In his fourth chapter of Authentic Fire, Dr. Michael Brown interacts with what he calls the “genetic fallacy” argument and errors of “guilt by association.”
First, the “genetic fallacy” is the bogus claim made by John MacArthur and the Strange Fire conference that the charismatic and Pentecostal movements have been corrupt from the beginning. One primary example is MacArthur’s overview of Charles Parham, the scandal-ridden evangelist from Kansas who introduced the tongues phenomenon to 20th century American evangelicals.
While it is true that Parham was beset with personal problems and promoted bad teaching, he was not the originator of tongues. Brown notes how there was a revival in India at least forty years before Parham and his congregations sought to speak in tongues. That revival, led by one John Christian Arulappan, was reported to have had people praising God and speaking in tongues with interpretation [AF, 84-85].
Additionally, if one takes the time to read the history behind the Azusa Street revival, even though William Seymour had been discipled by Parham, the focus of the revival was the pursuit of holiness and salvation in Christ. Thus the picture painted by MacArthur focusing on Parham is misleading and inaccurate since tongues preceded his ministry and the fruits of the revival at Azusa Street was godly evangelism and holy living [AF, 89].