By Matthew Avery Sutton
From the Pilgrims who settled at Plymouth Rock to Christian Coalition canvassers operating for George W. Bush, american citizens have lengthy sought to combine religion with politics. Few were as winning as Hollywood evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson. throughout the years among the 2 international wars, McPherson used to be the main flamboyant and debatable minister within the usa. She outfitted an drastically winning and cutting edge megachurch, demonstrated a mass media empire, and produced spellbinding theatrical sermons that rivaled Tinseltown's dazzling exhibits. As McPherson's strength grew, she moved past faith into the area of politics, launching a countrywide campaign to struggle the educating of evolution within the faculties, shield Prohibition, and resurrect what she believed used to be the us' Christian history. confident that the antichrist was once operating to damage the nation's Protestant foundations, she and her allies observed themselves as a besieged minority known as through God to affix the "old time faith" to American patriotism. Matthew Sutton's definitive examine of Aimee Semple McPherson unearths the lady, normally remembered because the hypocritical vamp in Sinclair Lewis's Elmer Gantry, as a trail-blazing pioneer. Her existence marked the start of Pentecostalism's increase from the margins of Protestantism to the mainstream of yank tradition. certainly, from her position in Hollywood, McPherson's integration of politics with religion set precedents for the non secular correct, whereas her superstar prestige, use of spectacle, and mass media savvy got here to outline smooth evangelicalism. (20070409)
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Additional info for Aimee Semple McPherson and the Resurrection of Christian America
I am compelled to give it as my calm, unbiased judgment,” Fowler wrote, “that outside of perhaps Mrs. ” He argued that her visions, which “must come from the devil,” put her “in the same crowd with Charles T. Russell, Mrs. ” He concluded with a six-point comparison between what the Bible taught on healings and what McPherson preached. According to Fowler, McPherson missed the mark on every point. ” McPherson had her revenge a few years later, quipping, “Professor Fowler—Fowler by name and fowler by trade.
As she looked for these signs, McPherson determined that the pentecostal revival signified the imminence of the apocalypse. Indeed, the time seemed at hand. Committed to saving as many people as possible, McPherson worked closely with mainstream Protestants and with many burgeoning pentecostal groups—in fact, she worked with almost anyone who would help her. Early allies included the Assemblies of God, a group of pentecostal churches that had loosely affiliated 42 • aimee semple mcpherson with one another for evangelistic purposes and with the aim of stabilizing the growing pentecostal movement.
Towner used these numbers to defend his own healing meetings as well as to prove that McPherson had in fact accomplished what she claimed. 21 Although the press focused on McPherson’s healings, which brought curiosity seekers by the thousands to revival meetings, what won over audiences was the evangelist’s simple presentation of the Christian message. She humanized Jesus, making him come to life as a real person who earnestly sought a relationship with every human being. Firsthand accounts of these meetings, like those of Billy Graham more recently, always emphasized the evangelist’s ability to present Christianity in simple, clear terms, in such a way as to make it almost impossible to reject.
Aimee Semple McPherson and the Resurrection of Christian America by Matthew Avery Sutton