Amy Carmichael vs. Aimee Semple McPherson
March 23, 2015
I love reading biographies of strong women in the faith. Ian Murray provides this in his biography, Amy Carmichael, ‘Beauty for Ashes.’ Some women in the church are truly magnetic. It appears that Carmichael had that combination of delightful disposition, strong convictions, and perseverance that was attractive to friends, family members, and new acquaintances even before her amazing missionary work and accomplishments.
As I was reading about Carmichael’s strong resolve to be a missionary, her amazing work in India rescuing children from the evil horrors of temple prostitution, thereby establishing the Dohnavur Fellowship and providing a Christian home for hundreds of children, I was greatly encouraged by her unwavering love of our Savior. It also made me think about how such dynamic women can use their attractive personalities for the good or the detriment of the faith.
That got me thinking about another Aimee (unfortunately spelled like my name)—Aimee Semple McPherson. While Amy Carmichael established a refuge for abused children, risking her own life and providing gospel nurture and physical care, Aimee Semple McPherson established a whole new denomination and spread the damaging faith-healing movement at her own gain. In doing so, she tore up her family, possibly faked her own kidnapping, and in the end died of a drug overdose.
Both Amy and Aimee left a legacy. Both of them were even beautiful women.