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Holiness Movement Origins: 6 Things That Led to Development of Christian Denomination

By    |   Friday, 06 Feb 2015 10:40 AM

The Holiness movement emerged from Methodism in the 19th century and included other Christian denominations, eventually spreading throughout the word. The movement focused on Christian perfectionism and sanctification, in which true believers were cleansed of sin, although still capable of committing a sin.

Here are six things that helped establish the Holiness movement:

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1. Methodism had been flourishing throughout America since the 1700s, but many ministers and church members felt the faith had steered away from the original intentions of Methodist founder John Wesley. According to the World Council on Churches, the Holiness faction that began growing by the early 19th century stressed a perfection of love that led to "entire sanctification," a personal experience that enables one to live a holy life without the tendency to commit sin.

2. The leaders of the holiness doctrine focused on the experience of perfect love in 1 John 4:18 ("perfect love drives out fear …") as well as the idea of entire sanctification as stated in Thessalonians 5:23: "May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through." They believed in personal holiness for all members of the faith, not just clergy.

3. In 1837, Phoebe Worrall Palmer experienced entire sanctification. She had been a Methodist lay leader and became a leader of the holiness doctrine, conducting revivals in North America and Britain. Palmer wrote extensively on holiness and set up missions that housed and educated needy families. Her work influenced Catherine Booth, co-founder of the Salvation Army.

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4. Protestant ministers who favored holiness began rejecting the superficial or "fashionable" notions of Christian leaders who appeared more concerned about formal religious practices instead of spiritual needs and commitments. By the mid-19th century, ministers began withdrawing from traditional churches. A major change occurred in 1843, when more than 20 ministers left the Methodist Episcopal Church to establish the Wesleyan Methodist Church of America, which emphasized the teachings of perfectionism by Methodist founder John Wesley.

5. Holiness beliefs spread to social issues on the verge of the Civil War when the Free Methodist Church was founded in 1860 by B.T. Roberts and John Wesley Redfield. They were destined to include the abolition of slavery and many others in the Holiness movement were involved in the anti-slavery cause. Something that was essential to their faith.

6. The first National Holiness Association camp meeting was held in 1867 in Vineland, New Jersey. There were around 10,000 people. The second camp meeting the following year drew more than 20,000 to Manheim, Pennsylvania. The association, known today as the Christian Holiness Partnership, is an international organization that includes Christians, religious affiliates, colleges, seminaries and other organizations that continue to promote the Holiness movement.

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The Holiness movement emerged from Methodism in the 19th century and included other Christian denominations, eventually spreading throughout the word.
Holiness movement, Christian, Denomination, Origins
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2015-40-06
Friday, 06 Feb 2015 10:40 AM
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