The Emergence of Liberal Pentacostalism

By: Woodrow Odom Lucas

God is about to move on the earth.  God is about to take new and old and synthesize them into a vibrant religious and spiritual phenomena.  At the outset of the 20th Century, people like William J. Seymour, Agnes Osman, Smith Wigglesworth, and John G Lake were experiencing and co-creating a movement of spiritual renewal and rebirth that would redefine modern Christianity.  Calling its members back to the very beginning, these pioneers were bringing spiritual experience and sensory ecstasy together.  They spoke in tongues.  They believed in supernatural healing.  They purported the “born again experience;” and they helped people to believe once again that God was “REAL” and could truly accomplish anything through them.

Now, as the 21st Century begins to take shape and finds its character, Pentacostalism, is now second to Catholicism as the largest Christian enclave.  However, many Pentacostals in the modern day believe in Conservative tenets like eternal damnation for unbelievers and the sinfulness of a “Queer” lifestyle.  It is my belief that modern day Pentacostalism is a force of good and accomplishes a lot for the Kingdom of God’s manifestation on the earth.  But I also believe that many in this generation feel ostracized and alienated by Pentacostalism’s sometimes puritanical and judgmental view of reality.  I consider myself to be a Pentacostal.  I speak in tongues. I believe in the power of God to miraculously heal anyone of anything.  I voraciously ingest scripture.  But I also believe that most of the world’s religions are redemptive and full of truth and beauty.  I believe that Yoga is a God instituted paradigm to bring about healing to the soul and body.  I believe that Queer and transgendered people have something to offer society that is sublime and redemptive without changing their sexuality or sexual orientation in any, way, shape, or form; and I believe  that Jesus will find a way for not some, but ALL, human souls to find redemption.

Consequently one might call me not just a Pentacostal, but a Liberal Pentacostal.  And I am not the only one who fits this description.  In reality, God is about to birth another Asuza Street revival with the same fervor with which She worked in 1906.  And these new revivalists will speak in tongues and perform miracles just like their predecessors.  But now, there will be an alternative available to them which was not present at the dawn of Pentacostalism.  Now there will be an option,  one that allows them to fervently believe in Jesus as Lord and still embrace Hinduism as a transcendent path to the Divine,  one that enables them to rest in the trust that all their human brothers and sisters will make it in the hereafter, one that doesn’t make them feel guilty or apostate for voting for Bernie Sanders, one that enables them to embrace all religions, genders, races, and classes with equanimity and unconditional love.  A revival is coming.  One that will be just as fervent as Asuza Street.  But this time, something new will emerge.  This time, not just the Pentacostal, but the Liberal Pentacostal will be a 21st Century reality.

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