By Ken Horn | April 29, 2013
The horrific ordeal that Pastor Said, a U.S. citizen, is undergoing in Iran, suffering solely for his faith, is but one of the latest examples of persecution of believers. A student recently asked me to respond to a question about persecution for a paper she was writing in school on the Azusa Street revival of 1906-08. Did participants in the revival suffer individual attacks because they were part of the revival?
Here is my perspective as I sent it:
The primary persecution suffered by those who attended the Azusa Street revival was in the form of ridicule. This was widespread. Major newspapers made extremely biased attacks, and some public figures denounced it, especially leaders of denominational churches.
There was also more personal abuse heaped upon the group as a whole, sometimes including physical attacks during street services held by Azusa Street personnel.
But individuals surely suffered individual personal ridicule, attacks and even discriminatory sanctions. Much of this was racial discrimination, those who felt it was scandalous for races to mix in such familiar settings. False rumors were spread.
Azusa participants were thrown in jail on trumped-up or non-existent charges.
A man named Owen Lee, nicknamed “Irish,” was spit on and punched in the face. He had been a drunken brawler before he was saved at Azusa Street and could easily have beaten the man who did this but, because of his newfound faith, he turned the other cheek.
One man was tossed in jail for speaking in tongues. The arresting police officers accused him of being crazy. One black street preacher spent 30 days on a chain gang.
Disturbing the peace was a frequent charge, even when the vocal prayer meetings were conducted in homes.
There are many other examples. So the answer is, yes, there was much personal discrimination and persecution of those who were part of the Azusa Street Revival.
By Ken Horn | April 26, 2013
The Calling by Ron Marinari (2012, available from the author: http://ronmarinari.com)
I hadn’t read far when I knew I wanted to excerpt this book in the Pentecostal Evangel. It’s a great examination of the various aspects of the calling of the Christian, with especially perceptive insights. These views from Ron Marinari clearly come from a pastor’s heart. Both the content and the writing make this an excellent read for any believer.
To read the excerpt that was in the Pentecostal Evangel, June 2, 2013, “The Calling of a Servant,” click this link: http://s1.ag.org/i1.
By Ken Horn | April 22, 2013
Our staff lives under the hammer of repeated and relentless deadlines—producing a magazine every week. The stress can be immense at times. But God has given us great grace and helped us work well together. The members of our staff share an incredible chemistry and harmony. I believe there are four things that have been keys to bringing that about:
1. We consider one another family.
2. We pray together.
3. We consider our work ministry, not just a job.
4. We laugh a lot! (Some more than others.)
By Ken Horn | March 8, 2013
A year before Jonathan Edwards’ famous “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” sermon during America’s Great Awakening, there was another famous sermon preached by one of the leading lights in the revival.
Gilbert Tennent’s father, William, had founded the “Log College” (which eventually became Princeton) to train ministers. William’s sons trained there and some became fiery preachers in a day when many pulpits were lackluster and lukewarm. Gilbert has been called by some the second most important preacher of the Great Awakening, behind only George Whitefield. Others would place him behind Edwards.
It was on March 8, 1740, that Gilbert outraged many of the colonial clergy with a no-holds-barred message.
Thomas Prince, whom we mentioned recently as the founder of the first religious journal in the colonies, The Christian History, wrote that Gilbert’s pulpit possessed a power that could not be found in most others.
Gilbert’s sermon was on Mark 6:34: “And Jesus, when he came out, saw much people, and was moved with compassion towards them, because they were as sheep not having a shepherd.” Tennent compared this to the situation in New England and frankly accused the clergy: “For I am verily persuaded the generality of preachers talk of an unknown and unfelt Christ; and the reason why congregations have been so dead is, because they have had dead men preaching to them.”
He also said: “To trust the care of our souls to those who have little or no care for their own, to those who are both unskillful and unfaithful, is contrary to the common practice of considerate mankind, relating to the affairs of their bodies and estates; and would signify, that we set light by our souls, and did not care what became of them. For if the blind lead the blind, will they not both fall into the ditch?”
Presbyterians were divided into two camps after Tennent was censured at a synod — the New Lights (revivalists) and the Old Lights.
Tennent’s sermon, which many considered judgmental, had a role in building the revival and furthering the work of God in the land.
By Ken Horn | March 7, 2013
The Assemblies of God and other evangelical organizations have been stepping up the attack on sex slavery in many corners of the world. The AG’s David and Beth Grant have made incredible inroads with their ministry Project Rescue, begun in India and now in other countries as well.
Yesterday, March 6, marked a notable time in the history of Christian ministry and intervention in this diabolical enterprise. On that date in 1901, Irish-born Amy Carmichael took in a runaway, a young girl who had been forced into ritual Hindu prostitution, providing income for the temple priests. It was considered her first kidnapping and landed her in legal hot water. As did her many other “kidnappings.” When she took in a 5-year-old, already being abused in the local temple, her owners demanded her back. The child disappeared to a safe place where she couldn’t be found. Charges were brought against Carmichael and she was threatened with 7 years in prison.
Amy was truly a courageous heroine. Despite her own severe physical challenges that often sent her to bed for long periods of time, she conducted this heroic and risky ministry.
Before she went to India she had already instituted classes and prayer services for poor Belfast children. This was the same year she became a widow. She did the same for poor girls who had to work in factories. She reached hundreds.
When she went to India as a widow, she dressed like a local, and often passed for such. The criminal case against her was eventually dismissed.
Unfortunately, more than a century after her first rescues, there are countless in the bondage of sexual slavery. I admire the Grants, and the increasing number of others who are waging spiritual warfare on this deadly front.
By Ken Horn | March 5, 2013
On this date, March 5, in 1743, in the midst of widespread spiritual awakening, Thomas Prince published America’s first religious journal, The Christian History. Prince was a Congregational minister and Boston Puritan with an affinity for the great revival known as the Great Awakening. George Whitefield preached in Boston at his invitation and Jonathan Edwards corresponded with him. The Christian History was a contemporary account of the ongoing revivals America and Europe were home to.
The magazine didn’t run long — only two years, but Prince became an influential pastor noted for spiritual depth and genuinely concerned about revival.
By Ken Horn | March 5, 2013
Dominus Flevit means “The Lord Wept.” This is a Franciscan church on the upper western slope of the Mount of Olives. It commerorates and marks the place believed to be the site of Luke 19:41-44: “Now as He [Jesus] drew near, He saw the city [Jerusalem] and wept over it, saying, ‘If you had known, even you, especially in this your day, the things that make for your peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. For days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment around you, surround you and close you in on every side, and level you, and your children within you, to the ground; and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not know the time of your visitation.’”
This was fulfilled when the Romans under Titus destroyed Jerusalem in AD 70.
The church was designed by Italian architect Anton Barluzzin and built in 1954, and features structures shaped like tears. It stands over the ruins of a 7th-century church. Some mosaics from that church are still here.
According to the Israel Ministry of Tourism, the church “is a beautiful teardrop chapel which was only built in 1955 over the site of a Byzantine construction. It commemorates the occasion of Jesus looking at the city of Jerusalem and, when realizing that it was going to destroy itself by violence, weeping bitterly.
“In the grounds are the remains of the Byzantine church, as well as part of the first century necropolis that surrounded the city. The view is extraordinary. “
By Ken Horn | March 4, 2013
Found this powerful tidbit in the May 21, 1927 Pentecostal Evangel. Today, 86 years later, I don’t believe this secret of success can be improved upon. And unlike other answers, this will work for everyone!
“Dr. Wilber Chapman met General Booth [founder of the Salvation Army] and asked him what was the secret of his success. His reply is noteworthy. ‘I’ll tell you the secret,’ said he. ‘God has all there is of me. There have been many men with greater brains than I, and men with greater opportunities; but from the day I got the poor of London on my heart, and a vision of what Christ could do for them, I made up my mind that God should have all there was of William Booth. And if there is anything of power in my work it is because God has all the love of my heart, all the power of my will, and all the influence of my life.”
JERUSALEM’S ISRAEL MUSEUM UNVEILS WORLD’S FIRST-EVER EXHIBITION SHOWCASING ARTIFACTS FROM THE TOMB OF KING HEROD THE GREAT
By Ken Horn | February 15, 2013
This world-class museum was part of the trip with our Center for Holy Lands Studies, featured in this Sunday’s Pentecostal Evangel. No photography in the museum but I took some of the scale model of Jerusalem outside.
New York - February 15, 2013: Jerusalem’s Israel Museum, the largest cultural institution in Israel, unveiled a new exhibition this week detailing the life and legacy of King Herod the Great, featuring hundreds of ancient artifacts on public display for the first time ever, on display through October 5, 2013.
The new exhibition, entitled “King’s Final Journey,” showcases more than 250 archeological finds from the recently discovered tomb of King Herod, including three sarcophagi, restored frescoes and King Herod’s private bath from the palace at Cyprus.
The exhibition also features never-before-seen carved stone elements from the Temple Mount and an imperial marble basin believed to be a gift from Augustus, among others.
“We are thrilled about the opening of the new exhibition highlighting King Herod, one of the most significant builders in human history,” said Haim Gutin, Israel Commissioner for Tourism, North and South America. “The exhibition will be sure to provide some additional excitement for travelers arriving in Jerusalem this year.”
King Herod is known for constructing many large-scale projects in Israel during his reign from 4 until 37 BCE, including the port of Caesarea and Masada, two of Israel’s most frequently visited tourist sites, as well as the expansion of the Second Temple in Jerusalem.
By Ken Horn | February 11, 2013
What do you think? Is this advice still needed?
“Prayer makes a heart preacher instead of a head preacher. Prayer puts the sermon in the preacher’s heart; better still, prayer puts the preacher’s heart in the sermon. The preachers who are mightiest in their closets with God are the mightiest in their pulpits with men. Prayer is the first thing, second thing, third thing, necessary for the ministry.”
— Jan. 22, 1921, Pentecostal Evangel