The Toronto Blessing is also referred to as the laughing revival.
(This is a series of articles, it’s probably best to take them in the correct order.
See: Toronto Blessing review: laughing shrieking shaking falling over)
Toronto Blessing beginnings, where and how did it start?
The ‘Toronto Blessing’ is not a unique phenomenon.
Below is the Toronto Blessing beginnings, a potted history extracted from a manuscript by Margaret M. Poloma from the University of Akron [ii]:
- Pre 1987 Claudio Friedzon, an Assemblies of God pastor in Argentina, was in the centre of a revival sweeping through parts of Latin America.
- 1987 Howard-Browne brought the ‘laughing revival’ to the United States from South Africa and gives an ‘impartation of spiritual anointing’ to Claudio Friedzon and many other well-known charismatic ministers including Kenneth Copeland, Karl Strader, Bud Williams, Oral Roberts, Charles and Frances Hunter, and Kenneth Hagin.
- 1993 November, Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship’s senior pastor John Arnott travelled to Argentina for a conference where he was prayed for by Claudio Friedzon and received an ‘anointing’.
- This resulted in a brief experience of some manifestations back at Toronto.
- 1994 January, Randy Clark (who received his ‘impartation’ from Rodney Howard-Browne at Rhema Bible Church in Tulsa) spoke at the Toronto church and what resulted is now known as the ‘Toronto Blessing’ or ‘Father’s Blessing’.
- 1994 The Toronto Airport Vineyard was disfellowshipped from the Association of Vineyard Churches (AVC) for straying into things such as ‘holy laughter’ and the ‘golden sword prophecy.’ [iii]
Following this ‘disfellowshipping’ Margaret M. Poloma then writes that the Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship:
was set free to sail the larger sea of Christianity, no longer tied to the restrictions and prohibitions increasingly being set in place by the AVC.Margaret M. Poloma [iv]
(The AVC reportedly wanted to pitch its tents more securely within the evangelical campground rather than with charismatics, and its leaders felt the pressure of the mounting evangelical criticism of the ‘Toronto Blessing’.)
While these restrictions sometimes threatened the free flow of charisma, they also provided the very institutional matrix that allowed the ‘Toronto Blessing’ to develop as more than a charismatic wildfire that was out of control.
This dismissal caused the Airport Church to form closer bonds with some of its remaining allies and led to the establishment of Partners in Harvest, a group of former Vineyards and independent churches that have been impacted by the ‘Toronto Blessing’ “
This has been included in my articles as a reference – I make no comment on it’s content.
For a more balanced view and teaching on the gifts of the Holy Spirit see: The filling of the Holy Spirit adds nothing to our salvation, but it is a transforming event.
[i] Image is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license. Wikipedia.
[ii] Manuscript by Margaret M. Poloma.
[iii] The Vineyard Movement.
[iv] The “Toronto Blessing” and Church Structure, an article by Margaret Poloma.
I started on my Faith Journey in 1976 whilst on my sandwich year from college.
Since then I’ve not been restrained to any one denomination – believing that local Church is always important. Through career moves and life changes this has enabled me to play a part in the Assembly of God Church, Elim, various New Church Groupings, Brethren, Anglican and Baptist Churches.
I am married to Jackie and we live in Cambridgeshire in the UK.