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Origins

Finally, the spiritual gifts mentioned in this passage-prophesy and visions, and tangentially, dreams (never viewed as a spiritual gift per se, but definitely a supernatural occurrence that most Pentecostals would not deny exists)-have,  historically, been some of the most controversial and unregulated experiences.  Many heterodoxical expressions, misguided schisms, and tragic personal crises have begun with and been supported by individuals believing that they had received a prophetic word, either for the Church at large, or for one person.  Because of the nature of Pentecostalism, questioning the trustworthiness of prophecy or visions has not been something Pentecostals have wanted to engage in, though it has not stopped them from viewing prophecy and visions outside their faith community to be aberrant.

Non-Pentecostal opinions on the claims to such experiences vary from merely skeptical to the starkly condemning. Pentecostals have engaged in a centuries-long dance on the edge of credulity, where other Christians admire their passion and claims to power as long as that power does not veer into the bizarre.


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