Pentecostalism, Politics and Justice
Pentecostalism, Politics and Justice
This third session explores Pentecostalism, Politics and Justice.

Just as the global  Pentecostal movement is diverse so is its stance and implementation of its vision and mission in the sphere of public theology.  To gauge a reasonable analysis, adherents and observers often pose questions in  language  such as ‘mature vision’, ‘responsible stewardship’ integral mission’  to consider  the level of engagement in matters to do with  social concerns for the poor, speaking  truth to power  on behalf  of oppressed people and   advocacy for the common good of all creation.

Steven Land asserts that ‘..the ultimate purpose and mission of our lives must come to terms with the mission and purpose of ..God.’ He argues that  the mission of the triune God is more than an individual commitment to the Christian faith  and a spirituality that is formulated in  a set of ideas that merely lead to  the self-improvement of the believer.

Whilst Pentecostals  uphold worship and  faith journey in the experience of Jesus as Saviour, Sanctifier, Spirit-Baptiser, Healer and Soon-coming King to be  salient aspects of Christian discipleship and witness, Pentecostal theologians such as Land argue that, ‘Discipleship must be lived out in the community with God at the Centre’ and  as disciples, we are to take our responsibilities to advocate for social  change seriously. The Church of God, one branch of the movement , states in its Practical Commitments: ‘It should be our objective to fulfil our obligations to society by being good citizens, by correcting social injustices, and by protecting the sanctity of life.’  In essence, Pentecostals are committed to the perspective of a ‘holy life’ asserted from  the Wesleyan Holiness standpoint where  believers are expected to live lives that demonstrate  the holiness and righteousness of God in the world. To this end, more Pentecostals in the pews, pulpit and academic institutions are critically examining  the inclination to focus on the spiritual and private aspects of their faith and discipleship  over and above the socio-political components and particularly in the light of the book of Acts.  

In  Steven Land’s view,  ‘The Church of Pentecost was a new political power in the world, with the power of the Spirit anointing persons from every race, gender, nation, class and other grouping.’   As Pentecostals with God representing an eschatological presence there is still expectation to respond to those who are in need of justice, compassion, love, and empowerment, notwithstanding a focus on responsible stewardship of the environment.  

We are commanded (Matt. 22:34–40)and commissioned (Matt. 28:18–20) to bring about peace, unity, reconciliation, hope and development to our world. Christians of all persuasions and traditions have a moral responsibility to ensure that we move from ‘good to better and better to best’ in every sphere of life–whether we call this evangelism, discipleship, integral mission, social action  or otherwise.

To speak ‘truth to power’  can be perceived as a threat to the social order, with accompanying  reprisals. Therefore as Steve Land emphasises, learning the rules of engagement is imperative. Like many of his counterparts he contends that courage and unwavering faith are irrefutable requisites that every Christian will need in abundance if we are to be effective in the public arena. In addition clarity of purpose, a clear understanding of the issues, confidence in the Christian message, and the ability to focus on the cause are necessary to enable wise choices about who to partner with and why, when, where and which battles to fight. As  with all pioneers and prophets stirred by righteous indignation, becoming righteously subversive may be the only way forward. To negate this position in words or action would reflect a grave flaw in our theology. At the heart of our mission  is the redemption of human dignity and the world that our creator God considered good for our common good.

Resources needed

Some Questions for Discussion

Leviticus 19:15Proverbs 21:15  Psalm 72:4

Read    Isaiah 1:17   Amos 5:24   Micah 6:8

Read  (Psalm 82:3).  Proverbs 31:9        Isaiah 1:17   Luke 10:30-37   Romans 12:21

 Read  Gen 1: 26- 27 (Deuteronomy 32:4). 2 Chronicles 19:7  Psalm 82:3  Psalm 89:14  Isaiah 1:17 Matt 8 John 8   Luke 11:42  Romans 12:9-21

Read  Leviticus 19:15   Matthew  5:43-48  Romans 12:20-211-14 1 Timothy 2:1-2    1 Peter 3:8-22 1 John 2:15-17 and 3: 16-20  James 2:1-4

Read  Psalm 106:3  Matthew 7:12  John 13:34-35  1 Peter 2:17

Read   Leviticus 19:15  Isaiah 1:17 Micah 6:8 Matthew 7:12  Luke 10: 30-37  1 Peter 3:15 Titus 2:7 1 James 2:1-4 Philippians 2: 3

Praise and Worship 

Use the below songs to help you go into a time of praise and worship.

Something to think about in the days to come…

 The gospel for the whole person and the whole community

Writing a journal as you progress through this course will be a useful tool  to aid your reflection, clarify your thoughts, feelings and chart your learning.

Try to write regularly after each session. Here are few prompts to get you started:


Oh Lord Our God

We thank you for your spirit of love that touches our hearts

We pray that you will deepen our concerns and compassion for our brothers and sisters.

Help us to stand in the gap for those who cannot stand on their own.

Lead and guide us to  seek your revealed word as we speak and work for truth and justice .

We pray for our political leaders and all those in position of power and authority

May they to respond justly to the needs of the vulnerable.

May we be strengthened in the courage to stand together as a community of believers and advocate for the cause of the weak.

May we play our part in your divine mission for the fullness of life in our homes, our church and the wider community.

These we ask in name of Jesus.