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Evangelism - Myers Mott Maggay Linthicum        

Ambrose J Tomlinson, A Pentecostal Founder

Note: A. J. Tomlinson was a founder of the Church of God (Cleveland, Tennessee). He was their general overseer from 1909 to 1923. 

     "The awful war devil is still slaying his millions. His greed and thirst for blood is never satisfied. He is agitating war on every hand. He is dragging millions of souls into his cruel grasp. ...
     "If any of our members should in any way advocate war, or try to persuade any of these registrants to go on to war, or urge or enthuse them into a desire to fight, such members will be considered disloyal to the Church and alas to the Christ of the Bible, and a continuance of the same may lead to necessary action (expulsion) under our laws and principles. ...
     "I could not take a gun and fire it at my fellow men even at the command of a military officer. I could submit to the penalty inflicted upon me for refusing, but I cannot kill. I doubt if I could take the obligation to become a soldier in the first place. I do not say that other should do so." (A. J. Tomlinson, 1917, in The Church of God: A Social History, Mickey Crews,  1990, 111-117)

     "Legal authorities arrested many Pentecostals throughout the country, including some Church of God clergymen. Because of their opposition to war, the patriotism and sincerity of Pentecostals became suspect. Many Americans fancied them as radicals and anarchists who wore the cloak of religion to conceal their true identity. ... Tomlinson was responsible for the disloyal propaganda spread by Church of God clergymen; however, the FBI made no formal charges. Tomlinson was fortunate compared to other Pentecostal ministers who were arrested, tried, and convicted under the Sedition Act." (Crews, p. 119-120)

     "Tomlinson opposed the conflict (WW1) because the fighting seemed disloyal. Disloyal? Disloyal to whom? War preparedness, he made clear, acted as a terrible 'iron hand ... slowly closing in on our own beloved land,' a 'cruel monster' dragging sons from the parental nest and subjecting them to a foreign struggle." (Heaven Below by Grant Wacker, Harvard U Pre, 2001, p. 238.)

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