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Faith Encouraged LIVE – Pentecostalism


Here’s a link to last night’s Open Line Sunday Faith Encouraged LIVE program on Pentecostalism. I was joined by my good friend and fellow AFR podcaster, Fr. Andrew Stephen Damick. Fr. Andrew told us about his upcoming revised and expanded book “Orthodoxy and Heterodoxy” coming out this Fall.

Click here:

If you were raised in the Pentecostal world, like I was, you may be interested in hearing why a Pentecostal pastor would become a Greek Orthodox priest. Plus, there are real positives about the Pentecostal hunger for experience and intimacy with God, but there are dangers as well.

Listen to the program and share it with your friends and family!

And don’t forget to stay in touch with Fr. Barnabas and all the ministry resources at



  • Charles Bivens
    Posted August 16, 2016 at 7:00 pm

    Dear Father Barnabas, I want to thank you for much of what you have produced regarding Orthodoxy and especially how it might interact with the Pentecostal-Charismatic movement. I do appreciate it.

    However, it seems to me that you, and Orthodoxy in general, has a rather condescending attitude when speaking of non-Orthodox Christians, especially those of the Pentecostal-Charismatic variety. I have considered converting to Orthodoxy many times and I too come from that “Kindergarten” background of speaking in tongues and so on. I took my undergraduate and my ThM through the Assemblies, although in England rather than the States. Interesting, though, it did not seem like Kindergarten while I studied and certainly doesn’t seem like kindergarten now.

    I do take comfort in the fact that Saint Paul must have enjoyed kindergarten, as you like to describe it, as he mentions how he spoke in tongues more than any of the Corinthians! In addition, no less than Fr. Michael Harper, a leader in the Charismatic movement in England who became an Orthodox priest also spoke in tongues and gave a much more favorable view of the Charismatic renewal.

    He even mentions on the ‘Illumined Heart’ how he was just as charismatic after becoming Orthodox, even speaking/praying in tongues at that point, on a daily basis! You can listen to his interview here:

    He mentions how he speaks in tongues regularly at about 12:44 in the interview. A very warm, welcoming and even favorable view in my opinion. He does not attempt to convert us by insulting us. Perhaps you can address in a future episode, how Father Harper was childish and in kindergarten when this interview took place? I would look forward to hearing this one, especially if you invited callers from England!

    It’s too bad, that Orthodox folk are not all as diplomatic and Christlike in their rhetoric concerning others who simply have had an experience with God, want more of Him, and act as they know how in response to His presence.

    Even Fr. Andrew seemed to have a more robust and even accurate (scholarly) view of the movement in your episode from Faith Encouraged Live. Your insistence on belittling the movement which may, in fact, be a genuine move of God does little for Orthodoxy. I am afraid Orthodoxy will continue to face serious missional and evangelism challenges if the strategy is to attempt to convert people by insulting them and their experiences. Its the attitude of superiority from Orthodox and the outright arrogance I see in many of the priests that have kept me from converting, to be frank. After Vatican II, Rome seems much humbler and attractive.

    Too bad Fr. Harper has passed on. Too bad there aren’t more Kallistos Wares, who speak with the love and heart of Christ even when behind closed doors.

    I do take solace in the facts that:

    1. Saint Paul seemed to enjoy Kindergarten and never graduated.

    2. Saint Paul never mentions tongues as a “childish” gift and never belittled the Corinthians for using it. His answer to their abuse and incorrect usage of tongues was they needed MORE gifts, such as prophecy with love, to balance it out!

    3. Fr. Michael Harper expressed himself on Ancient Faith Radio very clearly and apparently he never graduated from Kindergarten either, at least up until his death.

    Well, I must wonder, if the Orthodox disdain this childish gift with such obvious distaste, have they received the greater gifts then? I too often sadly witness an absence of the charism of love among the Orthodox, seeing in its place rather a charism of arrogance and superiority.

    Well, Father, I do look forward to your future productions be they either in writing, audio, or video. Although I seem to be administering a harsh dressing down, I am simply venting my frustrations at hearing a movement and the gifts of God that come with it labeled kindergarten (i.e. childish, immature). I respect you and your position as a priest. However, these are genuine gifts after all. Gifts of GOD the Holy Spirit and He gives them to whom He wills. And perhaps this is just an area that, although we have similar backgrounds, we will view differently.

    Blessings to you father.

    • Post Author
      Fr. Barnabas Powell
      Posted August 16, 2016 at 7:32 pm

      Dear Mr. Bivens, thank you for your note.

      Suffice it to say I both understand and reject your “dressing down” as both unwarranted and unnecessary. But to hope that I could prove that to you would be, in my opinion, folly on my part.

      I will just add that I would not be Orthodox today had it not been for my Pentecostal background, and to say I am grateful for that “kindergarten” would be an understatement.

      I wish you well.

    • Post Author
      Fr. Barnabas Powell
      Posted August 17, 2016 at 10:55 am

      Dear Mr. Bivens,

      Here is a quote I came across today that might mitigate my words and help you understand where I’m coming from. I truly hope so.

      “Because people in the west live with their rational faculties, the so called ‘Charismatic Movement’ or Pentecostalism appeared to enable them to understand the heart. You should not characterise this ‘Charismatic State’ observed in the West as delusion, because when we tell them they are deluded it is no benefit to them. We should turn this current in the right direction and speak to them about Orthodox Hesychasm.

      Those who have become Orthodox have vinegar where they should not. The bad thing about those who belong to the Charismatic Movement is that they think they are experiencing Pentecost and are therefore in a very exalted spiritual state. This is nonsense. The apostle Paul spoke in tongues, but he placed greater emphasis on the charisma of love.

      People ask me why there is no ‘Charismatic Movement’ in Orthodoxy and I reply ‘because the Orthodox Church has never lacked the prayer of the heart'”
      +Metropolitan Hierotheos of Nafpaktos
      “I Know a Man in Christ: Elder Sophrony the Hesychast and Theologian”, p. 317

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