This post is the final entry in a series by Dr. Rick Waldrop. In this series he explores the relationship between Pentecostalism and the global poor. Series Links: First Things, History and Contexts, People of the Book, The Option of the Poor, Social Action, Challenges and Developments, Final Thoughts

As we come to an end to our examination of the relationship between Pentecostals and the poor, I must recognize that there are several other areas of Pentecostal theology and praxis that could have been examined here, but time does not allow on this occasion.

  1. We have barely touched upon the issue of “spiritual warfare” or conflict, which is also very real in the existence of many poor people.
  2. The prominence of the place and role of women in Pentecostalism is powerful and can be liberating, especially among the poor.
  3. The intersection of Christology and Pneumatology is also critical especially as many poor Pentecostals have understood Jesus to be the divino compañero[1] or Divine Companion in what some have called a Spirit Christology.
  4. Eschatology and the Pentecostal poor is another much misunderstood subject that could be further explicated and extracted from its North American dispensationalist prison.
  5. Finally, the various Pentecostal understandings and practices related to sanctification and the life of holiness have had real life impacts on the ways in which the poor have conducted their lives in terms of personal piety, lifestyles, and ethics. There is a direct connection between culture, poverty and the way these understandings of holiness have been taught and applied.

Harvey Cox [2] and others have observed that Pentecostalism’s gift to the world was the gift of the poor. Perhaps something of the inverse can also be said: A gift from the poor to the world has been the Pentecostal movement. My hope and my prayer is that the global Pentecostal movement will continue to provide a home for the poor for many, many years to come and that we will all learn more and more how to embrace the poor and receive the gifts of the poor with dignity, love and respect….so that the Spirit of Life will continue to breathe in and through us.

[1]See Sammy Alfaro, Divino Compañero: Toward a Hispanic Pentecostal Christology. Pickwick Publications, 2010.

[2] Harvey Cox, Fire from Heaven: The Rise of Pentecostal Spirituality and the Reshaping of Religion in the Twenty-First Century. Addison-Wesley, 1995.

Note from the Editorial Team:
Engaged Pentecostalism is a community that values open dialogue and respectful engagement from different perspectives. The views expressed above are the author's own and do not reflect those of every part of the community.

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Rick Waldrop

Author: Rick Waldrop

Dr. Richard E. Waldrop and his wife, Janice M. Waldrop, have served as career missionaries and educators with the Church of God (Cleveland) World Missions. They have served for 40 years (1976-2016) at different posts in five countries, including Guatemala, Costa Rica, Honduras, Ecuador and the USA. Today, they lead the Shalom Project, an organization aimed at providing holistic mission education and empowerment.