An excitement is growing in The Christian and Missionary Alliance to re-emphasize a forgotten spring of life and power in A. B. Simpson’s early Alliance teaching – " the highest Christian life. Simpson based his teaching on the biblical illustration of a healthy, productive tree planted by rivers of water:
[B]lessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him.
He will be like a tree planted by the water, that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit (Jer. 17:7 – 8).
Consecrated to Him
The highest Christian life begins with the roots. You cannot have a tall, strong, majestic tree without deep, healthy roots. The highest Christian life begins with the depths of surrender, consecration and self-denial, or dying to self.
Presented at the 32nd Society of Pentecostal Studies/Wesleyan Theological Society. Joint Conference, March 21, 2003. History Interest Group
With the phenomena associated with the "Toronto Blessing," the Pensacola/ Brownsville revival, and the ministry of Rodney Howard-Browne, such as falling under the power of the Spirit, trembling, holy laughter, etc., people have tended to either completely accept or completely reject all such phenomena. However, when we study the history of the church, in particular the evangelical and holiness movements of the eighteenth to early twentieth centuries, we see that many of these manifestations have occurred in these movements, but such phenomena were neither accepted out of hand, nor dismissed summarily. As an ordained minister with the Christian and Missionary Alliance (C&MA) who also serves on the faculty of Oral Roberts University, through this study I desire to provide a bridge and a buffer between the evangelical/holiness and the Pentecostal/charismatic camps. This study explores the experiences of evangelical and holiness revivals, and how such manifestations were viewed.
SPS History Interest Group. Presenter: Paul L. King, D.Min., Oral Roberts University. Presented at the 30th Annual Meeting of the Society for Pentecostal Studies
Most people associate teaching on the authority of the believer from a charismatic source, usually Kenneth Hagin or Kenneth Copeland. Some evangelicals, such as Hank Hanegraaff and John MacArthur tend to regard exercise of the believer’s authority, especially binding and loosing, as an excessive teaching of the charismatic movement.1 However, the original source of teaching on this vital doctrine comes not from the charismatic or Pentecostal movements, but from John A. MacMillan, a former Presbyterian layman who became a missionary, writer, editor, and professor, and from and his classic holiness roots in the Higher Life and Keswick movements. My doctoral dissertation presented a case study of the life, ministry, and impact of John MacMillan, particularly as it relates to the authority of the believer and spiritual warfare.2This paper is a distillation of that dissertation.
With the phenomena associated with the "Toronto Blessing" and the ministry of Rodney Howard-Browne, people have tended to either completely accept or completely reject all such phenomena. Many of these manifestations have occurred in evangelical and holiness revival movements. When we look at the history of the Church, in particular the holiness movements which are akin to the beginnings of The Christian and Missionary Alliance, we see that such phenomena were neither accepted out of hand, nor dismissed summarily. As one of our Alliance writers, T.J. McCrossan, put it, regarding supernatural manifestations we should take "the middle of the road."1 This study explores the experiences of evangelical and holiness revivals, including those of The Christian and Missionary Alliance, and how such manifestations were viewed.
The concept of binding and loosing spiritual powers is considered by writers such as John MacArthur and Hank Hanegraaff as false doctrine promulgated by the charismatic and faith movements.1 They do expose misuse of binding and loosing by giving clear illustrations of abuse.2 We do want to make clear that we do not endorse teachings of some leaders of the modern faith movement that believers can control or command God, or that we can arbitrarily bind and loose anything, or that all problems can be dismissed by binding Satan.3 However, as demonstrated in this writer’s article, "A.B. Simpson and the Modern Faith Movement,"4 just as with other classic teachings on faith which have been misused, we must be careful not to "throw out the baby with the bathwater," that is, to regard as invalid any use of the binding and loosing concept in regard to controlling spiritual powers.
One of the most popular and controversial movements in today’s Christian world is the “word of faith” teaching, sometimes known as the “word movement,” “health, wealth and prosperity gospel” or “name it and claim it.” Some believe this teaching is fresh revelation from God; others believe it is a heretical cult. On one hand, we are exhorted by the Apostle Paul to “walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians. 5:7). Yet he also warns Titus to teach others to be “sound in faith” (Titus 2:1-2). As Dr. A.W. Tozer has admonished, “Not all faith pleases God.”1 How then are we to discern between truth and error in modern-day faith teaching so that we can truly be strong in faith? The writings of our founder A.B. Simpson provide a balanced walk of faith.