THE HOLINESS MOVEMENT
The Holiness Movement originated in the United States in the 1840s and 50s. It was an endeavour to preserve and propagate John Wesley's (1703-1791) teaching on entire sanctification and Christian perfection. Wesley was indebted for his theology to Jacob Arminius (1560-1609) who emphasized free will and the reality of individual choice in salvation. Wesley taught that the road from sin to salvation is one from wilful rebellion against divine and human law to perfect love for God and man.
The Holiness Movement, following Wesley, emphasized that the process of salvation involved two crises. First, through conversion of justification one is freed from the sins he has committed. Second, through entire sanctification (the process of holiness) or full salvation, man is capable of perfection even though he lives within a corruptible body. Holiness is:
This teaching is usually understood as the "second blessing."
(I) Christian and Missionary Alliance
The name was given in 1887 to a nondenominational fellowship, created by Rev. Albert B. Simpson (1843-1919). A native of Prince Edward Island, he was a Presbyterian minister, having graduated from Knox College, Toronto, Ontario in 1865. In 1897, this fellowship became a new denomination, resulting from a merger of two organizations - the Christian Alliance and the Evangelical Missionary Alliance. Its international headquarters are located in Nyack, New York. Reflecting the teaching of the Holiness Movement, the CMA stressed missions, holiness and divine healing.
Articles 7 & 8 of Alliance Statement of Faith (1965)
These articles are taken from page 163 of The dictionary of Pentecostal and charismatic movements (Burgess, S. M., & McGee, G. B. (Eds.). (1988). Grand Rapids: Zondervan.)
It is the will of God that each believer should be filled with the Holy Spirit and be sanctified wholly, being separated from sin and the world and fully dedicated to the will of God, thereby receiving power for holy living and effective service. This is both a crisis and a progressive experience wrought in the life of the believer subsequent to conversion.
Provision is made in the redemptive work of the Lord Jesus Christ for the healing of the moral body. Prayer for the sick and anointing with oil are taught in the Scriptures and are privileges for the church in this present age.
During 1908-1912 CMA was polarized because of Pentecostalism. Losses to the Alliance were substantial. Throughout the Pentecostal controversy, Simpson affirmed the orderly expression of supernatural gifts within the CMA (p. 164, Dictionary of Pentecostal and Charismatic movements.)
During the post-Simpson period, the CMA increasingly distanced itself from the Pentecostal and Charismatic movements. The emphasis on sanctification as a crisis experience and on miraculous healing became muted. It "evolved" into a broadly evangelical denomination. (p. 220, The new international dictionary of the Christian Church)The CMA has a strong home and foreign mission program. They have not supported Christian Day Schools. Their chief center for training pastors, missionaries and layworkers is the oldest Bible training institution in North America, The Training Institute of Nyack, New York, was founded by Simpson in 1882. There is also a CMA Bible College in Regina, Saskatchewan. The atmosphere of these schools is more geared to spiritual development than academic performance.
(II)?Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada (PAOC)
Pentecostalism emerged at the turn of the century largely from a radical wing of the Holiness Movement emphasizing "divine healing," the imminent return of Christ and speaking in tongues. It is extremely diverse in practice and theology.
Within months of the first large-scale occurrence of glossolalia (speaking in tongues) at Azusa Street in Los Angeles, Pentecostalism had taken roots in Canada. It was at Azusa Street that one of the founding fathers of the PAOC, R.E. McAlister, encountered glossolalia, appropriating it as his own religious experience in 1906. (p. 1, The Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada and Society. A Paper read to the Canadian Society of Church History on June 1, 1973 by Ronald A.N. Kydd, Lecturer in Church History, Central Pentecostal College, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.) By 1910 there were comparatively large concentrations of Pentecostals in Winnipeg and Toronto. B.M. Stout notes that throughout the history of the country Canadian sectarianism has been fundamentally American in natures "and in no case has this been more true for PAOC" (p. 695, Dictionary of Pentecostalism and Charismatic movements). In 1919 the PAOC was incorporated. In 1920 it established a national paper, The Pentecostal Testimony. In spite of its strong American roots, the PAOC achieved a strong Canadian identity. In 1925 it opened Canadian Pentecostal Bible College in Winnipeg, under the leadership of J. Eustace Purdie, a former Anglican clergyman. Most of the first generation of Pentecostal leaders in Canada studied under him.
The denomination has a bumpy history. One of its major splits occurred in 1947. The fundamental motivation for the Pentecostals is to "convert" as many people as possible to faith in Christ. The emphasis is on the ideals of holiness and separation. (p. 3 Ronald A. N. Kydd). The Pentecostals have not developed a holistic world and life view. For example, 1955 Sam Jenkins, lay preacher with the PAOC and associated with a mission in Vancouver, became president of the Marine Workers and Boilermakers Union (CCL) in Vancouver. When asked how he could be a lay preacher and president of the CCL at the same time, Jenkins said that he was there to help the needy and to reach union men for Christ. (p. 9 Ronald A. N. Kydd).
Philanthropy has been a prominent part of the PAOC's ministry. In 1982 it funded an ethics and social concern committee, dealing with pornography, articulating positions on prayer in schools and abortion.
The following observations are excerpted from the article "Christian Day Schools" in the Dictionary of Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements, pp. 167ff. The information is taken from U.S. sources.
The purpose of Christian day schools is to complement the education of home and church. Most Pentecostal day schools reject state supervision as being incapable of evaluating Christian schooling. Some schools prefer teachers who are Pentecostal in belief and practice. The Assemblies of God: "Personnel in Assemblies of God schools should also be Spirit-filled, have formal Bible training, adhere to the Assemblies of God Statement of Fundamental Truths, become an active member of the sponsoring assembly, and desire to advance professionally."
Pentecostal colleges have begun programs for training Christian teachers. Adequate curriculum development has been one of the most difficult areas for Pentecostal and charismatic schools. Many schools have chosen to use state-developed materials for Bible study. The Bible curriculum encourages students to seek salvation and the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Radiant Bible Curriculum is available for kindergarten through eighth grade.
Pentecostals also use individualized programs published by Alpha Omega and Accelerated Christian Education (ACE).
Many of the problems faced by Pentecostal and charismatic schools are common with most Christian schools: financial instability, inadequate buildings, insufficient equipment,
curricular offerings limited to basics, unwillingness to seek accreditation, rapid turn-over of staff because of low salaries, and lack of enrolment of minority students. Lack of accreditation of many Christian day schools has been by design. Despite the problems, the future of the day school seems bright. The Christian schools are not seen as adjunct to the church but as a vital ministry where order, authority, and Christian standards combine "reading and writing" with "right and wrong."
"Inadequate finances for the typical small Christian school is a major problem that also exacerbates most of the other problems. This has led some churches to decide not to have schools. They support public schools by emphasizing the Christian's responsibility to teach and otherwise participate in public schools and seeks to improve conditions. Others have emphasized parental responsibility for Christian training and that parents are not to expect public schools to teach Christian values." This view is also generally held by Canadian Pentecostals. (Newfoundland with its denominational school system is an exception.)
(III) The Church of the Nazarene
This denomination is largely the result of the merger of approximately 15 religious groups originating from the 19th century Wesleyan Holiness Movement. Originally called (in 1907) the Pentecostal Church of the Nazarene, the term "Pentecostal" was dropped from the title in 1919 as the practice of "speaking in tongues" was no longer a practice favoured by its members. The Church of the Nazarene places great emphasis on "Christian education in local churches" (Sunday school programs), operates a publishing house, a theological seminary, several theological colleges, a number of liberal arts colleges, a Bible College in Canada and numerous missions schools and hospitals. It combines congregational autonomy with superintendency in a representational system. The Nazarene church decides annually whether or not to retain its minister.
With its major emphasis on "entire sanctification," it stands firmly in the Wesleyan tradition. The members are bound by a Manual of General Rules which binds them to renounce
Douglas, J. D. (Ed.). (1974). The new international dictionary of the Christian church. Grand Rapids: Zondervan.
See also Bibby, R. W. (1987).. Fragmented Gods The poverty and potential of religion in Canada. Toronto: Irwin, p. 119; and, Loetscher, L. A., (Ed.). (1955). Twentieth century encyclopedia of religious knowledge: Volume 2. Grand Rapids: Baker, p. 789.
In the latter half of the 19th century American Methodism lost its original fervour. It became affluent and well respected. The revival meetings as well as holiness preaching began to vanish. In 1860, the Free Methodist Church was born out of protest against these tendencies. It formally recommitted itself to "holiness." The "free" signified that the new church was delivered from "secret societies, slavery, rented pews, outward ornaments and structured worship." With the Church of the Nazarene, the Wesleyan Church, the Free Methodist Church practises infant baptism.
W.C.C. Publications, Geneva, (1991). Dictionary of the ecumenical movement. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, p. 469.The New International Dictionary of the Christian church, p. 655.
(V) The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army was founded by William Booth as the "Christian Mission" in East London in 1865, the Salvation Army first took that name in 1878. Its doctrinal distinctives include an Arminian emphasis on free will and a "holiness" experience which can be subsequent to conversion and the non-observance of the sacraments of baptism and the Lord's Supper. (The New International Dictionary of the Christian Church, p. 875.)
The first Canadian branch of the Salvation Army was organized in London, Ontario in 1883. It developed in the time of a great revival (1885-1900) in large urban centres, which has been described as "the Great Revival of the City." Since the army had its roots in Great Britain through a schism from the New Connection Methodist Church, its teachings and its methods were similar of those of Methodism. The Methodist church, therefore, felt most fully the effects of the Salvation Army.
The Christian Guardian, April 16, 1884. "Go into any Army fellowship meeting, and you will find the bulk of those who speak are either Methodists, or people who have had a Methodist training." (S.D. Clark, Church and Sect in Canada, p. 387.)
The Salvation Army is both a church and an organization. It belongs to the Canadian Council and World Council of Churches. Its social service embraces more than a thousand institutions or agencies in Canada, including the northwest, and in Bermuda. (Douglas J. Wilson. The Church Grows in Canada. pp. 174f.) In Newfoundland the SA "operates as a competing denomination, with government grants for its schools." (p. 79, Kilbourn, W. Religion in Canada: The spiritual development of a nation. Toronto: McClelland & Stewart, 1968.)
Canada's Christianity is an import from the "Old World." For many years a large number of Methodists were formally associated with the British. They became one of the three most numerous Protestant denominations in British North America. Methodist itinerant preachers provided a ministry more suitable to the outlook of the settlers than the Anglican clergy. Methodism was first a religion of the heart and did not make intellectual demands. The Methodists also had the advantage of missionaries coming both from the American Methodist Conference and the Wesley Society in Britain. Few of the early Methodist preachers in Canada could boast of an extensive education and many had received no formal education whatsoever. The Christian Guardian wrote, March 19, 1834: "In no one thing are the Methodists as a body more deficient than a due and practical attention to the importance and advantages of a solid and liberal Education, both in the Ministry and Laity of the Church."1
The early Methodists were puritan in character. Playing cards and dancing were frowned upon. Kilbourn observes that Canadian Methodists were known on occasion to burn violins and other instruments. And the novel was attacked with particular force. 2
In the course of time Methodism attracted more and more the support of the well-to-do classes. It became separated from the poorer classes in the city and failed to appeal to labour. And the holiness doctrine became too hot for Methodism.
In 1884 the Methodist Church of Canada came into being as a result of the Union of the Canada Methodists, Methodist Episcopal, Primitive Methodists and Bible Christian Churches.
The Sunday school developed as the chief means of keeping the youth within the Church.
During the last three decades there was a period of religious ferment within the church in Canada, England, and the United States. One result was a new surge of interest in entire sanctification (Christian perfectionism) and the development of nondenominational holiness associations. Many of these associations caused "unholy contentions" within Methodism. The Methodists suffered membership losses due to expulsions and schisms.3
In 1925 the Methodists, the Presbyterian Church, the Congregationalist Churches in Canada and the General Council of Union Churches merged into the United Church of Canada. Since not all the Presbyterians joined and the other denominations were small in number, the Methodists constituted a majority in this new church. Through the Methodist influence the United Church became a major advocate of social reform.1 S.D. Clark. Church and Sect in Canada. p. 217.
2 William Kilbourn, ed. Religion in Canada. The Spiritual Development of a Nation. p. 47.
3 "Unholy Contentions About Holiness": The Canada Holiness Association and The Method Church, 1875-1894. Prepared by Ron Sawatsky for the 1982 Annual Conference of the Canadian Society of Church History. June 8, 1982.