Difference Between Pentecostal and Brethren (With Table)

There exist several types of churches for several types of devotees in the world. Churches are meant for worshipping the almighty God and seek blessings from him. Christianity as a religion, consider churches for portraying their faith and love for God. Several churches in the world are classified based on their types. There are numerous denominations, theologies and cultures. Two of the many types of churches are 1. Pentecostal 2. Brethren

Pentecostal vs Brethren

The difference between Pentecostal and Lutheran is their objectives and on what factors they emphasize. Pentecostal churches put focus on the significance of individual and religious experiences. On the contrary, Brethren churches put focus on the significance of the equality of its believers, peace, obedience to Jesus Christ.

The Pentecostal churches follow the ideologies put forth during the Protestant Christian movement. They put focus on the fact of acceptance of Jesus Christ as our personal Saviour. They emphasize the significance of personal and religious experiences. For instance, baptism is an immediate experience of God. Early historians such as Cecil M. Robeck, Jr. and Edith Blumhofer wrote that this movement took place from the 19th-century evangelical revival movements in America and Great Britain.

The main focus of the Brethren churches is peace and obedience to Jesus Christ. It was founded in Bad Berleburg, Germany, in the year 1708. Alexander Mack is considered as its founder. The Brethren is considered as an admixture of Radical Pietist and Anabaptist Movements. It uses The New Testament as its fundamental credal. Along with Mennonites and Quakers, Brethren is considered one of the historic peace churches.

Comparison Table Between Pentecostal and Brethren

Parameters of ComparisonPentecostal Brethren
Bible versions usedNew Internation VersionNew Testament
Primary FocusSignificance of individual and religious experiencesSignificance of the equality between its believers, peace, obedience to Jesus Christ
InitiationThe early 1900s1708
FounderCharles Fox ParhamAlexander Mack and Schwarzenau Brethren
Number of followers300 million43,000 (in 2008)

What is Pentecostal?

The Pentecostal churches are the churches that follow the ideology which was put forth during the Protestant Christian movement. The first Pentecostal church was built on 1 January 1901, which initiated the concept of modern Pentecostalism. The Pentecostal churches use the New International Version of the Bible. The Pentecostal churches out focus on the fact of acceptance of Jesus Christ as our personal Saviour and emphasize the significance of personal and religious experiences.

The Pentecostal strongly adhere to the fact that an individual must accept Jesus Christ as its Lord. The Pentecostal churches are mostly found in Sub-Saharan Africa. It is found that 44% of Pentecostal churches occur in Sub-Saharan Africa. Some denominations of Pentecostal churches exist independently as well in various parts of the world. Statistics show that the largest denomination of Pentecostal churches, the Assemblies of God, had over 69,200,000 members in the year 2018.

There exist several bibliographical mentions of Pentecostalism and its ideologies in books such as “The Indwelling, Baptism, and Infilling with the Holy Spirit: A Differentiation of Terms” by Arrington French L., “Pentecost in My Soul: Explorations in the Meaning of Pentecostal Experience in the Early Assemblies of God” by Blumhofer Edith L. And many more. There are several beliefs in Pentecostalism, which includes Salvation, Baptism, Divine Healing, Eschatology, Spiritual gifts etc.

What is Brethren?

The Brethren churches are the churches that were found by Alexander Mack in the year 1708 in Bad Berleburg, Germany. Its primary objectives include equality in its believers, harmony, obedience to Jesus Christ. It is considered an Anabaptist denomination. The practices that take place include a believers baptism, a love feast, a fellowship meal, communion etc. History of Brethren narrates that a group of eight people volunteered and, under the direction of Alexander Mack, baptized each other in Schwarzenau, Germany.

All the Brethren believers must follow the three negatives, namely, 1. Non-conformity 2. Non-resistance 3. Non-swearing. The Brethren church has had several followers ever since its establishment. Some parts of the United States of America that follow Brethren are Florida, Iowa, Wyoming, Arizona, California, Kansas, but it is strongly followed in places like Ohio, Pennsylvania, Indiana. It truly is an admixture of Radical Pietist and Anabaptist Movements.

Associations affiliated with Brethren involve Brethren World Assembly, Church World Service, Historic Peace Churches, National Council of Churches, World Council of Churches, Christian Peacemakers Team etc. It has several Aid organizations such as Brethren Service Center, Brethren Volunteer Service, Children’s Disaster Services etc. In the year 1723, the first Brethren congregation was established. It took place in the United States of America.

Main Differences Between Pentecostal and Brethren

  1. The Pentecostal churches began in the 19th century. On the other hand, the Brethren churches began in the 17th century.
  2. The founder of the Brethren was Alexander Mack and Schwarzenau Brethren. On the contrary, the founder of Pentecostal is Charles Fox Parham.
  3. Brethren believe in the equality of the believers, harmony and peace, obedience to Jesus Christ. On the other hand, Pentecostal believe in the significance of one’s spiritual and personal experiences.
  4. The Pentecostal follow the New International Version of the Bible. On the other hand, the Brethren use the New Testament.
  5. The first Pentecostal church was built on 1 January 1901. On the other hand, the first Brethren church was built in the year 1883.

Conclusion

There numerous cultures, denominations, and types of churches worldwide but the devotion and the love for God is constant. There are millions of people out there who have faith and are devotees and consider churches as a medium to communicate and connect with God.

It is pure faith and devotion which makes their life a better place to live, and people find it peaceful when they do so. There are several forms and mediums by which people pray to God, and their emotion is nothing but pure faith and acknowledgement.

References

  1. https://www.annualreviews.org/doi/abs/10.1146/annurev.anthro.32.061002.093421
  2. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=1NtLAwAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PA15&dq=Lutheran+&ots=t6h7Xr6AVV&sig=PTXH8500znQhj7xL3JoTdIn8jyo
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