Friday, July 18, 2008

Do all speak in Tongues?

1 Cor. 12:27-31 (ESV)
Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. [28] And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, helping, administrating, and various kinds of tongues. [29] Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? [30] Do all possess gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? [31] But earnestly desire the higher gifts.
And I will show you a still more excellent way.

A few years ago, I had the pleasure of talking cordially with a member of the Assembly of God church, whose husband was attending seminary. Evidently he had some problems becoming a pastor. He disagreed with one of the main tenents of his church body, which as I was told was: if you can’t speak in tongues you do not have the Holy Spirit, and you are not really a believer.”
I was stunned. Had they not read 1 Cor 12? What a burden that must put on those who aren’t willing to fake it. What guilt it must give to all those who do fake it. Quite frankly I don’t believe any of them are speaking in the tongues of which Paul is speaking. And I have very little respect for that denomination. What’s new I have very little respect for any denomination that isn’t Lutheran. Just being honest here. I tend to believe disagreement with Lutheranism stems from an inability to read the Bible. Such as the inability of the Assembly of God to read and comprehend that the answer is No when Paul asks “Do all speak in tongues?” We don’t all have the same gifts. It is in any case the last of those mentioned in the laundry list of the gifts. Administration is higher on the list. I can understand that! I could use a person with good administration skills, so I could concentrate even more time devoted to the word and prayer.

9 comments:

apollo819 said...

Your post is not only refreshingly honest on "Why we are Lutherans",(very true and funny), but answered my question of yesterday on gifts.
Keep up the good work..

Es ist das Heil said...

Years ago, I went to a Pentacostle Church, and the Head Pastor stood up and said "99% of the Christians I know speak in tongues. If you don't speak in tongues something is the matter with you!" Wow, what a guilt trip!
I had the same thoughts as you Bror, "What about 1 Cor. 12?"
Beyond that the word for tongues there "glossa" means language same as Acts 2 where they spoke in other men's dialects, not some wierd gibberish. I have a friend who is Assembly of God and we go round and round. I am constantly challenging him to look things up in the Greek, like John 1:12,13 ("thelema" means decision or choice. Our Salvation is NOT a decision or choice!"), but he says "I don't have to look it up, I know what it says!"
I am GLAD I am a Lutheran!!

Bror Erickson said...

es ist das heil,
I find pentecostals are not often convinced by reason. Usually they need to be led into a pit of despair, before they will hear the true gospel. Mean while they will stay in their theology of glory, and glory in their own abilities to do truly worthless things like speak gibberish.

Nemo said...

Do some speak in tongues?

Bror Erickson said...

Nemo,
Of course. people still speak in tongues. for instance, I myself get by quite well in German, and Swedish, and can ask my Mexican neighbor for a beer in Spanish. Now whether it is still a miraculous gift of the Holy Spirit, is entirely a different question. I find it peculiar that that one gift is single out as one that will cease. I myself never woke up being able to speak another language fluently. It has taken a lot of study and hard work to get to the level of mastery that I do have.

Nemo said...

Where is tongues singled out as the one gift that will cease? If you are referencing 1 Corinthians 13, tongues is part of a list, along with prophecy and knowledge. Furthermore, in context, Paul is saying that they will cease “when the perfect comes.” Has the perfect come yet? Do we know fully?

8Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. 9For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. 11When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. 12For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.

Bror Erickson said...

nemo,
Yes it is in a list, yet the other two are said to pass away, and tongues are singled out to cease. The Greek verbs used here are very telling, as to what is meant. They are not the same thing. I do have a post scheduled though for a couple days from now that will deal with it in more detail.
Most of these posts have been scheduled in advance so I can spend time with my son while he is with me. I do check the comments though, when I'm at the office. suffice it to say, there is no reason to believe that the gibberish that goes on in a modern pentecostal church is inspired by the Holy Spirit.

Nemo said...

Thanks for getting back and explaining.

"suffice it to say, there is no reason to believe that the gibberish that goes on in a modern pentecostal church is inspired by the Holy Spirit."

It is one thing to say that X is not an example of tongues (as Paul meant it [and as I meant it in my first post]), and another completely to assert that tongues (as Paul meant it [and as I meant it in my first post]) do not exist. You have argued the former, and asserted the latter.

Bror Erickson said...

nemo,
I'm not sure where I said tongues don't exist.
What I have said is it is singled out as the gift that will cease. I'm not sure it has yet, but I am very suspicious that it has ceased. At least, I think it has ceased to be given in the miraculous way of which Paul seems to have been speaking. As I have heard of very few people waking up one morning and being able to speak fluently in another language. We also have not promise that this gift will continue to the end of the age. In fact as Paul goes on to speak about prophecy, and knowledge in regards to the when the perfect comes, he ceases speaking of tongues. We know when prophecy and knowledge will pass away. We are not told when tongues will cease, only that they will.