Race, Sex and Liberation: Pentecostal Studies President Steers Society in New Direction

201304111949.jpg Pentecostalism has been the most dynamic movement of the Twentieth century. Pentecostal, charismatic and related movements have gone from nothing to half a billion in a hundred years.

At the heart of their success has been the combination of the authority of the Word and the power of the Holy Spirit.

Yet even Pentecostalism is not immune from the failure of success, especially in the prosperous western world.

Society for Pentecostal Studies President Paul Alexander’s address was suffused with liberation theology themes in which he denounced “white racing,” “male sexing” and urged gathered Pentecostal academics to accept “LGBTQI* realities” in their churches and seminaries.

Central to Alexander’s address was a liberation theology reading of the Exodus that portrayed both oppressive Biblical Egypt and later freed Israelites inhabiting the Promised Land as “the construct of Whiteness.” The Palmer Seminary professor described whiteness as a “super-ordination that subordinates the other.”

Alexander identified Pharaoh and his son as the “sexed-as-male raced-as-white coercive voice and structures of whiteness.” Arguing that Pharaoh’s “whiteness” was irredeemable, Alexander charged it is a construct “that must be exited completely so that it can deconstruct into nothingness.”

[ed. What has this guy been smoking?]

Alexander is a licensed Assemblies of God minister.

Alexander argued for deconstruction of norms within Pentecostalism: “All manifestations of lighter skin privilege and silent conflations of whiteness with superiority and the norm must be openly challenged and dismantled.” Alexander applied this liberationist hermeneutic to various issues, claiming manifestations of “whiteness” within Pentecostalism included male privilege, acceptance of violence in war, and boundaries regarding doctrine and sexual ethics.

In his address to the society, Alexander noted that some Christians who are “gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and intersex” are also Pentecostals and Charismatics, urging that the society should openly discuss “our diversity of perspectives” without “fear of reprisal.”

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*LGBTQI stands for: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Intersex.

UPDATE: Paul Alexander Dismissed from Assemblies of God Clergy