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Cessationalism and why many Baptists believe so.

Discussion in 'Baptists' started by Cachook, Jun 20, 2013.

  1. Cachook

    Cachook Member

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    Hello all. I am not a Baptist, but have some questions as it regards why the belief is so mainstream within the Baptist side of the house that tongues is not for the present day. As seen in I Corinthians and the second chapter of Acts, particularly, each man spoke in one of many languages from all regions from Cappedocia to Rome to proselyte Jews which were not his own; the text in the third and fourth verses reads "And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak in other tongues, as the Spirit gave the utterance."

    Perhaps you of the Baptist fold might explain where in Scripture one might derive the cessation of this speaking of divers tongues as the beloved King James might say, and why it is popular in the Baptist circles.
     
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  2. classicalhero

    classicalhero Junior Member

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    Well for one the sign of tongues was one for the Jews, so they could understand that God wanted to spread the Gospel to everyone. Also speaking in tongues meant speaking in known languages, not some gibberish. It was meant so that the Gospel could be spread much quicker and not have to learn another language. 1 Corinthians 13:8 that Tongues will cease. 1 Corinthians 14 describes the purpose of spiritual gifts, which speaking in tongues is one of them.
     
  3. ChaseWind

    ChaseWind Guest

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    Hero, if I may build off your first remark, as a fellow Baptist. I too begin with the Scripture you referenced.

    Just as you stated, tongues are a sign:

    1Co 14:22 ASV Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to the unbelieving: but prophesying is for a sign, not to the unbelieving, but to them that believe.

    The signs authenticated the message and messenger:

    Mar 16:20 ASV And they went forth, and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word by the signs that followed. Amen.
    Heb 2:3-4 ASV how shall we escape, if we neglect so great a salvation? which having at the first been spoken through the Lord, was confirmed unto us by them that heard; (4) God also bearing witness with them, both by signs and wonders, and by manifold powers, and by gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to his own will.

    The signs were particularly tied to the apostles:

    2Co 12:12 ASV Truly the signs of an apostle were wrought among you in all patience, by signs and wonders and mighty works.

    Apostles/signs ceased for the faith was completed in Scripture:

    Jud 1:3 ASV Beloved, while I was giving all diligence to write unto you of our common salvation, I was constrained to write unto you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered unto the saints.

    That is my biblical reason for rejecting tongues and the other extraordinary gifts of the Spirit that were temporary. The true apostles died off and the Scriptures, the faith, was completed. These extraordinary signs therefore we no longer needed. This is confirmed by history.

    By experience in knowing Pentecostals and attending their churches, the ones voicing that 'gibberish' are the most ignorant, and in my experience, less than godly. The proof of the pudding is in the eating.
     
  4. OzSpen

    OzSpen Regular Member

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    These are excellent questions, not only for Baptists, but for all evangelical Christians.

    This is what I have encountered (and I'm not of this view) is that the gifts of the Spirit ceased when 'the perfect' (1 Corinthians 13:10) came.

    This verse states: ‘But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away’ (NKJV). The ESV translates as, ‘But when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away’.

    My pastor (a Presbyterian) interprets this verse as follows:

    He quotes 1 Cor. 13:8b-13 (NKJV) and draws out these meanings:

    a. Prophecies, tongues and the supernatural gift of knowledge will fail when the ‘perfect’ comes. What is the meaning of perfect? He acknowledges that some commentators (he does not mention them by name) ‘see it as the final return of the Lord Jesus Christ and verse 12 would seem to support that view’. BUT…

    b. The word translated ‘perfect’ could just as easily be translated as ‘complete’ and for him this seems to be the more reasonable interpretation based on 1 Cor. 13:11 where it speaks about the ‘partial’ and this is a ‘more likely’ translation to contrast with the ‘complete’ rather than ‘perfect’. Therefore, he interprets the 'perfect' to refer to the the completion of the NT canon of Scripture.

    As a person who is not convinced of this position, I have written a number of articles on cessationism (showing it not to be supported by the Scriptures or the early history of the church).

    Here is one of my articles in support of the continuing gifts of the Spirit in the 21st century: Does the superiority of New Testament revelation exclude the continuation of the gifts of the Spirit? Is cessationism biblical?

    If you use the Google search facility on my homepage for "cessationism", you will find some more articles in support of the continuing charismata, including my examination of the church fathers and their views on the charismata.

    In fact, St Augustine of Hippo, the eminent early church leader, changed his mind regarding the gift of healing. See: St. Augustine: The leading Church Father who dared to change his mind about divine healing

    Sincerely in Christ,
    Oz
     
  5. Cachook

    Cachook Member

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    If this was a sign to only the Jews, why does the Bible say in I Corinthians 14:29 to "Forbid not the speaking of tongues", and elsewhere call it a sign to the unbeliever?
    Also, why, sir Oz, would that cessation happen already if the Spirit still strives on the earth, and why is it no Baptist can point to a period where the speaking of tongues have ceased?
     
  6. busdriver72

    busdriver72 Newbie

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    I am Baptist...about as Southern and conservative as you can get...and I do not believe the gifts of the Spirit have ceased. I do not think every so-called manifestation out there that someone claims or feels are the true, Biblical signs. As far as tongues go....consider their outcome...they heard the word of God in their own language. The true gift will result in truth being revealed...not people getting a spiritual/emotional experience to feel good about themselves. All the gifts have two primary objectives....to glorify the Lord and His word (even to unbelievers), and to edify and build up the body of Christ. As far as all the claims of healings.....when I see these services being held at hospitals and emergency rooms...with people being clearly healed and walking out...when I see these healers go through MD Anderson healing people dying with cancer....NOT the so-called 'healing services' that take place only in their buildings or tents...then I will believe the claims. The Lord is the Lord...and He can do anything He wants when He wants and where He wants...but when He does there is little doubt it IS Him! No, I do not think the gifts have ceased, nor do I think they happen on the grand scale that is claimed within certain Christians groups.
     
  7. Cachook

    Cachook Member

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    Then how do you explain 1 Corinthians 14:29? Why such inconsistency in the Baptist fold? Also, where is the answer to the question where has the Spirit gone as the evidence of salvation is baptism in water and in Spirit, with the evidence of speaking in other tongues?
     
  8. OzSpen

    OzSpen Regular Member

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    Why didn't you read my post carefully? This is what I said in #4:
    This is what I have encountered (and I'm not of this view) is that the gifts of the Spirit ceased when 'the perfect' (1 Corinthians 13:10) came.
    I am not a cessationist.

    Oz
     
  9. ChaseWind

    ChaseWind Guest

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  10. busdriver72

    busdriver72 Newbie

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    There are lots of people all walking around handing out business cards identifying themselves as "prophets." In that day the revelation of New Testament Scripture was not complete. Yes, there were prophets within the body of Christ, yet their sayings were judged by others who also had the gift of prophecy and discernment. The problem in Corinth was not the presence of prophets...but all those running around making the claims and the absence of discernment. The problem I have with the modern day prophets is that their claims often fall outside the scope of Scripture....new "revelations"...their predictions fail to come to pass...and they only seem to have authority within the certain groups. The Lord is not going to leave Himself without witness...especially in the realm of prophecy. The only prophesying that needs to be done today is the declaring of God's word....His gospel...and the coming of God's Kingdom.
    I state it again, I do not think that the gifts have totally ceased, but I still hold that they are not possessed on such huge scale within only certain groups.
    And for division within the Baptist fold, there is plenty of division amongst all the folds of those that claim to be "spirit-filled." So when all the divisions within those groups get worked out you can get back to us.
    As far as evidence, anyone can get emotional...act happy...jump up and down...wave arms...make noises...but an evidence of the Spirit that cannot be denied is a changed life and devotion to the Lord and His word. And as far as the speaking in other tongues...if it is a true tongue...and if it makes known the word and truth of the Lord...then so be it! I am under no obligation to believe every claim that is made.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2013
  11. Wolfdog

    Wolfdog Wolfdog

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    For far too many years I was in a church that actively promoted the spiritual gifts and the, 'Toronto Blessing.' Eventually I left that church, exhausted and tired, with a near mental collapse. For two years after I left I could not get my head back on straight and felt very confused in my mind and spirit.
    One day while praying, I just felt prompted to renounce and repent of the whole experience of the holy spirit and the, 'Toronto Blessings.' When I finished my prayer, my head cleared instantly and has been clear ever since. I am now finding my bible easy to read and the prompting of the holy spirit is back in my life as it was when I was converted. During the days when I was into the charismatic stuff, it became harder and harder to worship God and read the bible, without filtering it through somebodies teaching or the latest manual/book of discipleship as we were frequently taught and advised to do.
    Later on I did some research and discovered that the, 'Toronto Blessing,' is an exact duplicate of manifestations that people undergoing, pagan, 'Kundalini,' manifestations experience.
    I am not sure were I stand on cessation, but just wanted to share my experience of the so called, 'gifts of the spirit,' and what happened when I prayed to be set free from them.
     
  12. ChaseWind

    ChaseWind Guest

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    Thanks for the personal testimony on that. When I was a boy, those claiming tongues and the 'gifts' were the most ignorant and emotional types. No one paid any attention, considering them flaky and mainly empty headed women. Then it seemed during the 70s and 80s, when some celebrities and odd balls started teaching the "new age" garbage; it seemed the same evil spirit invaded christendom and this charismatic garbage began to be embraced by more people. It seems to be more like a new wave of Gnosticism rather than any work of the Holy Spirit, since it is a distortion of Scripture.
     
  13. SeventhValley

    SeventhValley Guest

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    I am skeptical of any miracle claims but the Bible clearly says they are possible for the followers of Jesus. So skeptical, yes, totally rule them out...no. Have I ever seen a miracle?No.

    Mark 16:16-18

    New King James Version (NKJV)

    16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; 18 they[a] will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”


    1 Corinthians 12:27-28

    New King James Version (NKJV)

    27 Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually. 28 And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues.
     
  14. classicalhero

    classicalhero Junior Member

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    A prophet doesn't have to be a person proclaiming new prophesies, but one who just proclaims prophesies. you are assuming something that a prophet doesn't have to be.
     
  15. OzSpen

    OzSpen Regular Member

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    The most scholarly refutations of Warfield's view are included in:

    1. Gordon Fee's commentary, The First Epistle to the Corinthians in the New International Commentary series (Eerdmans), and 'Paul, the Spirit, and the People of God'. And
    2. Wayne Grudem's Systematic Theology (Zondervan). As an example of his approach, see '1 Corinthians 14:20-25, Prophecy and tongues as signs of God's attitude'.
    Oz
     
  16. OzSpen

    OzSpen Regular Member

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    The finest exposition I have read on the continuing gift of prophecy is by Wayne Grudem, The Gift of Prophecy in the New Testament and Today (Crossway Books 2001). I have the British edition of this book from Kingsway Publications and it has this recommendation by the Reformed stalwart, J I Packer, 'Careful, thorough, wise and to my mind convincing'. Grudem's definition of the gift of prophecy is 'speaking merely human words to report something God brings to mind' (pp 67, 80).

    Oz
     
  17. OzSpen

    OzSpen Regular Member

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    Wolfdog,

    I feel empathy for you, having been exposed to such charismatic extremism. I do not endorse the Toronto Blessing or the Pensacola laughing revival and other extremist manifestations.

    One thing I have learned in my 50 years of being a Christian, is that I do not base my faith or Christian experience on extreme examples. I drive a Toyota Camry. One faulty Camry doesn't make every Camry a fraud.

    If I looked to Anglican liberal Christianity all around me here in Queensland, I would never become a Christian. It's a false representation in my biblical understanding. There are extremist actions in some Pentecostal/Charismatic circles, but that doesn't cause the continuing charismata to be denied. It simply means that we are going to find extremists in many forms of Christianity. Ever heard of the postmodern, liberal theology taught by members of the Jesus Seminar, Westar Institute?

    I have written a brief article on the Toronto extreme example, 'When Christianity becomes chaos - the Toronto Blessing'.

    In Jesus, Oz
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2013
  18. Cachook

    Cachook Member

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    I know someone who was there when the Toronto movement was begun...... That movement was not a correct thing.
     
  19. Cachook

    Cachook Member

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    If a man speaks prophetically for the Lord, he speaks or is silent. However, what would you say if someone was genuine, having genuinely been baptized in the Spirit with the evidence of speaking in other tounges, or a prophet, or having a healing gift?
     
  20. OzSpen

    OzSpen Regular Member

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    I do not associate the charismata (spiritual gifts) with any baptism in the Holy Spirit with the initial evidence of speaking in other tongues. See 'Tongues and the Baptism with the Holy Spirit'.

    But I am convinced that the gifts of utterance of wisdom, utterance of knowledge, faith, tongues, interpretation of tongues, prophecy, healing, working of miracles, and distinguishing between spirits, are given by the Holy Spirit through all generations of the NT era.

    To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good and the Spirit apportions the gifts according to His sovereign will (see 1 Cor 12).

    Oz
     
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