The Legacy of Azusa Street

Has the global Pentecostal movement done enough to share Azusa's racial, ethnic, and gender diversity with the world?


10/20/2013 11:05:34 PM

I wanted to comment to thank the author for the article, a frank discussion of some of the problems facing Pentecostal churches today. Also to say that between you and one of the heads of the Physics Dept. that debates on the side of I.D., you are restoring my faith in Harvard as an Institute of higher learning! I'm very surprised to see so much division in the most recent comments I've seen here, I haven't read them all, so I don't know if they are all like that, I just hope not. Think of the fruits of the Spirit, I think we in America are falling prey to a very dangerous idea. That somehow being American enters in any way what-so-ever to being Christian. It doesn't, we have no more or less of an obligation to be patient, kind, long-suffering, humble, of good repute, etc. than every other believer in Christ that was sent out as sheep among wolves. That is to say, ALL of us, everywhere, every time. What we do have the unique opportunity to do is learn from each other! Culture, music, folklore, tradition, it all came from God. When will we put our differences aside and work for the unity that every Pentecostal Christian (at least) believes? That the Good News is still "For God so LOVED the world.." That our first response to that should be to love God with everything we are and have, and to love (and treat) others as well as we love (and treat) ourselves, and that the Comforter, the Power, the Holy Spirit that the Father for the sake of His Son sent to keep us until He comes again is very much alive and active in our lives. Until we go back to humbling ourselves before God and men, we can never have that joy of the Lord that marked Azusa Street. 'A' to 'Z' U.S.A. Street.


05/05/2006 11:15:12 PM

"not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith the Lord" I agree with TulsaDavid. Without even knowing Tulsa or his church doctrine, God had revealed to me the same information he's given you on this bulletin. Of course I humbled myself and asked for His wisdom and accepted the fact that His ways are higher than our ways, as high as the heavens are above the earth are His ways. He gives plenty of information of His Spirit in His Word as well as through His rhema word and revelation. Its not about whos right or wrong, its about conforming to His image by His Spirit and encouraging other brothers and sisters in Christ as well as sharing the good news of redemption to all those who are still in enslaved to this world and its master, satan. And again, it's only by His Spirit ruling and reigning in us.


04/28/2006 12:36:31 PM

for some reason people do not read the part that there should always be someone around to interpret the language. That is what proves it is from God for one will be able to speak another language. It is not a bunch of jibberish. It is a message for us from God so therefore someone must understand it.


04/27/2006 10:04:20 PM

Tulsa, Welcome to Beliefnet. Gee, now you've made me feel so bad that all I have from God is awareness that I have the capacity for compassion and creativity and courage and rationality. Well, what good is that when I haven't started talking in some unknown language? That means I can only footh gorble harglum blethinockatoom, you know what I mean?


04/27/2006 03:28:25 PM

The book of Acts teaches what to expect when receiving the Holy Spirit. Acts 2:4 records that 120 people (including the apostles, disciples, Mary, etc) received the Holy Spirit "AND began to speak with other tongues AS the Spirit gave utterance." This is the initial sign of being born of the Spirit, like the wind that blows where it wants to; you don't know where it comes from, but you "HEAR THE SOUND THEREOF." This initial sign of speaking in other tongues (NOT necessarily a tongue known to men) is often erroneously confused with the gift of tongues in I Corinthians 12, one of nine spiritual gifts Paul taught about to a church founded in the book of Acts with the same plan of salvation as Peter gave in Acts 2:38. Throughout history some people wrote of "praying in an unintellible language." Not only is this the initial evidence of receiving the Holy Spirit, but your heart will be so changed, you will know what scripture means regarding becoming "a new creation." Praise God!


04/26/2006 04:41:14 PM

Denisemac 4/25/2006 10:36:19 AM wind: same to you search google and you will see they had been warned... Why do you think they had asked the federal government for money to build the levi years before? " well, then maybe its just another one of "gods discoveries" showing that you shouldnt build a city on marshy bog land?


04/25/2006 10:36:18 AM

wind: same to you search google and you will see they had been warned... Why do you think they had asked the federal government for money to build the levi years before? They might not of known the hurrican was going to be calle katrina but they knew they could be hit by one and that the levi was good for only a 3 hurricane. So before insulting others I think a good search on the matter would work better. "To do that, it absolutely requires contrary a view as integral to the discovery process" My point exactly... You just repeated what I said but in a different way so back to reality


04/25/2006 07:34:27 AM

...a contrary view dyslexia?


04/25/2006 07:32:44 AM

If scientists knew Katrina was inevitable and was going to hit New Orleans (or pass very nearby) even before it formed, it would be news to most of us. Most credible climatologists don't disagree about the presence of global warming. Neither do most agree on its severity, rate of progress or our ability to influence it in the face of "natural" events. Science isn't about buying into one view or another. It's about weighing the evidence and continually refining the insights. To do that, it absolutely requires contrary a view as integral to the discovery process. And now... back to your regularly scheduled program.


04/24/2006 10:16:01 AM

gadje: I wasn't bad mouthing it I was stateing a fact. We see it now how scientest are fighting over global warming. Even with the evidence that it is happening there are those who are saying it is not so but they have not come up with any proof to support their bad mouthing. But scientest who support global warming have shown their proof. On top of it they showed that there would be a big hurricane his New Orleans and they did not heed the warnings and they were wiped out.


04/23/2006 06:07:17 PM

gadje - Asserting that intellect provides the insights to discover what works, and allowing for the posibility that the source of that intelligence lies beyond our own individual existence, hardly slights academia. The notion that the Wright brothers didn't invent powered flight, but rather discovered how to accomplish it isn't entirely off base. Still, I suspect that it may fairly be said that they invented their Wright Flier - discovering it might have required the use of a shovel and a map. ;-)


04/23/2006 02:53:35 PM

" we know each new discover[y] was met by others who tried to discredit the discoverer..." every claim must be tested, its called the scientific method, its how quackery is weeded out... deal with it, dont badmouth it with your anti-academic post


04/22/2006 10:39:24 PM

I see every invention, as we know each new discover was met by others who tried to discredit the discoverer, as a revelation for each one has clearly stated that they did not invent it but disovered it and then manipulated it. It is not mans intelligence that brought it about but Gods willingness to provide the discovery. He also gives each of us a means to discover our calling to our paths even though we are seldom in agreement.


04/22/2006 09:56:23 PM

excuse me - "...the person who says that what they know is the result of revelation, rather than understanding..."


04/22/2006 09:54:54 PM

Argument, exercised with reason and understanding, may bring insight. The person who says that what they know is the result of revelation that understanding is asking you to respect his ability to ignore the facts. The evening news presents the pitfalls of such a tactic with some regularity.


04/22/2006 09:50:18 PM

I know I'm limited, but it seems pretty clear that both men would experience the argument. If what is meant to be highlighted by this "quote" is the conflict that often exiists between reason and understanding, that's a horse of a different color. The Wright Brothers flew in the face of experience as a result of their own understanding. Most everybody "knew" that man could not fly as evidenced by the collective experience of humanity - it had never happened in the history of the world. That hardly made it the unalterable reality upon which so many would have bet house and farm.


04/22/2006 07:14:48 PM

"When a man with an experience argues with a man who has an argument, experience wins".= untrue Some people are able to learn by watching the results of others experience hence one can argue with knowledge and without experience. Just as many can understand scriptue without men teaching them for knowledge is given to those who seek from God. I will have no problem with putting my knowledge up against anyone who has scripture memorized for it is not memorizing scripture that one understands the meaning but revelation from God.


04/22/2006 04:31:29 PM

Quote: Old pentecostal saying sums it up: "When a man with an experience argues with a man who has an argument, experience wins". I believe in the gifts of the Spirit if they come unannounced, not begged for, quietly, and not used to brag about. No one can argue with me on this as I've experienced this long before I knew what a Pentecostal Church was. I know what I know and I don't have to prove anything to anybody. We joined a Pentecostal Church in the 70's, because they believed in miracles, and we wanted one for our daughter. Our Lutheran Church did not believe in miracles. When she went out of remission they thought it was her or our fault. I heard of cancers that were dissolved because they refused to take medical therapy, instead just put their trust in Jesus. We left the church. Kept our own faith in God, he didn't let us down, even though we had to say goodby to her a year later. Spirituality trumps religion everytime.


04/22/2006 03:00:23 PM

henry1 - "Language barrier" indeed. Kind of reminds me of a good ole' boy I went to breakfast with in Cozumel one morning who remarked, after repeating his order three times to a waiter to a waiter who was simply asking if that was all; "These people have a real language problem."


04/22/2006 01:01:42 PM

Quote from the article: "(Some of this—but not all of it—is attributable to language barriers.)" I didn't read all of the posts, but did anyone but me see the irony in this statement in the article? Sorry Mr. Cox, after all, I tend to lean toward Pentecostalism myself, but let's face it - isn't Pentecostalism known for it's ability to cross language barriers and "speaking in tounges"? Maybe I'm missing something here...


04/22/2006 12:34:20 PM

Miracles, faith-healing, speaking in tongues, angels, demonic possession and exorcism.... These are all desperate attempts to find physical evidence of something that is by definition spiritual. How weak one's faith must be to require such gaudy "proof."


04/21/2006 01:42:49 AM

The Holy Spirit is already doing His work in thousands that become new people morally, mentally, spiritually, overcoming all types of sins and sinful living, but of course will be a fake Holy Spirit that instead changing sinners to holy, loving people only will enphasy in miracles, signs and wonders that really only amuse but had not power to change our evil hearts, the main job of the Spirit is to make us holy, pure, loving, the fruits of the spirit, so we may stand before a Holy God in heavens, soon. so By the fruits you will know apply here, and since He is the author of the Bible he will not contradict himself, because God does not change, thats why we are not consumed.


04/21/2006 01:05:21 AM

I know for a fact without going to any revival that they are fake. I am talking about the real thing. God does exist and he does help us but we do not need another human to do it for us. We can connect with God ourselves and he will help us. He has done it many times and if someone charges for this and teaches that you have to go to them for the cure are liars. They would be teaching how each person is able to connect with God and be cured and live a good life. God does not condemn he helps us. We do not have to confess our sins for we have already been forgiven them by Jesus which he stated over and over again. He helps us overcome what ever we want to overcome.


04/20/2006 11:11:04 PM

I can see why the Pentecostals would be upset with the people preaching the prosperity gospels. I can't see how one can read the words of Jesus and think that he's in heaven distributing large screen tv's to people. He doesn't come across as a person who valued "things."


04/20/2006 11:07:18 PM

I've only witnessed faith-healing of the charismatic variety once in my life. A friend of mine took me to "hear a missionary talk about missionary work." I was suspicious but ignored the little bells and whistles going off in my head that were telling me that there was probably more to it. I ended up at a charismatic revival meeting. One person after another stood up and witnessed to the healing that took place during the healing session. They all had the same problem. One limb(usually an arm) was longer than the other. Then a woman stood up to talk about how she was born with one leg shorter than the other. Thanks to healing class, she was cured. Then she proceeded to happily LIMP back to her seat.


04/20/2006 07:39:48 PM

Nnmns, I think it will happen! It took some time for me too. And it shows you do happen to be pretty open minded. Im impressed! Thats wonderful! I cant help but be happy for you. :) You'll see what I mean!


04/20/2006 07:32:02 PM

I asked him to prove him himself. So far, nothing. But I'll wait for it.


04/20/2006 06:36:47 PM

Nnmns, Or you could **honestly** ask first (talk to the sky if you will) and then see what happens? Suspend your belief until you do feel something. :) (I used to be an atheist, and an agnostic. Id never ask someone to just believe if their brain tells them otherwise - especially someone as obviously intellectual and thinking as you appear to be to me. But Id also hope that someone would search out the truth before declaring it. And that includes theists too!)


04/20/2006 05:24:14 PM

Believe first then expect proof of your belief. And if it doesn't come no doubt that means you don't believe enough. Sorry, that's just not rational. It doesn't work for me.


04/20/2006 04:55:04 PM

God will only prove himself to those who believe in him. He talks to everyone all day long and it is up to us to listen. Once we believe and ask God to reveal himself to us he will. "for they seek a sign but they shall not receive one" means not to look for proof but believe and so it will be.


04/20/2006 12:23:32 PM

The Catholic Church has embraced mystics for centuries. Indeed, what was the experience of the Pentacost, when those in the upper room received the Holy Spirit, or when Saul got knocked off his horse and changed his name to become Paul whose mission was to preach to the Gentiles? How many others? St Francis, St Catherine of Sienna, Hildegard of Bingen, come to mind, but there are many more. There is the spirituality of the everyday, the things that are manifest in small "Regalitos de Dios" (little gifts of God) which are given to those who are in tune with such things. You don't need an earthquake or a bolt of lightning. It can just be a sudden realization of that's what you need to do, of a truth, or just the knowlege that God is there. Maybe Azusa Street is when Protestants allowed themselves to feel God's touch. But it has been going on much longer than that.


04/20/2006 04:57:44 AM

"My example, Paris, is figurative, a metaphor for faith, God, belief." Unfortunately, a questionable metaphor. Paris can be experienced by anyone who chooses (and can afford) to in repeatable ways. Buy a ticket, travel a predetermined route and you are there. No mumbo jumbo, no waiting for a message of some sort that could actually be from your own brain. You go there and then you know you are there. And anyone else can tell you are there unless you work hard to fool them. There are physical tests one could perform to tell if you are in Paris or not. Experiencing a god isn’t testable or predictable like that.


04/20/2006 01:35:15 AM

Gadje, Though I think that many faith healers arent genuine, my own experiences have led me to believe that God as the Creator of the universe, has the ability to affect change in peoples lives. I dont see why there would have to be an intermediary to channel Gods intentions though. I dont think that God is a magical genie that can be charmed into doing as we like. Surely, there are men and women who take advantage of the sick for financial gain. Those examples can say a lot about those people, but not about the capabilities of God. "what people?" My example, Paris, is figurative, a metaphor for faith, God, belief.


04/19/2006 11:04:39 PM

wifeinlove 4/19/2006 4:25:33 PM In otherwords, one isnt likely to be correct when concluding something with certainty when he has no knowledge or experience of it." In regards to faith-healing though, given an example by james randi and sinsonte's own account- how much knowledge or experience do you need to admit that faith-healing is a complete sham? wifeinlove 4/19/2006 4:40:16 PM Gadje, "...but everyone can physically buy a ticket to paris." Not everyone does. Some people assume they know it doesnt exist and therefore, make no effort in discovery. " what people?


04/19/2006 07:27:55 PM

Thanks Sinsonte. Thats where we get it. :)


04/19/2006 07:06:17 PM

"The proof is all around you." Uh, where? "My mind is open to realities I have not if my puny experiences proved one thing or another." Well, you and wife have a nice conversation about the need for experiencing your gods. But for me, I see no evidence.


04/19/2006 05:58:31 PM

How funny. As if God has to prove He exist. The proof is all around you. How about your in the middle of Paris and not aware of it my friend...a blind Parisian would have no idea where he was if he could not see. Your ego centric mind blocks you from seeing the obvious. By the way...the Bible NEVER tries to prove that God exist. It simply assumes either you believe He does or you don't...the choice is always yours. Never been to Paris, never experienced in anyway whatsoever...but I know it exist. My mind is open to realities I have not if my puny experiences proved one thing or another.


04/19/2006 05:11:09 PM

Wife, "And I would answer that faith is hope coupled with evidence." An interesting twist on Hebrews" "Now faith is assurance of things hoped for, proof of things not seen."


04/19/2006 04:55:13 PM

"Coincidence is the proof of the true believer." And I would answer that faith is hope coupled with evidence. Ive personally never experienced faith healing, and Id also be skeptical of someone who wanted any significant type of money paid to "heal the sick." And Im sorry for what happened to your grandmother. Thats awful! However, I have experienced my own miracles - though they were entirely different than those described here. Still, as I believe that God is ultimately in control of my life, I think He is more than capable of lifting a trial from me if He wishes.


04/19/2006 04:40:16 PM

Gadje, "Being a skeptic is NOT saying- 'i know everything', its being cautious about unfounded claims," Gadje, I agree. But some skeptics are *certain.* Im sure we can find some here easily. I know Ive encountered them here and elsewhere. "...but everyone can physically buy a ticket to paris." Not everyone does. Some people assume they know it doesnt exist and therefore, make no effort in discovery. "One of Ben Franklins observations was that those who fall for such endorse it even after it has failed them." Well, there are people of all beliefs that are sure of what they know and no amount of fact, experience, or whatever else will convince them otherwise. They already *know.* Anything contrary to what they know is imagination and wishful thinking, or conspiracy and lies, etc.


04/19/2006 04:25:33 PM

"Are you suggesting truth by election? Then the earth would have remained flat. And the moon might still be made of cheese." Nnmns, those arent experiences. Those are beliefs that are formed through ignorance - *exactly* the thing to which I was referring in my post. In otherwords, one isnt likely to be correct when concluding something with certainty when he has no knowledge or experience of it.


04/19/2006 04:22:29 PM

Many years ago, at my great-great grandmother insistance, we took her to a faith-healing minister. I cannot say for certain he was a Penecostal, but there was a definite "Benny Hinn" flavor about him. Like the woman in gadje's post, she too got out of her wheelchair and took a couple of teetering steps forward before she fell down. The preacher pronounced her healed and felled by the spirit. The fact that she had many toes amputated due to diabetes and was unable to stand without assistance was never brought up -- a miracle is after all, a miracle. She died a week later. Coincidence is the proof of the true believer.


04/19/2006 04:15:44 PM

cknuck, you may well have seen things heal, as have we all. You may have seen something heal doctors were pessimistic about; it happens. And it may even be that the patient unconsciously helped the healing by being confident it would happen, perhaps based on their faith. But none of that means a supernatural being caused the healing. I think belief in faith healing is a lot more likely to decrease your pocketbook than your tumor. And let’s face it, people live longer now than in the old days when medicine was worse but faith was, probably, stronger.


04/19/2006 04:11:19 PM

ok, so what did the picture look like?


04/19/2006 04:03:05 PM

I've eyewitnessed permanent healings many times. One of my employer's tumor disappeared I saw the picture of it and he is still with us today. What I know, you might not know, what you know i might not know but I've still seen the Holy Spirit heal you just have not.


04/19/2006 03:58:34 PM

wifeinlove 4/19/2006 3:01:37 PM it is most likely one will be wrong when one is certain of the *un-knowable* of which one believes he has had little or no experience." Being a skeptic is NOT saying- 'i know everything', its being cautious about unfounded claims, and one claim that is unfounded and a shill is faith-healing(theists, please notice i said faith-healing, not faith) "Its a little like my claiming there is no such place as Paris because Ive never been there myself." but everyone can physically buy a ticket to paris. "Its better I think to admit one cannot know what SO many others have experienced. We're less likely to be wrong - if thats your concern." One of Ben Franklins observations was that those who fall for such scams are often their most fiercest defenders of their intial decision to get involved and chose to endorse it even after it has failed them.


04/19/2006 03:54:41 PM

"Its better I think to admit one cannot know what SO many others have experienced. We're less likely to be wrong - if thats your concern." Are you suggesting truth by election? Then the earth would have remained flat. And the moon might still be made of cheese.


04/19/2006 03:49:12 PM

cknuck 4/19/2006 2:40:49 PM What you don't know you just don't know." One of the researchers for skeptic magazine, James Randi, once witnessed in a st. louis auditorium a woman who had been caught up in "ectasy"(leaping and hopping out of a wheel chair)at one of W.V. Grant's faith healings; her adrenaline rush made her temporarily oblivious to her arthritic spine tearing her back muscles causing internal bleeding- which later had her moaning on the floor in the lobby waiting for an ambulance.


04/19/2006 03:22:10 PM

Sinsonte, Is that last post an answer to mine?


04/19/2006 03:19:39 PM

What you think you know or percieve should always be challenged and investigated. " Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world." 1 John 4:1-3 The Azusa Street preachers of 1906, preaching over the carnage and fires of The Great Earthquake shown themselves to be of an address far, far south of heaven.


04/19/2006 03:01:36 PM

Yes, I agree. And that may be true for any one of us on any subject Nnmns. However, I think it is most likely one will be wrong when one is certain of the *un-knowable* of which one believes he has had little or no experience. Its a little like my claiming there is no such place as Paris because Ive never been there myself. Its better I think to admit one cannot know what SO many others have experienced. We're less likely to be wrong - if thats your concern.


04/19/2006 02:42:33 PM

And what you do know might be wrong.


04/19/2006 02:40:49 PM

What you don't know you just don't know.


04/19/2006 01:11:12 PM

This is all fine and good, but the faith healing has to go... people of the ilk like rev. W.V. Grant, Peter Popoff, or that John of god down in brazil have really conned people


04/19/2006 12:53:46 PM

Good post, jestr. We learn by observing how the world works, and sometimes a coincidence happens and we learn an entirely false thing. So we need to check what we believe now and then.


04/19/2006 12:22:48 PM

People who want to see magic will see magic. Why do you suppose Jesus told all of his beneficiaries to keep quiet (with a few notable exceptions, who never seemed to tell the right people). I recall a story about the 1965 Blackout in the NE. A boy was walking down the road hitting electric poles with a stick. Suddenly all the lights went out. When he got home he learned the power was out everywhere, and he hid in his room. His parents, wondering what had happened went in to talk to him. He was afraid they would be angry because he hit the power pole and wiped out everyone's electricity. Do you suppose the pastor of the Azusa Church had the same feeling, at least for a moment? Do you suppose the people who came to his church the week following were of the same attitude as those who chased Jesus around demanding more signs? Do you think we will ever learn?


04/19/2006 12:01:53 PM

sinsonte, I've noticed that more often than not the things that make religion look bad or irrelevant or just wrong get left out of the news. Not always, but often. For instance, how many times have you read about a person with a Bible in their pocket getting killed when a shot went right by the Bible and hit them? I'm guessing never, but sometime you've probably read of a Bible stopping a bullet. And if Bibles always stopped bullets our troops would all be carrying them in place of all that armor.


04/19/2006 11:52:51 AM

I'm surprised that the article doesn't mention the Great San Francisco earthquake. As mainstream churches and clergy struggled to comfort their congregrants that the earthquake was not a punishment from God, the preachers at Azusa Street used the tragedy to scare people into believing that the earthquake was just a warning shot to the West Coast. There was not so much a "pouring out of spirit" as a "scaring the heck out of the credulous."


04/19/2006 08:32:55 AM

The Charismatic gifts have their place, but they should take their place beside the other charisms of the church, like wisdom, piety, charity, study, and contemplation.


04/18/2006 08:22:42 PM

(Some of this—but not all of it—is attributable to language barriers.) _______ Hmm. Interesting, considering they can supposedly speak in tongues. (I apologize to any Pentacostals---I meant that as playful, not pernicious.) I'm not greatly familiar with Pentacostalism, though some family members belong to that faith; perhaps I should check it out, and see if it really can help one connect with God. May He bless you!


04/18/2006 07:49:05 PM

Being brought up in a Pentecostal church I can attest that at least the one I was brought up in had a nice diverse group of people in it. I admit the "holy spirit" or as I call it a emotional high is highly addictive in a group setting. I can see why it is so popular even if Christianity is not my cup of tea anymore.


04/11/2006 07:23:35 AM

Though I'm not Pentecostal, I have witnessed many of their healing services that were nothing less then miraculous. Their racial diversity is marvelous. I love everything about the Azusa Street event. I know there will be plenty of doubters and haters trying to discredit this article but they are not be able to reproduce, or explain what happened at Azusa so I’ll just pray for them.