Sunday, March 27, 2005

The New York Times Magazine ran a story today "The Soul of the New Exurb". They were doing alright until we come to this paragraph, ostensibly explaining the history and particular demonational beliefs of the Assemblies of God (emphasis mine):
McFarland frequently refers to himself as a mail-order pastor. In fact -- and he readily acknowledges this too -- he never finished his pastoral coursework. He can lead Radiant anyway because the denomination to which Radiant belongs, the Assemblies of God, doesn't require its pastors to be ordained. This is not a mere quirk in the bylaws. The Assemblies, a Pentecostal movement that grew out of the preapocalyptic revivalism of the early 20th century and counts John Ashcroft (the son of an Assemblies minister) among its more prominent members, has historically been skeptical of all institutional education, seminaries included. The movement now has its own seminary in Springfield, Mo., but it continues to hew to tenets that most other denominations consider radical. Among other things, the Assemblies treats the Bible as fact and believes in miracles, faith healing and speaking in tongues.

Well, Catholics "hew to" all three of these "radical tenets". Now, some Christians believe speaking-in-tongues ceased in the Apostolic age, others believe it is an infrequently (nowadays) bestowed gift of the Holy Spirit, but no one doesn't believe in it. I don't think there are any denominations that would deny that Jesus "healed the sick" either, which is the essential belief of faith-healing, the difference is whether, how often, how, and in what way it continues to the present day. And no Mr. Fancy New York Writer, it's not just the ignorant hicks who believe the bible is "fact", a locution that could cover everyone from Jerry Falwell to John Dominic Crossan.

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