tongues

Discussion in 'Free-For-All Archives' started by Mike McK, Nov 22, 2003.

  1. Mike McK

    Mike McK
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    OK, I know we're baptists and that many here don't believe that tongues exsist today. For the sake of argument, let's assume they do.

    Do they have a purpose other than the edification of the body? Are tongues for private prayer?

    I'm having a discussion about this on another board with a teenager who doesn't seem to be taught very well about this and I'd just like to know what you think.

    What is the purpose of tongues?

    a) edification of the body
    b) sign to unbelievers
    c) private "prayer language"
    d) a combination of any of the above
     
  2. SpiritualMadMan

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    Mike,

    Contrary to popular belief not everyone that posts here is 'Baptist'.

    I personally am a 'tongue-talking' member of an Assemblies of God Church. Big Deal! [​IMG]

    I am *not* in favor of discussing the issue of 'tongues' if it is going to become divisive.

    It's simply not worth it. It's not a 'salvation issue' so it's not worth separating pathways.

    I will try to answer your questions. Probably not very well, though. As I am not more passionate about tongues than Jesus.


    What is the purpose of tongues?
    a) edification of the body
    b) sign to unbelievers
    c) private "prayer language"
    d) a combination of any of the above

    A combination of all of the above. :D

    It edifies the body when excersized as a 'directed' Gift or Manifestation of the Spirit's Presence.

    I say 'directed' because all to often various members of Pentecostal Denom let their emotion get the better of them and they speak out publicly when it should be as a prayer language.

    Then the error is compounded when someone tries to put an 'interpretation' of the 'tongues' that were never intended to be 'spoken out' to the whole body.

    Sad, but, all to common. I can't understand why discerning 'Baptists' have such grief with the practice! :eek: :D

    It has been a sign to unbelievers. Unfortunately this tends to be anecdotal and if you don't know the witness you'd tend to not believe it.

    I know of two cases were tongues were spoken publicly in a meeting and then not interpreted. This caused a good deal of consternation because the person speaking was known to be reasonably self-controlled and not likely to speak out of turn.

    However, in each of these cases a day or two later it was learned that a visitor was in the meeting who had received a very precise Word from the Lord in their native dialect. One somewhat obscure and definitely not taught in school.

    For me it tends to be 'Private Prayer Language'. There are times when I simply don't know what to pray. And, the Spirit makes intercession through me with groans and utterances.

    To be sure I've known 'Baptists' who prayed just as effectively and ended up just as exhausted but having done so in English.

    For me I am convinced it's for today. That Signs, Wonders, Miracles, and all Nine Gifts (or Manifestations of the Spirits Presence) continue through today.

    The real question, in this forum, though, Is not about tongues but about Jesus. And, whether a person is *really* sold out for Jesus.

    It could be an interesting discussion. On the other hand it could turn into a free-for-all.
     
  3. tamborine lady

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    [​IMG] I agree with the Madman, what he has said is basically how tongues works.

    It is not necessary ro have tongues to get to heaven.

    What it does is make it a lot easier to live here on earth.

    I know because I have the gift, and use it quite often. [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Working for Jesus.

    Tam,

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  4. BobRyan

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    Maybe there needs to be a discussion on the continuation of spiritual gifts listed in 1Cor 12.

    Then we can move from there to the question of the specific spiritual gift of tongues. Obviously if the continuation of spiritual gifts has failed - then what you think about tongues is a moot point.

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  5. Mike McK

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    I agree. That's not my aim. I just want to know what you guys think the purpose of tongues is in the body and if you believe that they have any purpose apart from the edification of the body.

    On the other board where I'm having this conversation, evidently, I'm in the minority and I just wanted to get some other views to see if maybe I've missed something.

    I agree. Maybe I worded my opening post too broadly. What I really want to know is what purpose it has apart from the edification of the body as a whole. Is there any evidence that it's intended to be used in private worship (i.e. "prayer language").

    I don't think that's limited to pentecostals. I've seen this in all stripes of charismatics.

    Aside from having problems with it's practical use, neither do I.

    But is this scriptural? Are the "groans and utterances" in Romans 8:26 tongues? Or is it an unspoken communication between the Spirit and the Father on your behalf?
     
  6. DHK

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    Because there is not a shred of Biblical evidence that tongues is for today. There is no suggestion anywhere that one should pray in tongues. It was a gift given to first generation Christians that has long since ceased.
    DHK
     
  7. gb93433

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    I do not see anywhere that Paul made any statement saying that tongues had ceased. What he did in 1 Cor was to put controls on it so it would not be divisive and be a disruption. He writes in 1Cor 14:13-19, "Therefore let one who speaks in a tongue pray that he may interpret. For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my mind is unfruitful. What is the outcome then? I will pray with the spirit and I will pray with the mind also; I will sing with the spirit and I will sing with the mind also. Otherwise if you bless in the spirit only, how will the one who fills the place of the ungifted say the "Amen" at your giving of thanks, since he does not know what you are saying? For you are giving thanks well enough, but the other person is not edified. I thank God, I speak in tongues more than you all; however, in the church I desire to speak five words with my mind so that I may instruct others also, rather than ten thousand words in a tongue."

    Then in verses 22-28, "So then tongues are for a sign, not to those who believe but to unbelievers; but prophecy is for a sign, not to unbelievers but to those who believe. Therefore if the whole church assembles together and all speak in tongues, and ungifted men or unbelievers enter, will they not say that you are mad? But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or an ungifted man enters, he is convicted by all, he is called to account by all; the secrets of his heart are disclosed; and so he will fall on his face and worship God, declaring that God is certainly among you." What is the outcome then, brethren? When you assemble, each one has a psalm, has a teaching, has a revelation, has a tongue, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification. If anyone speaks in a tongue, it should be by two or at the most three, and each in turn, and one must interpret; but if there is no interpreter, he must keep silent in the church; and let him speak to himself and to God."

    Again in verses 39-40, "Therefore, my brethren, desire earnestly to prophesy, and do not forbid to speak in tongues. But all things must be done properly and in an orderly manner."

    Paul even claimed to speak in tongues more than anyone. Yet he claimed there must be control for the edification of the body so that all are built up and God is glorified. The worship service is not to be dominated by selfishness but love and edification.

    As much as I see no reason for tongues in our typical worship services today. I still cannot find any evidence witrh absolute certainty that tongues has ceased by proving it gramatically, histrically or contextually.

    1 Cor. 13:8, "Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away."

    If one believes that tongues has ceased with absolute certainty then would he also be obligated to believe with absolute certainty that knowledge is done away with also?

    By the way I have heard some preach and misuse their gift I could also claim that preaching has been done away with. Just because a gift is divisive does not mean it is done away with. Anyone can misuse their gifts if they are not in fellowship with God.
     
  8. Mike McK

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    Again, we are assuming, for the purpose of this thread that it is for today.

    So then how do you interpret the passage in Romans that I pointed out?
     
  9. Walguy

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    There's no point in assuming a demonstrably false premise for the purposes of discussion. It's more sensible just to disprove the premise.
    I've done long explanations of it on this board before, but for this discussion I'll just do the summation. In I Cor 13:8, both the verbs and verb tenses that describe the ending of knowledge and prophecy are different from those used to describe the ending of tongues. In the former case the use of language indicates an ending by the action of something external. In the case of tongues, however, the use of language indicates that they will cease on their own, without anything having to cause them to. Tongues ceased because the Holy Spirit stopped giving the gift to new believers, and the ones who already had it eventually all died. This fulfilled Paul's prediction perfectly.
    The purpose of all the Spiritual gifts was to edify the body, the Church, NOT to edify the individual with the gift. "To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good." (I Cor 12:7) This was one of the basic parameters that Paul began his entire discussion of Spiritual Gifts with. We don't need God's help to focus our attention on ourselves, we're pretty good at that on our own. The whole point of Spiritual gifts is to get our focus OFF of ourselves and ONTO others. Using tongues to edify yourself blatantly violates the very purpose of Spiritual Gifts.
    At the end of I Cor 12, Paul makes the point that different people have different gifts. He says, "Do all speak with tongues?" The clearly implied answer is 'no.' Yet the modern tongues movement insists that it's fine for anyone to speak in 'tongues.' Immediately before that question, Paul asked, "Do all possess gifts of healing?" Hey, if none of the Spiritual Gifts have passed away, that one should still be around too, right? If there are all these people around today speaking in tongues, there should be just as many with the gift of healing. This gift, btw, for those not familiar, was the ability to INSTANTANEOUSLY cure ANY ailment, including even raising the dead, any time the person with the gift wanted to. So where are all the people with THIS gift if all the gifts are still as active as they were in the first century?
    The arguments for modern tongues are all based on experience, with Scripture subsequently twisted to fit the experience. When you start with the Bible, it's clear that tongues was one of the authenticating gifts given to the early Church whose time ended long ago. Asking the question of how such a gift should be used if it IS still around is at best a waste of time.
     
  10. Mike McK

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    So, in other words, you have nothing constructive to say.

    As I've pointed out TWICE now, it is assumed for the sake of this argument, that tongues do exsist.

    If you don't believe that the gifts of the Holy Spirit are still in evidence, that's fine but could you please limit your comments to a thread where they would be more appropriate?

    What I was asking here was not whether or not you believe tongues are still in exsistence but what is the role of tongues.
     
  11. Walguy

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    Personally, I find that relating Biblical truth without apology or qualification can be VERY constructive, but maybe that's just me. ;)
     
  12. Mike McK

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    If we were discussing whether or not tongues still exsist then you would be right but we're not.
     
  13. Walguy

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    Btw, I do believe that most of the gifts of the Holy Spirit are still very much in evidence, but not in the indisputable way that the sign gifts were during their time. I've seen tongues speakers use this ploy often in discussions about tongues, against those of us who dare to suggest that their little ecstasties are not of God. "Well, I guess you just don't believe in a powerful God like I do! MY God is capable of doing miraculous things, I'm sorry yours isn't. Yada yada yada." It's a conveninient way to distract attention from Scriptural points they can't refute, I guess.
    I see Spiritual Gifts in action all the time, but working the way God intended, not edifying individuals.
     
  14. NaasPreacher (C4K)

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    I am sure that we will all come to a consensus on this topic :D :rolleyes: ;) [​IMG] .
     
  15. SpiritualMadMan

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    Mike, as I said I have had some good Baptist Friends who could cry and pray me under the table, as it where. [​IMG]

    But, actually I believe the groans and utterances are audible. One translation says they are too deep for words. To me this says that the help the Spirit give is to give words, groans or vocalizations to things that are so heavy on you you can't put words to them.

    I firmly believe that every person who confesses faith in Jesus recieves the Holy Spirit as a 'paraclette'. That is a helper who walks beside you and guides and teaches you.

    As a Pentecostal I believe in a sceond definate act of Grace in the In-filling or Baptism in the Holy Spirit.

    What is tantalizing here is that, at least in theory, that if those that are against the Baptism would just allow the attendant power of the Spirit room to work as He comes upon them (as opposed to filling them)... Even a Baptist could walk in true and miraculous power. (Without speaking in Tongues. But, don't quote me on that! :D )

    How many of *any* of our kids had Dreams and Visions of a Supernatural and Spiritual sort?

    Now, I remember an old Penetecostal Preacher who made the statement that what you got when you got 'filled' with the Spirit what you got was Trouble with a Capital 'T'.

    All too true.

    Look at it this way... If I have a friend who I talk to daily and walk to work, or work with he may have personality quirks that I am willing to put up with.

    Unless he decided to move in my house. Then changes *must* be made... At a highly accelerated rate. [​IMG]

    Bob Mumford said once that God told him one day that he and God were incompatible. Bob blithely answered, "I know that Lord". To which God continued with the statement, 'I don't change'.

    If more Penetcostals realized what they were getting into... Perhaps there'd be less 'playing' with the things of the Spirit?

    As far as the gifts not perpetuating... I suppose if you dump one you really need to dump all of them.

    Then all the Baptist's that have experienced miraculous healing as a result of prayer will have to go back in the hospital or on to the grave.

    (Just because it happens quietly and without tongues does not make it any less of a Gift of God through a Manifestation of the Holy Spirit...)

    And, yes, I do hold that the initial physical evidence of the infilling is speaking in tongues.

    But, the long term proof of the **continued** presence is a life lived in the Love of God (All the fruit of the Spirit in increasing measure), and being separated from the things of the world as far as personal practice is concerned.
     
  16. gb93433

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    I agree with some of what you said. I agree that there is little use for tongues. But to say it has ceased according to the grammar in the NT I have never heard any Greek scholar say this. In fact each of them I have talked with who believe like you do would say that you cannot say that tongues has ceased on the basis of Greek grammar alone. It simply does not prove it. You have made some interpretive assumptions along the way that cannot be supported grammatically. You have selected bits and pieces of what fits your model which do not include the entire use of the verbs and tenses. I see this a lot by preachers who just follow what some other preacher has written or said rather than study the grammar for themselves.
     
  17. Walguy

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    Thanks for your comments!
    My primary source for information on this subject (although I've also seen it addressed elsewhere) is 'Speaking in Tongues,' a Bible study by John MacArthur. According to him, the verb used in relation to knowledge and prophecy, as you indicated, is in the passive voice, indicating action UPON the subject. As Robinson put it in the quote you used, 'to MAKE idle.' If something is made idle, something else has to do it. The verb used in regards to tongues, as Robinson also observed, is in the middle voice, implying action by the subject on itself. As your source put it, 'They shall make themselves cease or automatically cease of themselves.'
    So Robinson, MacArthur and I are all on the same page here in regards to the verbs, tenses and voices.
    I approached the subject of tongues objectively when I studied it years ago, because it would have been fine with me if the Bible supported modern tongues speaking. I came to the conclusion, after looking at evidence from both sides, that the Bible teaches that the sign gifts, including tongues, ended in the first century. I had no agenda, I was merely looking for the truth.
    Tongues speakers, on the other hand, desire first to validate their emotionally stimulating experiences, and filter Scripture through this desire so they can find what they want to find.
    I would be more than happy to change my theology and believe in modern tongues if someone can adequately answer the points I raised in my earlier post. I've been involved in a number of these debates, and no one has yet been able to explain how something that is one of a group of special abilities created by God to be given to a limted number of believers to edify others can now be used with God's approval by anyone to edify themselves; and why if all the gifts are still active and there are all these people legitimately speaking in tongues, there are no people going around instantaneously healing other people, because that was one of the same class of gifts as tongues, and in fact is mentioned adjacent to tongues in I Cor 12.
    If anyone can give a Biblical explanation for these things I'm all ears. "It feels so good it must be from God" does not qualify.
     
  18. southern phoenix

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    Mike,

    I`m not a Bible scholar, but I do think that "speaking in tongue" is still exist. To evangelize people with different mother language is surely not an easy stuff [​IMG]
    (well then learn their language :D )

    just my assumption is that there is actually no such non-human-language-"tongue" as now being proclaimed and practiced by many churches.

    I assume that this non-human-language-"tongue" practice started not from the 1st century, but just from the raise of pentacost movement.
    and only after the raise of this movement that the word "glossa" began to be interpreted as
    "language of spirit."
    -- correct me if I`m wrong with this historical stuff --
    (btw, really sad to say that the Indonesian Bible
    interpreted "glossa" as "language of spirit").

    I know this will bother many since this will mean that "tongue" practices in some churches are nothing but "spiritual/emotional scream" rather than spiritual gift....

    well, really sorry to say that my research in this matter stopped as I have to concentrate on my doctor theses.... :D
    (here we have to defense our theses twice....the first will be this Saturday..oh no :D )

    so, if anyone wanna do more research about this, how about reading writings of early church fathers or other old writings ? and see if we can trace anything they wrote about "glossa"....
    I think there is also an epistle to Corinthians written not by Paul in the 1st century.

    and I think works of Prof. William Samarin of Toronto U. worth reading too.

    Gby,

    -ken-

    ps: a friend of mine told me that the practice of "speaking in tongue" also exists in buddhism.
    people in trance could speak in different language (human language) they never learn....
     
  19. DHK

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    Romans 8:26 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.

    Herein is a marvelous thing. The Word of God says that the Spirit itself makes intercession with “groanings which cannot be uttered.” The groanings cannot be uttered, and yet some claim to hear them. The groanings cannot be uttered and yet some claim to make them (in the form of tongues). I suppose some do not know what it means when it says “they CANNOT be uttered. It is the Holy Spirit that makes these sounds, not the person. There is no suggestion that the human can hear anything. They are groanings that cannot be uttered, and thus presumably cannot be heard since they cannot be uttered. DHK
     
  20. Mike McK

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    Hey, Pheonix.

    Thanks for your thoughts. Good luck with your thesis.

    There is a similar experience that occurs in buddhism and several other religions, too.
     

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