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Pompous Pentecostals

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Pompous Pentecostals

(May the Lord be praised that we Pentecostal Apostolics have been given the honor of hearing and receiving the Gospel truth of Acts 2:38. It is a privilege to live separated from the world. I have no desire to change from this holiness lifestyle.)

In spite of our God-given heritage, too many of us are plagued with a self-righteous, and holier than thou spirit. It severely hinders the work of God.

1. Pompous Pentecostals Are Hurting The Church. They are hurting our church growth. They are hurting our spiritual growth. Saints and sinners alike observe them with disdain.

Pompous Pentecostals won’t speak to other Pentecostals in the Mall or on the street. You see them coming toward you in the mall and you nod. They don’t even nod back. They act like you are invisible. Why?

I have had warmer responses from Baptists and Methodists. Even strangers, that by all appearances have never been in a Holiness church, will readily respond to a friendly ‘Hello’ or a ‘Howdy’. Why can’t we Pentecostals be friendlier? Are we saying to the world, and even to other Pentecostals, “I’m too holy to talk to you?” Whatever happened to ‘love thy neighbor as thyself’?

2. Pompous Pentecostals Will Disfellowship One With Reckless Abandon. I’m not talking about disfellowshipping a person or a church because of immorality or doctrine that is contrary to Acts 2:38.  I’m talking about precious people have been disfellowshipped for doing things that fall into the category of ‘doctrines of men’.

Here is a short list of things I’ve seen some disfellowshipped over by pastors and saints.

  • Wearing the color red
  • Wearing shoes with heels out
  • Wearing shoes with toes out.
  • Women’s hair not in a hair net.
  • Because of no seams in women’s nylons.
  • Women shaving their legs.
  • Playing Old Maid.

The list is endless. Pompous Pentecostals are inconsistent. Pharisees always seemed to incur the rebukes of Jesus. He was more angry with them than the sinners.

My point is this. What if we Pompous Pentecostals disfellowship someone who God is still in fellowship with? Why are we so quick to cut people off?

How are we going to explain that in the Judgment? God forbid that we should go to heaven together with those that we disfellowshipped.

3. Pompous Pentecostals Are The Only Ones That Are Right. They are the last defenders of truth in their minds. Everyone else is wrong. If they are not in our fellowship circle, they are lost.

Two things will be our downfall… Worldliness and Fanaticism.

Eccl. 7:16 Be not righteous over much; neither make thyself over wise: why shouldest thou destroy thyself?

Eccl. 7:17 Be not over much wicked, neither be thou foolish: why shouldest thou die before thy time?

There are good Holiness minded Apostolic people who are scorned, shunned and discounted because they are not considered exactly like those that we are comfortable around.

4. Pompous Pentecostals Have Need Of Nothing.

Rev. 3:14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;

Rev. 3:15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.

Rev. 3:16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.

Rev. 3:17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:

Pompous folks won’t receive preaching that involves correction or instruction. They feel no need for improvement.

A fine young couple moved to the assembly I pastored from a church 2,500 miles away. I knew his former pastor preached against wearing watches.

The couple had been at our church for several weeks. One Bible Study night I singled out our new brother who was sitting on the front row. I welcomed him and told him what a blessing he was to the whole church.

“I notice that you do not wear a watch.” I said .

He shook his head no.

“I honor and respect that carefulness in you. Never lose your carefulness before the Lord.

We have some that wear watches in this church. I appreciate the wearers using them for timepieces and not for ornamentation. The best watches are Plantwear.

“But I don’t want you to go out and buy a watch and hurt your conscience because everyone here has one. I don’t want you wearing one just because we allow them here. Do you understand?”

He nodded.

“On the other hand, if you don’t wear one and we do, then I don’t want you to sit there and feel holier than the rest of the church and the pastor because you don’t and we do.

Because once you feel holier than the pastor, he can no longer help you or teach you. You in your own mind are holier than him and the church.

“If that spirit ever gets ahold of you then I am ordering you to go out and buy two watches and wear one on each wrist until you get over that spirit.

He nodded. He bought a watch.

5. Pompous Pentecostals Get Caught Up In Secondary Boycotts. You are my friend’s enemy, so you are then my enemy, because I love my friend. I don’t know what you did, but my friend leaves you alone, so I will too. There has to be something wrong with you if you and my friend are not close friends.

6. Pompous Pentecostals Show Their Prejudices. God doesn’t have a White Church, a Black Church, a Hispanic Church or an Asian Church. He just has a Church. How can we say we love God and hate our brother enough not to want to worship in the same building with him?

I was at a church were several dozen people boycotted the Sunday services because the pastor had personally canvassed and bused in several bus loads of people from the ‘projects’ the week before.

They wanted no one from the ‘low income’ housing development to attend their upscale church. The boycotting of the weekend services by all the ‘rich’ people was to get the pastor’s attention and make him ignore ‘those low class people’

Jesus came to seek and to save that which was lost. What would it be like in a world where love was felt and people were treated with kindness regardless of income or race?



Definition – Online Dictionary and Thesaurus


Part of Speech:          adjective

Definition:     arrogant, egotistic

Synonyms:    affected, arrogant, bloated, boastful, bombastic, conceited, flatulent, flaunting, flowery, haughty, high and mighty, high-flown, highfaluting, important, inflated, magisterial, narcissistic, ostentatious, overbearing, overblown, pontifical, portentous, presumptuous, pretentious, puffed up, puffy, rhetorical, self-centered, self-important, selfish, self-important, showy, snobbish, stuck-up, supercilious, uppity, vain,

Antonym: (the opposite meaning) = modest



The opposite of being a Pompous Pentecostal, is being a Modest Pentecostal.

May we all remember the timeless lesson Jesus gave about the Pharisee and the Publican. The Pharisee was proud that he was not like ‘other’ men and bragged on his own ‘godliness.’ The Publican was ashamed and with much inward pain smote his chest and asked for God’s mercy. “I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted. ” Luke 18:14

Written by Martyn Ballestero

February 23, 2011 at 12:02 am

Posted in Holiness, Love, Pride

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39 Responses

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  1. There’s also another word. It’s called bigotry and I hope I am never referred to as a bigot. We can’t win people if we are killing them with our words.

    Veridical Angel

    February 23, 2011 at 12:14 am


      TJ GRAY

      March 25, 2011 at 8:59 am

  2. As always, a great post.
    I would like to answer a question for you though… at least try to anyways 🙂

    “Whatever happened to ‘love thy neighbor as thyself’?”

    I have been a member of an oppressive church. I have always found that ‘rules without relationships = rebellion’ and now live by that rule.

    I find that the stricter the church, the more unhappy the people. As a general rule, I really don’t think they love themselves. I think they are ruled by fear and guilt, and so rule their households and friendships by fear and guilt.
    Either that, or they are one thing in the church and another in the world, in which case they are hypocrites, and they know it, and I feel truly hate their own hypocrisy.

    So I think their standoffish behavior, and they way they so bitterly treat everyone else, is simply because they so despise the freedom the other person has and they are quite disatisfied with thier own lives.

    At least that’s my opinion, and it’s worth what you paid for it 🙂

    (And believe it or not, I bought my first watch today in 10 years 🙂

    Robert Faulkner

    February 23, 2011 at 12:18 am

  3. Excellent! Thanks for sharing, elder.

    Robert Martin

    February 23, 2011 at 12:31 am

  4. Simply amazing. Thank you for the countless hours you invest so we can be blessed!


    February 23, 2011 at 1:25 am

  5. One of the best blogs I have ever read. Period.

    Mark Welch

    February 23, 2011 at 1:54 am

  6. Great post and sorely needed. The question is how to get it to my brother. He’s not going to read it because he doesn’t believe in the internet. I can’t email it to him because he doesn’t have email. I can’t hand deliver it to him because I have been disfellowshipped. If I printed it out and placed it in an old fashioned envelope (remember those?) and sent it by snail mail, chances are that when he saw the return address it would go straight into the trash. Isn’t it sad that Pompous Pentecostals are so UNREACHABLE?

    Johnny King

    February 23, 2011 at 2:49 am

    • LOL, Thank you for the laugh. Yet, the sobering truth of your comments deeply grieve me. Love you Elder.


      February 23, 2011 at 8:26 am

  7. Excellent message here. Sound advice. Good doctrine in this.

    Often, Bro. Ballestero, I have remarked that if only Pentecostal people would learn to smile, humble themselves, and show themselves friendly, we would (very possibly) ‘win the world’!

    I live in a small rural community. The Baptist, the Nazarenes, and Methodist are much, much more friendly than neighboring Pentecostal Pastors, and the majority of the inviduals in their “flock”. I have been called “compromiser”, “a preacher with no standards”, accused of “not believing the Apostolic doctrine”, along with several other titles.

    It is a shame that Jesus bled, died, and rose again, as well as sending back HIS SPIRIT for those folk that we think we are “too holy” to speak to, go out to eat with, or even visit with.

    Thank you, once again, for a desperately needed “Word from the Lord” in this article.

    Brooks Coburn

    February 23, 2011 at 9:54 am

  8. Brother,

    You have so eloquently and quintessentially promulgated through your words what is such a stigma with Pentecostals. It is so needed. I hope to put this to heart that I can share with those who I might be able to influence.

    God bless you and if your ever in Tyler I would cook another gormet meal for your enjoyment!!!! Sha na na na!

    John Kennon

    February 23, 2011 at 10:13 am

  9. Wow. This is my first time to ever post. what an article. It’s sad but true. I havn’t been in the truth for too long (2.5 years and almost a year with the holyghost (May 30)) but when i was in the world pentecostals were some of the worst people i saw they never smiled never said hello or even tryed to talk to a rank sinner like me. If people just say a friendly hello to people it could lead to a soul saved. every time i talk to somebody at my school It always comes about to the gosple and me talking about it. Another thing ive noticed about pentecostals is where is the joy of the lord? i’ve heard it preached before that to be a pentecostal you have to have a sour look. Ever since i got the holyghost I can’t keep from smiling.

    christopher smith

    February 23, 2011 at 10:56 am

    • before i ever turned towards Jesus people would tell me to cheer up constantly. But since i recieved the Holy Ghost i havent heard that even once. Praise God!

      Jerry Chatham

      March 26, 2011 at 5:21 pm

  10. Thank you for your great articles…They are deeply appreciated.

    Michel Heimoz

    February 23, 2011 at 11:00 am



    February 23, 2011 at 11:20 am

  12. They have forgotten how to lift Him up so that all men can be drawn to Him. They became petty and mean spirited. God gave us a ministry of reconciliation and that is were our energy and commitment needs to be. Thanks for your blog.

    William Fitzgerel

    February 23, 2011 at 11:42 am

  13. Dear Brother Marty, you most likely, just-now, got disfellowshipped, by one of those kind of people, who read this proper message.

    Howard Davis

    February 23, 2011 at 12:52 pm

  14. Love you
    mucho — Dad

    Howard Davis

    February 23, 2011 at 1:00 pm

  15. Thank you once again for the timely reminder of who we are supposed to be! This is a very easy trap to fall into! I pray that I am not this person!

    Crystal Smith (Morris)

    February 23, 2011 at 3:50 pm

  16. Bro.Ballestereo: I enjoyed your blog. Jesus prayed that we would be one as He was with the Father. I don’t think we would be wasting time to pray for each
    other and ask God to draw us closer together.You know
    life is pretty tough sometimes just living here as we
    pass through.Maybe we could lift someones burdens and make life a little easier along the way.God bless you.

    Jack Reeves

    February 23, 2011 at 5:16 pm

  17. I truly appreciate this post. My mother was Pentecostal when I was a child. She and my dad missed a church service for sickness…the Pastor told my parents they were going to hell because they missed that service. My mom was very hurt by this. It greatly troubled her to the point of depression. She had a dream that Jesus was telling her that she was His child and He loved her. I am UPC and active in my church, I love Jesus with all of my heart. My mom also loves the Lord very much. I will never forget this story. She told me to teach me….not to be a “pompous pentecostal”.

    Tracy Warren

    February 24, 2011 at 12:10 am

  18. So wonderful and so true! I have lived through this stigma once in my life. To be disfellowshipped for such shallow things is a hard thing to endure. God in His mercy gave me strength to bare it. I had to reach a spirit of love and forgiveness for the people envolved, and Thank God it is possible. I love this truth and want to be the cause of winning the lost. I wish all pentecostals could read this article. It is great and I pray to never be guilty of this. God Bless you for these articles.

    Brenda Lawrence

    February 24, 2011 at 12:20 am

  19. I was raised Pentecostal. I had backslid for years (walked out of God’s will for my life) during that time I did see some of what you are talking about, I would wonder…why are they not smiling…they are supposed to have the King of Kings living in them…that alone should put a smile on your face…but I knew the joy I had when I was living for God. Life is so lonely without God leading.

    I started praying for God’s guidance with an open mind/heart. I was lead back to Pentecost and this time I have a completely different understanding. We are to be Christ like, Fishers of men. I pray that wherever I am, I want people to see Christ and his love through me….give everyone a smile, talk, encourage, pray with, etc. Have a continual Attitude of Gratitude that my Lord died for my sins, I am saved by his Grace.

    I am PROUD to be Pentecostal and do not judge anyone….we are not a judge….God knows our hearts. My heartfelt prayer every day is that God use me as a vessel to show his love…I am a glob of clay to be put on the Potters wheel to be made into a beautiful vessel. I do believe in Acts 2:38 and I believe in the rest of Gods word as it all ties together. It is my road map in life…my sword. I pray for wisdom and want to be used of God to bring souls to him so they can experience great peace & joy in their lives. To continually focus on what God wants “me” to be, not focus on what others are or are not doing. I want to pray for them that God show them his way and give them wisdom also, etc.

    Sorry so long. I am so overjoyed with God’s unconditional love for me, the blessings he has bestowed on my life…He is so good…We should all strive to be Christ like. I asked God to let me know through confirmation what the calling is that he has on my life….THREE times with THREE separate people that didn’t know each other…they came directly to me, touched my right arm, looked at me in the eyes and told me “God wanted me to let you” know…or…”God wants me to tell you” then each one told me I was in God’s will and exactly what my calling was…GOD IS SOOOOOO GOOD!!! God Bless each and everyone.


    February 24, 2011 at 7:56 am

  20. Thank you, this is the call of the endtime, we must be balanced and love one another! To many Christians have been killed by “Friendly Fire”!

    Let’s reach the lost and lay aside our differences!

    Tim Downs

    February 24, 2011 at 12:18 pm

  21. This post was excellent.

    Nancy Canales

    February 24, 2011 at 3:39 pm

  22. Your blog Pompous Pentecostals was very timely and well written. May I espescially commend the reference to the brother who came from another church wearing no watch…an appropriate illustration to show we can dissagree agreeably!

    Danny Smith

    February 24, 2011 at 5:18 pm

  23. Again Bro. Ballestero; love your blog, always makes my day. This reminds me of the “I’m the humblest and proud of it” syndrome.

    Andrew Mays

    February 24, 2011 at 5:56 pm

  24. So glad someone wrote it down . Thankyou so much!

    Sharon Johnson

    February 25, 2011 at 12:43 am

  25. Excellent post… it’s amazing how many people can identity with exactly what you’re talking about. This has plagued the Apostolic Church for years and should be preached against from the pulpit as much as any sin or worldliness. The sin of self-righteousness seemed to stir our Lord Jesus as much as any other when He walked the earth… so let it be with us. What an opportunity to let our light shine, smile, and show the graciousness of Jesus Christ to a lost and dying and hurting world.


    February 26, 2011 at 11:57 am

  26. Thanks for reminding me that I am a speckled bird and should have the love of Jesus in me shining and reaching the lost for HIM.

    Sharon Brown

    June 22, 2011 at 6:18 am

  27. Brother, I totally agree. I have seen this and been the victim before. God forgive me if I have portrayed myself in a pompous light. Here is a personal twist to your scenario. I have dear friends who have just about forsaken all apostolic holiness teaching and they are shaky on the doctrine. They use “Pentecostal pompousness” as their excuse for forsaking biblical holiness principles. She even said that she believed denominations who teach false doctrine are closer to God and more likely to be saved than UPC saints. I am crushed!! I pray for my friend but have distanced myself. I won’t be part of dishonoring elders and brethren. I just want to be saved–above all else.

    Cheryl pollock

    October 25, 2011 at 8:27 pm

  28. I grew up in the UPC and even at the youth functions (youth congress, music conference), the youth would not speak to others who were not in their group. I always thought this was odd. The young people were very much into their own groups and did not reach out to anyone else. I think they then carry this into adulthood. I have seen many Pentecostals through the years at malls and restaurants and they rarely will acknowledge, even though it’s quite obvious, that we’re also Pentecostals. Glad someone else notices this problem.

    S. Andrews

    February 9, 2012 at 7:52 pm

  29. Loved this post! It’s a rare thing to find one who is willing to speak out in such boldness in love and truth these days, without holding back, for fear of reproach or intimidation. Aka, disfellowship. 🙂 Keep up “keeping it real” & speaking in love! May God bless your willingness in not compromising truth. Truth which sadly, is mostly kept hidden from being challenged to correct….

    mona roca

    January 30, 2013 at 11:24 am

  30. God Bless you for your message! I have experienced this for years, and have tried to NOT be like the things that have been done to me. Even on our honeymoon last august several thousand miles away from Maine,near Tenn. I saw a woman with a skirt, long hair and a daughter the same and her husband was neatly dressed, and had a feeling. Walked up and said, I hope you won’t think me odd or weird..but are you um, she said “Pentecostal?” I said yes,a nd she said yes. I was so excited to find someone else( didn’t matter they were traveling and so were we, more members of God’s family we had the blessing to meet.) God allow us to cultivate that attitude of excitement with our family of GOD, and over look the differences( not speaking things that go against the BIBLE , and sinful actions, then those should be prayed for, the Word states if you see your bother overcome in a fault to pray for them…and also we are admonished that we are to pray for those weak in the faith that struggle to “judge” or separated and shunned?- No- it says to lift up and pray for those weaker in the faith, and to be role models of the love of Christ. We often forget that in our service to GOD, it is a journey. NOT all are going at the same speed. Of 4 children, two of mine crawled before walking, the other tow did not, they pulled themselves up and walked without ever crawling- the goal was the same, to walk- they got there not in the same way, or the same method or timing, yet they all learned to walk. The end result is what we all desire, to see Glory and forever be with Jesus in heaven, that’s the end of the journey. Our earthly journey in service to God needs to be filled with eyes that are seeking the hurt, the lost, the backslid, how can we uplift,encourage? How can we by the leading of the holy Ghost,bring a person to Calvary and baptism and being filled with the Holy Ghost. No wonder the scripture states “IF” my people, which are called by MY NAME, that IF says a lot-as does the “will humble themselves” and turn from”-there is only one perfect, Jesus Christ, we are all sinners saved by Grace, and GOD help me to not act any other way, but to remember that every human being is GODS creation, and HIS to work on, not me!!
    God Bless!!


    February 26, 2013 at 11:59 am

  31. The gift of God is eternal Life

    Rita Ghartey

    March 12, 2014 at 7:50 am

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