@vorpalette: The main things my sister & I were taught as children were:
Jesus is the only way to salvation. Jesus, God, and the Holy Spirit are one, but seperate. They are equal, because they are the same essential ‘being’. God is completely merciful, and completely just. You must be saved to have a relationship with Jesus (same core belief of many christians). Once saved, you are encouraged to spread the word about Jesus to anyone and everyone (I also believe this is a basic christian belief, but I could be wrong).
Where our (when I say this, I mean the ‘charismatic holiness’ belief system; not my own) beliefs differ is in the supernatural realm. No, the nondenominational members do not handle snakes. Yes, some denominational branches do handle snakes. Have I been a part of a service that performed this act. Yes, and it scared the shit out of me. Fortuntately (at least) my parents do not believe that is a necessary part of being a holiness member.
Going back to the supernatural- the church I attended believed in being possessed (“filled with”) the Holy Spirit, giving members the ability to speak in tongues. This was not always an understood language to any member of the audience, even the person possessed. It is believed to be the closest spiritual experience to God one can have.
(This information is based solely on my church’s belief system- I absolutely cannot speak for all holiness members, because as I’ve said, there are many different branches within the ‘holiness’ name)
Anyone that believes can have this ‘connection’ with the Holy Spirit/God. They believe that you absolutely CAN discern evil spirits, and even cast them out- you do not have to be a minister to do so, you simply have to be saved and have faith in Jesus/God. Holy Spirit revivals (as they are sometimes referred to- it’s just a church service) are very common/frequent. Many times, someone will be ‘filled with’ the Holy Spirit in the choir. There have been many times where church will be more a prayer meeting than a preacher preaching- and our pastor is 100% okay with this. He does study scripture and plan a message, but believes it is God’s will for what will actually happen during service.
This (speaking in tongues/casting out demons specifically) is probably the most significant difference between Pentecostals and Baptists. Most of the other core beliefs are the same. In fact, my church has held camp meetings with other Pentecostal churches and Baptist churches, because we are both considered “Christian” and both have the same general beliefs- it is only in the more supernatural realm that things are different.
Our church does preach fire/brimstone/hell/torture, but this is on rare occasion. However, it is very much believed that anyone not saved by God’s grace WILL burn in hell, forever, with Satan. Anyone that is saved will spend eternity with God, praising him and worshipping him.