Seminary and Student Ministry (part 7): the issue of speaking in TONGUES

speaking-in-tonguesFree file for youth pastors:

Paper: “To Speak or Not to Speak: The Issue of Tongues Today”

Teenagers are always asking me what I think about the issue of “speaking in tongues.”  I really think that they are fascinated with the whole concept.  What if the Spirit really does take control of our mouthes and help us to speak only His words.  Of course they are fascinated.  I am fascinated with the concept!  Getting to speak another language without even knowing it.  Getting to speak “babble” as worship to God with words that aren’t understood.  Getting to share the gospel with someone of another culture and they hear it in their own language.  Having someome stand up in church, speak in tongues, and then someone else interpretting it as direct words from God.  THAT IS FASCINATING!  But is it true?  Is that what God through the Holy Spirit still does. 

Some (cessationists) go to an extreme saying that all miraculous gifts of the Holy Spirit have ceased.  Others (pentecostals) believe the other extreme saying that all miraculous gifts of the Holy Spirit are continuing.  In fact, they would say that the Holy Spirit is thinking up new miraculous gifts (holy laughter, holy vomitting, holy getting stuck on the wall, etc.).  Don’t believe me?  Google it!  Anyways, I don’t think we need to separate the gifts of the Spirit between miraculous and non-miraculous.  I can’t see the SPIRIT OF GOD doing anything that isn’t MIRACULOUS!  But I think we need to separate them between “revelatory” and “non-revelatory” gifts of the Holy Spirit.

What I mean is…  God is done speaking direct, authoritative, and inspired words that are equal to Scripture today (2 Peter 1).  So the distinction we need to make in gifts of the Holy Spirit are (1.) those gifts that God used to speak to His church and people, and (2.) those gifts that did not require a revealed Word from God.  I believe that God’s revelatory gifts have ceased with the completion of Scripture.  He has everything we need to know for life and godliness in there (2 Peter 1:3-4).

If you want to study it a little deeper.  Feel free to read this paper on speaking in tongues that I wrote in my “doctrine of the Holy Spirit” class: Paper: “To Speak or Not to Speak: The Issue of Tongues Today”

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