Where Were The Pentecostals?

by David Padfield

On May 11, 1995 the Zion-Benton News carried an advertisement from a local Pentecostal church. Among other things, the ad said, "Faith in the supernatural and faith as a living and abiding substance has once again returned to our area. Come worship and experience the excitement while building your faith and receiving that long awaited miracle you've desperately needed for some time now. Bring the hurting, suffering, sick, lame, blind, diseased as well as the depressed and oppressed."

Several members of this congregation went to one of the "healing services" at the church that placed the ad. We were desiring to see the miracles that were promised. We sat patiently through the sermon and listened to the prayer requests made at the end of their service. No miracles were performed, in fact, they did not even attempt to perform one.

On the way out of their building we invited members of that church to a special series of lectures we had planned for the following weekend. The brethren in Zion had invited Wayne Greeson of Pine Bluff, Arkansas to present a series of lectures on Pentecostalism. Wayne had a public debate with a Oneness Pentecostal preacher just last year. In preparation for the lectures we mailed out over 100 announcements to Pentecostal preachers and churches in our area. We also sent a letter informing them that we were going to have a question and answer session after each lecture and they were invited to participate. We also placed advertisements in two newspapers.

When the time for the lectures came we were disappointed to see that not one Pentecostal preacher showed up! It would have been a perfect time for them to come demonstrate them wonderful power! They could have just dazzled us by a single miracle. They should have been able to confound us with their great insight into Scripture (they claim direct guidance by the Holy Spirit).

Truth has nothing to fear from investigation. Error prefers to hide in darkness, or at least behind a pulpit in a comfortable building. We are willing to defend what we teach in public. We submit this proposition: "The Scriptures teach that the Holy Spirit baptism of Acts two and the signs and miracles of the New Testament, especially as mentioned in 1 Corinthians 12, have ceased." We are willing to defend this proposition in a four evening public debate. If your preacher has any convictions he is willing to defend in public, please have him write to us.

For further study

The McPherson-Bogard Debate on Miraculous Divine Healing (May 22, 1934). Ben Bogard was the greatest Baptist debater of all time. In 1934 Bogard debated Amie Semple McPherson, founder of the Foursquare Gospel Church, on the subject of miraculous divine healing (PDF file size: 213k).