Delegates to the forty-fourth general council of the Assemblies of God (AG), meeting last month in Portland, Oregon, rejected a resolution that would have allowed divorced and remarried individuals to receive ministerial credentials. The proposed resolution, which lost by a 1,365 to 895 vote, addressed only cases in which the divorce took place prior to the salvation of those in question.

One of the council’s major speakers, on another subject, called for loosening the reins on women in ministry. Paul Yonggi Cho, pastor of the world’s largest church—the 700,000-member Full Gospel Central Church in Seoul, Korea—addressed a capacity crowd of 12,500 at a Friday evening rally. “The American church must set women free if it expects to grow,” he said.

Other highlights at the biennial meeting included a spontaneous outbreak of prayer and praise among delegates, which prompted general superintendent G. Raymond Carlson to suspend a scheduled morning business session. The worship time was inspired by the report of the denomination’s Spiritual Life Committee, which focused on the 1906 Azusa Street revival in Los Angeles, the event that gave birth to the Assemblies and to other Pentecostal denominations. Among other things, the report emphasized early Pentecostals’ commitment to God’s Word: “Their quest for a subjective and personal experience with God was within the boundaries of God’s objective, written word,” said the report. “They believed the Spirit does not go where His word does not.”

Precouncil Tribulation

Controversy surfaced prior to the general council when the women’s department of the Division of Church Ministries canceled church historian Edith Blumhofer’s invitation to speak at a preconvention function. The action was prompted ...

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