Name:
Location: Wisconsin, United States

I am a convert to the Catholic Church after serving in ordained ministry for more than nine years in another denomination. I hold a bachelor's degree in history, a master's degree in historical theology, and another in systematic theology, and am currently working (very slowly) on my doctorate. I work in Christian Education and Formation and teach at the University level. I am blessed with a wonderful wife and eight great kids! When I'm not studying, reading, or blogging, I enjoy eating and drinking! Like Bilbo Baggins, I have been specializing in food for many years, and my table has a high reputation!

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

SUBJECT: RELIGION!!!

My papers!

Greetings, and thanks to all who have written asking for copies of the papers mentioned in my previous posts.

Just a few quick notes:

Both papers were presented at an annual meeting of the Society for Pentecostal Studies -- an academic -- and deeply spiritual -- body which meets yearly in various cities across the USA. During my participation in that body, I have come to know and to love many brothers and sisters in Christ from very different perspectives than my own -- and I truly believe that many of them have come to know and to love me.

The reason why I continue to participate in the Society? Because the members present are willing to recognize that the Body of Christ operates outside of their own particular denominational background. Catholics, Assemblies of God, Church of God (Cleveland), Pentecostal Holiness, Church of God in Christ -- and many, many more that cannot be named, have decided that talking is better than fighting -- even if and when we don't always agree.

The first paper I presented was in 2001 at the Society meeting at Oral Roberts University (from which I hold my Bachelor's Degree). It was early in my academic career -- and I will freely admit that I have done better research and scholarship! (I will ask my readers to pardon the fact that I had just undergone major surgery -- and that the final editing of the paper was not up to my own personal standards!)

The second paper I presented was last March -- and the paper (which I agonized for months over) was extremely well received. In my own personal opinion, the fact that the CEC has not chosen to actively participate in the Society for Pentecostal Studies has been a major mistake -- as the "movers and shakers" in the ecumencial movements between classical Pentecostalism, the Charismatic movement, the Convergence Movement, and the mainline churches all tend to participate in this annual conference. (I might add that I have made this same statement for years -- and was actually mocked by my former bishop -- who felt that I wasn't Pentecostal enough -- for attending these Pentecostal meetings!!!)

I would be very interested in comments and criticisms -- and if enough interest is generated, would consider posting the entire papers on-line.

Comments are welcome.

Papa Z

Labels: , , ,

9 Comments:

Blogger Dn. Harmon said...

David,

I read your papers and listened to your interview on EWTN as well and find a slight but important apparent discrepancy. (The papers were very informative and well done.)

Do you, or do you not beleive the charisms are an important leg or stream in the catholic faith? In your second paper you seem to agree, but in the interview you don't seem to agree.

If I heard correctly, I think Iheard you downplay them considerably (except for the eucharist - which was not one of the charisms originally noted by Paul and the early church, but certainly could be viewed as a vehicle for them) during the interview and wondered whether you had moved away from the charismatic and weighted yourself more toward the liturgical leg now that you are "in Rome."

That has been one of my chief objections to moving toward Rome (along with disunity with the Eastern churches) in that they claim to have the spirit of life, yet move very methodically and not so much by the spirit as they do in a scholastic mode.

I know there needs to be a balance and a tension between the three streams, but it really sounded like you had possibly abandoned one of the streams.

I enjoyed reading the papers though and may have further comment on them soon.

Blessings+

Dcn Chic

10:01 AM  
Blogger David Zampino said...

Greetings, Deacon Chic,

Thanks for your thoughtful post.

A number of things come to mind. First, the target audience for the two venues was different. Hence, some of the difference in tone should be attributed to that fact.

I do earnestly believe that the charisms are important -- indeed, necessary (though not "necessary as proof of salvation, as some classical pentecostals might teach).

Yet, I do not believe that the pentecostal/charismatic stream is in any sense equal in importance to the sacramental life of the Church. In other words, I put the Eucharist in chief place -- even above the preaching of the Word (not that I minimize its importance either).

And frankly, this is what used to be taught when I was in the CEC. The liturgical "stream" functioned in the same manner as did the banks of a river. A river with strong banks can run strong and deep. A river without strong banks causes flooding! I remember a sermon Archbishop Adler gave in which he said that while on vacation, he visited a local Catholic Church. His reasoning? Because, he said, even if the sermon was not up to speed, he knew that the Presence of Christ in a true, Eucharistic sense would be there. Again, at a clergy conference years ago in Texas, Canon Mark Pearson likened the charisms to dessert -- and the Eucharist to the meat and the potatoes.

I don't know if this helps to clear things up -- I may have just muddied the waters even more!

Many blessings,

10:41 AM  
Blogger Dn. Harmon said...

Thank you for your response.
It does in a way clarify the thoughts presented in both venues. However, in the EWTN interview, it really sounded as though the charisms were being described as unnecessary because the Eucharist "takes the place" of them.

I am thinking that perhaps what was really meant was the Eucharist is of chief importance among the three streams while at the same time not diminishing the importance of all three streams as necessary to work in harmony for the fullness of the faith and the proper order of The Body of Christ.

I agree the Eucharist is the most important part of the liturgy of the church, but I also believe (along with St. Paul) that all of the charisms are necessary to bring active life to the Body of Christ, and that without them, the church may have communion, but not fullness of Joy (life).

I just don't see it as an either/or, but as a both/and, critical and necessary part of the believers' life to function properly within the Body of Christ.

Paul also seems to be very clear in this regard in his extensive writings on the gifts of the Holy Spirit, and the Book of Acts seems to point to that as well (Acts 8:14-17; 19:1-7). So while the Eucharist is primary in importance - as our chief duty even - the baptism of the Holy Spirit is of great (although perhaps second) importance, within the riverbanks.

I am not trying to argue the point so much as work out in my mind the theology presented. I think there is a marked difference between Rome and all other churches (perhaps except for the Baptist) as to the importance of the baptism in the Holy Spirit. While I agree that it is not a proof measure of salvation, Paul seemed to think that it was extremely important to the living out of the faith and that without it, one was merely drinking the milk of the faith and not really useful to the body as yet (as is the case with infants that can only stomach milk and not solid food. While they are important, they cannot offer any real help to the family until they grow out of the milk and into solid food, and grow up.)

I hope I am making sense as I work this out. It is (like I said) one of my chief complaints against Rome in that it is not common for clergy to operate within the charisms (which I think they should) so much as in proper liturgy and ecclesiastical order.

12:29 PM  
Blogger Fr. Aidan's Pulpit said...

Hi David,

I have written you several times and at different email addresses and by comments on your blog here requesting copies of your papers but have not recieved a response. I really would appreciate it if you would respond to me and of possible share your papers with me. Have you not recieved me requests? I would appreciate your contacting me, even by private post.

Thanks,

Fr Aidan Hix+

11:16 PM  
Blogger Fr. Aidan's Pulpit said...

Hi David,

I've been trying to reach you in order to request copies of your papers. I would appreciate a response. I'm not sure if your email addresses have changed or not.

Thanks

Fr Aidan Hix

11:17 PM  
Blogger David Zampino said...

Fr. Aidan,

The papers have been sent.

Blessings,

David

10:35 AM  
Blogger David Zampino said...

Greetings, Deacon Chic,

I want to thank you again for your comments. I don't know if my answers will help much or not -- indeed, I am not trying to answer specific questions so much as I am trying to explain (however imperfectly) where I seem to currently "fit"!

Again, with regard to the Charisms described by St. Paul, esp. in I Corinthians: Let me state categorically that I believe that such are valid, were part of the Early Church -- and have never left the Church.

This being said -- I am not necessarily convinced that what passes for "expressions of charisms" in much of modern day worship is necessarily what St. Paul had in mind. After all, St. Paul was not at all silent when he saw what he felt to be abuses in the exercises of charisms.

It is true that I have not chosen, at the present time, to become involved in the "Charismatic Renewal" movement in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. This has nothing to do with whether I believe, or do not believe; or practice, or do not practice, moving in the Gifts of the Spirit in my own prayer life -- because I do. And my parish, while not offering "Charismatic-type worship Masses" DOES offer regular healing services -- and I have found that the charism of discernment is most active in my pastor -- a fact which has provided me great comfort.

I guess that I am concerned with the equation of "Praise and Worship" with "Charisms of the Holy Spirit". I completely agree that -- especially in this country -- the two often go together, but my understanding of Church history suggests that this is not always the case. The experience of many of the saints and mystics suggests to me the active operation of the Charisms enumerated by St. Paul -- but not in a way that the Charismatic Movement in the United States would necessarily understand.

Again, I guess what I am trying to say is, that while I firmly and truly believe in the validity of the Charisms today -- I have difficulty equating those Charisms with many Pentecostal -- and Charismatic -- "movements" -- including, sadly, at times, the CEC.

I have no idea if this helps at all . . . just some random thoughts.

Please continue to contribute -- I truly value your comments.

Blessings,

Your friend,

David

4:38 PM  
Blogger Fr Mark Wallace said...

David,

I am glad to hear about your papers being well-received at the Society for Pentecostal Studies. I, for one, would like to read them. Also, I was surprised to learn from your post that the CEC has chosen not to participate in the Society. I wonder why.

I am not volunteering to be its representative, but just a little background on me as to where I find a common bond with you.

I, too, graduated from Oral Roberts University. I received my Bachelor's Degree [1976] in "Theological and Historical Studies" under the tutelage of (the late) Dr. Chuck Farah. My thesis was "The Influence of the Baptism in the Holy Spirit Among the Historic Churches." It was basically a survey of what was going on since the 1950's in the Roman Catholic, Episcopal and Lutheran Churches.

Although I received an 'A' on it, in hindsight, I now find my paper to be a very amateur piece of work. My gifting is far more on the pastoral side of "the scale" than the theologian one.

Having said that, I agree with Dcn Harmon, that one of the reasons I am not considering a move to Rome (and the East) is the lack of emphasis on the charisms. I DO believe that the Holy Eucharist is the chief of all the "streams." I DO know that there is rampant abuse of the gifts of the Spirit. However, the correction to "abuse" should not be "no use." What I see in the RC and EO Church is essentially "lip-service."

I grew up in the Episcopal Church. I had a conversion of faith in an evangelical youth camp setting. Immediately after that, I had the "Pentecostal" experience and spoke in tongues at a home Bible study in 1971. So, I always felt somewhat spirtually schizophrenic until the CEC came into being.

In spite of what is currently going on in the CEC's House of Bishops, my parish is healthy, alive, and continuing to grow. We are not charismatic in the "TBN" or "Dove Network" way. Frequently, in worship there is "singing in the Spirit" and less frequently is there a "prophetic word" spoken. Always, there is the oil of annointing offered for healing.

Now, after rereading the above, I apologize for what seems to be a blurring of this post into addressing one of your others. I do not disparage you or any other CEC clergy or layman for leaving. I know that for most who have left, they had valid reasons. I will not dispute them. But my reason for staying is because I know that my Bishop (Ken Myers) and many others continue to maintain the orignial vision of being a Church that recognizes and validates "the 3 streams."

I know it's difficult to do, but I think it is possible AND necessary that we can express all 3 streams.

As I'm thinking "out loud" here, I'm wondering....is equating the Eucharist to be supreme over the preaching of the Word and expression of the charisms akin to saying The Father is supreme over The Son and The Spirit? Isn't the Blessed Trinity .... One? How can we place a preeminent value of the Eucharist over the other two?

Thanks for your thoughts,
Fr. Mark Wallace, Rector
Holy Trinity CEC
Oklahoma City, OK
www.htcec.org

10:48 AM  
Blogger David Zampino said...

Greetings, Fr. Mark, and many blessings to you and your church family.

I greatly appreciate your remarks -- and have very fond memories of Dr. Farah -- indeed, he used to occasionally attend the Church of Saint Mary (CEC attempt in Tulsa #1) when I was there, and shortly before we moved to Wisconsin, Dr. Farah came to a Christmas party at my home. Did you know that a couple of years ago, the Society for Pentecostal Studies dedicated their annual collection of papers to his memory?


I honestly don't know why the CEC has not chosen to participate in the activities of the Society -- it would have seemed a natural to me.

I don't agree that recognizing the Eucharist as THE central act of worship of the Church equates to subordinationism; I think that it can be demonstrated that the Eucharist is, in and of itself, a strong Trinitarian statement. Nor do I deny the importance of the Word or the Charisms. This being said, the Eucharist IS the central act of worship of the Church -- and has been since New Testament times. So I must hold in deep suspicision any act which would subordinate the Eucharist -- and frankly, some of the stories I am hearing coming from all over the denomination make me feel that in some places, this is precisely what is happening.

Many blessings,

11:18 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home