Uncompromising Stand

History Book
History Book
History Book

In the years that followed the establishing of the Apostolic Faith work in Portland, religious leaders in different parts of the country—even some who had initially supported the doctrines preached at Azusa—began presenting what they called “new light.” One doctrine promoted the “Jesus Only” belief, which denies that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost are united as one in the Holy Trinity. Another group taught that the second, definite work of sanctification was not a prerequisite for receiving the baptism of the Holy Ghost. Some contended that one work of grace included both salvation and sanctification. Others claimed that a person was baptized with the Holy Ghost when he was saved or sanctified.

Florence Crawford knew that these new beliefs were contrary to the true teachings of the Bible and not in accordance with the doctrines embraced at the time of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in 1906. Consequently, she took a firm stand against false teachings. Anyone who attempted to present new theories quickly discovered that the organization’s founder stood steadfastly on the solid foundation of the Word of God and refused to deviate from any of the Bible doctrines. Through the years, many ministers and religious leaders challenged her and tried to sway her from her convictions, but she stood immovable.

One man came to talk to Florence Crawford with the intention of changing the mission’s theology. He claimed that the experience of sanctification was wrong. Convinced that he could change her mind, he begged her, “Just give me one meeting; all I want is one meeting.” She refused him categorically, saying, “You will never get your foot inside of a meeting that I have anything to do with—not even your foot will ever step inside of my place.” She was adamant about her theological position. Her experience had been too hard-sought for her to stray from her original understanding that sanctification was a second definite work of grace.

The body of believers in Los Angeles at the Azusa Street church was not exempt from the influence of false teachings. Before long the doctrine of sanctification was questioned there, and the leaders ceased to teach this experience as a second, definite work of grace.

After Raymond Crawford assumed the leadership role, he expressed his appreciation for the founder’s faithfulness to God’s Word until her death, commenting, “I am grateful for Mother’s bold, uncompromising stand, which kept this work uncontaminated from false teachings; it now stands as a monument to her faithfulness.”