What Is the Difference Between Apostolic and Pentecostal Churches?

Apostolic churches are a subset of the greater Pentecostal faith that opposes the trinitarian idea of separation. The majority of Pentecostal congregations are Trinitarian, believing in the distinct identities of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

With one important exception, apostolic Pentecostals hold many of the same beliefs as mainstream Pentecostal churches. The vast majority of Apostolic churches believe that the Trinity doctrine as it is viewed by the majority of Christians is polytheistic. Trinitarian Pentecostals recognise the distinct and comparable identities of God the Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit. These identities are only acknowledged by apostolic Pentecostals as distinct manifestations of the same God.

According to the New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia, Apostolic refers to anything associated with Christ’s twelve apostles. The Apostolic Pentecostal church holds that their doctrine of the Trinity was articulated at Pentecost by the apostles and should be used to interpret the Scriptures. Mainstream Pentecostals contend that the scripture is frequently misunderstood and claim that the mystery of the Trinity consists of three persons in one. Aside from this distinction, both the Apostolic and Pentecostal churches affirm Christ’s divinity, the reception of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, and the Gifts of the Spirit.


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