I confess

Yes, I speak in tongues. So did the Apostle Paul.

But Billy Graham says that he never has. Does that make him "less Christian" than either the Apostle Paul or anyone else who has spoken in t ongues?

For some crazy reason, we Pentecostals have gotten this whole thing "mis-wired" when we judge one's spiritual maturity by whether they speak in tongues, or whether their local church endorses, practices or forbids speaking in tongues.

We are specifically told in 1 Corinthians 11-14 that we cannot judge the "spiritual maturity" of ANY believer--not to mention a LOCAL CHURCH--by whether they speak in tongues or not. Of course JAMES 3 tells us the result of "wagging" those long tongues--and what damage that can do. Maybe we should all read that chapter again.

The Baptism of the Holy Ghost promises "power for service"--not immediate/automatic spiritual maturity. Let me encourage everyone to listen to Pastor Tim Coalter's messages on "Handling Fire" at the Peerless Road Church website. Just click on sermons and download.

And for heaven's sake....let us CEASE judging our brothers and sisters in the LORD JESUS by whether they speak in tongues or not. God doesn't judge them that way or by that standard.

Why should we?

8 comments:

FeatherIron said...

I have always loved Billy Graham's stability and consistancy. We just had an adoption fall through,we had named him Bradshaw Graham after said Mr. Billy Graham. I myself speak in tounges but have come to learn that there are many wonderful and much more Godly people then myself, who don't.

I am thrilled that you will be a part of the book club! Send me your E-mail address so I can add you as an online memeber. Welcome!!

Carole_s_turner@yahoo.com

Praying for your Prodigal said...

Phew! You have touched on quite the subject in your post today! I grew up in a Charismatic Church--and heard frequently that our faith was measured by our ability to speak in tongues. When my husband and I decided to get married--we knew that we wanted to be a one-faith family; he a Catholic Christian to my Pentecostal background. We found a Bible preaching, Baptist Church...and have lived abundantly--nontheless!!!!

I appreciate your wisdom...and your visit to my blog today. I love finding new, meaningful blog sites and have added yours to my favorites button! I'll be clicking over again! You're welcome to do the same!

God Bless you brother!

Diane

C. H. Green said...

I'd like to give my two cents. I found you through Diane's comment section. I was raised and am a full-blooded Assembly of God girl. But more so than that I'm a blood-bought child of God. This past year my famil has been looking for a church in our hometown. We have an A/G church, but there are only about 15 people that go there, and NO children. I wanted my son to enjoy his church experience and have things to do to involve him. So, we began looking at other "brands" so to speak. What I've found is some wonderful churches with loving Christians--and most, if not all, of them would LOVE to have us as family members. The one we have been to most frequently had a 101 class for those considering membership. We went. And among my many questions I had was, how do you feel about speaking in tongues? The answer I got was that it was okay to have a prayer language at home, but to be used in church, an interpreter should be present always. (which is Biblica by the way.) Still, I have never seen this particular gift of the Spirit working in this church in this way. Does that mean I cross this church off my list? I haven't yet. Because, you know what, I KNOW what I believe. I practice what I beieve. I will teach my child what I believe. And as long as the church I attend does not teach against what I believe, I think we can have a wonderful fellowship there. The only drawback is that you wonder what affect not seeing these gifts in action will have on my child's belief in them.
This is something I am struggling with, as I feel guilt for not attending the local A/G church and helping to build it up. Do you say, I'm diehard A/G and that's that. Or do you balance the questions with common sense and a good doctrinal foundation on the Word? Just my two cents. Would welcome your ideas. Sorry for the long post.

C. H. Green said...

P. S. I've linked to this post at my place.

Kristen said...

That is quite a controversial subject, and touchy sometimes. But you are right, that someone's relationship with God and whether or not they are a Christian is no one else's place to judge.

Thanks for visiting my blog today.

Debrand said...

AMEN!

SOWright said...

I am Southern Baptist, but think speaking in tongues is still a valid spiritual gift (unlike the official SBC leaders) although I do not have the gift. This issue is now being debated in my denomination. I agree that we should not judge spiritual maturity by tongues. I do not think that tongues is the sign of the baptism of the Spirit, since the Bible says that not every Christian will speak in tongues. I hope that we Christians will not let the spiritual gifts divide us -- let's celebrate all the gifts the Holy Spirit gives, as He decides to give them.

Gretchen Lavender said...

Hi Phil,
I enjoyed reading this post. I have never received the gift of tounges, but my grandmother had it. Thank you for writing about it.
Gretchen