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Discussion Forum : General Topics : Pentecostalism Parham and the British Empire

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Joined: 2008/5/3
Posts: 435

 Pentecostalism Parham and the British Empire

Who was Charles Parham?

excerpt from ‘The Life of Charles F Parham’ by Sarah Parham. Garland Publishing. 1985.

“Parham could not shift this awful pestilence. He was ‘repelled’ by what he witnessed and when he attempted to rectify the situation, Seymour and his followers split from him. They did not like it. This is exactly how Toronto Blessing leaders reacted to rebuke and help from faithful Christians. Parham saw hypnotists (occultists) practicing hypnotism at the altar. Later, he confessed that it was all of Satan, for he saw “hypnotic influences, familiar spirit influences, spiritualistic influences, mesmeric influences and all kinds of spells and spasms, falling in trances etc….” He refuted them as being of God, as his own wife testified. It transpired that Parham was “not wanted” at Azusa Street. Why not? Because one of the elders was himself a hypnotist, who passed on the power to speak in tongues to others! Or as Parham put it: “chattering, jabbering, speaking in no language at all.”

Charles Parham was a full fledged member of the KKK in 1910….9 years after the Azusa Street ‘revival.’ How can the father of a spiritual movement be a member of the KKK?

Charles Parham was a free mason, a member of the Baxter Springs Masonic Lodge 12.

Charles Parham was documented to ‘mental, emotional, psychological and sociological disorders…’

the following: by Anton Chaitkin

According to Pentecostal lore, the movement began when a woman spoke in tongues in the church of Charles Fox Parham in Topeka, Kansas, in 1901. Reverend Parham spread the method until it blossomed in the famous Azusa Street, Los Angeles, revival of 1906; from there, disciples took it around the world.

During the year preceeding the launch-time, Parham had caught fire with British Israelism. He had been indoctrinated into the Empire's mystery cult by emissaries of one Frank Sandford, who ran a cult center called Shiloh, near Durham, Maine. Parham made a pilgrimage and studied under Sandford at Shiloh, after which the two of them went on tour through Canada.

Sandford had made the New England Toryism of his fancy Anglophile family relations into a career, travelling back and forth to England, working to inculcate Americans into the British Empire gospel.

In those days, British Israelism was not shy. Its literature, such as The Anglo-American Alliance in Prophecy, or The Promise to the Fathers, published by Our Race Publishing Co., featured the masonic mummery of a pyramid topped by an all-seeing eyeball. The Egyptian pyramids allegedly contained coded secrets for understanding prophecy. The explicit message of the British Israel propaganda was, Americans should give up their mistaken Revolution, and reunite with their Anglo-Saxon racial brethren in the English fatherland. The movement's masonic Anglomania was proudly displayed. Parham's biography, written by his daughter, includes a photo of a mystery gavel, brought back from Palestine and donated by Parham to his masonic lodge.

With British Israelism as his theory of man's cosmic destiny, Parham began teaching Americans how to die mentally, to speak in tongues, as a religious exercise, allegedly re-creating the descent of the Holy Ghost upon Christ's Apostles during the Jewish feast of Pentecost. He took this show on the road from Topeka, and in Houston, Texas, a black preacher named William J. Seymour, the son of a slave, became part of his audience. The catch was, that Parham, being a crazed racist, would not permit Seymour inside the lecture hall; he had to listen at the window, or in the hallway.

Much is made of Seymour's spreading of the technique to a mostly black congregation on Azusa Street in Los Angeles, and of the fascination and novelty it held for visiting religious adventurers who took "Pentecostalism" out to the world. The movement was widely condemned by Christians as scandalous exploitation, and its historical origins faded into the mist. Frank Sandford spent ten years in jail for manslaughter, after many of his cult members died. Charles Parham's religious vocation was destroyed when he was charged with sodomizing a young male follower in Texas; Parham went on to a new career as a stump speaker for the Ku Klux Klan.

the following by: Paul Fahy

Seymour later admitted that the exuberance of tongue speaking had provided an open door for witches, spiritualists and free love to enter meetings. Parham was so incensed by what he described as ‘animalism’ and ‘all kinds of spells’ that he said, ‘God is sick at His stomach’.

Spiritualists and mediums from all over Los Angeles began to attend the meetings and even contributed their seances and trances to the meetings. Although this disturbed Seymour, he could not control it. The big question is - how can a genuine move of God attract the denizens of Satan. Answer - it cannot, it must have a root in Satan himself, or at the very least, be a mixture and be undisciplined so that evil can operate freely. If it was a powerful move of God, witches would have been unable to get anywhere near the meeting. Frank Bartleman said that there were so many spiritualists and hypnotists and crooks involved in the meetings that people were afraid that the devil would get them, and Bartleman was a Pentecostal supporter, not a critic.

The fact that witches, mediums and other Spiritists could feel at home, secure and contribute in the meetings is a most devastating indictment of the source of the manifestations. Sin flees from the presence of God or is consumed. The Spirit behind Azusa Street could not be from God. If even Parham could see that Satan was behind the activities in the mission, something must have been seriously wrong.

The poor testimony of the behaviour expressed reveals bad fruit which was condemned by secular and religious commentators. At the very least, Seymour disobeyed the scriptural injunction to conduct meetings decently and in order. The fruit of this movement was contention, division, fragmentation, separation and castigation by other church groups. Many members became afflicted by the devil in one form or another and required help from outside. Even Bartleman would admit that by 1925 the ‘tarrying’ rooms were too often full of fleshly enthusiasm, blowing off steam and full o mental intoxication. He called them a ‘lethal chamber, with very little of the pure Spirit of God’.

In the years to come, many serious errors would grow out of this fertile ground like Latter Rain teaching, The Healing Movement (Branhamism) Restorationism, Ecumenism right up to Toronto type aberrations.

the following by: David Cloud

Though William Seymour and Charles Parham have been called "the co-founders of world Pentecostalism" Parham never accepted the Azusa Street experience as genuine. According to Parham, two-thirds of the people that professed Pentecostalism in his day were "either hypnotized or spook driven"

Though there were many reports about healing and financial miracles at Azusa, the bank eventually foreclosed on the church's property and Seymour died young at 52 years old and was in poor health for a long time before that. A few months before his death Seymour was described as "worn, tired, and decrepit" (John Matthews, Speaking in Tongues, 1925, p. 14).

 2017/8/2 8:37Profile

Joined: 2005/1/9
Posts: 1014
Germany NRW

 Re: Pentecostalism Parham and the British Empire

If you want to read an honest, first hand account of the Azusa Street revival, check out
Frank Bartleman, How Pentecost Came to Los Angeles.

 2017/8/2 14:46Profile

Joined: 2006/11/26
Posts: 3385


"If you want to read an honest, first hand account of the Azusa Street revival, check out
Frank Bartleman, How Pentecost Came to Los Angeles."

Amen!! Frank Bartleman was an eye witness of the Azusa Street Revival. He was an intercessor who would spend nights of prayer in travail and intercession.

Brother Bartleman gives an accurate report of what went on in the meetings at Azusa Street, and he gives a true, balanced report .


 2017/8/2 15:17Profile

Joined: 2009/4/5
Posts: 1971
Joplin, Missouri

 Re: Pentecostalism Parham and the British Empire

a-servant: My great grandparents were very close personal friends of Charles and Sarah Parham. I grew up at the feet of the people who knew Parham personally. I can tell you assuredly, please do not believe everything you read about Parham. Some of it is simply not true.

Here is something you must understand. Most people who get involved in freemasonry don't have any idea that it is more than just a civic-minded social organization. If you will look at page 32 of the biography you cited, you will find the story of his involvement, what God spoke to him about, and of his withdrawal from that organization. He did present a gavel to the group later in his life, but it was most likely a gift out of respect for the people he had known and the friends he had made in the community.

Parham was never a member of the KKK. That is a very crazy allegation that is made against him and is totally baseless. He was also not documented to have mental disorders. He did suffer a great deal of opposition throughout his ministry, and several false accusations were made to try to discredit him and his work. But then again doesn't the Bible tell us this will happen when we live godly lives? He had great love and respect for Seymore, so much so that he dropped everything and traveled more than half way across the United States by train to try to assist Seymore simply because of Seymore's letter of request. Quite a bit of time, expense, and trouble if you ask me if indeed you have a hatred for the man because of his skin color. He did think that what was happening at Azusa was getting off. I am not sure if it was or not.

Parham was NOT perfect. No man is. He walked in all of the light that he had. I am sure you know of Martin Luther's shortcomings. He was a vehement racist among other things. Yet God used that man in a very mighty way and at a very crucial point in history, and you probably owe your own salvation, in part at least, to Martin Luther.


 2017/8/2 18:59Profile

Joined: 2008/5/3
Posts: 435


Paul refuted pentecostalism in one sentence, you just didn't notice.
Of course you misunderstand everything you read after that.

In the thread 'Baptism with the Holy Spirit' it stands refuted,
by the Holy Spirit of truth the person, if only you could understand it.

the following by: Paul Fahy

What about Bartleman’s understanding of truth? Firstly, he had no problem accepting Parham’s thesis of tongues being the initial evidence of the baptism in the Spirit. When William Durham preached a ‘finished work’ of sanctification Bartleman stood next to him and accepted his ideas. When the ‘Oneness’ Pentecostal movement started, he joined with Glenn Cook and Frank Ewart, and was re-baptised in Jesus’ name alone, despite losing many Trinitarian friends in the process. In fact, joining the Oneness Pentecostal Movement led to his isolation and the termination of his writing influence; although he did write about later mission work in Europe, for instance, mainly for his Oneness colleagues.

In the end Bartleman avoided all Pentecostal denominations and continued his mission work in Los Angeles as an independent. He died in 1935. It is clear that his theological assessments cannot be trusted as he was weak, even on Trinitarian doctrines. His acceptance of wild and exuberant phenomena, even before Azusa Street, also make him unreliable as an assessor of religious experiences. Such is the man who is credited as the major catalyst in spreading the news of the Pentecostal experience of Azusa Street.

 2017/8/3 0:29Profile

Joined: 2016/6/4
Posts: 941
Johannesburg, South Africa


"Paul refuted pentecostalism in one sentence, you just didn't notice.
Of course you misunderstand everything you read after that.

In the thread 'Baptism with the Holy Spirit' it stands refuted,
by the Holy Spirit of truth the person, if only you could understand it."

Please explain the above statements, without referring to any other human writers from the past, using scripture only,as it seems most of us here do not understand...?


 2017/8/3 4:27Profile

Joined: 2008/5/3
Posts: 435


1 Corinthians 12:3  .....and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord,
but by the Holy Ghost.

For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body,
whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free;
and have been all made to drink into one Spirit (1 Cor. 12:13).

For by one Spirit [the Holy Spirit] -> ALL that declare Jesus is Lord,
Jesus does not come alone "into our heart", it is impossible to be a
Christian without receiving the Holy Spirit (unless: no true faith = split
from the truth = These be they who separate themselves, sensual,
having not the Spirit. Jude 1:19) sensual = feels "right", Spirit counterfeit

For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word,
and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. (1 John 5:7)

Galatians 3:2  This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit
by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?

Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made
perfect by the flesh? Have ye suffered so many things in vain?
if it be yet in vain.

[Did You Not Receive the Holy Spirit by the hearing of faith?]

 2017/8/3 23:24Profile

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