Watch your Tongue!
January 24, 2009, 01:30
Filed under: Uncategorized

Tongues in today’s church.  One more divisive issue.  I just posted this at a nice guy’s site. I am now looking for opinions.  The name has been changed to protect the innocent only by Christ’s atoning blood.  It was part of a larger discussion on the Gifts of the Spirit, my partner in converstion is a Pentecostal, and a really nice guy.

  1. Theophilous , does your church meeting sound like a cacophony of Geese? Would some one coming in think you were drunk?  I don’t know, I’m asking.   These were Paul’s concerns.  Paul clearly says that tongues is the least to be desired gifts, far less valuable than prophesy.   I wonder why everybody wants it?
    I am with you on spiritual gifts, there have been times I just wasn’t right with God and preached a real stinker, cause it was me preaching without the Spirit. Humbling.
    I think of the words of the Lord, “you evil generation always desiring a sign.”  I also read the scripture this way:  Mat 6:7  “But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen [do]: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.”  Here is the Greek for vain repetitions,

strongs#  g945  βατταλογέω battalogeō
bät-tä-lo-ge’-ō (Key)
Part of Speech
Root Word (Etymology)
from Battos (a proverbial stammerer) and G3056
 Outline of Biblical Usage
1) to stammer
2) to repeat the same things over and over, to use many idle words, to babble, prate.


This word is  onomatapoeia, a word made from a sound. Jesus is saying do not pray by saying,” batta,batta, batta”.   I swear I have heard just that sound out of people “slain in the Spirit”.

I hope you see my skepticism, and it has a base in scripture.   I would feel more at ease if someone became able to preach, or teach, or help, or became a good helper or administrator etc.as a Spiritual gift,  as I could see these gifts being useful to the church . It seems Paul also thought that  1cr.14:12  “Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual [gifts], seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the church.”
Paul didn’t seem to think tongues was all that with a bag of fries.  1Cr 14:1 ”  Follow after charity, and desire spiritual [gifts], but rather that ye may prophesy.”
The first thing that got me is still my main sticking point,  1Cr 12:30  “Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?”  
Why would everybody in the church get the same gift?   I get the impression that Paul was not a great fan of speaking in tongues.
Well there is a lot I don’t understand and I do not expect that to change. this is not an issue I would break fellowship over, but it is good to talk about between believers.
I agree we must share our walks, we are after all on the same Path!

Source, Blue letter Bible,  KJV cause I am in a KJ mood this morning.


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    10 Comments so far
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    “I get the impression that Paul was not a great fan of speaking in tongues.”

    I can’t say that I agree with this statement. What Paul was not a big fan of in Corinth was excess. Over and over he seems to be preaching restraint against excess.

    I think you risk falling into the same trap that A.W. Tozer fell into on this issue.

    Here is an interesting article about how his denomination dealt with the issue and the mistakes that they may have made along the way.

    Comment by Eclectic Christian

    You know E.C. ,I could have said it better. “Not a big fan” is poor writing. Paul valued other gifts as more useful. That is undebatable, but believe me, I here when he said”Do not forbid tongues”
    A preacher buddy of mine lost SBC funding for the crime of being honest. He wrote that he experienced Glossiolalia in the past, not currently, and was defunded.
    I will definitely check out the Tozer site! thanks E.C.
    I hope everybody can see that I have had so many bad experiences , I may just amend the post after I check out E.C.’s suggestion.

    Comment by willohroots

    OK I read it. Boy it was long. I love reading things like that, so thanks for sharing. Actually Chuck Smith, of the Calvary chapel movement has a more swaying argument than that which I just read, and that didn’t budge me.
    Nobody I will read will have the same gravitas as Scripture. I am 53 years old. For 33 years God has been the most real part of my life. I am not saying I have been obedient that long, but the Hand of God has brought me through House fires, totaled cars, cancer, industrial accidents, and even raising teen aged girls. If tongues were necessary God would have given them to me. He formed me into what I am and made the chief of sinners his servant in a Pauline experience. I have been lit up by the Holy Spirit and brought to say things, but all in English.
    Who am I to ask more of God. Does it not seem inappropriate to ask more of God than Christ and Him crucified and risen? Jesus is my portion. I am very content with the gifts he gives me.
    I have worked with people who prayed for tongues and when they did not come felt rejected by Jesus. I also know people who feel since they have spoken in tongues they are done, and need no study or work on their walk.
    It just isn’t my bag. Again I won’t break fellowship over this issue, I would never forbid it. but it gets way too much attention today and for what? Desire love, it never fades away.

    Comment by willohroots

    Hi Will,

    Just to set the record straight, I am what you might call a quiet charismatic. Like A.B. Simpson, the founder of the Alliance, I have never spoken in tongues. In fact the Alliance as a denomination lost half of its members to the Pentecostals in the early days because its leaders felt that they could not support the initial evidence doctrine of the Pentecostals.

    My exposure to sign gifts has been few and infrequent. Yet I continue to call myself a charismatic, because I see from scripture that these gifts were intended to continue until the return of Christ.

    I am totally with you on your last couple of paragraphs. The person who prays for tongues is missing out, because God may have something completely different for them. I would much, much that people prayed that they would be open to whatever God chooses to give them.

    As for your comment about tongues and spiritual maturity, I have definitely seen that as well. The Alliance, which is the denomination that I feel closest to, states in their statement of faith that sanctification is both a crisis (sudden event) and a process. Any wonderful experience of the spirit that we might have should be only a first step in a long journey to get to know God better, and a long journey of being transformed by the renewing of our minds.

    Thanks again too for your insightful contributions to my deity of Christ posts. I look forward to what you might continue to comment on the subject.

    Mike B.

    Comment by Eclectic Christian

    quiet charismatic huh. I like the sound of that. Can I join? I am not charismatic enough for the Pentecostals, I am way to charismatic for most Baptist. Sounds like I am in your boat. crisis and process. I like that too. We are studying London Baptist Confession about Sanctification.. I am hoping to use it as a weapon against legalism. In my case it has been quite a process, often involving Crisis. I am a CMA fan.

    Comment by willohroots

    the debate continues off site,

    willohroots Says:
    January 28, 2009 at 4:46 pm
    Actually Jesus spoke in an era where non-Jews, followers of pagan rituals, would repeat syllables over and over to achieve a religious experience. Rote prayers were not a common phenomena even though i was taught that also years ago. Usually guys like us are taught that to show Catholics are wrong in saying Hail Mary’s etc. Hebrew has words for rote prayer if that is what the Savior meant. Battalogio can not be translated as rote.
    I will tell you who is worse, in your example above, people asking for the Spirit to give them Tongues, or the “Charismata Police”, if you let me modify the question. I do not judge people, I judge behavior. The behavior of the people in front, looking for an emotional high, is not to be honored. they are not humbly saying” forgive me”, they are tempting God by asking for a sign. Matt 12″But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jona”

    Sam, I am not normally a hard head. But here I am. I have been in ministry long enough to see the heart break and pain Glossolalia brings. Re read Paul, can’t you hear him begging”cut it out”? Everything but ban it. Calls it the lowest least desirable gift. Sets all else above it, asks people,”aren’t you better off knowing what you are praying about so that you pray in wholeness? ”
    I have held people as they cryed that Jesus does not love them. Please re read that line. You know why? They prayed for tongues and when it didn’t come the felt rejected, rejected by Jesus who said” Whosoever will”
    I have worked with people who are on such a spiritual roller coaster because their basis of belief is not the Word of God which never changes, but on some charismata brought on by an emotional high.
    I believe in the Gifts. find someone who has the gift of discernment and go to a tongue church. there is no way that is of God. Most times there is no one to interpret, it does not exhort, it is done not for God but for man to be lifted up. The Spiritual Gifts are for the betterment of the Church. Twitching, rolling on the floor babbling like an idiot, this does not lift up God or man.
    Most people who engage in Glossolalia never grow in the study of the bible as they feel the have “arrived”.
    Evil, it is evil. Just my opinion, I feel it leads to harder sins. By the way God gave a 1055 page treatise on how the Spirit operates. He called it the Bible. No where in it will you find Glossolalia as practiced today. Nowhere.
    I love you Sam, let us beat this issue to death until we are in agreement! One trip to a Holiness Church ought to do it.

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    Comment by willohroots

    I started to write a very long comment here, but have decided to make a blog post out of it. Let’s open this can-o-worms completely up.

    Comment by Shawn W

    Shawn W. I just checked and you do not have it up yet. Looking forrward to it. We as brothers and sisters need to get the issue of 2nd baptism tongues out in the open. I have strong opinions on this, but as Patty said in Tasers, I will keep an open mind with a heart fixed on Christ.

    Comment by willohroots

    It’s up.

    Thanks so much for your kind supportive comments.

    Comment by Shawn W

    A few thoughts – regarding the tongues gift I think it important to distinguish two categories – one being a devotional prayer language (see 1 Cor 14 – “I pray in tongues more than you all” and “I would that you all spoke in tongues”) and, in contrast, the protocol for a loud utterance in a communal setting which needs interpretation (1 Cor 12).

    It would seem to me that Paul is addressing different contexts of this gift in different portions of 1 Cor 14.

    Taken as a whole – i.e. the comments about other gifts being more important, but also “I would that you all spoke in tongues,” I think it important we need to evaluate on the entirety of what Paul wrote and consider comments such as these. As such, it leads me to think that yes, tongues has a purpose – as all gifts from God must have some important function – and if someone has an interest it is okay to inquire.

    Comment by Rick

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