A Statement by Pentecostal and Charismatic Participants
in the Conference on World Mission and Evangelism
Athens, Greece, 9-16 May 2005
We, the following Pentecostal participants, gathered on several occasions and agreed to adopt the following statement. We do this in order to have a united voice to express our feelings and concerns which we Pentecostals at the conference share.
We would like to express our appreciation to the organizers of the conference for intentionally including a significant number of Pentecostal participants from around the world. Also significant is the participation of selected Pentecostals in various programmes of the conference. We have sensed the genuine openness in the leadership of the conference to the potential of Pentecostal contributions to the future of global Christianity.
We also share a common challenge in these ecumenical gatherings. In spite of the good will of many, we still feel that Pentecostals are often misunderstood, misrepresented, and even unfairly caricaturized. We admit that we Pentecostals are equally responsible for the mutual suspicion and misunderstanding. In the context of healing discussions, for example, we heard more than once of the failure of healing as if these cases represented the entire Pentecostal healing ministry. Although we are fully in support of dialogue between different Christian traditions, we also found that some discussions were uncomfortable to some of us: such as the process of dialogue with other religions and the emphasis on the social dimension of healing over the physical healing as “cure” that is prevalent among us, which should have received equal emphasis. Some Pentecostal delegates agreed that the pre-published “Pentecostal” liturgy did not represent their Pentecostal traditions. However, the apology of the leadership of the Spiritual Life Committee was received and the modification of the Friday morning worship was appreciated.
Considering that many of us will be critically probed by our own people because of our personal decisions to participate in this conference, we become aware of this difficult task of bridging the gap between Pentecostals and the wider Christian community. At the same time, we affirm our commitment to the spirit of church unity. With the conviction that the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in recent days is to renew the church and empower it for witness to the world, we, Pentecostal participants, commit ourselves to the reconciling work among God’s people and to the meaningful participation in gatherings that promote this unity, as opportunity arises.
Come Holy Spirit, empower us all to be faithful witnesses of Christ!
Friday 14 May 2005
On behalf of the following Pentecostal participants:
Allan Anderson, Washington Armas-Benavides, J. Kwabena Asamoah-Gyadu, Andreas Franz, John Gichimu, Chris Gnanakan, Young-gi Hong, Veli-Matti Kärkkäinen, Mathew Kavunkal, Julie Ma, Wonsuk Ma, Jacinta Maingi, Lian Sian Mung, Ulises Muñoz, Robinson Nainggolan, Opoku Onyinah, Hector Petrecca, Joseph Suico, Gerard S. Valdivia