Are Pentecostals a Cult?


Q. Should I warn people against going to Pentecostal churches? I know that Pentecostal is a cult. Can these church goers still claim salvation if they don’t partake in speaking in tongues and faith healing?
In your experience, is distributing Christian tracts a waste of time?

A. It depends on which branch of Pentecostal churches you’re referring to. There are about 740 known Pentecostal denominations in the world, not counting independent churches not grouped as denominations. Of these, 630 denominations (85%) are considered evangelical, 30 (4%) as fringe, and 80 (11%) as cultic. We can’t generalize by looking at the minority and say all Pentecostals are cults.

Historically, Pentecostalism originated from the Holiness Movement at the beginning of the 20th Century. The doctrines were Wesleyan or Methodist, and the main denominations include the Church of God in Christ, the Church of God, Cleveland, and the International Pentecostal Holiness Church. A second branch developed from those with a Baptist background, and included the Assemblies of God, the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel, and the Open Bible Churches. These two branches make up the evangelical arm above.

A third, smaller branch started in the UK, consisting of the Apostolic Church which some consider fringe, as they claim living apostles and prophets. Finally there is a fourth branch called Oneness Pentecostals which reject the Trinity and believes in Jesus’ Name only. They include the United Pentecostal Church and the Apostolic Pentecostal Church (not to be confused with Apostolic Church), and are considered cultic.

Can the church goers claim salvation if they don’t partake in speaking in tongues and faith healing? Of course they can. Salvation is granted by grace and received by faith in the finished work of Christ alone. It is never based on tongues or healing. Countless Christians trusted in Jesus Christ as their Lord & Savior and became children of God, but never spoke in tongues or had the gift of healing, or received it.

In my experience, distributing tracts is not the best evangelistic tool, but it is not a waste of time. We have seen seekers coming to faith in the Lord through reading tracts. I prefer doing evangelistic Bible study, or using Evangelism Explosion. or using the Gospel Bridge myself, but I distribute tracts too. God can and will use whatever means to bring people to Himself. Hope this helps.

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