THE TONGUES CONFUSION by Dr. Curtis Hutson

TOUNGES CONFUION

SOURCE: “Now, brethren, if I come unto you speaking with tongues, what shall I profit you, except I shall speak to you either by revelation, or by knowledge, or by prophesying, or by doctrine? And even things without life giving sound, whether pipe or harp, except they give a distinction in the sounds, how shall it be known what is piped or harped? For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle? So likewise ye, except ye utter by the tongue words easy to be understood, how shall it be known what is spoken? for ye shall speak into the air. “ –I Cor. 14:6-9

The subject of tongues is worth study because it is in the Bible, and we need to learn how it deals with this important subject for two great reasons.

First, the tongues, or charismatic movement, is experiencing rapid growth. Seeking for a deeper experience, well-meaning and sincere Christians have been led into the movement. Due to a false understanding, thousands of believers seek for the experience of speaking in tongues in stead of for the power and fullness of the Holy Spirit to win souls.

On the other hand, many more thousands of Christians are so repulsed by what seems to them fanaticism, that they turn entirely away from any study of the fullness of the Holy Spirit. They are so afraid they will get out on a limb that they never bother to climb the tree.

I want Christians everywhere to be filled with the blessed Holy Spirit of God. There can be no great soul-winning churches, no revival, without the power of the Holy Spirit. Zechariah 4:6 states, “Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.”

Now there is a second great reason for studying the question of speaking in tongues. There is such widespread difference of opinion among sincere believers that the truth of the matter should be known. Every honest Christian should approach the study of tongues with an open mind and without prejudice. Surely God must be grieved when those who love Him and believe the Bible think so harshly of one another and differ so radically on such an important subject as being filled with the Holy Spirit.

In this study I will not talk about experience; we will only see what the Bible says. If one’s experience does not agree with the Bible, the experience is wrong, not the Bible. Experience is not the principle; the Bible is. And doctrine is not settled by one’s experience but by what the Bible has to say.

Several years ago a popular weekly television program featured a detective. If I recall correctly, his name was Sergeant Friday. In every story a situation developed in which Sergeant Friday said to a witness whom he questioned, “Just the facts, Mister. Just state the facts.” With God’s help, I shall do just that. We will see what the Bible says concerning the meaning of it, the motive behind it, the method for it, and the misunderstanding about it.

THE MEANING OF IT

The word translated “tongues” in Acts 2:4 is the Greek word glossa. I have just counted 50 times in my Strong’s Concordance where the word appears in the New Testament. Sixteen times it refers to a literal, human tongue–the physical organ in the mouth; once, in Acts “cloven tongues like as of fire,” and 33 times the word means “language.” But not one time in all the Bible does “tongues” mean a heavenly language that only God understands. It never means something mysterious nor unknown to mankind. In Acts 2 it was not a jabber but normal, human languages known and spoken by people present on the day of Pentecost; and the nationalities of those in whose language they were allowed to speak are given:

“And they were all amazed and marveled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galileans? And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born? Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia, Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes, Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God. “ — Acts 2:7-11.

Notice the language of Acts 2. Verse 4 states, “They were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues …. “ It does not say they spoke with the unknown tongue; they simply spoke with other languages Verses 7 and 8 say, “And they were all amazed and marveled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galileans? And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?” Again the Bible does not say they spoke with some heavenly language and every man understood them because he was filled with the Holy Spirit. It simply says, “And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?” Then verses 9 through 11 list the nationalities of people whose languages were being spoken.

There are only three places in the book of Acts whet people spoke in tongues. Namely, at Pentecost — Acts 2:1 11; in Caesarea — Acts 10:44-46; and in Ephesus — Act 19:1-6.

In Acts 10:46 we are told how Cornelius and hi household were heard to “speak with tongues, and magnify God.” And Peter responded by saying, “Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?” These were ne converts, and Peter suggested baptism. The tongues spoken by Cornelius and his household were not miraculous tongues. It simply says that they spake with tongues and magnified God. Cornelius and his household were members of the Italian band from Rome, and their natural language was Latin. It is possible that in the centurion’s household were soldiers, slaves, servants and government officials from many of the nations of the Roman world. Could it have been that in their heavenly ecstasy they reverted each to his mother tongue in praising God?

It is a psychological truth that in moments of extreme delight or peril a foreigner will exclaim in his native tongue rather than in the language he has more recently acquired. But be that as it may, the tongues referred to in Acts 10:46 were known languages, not an ecstatic utterance.

The third historical record of people speaking in tongues in the book of Acts is found in chapter 19:1-6. When Paul met these twelve men in Ephesus, he asked, “Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed?” Their reply was that they had never heard of the Holy Spirit. Now how could followers of John the Baptist be ignorant of the Holy Spirit, when he preached the Holy Spirit (Matt. 3:11)? Evidently the true message of John the Baptist had been lost as it was passed from one disciple to another; then when these misled men heard a clear presentation of the Gospel, they were baptized (vs. 5). Verse 6 states, “And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.”

Here again the Bible does not say they spoke with heavenly languages or in some ecstatic utterance, but that they spoke with tongues, or languages. Ephesus, a great cosmopolitan city, was made up of people from different parts of the Roman world. The Bible does not indicate what languages were spoken. But it clearly indicates that more than one language was used: “…they spake with tongues” (plural). And verse 7 states, “And all the men were about twelve.” It is possible that a dozen different languages were spoken, as these new Christians, filled with joy, prophesied.

Aside from these three instances in the book of Acts, tongues are mentioned in Paul’s discussion of the gifts of the Spirit (I Cor. 12:1-14) and in I Corinthians 14. A study of I Corinthians 14 will reveal that the tongues mentioned are not so-called spiritual or heavenly languages. The languages used were normal, human languages. It was no jabber, no babble of sound unfamiliar to any human ear.

In that chapter it is referred to as “an unknown tongue”; but “unknown” is in italics, which means it is a supplied word, placed there by Bible translators for the sake of understanding. The languages mentioned here are simply foreign languages unknown to those present. Verses 23 and 24 make this especially clear:

“If therefore the whole church be come together into one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in those that are unlearned, or unbelievers, will they not say that ye are mad? But if all prophesy, and there come in one that believeth not, or one unlearned, he is convinced of all, he is judged of all.”

Now, visualize the scene. A church service is in progress and people are speaking in numerous foreign languages. Some uneducated or unlearned person, as the Scripture calls him, happens to walk into the service. He hears a number of people, all speaking with various languages; it is mass confusion, so he concludes all are mad! But if the church members would speak words easy to understand, instead of speaking in foreign languages that the unlearned do not know, then the unbeliever and the unlearned man would be convinced of all.

The use of the word “unlearned,” in verses 23 and 24, shows that the languages referred to were not supernatural. They could be learned by proper study. One can learn any foreign language if he studies it enough. If the languages used in I Corinthians 14 were a supernatural gift, then it would be available to the unlearned as well as the educated. If speaking in tongues means speaking in some mysterious language known only to God and not known to any group of men, no matter how much learning and education a man has, he will not understand the heavenly language. But foreign languages, known and spoken by men, can be learned. The fact that these languages were the kind that unlearned men did not understand indicates they were known, normal, human languages.

Remember, then, that tongues in the Bible simply mean languages and, in the case of I Corinthians 14, foreign languages, unknown by some who attended the church services.

THE MOTIVE BEHIND IT

I have already mentioned that there are only three places in the Bible where people spoke in tongues: Acts 2:1-11; 10:44-46; 19:1-6.

The central and most important Bible passage on the subject of tongues is found in Acts 2:1-11. First, it is important because it is the first time tongues are discussed in the New Testament. Second, it is important because speaking in tongues was on a larger scale in Acts 2 than in either of the other cases mentioned. Third, it is the most important passage because this is the only instance where we can be absolutely sure that speaking in tongues was a miraculous gift.

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The Failure of Charismatic Theology By: Ted Clore

This article is from Ted Clore
The Failure of Charismatic TheologyBy: Ted Clore

In his article, “Can a Charismatic Theology Be Biblical? Traditional Theology and Biblical Emphases”, Jon Ruthven1, Professor of Systematic Theology at Regent University School of Divinity, Virginia Beach, Virginia, attempts to build a case for Charismatic theology and put it forth as an acceptable, and more precisely, the proper theology for modern times. In doing this he will propose an abandonment of traditional method for a more modern method of determining theology, which I find detrimental to the theology he will propose.
He says in his opening statements, “These days, however, charismatic theology is no longer limited to a second-blessing, tongues-speaking appendix to the traditional Protestant ordo salutis, i.e., vocation, regeneration, justification, sanctification and glorification.” Ruthven, is stating his case for a new look and a restatement for his theology apart from the historic view of the church. In doing this he proposes the abandonment of “traditional” theology and the adoption of modern methods that would suit his theology and its presuppositions. He says, “Hence, this paper asks not, “what does the scripture say ” about these doctrines (a conflict does not lie significantly at this point), but rather, “what does it emphasize?”

In other words, he is going to propose that the proper method of context be abandoned of “traditional theology”, which he says he has no “significant conflict: with”, for a kinder and gentler method that is going to show a Charismatic theology in a better light.

He continues, “The thesis of the paper, then, is that when objective measures for determining emphasis, e.g., content analysis, are applied to the New Testament text, the orientation that emerges in these key doctrines is profoundly and emphatically charismatic.Emphasis mine.
What he is proposing at this point is that we abandon the reading of the text for it’s message, and it’s rational approach to language, grammatical concerns, linguistic practices, and social and historical consideration, to adopt his new method. That method is a statistical process in which words are counted, and themes are analyzed to determine content. This “weighted” analysis would then determine what the Bible “most talks about” and then the theologian would determine theology from that weighted chart or analysis. Which he claims will find a “profoundly and emphatically Charismatic” theology.

He continues, “Content analysis would indicate via programmatic statements that not only was Jesus’ mission of the Kingdom centrally charismatic (summarized in Lk 4:18-21,43; Acts 2:22; 10:38), but the fact that he specifically repeats the emphases of his own mission in the commissions to his disciples (Mt. 10; Lk 9 and 10[31] and Mt. 28:19-20, cf. 24:14, “until the end of the age.”) This same charismatic emphasis grounds the whole Book of Acts where the Church’s commission (1:5-8) is to present the kingdom in the power of signs and wonders and the preaching of the word.[32] The repeated summary statements of Paul’s mission(Acts 15:12; Rom. 15:18-20; 1 Cor. 2:4; 2 Cor. 12:12; 1 Th. 1:5), show the continuation of this normative pattern of presenting and living out the gospel of the exalted Christ in “word and deed.“[33] Here the implications of believers inaugurated, but not yet fully realized, “vice-regency” with the exalted, gift-bestowing Christ could profitably be explored.[34]” (Emphasis mine.)

Here he applies his hermeneutic, and a statistical analysis of the content overrides any message of context. The theme that is derived determines the theology because the analysis is weighted toward the “charismatic emphasis”, so the derived theology must also do the same.

In justifying his method Ruthven says, “I submit this paper for your scrutiny to test its viability as both a theological method and as a radical (in its original sense of going back to the root) Evangelical reframing of traditional doctrines. This paper represents the first stages of an attempt to re-vision a charismatic Evangelical theology, hence, on an indispensable principle of religious authority, i.e., sola scriptura.[3] Because we take this religious authority seriously, and therefore seek to screen out our own biases and traditions, we rely on some principles of content analysisM, a method extensively employed and proven in social sciences and literature for objectifying the content and emphases of communication. This study appears only as an outline of largely unfinished research.” Emphasis mine.

He admits that his method is a “radical reframing” of the Evangelical traditional theological method. In fact, he appeals to the Reformation claim of scripture alone, by imposing a completely unbiblical and “radical” method that will “reframe the traditional doctrines”. In other words, because he knows that the Charismatic theology falls short in the established and orthodox method of theology (Biblical context and appeal to scripture alone), he needs to rewrite the approach that WoF theology presents itself to the believer with. In order to do this a method of interpretation has to be adopted that is weighted toward the theology and abandons the traditional approach and orthodox doctrines of the church. His method becomes neither traditional nor scriptural in its approach to determining doctrine, despite his assertion that it is in the tradition of Sola Scriptura and the traditional theological method.

Also, I must point out, that Sola Scriptura, is an appeal to the context of scripture. It was used by the Reformers to answer the “ecclesiastical authority” of the Roman Catholic Church. In fact, the RCC didn’t want the scripture in the hands of the “common man”, because they knew that context would destroy the Papal infallibility that they claimed, and the scriptures alone would undermine the civil and spiritual government of the Church. Ruthven, in his abandonment of traditional Evangelical method, is calling for the same horrific thing, overlook context for content, and then apply it to an agenda to establish theological authority. He is calling for the believer to put a matrix of determining content ahead of the traditional Protestant method of context, thereby allowing this “colored lens” to determine the theology.

Ruthven continues, “To prosecute its thesis, this paper first provides background by briefly describing content analysis in contrast to traditional Evangelical hermeneutics. This is followed by a description of emphasis patterns within selected doctrines, as laid out by: 1) traditional Evangelicalism, 2) contemporary biblical theology, and 3) some procedures of content analysis. The paper concludes with a summary and implications of these contrasts for contemporary Evangelical theology and praxis. This study examines specifically certain emphases within the doctrines of hermeneutics, the Holy Spirit, the kingdom of God, soteriology, and faith.Emphasis mine.

Ruthven knows that Charismatic theology falls short of Biblical and contextual theology of the Protestant church, which he readily admitted, and proposes a brand new method of determining theology. This is through procedures in which he knows that “content analysis” will lend itself to his agenda. And that agenda is to find a way to read the scriptures to prove his theology. He is exchanging context for content, and thereby abandoning the traditional Evangelical hermeneutics of the past, and delivering a forced view read into the context based upon content analysis.

I find that Charismatic theology falls far short of the task of answering Biblical and contextual theology, and has to adapt to philosophies, methods and ideals that fit its agenda. In this case this eclectic type of theology adopts methods used in industry, scholastics, medical and engineering related fields, that look for patterns and content of data, and applies this to the Word of God. His trust in the contextual and grammatical method, preferred by God and the historical method of the church to communicate theology, is found lacking for his agenda and therefore adopts a “radical new method” to approach scriptures. Ruthven in this article is hunting for method, and in so doing is willing to scrap a tried and true method that is harmful to his hermeneutic, to adopt his “radical reframing of traditional doctrines.”

This is another nail in the coffin that this aberrant theology needs to be placed in, in my opinion

1: Jon Ruthven; Ph.D., Marquette University; M.A., Central Bible College; B.A., Central Bible College; B.D., Trinity Evangelical Divinity School; Further study, Institute of Holy Land Studies, Hebrew University, Jerusalem



Satans Generals of The Full Gospel

 The leaders of a false faith and strange fire

 

Pentecostalism and Freemasonry

Charles Fox Parham and Freemasonry

Parham was probably a member of the Freemasons at some time in his life.[14] The 1930 biography on Parham (page 32) says “Mr. Parham belonged to a lodge and carried an insurance on his life. He felt now that he should give this up also.”[5] The question is one of timing, the extent of his involvement, and how much of their teachings became merged with his theology. From his wife’s comments, it appears he was originally involved because of the good deeds they did in looking after their fellow man (something he did not feel the churches did a good job of doing), not because of their beliefs. Because many in the Pentecostal movement oppose the Freemasons so bitterly, some have said that he left the organization when he started his “Full Gospel” ministry. This would fit with the comment in the biography. What is clear is that, at the peak of his ministry (between 1900 and mid-1907) he had little time for involvement in any organizations. His bible school and his preaching were an all consuming task. Even his active later ministry left little free time for activities like lodges. Some feel there is evidence that Parham was still a member of the Freemasons in 1928 (they feel he “appeared to still have Masonic tendencies”), but source documents for this are not quoted. They may be drawing an inference from a letter that Parham wrote back home from his Palestine trip where he said “I am going to bring a gavel home with me … I am going to present it to the Masonic lodge in Baxter Springs with my respects.”(p373)[5] Yet if he had been a member then, it is likely that his wife’s earlier comment in the same book, where it tells of Parham’s decision to leave the lodge, would have been different. She said “I had been taught in the Friend’s church not to believe in secret organizations, and was very glad for his decision” [i.e. to leave the lodge].(p32)[5] It is just as likely that the gavel was simply a present for friends he had known since his original involvement. If Parham was involved in Freemasonry, the ultimate question is what the level of his involvement was, when he was involved, and if there are any indications of these beliefs in his ministry, especially during the period of his highest influence in the early pentecostal movement (from 1900 to 1907). Lower level involvement in smaller communities can be more of a social involvement than a belief in or an understanding of their principles (as it appears was the situation with Parham’s early involvement with the lodge).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Parham