January/February 007 www.chalcedon.edu
ust a ew years aterRushdoony pennedthese words, nancialand sexual scandalrocked the ranks o Charismatics as a smallhost o television evangelists wereexposed or rape, raud, lying, and so-liciting prostitutes. Suddenly, the worldknew the names o Jim and Tammy Bakker, Jimmy Swaggart, Larry Lea, andRobert Tilton. Almost immediately therevenue rom donations dropped dra-matically, and it would be several yearsbeore parachurch organizations wouldregain their nancial ooting.Despite these dramatic exampleso scandal, the modern Charismaticmovement continued its unprecedentedgrowth. A movement once scorned as“holy rollers” became both a social andpolitical orce with one leader reachingor the White House (Pat Robertson)and others acquiring numerous posi-tions o infuence within the lobbyingapparatus o the Religious Right.
magazine listed Rev.Ted Haggard as one o the twenty-vemost infuential evangelicals in America.Until recently, Haggard was the seniorpastor o a 14,000-member Charismaticmega-church (New Lie) in ColoradoSprings, Colorado. He made the list in
magazine because in 003 he waselected as head o the sixty-ve-year-old,30 million-member National Associa-tion o Evangelicals, one o the mostpolitically powerul Christian groups in America.Ted Haggard, along with JamesDobson, led the charge in opposing gay marriage with Haggard teaching thathomosexuality was clearly condemnedin the Scriptures. There was just oneproblem. Ted Haggard himsel was ahomosexual, and a male prostitute ex-posed Haggard or his hypocrisy reveal-ing a three-year, monthly, paid relation-ship with Haggard who had been usingthe alias “Art” to hide his identity.It took less than a week, ater hisexposure, or Haggard to cease hispublic denials and admit to both homo-sexuality and drug use. Yet the Haggardrevelation is barely a blip on the radar incomparison to the earlier scandals o thelate eighties. The church and the generalpublic are becoming more tolerant o Christian sin and scandal.Despite its enormous population,the Charismatic movement continues tostruggle with scandal, materialism, andabuse o power. Yet within its numbersare multitudes o aithul men and women who have placed God at thecenter (theocentric), and this group, inmy opinion, holds the Biblical solutionsto one o the world’s largest Christiancommunities.
The Rise of Charismatics
Charismaticism has its roots inundamental Pentecostalism. It was in1901 that Agnes Ozman rst spokein tongues at the Bethel Bible Collegein Topeka, Kansas, but Pentecostal-ism really gained traction during the Azusa Street Revivals in Los Angelesin 1906. By 1965, there were roughly 50,000,000 Pentecostals throughout the world. That’s a growth rate o 780,000+per year. Twenty-two years later thePentecostal movement was surpassing17,000,000. This represented a yearly growth rate o nearly 10,000,000.The numbers multiplied exceed-ingly as the Charismatic movementbegan in the late 1950s. The simplestdenition is that Charismatic equatedto mainstream denominations engagingin the Pentecostal experience o Holy Spirit baptism and the accompanyingspiritual gits listed in 1 Corinthians1–14. Here is a hundred-year chart o the exponential growth o the Pentecos-tal/Charismatic movement:1901 – 40 members1945 – 16,000,0001955 – 7,000,0001965 – 50,000,0001975 – 96,000,0001985 – 47,000,0001990 – 37,000,0001995 – 460,000,000000 – 550,000,000 members
Christopher J. Ortiz
From the Editor
“Without agreeing with tongues, we can say that among God-centered charismatics, there are importantmovements astir. No doctrine o Scripture is more neglected than that o the Holy Spirit. Our emphasis,however, must be God-centered, not man-centered. All humanism is occultistic. The development o aithand lie among theocentric charismatics is one o the most promising aspects o 20
century Christianity.Its potentialities are very great.”
R. J. Rushdoony