Original Research

Charismatic experiences in the Congo Evangelistic Mission Churches: A review of some practices

Mayuka G. Bondo, Marius Nel
In die Skriflig/In Luce Verbi | Vol 56, No 1 | a2841 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ids.v56i1.2841 | © 2022 Mayuka G. Bondo, Marius Nel | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 04 February 2022 | Published: 17 August 2022

About the author(s)

Mayuka G. Bondo, Department of Missiology, Faculty of Theology, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa
Marius Nel, Department of Ecumene, Pentecostalism and Neo-Pentecostalism, Faculty of Theology, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa


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Abstract

Deliverance and divine healing, as well as the crucial historical aspect of the mission’s early proselytising and development in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), constitute the major characteristics of Pentecostalism. As they form a historical aspect of the mission’s development, it is not surprising that its preservation has not only remained at the core of the church’s ethos, but also continues to increase exponentially. This article investigated some praxis, specifically in the churches founded by the Congo Evangelistic Mission (CEM): the ransom and the fire, the laying of hands and anointing oil, successively as deliverance and divine healing practices. The purpose was to establish the extent to which these churches founded by CEM can move away from these practices and find in Christ the better life they seek. It is to critically reflect on the deliverance and divine healing practices in the church and how the applicability of these practices affects people’s lives, including members and non-members. The qualitative method was utilised for the study. Data was collected through in-depth (semi-structured) interviews and direct observation in the churches founded by the CEM. The findings of this study show that the emergence of these traditionalist practices in the churches founded by the CEM would inadvertently lead to a disregard for in-depth biblical and theological knowledge and eventually result in the further diminishment of the essence of the Christian faith. This study has two implications: (1) the spread of doctrinal abuses is largely due to ignorance and neglect of the church’s doctrines, particularly pneumatology (Pentecostal doctrine), even though the teaching of this doctrine has provided the Pentecostal theological context for the mission’s foundation since its inception. (2) The divisions within the CEM churches have become more frequent and thereby making it difficult for many pastors to lead their members, especially those with charismatic gifts (prophets, Balombi).

Contribution: Focusing specifically on charismatic gifts, this article establishes theological guidelines that would revive the Church’s missiological impulse. The guidelines for dealing with these practices will better equip Pentecostal church members to practice the charismatic gifts in light of the New Testament perspectives.


Keywords

charismatic experiences; Congo Evangelistic Mission; churches; review; practices; deliverance; healings

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