Category two; Ecclesiology and Theological Foundations
Ecclesiology and theological foundations also form a patchwork quilt for the ministry project. One purpose is because this category of the literature review will discuss the theological foundation of Pentecostalism that shaped the history and practice of the ministry. Anderson, the author of An Introduction to Pentecostalism, seeks to erase what has historically been thought of as Pentecostalism as an emotional religious phenomenon whose growth was mainly through people of European descent. The demonstration is done by how Pentecostalism has worldwide multi-cultural and multi-ethnic contributors and how it is “a new reformation of the church.” One of the significant perspectives to glean from this book is the multi-cultural and multi-racial influence on Pentecostalism’s growth and Pentecostalism.
Anderson also traces the history of Pentecostalism through each continent and does not hesitate to draw attention to inconsistencies in its theology. Nonetheless, the most consistent thread that runs through Pentecostal doctrine and theology is Holy Spirit baptism, whose theology, Anderson reveals, is not a new phenomenon: Carefully, he cites the works of the Spirit throughout the Book of Acts, 1 Corinthians 12 and 14, and the various movements of the Holy Spirit from the first century to the present. Anderson also clarifies that it is historically inaccurate to believe that the thrust of the Pentecostal movement began in the early 20th century United States of America. This movement of the Spirit has existed in various forms and expressions throughout the ages of world history, and he cites many accounts from the Day of Pentecost to the present to make his apologetic point. Additionally, the ministry project finds the unchanging theological principles that support Pentecostalism’s efforts to spread HIV/AIDS awareness. Two-component streams account for the spread of Pentecostalism throughout local communities and the seven continents: the belief in all having a personal experience with God by the Holy Spirit and the passionate spreading of the Gospel of Jesus Christ as a direct result of the Spirit’s missional focus. Anderson makes a point of how the Pentecostal movement “was a missionary movement made possible by the Spirit’s empowerment.” This learning is imperative from the standpoint that the Church extends itself into the community to spread HIV/AIDS awareness. An absolute must for workers to be Holy Spirit dependent. David Goodhew is in harmony with Anderson on Holy Spirit dependence by the Church: The Holy Spirit is the “propulsive force” behind sending evangelistic workers into the community to enable the Church to grow. Anderson relays, as do the Scriptures, how the Spirit inevitably creates impact. Therefore, the Spirit’s empowerment makes possible community building.
Besides missions being a top priority in Pentecostalism, another feature of this book and a valuable element for the ministry project to observe how there was a level of boldness attached to the Christians, how ordinary-non-clergy people were instruments of the Spirit, and how effectively they used testimony and personal contact to draw people. Personal touch worked well with understanding people’s spiritual, cultural, and health. The contextualization would help Pentecostals assist the evangelized with perplexing life difficulties such as sickness, poverty, unemployment, loneliness, evil spirits, and sorcery. When the holistic needs of the community are taken into consideration, a church can be more lovingly aggressive in its attempts to reach them with the saving love of Christ. Anderson is very objective in outlining some of the failures within the Pentecostal movement at times in its history, such as condescending attitudes towards indigenous peoples, racial hatred, and doctrinal and theological differences that lead to schisms. Anderson finds it nonetheless remarkable how God sovereignly uses imperfect people to accomplish his will relative to the spread of the Gospel. Nevertheless, the practice of love in outreach to spread HIV/AIDS awareness must be the foundational ethic to be instilled in the minds and hearts of leaders.
The limitation of this book has to do with whether there has been any updating in Pentecostal organizations concerning training to spread HIV/AIDS awareness. Anderson relays how training for missions was not insisted upon, or when there was training, it was simplistic at best. Typically, in a myriad of ways, a Pentecostal felt the calling for missions and was sent on their way, trusting in the leading of the Holy Spirit would guide them. In the growing socially, there is the need for the development of a more detailed understanding of the issues people face and the impact of such issues on their daily lives. RPWFM incorporates the ideology of dependence upon the Holy Spirit to make a difference in spreading HIV/AIDS awareness. The love ethic of Christ is to be taught and practiced by the ministry project participants to assist in its effectiveness.
Equally important, the purpose of this work of analytic theology is for readers to become better informed to promote the missions of the Church. Of particular interest for HIV/AIDS awareness training purposes is the section entitled “God’s Spirit: The Breath of the Gospel.” The Holy Spirit is the one who breathes life into the missions’ work of God on the earth. Too often, there is such a strong focus on Christology that dependence on the work of the Spirit is inadvertently deemphasized. A lack of attention to the importance of the Holy Spirit may lead to current believers not having the full benefit of experiencing God in the person of the Holy Spirit. Since our faith is not purely intellectual but also practical, the experience of the breath of the Spirit is as evangelical as other aspects of Christology, such as the incarnation, baptism, redemption, and the resurrection. Bird also relays how the Spirit promises God the Father and experiences God’s love and liberating power. The Spirit is active in creating and redeeming humanity through the Gospel. This theological emphasis serves to further mature those to Holy Spirit dependence.
As a teaching guide, Bird is in tune with Pentecostals and the goal of spreading the Christian witness and the importance of the HIVAIDS awareness. The emphasis placed upon the Spirit, which makes the spreading HIV/AIDS mission effective, is a continuing emphasis in the apostolic tradition. As the early Church passionately appealed to the Spirit to empower the Church, this same level of petitioning the Spirit will be instilled in the HIV/AIDS project in three unique ways, pre-program, during the program’s operation, and as a follow-up to the program’s completion.
However, the challenge that Gordon Dames’ article addresses is stated in part in the title. He asserts a need to reframe paradigms concerning dysfunctional civil, health, and ecclesial systems. His article then aims to provide a rationale for and address the HIV pandemic using health promotions terms and conditions under which to enhance church and community health practices. Church systems impact the community health processes as a social determinant. He asserts “that a new healing hermeneutic needs to transform community health practices. He contends that this is the state of the Church.” Most telling is that his article assumes that this transformative function of the Church is normative and should not be a stretch for the Church to embrace and apply to the HIV pandemic.
The work contributes to becoming an HIV/AIDS competent church in many ways. He speaks of glocality, i.e., embracing global movements such as incorporating spiritual and folk healing and integrating them into the local context. Spiritual healing is a discovery process. It arises from an inner development of an evolving internal competence. Additionally, his article provides a rational practice of empowerment in the healing of self and the healing of others. Applying his concepts in the Diaspora must be reshaped.
This article represents the tension that exists in the ministry project’s context. The ministry project site is in the Georgia low country. The church population is primarily African Americans. Part of who they are springs from the African retentions that embrace spiritual healing. The quilt pieces of the project are in great tension. The tension that arises from the development of spiritual forces and an inner competence that accepts such a methodology is partially highlighted in the essays in African American Life in the Georgia Lowcountry. It is natural for the ministry to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS based on the historical and ethnic background of the ministry. Black churches have often embraced healing, so addressing HIV/AIDS is natural for a Black Pentecostal church to do. The Father, and experience of the love and liberating power of God. As the Spirit’s power was active in creation, the Spirit is active in re-creating and redeeming humanity through the Gospel.
Moreover, Oikoumene Theological Education by Extension Institutions produced the HIV & AIDS Curriculum as part of the World Council of Churches efforts to address HIV globally. The curriculum aims to assist churches and theological institutions in mainstream HIV and AIDS work into their work. To achieve this, an education, by extension, the curriculum was developed. The curriculum has ten modules grouped across four parts—part 1. Addresses the factual aspects of HIV/AIDS; the three modules in Part 2 work with the Bible and indigenous African Religions in light of HIV; the theology of HIV is covered in the three modules in Part 3, and Part 4’s three modules engage in applying theology in the context of HIV. The primary contribution to the project will be drawn from the information contained in Parts 3 and 4. The material contained in these sections provides the theological frame to speak about HIV and practical application of that theology in the church and its community. To a lesser extent, how the tension between Western Christianity and indigenous African Religions is addressed may provide insight into how the ministry project site as an African American Church can effectively interact with the large Euro-American Church. The limitation is that the curriculum is eight years old. Some of the facts about HIV have changed. Access to some of those who have and are using the curriculum would also be beneficial.
Weakness of the context
The limitation, however, is the difference between Western Christianity, African American Christianity, and African Christianity. This series of courses integrate the Christian story and vision with the public health HIV message. Not to mention, Beacons of Hope is the foundational document for PC(USA) Becoming an HIV and AIDS Competent Church document. Contained within its pages is what an HIV AIDS competent church is. Parry states the purpose for the Beacons of Hope as the following:
This handbook is a framework for action designed for those who have leadership roles in churches, particularly those already involved in responding to HIV. It seeks to explain what HIV competence is, why the need for competence, and what is often missing, and challenge the reader to develop such competence. Parry begins by analyzing what HIV competence is and why it is essential. She starts by making a case for why faith-based organizations (FBO) need to be HIV competent. Her arguments are numerous. Notably, according to Parry, the World Health Organization in 2004 noted that 1 in 4 organizations doing HIV work was an FBO. In conjunction with this, she asserts that the response by FBO’s relative to the scope of the pandemic is inadequate. Her argument is if the churches were more competent, the answer would be more appropriate and effective.
She defines what HIV competence is and what it involves. She goes on to subdivide competence into an inner and an outer competence. Parry is adamant that outer competence can only arise from internal competence. To engage in outreach HIV work without inner competence runs the risk of stigmatizing those wishes to serve. Inner competence must be developed first. The text describes what internal competence is and its responsibilities of it. The text also addresses how to transition to and practice outer competence. Parry defines the external competence by breaking it down into seven elements that address a wide range of HIV factors, from social aspects to advocacy to restoration. The text includes benchmarks that can be used to evaluate where a church is in the process of becoming HIV competent.
Here too, the limitation of the work is in its age. Treatments for HIV have changed since the document’s publication. PrEP, Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis, is an effective means for preventing HIV transmission if taken correctly. The document’s reference work is eight years old may not seem dated. However, given the progression of the illness, its treatment, and the response to HIV, an update is merited. In recognition of this, Parry released in 2013 Practicing Hope: A Handbook for Building HIV and AIDS Competence in the Churches. Nevertheless, the indicators of what constitutes HIV competence are valuable to the work of the ministry project. The definition of competence remains an accepted standard and guides the ministry project as it unfolds.
Practicing Hope: A Handbook for Building HIV and AIDS Competence in the Churches does not pick up where Beacon of Hope left off. Instead, Practicing Hope has as its focus the mainstreaming of HIV competence. This means the following:
“. . . not only seeking to halt transmission of the virus and to mitigate the impact of infection and AIDS but also to focus on those issues that are making people more vulnerable (author’s emphasis) to HIV infection and its subsequent impact. It is looking “upstream” at the causes: the socialization process and gender scripting of girls and boys, women, and men, that may render each more vulnerable. It involves considering the socio-economic conditions that promote inequalities, injustices, poverty, and altered family dynamics and the changing values, fast technology, and media-dominated world in which young people are raised. It recognizes the marginalization of minorities and all those considered “different” from us, whereby they are kept in the shadows and are either unable to gain or are denied access to life-giving services. It is challenging the sexual and gender-based violence pervasive in society. It is also recognizing that not only does HIV exist in the Church, but also that some people may be made more vulnerable to HIV because of working in and for the Church and that some of our activities may inadvertently increase risks for those we seek to serve.
This captures not only what Parry means by mainstreaming, but it also explains the practical ways that the Church must engage itself internally to achieve inner competence practically. Once the Church has done its soul searching and transformation, it can engage in the outer competence work in the ministries she provides as concrete examples of how to build HIV competence and build and practice hope.
The text is a handbook with how-to steps to proceed toward competence. The project participants can adapt aspects of Parry’s process and examples through focus groups. Some of the material may inspire the participants to reinforce their developing competence. The requirement must always be kept front and center in Parry’s handbook.
Lastly, In the book, Spirituality, Health, and Wholeness, Rice states that Jesus’ miracles uphold the worth of physical health and provide a basis for efforts to relieve suffering and heal the sick.” Jesus alleviated blindness, deafness, leprosy, and paralysis. Jesus also offered physical food for the 5,000 plus multitude. Jesus’ ministry of healing dealt with spiritual and physical needs together. The example of the recovery of the paralyzed man is in the Book of Mark that shows both the physical and spiritual healing of Jesus. Jesus healed the man from paralysis, and He said to him, “Your sins are forgiven” (spiritual healing). Jesus’ entire ministry was directed toward individuals’ spiritual needs. He aimed to restore individuals to a healthy relationship with God. Jesus also addressed the emotional needs of people. For example, the woman, who had an issue of blood, was called daughter by Jesus. He listened to her story and would respond to the mental needs of His closest followers.
He once told His disciples to separate from the crowd and rest (Mark 6:31). Jesus also dealt with social healing. Rice states, “the healing of communities in several of Jesus’ miracles and his teachings on forgiveness. Each of the individuals He raised from the dead was restored to a bereaved family— Jairus’ daughter, the son of the widow of Nain, and Lazarus of Bethany (Jesus healed diseases that caused social discrimination)”
Further, in the book of Luke the seventeen chapter, Jesus healed ten Samaritans who had leprosy. The individual with leprosy was cast out from society and forced to shout, ‘unclean, unclean.’ Jesus healed more than and dealt with the mind and soul. The Savior made each work of healing for the mind, body, and soul, which was the purpose of His kingdom work. However, before the physical could be healed, Christ must purge the mind and soul from sin. When Jesus said, “Your sins are forgiven,” the man was restored spiritually. Jesus’ ministry was holistic and not just limited to the physical characteristics of healing the sick.
There are three facets of Jesus’ ministry to the sick and dying that should be noted. First, He recognized the needs of the sick. Jesus encountered those who were ill both physically and spiritually. He touched the leper (Mark 1:41), laid hands on the blind man (Mark 8:22), and took the hand of the daughter of Jairus (Luke 8:54). Second, Jesus brought “outcasts” back into human society through His healing Word and touch. He challenged the idea that sickness is the result of sin. The infected individuals were thought of as unclean, punished by God, and cut off from God’s holy people. When his disciples asked, “Lord, who sinned, this man or his parents, for him to be born blind?” (John 9:2), Jesus replied, “Neither he nor his parents sinned.” Jesus’ ministry was holistic and dealt with the sick and outcast.
Finally, Jesus reaffirmed the need for spiritual healing. The person with paralysis lowered through the roof is first healed of his sins (Mark 2:5), while the man by the pool at Bethesda is warned, “Give up your sins so that something worse may not overtake you” (John 5:24). It is important to note that in Jesus’ healings, death was not excluded. Death represents the ultimate insult to humanity that Jesus overcame. He raised Jairus’ daughter (Luke 8:49-56), the widow of Nain’s son (Luke 7:11-17), and Lazarus (John 11:38-44). His healing ministry consisted of the sick and those who were dead. God’s compassion for all His children is demonstrated from the human touch of Jesus. Therefore, there was rebuilding in the community for those considered pariahs.
Pentecostalism’s growth has been a great impact across the world. From the days of its inception, its major focus has been on multiculturalism. Hence, it became easy for the missionaries to move across the world and spread the word of God. Through this, it is evident that the fight against HIV/AIDS can also take this format. The church has embraced the efforts of Pentecostalism’s growth because of how effective it has been in reaching many people. Hence, the church has resorted to using this technique to spread the awareness of HIV/AIDS across the world. Through this Pentecostalism’s growth, the awareness campaigns can be effective and could reach out to more individuals in the world.
All efforts done by this process are usually awarded by the passion of people who embrace the new reforms. Through such efforts, the awareness campaigns could sprout and turn out to be another pillar of success in society. As a result, the fight against HIV/AIDS could easily end if all the people embrace the doctrines being shared across various platforms. Another effective approach used by the Pentecostalism’s growth was personal touch. If the concept of personal touch is used to fight HIV/AIDS, the community will be geared towards a success story. This is because the essence of understanding the feelings and attitudes that a person has towards a certain concept are easily reached when the personal touch approach is used. Moving across the society using this approach will open on the atrocities that people go through, and this will enhance how they concentrate on their willingness to learn more about this disease. Therefore, the value bestowed towards Pentecostalism’s growth is a huge prospect that helps the society to effectively create awareness about HIV/AIDS.
Draft on how it should look
ECCLESIOLOGICAL AND THEOLOGICAL FOUNDATIONS
In this section is literature that I found that offers theological and ecclesiological foundations to help govern and influence this ministry project. Before getting deeper into that, I had to get a better understanding of what these two foundations are. According to Alan Cairns Dictionary of Theological Terms, the word “ecclesiological” deals with the nature, theology, and structure of the Christian church. “Theology” focuses on the condition of humanity and what God has to say through the facts of Scripture and spiritual illumination about creation. Both of these foundations influenced my perspective on what and how worship should be carried out in the church and community.
In most theology books and biblical commentaries, in order for one to grasp the information being studied, one must have a grasp of the discipline to even understand the introductory issues. Most twenty-first century worship leaders will not take much time to discipline or read medieval books about God. M. James Sawyer’s provided a more simplified version to be able to study theology in his book, The Survivor’s Guide to Theology.
Worship has its own theology. In order to effectively lead in worship and create an purposeful ministry project I knew that I must increase my understanding about God and learn to appreciate Him more as creator. Whether leading through music or in any other capacity of worship, one must be a theologian. Worship leaders communicate the truth about God and assume the responsibility of making sure that God is tangible in worship. Sawyer’s book provides theological studies from different scholars, denominations, and religious interpretations. What is presented in this book helps to position the worship and ministry of Temple #203 in the larger Christian World.
Knowing God also includes being conscious of His expectations for humanity. In The Purpose of Man, A. W. Tozer invites readers to understand the purpose of worship as well for man to pursue a more intimate relationship with God. “Worship is man’s full reason for existence. Worship is why we are born and why we are born again.” From that understanding, we find that worship is a part of our created expectation on this earth.
Harold Best’s explanation in an upcoming resource concerning worship is very similar to Tozer’s. The difference between Best and Tozer is Tozer says that worship is our reason for breathing. Best states that we were created worshiping. From Tozer’s view about worship I concluded that he felt that we are wasting away in life if we do not worship. This also comes from a man who was ambitious about loving God more than any one of his generation. I interpreted from the words of Best that worship is not a choice to be made.
This book was filled with wisdom with no limitations of biblical insight. He did a remarkable job presenting his case concerning God’s created purpose for mankind. One Scripture reference that Tozer pointed out is Psalm 40:3. Psalm 40:3 says, “He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the Lord.” Worship is a continuous outpouring that must continue to be renewed. We must continuously seek God for new and brilliant ways to enrich the corporate worship experience.
This book took me through a worship journey that ignited my passion to influence others through this project. It must be clear that leaders must develop the heart, fire, and passion to worship God without limitation. Otherwise, we cannot lead where we have never been and do not believe. Worship is “the true healing water for the wounded souls of religious men.” Worship inspires our testimony. Worship changes our lives internally and externally. God’s wonders and mercies are witnessed through and because of worship. Worship should not drive people away from God. Also, it should never be an afterthought if we plan to be effective serving multi-generations, multi-ethnicities, and multi-cultures. Therefore, music in worship must be more than some performance we do, but a presence we experience.
Worship is our created responsibility. Harold M. Best concluded in his book, Unceasing Worship: Biblical Perspectives on Worship and the Arts that we have not been created for or to worship. We have been created worshipping. Worship is not a choice according to Best. We were created doing it. The issue is that our worship has become idol and misguided. His conclusion comes from the Genesis of all creation.
We have been created in God’s image. Worship is a part of our imputed nature. We are continuous and relentless beings that need to worship. Our created nature makes us pour ourselves in directions that either worships God or false gods. This is a very different approach than most of the resources provided in this chapter. Most of the resources suggest that worship is a decision and choice. However, argues differently that we have been created to worship, but our worship has been misguided by the many distractions of culture.
Best concluded that there is a staleness in worship. This staleness is not only in the church, but in our personal lives. He said that worship is not a complex specialty, but should be a common practice. Leaders have to continuously seek for a freshness in our witnessing, preaching, prayer, teaching, imagining, crafting, and in the arts. It has to start within us before projecting it to the church and community. There is no limitation of wisdom in this book.
Worship must be a continuous pursuit to please a perfect God rather than trying to please ourselves. In Greg McCabe’s book, Biblical Worship: Pursuing Intimacy with God, he challenges our ways of thinking in this present culture about worship. Worship in too many churches have become filled with too much “I” (selfishness, self-love, self-glory, and self-fulfillment ) and not enough “C” (Christ). Worship has also become more about where people live, ethnicity, and culture which is the fuel of worship wars, splits, and division in the Church community. They have interfered with our ability to have a personal relationship with God, and to effectively lead others in that direction.
We cannot lead others without clarity and understanding where we went wrong. Scripture reminds us in Proverbs 4:7 that we must get understanding before development and pursuit of anything. The wisdom in this resource provided increased clarity concerning God’s heart and how we must connect with his. The only limitation of this book is it did not discuss any musical aspects of worship that would benefit this ministry project. However, the content from this resource is still sufficient information for my ministry project.
Genuine worship must have biblical motivation, otherwise it can be offensive to God. In C. John Collin’s journal, An Idiomatic Proposal, he does a short biblical exposition on John 4:23-24. In this article he proposed that the context of this passage is more complex than God requiring two independent elements to our worship. Truth conveys the idea of genuineness that involves actions. Spirit relates to the inner man. Paul, that he says in Romans 1:9, “I worship God in my spirit.” This clarifies that in spirit is the location where God is more concerned about where He is to be worshipped.
Collins provides a very concise contribution to this passage of scripture. There is no limitation to biblical commentary and exegesis. This journal helps to grab a better understanding of the topic of worship for my ministry project. Jesus said to the Samaritan woman that genuine worshippers will choose to worship in their inner self, their minds, their feelings, and in their activities. When we know better, it is easier to facilitate from a place of clarity and understanding.
Many argue that the Old Testament is not relevant for New Testament believers. In A. E. Hill’s book, Enter His Courts with Praise!: Old Testament Worship for the New Testament Church he provides a study on what the Old Testament has to say about worship renewal in the church. Hill taught New Testament believers how worship should be expressed, when, where, the artistry should be incorporated, done, our actions, and the different rituals from an Old Testament perspective. This resource is filled with biblical interpretation and illustrations from Scripture.
For example, in the Old Testament, the idol gods of the people became a real threat to exclusive worship to the one true living God. There was constant tension and confrontation between Moses and the magicians of Pharaoh. The magicians tried to replicate what was divine by using religious systems that energized demonic forces. Our energy, our worship, our song must be unto God not gods. In Exodus 15:2, Moses says that Jehovah is the subject matter and inspiration of our song.
This book promotes a fresh and meaningful worship for the emerging church in an evolving worship. The content of this book does not lack any biblical, historical, or theological foundation. It is very comprehensive and exhaustive by providing answers to the many questions that even include our vocabulary to be used in worship. There was no limitation to how detailed he became concerning worship. Words reflect the totality of a person’s nature and character at the human level. This means that our words reveal our motives, personality, and character. Insight like these influences what we say, do, and allow to be sung as we enter into His courts with praise.
The old traditions should never be erased, they are qualifiers for the new. In Robert E. Webber’s book, Worship Old and New, he challenged the readers by arguing that we should not get rid of the old traditions. We should build a worship that respects the old traditions but having an awareness and seek new ways to incorporate new methods in the contemporary church. This is very important for the ministry setting of this ministry project that has a strong traditional heritage that comes out of the experience and denomination of the people in the church. However, the desire is to find ways to be effectively relevant for all generations.
Webber postured his argument by providing three interrelated explanations concerning worship in many churches around the world. They are: “1) Churches of nearly every tradition are discovering the worship of the biblical and historical traditions. 2) Churches of nearly every denomination are discovering each other and area recognizing that elements of worship preserved in other traditions are relevant to today’s worship. 3) What is happening is the convergence of worship traditions, a blending of worship old and new.”
It is very important to have a balance in worship and that balance must be presented in my ministry project. The old and new styles of music for worship must be presented in this project. Also, there must be liturgical balance in worship. In essence, worship should have options. In order for worship to be authentic and fulfilling for each generation, a blended style of worship seems to be the most fruitful style that will not only attract but keep people in church. Webber does a great job finding a way to preserve the best of the past while walking in confidence into the future.
These resources made it even more clear to me that the imperfections of worship have a lot to do with the inconsistencies of our humanity. Our worship must be guided so that we will lead and practice what is acceptable to God. Worship should not be like a lottery that we take a chance upon weekly, hoping to feel His presence. If so, “we lose the power and stabilizing guarantees of Scripture.” The resources in this section not only deal with our individual perspectives of worship, they help to find ways for renewal in our corporate settings.