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Charismatic Roots (all based on experience as truth)





Immanuel Kant:

Transcendental idealism: Perhaps the best way to approach transcendental idealism is by looking at how in Kant's view we acquire intuitions. What's relevant here is that space and time, rather than being real things-in-themsleves, are properties we attribute to objects in perceiving them. Humans perceive objects spatially and temporally. This is part of what it means for a human to cognitize an object, to perceive it as something both spatial and temporal. These are all claims Kant argues for in the Transcendental Aesthetic. This is not to say that space is nothing more than an appearance. It is simply to say that all it can possibly mean for something to be spatial is that it is something experienced via human capacities for experiencing that thing. Kantian Idealism held that there was a Moral Law within people that shapes their impressions and that there was a set of innate principles with reference to which the mind gives form to its perceptions and interprets life experiences. Kant was sure that he had effected a "Copernican Revolution," persuasively suggesting that is the representation that makes the object possible rather than the object that makes the representation possible. Kant said there were experiences that could be acquired through "intuitions of the mind;" he referred to the "native spontaneity of the human mind." This introduced the human mind as an active originator of experience rather than a passive recipient. It also leaves the way dramatically open for the mind to be viewed as a creative, intuitive, and interpreting organism rather that a reactive and logical machine.

Ralph Waldo Emerson:

American style Transcendentalism had its birth in early 19th century Boston.  In 1832, Ralph Waldo Emerson, a brilliant man by all historical accounts, resigned his position as Pastor of a Unitarian Church  and went on to spearhead the transcendental movement as a reaction against the more orthodox idea that God was distinct from His creation.  He held the Gnostic position that everything was divine, and that God could be found in everything, (metaphysical monism).  Emerson, whose thinking was reminiscent of the neo-platonic idea of universal mind, believed that nature, man, and God were really part of an unseen reality; a reality which couldn't be grasped by the senses, or the intellect; but rather by intuition. Emerson, along with Henry David Thoreau and Margaret Fuller, were probably the best known American transcendentalists.1

"What is popularly called Transcendentalism among us, is Idealism... "The Transcendentalist adopts the whole connection of spiritual doctrine. He believes in miracle, in the perpetual openness of the human mind to new influx of light and power; he believes in inspiration, and in ecstasy. He wishes that the spiritual principle should be suffered to demonstrate itself to the end, in all possible applications to the state of man, without the admission of anything unspiritual; that is, anything positive, dogmatic, personal. Thus, the spiritual measure of inspiration is the depth of the thought, and never, who said it? And so he resists all attempts to palm other rules and measures on the spirit than its own....  It is well known to most of my audience that the Idealism of the present day acquired the name Transcendental from the use of that term by Immanuel Kant, of Konigsberg, who replied to the skeptical philosophy of Locke, which insisted that there was nothing in the intellect which was not previously in the experience of the senses, by showing that there was a very important class of ideas or imperative forms, which did not come by experience, but through which experience was acquired; that these were intuitions of the mind itself; and he denominated them Transcendental forms. The extraordinary profoundness and precision of that man's thinking have given vogue to his nomenclature, in Europe and America, to that extent that whatever belongs to the class of intuitive thought is popularly called at the present day Transcendental."  Emerson's essay "The Transcendentalist" (1842).

Students of Emerson were:

  • Phineas Quimby
  • Essek W. Kenyon
  • F.F. Bosworth


Phineas Quimby: Healing Hypotheses

From 1847 until his passing on January 16th, 1866, Phineas Parkhurst Quimby devoted his life to healing the sick.  In the Fall of 1859 he opened an office at the International House Hotel in the city of Portland, Maine.  His youngest son George Albert Quimby worked as his office clerk.  Additional secretarial services were supplied by two of his new patients, the sisters Emma and Sarah Ware. Dr. Quimby, as he was now known, treated over 12,000 patients during those years.  Most notable were Warren Felt Evans, a practitioner and author of mental healing; Julius and Annetta (Seabury) Dresser, early organizers of New Thought; and Mary M. Patterson (Mary Baker Eddy), of the Christian Science movement.

Horatio W. Dresser, son of Annetta Julius Dresser, explained Quimby's ideas in a seven element list.

  • 1. The omnipresent Wisdom, the warm, loving Father of us all, Creator of all the universe, whose works are good, whose substance is an invisible reality.
  • 2. The real man, whose life is eternal in the invisible kingdom of God, whose senses are spiritual and function independently of matter.
  • 3. The visible world, which Dr. Quimby once characterized as "the shadow of Wisdom's amusements"; that is, nature is only the outward projection or manifestation of an inward activity far more real and enduring.
  • 4. Spiritual matter, or fine interpenetrating substance, directly responsive to thought and subconsciously embodying in the flesh the fears, beliefs, hopes, errors, and joys of the mind.
  • 5. Disease is due to false reasoning in regard to sensations, which man unwittingly develops by impressing wrong thoughts and mental pictures upon the subconscious spiritual matter.
  • 6. As disease is due to false reasoning, so health is due to knowledge of the truth. To remove disease permanently, it is necessary to know the cause, the error which led to it. "The explanation is the cure."
  • 7. To know the truth about life is therefore the sovereign remedy for all ills. This truth Jesus came to declare. Jesus knew how he cured and Dr. Quimby, without taking any credit to himself as a discoverer, believed that he understood and practiced the same great truth or science.


Essek W. Kenyon: (born 1867)

E.W. Kenyon was the forth child born to a Logger Father and a Mother that was a school teacher. Kenyon's was converted to christianity in 1886 at the age of 19. Preaching his first sermon in a Methodist church and later became a Baptist pastor who preached in many Pentecostal circles.  E. W. Kenyon moved to Boston in 1892 an d attended Emerson College of Oratory, a school that taught the religions and mind science ideas of Phineas Quimby. E.W. Kenyon was instrumental in teaching the "Word of Faith" to F.F. Bosworth, John G. Lake, T.L. Osborn, and Kenneth Hagin, Sr.. Kenyon held to the belief that truth is found in experience.


F.F. Bosworth:

He was an advisor to many of the early healing revivalists such as William Branham, Oral Roberts, T.L. Osbourne, and many others. Kenneth Hagin constantly refers to his teachings. F.F. Bosworth worked with John Alexander Dowie for many years before entering into his own successful healing ministry. Both F.F Bosworth, and John G. Lake, from Zion knew Dowie well and learned about Divine Healing initially from Dowie. 1907, Bosworth visited the Azusa Street Mission in Los Angeles along with John G. Lake. Bosworth met and befriended the great teacher and Healing Evangelist, Dr. E.W. Kenyon in Chicago. Bosworth was a good friend of E.W. Kenyon, and was extremely like minded with Kenyon in his teachings on the Bible and Divine Healing. Bosworth was one of the founders, along with Lake, of the Assemblies of God in 1914. Truth based on experience.


William Branham:

The Voice accompanied Branham throughout his lifetime, and eventually made itself known as an angel. This angel directed him in every aspect of his personal life, and it was the angel rather than the Holy Spirit to whom Branham gave credit for his power. <Kurt Koch, Occult Bondage and Deliverance (Grand Rapids: Kregel, 1972), p. 50.>

Branham propagated what he called the "Serpent?s Seed" teaching: the belief that Cain was produced through a sexual union between Eve and the serpent in the garden. The curse of the Serpent?s Seed, he believed, continues to plague mankind through women, and is evidenced in their temptation of men. <William M. Branham, My Life Story, p. 19.>

[Branham believed that some humans are descended from the serpent?s seed and are destined for hell, which is not eternal, however. The seed of God, i.e., those who receive Branham?s teaching, are predestined to become the Bride of Christ. There are still others who possess free will and who may be saved out of the denominational churches, but they must suffer through the Great Tribulation. He considered denominationalism a mark of the Beast (Rev. 13:17). <Dictionary of Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements, pp. 95,96.>]

Another of Branham?s teachings was that the Zodiac and the Egyptian pyramids were equal to the Scriptures in the revelation of God?s Word. <William M. Branham, Adoption (Jeffersonville, IN: Spoken Word Publications), pp. 31,104.>

[Branham proclaimed himself the angel of Revelation 3:14 and 10:7 and prophesied that by 1977 all denominations would be consumed by the World Council of Churches under the control of the Roman Catholics, that the Rapture would take place, and that the world would be destroyed. <Dictionary of Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements, p. 96.>]


Kenneth Hagin, Sr.: (a.k.a. "Dad" Hagin, Father of the Word of Faith Movement, Prophet Hagin, Apostle Hagin.)

Followed the teachings of Kenyon and based truth on experience.




Kenneth Copeland:

Followed the teachings of Hagin and based truth on experience.




Benny Hinn: etc., etc., etc.


(1) Reuben, Paul P. "Chapter 4: American Transcendentalism: An Introduction." PAL: Perspectives in  American Literature- A Research and Reference Guide.  (July 13, 1998).



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