African-American Worship Essay

Length: 4 pages Sources: 3 Subject: Mythology - Religion Type: Essay Paper: #50533245 Related Topics: Sanctification, John Wesley, African American, African
Excerpt from Essay :

Worship is universal. It allows people of various races and ethnicities, backgrounds to come together and pray. However every church and every religion have their key differences. Even in the Christian religion, there are variations existent all throughout Christianity. Some differences are small, while others are fundamental. While attending an African-American Pentecostal Assemblies of the World Church, I was able to see fundamental differences in practice. For instance, the Church is also recognized as Apostolic or as "Oneness" in that they reject the Trinitarian conception of the Godhead in lieu of a concept of God as one person who is expressed in three modes (the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit). As I believe in the Holy Trinity, here in lies the main and fundamental difference in the belief shared by the people of the church and my religious beliefs. As their baptism rights exclude all other modes of God, they immerse people "in the name of Jesus."

My experience with the African-American Pentecostal church was for lack of a better word, eye opening. When looking back into formation of the Pentecostal movement, I think the African-American belief was actually the foundation for the Pentecostal movement. Members of this movement positioned the fundamentals for twentieth-century Pentecostalism by reincorporating John Wesley's notion of entire sanctification into an individual spirituality and devoutness, which they sensed was lacking in their churches. While I was attending service there, I also noticed how they physically acted and it was different from my own service I regularly attend.

African-American Christians bow their heads and lift their hearts up to a God who affirms that people as a whole are somebody. "God has imprinted the divine image on every life, irrespective of color and creed. Since God cares for us, we can cast our cares upon God" (1 Peter 5:7). It is in these words the people of the Pentecostal Church conveyed a deep desire to connect to God in a very emotional

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I saw this not just in their words, but their movements. They moved their hands and swayed bodies as if their prayers were being answered by God at that very moment. They prayed a prayer of expectation, not a prayer of asking and saw the word of God as a means of awareness and learning. "African-Americans express their corporate and personal belief that God in Jesus Christ continues to work for good in every aspect of their lives" (Costen, 2010, p. 3). Although I experience prayer and connection in my own church, the level of passion seen in the Pentecostal church was moving and more importantly, the true eye-opening part of my experience. I believe wholeheartedly in praising the name of God, but experiencing the African-American Church made me see it from a different perspective.

As someone who is deeply connected to Church and faith, some of the things that were similar were the stories and "lessons" told, gleaned from the Bible and its verses. However different their interpretation, the foundations were still place like honoring the Ten Commandments and sharing within the community. It is here I was able to witness the strength of their character through their faith. "They share the reality of a common historical taproot, which extends deep into the nurturing center of the African soil. The community of faith can attest to the strength and sturdiness of this root by the nurturing it continues to provide Africans in diaspora" (Costen, 2010, p. 3).

The…

Sources Used in Documents:

References

Costen, M. (2010). African-American Christian worship (2nd Ed.). Nashville: Abingdon.

Cox, H. (2001). Fire from Heaven. Cambridge, MA: Da Capo Press.

Jenkins, P. (2011). The next Christendom (3rd Ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press.


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