Aldersgate Renewal Ministries (ARM) is a non-political and non-adversarial movement that is committed to guide individuals and churches, especially those within the Wesleyan heritage, to encounter the Holy Spirit, equipping them for ministry, and encouraging them to live supernatural, Spirit-filled lives.
ARM encourages dialogue within the Wesleyan Theology streams and seeks to interpret the movement of the Holy Spirit to the church. We celebrate the richness of our Wesleyan heritage and history, recognizing that John Wesley's theology of grace is in fact a theology of the Holy Spirit.
What Makes a Pentecostal/Charismatic Movement Wesleyan?
By: Dr. Luther Oconer, Asbury Theological Seminary
- The modern Pentecostal movement has long been acknowledged to find its roots in Methodism since it emerged directly from the Holiness Movement during the late 19th and early 20th
- The Holiness Movement was a revival movement emerging from a deep concern for a restoration of John Wesley’s doctrine of holiness in American Methodism.
- This movement spurred the rise of hundreds of holiness camp meetings around the country in the years after the Civil War reaching the masses for Christ while crossing denominational lines as Baptists, Presbyterians, Congregationalists, and other Protestant groups caught the holiness wave. It essentially became at that time what the Charismatic Movement had become for the 20th and 21st
- When a powerful nationwide revival known as the Layman’s Revival broke out in 1857, a renewed sense of the working of the Holy Spirit gripped much of American evangelicalism. As a result, the holiness message began borrowing language from the Book of Acts as holiness preachers began equating it with the baptism of the Holy Spirit. They saw the baptism of the Holy Spirit as the definitive event leading to one’s experience of holiness.
- In addition to holiness, the Pentecostal baptism was also seen as a source of power for ministry. Hence, the more radical section of the movement began promoting divine healing while its mainstream sector rejected it.
- Later, this same radical section would also take hold of the teaching on the imminent return of Christ or specifically what is known as prem. Soon, the term “full gospel” or “four-fold gospel” became the catchword of the radical holiness folks as they taught Jesus Christ as the one who 1) saves, 2) sanctifies, 3) heals, and 4) is the soon coming King.
- It was from this radical holiness movement that the modern Pentecostal movement would emerge as they extend this four-fold gospel of the radical Holiness movement to a five-fold gospel by highlighting another important work of Jesus, namely, the baptizer of the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues.
- Therefore, some scholars like Vinson Synan, Donald Dayton, and others would call the Pentecostal movement as part of “one Holiness movement.”
- Given this history, it has always been assumed that Pentecostals are Wesleyan. However, that has not always been the case as the following chart shows:
- A Pentecostal/Charismatic movement that claims to be Wesleyan like ARM must emphasize the importance of holiness. If it claims to be a movement of the Holy Spirit, it needs to bring back the “Holy” to the “Spirit.” ARM needs to be a modern holiness movement.
- Teachings on the Holy Spirit (pneumatology) in a Wesleyan Pentecostal/Charismatic movement should not merely focus on supernatural ministries but also focus on soteriology (how one is saved from sin). Wesleyan understanding of salvation is highly pneumatological (Holy Spirit centered) given its emphasis on grace. Wesley’s theology of grace is a theology of the Holy Spirit.
ARM is a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation and is sustained solely by the grace of God flowing through the gifts of individuals and churches who have a passion to nurture, educate and equip others to minister in the power of the Holy Spirit. ARM is a member of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability.
ARM is governed by a Board of Directors and receives guidance and input from an Advisory Council.