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: Part 1 Toronto Blessing retrospective)
Where, or how did the Toronto Blessing start?
The ‘Toronto Blessing’ is not a unique phenomenon.
Below is 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 revival sweeping through parts of Latin America.
- 1987 Howard-Browne brought his ‘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 blog as a reference – I make no comment on it’s content.
For my views on this see other articles:
[i] Image is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license. Wikipedia opens in a new window.
[ii] Manuscript by Margaret M. Poloma opens in a new window.
[iii] The Vineyard Movement opens in a new window.
[iv] The “Toronto Blessing” and Church Structure, an article by Margaret Poloma opens in a new window.