SIGNS of the LAST DAYS: False prophets and false Christs

April 5, 2024 by  
Filed under Events, Featured, Media, Missions, News

SIGNS of the LAST DAYS: Earthquakes, floods, famines and plagues

January 30, 2024 by  
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Polk Revival Two Months and Going Strong

November 30, 2023 by  
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When we wrote back in March and again last month, we could hardly imagine what God had in store for our area. After eight full weeks of revival in Polk County more revivals are on our schedule this month. Swept by the wave of the Spirit, several independent churches have joined in with parallel meetings, thus multiplying the expected attendance exponentially.

Initially 7, now 8 churches and multiple ministries across Polk County, TN have set to seek after the will of God for revival in their area after the pandemic. The revival has gone on now two months each week changing to another of the original seven church locations. Thousands have attended in the past eight weeks alone with multiple saved, recommitted and called to the ministry in the past month. Churches from the greater Conasauga, Reliance, Ocoee, Old Fort, Benton, and Delano communities along with the two oldest Polk County congregations at Cookson Creek and Friendship Baptist, are joining piece by piece the original vision God has given to many ministers for this area of East Tennessee. As Polk Revival continues strong, the participants are requesting prayer from all who love the Lord and have awaited His renewal of the land and His people. https://polkrevival.com/

SIGNS of the LAST DAYS: Good called evil and evil good

November 10, 2023 by  
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PneumaReview.com: When, Why and How did we create it a decade ago

October 25, 2023 by  
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pneuma-review

In the past 10 years since we released PneumaReview.com, we’ve received so many questions on how was it built and constructed to reach such a large audience with its intentionally broad spectrum of research in Pentecostal theology. While some of the technological expertise used is protected as know-how and intellectual property, most of the web architecture and social media strategies are based on free open source technology, which could and should be used by ministries and ministry websites who are dedicated to spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ…

Introduction

I was first introduced to the Pneuma Review’s printed publication back in the seminary years. Yet not through the regular Pentecostal scholarly channels like a academia or SPS, but through the internet. Even then, the editors of this independent, but still scholarly publication, had a strong presence on the web. Sure, the Java technology used was a bit outdated, but still solid and getting the job done. By 2013, however, it was time for something new…

When

After following the printed issue of Pneuma Review for over a decade, around 2011-12 an obvious lagging was noticeable. It was a time when the volume of printed Pneuma Review has dwindled down and a clear alternative was in order within the time and space available. The only reasonable answer was in taking all past, current and future issues of Pneuma Review to the World Wide Web. It was in this time that our team decided to step in and help with the transition of the printed Pneuma Review to a custom designed internet community.

Why

Around 2013, the Pneuma Review has built up to a printed volume of some 1,600 scholarly articles and discussions plus numerous book reviews, announcements, and other valuable content. Obviously, an enormous task to envision, design, convert and present to the internet community. But it was well worth it.

The very idea of doing grass roots Pentecostal theology outside of a university or seminary context and yet on an academia level, was broadening not only the theological horizon of our movement, but the practical vanguard of Pentecostal academia.

How

First of course was the domain name. It was a miracle of its own, that after all these years on the internet, someone had not snatched the PneumaReview.com domain name before we were ready to make the transition to the internet. So our team’s first and foremost advice was, of course: Get the domain today!

But the domain was only the first of many challenges to resolve in the next few months of development. The difficulties with the digitalization of the printed publication had to first deal with the large overall audience reach and the database of both subscribers and articles. The high volume of daily visits was multiplied by the larger size of the articles. While a typical internet publication will have a 500-700 word limit, the Pneuma Review was presenting research topics of 12-15 at times even 20-25 single spaced typed pages. Just for example, Craig S. Keener’s review of John MacArthur’s Strange Fire was close to 20 pages. Combined with the growing number of articles read daily, social media involvement with ongoing discussions and its very specific audience, this was enough to scare away most web developers in the profession.

So how did we do it? Why the know-how in the technology used should not be disclosed as public domain, several strategic points in the building of the actual web property, web presence and web strategy may be of some help to readers who are working on a Pentecostal web project of their own:

  1. As a main priority, the search engine optimized web platform was designed to publish all past and future issues of the Pneuma Review in an compatible digital format
  2. A user friendly magazine-like design provided the options to publish individual articles and/or embed complete issues of the magazine in a PDF format
  3. Database pagination for larger volume of simultaneous users and database storage was implemented to server the enormous content volume (some 200Mb of database just for the starting archive of articles)
  4. SEO compatible web SCHEMA architecture was specifically designed with reader’s search engine experience in mind. The difficulty here was not providing volume to the search engines, which the article archive had in abundance, but sorting and selecting from thousand of search key words and phrases in order to attract the specificity of the audience
  5. An advanced administrative panel aided the day-to-day backend operation of the web platform
  6. Media embed (audio, video and live stream) was enabled as automated post attachments carried on both the website and social media
  7. Finally, to increase user involvement, the social network module included auto publication, audience engagement, feedback and discussions which were seamlessly integrated between many social properties while being stored serverside for the use of the platform

Just as a side note, the architecture design of Pneuma Review to this day remains one of the very few Christian web entities out there that were specifically designed to invoke reader participation. And to my knowledge, it remains one of the largest (with well over 2,000 scholarly publications) and absolutely free to use resource of Pentecostal academia on the internet.

The road ahead…

As technology constantly progresses, there’s always so much to improve. From a purely technological standpoint, however, there are several immediately necessary measures, which Pneuma Review is due. The free registration via social login and auto translation of the article database were both envisioned in the platform from its genesis. Their immediate implementation will open this invaluable web resource to the global community of Pentecostal scholars worldwide. With this move, the SEO optimization not only of generated content, but also social media archives (by rule disregarded by most search engines as per their privacy regulations) will open a massive amount of organic back linking, which will reaffirm the importance of the website as a global community building tool.

Furthermore, the current web platform offers several valuable opportunities for marketing the product, which began as a printed publication. The way it was designed and structured, the whole database is completely printable both as a periodical and volume/series format. Using this current technology makes printing once again an inexpensive and invaluable option, as potential revenue is not only sufficient to cover the cost of printing, but also to invest in further development of the web platform itself.

Finally, the building of a Pentecostal community on the internet with the resources of higher academia is perhaps the single and most important attempt to merge Pentecostal theology and praxis within the last couple of decades. Thus, recovering not only the grass roots of Pentecostal scholarship, but remerging the purity of doctrine with the ministry of the church.

Yes, in few short years social media has provoked an unprecedented response from the Pentecostal community. But social media is not here to stay. As it changes and progresses, it will soon be obsolete as everything else in technology. For this reason, the present opportunity to engage the global Pentecostal community with theology proper via social media must not be taken lightly. And why not even a move from “dead old white guys” theology and organization to understanding God through color, ethnos and gender that truly represents the internationalization of Pentecostal faith and praxis and involves ethnicity, adversity and vanguard of the global Pentecostal academia today?

 

Dr. Dony K. Donev holds a doctoral degree from the Pentecostal Theological Seminary. His dissertation work explored Bulgarian Churches in North America through a paradigm of ministry which studies and people groups with post-Communist origins within the global Pentecostal movement. Currently, as a post-graduate fellow, Dr. Donev is exploring the roots of Protestantism in Eastern Europe. He is available for consultations on building Christian communities online for the advancement of faith research and spiritual understanding.

SIGNS of the LAST DAYS: GOG and MAGOG

October 20, 2023 by  
Filed under Featured, Media, Missions, News

 

13 Titles and Resources at Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center

April 30, 2023 by  
Filed under Featured, News, Publication, Research

Author/Creator: Society for Pentecostal Studies–Annual Meeting, 2007 ; Donev, Kathryn.
Author/Creator: Society for Pentecostal Studies–Annual Meeting, 2010 ; Donev, Dony K.
Author/Creator: Donev, Dony K.
Author/Creator: Donev, Dony K.
Author/Creator: Society for Pentecostal Studies–Annual Meeting, 2011 ; Donev, Dony
Author/Creator: Donev, Dony K.
Resource Type: Books

25 Years ago, I left D.C. and Never Looked Back…

April 15, 2023 by  
Filed under Events, Featured, Missions, News

Spiritual Fullness (Fullness in the Spirit) among Early Bulgarian Pentecostals and Today

February 20, 2023 by  
Filed under Featured, Missions, News, Publication, Research

Bulgaria’s early Pentecostals insisted on a spiritual fullness that included: (1) salvation, (2) water baptism and (3) baptism with the Spirit.[1] As a formula of spiritual experience, it satisfied the witness of blood, water and Spirit (1 Jn. 5:8) on earth; but also corresponded with the triune God in heaven (1 Jn. 5:7), from whom the believer’s spiritual experience originated. Many conservative Pentecostals in Bulgaria today still uphold “the fullness” teaching and would not use Bibles that exclude Johannine Comma (1 John 5:7) for these three “bear record in heaven.”[2]

However, even with the already present Trinitarian experience of the believer and the enormous theological Methodist influence, it is astounding that the doctrine of sanctification was not taught as a separate work of grace among Bulgarian Protestants. Even when after Pentecostalism spread in Bulgaria, it was not included in the tri-fold formula for “spiritual fullness” of the believer. During the persecution of the Communist Regime, speaking in tongues during Communion was done as a spiritual confirmation that the person has “fullness in the Spirit” or is not a government agent sent by the police to spy on the rest of the church. Interpretation often followed to confirm the spiritual stand of the believer. Early Bulgarian Pentecostals did not distinguish between the initial evidence and the gift of speaking in tongues. Even communist propaganda author Boncho Assenov, who categorized Pentecostals as a sectarian cult, defined this fullness as fundamental for the sacramental theology of the early charismatic communities in Bulgaria.[3]

[1] Mollov, 209.

[2] Zarev, 28.

[3] Boncho Asenov, Religiite i sektite v Bŭlgariia (Sofia: Partizdat, 1968), 167, 367.

See also:

The Practice of Corporate Holiness within the Communion Service of Bulgarian Pentecostals

Sanctification and Personal Holiness among Early Bulgarian Pentecostals

Water Baptism among early Bulgarian Pentecostals

First Pentecostal Missionaries to Bulgaria (1920)

How to Detect a Pedophile: Characteristics, Mannerisms and Personality in 2023

January 30, 2023 by  
Filed under Featured, News

By Kathryn N. Donev, LPC/MSHP, NBCC.

Pedophilia is a medically diagnosable disorder typically “defined as a psychiatric disorder in adults or late adolescents (persons age 16 and older) characterized by a primary or exclusive sexual interest in prepubescent children (generally age 13 years or younger, though onset of puberty may vary)”(Wikipedia). It is a disorder that does not discriminate by race, class or age. The Department of Justice estimates, approximately 400,000 convicted pedophiles currently reside in the United States (Snyder). The following will attempt to present a profile of a pedophile in order to make aware their tactics and typical personality traits used as part of a strategy to take advantage of innocent children.

SOCIALLY CHALLENGED
According to the American Psychiatric Association the overwhelming majority of pedophiles are male. They are typically more religious than not and over the age of 30 (Montaldo, Ruggles). Researcher reports a correlation between pedophilia and certain psychological characteristics, such as poor social skills (Emmers-Sommer). Pedophiles are typically antisocial with few friends and not in a relationship. If in a relationship, they will more likely be in a superficial one with a person whom has a child of their preferred age range whom they can target. If married, the relationship is more “companion” based with no sexual relations and is typically dysfunctional providing only a façade to their real identity (Montaldo).

INTROVERTED CHARACTER
Being an introvert, they will prefer to keep personal information limited. They are often vague about past history. If closed off to real intimate relationships then they do not have to share their real identity from which they are hiding. This achieved goal of avoidance is considered a great personal accomplishment and is one of the ways they compensate for low self-esteem. However, they will present such an overwhelming caring personality that purposes to form “intimate” bonds in which they will invest in listening to the lives of those around them. This bond will appear so real that one overlooks that there is no reciprocity of sharing and in reality you know nothing to very little about the pedophile with whom you feel close.

DEMONSTRATIVE PERSONALITY
Pedophiles may also demonstrate increased personal affection. You may observe that this type of person is “a hugger” or will constantly enter ones personal space and do so at times without invitation. This characteristic is accepted as a personality trait and innocently overlooked and excused. After time, one begins to subconsciously let their guard down as systematically the pedophile becomes closer to you and your loved ones entering an intimate realm. They also may attempt to exaggerate situations to test the limits of an individuals understanding. For example if another protests the initial reaction or exaggeration presented by the pedophile then this information give an insight to ones awareness level and how easily they may be manipulated.

PROFESSIONAL MANIPULATORS
Even though some studies show that a pedophile has lower intellectual abilities and self-esteem (Marshall) they are skillful professional manipulators. They are so successful they are able to present a non-unlikeable persona. Meaning they are overly friendly and engaging to the point where one finds themselves in a relationship without even making a conscious effort. Their personality is so magnetic that it attracts children and adults alike. One allows themselves to continue with such relationship due to the appearances of trustworthiness and respectability presented by the pedophile. They are people who are in good standing in the community and will find themselves in a position of helping such as coaching, ministry leaders, volunteers, and so forth (Ruggles, Wooden).

PROTECTOR ROLE
Child molesters often make efforts to gain access to or authority over children (Wooden). Because the internal desire of a pedophile is for a child to become a possession, a child is the focus of great destructive obsession. A child is the focal point of the world of a pedophile and may often be referenced in terms which are drastically uplifting or angelic such as innocent, heavenly or divine (Montaldo). This strong child advocacy is often viewed as an innocent protective act and is one of the reasons why they are allowed to get close to children. You may also overlook all of the physical affection or photographs taken of a child because this is done in a manner which is portrayed as a service to children across the board. If a pedophile does take pictures in the open, others will be convinced that such are not for personal use but for the greater good perhaps being published in a child advocacy resource or so forth.

CHILDLIKE GESTICULATION
A pedophile, even though they charm their way into the lives of adults by trade, they prefer to be around children more so feeling more comfortable and understood. They surround themselves with items that will make them more appealing to children perhaps even including the way they dress. Some even control the way they talk and prefer to use a soft, slow, gentle, childlike, and more so feminine voice over a strong, threatening, controlling manly voice. They obsessively prefer childlike activities over adult ones. They may test the acceptance level of playing children’s’ games with children by first attempting to see if adults like to play such games as well.

UNDERDOG MENTALITY
It is true that some pedophiles are highly intellectual. Yet they will use any intellectual difficulty or perceived difficulty to their advantage and enjoy being the “underdog”. This allows them to reach out to even the most unaware unknowledgeable person for help with everyday tasks. It is a part of human nature to help those in need and a pedophile will use this to their advantage. This is how they get their foot in the door in order to silently but skillfully creep into your community, social network and ultimately your personal home. You may see this characteristic demonstrated in the constant reminder that they are from a different town and are not familiar with the local culture or area. Or they may obsessively seek your guidance, assistance or approval for even the smallest of tasks. They play off of ones need to be needed.

EPILOGUE
Remember pedophiles are professional manipulators and you will have to make a conscious effort to see through the sophisticated front which they have learned to master. Keep in mind that you should always trust your internal instincts. This is one area in which a pedophile has no advantage over you. Do not attempt to convince yourself that what you are sensing is not real for it is when you fall into this trap that you begin to slowly lose touch with reality and are bewildered and sucked into a lie one which is too dangerous to ignore. Never be afraid by the lies that I will hurt ones feelings if I make aware my observations or I am being too pushy by trying to get more history on a person who is so closed off. When all of the signs are present it is our responsibility as true child advocates to protect our children at any cost.

2011. Copyright. All Rights Reserved by Author and CCMI Consortium. Not to be reproduced in any manner without permission of author or CCMI.

Works Cited

American Psychiatric Association. Fact sheet: pedophilia. Available at:www.medem.com/index.cfm. Accessed March 01, 2011.

Emmers-Sommer, T. M., Allen, M., Bourhis, J., Sahlstein, E., Laskowski, K., Falato, W. L., et al. A meta-analysis of the relationship between social skills and sexual offenders. 2004. Communication Reports, 1–17.

Marshall, W. L. The relationship between self-esteem and deviant sexual arousal in nonfamilial child molesters. 1997. Queens University. Sage Journal Publication of Behavior Modification.

Montaldo, Charles. Profile of a pedophile. Available at: www.about.com. Accessed March 17, 2011.

Ruggles, Tammy L. Profile of a pedophile. Available at www.mentalhealthmatterss.com. February 2009. Last Updated on Tuesday, 28 September 2010 15:46. Accessed March 5, 2011.

Snyder, Howard N. Sexual Assault of Young Children as Reported to Law Enforcement: Victim, Incident, and Offender Characteristics. Washington, DC: US Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics; 2000. Publication NCJ 182990.

Wikipedia. Article: pedophilia. Available at www.wikipedia.org. Accessed March 15, 2011.

Wooden, Ken, (with Rosemary Webb & Jennifer Mitchell). Think First & Stay Safe™ Parent Guide. A profile of the child molester. 2010. Publication Child Lures Prevention/Teen Lures Prevention.

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