Why the Emphasis on Tongues?

Discussion in 'Free-For-All Archives' started by MennoMan, Feb 17, 2004.

  1. MennoMan

    MennoMan
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    I'm starting this topic because it's slightly off the Topic of the other Tongues discussion, and because that other one is getting too long.

    I've been studying the issue of tongues for a year or so now, and certainly must admit that the topic is not as black and white as some people make it. I've read all the scriptures dealing with the gifts of tongues, and read many articles on both sides of the issue. I've talked with various pastors and doctorates of theology on the topic. I cannot say for certain where I stand on the question of "Are tongues for today?," however, I can safely say the following:

    1. Tongues are not a sign of Salvation!
    Nowhere in scripture is it indicated that tongues are a sign of Salvation. While tongues were spoken by the Apostles, and in some instances, by new believers, Scripture never tells us that 'you're not saved if you don't speak in tongues.' To teach that tongues are a sign of salvation is Legalism plain and simple. In fact, I Corinthians 12:29-30 tells us that not all Christians will have each of the gifts.

    2. Tongues are not 'heavenly' languages or ecstatic utterances.
    The Greek language has words for ecstatic utterances but never once are those words used to describe tongues. The word 'tongue' in scripture always means a known language.

    3. The gift of tongues can be controlled
    There are many who say that speaking in tongues is uncontrollable. This goes directly against I Corinthians 14:27-28 "If anyone speaks in a tongue, let there be two or at the most three, each in turn, and let one interpret. But if there is no interpreter, let him keep silent in the church, and let him speak to himself and to God."

    4. The gift of tongues is the LEAST of the gifts
    In I Corinthians 12:27-28, the Apostle Paul tells us "Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually. And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varities of tongues." A pastor friend of mine from overseas(he is a pentecostal pastor), tells me that the emphasis on tongues in American Pentecostal churches frightens him. He has stated that while in the states he rarely visits a Pentecostal church, favoring instead Baptist churches.

    5. When Excercised, the gift must be used in proper order
    In I Corinthians 14:6-18 tells us that Tongues MUST be interpreted if they are spoken in Church. Farther on in the chapter, v. 27-28, Paul states that if tongues are to be spoken in the church, there must be at least two, but no more than three. And if there is no interpreter, he who would speak in tongues must keep silent. In v. 34-35, He also states that women are to keep silent in the church(it could be inferred from the chapter that they are to be silent only when it comes to excercising these gifts, but that's another topic).


    More to come...

    In Christ,
    Will
     
  2. Ben W

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    Tounges are given for a sign. What is it that most non believers say about God? "I'll believe it when I see it".

    Tounges and other Spiritual Gifts are signs that people that dont believe may see them and believe.
     
  3. Briguy

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    Will, That was a pretty fair list of beliefs in regards to tongues. Your number 4 I am not so sure about. I don't really think the list is really meant to list an order of importance to the gifts, I am pretty sure it is just a list. I say that because Paul spends a lot of time in 1 cor. 12 saying that All gifts are important for the body and in fact the uncomely parts (unseen gifts) are in some ways more important. At the end of chapt. 12 he says that, You are seeking the more showy gifts but I give you a better way, and then he speaks of love. Just a thought anyway.

    Ben writes """Tounges and other Spiritual Gifts are signs that people that dont believe may see them and believe."""

    Ben, Paul is clear that "tongues" are a sign not other gifts. I don't believe there is scriptual backig that ALL gifts were a sign. It could be said that the miraculous gifts were for a "sign" but there is not direct scripture on that either, but I believe it is inferred and seen in a practical sense. Most gifts are just for the "body" and not for the outside world. Tongues, as said by Paul were a sign for unbelieving Isreal, that is why he quotes Isaiah in 1 cor. 14. They are not a sign for all unbelievers, the Bible just does not say that.

    In Christ,
    Brian
     
  4. Singer

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    Brian, do you have room in your heart to believe that my experience with tongues was for my own edification? That one time event happened 27 years ago and has not diminished in it's impact upon me. I'm definitely not a tongues speaker and even feel uncomfortable in those settings myself (actually I feel uncomfortable in alot of churches) [​IMG] ...........

    I suggest that my incident falls in line with a scripture that supports tongues as a self-edification experience. Are you familiar with that theory?

    Singer
     
  5. music4Him

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    Great job Will~ [​IMG]

    With exception to #2. & #5. (Cause I are one.) ie a tongue talking women. I was brought up in the Baptist church, but I also had a Pentecostal preaching brother, aunt, and neighbor lady. I just chose the best out of both denominations, who happend to be Jesus, cause lets face it.....He rules! :D

    Music4Him
     
  6. MennoMan

    MennoMan
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    Music4Him,

    I've heard several arguments on number two. I tend to believe that it is referring to 'known' tongues, since the Greek does not imply otherwise. Furthermore, in the city of Corinth at that time, speaking in tongues was performed widely in pagan rituals. Speaking in tongues was performed in many countries in many pagan rituals. It was always 'ecstatic speech'(gibberish), and was thought to be the tongues of gods, angels, or divine beings. Speaking in tongues is practiced today in many pagan rituals, including Islam, Buddhism, Voodoo and African rites. In fact, in certain parts of Africa, there are people in certain tribes who, during their rituals, will speak in a language from another tribe when they don't even know that language. Tongues has never been only a Christian thing. And even if the gift of tongues is still for today, great caution must be taken before accepting that one has spoken in tongues. Demons are able to cause one to speak in an unknown or known tongue.

    Of course, one must keep in mind that only by the Holy Ghost can one call Christ "Lord."

    I'll stop rambling for the moment.
     
  7. MEE

    MEE
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    Possibly so... but, what 'god' were these pagans worshipping? It certainly wasn't the God that Peter preached. In referring to "speaking in tongues" of the Bible, it says that the evidence came from heaven. Acts 2:2) And suddenly there came a sound from HEAVEN.....

    Acts 2:4) And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

    See, no pagan worship here!

    MEE [​IMG]
     
  8. DHK

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    No pagan worship in Acts chapter 2!
    No ecstatic utterance either!
    Every tongue that was spoken was a KNOWNtongue or language.
    They are all listed, and their nations as well.
    "How hear we every man in our own language?
    I wonder what that statement means??
    DHK
     
  9. Carson Weber

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    Will,

    The imminent danger of divine judgement is also associated with the gift of tongues in Scripture. This should be addressed as well.
     
  10. MennoMan

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    Possibly so... but, what 'god' were these pagans worshipping? It certainly wasn't the God that Peter preached. In referring to "speaking in tongues" of the Bible, it says that the evidence came from heaven. Acts 2:2) And suddenly there came a sound from HEAVEN.....

    Acts 2:4) And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

    See, no pagan worship here!

    MEE [​IMG] [/QB]</font>[/QUOTE]I should have been more clear...I was making reference to the fact that 'the tongues of angels' could have been a reference to the pagan practice of the day, where, if one spoke in an unknown earthly language it was assumed to be the language of a god.

    Also, in Acts 2, it was known languages.
     
  11. MennoMan

    MennoMan
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    Paul also stated that he would rather that the Corinthians prophesied than spoke in tongues. Speaking in tongues was of great importance to them(much as it is in many American Pentecostal Churches). I think that the Apostle was very insistent that tongues were a lesser gift and that the other gifts were better for the Body.

    In Christ,
    Will
     
  12. atestring

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    No where in th scripture does the Bible say that any gift is the least of gifts.
    Frances Schaeffer once said "With God there are no little people and there are no little places.'
    I believe the same thing could be said about Gifts of The Spirit or Fruit of the Spirit.
     
  13. DHK

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    That's a misapplication of what Schaeffer said.

    1 Corinthians 12:28 And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.

    1 Corinthians 12:31 But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.

    The spiritual gifts are listed in verse 28, and they are listed in order of importance with the most important gift listed first, and the least important gift listed last. This is indicated clearly by the language that Paul uses: "First, Secondarily, thirdly, after that, then." The last gift to be listed, the one of least importance is that of tongues. The proof of this list being put in order of importance is given in verse 31, when Paul says to covet or desire the best gifts. This verse would make no sense if there was no descending order of gifts. The "best gifts" are listed first; the least of all the gifts are listed last. Paul is urging the Corinthians to desire such gifts as prophecy and teaching (near the top of the list) and not tongues (the least of all the gifts).
    DHK
     
  14. MEE

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    1 Corinthians 12:28 And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.

    1 Corinthians 12:31 But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.

    **In the above quote, it is are talking about
    the "gift of tongues." The "gift of interpretation" is usually followed when the "gift of tongues" is put into operation.

    **Don't confuse the "gift of tongues" with the baptism of the Holy Ghost, evdenced by speaking with other tongues!

    MEE [​IMG]
     
  15. Briguy

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    Hey guys, I am more convinced everyday what I wrote above. 1 cor. 12:31 should read: "You are coveting the showy gifts but I will give you a better way" and the way he describes is love. "And yet" makes no sense in the rendering you guys are using above. Give that some thought in light of everything Paul says about gifts in all of chap. 12.

    In Christ,
    Brian
     
  16. atestring

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    Is love a gift of the Spirit or a fruit of the Spirit?
     
  17. Briguy

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    Love is a fruit, it is the real evidence of a changed heart.
    -Brian
     
  18. SpiritualMadMan

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    Briguy has an important point...

    The ONLY *real* PROOF of being filled with God's Spirit is that His Nature becomes the controlling influence...

    God is Holy...

    God is Love...

    He that loveth not knoweth not God, (and by definition the Holy Spirit). :D


    Why the emphasis on tongues?

    Simply this two groups of children playing... My toys are better than your toys!!! Na na na na na na....

    We have to play Spiritual-One-Up-Manship...

    Prove who has or doesn't have God's favor...

    But, this in itself proves we have not been perfected in Love!

    Rest assured of this, whether you believe that the Manifestations are still for today or not, the Holy Spirit does not come without the Very Attributes of God...

    And, He will not stay where He is not allowed to manifest and work out these Attributes...

    Else, why the warning about grieving the Holy Spirit?

    Having Gifts of Power is a wonderful thing. Especially if someone comes into your congregation and needs a miraculous healing...

    But, without Love you ain't nothing...
     
  19. atestring

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    Love is better than anything there is in God's kingdom, but that does not mean that Gifts of The Spirit are not important!
     
  20. Don

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    MEE, I've asked before, and don't recall ever getting a clear answer.

    Can you please show scriptural delineation(s) between the gift of tongues and speaking in tongues as evidence of being filled with the Holy Spirit?
     

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