Abounding Grace Radio: The path from Pentecostal to Reformed (3 videos)

Reverend Mark Stromberg of Lynden United Reformed Church in Washington State joins Pastor Chris Gordon to talk all things Pentecostal. In the first video (below), Rev. Stromberg shares his experiences as a Pentecostal preacher and breaks down what happens during a typical Pentecostal service. They discuss his colourful childhood growing up in the church and what led him out of the Pentecostal church and into the Reformed Faith. Their conversation covers speaking in tongues, church revivals, and the time Pastor Stromberg broke his pulpit.

Rev. Stromberg was raised Pentecostal and became an influential Pentecostal preacher in Montana for more than a decade. As his understanding of the Bible grew, so did his doubts about the Pentecostal Church. His study of Acts 2 and questions about regeneration led him out of Pentecostalism and into Westminster Seminary in Escondido, California. He answered the call to become the preaching pastor at Lynden United Reformed Church in Lynden, Washington where he resides today.

Video 2: Leaving Pentecostalism behind

Chris Gordon continues the conversation Rev. Stromberg. The discussion pivots to how Rev. Stromberg’s understanding of the Bible led to doubts about Pentecostalism and his inevitable path to the Reformed faith. He explains how voicing his concerns caused the church, and his own uncle, to silence him, ban him, and hand him a one-way ticket out of town.


00:00 – Borrowing from the Charismatic movement

01:38 – Pentecostalism reinvents itself

02:34 – Pentecostal in theology, not experience

04:11 – No church after a year of college

05:00 – The Charismatic movement is death?

06:55 – Stromberg on becoming Reformed

07:34 – My uncle recognized Pentecostal deficits

08:29 – Reading Calvin’s Institutes

10:30 – Dry bones and predestination

10:57 – A guy walks into a restaurant

10:00 – Pentecostals deny the Trinity

11:18 – Pentecostals against Kenneth Copeland

13:17 – Banned for being Reformed

15:00 – On to Westminster Seminary

16:00 – Belgrade to Lynden

17:10 – Reformed discomfort

18:54 – Proper Reformed experience

19:47 – Push back on daily conversion

21:00 – Preaching the law to the Saved

22:00 – The Reformed experience of being saved

23:20 – The impact of the truth

23:42 – The sacrifice of the preacher’s wife

25:37 – Breaking the table

26:18 – Preaching conviction and repentance

28:47 – David’s sin

29:46 – The decline of Pentecostalism

Video 3: Cessationism

Pastor Gordon and Rev. Stromberg keep the conversation going as they talk about the importance of preaching God’s wrath and the relevance of truly being convicted of your sin. They discuss how some churches today focus less on sin and more on signs and wonders, and how that idea is putting the power of the Gospel in the wrong place. They interpret scripture with scripture on these issues, referring to Ezekiel, Jeremiah, John, Acts, and Isaiah to better understand the gospel, the true purpose of apostolic gifts, and how they ceased with the apostles. Watch the full episode as they bring the discussion back to the ministry of the word and the gift of being born again.

Chapters: 00:00 – Introduction

01:00 – Reformed struggles

03:00 – The law and daily conversion

03:58 – Conviction of sin

05:23 – The Apostle Paul awakens

06:10 – The experience of true conversion

06:50 – The music moves me

07:58 – Planning the service

08:40 – YWAM

09:23 – Dead in sin

13:01 – Rise of the modern self

13:45 – Eternity, sin, and hell

14:35 – The Gospel isn’t a fix-all

15:40 – Why can’t you just preach Christ?

16:50 – Sin and God’s judgment

17:10 – Reformed discomfort

18:57 – Scripture to interpret scripture

20:47 – The need for Gospel ministry

21:15 – Cessationism, the end of spiritual gifts

22:30 – Acts 2 – The Upper Room

23:41 – The tongues of fire

25:17 – Signs and wonders

28:37 – Acts is about preaching

29:50 – Losing confidence in Christ

30:42 – Putting God in a box

31:27 – Stumbling over the Gospel ministry

33:24 – Wilderness people

34:00 – People want the power