Mark’s Worldview
is Faith-based

Like many Oklahomans, Mark’s personal faith and spirituality are essential sources of his worldview and policy choices. Yet he understands that some voters may view the centrality of faith with concern.

It is important to understand that, despite being an unapologetic follower of Jesus, Mark is still deeply respectful of all sincere communities of faith, be they Christian or not. He has come to believe that the different paths by which all people of goodwill seek God (or non-theistic enlightenment) share a common core of spirituality and ethics. He believes that all humans have a “spiritual” dimension that is a potential source of insight, wisdom, and connection between individuals.

And although he considers Jesus divine, and a perfect model for human spirituality and morality, Mark empathizes with skeptics, and appreciates the contributions of those who have come to parallel theological understandings through different traditions and/or life circumstances.

Mark’s particular religious orientation is that of a Pentecostal Christian, though in recent years he’s developed an increasing appreciation of the role of Christian Tradition in worship and spiritual discipline, and so has come to refer to himself as an Anglican-Pentecostal. Mark’s family currently worships according to a simple Episcopal liturgy at Sanctuary Church in Midtown Tulsa. The congregation at Sanctuary seeks to build an ecumenical, evangelical and charismatic community of faith centered around the Apostles’ Creed, Confession, Eucharist, and other ancient spiritual practices.

Pentecostalism is a branch of Christianity named for the Day of Pentecost, when, as the Bible’s Book of Acts recounts, the Holy Spirit “fell upon” Jesus’ disciples, empowering them, as the Church, to replicate the radical mission of Jesus. Thus, Pentecostals have always focused on the possibility of miraculous and transformative change wrought by the power of God’s Spirit working through people.

Although it has been easy for popular culture to focus on the more mystical and ecstatic aspects of Pentecostal practice (e.g., speaking in tongues, faith healing, etc.), its most salient historical contributions are actually radically social and political in nature.

Mark’s childhood church was planted by his great-grandparents and others in the wake of the Azusa Street and other notable Pentecostal Revivals of the early 20th century. The most distinctive aspect of those Revivals was a seemingly instantaneous “leveling” of American society – with people of different races, ethnicities, social classes and economic stations suddenly worshiping together without pretense, reluctance or division. The pulpit was open to all, regardless of race or gender; and the poor and marginalized were given respect and became empowered. This phenomenon had no precedent in American history; and to this day stands as stark evidence that our Nation’s problems are best addressed within both the material and spiritual realms.