Doof Geest niet

Gesprekken tussen rooms-katholieken en pentecostals brengen beide groepen dichterbij Christus en leren hen verder te vertrouwen op de Heilige Geest. Beide erkennen de grote waarde van de charismata die de Geest wil aanreiken aan alle christenen.

‘Doof de Geest niet’ (Do not quench the Spirit’). Dat is de titel van het rapport waarin de zesde fase van het interkerkelijk overleg van rooms-katholieken (Raad voor Bevordering Christelijke Eenheid) en pentecostals (‘Classical Pentecostals’) is beschreven. Kees Slijkerman stuurde het rapport naar het bureau van de Raad. Het rapport geeft reflecties op de profetie, genezing en onderscheiden van geesten. Vanuit Nederland heeft ds. Paul van der Laan (Verenigde Pinkster Evangeliegemeenten meegedaan in de discussies.

Hieronder volgt de samenvatting.

V. Summary and Conclusions

105. Catholics and Pentecostals both recognize that the charisms that the Holy Spirit bestows on the People of God are intended for use by all Christians and are not limited only to those who participate in “renewal” movements. Praying for, expecting, and relying on the responsible exercise of charisms results in the upbuilding of the Church and effective ministry to the world. Catholics and Pentecostals are therefore invited to rediscover StuCom 0417uk 18 the role of charisms and reignite the use of these gifts in their respective communities. The participants in this Dialogue wish to encourage all other Christians to do the same.

106. The exercise of charisms, when accompanied by holiness of life, glorifies God and empowers the spread of the gospel to the ends of the earth (cf. Acts 1:8). Pope Francis has said that the Renewal is “a current of grace, a renewing breath of the Spirit for all members of the Church…. You, Charismatics, have a special grace to pray and work for Christian unity, so that the current of grace may pass through all Christian Churches” (Address to the Renewal in the Holy Spirit Movement, 3 July, 2015).

107. Those who exercise various charisms must avoid the temptation of using them merely as instruments for personal gain. Catholics and Pentecostals also resist any exercise which seems to put prophetic words above the Word of God. Appropriate discernment helps avoid pastoral problems and results in a better appreciation of the spiritual significance of charisms. In a similar vein, Jack Hayford, a senior leader within the global Pentecostal movement, has noted that Our welcome to spiritual gifts will never violate the Word. We ask the Holy Spirit to be present here and to distribute gifts among us according to His will. All the gifts are present in the Church, and every believer is urged to be free and responsible to minister gifts with sensitivity. We are covetous of their manifestation, but not gullible as to their demonstration. Graciousness in ministry, submissiveness in spirit and order in operation of the gifts is scriptural and, therefore, insisted upon….[5]

108. During the time spent together in the Dialogue, the participants felt the presence of the Holy Spirit in their prayers, in their discussion, and in being together. They tried to perceive together the prophetic inspirations of the Spirit uttered through each one of them. They listened together to the whispers and the wordless groaning of the Spirit (1 Kg 19:12; Rom 8:26), and they felt his wind blowing among them. The dialogue was itself a kind of “charismatic” experience, filled with gifts from the Holy Spirit.

109. What has become clear from this study together is that there is a significant unity in the way Pentecostals and Catholics understand these gifts and seek to ensure their proper exercise. Given the fact that it is the Holy Spirit who gives these charisms to the one body of Christ (1 Cor 12:27; Rom 12:4-8; Eph 4:4-16), it should come as no surprise that such unitysurrounding these charisms should exist. But there are also differences in the way Catholics and Pentecostals understand these gifts, their exercise, discernment and oversight.

110. From these five years of reflections, it seems clear that if unity in the Body of Christ is a work of the Holy Spirit (cf. 1 Cor 12:13), the charisms, as his free gifts, are meant to be divine tools contributing to the restoration of that unity which is the will of Christ (cf. Jn 17:21).

111. In the meantime, Catholics and Pentecostals are invited to exercise their own individual charisms with renewed consciousness of their role in building up the Church and promoting Christian unity. Catholics and Pentecostals are also convinced that, as Novatian, a third-century Christian, declared while reflecting on the true faith of the Church, It is the Holy Spirit who confirmed the hearts and minds of the disciples, who revealed the mysteries of the Gospel, who shed upon them the light of things divine. Strengthened by his gift, they did not fear either prisons or chains for the name of the Lord; indeed they even trampled upon the powers and torments of the world, armed and strengthened by him, having in themselves the gifts which this same Spirit bestows and directs like jewels to the Church, the Bride of Christ. It is in fact he who raises up prophets in the Church, instructs teachers, guides tongues, works wonders and healings, accomplishes miracles, grants the discernment of spirits, assigns governance, inspires counsels, distributes and harmonizes every other charismatic gift. In this way he completes and perfects the Lord’s Church everywhere and in all things. (Novatian, De Trinitate, 29.9-10 [CCL 4, 70]; quoted by Pope John Paul II in StuCom 0417uk 19 the Encyclical Letter The Splendour of Truth, Veritatis Splendor, 108).

112. How the results of this Dialogue might be shared and disseminated will become evident as readers choose to apply them to their own situations. Participants in this phase of the Dialogue invite readers to consider employing this report in different and creative ways. They might include one or more of the following possibilities. • It could be used as a common text for further discussion between Classical Pentecostals and Catholics on the local or national level. • It could be used in studies of ecumenism, since it is the first bilateral document in which charisms have been examined in any depth. • Professors may assign this report in courses that look at the variety of bilateral dialogues in which the Catholic Church participates, in courses related to Pentecostalism or to the Charismatic Renewal, or in courses on spirituality. • Students training for ministry would benefit from reading this report carefully as they explore possibilities for developing greater ecumenical understanding, appreciation, and cooperation between Catholics and Pentecostals in the future. • Pastors, clergy, and others in pastoral ministry may find this report useful for sermon illustrations or for practical advice on how to provide teaching and leadership when these gifts are present. • Bible and Sunday school teachers in local congregations or parishes may find this report helpful in explaining the positions of their own churches as well as the positions of their Catholic or Pentecostal partners, by reading it alongside the biblical texts that speak directly of the charisms (e.g. 1 Cor 12- 14; Rom 12:3-8; Eph 4:7-16, and 1 Pet 4:10-11).

113. The participants in this dialogue have discovered that they share much common ground concerning charisms, though they also recognize that much more work must be done if Catholics and Pentecostals are to reap what the Holy Spirit is sowing in their respective communities. As Pope Francis has observed, “If we really believe in the abundantly free working of the Holy Spirit, we can learn so much from one another! It is not just about being better informed about others, but rather about reaping what the Spirit has sown in them, which is also meant to be a gift for us” (The Joy of the Gospel 246).

114. Participants in this dialogue offer this report with the hope that it will challenge all readers to deeper faithfulness to the gospel, boundless openness to the Holy Spirit of God, and better appreciation for all followers of the Lord Jesus Christ. Participants in this round of the International Catholic–Pentecostal Dialogue are convinced that reports such as this may be used as effective tools in bringing Catholics and Pentecostals closer to one another. As they grow closer to Christ and rely upon the Holy Spirit for continued guidance, their hope and prayer is that others will join them in pursuing the Lord’s call to unity (cf. Eph 4:3). Participation in this ongoing journey would make a substantial gift to promoting Christian unity.