Charles Parham Exposed?

Daniel Silliman has some excellent posts on the origins of the Pentecostal movement. His latest is on Charles Parham and his potential homosexual encounter with a young man, read it here. Excerpt:

In 1907 in San Antonio, in the heat of July and Pentecostal revival, Charles Fox Parham was arrested. Parham, the father of Pentecostalism, the midwife of glossolalia, was arrested on charges of “the commission of an unnatural offense,” along with a 22-year-old co-defendant, J.J. Jourdan.

Details are sketchy.

Mormons and Tongues 3

I wrote a couple posts on this subject two years ago. I just came across another account of the same phenomenon in the book Joseph Smith, Rough Stone Rolling by Richard Bushman:

A spiritual outburst on January 22, 1833, foreshadowed what lay ahead for the School of Prophets. A conference was suddenly visited with the gift of tongues. Joseph spoke in another tongue, followed by Zebedee Coltrin and William Smith, and finally all the elders, along with “several of the members of the Church both male & female.” “Much speaking & praying all in tongues” occupied the conference before adjournment “at a late hour.” The next day, the men came together again and started “speaking praying and singing, all done in Tongues.” Lucy Smith remembered hearing of the spiritual outpouring while she was baking bread. She dropped her work and rushed to join the meeting.

Joseph loved these times when the Spirit enveloped the Saints in “long absent blessings,” proof that New Testament religion had returned.

I wonder if modern, mainstream Mormons still practice tongues at all? It ought to give Pentecostals pause.

 

Meanwhile, back at Sovereign Grace…

C.J. goes on the warpath:

I think the days ahead are going to require more discernment as it relates to the identification of slander and the influence of slander in our churches. I think the days ahead are going to require courage on the part of pastors and when necessary publicly identify those who are divisive.  I think the days ahead are not only going to require, I think they are going to require courage. I think in some ways in SG we have more humility than courage. And we are going to need more courage. Humble courage. It doesn’t mean we don’t learn from critique, we do. But there is a difference between learning from critique and allowing critics to define you. We are [not?] capitulating to slander in the name of humility.

Hmmmm.

Mormons and tongues – 2

Writing in the Latter-Day Saints’ Millenial Star, someone (I believe it is Heber Kimball), mentions Brigham Young speaking in tongues:

We received the gift of tongues and interpretation a few days after we were baptized. The brethren who brought the Gospel to us belonged to the first Branch of the Church that received the gift of tongues, and the Branch at Mendon was the next. Brothers Brigham and Joseph Young and myself went to Kirtland, with my horses and wagon, to visit the Prophet, a distance of three hundred miles. We saw brother Joseph Smith and had a glorious time; during which brother Brigham spoke in tongues before brother Joseph, it being the first time he had heard any one speak in tongues; he testified that the gift was from God, and spoke in tongues himself. Soon the gift of tongues became general in the Church in Kirtland. We had a precious season and returned with a blessing in our souls.

Leonard Arrington in his book Brigham Young discusses this same incident:

Still with the Prophet that evening at prayers, Brigham again spoke in tongues. “As soon as we arose from our knees the brethren flocked around him [Joseph Smith] and asked him his opinion concerning the gift of tongues that was upon me.” Joseph told them, “It is of God.” During the course of the evening the Prophet, who had never before heard speaking in tongues, received the gift himself. Those present remembered this event as a modern replication of “the day of Pentecost,” when the early apostles were “filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” That Brigham, a seemingly practical, rather staid person, should have been one of the few who exercised this “gift” is extraordinary.

Young spoke in tongues prior to this. Arrington relates:

One morning, happening upon the Kimballs as they knelt in family prayer, Brigham silently joined them. Serving as voice was Alpheus Gifford, the Pennsylvania missionary who had done most to convert the Youngs and Kimballs. Gifford suddenly began to speak in an unknown tongue. “At the same instant,” said Brigham, “the spirit came on me like an electric shock to speak in an unknown tongue, and though I was kneeling in an opposite direction, the same moment I turned round on my knees towards him and spoke in tongues also.”

Young counseled a branch of the church and:

taught them that when they spoke in tongues the language might be from the Lord, but with that tongue they spoke the things which were in their hearts, whether they were good or evil; the gift of tongues was given for a blessing to the Saints, but not to govern them, nor to control the elders, or dictate the affairs of the church.

In the book Mormon Enigma by Newll and Avery, we read: “The practice became a part of the Saints’ worship-particularly among women-until well into the next century.” Indeed, this tongues-speaking by Mormon women also generated poetry. In her book White Roses on the Floor of Heaven, Susanna Morrill discusses a poem called “Lines” by L.L. Greene Richards:

The circumstances surrounding the composition of the poem are telling, however, because the messages were conveyed through the gift of tongues by Clara H. James, then interpreted by Rida Taylor, and finally put into polished verse by L.L. Greene Richards…In order to most authentically communicate the revelations delivered in the gift of tongues, often identified as the primordial language of the Garden of Eden, or the Nephite language, Greene rendered them into poetic verse, in this way capturing both the message and the mood….

Ian G. Barber has noted that within the LDS community women were seen to be “natural” seers and visionaries who could more easily than men tap into supernatural and divine messages and powers. Women rather than men most often exercised the gift of tongues. While men sometimes attended and headed these meetings where women spoke in tongues, they rarely seem to have joined in the tongue-speaking themselves. As the community settled in Utah and as the practice of tongue-speaking became routinized, this gender separation became even more pronounced, as did a separation based on age and prestige within the church. This is not to necessarily say that those who spoke in tongues were the ones who wrote the poetry. Sometimes this was the case as, for instance, with Zina D.H. Young who was well known to regularly speak in tongues during Relief Society meetings, but who was also a sometime author, poet, and contributor to the Exponent. Rather, it is more accurate to say: the same forces that led to tongue-speaking also led to nature and flower poetry.

July Mulvay Derr notes in her review of The Personal Writings of Eliza Roxcy Snow, that:

In informal gatherings at Winter Quarters, Eliza and other women, many of them plural wives of Joseph Smith, repeatedly received the charismatic gifts of tongues, prophecy, and healing. These spiritual outpourings Eliza described as “a glorious time,” “a rejoicing time,” “a refreshing time”.

Mormons and tongues

In a book called “History of Mormonism” published in 1840 and written by Eber D. Howe, we get an interesting look into the use of tongues amongst the early Mormons. It raises questions about why tongues are no longer practiced by Mormons. Howe writes:

On the opening of the year 1833, the “gift of tongues” again made its appearance at head-quarters, and from thence extended to all their branches in different parts…it would appear, from all the facts which we have been able to gather upon this subject, that if this gift were not supernaturally bestowed, it required but a few moments instruction from a priest, to render his pupil expert in various dead languages, which could never be understood by man or beast, except a supernatural power was at the instant given to some one present to interpret it. They sometimes professed to believe that these “tongues” were the same which were “confounded” at the building of Babel.

Some curious particulars are related respecting these blasphemous practices by a Mr. Higby, who was eight months an Elder in the Mormon church, and which he published in a small pamphlet. He says that shortly after he joined them, a Mormon Elder said to him, “you must go to work in the vineyard of the Lord as a preacher of the Gospel. I have viewed your heart by the spirit of discernment; I see what is in your heart and what the will of the Lord is, concerning you all.” Mr. Higby says that he was soon after ordained as an Elder in the said church, and commissioned to preach and baptize, ordain Elders, confirm the churches, heal the sick, in short, that he was ordained to all the gifts of the church, which were the same as given to the apostles of old. He continues – “about the 10th of April following, R. Cahoon and D. Patton came again to the place-a meeting was called, and previous to the meeting, they said that some one would speak with tongues before they left the place. Accordingly he set himself to work at that meeting to verify his prophecy. During the meeting he said, “Father H. if you will rise in the name of Jesus Christ, you can speak in tongues.” He arose immediately, hesitated, and said, “my faith fails me-I have not faith enough.” Said Patton, “you have-speak in the name of Jesus Christ-make some sound as you list, without further thought, and God will make it a language.” The old gentleman, after considerable urging, spoke and made some sounds, which were pronounced to be a correct tongue. Several others spoke in a similar manner, and among them was myself. I spoke as I listed, not knowing what I said, yet it was declared to be a tongue. The sound of the words used by some, in speaking in tongues, was a medium between talking and singing-and all, as I am now convinced, a mere gibberish, spoken at random and without thought. Continue reading “Mormons and tongues”

Can you be charismatic without modern worship music?

These days when you think about the charismatic movement, you often think about worship style. And to be honest, in most “charismatic” churches that I’ve been to recently there is no sign of the gifts being active. Granted, I don’t go to a lot of in-your-face charismatic churches, but this is my impression of most [on-paper] charismatic churches like the Vineyard, Calvary Chapel and Sovereign Grace.

What many high-church or Baptist folks mean when they decry charismatic churches is simply ‘happy-clappy’ worship. So from within the charismatic churches and without, the identification of a ‘charismatic’ church is via its style of worship music. But this seems utterly wrong. For one thing, this style of soft-rock worship music now dominates almost every church, from Missouri Synod Lutherans to Southern Baptist mega-churches to Calvary Chapel and the Vineyard.

The 1st century Church wasn’t worshiping with guitars and drum-kits, and yet they had regular outpourings of the Holy Spirit. You can trace the presence of the gifts throughout Church history on and off through the ages. None of these time periods used our style of worship music either (obviously). So there is no causal relationship between the charismatic gifts and singing Hillsong music in church.

I don’t know of any churches today that have Gregorian chant and speaking in tongues. Generally, the more outward manifestations of the Holy Spirit that you see, the wilder the music is. But I can’t see any objective Biblical reason for this to be necessary.

Charismatic worship attracting Hispanics

So says this article. One of the thoughts with the large Hispanic influx into the USA was that it would produce a new Catholic and conservative majority due to Rome’s strong teachings on the culture of life. This has not materialized to date. From stories like this it seems that at least part of the incoming population is acculturating so quickly that they are abandoning centuries of their heritage and faith. Perhaps this would be good if they were becoming full-orbed Protestants, but if they are choosing churches due to worship style and not doctrine, then we are only perpetuating the problems of Protestant America.

What I’m sure you will see in the Catholic Church is an emphasis on just what they are looking for – upbeat music and more focus on a personal relationship with God. It’s not like Rome lacks resources in this area. My question is, are any of these new Pentecostal/Charismatic Hispanic churches teaching on monergism vs. synergism? Are they teaching on bowing to images and praying to saints? Do they even practice the Lord’s Table? If not, then this is yet another reason why we strongly need a full-orbed Anglican option. Protestantism in the USA needs a strong, historic, liturgical and sacramental option that does not abandon the 2,000 years of New Covenant worship history. ACNA will need a strong Hispanic outreach.