Charismatic Movement

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The term Charismatic refers to

Persons, churches, movements, etc., affirming the belief that speaking in tongues is a gift of the Holy Spirit that may and should be manifested in the church today. These persons, churches, and movements are generally part of institutions and denominations that did not originate out of the original Pentecostal movement.

– Source: Definition from: A Biblical Guide To Orthodoxy And Heresy Part One: The Case For Doctrinal Discernment, by Robert M. Bowman.

According to Wikipedia

The term charismatic movement is used in varying senses to describe 20th century developments in various Christian denominations. It describes an ongoing international, cross-denominational/non-denominational Christian movement in which individual, historically mainstream congregations adopt beliefs and practices similar to Pentecostals.

Foundational to the movement is the belief that Christians may be “filled with” or “baptized in” the Holy Spirit as a second experience subsequent to salvation and that it will be evidenced by manifestations of the Holy Spirit. Among Protestants, the movement began around 1960. Among Roman Catholics, it originated around 1967.

The term sometimes also more widely encompasses the Pentecostal movement from earlier in the 20th century and more recent claimed manifestations of the Holy Spirit among Christians.

– Source: Charismatic Movement Wikipedia. Last accessed Wednesday, December 28, 2011 – 9:23 AM CET

In its December, 2011 report on Global Christianity, the Pew Research Center says

Charismatics are members of non-pentecostal denominations — including Catholic, Orthodox and some Protestant denominations — who hold at least some pentecostal beliefs and engage in at least some spiritual practices associated with pentecostalism, including divine healing, prophecy and speaking in tongues. The charismatic movement, sometimes known as the charismatic renewal, began among mainline Protestants in the U.S. in 1960 and had spread to parts of the U.S. Catholic Church by 1967. The charismatic movement also finds expression in independent congregations that have formed their own networks of affiliated churches, similar to denominations. These church networks, such as the Vineyard Christian Fellowship based in California, are distinct from historically pentecostal denominations.

– Source: Defining Christian Movements, Pew Research Center, Dec. 2011


Many — though certainly not all — charismatic churches, movements and proponents are controversial because of

Many of those involved in the Charismatic Movement have bought into the claims and practices of the controversial renewal and revival movements.

Secular Meaning

In a secular sense, the term charismatic refers to a person’s charm or appeal, as in his or her ability (gift) to promote loyalty or enthusiasm (e.g. “a charismatic leader.”). This is true even in a religious context. For example, a pastor can be a charismatic leader even if he is a cessationist — someone who believes the gifts of the Spirit are no longer in operation today.


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