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I discovered the Hopewell Network of Churches today, an interdenominational network which was birthed when Charismatic renewal hit some Mennonite churches. Though more denominations are included today, the network still enhance Anabaptist values – especially the pacifist stance – which makes this a unique and, in my opinion, more biblical type of Charismatic network. I love when they write:
We are charismatic in that we believe in the Baptism of the Holy Spirit as a subsequent experience to salvation that is available to each believer. We believe all the gifts of the Holy Spirit are available for the believer today.
We have the expectation that the empowering ministry of the Holy Spirit and the gifts of the Holy Spirit will be embraced and taught in our churches. We desire to see believers in all our churches encouraged with the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and taught how to exercise these gifts in their lives. We do not teach that the gift of tongues is the initial or only evidence of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. There is flexibility in how these gifts are administered in the context of public services and the life of the church. Leaders are expected to lead people into a personal encounter with the Holy Spirit and to encourage the accompanying gifts.
We are Anabaptist in that we hold to many of the values of Anabaptism. We have the expectation that Anabaptist values will be supported and encouraged among the churches. The Anabaptist peace position, for instance, is the official position of the network in that we encourage forms of service other then the military. At the same time, we do honor individual conscience on this matter. It would be our expectation that every young person in a Hopewell Church has heard a clear teaching on the Anabaptist view as they make their life decisions about service.
We are evangelical in that we believe the primary focus of the church should be on the centrality of Jesus and his commission of reaching the harvest. We take a clear stand on the full authority and inspiration of Scripture.
One of my best friends, who is called Michael (just like me) is an inspiring example of the combination of signs and wonders with peace and justice. He is a peacemaker, active in the Swedish Christian Peace Movement and a prophetic voice for nonviolence and pacifism. We have made som films advocating for an international, strong, binding trade agreement on arms, since arms are lessed regulated than for example bananas in the international trade. An example of such a film is viewed below.
While Michael thus is a passionate activist, he is also a passionate Charismatic. He prophecies, lays his hands on the sick, speak in tongues and pray for revival. He has realised that Christians should follow Jesus so that the signs that characterised Jesus’ life: miracles and care for the poor, will characterise their life. Jesus said:
The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor. (Mt 11:5)