, 2005
http://www.newindpress.com/NewsItems.asp?ID=IER20050717114048&Page=R&Title=Kerala&Topic=0

Kerala's Pentecostal churches nurse political ambitions
Monday July 18 2005 00:00 IST
IANS

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Kerala's Pentecostal Church that claims a one million strong membership appears keen to enter the state's political scene, disillusioned by successive regimes.

"Over the years we have been merely used as a tool by both the political fronts in Kerala. We are going to seriously discuss the issue (of entering politics) among our faithful at the centenary celebrations," N M Raju, vice president of the Pentecostal Council of India (PCI), told reporters here on Sunday.

The centenary celebrations of the church will be held at Thiruvalla from Dec 6 to 11. The PCI is hopeful that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will inaugurate.

"We expect a large number of our members from across the country to be present at the celebrations," Sam Kuzhikala, convenor of the celebrations, told IANS.

The PCI is confident that with their numbers they can tilt the political scales in several of the state's 140 assembly constituencies.

"Till now we have not put forward any demands unlike other churches which bargain with political leaders. The parties use us when elections come and then they forget us. Don't be surprised if we put up candidates in the forthcoming assembly polls," said Kuzhikala.

The PCI in Kerala is a conglomeration of five Pentecostal churches - Indian Pentecostal Church, Church of God, Assemblies of God, Sharon Fellowship and WME Church.

The followers of the PCI are mainly concentrated in central Kerala besides a strong presence in major cities in the state.
 
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« Reply #18 on: July 26, 2005, 03:16:50 AM »

you know what i remembered from pentecostals that's really scary... they have this vision of invading the world.
Although it's more than a blessed thing, in fact it is our calling, to reach the entire world and preach the gospel and win souls for Christ, but they somehow give it a "mad-scientist" twist to it.
they kind of want to take over instead of becoming more like Christ themselves and let the rest happen naturally, i dont know if it's just my impression or if others agree.  Huh
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« Reply #19 on: July 26, 2005, 09:22:44 AM »

Actually, the "Take-Over" idea is espoused more by the smaller fringe Pentecostals.  You have to remember that there are multiple Pentecostal denominations that do not agree in every area of faith and praxis.  I mean, you have:

Oneness Pentecostal
Pentecostal Holiness
Apostolic Church
Assemblies of God
Church of God
United Pentecostal Church
etc.
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« Reply #20 on: August 09, 2005, 05:38:11 AM »

Hi all
The reasons are many
One of the resons as someone earlier pointed out is the people want to get many things instataneously. Penticostal pasters tell that if u want to get job u convert to us and we will pray for u.
if u want to recover from disease do the same .like that hen ever people are in distress they immediately rush there and tell that the end of sufferings is the conversion to penticostal church.

One remedy may be that groups headed by our priests should visit the people in sufferings often so that they can share their problem.
Many of the cases our priests are far away from common man. this things has to be changed. In my Church a new young priest taken charge and he is visiting people in sufferings more often , a change we are seeing in such conversions.
thanks


 
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