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Source: (consider it) Thread: Purgatory: Rev. Colin Urquhart and the Charismatic Renewal
Baptist Trainfan
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Just for the record: I'm not really very keen on eggs (the real ones, that is). And never poached or scrambled!

[ 11. April 2016, 13:40: Message edited by: Baptist Trainfan ]

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Gamaliel
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Yes, the Montanists did it ... but they were mostly known for 'prophecy' and for apparently predicting the imminent end of the world and so on ...

From what I remember - and it's a few years since I looked into all of this, there are some scattered references to the practice among the Early Fathers and also in St Augustine of Hippo but not much beyond that ...

There's not a great deal of evidence of anything much from the 2nd and 3rd centuries, so you pays your money and you makes your choice ...

@mr cheesy, I didn't say the concept of speaking in tongues was 'invented last week' - so keep things in proportion. I gave examples from the 1600s and Baptist Trainfan has also kindly reminded us of the Montanists in the 2nd and 3rd centuries.

If you are going to be snarky and play the hoary-old 'the established authorities obviously clamped down on everything' line then I'm afraid I am going to have to ask you to continue the conversation elsewhere - ie. somewhere hot and fiery.

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Baptist Trainfan
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quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:
Trust me, I've done a lot of spade-work on this during my full-on charismatic days. There were certainly some instances of glossolalia around in the 17th century - and perhaps even earlier - but not a great deal ... and certainly nobody made a great deal about it until the Irvingites of the 19th century and the Pentecostals in the early 20th century.

Yes. As I think you said earlier, the re-emergence of glossolalia - certainly by the Albury Conference people in the 1820s/30sfrom whence sprung both the Catholic Apostolics and one strand Brethrenism - was that the restoration of "the gifts" was a sign of the End-times and Christ's imminent return. Much the same was being said by some House Church leaders in the 1970s - and it comes as no surprise that many of these came from a Brethren background. Of course this teaching flew in the face of cessationist Dispensationslism which became almost the Evangelical orthodoxy in America from around 1900.

To return to the OP (!), of course folk like Colin Urquhart and Michael Harper were Anglicans ... but then so had been two of the earliest leaders of the British Pentecostal movement, Cecil Polhill and especially Alexander Boddy. They got rather frozen out of things by working-class Nonconformists, otherwise we might have had the Charismatic movement about 50 years earlier than we did!

[ 11. April 2016, 13:47: Message edited by: Baptist Trainfan ]

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Baptist Trainfan
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quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:
Baptist Trainfan has also kindly reminded us of the Montanists in the 2nd and 3rd centuries.

Until he deleted the post and wrote something else! [Biased]
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Gamaliel
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Yep, pretty much. The unifying factor in all these instances - the Montanists, early Quakers, Irvingites, early Pentecostals and the UK restorationists of the 1970s - 90s - seems to have been an emphasis on the imminent return of Christ.

Back in the day, of course, any form of phenomena tended to be seen as a portent of major change or upheaval ... in the months before the outbreak of the Civil War in the 1640s there were all sorts of accounts of prodigies and lambs and calves born with extra heads or limbs and so on as portents that something was amiss in the body-politick ...

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:

@mr cheesy, I didn't say the concept of speaking in tongues was 'invented last week' - so keep things in proportion. I gave examples from the 1600s and Baptist Trainfan has also kindly reminded us of the Montanists in the 2nd and 3rd centuries.

If you are going to be snarky and play the hoary-old 'the established authorities obviously clamped down on everything' line then I'm afraid I am going to have to ask you to continue the conversation elsewhere - ie. somewhere hot and fiery.

That's ok, I was muddling your post with Martin's usual incomprehensible contributions. I accept what you've said above.

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Gamaliel
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On the Anglican dimension, I think I mentioned upthread that my wife's Grandmother had some particularly lurid material from the 1950s which purported to be based on visions and prophecies and so on - and this in the rather staid Anglicanism of that time ...

So there was a somewhat mystical strand within Anglicanism that Pentecostalism or neo-Pentecostalism could chime with ... and the late, great and much lamented Ken used to opine that the Kenyan and Rwandan Revivals of the 1950s fed into the development of Anglican charismaticism in the 1960s in ways that had largely been overlooked by most commentators and historians.

I think he was onto something. I've certainly read accounts of Anglican missionary work in Melanesia and elsewhere where there were elements of what might be termed 'charismatic' phenomena going back even further.

I wouldn't want to over-emphasise any of that - but it was there.

As for 'tongues' and the Welsh Revival (if you haven't deleted that post ... my understanding is that the Apostolic Church adopted tongues soon after the Revival is generally considered to have ended - they saw themselves as carrying on the flame ...

They formally constituted themselves in 1908 so I would imagine that the tongues started to happen around 1906/07 - more or less contemporary with the Azusa Street revival out in Los Angeles.

I've not been able to find evidence of tongues-speaking during the Revival itself - 1904/05 - but there were certainly some examples of intriguing vocal phenomena. For instance, the Yorkshire Post reported instances of young people who had spoken Welsh in infancy and then lapsed as they grew up, suddenly recovering a fervency and fluency in the Welsh language under the apparent influence of revivalist excitement.

So these things were on the tip of the tongue as it were ... [Biased]

In a memorable phrase, Dr Andrew Walker has observed that tongues were 'only a breath away' from the various Holiness groups from the 1860s onwards. I'd suggest it was only going to be a matter of time before widespread tongues-speaking broke out - and by the time of the Welsh Revival and Azusa of course there was mass media, telegram and major strides in communications and international travel so it was easier for these things to be passed on.

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Gamaliel
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@Mr cheesy - thanks ... mind you, surely Martin's unintelligible posts act as proof positive that wonders have never ceased and that the ability to communicate in unintelligible syllables remains a very present reality ...

[Biased] [Razz]

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cliffdweller
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
I've long thought that the explanations as to why the deity works in this way seem pretty weak: if you are interested in getting an accurate message to someone, then I don't think you'd immediately think of (a) giving someone a message in a language they don't understand (b) giving a second person the ability to understand that message (c) providing a situation where the two people are present and receptive as to the message and (d) ensuring the person to whom the message is directed hears and appreciates that the message is for them rather than just a load of phooey.

I think it must just be easier to speak directly into the head of the person to whom you want to receive the message, to speak to someone else to tell them to speak to the recipient, to send a dream etc and so on.

Of course, I'm not God, but this kind of convoluted message transfer seems highly unlikely to be a reliable way to spread important information and much more likely to be group delusion, a scam etc.

True. But the same thing could be said to only a slightly lesser degree of stories-- which are open to endless interpretation/ misinterpretation-- and yet something like 70% of the Bible is in the form of narratives.

If the Bible is what we think it is (or what I think it is) then God has made a similar choice there-- to reveal himself in a form that is ambiguous and indirect and open to misinterpretation. I don't know why he would choose to do that, but it would seem to suggest that "getting everything exactly right" isn't the end goal-- otherwise you'd engage in something more like verbal plenary inspiration (which is not what I think happened) and dictate an unambiguous set of clear, direct propositional truth-statements. The fact that God chooses instead to reveal himself through ambiguous stories suggests the goal is more relational, more experiential, then just "getting it right."

This I think could potentially have implications for tongue-speaking as well. To the cessationists it suggest they are wrong to discount the practice simply because it's not as direct, obvious, or unambiguous as they might like. But to the charismatics it might also suggest we be a bit more (or a lot!) modest in our truth-claims.

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cliffdweller
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quote:
Originally posted by Baptist Trainfan:
It strikes me that a lot of the egg can either get "hard-boiled" (i.e. routinized/institutionalised) or "scrambled" (i.e. go off into various degrees of loopiness).

One for the quotes file!

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chris stiles
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quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:
Yes, the Montanists did it ... but they were mostly known for 'prophecy' and for apparently predicting the imminent end of the world and so on ...

I gave examples from the 1600s and Baptist Trainfan has also kindly reminded us of the Montanists in the 2nd and 3rd centuries.

The Montanists did something, I'm not sure that we know exactly what that was though. We run into exactly the same sort of problem we have with interpolating what was going on in Corinth, and possibly even more so as the descriptions tend to describe everything in terms used to describe the various oracular practices of the ancient world.

The idea of 'angelic tongues' seems to date back as far as the Irvingites, though presumably Edward Irving was influenced by other people.

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Baptist Trainfan
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quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:
In a memorable phrase, Dr Andrew Walker has observed that tongues were 'only a breath away' from the various Holiness groups from the 1860s onwards.

I don't recall that phrase ... but isn't it true that groups like the Christian & Missionary Alliance and the Church of the Nazarene specifically ruled out tongues-speaking as an acceptable practice? If so, I wonder if this was because they were afraid of Enthusiasm, or because they were wedded to Dispensationalism, or perhaps because of the racial element in Pentecostalism (although by no means all early Pentecostals, eg Charles Parham, were "people of colour")?
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Sipech
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quote:
Originally posted by Baptist Trainfan:
Just for the record: I'm not really very keen on eggs (the real ones, that is). And never poached or scrambled!

Not liking poached eggs ranks alongside Valentinianism as a heresy! /tangent
quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
It IS interesting that no one picked up on Paul's unknown and angelic tongues for two thousand years. Common sense prevailed for that long!

There may be a parallel with the issue of baptism on behalf of the dead. It's quite clearly there in Paul's letter first letter to the Corinthians, but it's rarely spoken about. The only church I'm aware of that practices it is the Mormon church, and they can hardly lay much of a claim of following in the footsteps of the apostles.

What other things may lurk in seemingly throwaway phrases in the bible that have by and large been forgotten, waiting to be rediscovered?

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Gamaliel
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I don't think it was as clear cut as that, Baptist Trainfan.

As far as I am aware, the standard line within the Church of the Nazarene, at least here in the UK, was 'Do not forbid, do not promote.'

I think that was more the case with various smaller off-shoots of the 'mainstream' Holiness movement rather than some of the larger and more established groups - but from what I can gather from former Nazarenes I've known in the past, tongues-speaking was neither encouraged nor discouraged.

If it happened and people went to their pastors to tell them about it the usual line was that they should praise God if it proved to be a genuine gift but beware of being 'puffed up' and also to pretty much keep it to themselves ...

I've heard of a similar line being taken in Orthodox circles too - but equally of priests who have discouraged any parishioners who claim to have 'received' the 'gift of tongues' ...

I daresay the mileage varies across all manner of Christian groups and churches.

Meanwhile, @Cliffdweller - yes, I can see what you are saying about the way that scripture 'works' and don't dispute your overall point - we have parables, poetry, narrative rather than a set of instructions ...

FWIW, from my own experience/discussions with people across a range of traditions - Anglo-Catholic, RC, Orthodox, various evangelical traditions ... and my own reading around and investigations (by no means exhaustive but I trust well-informed) I remain open to the possibility of such things happening and being accepted as genuine - but with the caveat that Chris Stiles has provided that there is insufficient hard-and-fast material there on which to construct a template or model for recommended practice.

I've got to be honest, if I had only encountered tongues-speaking among traditional Pentecostals and among the more full-on kind of charismatics, I would never have been convinced of its veracity or validity in the first place ...

I only became open to the possibility when I heard examples that ostensibly sounded more 'convincing' than the standard 'angara-bangara-sondera-hondera' forms and testimonies from people who were clearly level-headed and, dare I say it, well-educated ...

[Hot and Hormonal]

I don't say that to disrespect the working-class Penties I encountered in my native South Wales but I'll be honest - hearing Anglicans and others singing in the Spirit did more to 'convince' me at the time than the yabbering and jabbering I heard at my local AoG ...

Now, I'm less convinced that the Anglican charismatics I encountered were really doing anything extraordinary or 'supernatural' ... but I remain open to the possibility that it can sometimes happen ... and to people who least expect it or who aren't out to induce or encourage such practices.

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chris stiles
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The CMA was similar, Simpson himself moved in Holiness circles at one point. I think what happened to change that was that the charismatics hardened their stance, and the non-charos reacted against that.
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Gamaliel
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@Sipech

[Confused]

You are making some big assumptions there.

1. That what has been 'discovered' is the same thing as the Apostle Paul was talking about.

2. That discovering something in the scriptures and innovating around it is somehow laudable.

3. That somehow previous generations didn't notice what we have ...

All of which has to proven and demonstrated.

Ok, people might cite opposition to slavery, for instance, but there were voices within the RCC which were expressing concerns about that quite early on - even before the Quakers and other Protestant groups began to campaign against it.

The point is, as far as 'tongues' or any other apparent spiritual gift goes, how the heck do we know for sure that it is the same thing that the Apostle Paul was referring to?

The fact is, we can't. We have to make a hermeneutical leap or an educated guess according to what data we do have.

For all we know, if the Apostle Paul were able to come back in a time machine he might slap his thighs and laugh, saying, 'No, no, no, that's not what I meant at all - THIS is what I was talking about - not what you've taken it to mean ...'

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Praise the Lord for He is kind.

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Baptist Trainfan
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quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:
I don't think it was as clear cut as that, Baptist Trainfan.

You may be right ... or, possibly, those groups became more explicitly anti-charismata later on so as to distinguish themselves from the Penties?

We used to have friends who were members of an interdenominational American missionary society (this is around 1980). The society had a relaxed attitude to "the gifts" but came under increasing pressure to renounce them as diabolical. To its credit, it refused ... but many donors gave up supporting it, which hurt.

[ 11. April 2016, 15:25: Message edited by: Baptist Trainfan ]

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Enoch
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I haven't been following this thread that closely, and what I'm going to say may simply demonstrate my theological ignorance.

Areas of both theology and practice go in and out of fashion. When I was in my teens 1 Cor 12 and 14 were about as obscure and irrelevant as some of the more arcane regulations about the various sacrifices in Leviticus. Not only did the commentaries largely ignore them, but next to nobody thought there was any reason to puzzle out what they might have been about. Then suddenly, around the very end of the sixties and early seventies, everyone was talking about them because they were virtually the only part of the Bible that said anything about the charismatic gifts of the Spirit.

St Paul, though, was dealing with a church that was going wrong in this are. He gives advice about specific errors. Is it legitimate to construct an entire theological mansion on his answers to specific questions.

Mind, I'd also query how legitimate we are to have founded a structure of ministry that we insist is binding on all churches for all time from the response of the Jerusalem church to a particular problem that arose about how to manage the distribution of food.

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Martin60
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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
I deny Him nothing. If that's the way He wants to play.

Cool. But that's not what it sounded like earlier.
Square that circle baby. Obviously He DOESN'T want to play that way. He doesn't want to swap the random, natural grains of wheat in the blizzard of chaff with indistinguishable ones He's just specially created. The foolishness of God doesn't run to that. When people are suffering. I mean that would be insulting us wouldn't it?

Playing like that.

Performing meaningless miracles.

Now if He wants to make His presence felt APART from through inspiring our hands, wallets, ears, mouths and minds, THAT I would welcome. Because we are third rate at being His instruments.

I'd LOVE to be wrong about 10,000 years. But I'm not.

Have a little faith Eutychus.

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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
Have a little faith Eutychus.

Um, I'll go with the faith I trust he's imparted to me, and not what he's imparted the faith to you for, thank you very much.

[ 11. April 2016, 20:58: Message edited by: Eutychus ]

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Martin60
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[Smile] good for you. And your, like mine, unscratchable disposition.

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Love wins

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Martin60
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Sorry, my.

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Love wins

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balaam

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quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:
The point is, as far as 'tongues' or any other apparent spiritual gift goes, how the heck do we know for sure that it is the same thing that the Apostle Paul was referring to?

THis looks like the wrong question to me.

The question is, Is this gift from God?

The gift of tongues as experienced in the 20th and 21st centuries does not need to be the same as that in the book of Acts or in Paul's letters to be from God.

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Martin60
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I wonder if the gifts of love then are the same as now? And if they were magically of God then and - or are now? I wonder ...

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Love wins

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Gamaliel
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quote:
Originally posted by balaam:
quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:
The point is, as far as 'tongues' or any other apparent spiritual gift goes, how the heck do we know for sure that it is the same thing that the Apostle Paul was referring to?

THis looks like the wrong question to me.

The question is, Is this gift from God?

The gift of tongues as experienced in the 20th and 21st centuries does not need to be the same as that in the book of Acts or in Paul's letters to be from God.

Whether that is or isn't the case, Balaam, the point is that charismatics cite verses in Acts and the Pauline epistles in order to:

- Claim biblical precedence for their practices.

- Attempt to work out some kind of system for dealing with and regulating these practices.

In my experience, they are very aware that glossolalia and so on occurs in other contexts but are inclined to put that down to evil influences ie, 'it is of the devil ...'

Whatever the ins and outs and rights and wrongs, we are dealing with phenomena and claims that are being made in a Christian context and where people claim biblical backing.

That's the point.

Sure, many Christians are prepared to acknowledge that 'all good things come from God' and that where there is goodness, virtue and so on then God is ultimately the source of it - wherever it occurs.

But I knew very few charismatics who'd be prepared to accept that glossolalia happening among Sufis or Dervishes or other mystical Muslim groups or among occultists of various kinds or animists or proponents of other religions are 'a gift of God' in the same way that they believe their own manifestations of these 'gifts' to be ...

The point is that in a Christian charismatic context, most glossolalists would claim to be doing what was described in the Book of Acts and referred to in 1 Corinthians.

They see those references as the basis for their claims. They wouldn't be interested in them otherwise.

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SvitlanaV2
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Martin60

I don't have the right to contribute much to this discussion (though I find it interesting for various reasons) but I must jump in here. You seem to be implying that people who speak in tongues don't do enough loving, or aren't sufficiently interested in 'universal justice with peace', to use your earlier phrase.

However, one of the reasons why the Azusa Street revival fascinates me is that in its earliest days (and I accept that things changed) it incorporated social and racial equality in a way that few of the sensible, moderate churches were doing at the time.

My related concern about condemning tongues-speakers as uncaring, or somehow irrational, is that it feeds into rather problematic racial attitudes about very many of the world's Pentecostals and charismatics, the majority of whom are not white. When we argue that this form of Christianity is unbiblical we're actually marginalising a spirituality which, it has been argued, is strongly influenced by non-Western impulses and perspectives. If we're keen on 'peace' and 'justice' we need to think carefully before we do that.

Of course, I accept that most commentators here are speaking from a long experience of charismaticism in its mostly indigenous British and mostly middle class form.

Finally, as someone who has mostly belonged to moderate, MOTR, non-tongues churches, let me tell you that despite official enthusiasm for social justice, etc., the MOTR faction, even here in the UK, has had its own internal problems with the issues that you deem to be important. Some of these, for example regarding racism in churches, have now been fairly well documented. Turning one's own congregation into a beacon of justice and equality is often more difficult than promoting 'social justice' far away, if I may put it like that. But I suppose we have to live in hope.

[ 12. April 2016, 11:23: Message edited by: SvitlanaV2 ]

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Anyone read Professor Canon Sarah Coakley, who links charismatic and contemplative prayer, and relates them to the theology of the Trinity?

Svitlana is on to something about the non-European frequency of tongues, etc.

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@Venbede, that sounds interesting ... I do think that charismatics and contemplatives can be closer to one another than might appear at first sight - and there can be contemplative charismatics and vice-versa ...

[Biased]

On SvitlanaV2's point about social-justice and MoTR churches - that's one for Martin to answer really ... it's addressed to him, but FWIW here's a two-happ'orth ...

Azusa Street is interesting - for all manner of reasons - however, we have to tread carefully with some of the accounts ... the writers tended to be promoting particular agendas or 'takes' ... but then, that's always the case ...

I only found out recently that racial segregation was illegal within Methodist and other churches in Los Angeles and other parts of the US at that time. So, officially at least, there had been moves to integrate congregations rather than divide them on racial lines ...

So the idea that Azusa Street had somehow initiated or kick-started integration is not entirely the case. Of course, the reality may have been very different on the ground - just because various churches and denominations had a policy to work towards greater integration didn't mean it was actually happening in practice.

That said, there was certainly some very ugly racist elements in the early newspaper accounts and the fledgeling Pentecostal movement itself split largely along racial lines very early on.

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chris stiles
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quote:
Originally posted by SvitlanaV2:

My related concern about condemning tongues-speakers as uncaring, or somehow irrational, is that it feeds into rather problematic racial attitudes about very many of the world's Pentecostals and charismatics, the majority of whom are not white. When we argue that this form of Christianity is unbiblical we're actually marginalising a spirituality which, it has been argued, is strongly influenced by non-Western impulses and perspectives.

The edges of movements are always the easiest to criticise. Most christian movements in theology/piety are usually fairly unrefined to to start with and often flirt with heresy. They do however tend to exhibit a reversion to orthodoxy after a while.

Whilst the particular circumstances of each country is different, in general Christianity in the LDCs has a couple of things in common. An earlier set of movements based around Pentecostalism/Charismaticism sometimes indigenous, sometimes associated with groups like the AoG who tended to be far less exclusivist than the older denominations were and less tainted by associations with colonial power. A certain amount of newer pentecostal movements which are often based heavily around prosperity theology and exist in tension with the older indigenous churches in their own country who view them with deep suspicion.

So yes, criticism of certain forms of piety which happen to be highly visible in parts LDCs can feed into racist narratives. Though, it doesn't necessarily follow that it has to.

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quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:

On SvitlanaV2's point about social-justice and MoTR churches - that's one for Martin to answer really ... it's addressed to him, but FWIW here's a two-happ'orth ...

Azusa Street is interesting - for all manner of reasons - however, we have to tread carefully with some of the accounts ... the writers tended to be promoting particular agendas or 'takes' ... but then, that's always the case ...

I only found out recently that racial segregation was illegal within Methodist and other churches in Los Angeles and other parts of the US at that time. So, officially at least, there had been moves to integrate congregations rather than divide them on racial lines ...

So the idea that Azusa Street had somehow initiated or kick-started integration is not entirely the case. Of course, the reality may have been very different on the ground - just because various churches and denominations had a policy to work towards greater integration didn't mean it was actually happening in practice.

That said, there was certainly some very ugly racist elements in the early newspaper accounts and the fledgeling Pentecostal movement itself split largely along racial lines very early on.

Full disclosure: I'm very very close to this one. I'm close geographically-- the Azusa St. location (now only a small plaque remains) is just a trainstop away from my home. I'm close ecclesiologically-- the church I attend is one of the early, local offshoots of the movement. And I'm close relationally-- the scholars Svetlana is citing are friends who worked with my husband on his doctoral research. My husband's research involved careful pouring over the original Azusa St. digest that was published daily and detailed what was happening.

So with those caveats, I have got to object, Gamaliel. Svetlana got it exactly right IMHO. The scholarship connecting Azusa St to racial integration is very strong and comes from multiple scholarly sources-- as is the assertion that it was that breaking down of racial walls that was radical in 1906 far more so than the ecstatic experiences. So much so that even Seymour's mentor Parham was troubled by it (Parham doesn't come off nearly as well as Seymour IMHO). Racism and resistance to that integration was probably what ultimately "killed" the revival. Seymour insists that the true "sign of the indwelling of the Spirit" was not tongues, but love.

Sure, you're going to see push back against racism, segregation, and racial oppression in the US from the very beginning. John Woolman among the Quakers, for example. All of these should be noted and affirmed. But that doesn't change the fact that Azusa St was a radically inclusive event that was a shocking rebuke to Americans at the turn of the century.

I don't think the connection between Azusa St and Pentecost is overstated. I will actually be preaching about this on Sunday from Eph. 2 and the notion that when the Spirit comes, walls are broken down-- including and especially racial walls.

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Any comments on Lou Engle and Bill Johnson/Bethel's attempt to capitalise on this last Saturday at the LA Coliseum? (another link).

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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
Any comments on Lou Engle and Bill Johnson/Bethel's attempt to capitalise on this last Saturday at the LA Coliseum? (another link).

Just this. Well, it made me smile. [Snigger]

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Well, I was really looking for cliffdweller's contribution, as she owns to being just down the road and is from the pentecostal stable...

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cliffdweller
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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
Well, I was really looking for cliffdweller's contribution, as she owns to being just down the road and is from the pentecostal stable...

Ton of friends from my church were there-- some were even leading worship-- but I haven't heard any after the fact feedback from them. I'll check my facebook feed and get back to you.

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Enoch
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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
Any comments on Lou Engle and Bill Johnson/Bethel's attempt to capitalise on this last Saturday at the LA Coliseum? (another link).

I haven't seen all of this. After all, there's twelve hours of it. I probably should not be saying this. I'm probably also being grossly unfair. But the man on the right seems to be more excited about the fervour, the buzz, the excitement, than the content. How valid is the equation 'this is fervent, this is exciting, ∴ God must be here'?

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cliffdweller
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quote:
Originally posted by cliffdweller:
quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
Well, I was really looking for cliffdweller's contribution, as she owns to being just down the road and is from the pentecostal stable...

Ton of friends from my church were there-- some were even leading worship-- but I haven't heard any after the fact feedback from them. I'll check my facebook feed and get back to you.
Although perhaps I can hypothesize that if the initial evidence of the indwelling of the Spirit is (according to Seymour) inclusive love, and (according to other Penties) the 2nd is miraculous signs and wonders... then perhaps the 3rd evidence of the outpouring of the Spirit (or the apocalypse) is when Southern Californians come out to sit in an outdoor stadium in the rain !

[ 12. April 2016, 15:13: Message edited by: cliffdweller ]

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I think you misunderstand the point I was making, Cliffdweller. I wasn't saying that Azusa Street wasn't radical in terms of racial integration - and yes, I'm very aware that this was the main aspect that troubled Parham.

All I was saying - and this came from a Pentecostal source - was that racial segregation within the Methodist and other churches was illegal in Los Angeles in 1906 - in a way it wouldn't have been elsewhere in the US. The picture varied from region to region, State to State of course.

I know enough about it to know that there were pro-Seymour accounts and anti-Seymour accounts and the whole thing was factionalised from very early on.

FWIW, I agree with the consensus that Seymour was radical in his very commendable multi-racial and integrated approach ... and that this brought opposition from some quarters.

However, without in any way diminishing that, I was simply pointing out that the somewhat sweeping narrative that can sometimes come across - everything was segregated until the Pentecostals came along -- isn't the whole story.

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Gamaliel
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On the issue of what 'kills' revivals ...

I'm sorry, but the older I get, the more I'm of the view that these things tend to fizzle out when the participants exhaust themselves. There's been all sorts of speculation - some of it very silly indeed - as to why the Welsh Revival of 1904/05 apparently fizzled out after 18 months ...

Well, for a kick-off poor old Evan Roberts wore himself out through constant touring/preaching and also, sooner or later, you have to get on with your normal life rather than standing through late-night chapel meetings singing 'Here is love, vast as the ocean ...' over and over and over again ...

[Biased]

Also, religious heat and enthusiasm does tend to boil over and is naturally fissaporous ... so you get tensions between leaders, people pulling in different directions ...

It can all boil over very quickly.

In the case of Azusa Street there was the added issue of racism and opposition to Seymour's integrated approach - which, as I've said, was perfectly in keeping with the statute-books and the polity of most - if not all - churches in LA at that time ... but which didn't necessarily mean that everyone was happy about that. Parham certainly wasn't. The press might not have been either - the way they describe the meetings at Azusa Street is very racist and politically-incorrect by today's standards ...

Whilst I'd applaud what Seymour and the revivalists were trying to do - although they were also under the misapprehension that the end of the world was imminent - hence the fuss when Seymour married ... there's only so long you can sustain that level of revivalist fervour.

That's not to say that revivalist forms of Christianity need lack longevity - the Pentecostal thing has been going for 110 years now after all - but what you find are periods of relative quiet - as it were - punctuated by times of fire and fervour.

All revivalist groups experience some kind of cyclical process ... the Wesley and other figures of the 18th century Awakening noticed that.

So, I'm afraid I don't buy this, 'If only they'd left Seymour alone then the revival would have continued ...' or 'If only if so-and-so hadn't bad-mouthed Evan Roberts then the fire would not have gone out ...'

And so on and so forth ...

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ExclamationMark
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quote:
Originally posted by Sipech:
[QUOTE]Well, it made me smile. [Snigger]

Dear God, no. I thought we'd seen the last of his chicanery.
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ExclamationMark
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Whatever revival you look at, there's always hype around it. The question is simply one of fruit - is it lasting, did it impact/change people to the extent that it changed communities?

As for the Welsh Revival, you also have to see it alongside Azuza Street in its historical context (non church, non religious). It was a time of uncertainty across the world - in Wales the mines were on short time. What else to do apart from to look for God? In a couple of years the economy turns and hey presto, the revival peters out.

Like Gamaliel I don't go for the "if only you'd left it alone ..." idea.

Sad to see Azuza Street being treated like it was with the Bethel Programme. Lou Engle (?) is definitely challenging Toronto c. 1995 and as for Paul Cain well .. words fail me.

Do we never ever learn?

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Gamaliel
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Yes, and with Azusa Street it was the aftermath of the Californian earthquake and a time of social change - the western USA was a seething hot-bed of millenarian expectations, fervent Holiness religion and snake-oil quackery ...

In Wales, the language was under threat, the old non-conformist chapel certainties were being eroded, there were rising tides of nationalism and also radical politics. The revival was largely a young people's movenent among people experiencing a crisis of identity and already - if only nominally - connected with church and chapel.

It's not insignificant that many of the fervent converts later channelled their energies into the Eisteddfod or Labour Party politics ...

Some of the early participants at Azusa Street felt that the movement very quickly 'apostosised'. One wonders what they'd have made of the shenanigans in Californian stadia - raining or otherwise.

Whatever we think of the early Pentecostal movement they deserve a better legacy than Bethel ...

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Sipech
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It seems, judging from the tone of the discussion (correct me if I'm wrong), that there's disagreement over what extent the social/economic/demographic/etc factors play in any kind of new expression or shift in emphasis.

At one extreme, one might argue that all external factors are a distraction and that it is a community responding to God. At the other extreme, one could something akin to a social-deterministic viewpoint and try to identify the particular factors at play and then (hey presto!) there's no need to consider the possibility of God actually acting in the world.

With several shades of beige in between.

I wouldn't deny the value and use of a good sociological understanding in the history of different church movements, though it does seem that it's overstated sometimes (particularly by sociologists! [Roll Eyes] ), effectively, if not explicitly, denying the je ne sais quoi of the work of the Holy Spirit.

If I may venture a hypothesis: movements like Asuza Street, Toronto, Pentecost, Quakerism, John Wesley's strange warming, etc. may often start with a spark from God, but that the direction they subsequently take is heavily influenced, though not dictated, by the situation in which they may be found.

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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
Any comments on Lou Engle and Bill Johnson/Bethel's attempt to capitalise on this last Saturday at the LA Coliseum? (another link).

As a simple matter of curiosity, are these two men being interviewed on that link (or at least the first few minutes of the twelve hours, famous people that I'm supposed to have heard of and would have done if I lived in the US? Are they names I ought to know? Do I reveal that I am theologically uncultured by not doing? Or are they just preachers who are well known in the area where they work?

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chris stiles
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quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
]As a simple matter of curiosity, are these two men being interviewed on that link (or at least the first few minutes of the twelve hours, famous people that I'm supposed to have heard of and would have done if I lived in the US? Are they names I ought to know?

They are well known enough in the circles they move, Lou Engle is a 'movement leader' and Bill Johnson is the leader of Bethel which has a lot of influence in most parts of UK/US charismaticism.

Johnson has managed to appeal to the much more middle-class 'don't scare the horses' New Wine types, even as he flirts with the edges of the extremes of the signs and wonders movement.

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Eutychus
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I don't have the time these questions deserve right now, but I think they are both exceedingly scary and even dangerous.

Lou Engle's hyping of his event ("a bigger outpouring than Azusa Street"), weird prophecies and visions, and nationalism I find scary and manipulative. Having a charismatic knees-up on the anniversary date is one thing. Prophesying it will usher in a foretold revival on the one hundredth anniversary (well, give or take ten years...) of the original revival and encouraging people to hand over cash on this basis is another.

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Gamaliel
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@Sipech, of course.

You can say the same thing for Christianity in general - or Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism or any other religion - or any ideology ...

All of these take place in particular contexts. It stands to reason that how they subsequently shaped up is going to depend on all sorts of factors.

If Christianity had emerged in Central America or the Cameroon rather than the 1st century Middle East it'd look very different to what we are familiar with now.

Acknowledging socio-economic and demographic factors doesn't obviate the God-factor as it were.

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cliffdweller
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quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:

Also, religious heat and enthusiasm does tend to boil over and is naturally fissaporous ... so you get tensions between leaders, people pulling in different directions ...

It can all boil over very quickly ...

Whilst I'd applaud what Seymour and the revivalists were trying to do - although they were also under the misapprehension that the end of the world was imminent - hence the fuss when Seymour married ... there's only so long you can sustain that level of revivalist fervour.

So, I'm afraid I don't buy this, 'If only they'd left Seymour alone then the revival would have continued ...' or 'If only if so-and-so hadn't bad-mouthed Evan Roberts then the fire would not have gone out ...'

I would agree, but Azusa didn't "fizzle out"-- it was ended abruptly due to Parham's racist interventions. I'm sure it would have, indeed, fizzled out eventually, but Parham hastened the demise. otoh, the impact of Azusa St is very much a part of modern Pentecostalism, and arguably we wouldn't have the movement we have today w/o it.


quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:

In the case of Azusa Street there was the added issue of racism and opposition to Seymour's integrated approach - which, as I've said, was perfectly in keeping with the statute-books and the polity of most - if not all - churches in LA at that time ... but which didn't necessarily mean that everyone was happy about that. Parham certainly wasn't. The press might not have been either - the way they describe the meetings at Azusa Street is very racist and politically-incorrect by today's standards ...

It is true that integration was not illegal in California (which is considered "North" for purposes of slavery/civil war)-- in contrast with the South, where Billy Graham was actually breaking Mississippi state law when he broke down the barriers between white & black worshippers at his 1952 revival. But it's not true that interracial worship was common in L.A. in 1906. It wasn't even common when I was growing up here in 1960s and 70s. Even today, sadly, multi-racial churches even here in this "melting pot" are the exception (tho far more common) rather than the rule.

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Gamaliel
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I didn't say integration was common in 1906, Cliffdweller - I made that clear in my postings on the subject - references to Paeham's racisn, the racist coverage in the press ...

I suspect we are posting at cross-purposes to an extent.

The multi-racial aspect was a significant feature at Azusa Street, but it wasn't the only one. Overall, sadly, Pentecostal and charismatic congregatulions these days seem to be no more demographically diverse than any other form of church. Pentecostal and charismatic churches can be relatively diverse in my experience - but certainly not as much as some would like to make out.

The reason Azusa Street left a legacy and influenced other revivalists worldwide - initially across the US but also Britain, Scandinavia, Germany and various Protestant mission stations in India, Africa and the Far East - was because of the telegraph, mass media and the steam ship.

There's a fascinating history of transatlantic influences in both directions throughout 18th and 19th century revivalism.

Near here, for instance,the Primitive Methodist 'camp meetings' on Mow Cop from 1806 were consciously modelled on US frontier revivalist practices.

Azusa Street was a grass-roots thing but early adopters elsewhere - at least initially - were missionaries and full-time Christian workers of various kinds. The main thing they seemed to take from Azusa Street was a particular understanding of 'tongues' - Parham and the original Topeka tongues-speakers had understood it differently - in terms of 'xenoglossy' and this -alongside racism - was one of the bones of contention.

The 'shape' that Pentecostalism took - at least initially - was determined by the existing forms and structures of Wesleyan Holiness, Nazarene and Methodist revivalism.

Here in the UK, as Baptist Trainfan notes, early adopters included the Anglican cleric Akexander Boddy and the very well-heeled Cecil Polhill, one of the 'Cambridge Seven'. However, they were soon side-lined by working-class revivalists.

It's interesting to reflect that Pentecostalism as a movement made little impact on broader public consciousness in the US until the 1950s - by which time it was using TV and radio ... although there had been higher profile proponents much earlier such as Aimee Semple MacPherson in the LA of the 1920s and 30s.

Here in the UK the Jeffries Brothers had considerable impact in the 1930s but Pentecostal revivalism would still largely be regarded as a marginal, exotic, suspiciously US-influenced import to some extent. On continental Europe even more so.

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Baptist Trainfan
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quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:
Here in the UK, as Baptist Trainfan notes, early adopters included the Anglican cleric Akexander Boddy and the very well-heeled Cecil Polhill, one of the 'Cambridge Seven'. However, they were soon side-lined by working-class revivalists.

Re. Boddy et al, I yesterday came across this interesting thesis. I don't claim to have read it all, just skimmed bits of it!

[ 13. April 2016, 07:03: Message edited by: Baptist Trainfan ]

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quote:
Originally posted by SvitlanaV2:
Martin60

I don't have the right to contribute much to this discussion (though I find it interesting for various reasons) but I must jump in here. You seem to be implying that people who speak in tongues don't do enough loving, or aren't sufficiently interested in 'universal justice with peace', to use your earlier phrase.

quote:
SvitlanaV2, you have EVERY right, as much as anyone, we don't own it. I'd have to say that you have understated my position! As a helplessly privileged hypocrite. Me.
However, one of the reasons why the Azusa Street revival fascinates me is that in its earliest days (and I accept that things changed) it incorporated social and racial equality in a way that few of the sensible, moderate churches were doing at the time.

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That I find moving and chastening. The impulse was there. Charismania was obviously a vehicle, a handmaiden of that.
My related concern about condemning tongues-speakers as uncaring, or somehow irrational, is that it feeds into rather problematic racial attitudes about very many of the world's Pentecostals and charismatics, the majority of whom are not white. When we argue that this form of Christianity is unbiblical we're actually marginalising a spirituality which, it has been argued, is strongly influenced by non-Western impulses and perspectives. If we're keen on 'peace' and 'justice' we need to think carefully before we do that.

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Having devoured Brian McLaren and Ryszard Kapuściński, I am again smote.
Of course, I accept that most commentators here are speaking from a long experience of charismaticism in its mostly indigenous British and mostly middle class form.

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Exactly, whew, a let out, I'm talking from my parochial experience.
Finally, as someone who has mostly belonged to moderate, MOTR, non-tongues churches, let me tell you that despite official enthusiasm for social justice, etc., the MOTR faction, even here in the UK, has had its own internal problems with the issues that you deem to be important. Some of these, for example regarding racism in churches, have now been fairly well documented. Turning one's own congregation into a beacon of justice and equality is often more difficult than promoting 'social justice' far away, if I may put it like that. But I suppose we have to live in hope.

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As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one



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Love wins

Posts: 17586 | From: Never Dobunni after all. Corieltauvi after all. Just moved to the capital. | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged



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