The evidence of the Holy Spirit

Uncategorized Add comments

A little while back I made a note saying I think Charles Parham was wrong. And I connected that post, oddly enough, with a later post about a friend who was having particularly isolating experiences in things churchy while being peculiarly welcomed by people particularly non-churchy (even more non-churchy than the episodes I mentioned). Charles Parham, you might remember, is considered the founder of the Pentecostal movement by many, or if not the single founder at least one of the key names involved in the establishment of this dynamic part of the Church. Now then when I say Charles Parham was wrong I’m clearly not saying just he was wrong. I’m saying something more, basically that the Pentecostal church is wrong about a key part of its understanding of the Holy Spirit.

Then again, in that post I also mentioned I shouldn’t say he was wrong. Rather, it’s more that he left the study incomplete. He and his students, you see, didn’t read far enough. They got excited about that certain bit, and began to pray, and things happened, then they forgot to read the rest of it. Or at least they forgot to read the rest of it with the same intent they started reading Acts to begin with. This rest of it is important, and has left the Pentecostal movement dynamic and somewhat incomplete. They were traveling to Chicago and got sidetracked by the shows and buffets in Vegas.

This isn’t surprising, because Acts in general is a fairly forgotten book, and the passages in question are particularly forgotten or oddly adopted in a way that doesn’t seem to match what the text is saying.

If you don’t have it memorized, have a go at Acts 2 again. Make sure that when you get to verse 4 you, unlike Charles Parham and his students, keep reading through to the end of the chapter.

You might think I’m saying what countless idealistic people have said for generations. But no, it’s not quite that.

Comments are closed.