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Featured Is Speaking In Tongues Biblical Today?

Discussion in 'Denomination Specific Theology' started by Major1, Aug 23, 2017.

  1. Biblicist

    Biblicist Full Gospel believer

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    The reason that I commented on your posts was that you began by trying to establish the supposed notion of the unchallengeable authority of your particular denomination over that of others – but this issue was dealt with half a millennia ago.

    What you need to appreciate is that it is quite common to encounter remarks by returning missionaries who intersperse with their observations about the weather in a certain country and the peculiarities of its public transport system, where they quickly follow up with comments about the often unusual and individual beliefs of various regional RC bishops along with how it can often be difficult to work out who are the adherents to local cults or the Roman Catholic church, or with those who have their feet in both camps; then they will quickly move on and discuss other issues that relate to the country that they minister within.

    Sadly, what I have posted is so accurate that it could almost be printed and used as currency.

    This is a well phrased question and it’s a question that is not all that easy to respond to.

    The question that I often pose to myself, is why can I slowly begin to see issues with a certain belief or practice that many of my peers cannot see, or who maybe are simply unprepared to voice their opinions on a given matter, when on the other hand, it can take me years to realise that something that I have accepted as being true is in fact false, or that it at least has some major weaknesses – I wish that I fully understood this.

    Even though we should all be able to recognise that whatever our understanding might be of a given matter, that we have approached the question, issue or incident through a set of ingrained filters or conditioning agents, which begins from the womb with our temperament, through to our life experiences which is our character and the decisions that we make through life which is our personality. Then we can throw in our ability to comprehend what we see and read which comes down to our intelligence and emotions and may be limited by our level of education.

    As to the role of the Holy Spirit with respect to teaching, to keep things brief, I do not believe that He plays a major role in this.

    As I am one who understands that I know very little about a lot of things, I must accept my boundaries and with the limitations that most of us will have with our level of education and general ability to comprehend what we are investigating. So, when I disagree with someone, how I will respond to their opinion will be controlled by how I view their own knowledge or biases toward a given subject. When it comes to the Pneumatic passages within the New Testament, as I have focused most of my efforts in this area over the years, where I have assessed many of the better sources that speak on this subject, then I have a strong confidence in my own views on this subject, but when I move away from my comfort zone I am more than prepared to quickly accept that I could easily be wrong – which is undoubtedly with a lot of things.

    But most importantly, for those of us who feel the need to engage at a serious level with our theology, we need to be well read on the matters that interest us, and this is where even those who have a high level of intelligence can be ham-strung if they cannot access these often illusive and certainly expensive resources as they will be unable to effectively engage with those who do.
     
  2. Biblicist

    Biblicist Full Gospel believer

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    Over the centuries, for those who have had easy access to the Scriptures, which up until probably the late 1800’s this was limited primarily to those of some financial standing, I could not imagine any of them passing over the Pneumatic passages of Acts and Corinthians where they have not pondered of why the ministry of the Holy Spirit seems to be different today as compared to the Church of the first two or three centuries. When it comes to seeking answers to these questions, up until the late 1800’s there was undoubtedly few sources available to them where they could gain some decent answers, for most of them, they would have been forced to ask their peers who were undoubtedly just as confused as they were – as for my formative first two years in the Lord, I have been there and suffered from this as well.

    Here’s where the frustration and/or confusion stands with most non-Charismatic Evangelicals, in that the more inquisitive individual will know, or at least secretly so, that the final bulwark of the cessationist position rested with the understanding that 1 Cor 13:10 spoke of the Canon as being the Perfect thing. Once these people are made aware that this is a fallacy, and essentially a new one as well [academically speaking], where many cessationist commentators also reject this viewpoint for one that is more philosophical, then the only thing that tends to hold them back is the powerful pressure that can be exerted by their ecclesiastical heritage and family traditions.
     
  3. Biblicist

    Biblicist Full Gospel believer

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    Unfortunately, the pain, longsuffering, constant frustrations and self-doubt, where we regularly challenge our abilities to perform a task along with a reduction in normal family time simply comes with the package.

    For those who have just started their accredited Masters, Doctoral or post-Doctoral dissertations, for many, their favourite passage can soon be:

    2 Peter 3:11-12. Therefore…what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat?

    Though once the hard work has been completed and their papers have been signed off, then there could be a slight tendency to hope that the Lord might delay his return so that we can gain some benefit from the painful years of angst and sleepless nights.

    But still, thanks for your thoughts.
     
  4. Biblicist

    Biblicist Full Gospel believer

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    Without going back and checking the details, Great Britain sometime around 1700 gave the author of a written piece of correspondence automatic copyright, where copyright was to be presumed and if someone wanted to publish the material they had to go and seek permission; this policy seems to have flowed down through most Commonwealth countries, though variations will occur from time to time. Here in Australia automatic copyright of a publication, artwork or idea is in place, so in theory at least, there would be no need to declare that copyright exists.
     
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  5. Major1

    Major1 Well-Known Member

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    My dear friend. Been there and done that.
    I did all of that many, many years ago.

    Back before there were computers and internet search we had to go to the library and read books and there were not any cell phones to call a friend (Not many reg. phones either).
     
  6. tdidymas

    tdidymas Newbie

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    Yes. But I don't get you. Don't you teach that speaking in tongues is the initial evidence of receiving the Spirit? The tongues I described to you, that wasn't evidence enough?

    So then, my question remains: Do you firmly believe that person has blasphemed the Holy Spirit, and is now bound for hell?
    TD:)
     
  7. Major1

    Major1 Well-Known Member

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    May I say to you that the phrase "non-Charismatic Evangelical" is somewhat confusing itself and misleading.

    I know what you are saying.....Those who do not accept the speaking in tongues and healing ministry of a Man.

    But in fact, most all Christians I know of are Charismatic. In my own church setting and all the ones I have visited over my years there is always believers who SHOUT amen, glory, praise the Lord and so on and on. They always clap hands and are demonstrative in the actions in giving praise to the Lord. Most all stand and raise their hands as the Holy Spirt moves them.

    They simply just do not believe that the speaking in tongues is valid today and choose not to do so.
    They know that God heals but they also know that there are not men running around knocking people down to get them healed.
     
  8. tim416

    tim416 Tim

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    I am new to this site and this is my first post. I was raised in Pentecostal churches and have seen all manner of manifestations, from tongues to people being "slain out" "dancing in the Spirit etc. Now in my late fifties I have had time to reflect and study all of these manifestations.

    I do not criticize those that participate actively in them as long as it is in good order as described in the Bible. With that being said, I spent my youth feeling that I was not saved, or at the least, a lesser Christian due to the fact that I never experienced any of these personally, to include speaking in tongues and sat quietly in my seat often as others filled the front of the church speaking in tongues, dancing etc.

    I will leave out referencing scriptures here as this string has debated each of them thoroughly. I will simply speak from my heart. I firmly believe the gifts of the Spirit are alive and well today - That would include all of them; not simply tongues. There are clearly other gifts that the Holy Spirit has bestowed on individuals. If this is the case, why then the emphasis on tongues; one of the only outwardly visible gifts that indicates a supernatural experience for all to see and hear?

    There are some denominations that put almost an equal emphasis on tongues as they do in the death, burial and crucifixion of Christ but never any discussion on any other gifts. Again why the emphasis on the tongue. I personally feel that it stems from man's need to continually increase his ability to believe in God. The gift of tongues, as I stated earlier is an obvious visual and verbal supernatural event. If genuine, there would be no doubt that the Holy Spirit has convened with you in some way. A visual and audible confirmation of the existence of the Holy Spirit for the person participating and all around him.

    If I claim to have the gift of wisdom or faith it seems boring compared to the outward manifestation of tongues. Some may say that there are many worldly people that have both wisdom and faith.

    I will try to provide an example here. I have a good friend that is very involved with the Institute for Creation Research. For those of you unfamiliar ICR is a group of Christian Scientists that work to prove the Bible's account of creation is accurate and true. A large part of this study centers around the age of the earth. ICR claims the earth is 5,000-10,000 years old opposed to secular science's claim that it is billions of years old, (old earth vs. new earth theory). The reason this topic is so important is based on the fact that if the earth is only 10,000 years old and can be proven, the theory of evolution goes completely out the window; simply not enough time to have happened.

    I believe in the old earth and my friend and I often debate this in a friendly manner. My question to him is , "If ICR comes to the conclusion that the earth is in fact billions of years old, Is it going to destroy your faith in the Biblical account of creation?" His answer is "No, but if in fact ICR determines the earth is only 10,000 years old what an endorsement for the Biblical story of creation."

    My friend and organizations like ICR are looking for ways to confirm the truth of the Bible. And it is commendable, but one of the fundamental basics of Christianity is faith. God will never provide man with indisputable and obvious evidence of his existence as it would negate the need for faith which would be in direct contradiction to his word.

    In conclusion, I see many folks jumping from church to church and movement to movement chasing out ward manifestations in fear that they may be missing out on something when all they need they already have. Salvation through Christ and the indwelling of his Holy Spirit.

    As I stated earlier, I believe in all of the gifts of the Holy Spirit but question the motives of emphasizing and seeking one over the other and believe Christians should likewise examine themselves as they seek one gift over another.

    I trust I have offended no one here and look forward to many more meaningful discussions.
     
  9. swordsman1

    swordsman1 Well-Known Member

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    Why would the canon interpretation be considered a fallacy when it is has been demonstrated to be exegetically sound? No one, least of all yourself, has managed to refute it despite being challenged to do so. In fact there are more holes in the 2nd Coming interpretation of that passage as I have pointed out, yet no one has offered an explanation to those problems.

    Cessationism rests on far more than 1 Cor 13:8-13. There are numerous passages that tell us that the gifts in question were for the foundation of the church and that the purpose of the miraculous gifts (which includes tongues) was as a confirming sign to authenticate those who possessed them. Once those people had been authenticated those gifts ceased just as history proves they did. The practice that has emerged in the last 100 years of so, and claimed to be NT tongues, can be be clearly demonstrated from scripture to be counterfeit. Not even Pentecostalism's most respected theologian is prepared to say they are the same thing.
     
  10. 1stcenturylady

    1stcenturylady Spirit-filled follower of Christ Supporter

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    Have you ever heard ME say that speaking in tongues is the evidence? No. The EVIDENCE is being dead to sin. The law of the Spirit of life in Christ has freed me from the law of sin and death.
     
  11. Major1

    Major1 Well-Known Member

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    Very nice post. I would only add that it is very lengthy which tends to make people not finish reading all of it.

    Also, I would not give any concern to offending anyone. You will see that you can say nothing and someone will still get offended.

    As for me, I am a Censationalist. I do not believe that the "sign gifts" were given to anyone other than the apostles as that is what the Scriptures say.

    Matthew 28:16-17.........
    "Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had appointed for them. When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some doubted."

    Hebrews 2:3-4 confirms that the "THEM" were the ELEVEN.......
    "how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him, God also bearing witness both with signs and wonders, with various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to His own will?

    Now that being the Biblical facts then anyone who wants to believe that the sign gifts are active today can certainly do so but they can NOT claim that what they are doing is Biblical as no one is an Apostle today.

    The reason I do not believe the gifts are active corresponds exactly to your comment of..............
    "but question the motives of emphasizing and seeking one over the other and believe Christians should likewise examine themselves as they seek one gift over another."

    I too was raised in the Pentecostal religion and it was always a contest to see who could talk in tongues the longest or who could have experienced the best miracle.

    It opens the door to mans problem which is the sin of Pride and when that is done, the door is really hard to get closed.
     
  12. Major1

    Major1 Well-Known Member

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    I do not know of anyone who only accepts 1 Cort. 13:10 as the basis for Cessationalism.

    2 Corinthians 12.12 Paul says.........
    'Truly the signs of an apostle were wrought among you in all patience, in signs, and wonders, and mighty deeds.'

    Acts 2:43..............
    "Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles."

    Acts 5:12...........
    "And through the hands of the apostles many signs and wonders were done among the people. And they were all with one accord in Solomon’s Porch."

    Only the apostles are recorded as having healed, together with two apostolic assistants or delegates, Stephen and Philip, and Barnabas.

    There is no other healing apart from these in the early church. The Pentecostal/charismatic idea that healings took place constantly by Christians at large is not taught in the Bible. Thus the infallible record of Scripture shows the entire charismatic approach to healing to be a mistake based on a myth. The record proves that the healings and mighty deeds were restricted to a class of people who have passed away.
    Cessationism | Charismatic Gifts | What is Cessationism? | Proving that Charismatic Gifts have ceased - Metropolitan Tabernacle
     
  13. Major1

    Major1 Well-Known Member

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    It is in the light of these principles that historic Christianity has always maintained that these gifts, also of prophecy, knowledge, and tongues were apostolic gifts belonging to the laying of the foundation of the church. They ceased with the death of the apostles which is not a new theory or a new teaching at all.

    The Scriptures also warn us against false teachers and false prophets, II Peter 2:1.

    They warn us against false miracles and signs and wonders which belong to the spirit of antichrist, II Thess 2:9.

    The fact is, that false miracles of healing, tongues etc. are found in Hindu temples to this very day. Moreover these pagan phenomena have a common characteristic with the Pentecostals: they are uncontrolled phenomena which seize the worshiper. This is what Paul means when he says the Corinthians were "carried away" unto dumb idols, I Cor. 12:2. They were out of control. Order, not chaos, is the work of the Spirit, I Cor. 14: 32, 40.

    To claim, as the Pentecostals do, that God has now restored these special gifts is without Scriptural foundation. False references to the latter rain in the land of Canaan taken from the Old Testament prophets are just that, false references that twist the Scriptures. To maintain that these gifts have either continued or been restored in the church opens one up to all the medieval nonsense of Rome, to miracles of Mary, weeping statues, and the apochryphal stories of the medieval saints.
    Apostle, prophet, gifts of the Spirit and signs
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2018
  14. tim416

    tim416 Tim

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    Thank you for your response and I apologize for being long winded.

    I will only comment on a couple of your comments for the sake of brevity.

    The Scriptures also warn us against false teachers and false prophets, II Peter 2:1.

    The law of contradiction requires that if Peter is warning against false teachers and prophets that there must be authentic ones. Yes, he could have been referring to the remaining apostles at Peter's time of writing but he could also have been referring others at that time or those to come. Also this could make a good case for the gift of discernment.

    They warn us against false miracles and signs and wonders which belong to the spirit of antichrist, II Thess 2:9.

    The fact is, that false miracles of healing, tongues etc. are found in Hindu temples to this very day. Moreover these pagan phenomena have a common characteristic with the Pentecostals: they are uncontrolled phenomena which seize the worshiper. This is what Paul means when he says the Corinthians were "carried away" unto dumb idols, I Cor. 12:2. They were out of control. Order, not chaos, is the work of the Spirit, I Cor. 14: 32, 40.


    Yes, you are very much correct in your statement of Glossolalia being common in pagan religions. I am from and live in the US but have spent twenty years working in Africa and know very well of this phenomenon being a common event in native ceremonies. But seeing it personally, I never equated it to be anything Holy, there is a definite different atmosphere present. I have also had conversations with native Africans that have been born again that believe in tongues, but greatly differentiate between the trance like event that they experienced in a native ceremony over what they personally claim to experience in their prayer life.

    As I stated in my original post, I have not experienced tongues personally. I have seen obvious abuses of the gift but know several sincere "quiet" Christians that claim to use it in their personal prayer lives. I am not in any position to doubt their sincerity or the genuineness of their gift. I am not prepared to through the baby out with the bathwater.

    Thanks for the great conversation on a timely topic.
     
  15. 1stcenturylady

    1stcenturylady Spirit-filled follower of Christ Supporter

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    Welcome, newbie! So glad to see someone open to the whole Word of God, including the sections on the manifestations of the Spirit. Growing up, I was in a cessationist denomination - SDA, which was all about the law. When an adult, I debated with a man about the law vs. grace, and after 4 hours in the wee hours of the morning, I "got it." It was like a light bulb went on in my brain. So I left the SDA denomination, and joined his denomination - for one year. It also was a cessationist denomination - Church of Christ. Then I got introduced to a Pentecostal artist. We connected because I am an artist also - and now a Christian writer. We debated on the gifts of the Spirit, and I told her all about my beliefs on 1 Corinthians 13 that tongues had ceased. But when I got to the end of the chapter, another light bulb went on in my mind. They won't end until the second coming of Christ when we see Him, face to face. Those light bulb experiences was the Holy Spirit giving me the gift of faith to believe and KNOW. It took six or seven years from '71 to '77 to find the prerequisite to actually being baptized with the Holy Spirit - I call it the power baptism of the Spirit. Until then, I tried speaking in tongues by mimicking those around me. But it was very faltered, and I had no power over sin. That prerequisite is total repentance from sin. When I did that, I heard God's voice for the first time in my life. His actual voice - not just a light bulb experience of the truth in the Word while He was in the process of "drawing" me. After the initial shock of what was happening, we actually had a short conversation, with Him answering questions. Then He poured what felt like warm oil from the top of my head and it engulfed me. And all desire to sin was immediately gone. The killing of the desire to sin, and the power to keep clean, to me, is the EVIDENCE of being baptized in the Spirit. It is the creation of becoming a new creature with a new nature. That is what is called being "born again." On top of that He gives us gifts. So at the time I was baptized in the Spirit, I saw a vision, could now hear His voice - which has never stopped, nor the visions, but I didn't break out in tongues. But the next time I "tried" it was completely different from the faltering mimicking I had been doing for years. It was fluid and I didn't have to consciously have to form the sounds. It just flowed.

    (By the way, Major1 has me on ignore, so he won't see this. So if you answer this, please put my name at the top; you can just shorten it by calling me "lady;" otherwise he will think it is for everyone, and may be confused, as it will look like a new post, not a response to anyone.)
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2018
  16. Major1

    Major1 Well-Known Member

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    Excellent comment and there is no need to apologize.

    I for one do not think Paul was talking about any of the other apostles but just as there are today there were those in Paul's day that were fakes and claimed to be apostles but were not.

    I have experienced tongues and seen them practiced for may years. The abuses that I have seen are appalling which is why I have said now for many years that the gifts given to the apostles are impossible for us today because man has and will abuse them for his own personal gain.
     
  17. tim416

    tim416 Tim

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    You said you have experienced tongues. Did you feel it to be genuine?
    Asking seriously.
     
  18. Biblicist

    Biblicist Full Gospel believer

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    It seems that I had one of those so-called Freudian moments, where dare I say, I failed to insert the qualifier Arminian into the equation, where it should have said “non-Charismatic Arminian Evangelical” – and the response by most would undoubtedly be “He said what!”

    My Freudian remark reflects my deep-down viewpoint or bias (which may be either correct or incorrect) that it is not logical to refer to those who adhere to the old-school understanding of either Reformed theology or Calvinism as being Evangelical.

    What I mean by this, is that even though we often see on this particular thread (and with others), that the paradigm is seen as being cessationists vs. Continuists, which is certainly a false paradigm; when it comes to acknowledging that God can and does heal through prayer, and through the prayer of others, such as with James 5:14, this means that the paradigm shifts to that of Reformed (and/or) Calvinism vs. Arminianism.

    This means that the question should not be viewed as being between cessationists and Continuists, but instead as (old-school Reformed theology or Calvinism) vs. (Arminian non-Charismatic Evangelicals and Continuists).

    This has been my own experience within the cessationist congregation that I was nurtured within, along with seemingly “all of those” who I had associations with at this time. So for them (which included me as well), we recognised that God certainly answered our prayers for healing along with the prayers of others on our behalf. This to me was the normal way of thinking with my Arminian (non-Charismatic) Evangelical peers.

    Even with this statement, since the late 1970's and particularly with the here and now, it may very well be that the vast majority of non-Charismatic Arminian Evangelicals (what a mouthful), that they could very well fall into the category of being those who we refer to as being Open-but-cautious when it comes to the Full Gospel understanding of the ministry of the Holy Spirit, which is why so many of these Believers will acknowledge that "tongues is okay for those who want to go this way, but for me, it is not something that my Congregation encourages".
     
  19. Biblicist

    Biblicist Full Gospel believer

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    Up until maybe a few months back I would have agreed with you on this, but having obtained quite a few commentaries from the 1800's, let alone with some from earlier time periods, I have now come to better understand that this was not the case, where the opinion could maybe be summed up as;

    "Well, I'm not all that sure as to why the Holy Spirit ministers differently today as compared to that of the first few centuries, so maybe these things were somehow intended to finish"; though they tend to avoid giving a solid theological reason for their views.​

    As you can probably appreciate, from a Full Gospel perspective we view cessationism as an outcome of the Dark Ages of the Church, where humanism became so entrenched that the Holy Spirit was not deemed to be welcome. So it works both ways.

    Up until about 5 years back I used to believe that 'demonic' tongues existed within early pagan Greek temple worship, after all, as we tend to here this sort of thing on a regular basis then it can be easy to uncritically accept unsubstantiated hearsay.

    Once I obtained an important academic work that addressed the supposed ecstatic utterances of the Greek oracles, where the author went through every known occurrence of this type of activity (the book was published in 1995), I then realised that I had simply taken on what was little more than poor scholarship or even worse, a collection of old-wives-tales.


    The problem with this is that most non-Charismatic Arminian Evangelicals would either openly disagree with this viewpoint or that they would at least secretly disagree. This is why we have this new category of those who are Open-but-cautious which was a term that came about as Zondervan Publishers wanted a certain scholar (probably Wayne Grudem?) to produce a book that was to be aimed specifically at those who are in the middle, where they were neither cessationist nor Charismatic. Zondervan simply recognised that this was the current state of the Church, where even now, unless I knew that someone faithfully adhered to the old-school forms of Reformed theology or Calvinism that they probably accepted that the ministry of the Holy Spirit was still the same today as his ministry was in the first few centuries - but for various reasons, that these things were not for them at this particular point of time.

    I probably agree with on this as most of what you have mentioned is certainly way outside of the Scriptures.
     
  20. Biblicist

    Biblicist Full Gospel believer

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    As I am running out of time I need to keep my reply short.
    From my own exposure to what we can refer to those who are now ex-cessationists, along with the wealth of published commentary on this passage, including the incredible amount of online articles within Christian magazines and the like, this leaves us with absolutely no doubt that the Canon perspective is primarily the domain of those who adhere to the old-school versions of Reformed theology and Calvinism; it is not something that most Arminian Evangelicals are all that comfortable with as it becomes an attack, or that it at least undermines their high view of Christology.

    Even though I welcome posts or online articles that promote this view, I do so as I know that it will help to jolt the uncommitted quasi-cessationist into realising that this final bulwark of cessationism has absolutely no foundation. Now, when it comes to the more contemporary approach to cessationism, which is through a defence that is based on a philosophical approach, this then becomes another matter.

    Edit: I have replaced ex-charismatics with ex-cessationists.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2018
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