Assemblies of God

Assemblies of God

Assemblies of God, a large group of churches comprising the second largest Pentecostal organization in the United States, founded at Hot Springs, Ark., in Apr., 1914. In doctrine the Assemblies of God affirm the basic teachings of Pentecostalism (i.e., baptism with the Holy Spirit as evidenced through glossolalia and divine healing, and the daily presence of the charismatic gifts basic to the early church) and of fundamentalism, emphasizing the premillenarian belief in a return of Jesus and his saints to reign over a period of peace and righteousness. The U.S. membership, numbering nearly 2.5 million, is organized into over 10,750 local autonomous churches with a general council and a general presbytery formulating and administering policies, respectively. The churches actively engage in missionary work.

See W. W. Menzies, Anointed to Serve (1971).

The Assemblies of God Statement of Fundamental Truths is a description of the sixteen core doctrines adhered to by the Assemblies of God. These doctrines are heavily based on the evangelical Christian Confessions, Creeds and Statements, but differ by being clearly Pentecostal. Of the sixteen, four are considered cardinal doctrines "essential to the church's core mission of reaching the world for Christ." They are the doctrines concerning salvation, the baptism in the Holy Spirit, divine healing, and the Second Coming of Christ.

Statements 1-6 are common confessions, typical of a traditional, conservative Christian denomination, including Biblical inspiration and infallibility. Baptism by water is considered an "ordinance" and is required. The Lord's Supper (or "Holy Communion") is grouped with the ordinances and is specifically termed a "symbol".

Statements 7 and 8 present a Pentecostal view of the work of the Holy Spirit. Baptism in the Holy Spirit is affirmed as "distinct from and subsequent to the experience of the new birth." Its attainment is manifested by speaking in tongues (glossolalia).

Statement 9 reflects a holiness perspective on sanctification.

Statements 10 and 11 concern the church, and they are broadly evangelical but with a distinct emphasis on the supernatural aspect of the Holy Spirit's work.

Statement 12 concerns divine healing. The official church teaching is that Christ paid for all physical suffering with his atoning work and that as a consequence, when Christians get sick they can be supernaturally healed by the Holy Spirit.

Statements 13-16 deal largely with the subject of eschatology. The Assemblies of God has a premillennial dispensationalist perspective on the future, including belief in the rapture and a literal earthly millennium.

Other Doctrines

In addition to these sixteen core affirmations, the Assemblies of God issues position papers and other documents which are nonbinding but generally embraced.

External links

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