Christian Reformation Movements

According to Fahlbusch et al., a Christians Reformation Movement is a small group of Christian believers belonging to a larger group who love and serve Jesus Christ. It is always part of a family of Orthodox, Evangelical, Anglican, Roman Catholic, and a host of different churches confessing and practicing faith in Christian. As compared to other believers and churches, believers under the reformation movements teach about Jesus as their lord and above all creation with more emphasis. There are different Christian Reformation Movements around the world though some are more prominent that the others. Some of the prominent world Christian Reformation Movements are; the Charismatic Movement, the Lutheran Movement, and the Christian Family Movement.

The Charismatic movement is a historical and international trend of congregations that are adopting the beliefs and practices from Pentecostalism. Fundamentally, the movement uses or believes in spiritual gifts being possessed by people referred to as Charismata. This movement was started in 1960 among the Protestants and 1967 among the Roman Catholics. One of the doctrines of this movement is an encounter with God referred to as the Holy Spirit evidenced by speaking in tongues.  The term Charismatic was brought to the world in 1962 by Harald Bredesen who was an American Lutheran minister as an explanation of the happenings in the protestant church at the time. Though formally referred to as neo-Pentecostal, Harald preferred calling it the charismatic renewal within historic churches.

Before 1955 most of the churches never carried the belief in charismatic renewal, and if a clergyman or church member carried that belief he would be distanced. The American Episcopal High Church Wing later became the traditional ecclesiastical organization to first feel the Charismatic Movement’s impact internally. This was on Easter 1960, the day Dennis Bennett, a St Mark’s Episcopal Church rector in California narrated his spiritual encounter with the Holy Spirit to the church. From the beginning of this movement, the believers distanced themselves from the Pentecostals due to some theological issues like their belief that speaking in tongues as a sign of receiving spiritual baptism. Another theological issue was the belief in supernatural experiences like miracles, prophesy, the altered state of consciousness, and healing.

Another Christian Reformation Movement is Lutheranism. This stands as one of the branches of Protestant Christianity identifying with the Martin Luther theology, who was a German friar, theologian and ecclesiastical reformer. This movement was a product of Luther’s efforts in Catholic theological and practical reformation in German-speaking territories within the Holy Roman Empire. This led to the spread of Luther’s writings internationally, which included early ideas encouraging reformation beyond influence and control from the Roman Curia as well as the Roman Emperor.

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