Too much sectarian baggage to be useful

My Deliverance from the Heresies of Rome
By Harry Hampel
Harry Hampel Deliverance Revivals, 1955, 110 pages

The author of this short book, Harry Hampel, was a Pentecostal evangelist active in the 1950s and 60s within the Assemblies of God denomination. Hampel begins this book with his testimony of how he was raised as a Roman Catholic, but shortly after returning to the States after serving as a Marine at the end of World War II, he repented of his sin and accepted Jesus Christ as his Savior by faith alone at a Pentecostal tent meeting. He then details his entry into the ministry and expounds upon the various differences between Roman Catholicism and Biblical Christianity. Throughout his discourse, Hampel refers to many of the tenets of Pentecostalism. I’m a cessationist in regards to the apostolic gifts of the Spirit, so I read over Hampel’s claims regarding glossolalia and faith healings with a good degree of skepticism.

This book has some valuable, basic information regarding the Roman salvation system of sacramental grace and merit, but the must reader hop scotch over the claims for Pentecostalism. Beginning in 1967, with the “Duquesne Weekend,” Pentecostal practices began entering into the Catholic church and evolved into the Catholic Charismatic Renewal movement. Pentecostals were in a bind. Although CCR Catholics still held to their works gospel, they demonstrated the requisite “gifts of the spirit,” forcing Pentecostals to overlook doctrinal differences on justification and salvation and accept Catholics as Christians because of their common ecstatic experiences. I wonder what Hampel would say about the strong ecumenism with Rome that we see from such contemporary Pentecostals/charismatics as Kenneth Copland, Joel Osteen, Pat Robertson, etc.

Another qualification; this book was written in 1955 when the Roman Catholic church was still religiously and politically militant, so Hampel’s warnings about the RCC seeking to overthrow the United States will appear as quaintly paranoid to today’s reader.

I did some research via the internet for information on Hampel and came across some of his evangelistic meetings literature, which advertised, in addition to physical healings, “deliverance from poverty.” That surprised me. I had thought the financial prosperity gospel was a somewhat recent phenomenon within Pentecostalism, but I see that its roots go back at least into the 1950s.

Because of the qualifications cited above, I wouldn’t recommend this book

Chapters:

  1. A Glimpse unto the Past
  2. The Story of My Conversion
  3. The Original Church
  4. The Quest for World Supremacy
  5. Suppression of the Word of God
  6. Mary – Worship or Idolatry
  7. The Pope Infallible?
  8. Confirmation or Holy Spirit Baptism
  9. Venial or Mortal Sins
  10. The Confession Booth
  11. The Wafer God of Rome
  12. Behind Convent Walls
  13. Purgatory or Hell?
  14. The Church of Rome in Prophecy
  15. America Under the Sway of Catholicism
  16. My Two Appeals

6 thoughts on “Too much sectarian baggage to be useful

  1. Thank you for this review. What a window into the times of how Protestants thought about Catholicism even among the Pentecostals there was more doctrinal awareness then compared to Charismatics now

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks. Yup, the Catholic Charismatic Renewal became the bridge between Catholicism and Pentecostalism, rendering doctrinal differences unimportant. All of today’s Pentecostals and charismatics on TBN would disavow this book.

      Liked by 1 person

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