Contemporary Pentecostal Issues
Segregation Into Other Denominations
- The lines of Pentecostalism have been blurred. In its early years, a person was either a Pentecostal or not. Since the 1960s and the Charismatic movement, many other Christian-based religions have adopted Pentecostal philosophies. Currently, the term "Pentecostal" is used loosely, and the older definitions of the religion appear to be lost. The challenge for Pentecostal religions today is to clearly define who they are and what they include.
- In today's world, there is a lot of poverty throughout various parts of the world. Many impoverished communities have Pentecostal churches. This brings up the issue of supporting global congregations. Should wealthy Pentecostal churches financially support less fortunate Pentecostal churches? This relates to the issue of how specific churches spend their money. There is also a call for Pentecostals to develop ways to gain political influence. The hope is that political influence can help meet the needs of impoverished communities and ease the misery of the people.
Education of Pastors
- Even though Pentecostalism has been around for over 100 years, there continues to be no requirement for pastors to have formal Biblical education. Basically, the criterion for becoming a pastor in the Pentecostal faith is the be able to "preach a good sermon." The lack of required education can lead to pastors who are uneducated and ultimately lead to a member's unhappy experience in his church.
Misunderstandings by Outsiders
- Pentecostalism is misunderstood by many outsiders and often even by members within the community. The experience of Pentecostalism is the infilling with the Holy Spirit. Pentecostalism is not taught by abstract language. The religion is a mainly an oral religion and allows for adaptation and flexibility. This can also lead to confusion and misunderstanding from the congregation and from outsiders.