Talk:CRC Churches International

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Self-published sources[edit]

Where this article is sourced at all, it is to WP:SELFPUBlished sources. I am therefore moving its entirety here to talk and replacing it with a (sourced) stub. Please feel free to re-add material back to the article when (i) you find a WP:RS for it and (ii) (where necessary) you rewrite the material to match the source.

{{self-published|date=November 2010}} {{Original research|date=November 2010}} {{spacing|date=November 2010}}

The CRC Churches International is a Pentecostal Protestant Christian denomination located primarily in Australia and Asia. They hold to a conservative Protestant theology, as well as to the core Pentecostal doctrines such as the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, speaking in tongues, and divine healing.

History[edit]

The CRC Churches International was founded (as the National Revival Crusade) in 1945 at Adelaide, South Australia by Pastor Leo Cecil Harris (1920–1977). Harris was raised as a Pentecostal and his father, Cecil Harris, was ordained as an elder of the Pentecostal Church of Australia (later the Assemblies of God in Australia) in Perth in 1928. The Harris family, like many early Pentecostals, became members of various Pentecostal denominations, including the Assemblies of God in Australia (AOG), the Apostolic Church and a few independent groups. Leo Harris settled with the AOG and pastored a few churches in Queensland; he also had a successful preaching ministry amongst Pentecostal churches.

Another of the founding members of the National Revival Crusade was Thomas Foster, born in 1909 in Mornington, Victoria. Foster left school at fourteen to work in the local Post Office and later the National Bank. It was while working in the bank that Foster became a deeply committed Christian and regularly attended the Presbyterian Church, where he became a Sunday school teacher and preacher. At 23, Foster resigned from the National Bank and enrolled in the Presbyterian Training College in Carlton, Victoria.<ref>[[#Cooper|Cooper]] p. 64.</ref>

Foster was appointed to the Presbyterian Church in Merbein, Victoria where he was given a book on British-Israel by one of the elders of the church. Foster became convinced of the British-Israel message and began to preach it in his church. He was met with little opposition from his congregation, but was reprimanded by the headquarters of the Presbyterian Church.<ref>{{cite book |last1=Foster |first1=Thomas |title=The Life and Times of Thomas Foster |url= |format= |accessdate= |edition= |series= |volume= |date= |year= 1993|month= |origyear= |publisher= |location= Burwood, Victoria|language= |isbn= |oclc= |doi= |id= |page=7. |pages= |chapter= |chapterurl= |quote= |ref= |bibcode= |laysummary= |laydate= |separator= |postscript= |lastauthoramp=}}</ref>{{self-published inline}}

In 1934, Foster was invited to take the Presbyterian Church in Mt Hawthorn, a suburb of Perth, where he had enough autonomy to hold unopposed midweek British-Israel meetings. It was in Perth that Foster decided to go to a Pentecostal meeting. He claimed later to have been healed there of a serious nose injury that surgery had failed to solve. Foster was also baptised by full immersion at the Pentecostal Church. Upon Foster's preaching healing to his congregation, the Headquarters of the Presbyterian Church requested that he sign a document stating that he would only teach Presbyterian doctrines. Foster would not comply and left the Presbyterian Church to begin an itinerant ministry on British-Israelism and Pentecostalism throughout Western Australia <ref>[[#Cooper|Cooper]] pp. 64–65.</ref>.

Foster returned to Victoria in 1936 where he met Dr Pascoe Goard, president of the British-Israel World Federation (BIWF). Dr Goard invited Foster to attend the BIWF Garrison Bible College at Harrow Weald in Middlesex at the BIWF’s expense. Foster completed the full two-year course, preached British-Israelism in the United Kingdom and then returned to Australia in 1939. Foster became an itinerant preacher for the BIWF in Victoria. He began attending Richmond Temple, a large Assemblies of God (Pentecostal) church headed by Charles Greenwood. Foster remained a BIWF preacher until 1941.

In November 1941, Leo Harris was temporarily pastoring the AOG church in Ballarat, Victoria when Thomas Foster came to speak on British-Israel. Leo and his brother Allan were staying with an AOG woman who was also a British-Israelist. She invited the Harris brothers to attend one of Foster’s meetings. The Harris brothers went hesitantly and returned far from convinced of British-Israelism. Thomas Foster attended the AOG meeting and upon meeting Leo Harris, invited himself to afternoon tea the following day. Foster explained his historicist view of Bible prophecy and the British-Israel message to Leo Harris. The latter said he accepted the message as ‘truth’ later that night.<ref>[[#Cooper|Cooper]] p. 20.</ref> Harris later wrote a letter to the National Executive of the Assemblies of God in Australia explaining his change of mind on prophecy and the British-Israel message. The AOG immediately cancelled Harris' credential. He was forced to return to his Father’s Independent Full Gospel Church in Brisbane.<ref>[[#Cooper|Cooper]] p. 21.</ref>

When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor in December 1941, Foster joined the Australian Army as a Senior YMCA Officer. Harris continued to minister with his family, who had taken to starting Pentecostal churches under the name of Churches of God. Harris was quick to convert his family to British-Israelism; combining it with Pentecostalism, he began to preach what he called ‘The Full Kingdom Gospel’. His goal was to plant ‘Full Kingdom Gospel’ churches in every Australian town and city. In May 1942, Harris launched his magazine, Echoes of Grace, that contained aspects of Evangelicalism, Pentecostalism and British-Israelism.

In 1944, another Pentecostal British-Israel group, called the New Covenant Assemblies (NCA), invited Harris to minister in New Zealand. Whilst staying with Vin Brown, the leader of the NCA, Harris shared his hope of a National Revival Crusade. Brown called a special meeting of NCA pastors and other Pentecostals who believed in British-Israelism. The conference was a success in that they agreed to unite under the banner of the National Revival Crusade (NRC). The "articles of faith" statement included an affirmation of British-Israelism, ‘(d) The Israel identity of the Anglo-Saxon-Celtic nations’ <ref>[[#Cooper|Cooper]] p. 36.</ref>

Harris returned to Australia to launch the NRC amongst the existing Churches of God in Queensland. The BIWF invited Harris to hold a special series of lectures in Adelaide in 1945. The BIWF had previously begun to distribute Harris’ books and his magazine Echoes of Grace from their Adelaide branch, which led to Harris' becoming quite well known. The meetings met with success and Harris used the opportunity to launch the National Revival Crusade in Adelaide. As Harris had no intention of staying there, he appointed Norman Priest as pastor of the Adelaide NRC. Harris next travelled to Melbourne to launch the NRC with the assistance of Thomas Foster. Harris intended to make Melbourne the new NRC headquarters and to remain as the pastor of the Melbourne assembly. When Priest fell ill in early 1946, he requested Harris to take on the Adelaide assembly. Harris did so; Foster became the senior pastor of the Melbourne NRC.

Unlike the British-Israel movement, which never developed into a sect and encouraged members to maintain their denominational loyalties, the NRC organised as its own movement (later identifying as a denomination) of congregations. British-Israelists were encouraged to adopt Pentecostalism and leave their churches to join the NRC, while Pentecostals were encouraged to adopt British-Israelism and leave their churches. The NRC also sought to evangelise the unchurched. It used the British-Israel message as ‘proof’ of the Bible’s trustworthiness - that God’s promises to Israel were being fulfilled through the Anglo-Saxons. Once convinced of British-Israelism and the Bible, enquirers at the NRC would be instructed in their need of personal salvation. They were led through a prayer of faith in Jesus in a very traditional Evangelical manner and were to be declared ‘saved’. From this stage, they were instructed in the importance of water baptism and receiving the Pentecostal baptism with the Holy Spirit, evidenced by the gift of speaking in tongues. The NRC preached what they called a ‘vision for revival for the individual, the church and the nation’.<ref>{{cite journal |last= |first= |author= |authorlink= |coauthors= |date= |year=1954 |month= |day= |title= |journal=The Commonwealth Revivalist |volume= |series= |issue=136 |page= |pages= |publisher=Commonwealth Revival Crusade |location=Adelaide |issn= |pmid= |pmc= |doi= |bibcode= |oclc= |id= |url= |language= |format= |accessdate= |laysummary= |laysource= |laydate= |quote=}} p. 44.</ref>{{self-published inline}}

During World War Two, British-Israelism held out some degree of hope to Australians that God was on their side, thus ‘guaranteeing’ a victory over the Axis forces. After the Japanese and German defeat in the war, British-Israelists took comfort in the proof that God had assisted Israel yet again. In the late 1940s, Foster’s assembly increased in members and large audiences were attracted to his lectures on British-Israelism. British-Israelism may have helped to give people a sense of divine meaning and purpose behind their losses during the two world wars.[citation needed] The NRC form of British-Israelism was well received in Melbourne.

During the postwar period of growth, the former independent Member of Parliament (MP) Les Hollins and his family joined the NRC. His sons Kevin and Noel showed zeal for the NRC teachings and both became pastors in the movement. Noel Hollins became pastor of the Geelong NRC and Kevin assisted with suburban branches of the Melbourne NRC. The father Les Hollins was a keen believer in British-Israelism; he published a text on the economic implications of British-Israelism called, Only One Road. He urged Australians, as Israelites, to adopt the economic laws of the Old Testament.

By 1948, Lloyd Longfield joined the movement and adopted NRC beliefs. Longfield was a charismatic man in whom Foster saw great potential for leadership. Longfield became an associate pastor in the Melbourne NRC by 1951. In 1952, Harris and Longfield forced Foster out of the movement over a doctrinal dispute concerning demonic exorcism. Longfield took the chance to become the senior pastor of the Melbourne NRC. But, most of Fosters’ congregation remained loyal to Foster. They registered the name National Revival Crusade and forced Harris' and Longfield’s churches to choose new names. They called themselves the Commonwealth Revival Crusade (CRC).

In 1958, Longfield and Noel Hollins departed the CRC, taking most of the existing Victorian congregations with them. They claimed Harris’ practices of ‘demonic exorcism’ were not Scriptural. They further opposed his desire to draw up a constitution to govern and bring accountability to the CRC, which they said impinged on their congregational autonomy. They first renamed their group of assemblies the Christian Revival Centres; shortly thereafter, they adopted the name of the Revival Centres of Australia (today known as Revival Centres International).

By the late 1960s, the Commonwealth Revival Crusade had become the Christian Revival Crusade. Harris invited Foster to rejoin the movement. Although its message was never officially renounced, the new CRC constitution no longer affirmed the British-Israel message. Many modern Crusade members have little knowledge of its basic tenets. Foster and Harris both continued to claim adherence to British-Israelism until their deaths.[citation needed]

The name CRC Churches International was adopted in 1998 in light of its international growth, especially in Papua New Guinea. As of 2009, the CRC has well over 100,000 members worldwide, with 129 churches in Australia<ref>[http://www.crcchurches.org/html/s12_content/default.asp?tnid=11&dsb=38 Church Directory - CRC Churches<!-- Bot generated title -->]</ref>{{self-published inline}} and around 550 churches worldwide. Their biggest international branch is in Papua New Guinea, with around 400 churches.

Mission and values[edit]

{{Unreferenced section|date=November 2010}}

Their mission is to exalt Jesus Christ in all that they think, say and do, and to extend His influence throughout the world by:

  • Proclaiming Christ's Gospel with the expectation that supernatural signs will follow as the normal New Testament pattern (Mark 16:15-20)
  • Planting Christ-centred churches that are autonomous, interdependent and self-propagating (Acts 14:21-28)
  • Promoting Christ-glorifying Christian communities which outwork the miraculous ministry of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:42-47)
  • Producing Christ-following disciples who seek to obey the Great Commandment and Great Commission (Matthew 22:36-40; 28:18-20)

Offshoot organisations[edit]

The Crusade Bible College, established in 1959 was re-developed into Tabor College in 1979 by then principal, Dr Barry Chant. Resource Christian Music was established out of Christian Resource Centre (Heatherton CRC) by Dennis and Nolene Prince in 1981[citation needed].

The Revival Centres International group was the result of a 1958 schism from the Revival Crusade.


Bibliography[edit]

  • The Commonwealth Revivalist (Adelaide: Commonwealth Revival Crusade) (136). 1954.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  • Cooper, Dudley R (1995). Flames of revival : the continuing story of the Christian Revival Crusade, celebrating fifty years of Pentecostal witness and vision for world-wide revival. Endeavour Hills, Victoria: CRC National Executive. ISBN 0959256210. [self-published source?]
  • Foster, Thomas (1993). The Life and Times of Thomas Foster. Burwood, Victoria: Thomas Foster. 

[End of unsourced/self-published-sourced material. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 03:25, 6 December 2010 (UTC) ]

Update[edit]

I have substantially written the current article CRC Churches International and was hopeful that the attached tag and the disambiguation note within could both now be removed.Rob Nyhuis (talk) 06:15, 5 June 2013 (UTC)

I haven't looked to the notability note, but for the disambiguation note, you haven't addressed the concern, probably because the concern isn't worded very clearly. The sentence "Converted under the itinerant ministry of South African, Frederick Van Eyck, Harris' father became an Apostolic Church" ends with a link to Apostolic Church. If you click on that link, you will see that that term refers to several different things, and most of our readers, myself included, have no idea which of those, if any, you are saying is intended. If you can explain which of those (if any) is meant, it's easy to fix, for example, if "Apostolic Church" in this case were to mean "Armenian Apostolic Church", you could write Apostolic Church, which would show the same text, but have the link from "Apostolic Church" in this article point directly at the article at Armenian Apostolic Church. I realize it's a bit confusing, but if you can tell me which if any of the specific topics listed at Apostolic Church is intended by the text here, we can fix it up in a jiffy. --j⚛e deckertalk 19:56, 10 June 2013 (UTC)
Full disclosure: I'm not Pentecostal but I go to an Assemblies of God church anyway, so if anyone disagrees with my assessment, they are free to revert. I've reviewed the sources and determined there is enough for notability here. Some of the sources are not independent though and I didn't review the material they are supporting to determine if they are appropriate or not.--v/r - TP 13:49, 13 June 2013 (UTC)