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Pentecostal denominations are conservative branches of Christianity that are rooted in both the Holiness movement and Methodism.
The Pentecostal movement stresses the reliability of the Bible and the need for conversion to faith in Jesus Christ and it also emphasizes what are known as the ”Gifts of the Holy Spirit.”
Pentecostals believe that one of these ”Gifts” that can be give to humans by the Holy Spirit is the ability to speak in tongues. Pentecostals refer to this gift as ”glossolalia” or ”xenoglossia.”
Glossolalia is ecstatic speech, while xenoglossia is the ability to speak in a foreign language that is completely unknown to the person speaking it. Both glossolalia and xenoglossia are said to have occurred at Pentecostal revival meetings and Pentecostals believe that the person speaking in tongues has received a great blessing.
Pentecostalism is said to have begun in the early 1900s when a participant at a revival meeting in Kansas began spontaneously speaking in a variety of foreign languages. This event occurred at the Bethel Bible College and its preacher, Charles Fox Parham, soon began to preach the idea that speaking in tongues was a gift from the Holy Spirit.
Many Christian Pentecostals believe in what is called ”Pentecostal Experience.”
The Three Types of Pentecostal Experience:
- Justification – trust in Jesus Christ as ”The Saviour” of humanity
- Sanctification – a new life given to Protestant believers by the Holy Spirit
- Baptism of the Holy Spirit (or speaking in tongues)