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Pastor Dave

Southern Baptists Change Policy On Speaking In Tongues

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I found this article to be rather surprising.

Southern Baptist Policy Change

While this policy change is specifically targeted towards missionaries I find it particularly interesting because at one time at least some Southern Baptist preachers/teachers would say that speaking in tongues died with the apostles and that modern speaking in tongues was "from the devil". Could this be the beginning of the fulfillment of Acts 2:17 And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: .....

Edited by Pastor Dave

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I found this article to be rather surprising.

Southern Baptist Policy Change

While this policy change is specifically targeted towards missionaries I find it particularly interesting because at one time at least some Southern Baptist preachers/teachers would say that speaking in tongues died with the apostles and that modern speaking in tongues was "from the devil". Could this be the beginning of the fulfillment of Acts 2:17 And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: .....

I read it as changing the rules to gain more membership, especially as they said in Africa. It is nothing new. Policies and even sins change with the times.

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I read it as changing the rules to gain more membership, especially as they said in Africa.

Actually the article said in Africa, Asia and South America. But to address your point on gaining membership, the question is why do they feel the need to accept the practice of praying in tongues? From reading the article I gather that some of their missionaries have begun to pray in tongues even though the practice was banned prior to this decision. Remember, missionaries are sent from local churches to other countries, so the missionaries were already members of a Southern Baptist church.

The first Baptist church that can be traced to the name, appeared in the early 1600's while Pentecostal churches can only be traced back to the early 1900's. As the article stated the practice of speaking in tongues had not been practiced by the Christian community in many centuries. The resurgence of speaking in tongues and the beginnings of the Pentecostal movement can usually be traced back to the Azuza street revival that ran from 1906 to 1915. In the early 1960's other denominations (including Episcopalians,Lutherans, Congregationalists and others) became effected by the outpouring of the Holy Spirit starting what is known as the Charismatic movement, which shares the practice of glossolalia. By 1967 even the Roman Catholic church had a Charismatic movement who also shared in the practice. The Baptists seem to be becoming more open to the idea that the gifts of the Holy Spirit can and do operate now in this time. While this makes them the latest church to accept praying in tongues, I for one, welcome them to the growing family of Christians who operate in the gifts of the Holy spirit.

Edited by Pastor Dave

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The article states:


Allowing Southern Baptist missionaries to speak in tongues, or have what some SBC leaders call a "private prayer language," speaks to the growing strength of Pentecostal churches in Africa, Asia and South America, where Southern Baptists are competing for converts and where energized new Christians are enthusiastically embracing the practice.


"In so many parts of the world, these charismatic experiences are normative," said Bill Leonard, professor of church history at Wake Forest Divinity School. "Religious groups that oppose them get left behind evangelistically."


To me this means the Southern Baptists are having trouble drumming up business and need the tongues to give them an edge up.


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The article states:

Allowing Southern Baptist missionaries to speak in tongues, or have what some SBC leaders call a "private prayer language," speaks to the growing strength of Pentecostal churches in Africa, Asia and South America, where Southern Baptists are competing for converts and where energized new Christians are enthusiastically embracing the practice.

"In so many parts of the world, these charismatic experiences are normative," said Bill Leonard, professor of church history at Wake Forest Divinity School. "Religious groups that oppose them get left behind evangelistically."

To me this means the Southern Baptists are having trouble drumming up business and need the tongues to give them an edge up.

It may also have something to do with modern Africa -- which has a growing exorcism industry and where "witches" are being lynched.

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The Bible says that the times of speaking in tongues and performing other miracles will cease ( I Corinthians 13:8) and that miracles were used to confirm the Word ( Mark 16:20). So, if there is still a need for miracles, then the Apostles, Christ, etc. failed in what they were attempting to do, while they were here!

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Thank you for using the Bible to try to support your misguided assumption. I must say though that it bothers me when people pull a verse out of scripture to try to make a point without reading the surrounding verses. Sometimes a verse can stand alone and sometimes, without the supporting verses, it gives a distorted view of what was being said. You see when the Bible was written there were no chapters or verses. They were added later to make it easier to find what you were looking for. Taking a verse out of context does not always give a clear understanding of what was being said. It's like if I were to say, "You should never drive a car if you are intoxicated." Now you could say that Pastor Dave said, "You should never drive a car", while that is an exact quote of part of what I said it is actually a distortion of what was meant. So let's take a look at these scriptures in context.

1 Corinthians 13:8-10 King James Version (KJV)

8 Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.

9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.

10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.

So in the verse you cited first it also says that knowledge will vanish away. Has knowledge vanished? I think not. As we read down to verse 10 we see that "But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away." To me that is a clear indication of when prophecies, tongues and knowledge are to pass away. When the one who was/is perfect comes.

Mark 16:17-20 King James Version (KJV)

17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;

18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.

19 So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God.

20 And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.

I don't see anywhere in these passages that says these things are only for the Apostles, or that after the first century they were to be over. What I see is "these signs shall follow them that believe;". The only qualification needed has nothing to do with whether or not you were one of the twelve, nor if you lived in the time of the Apostles but only if you are one of those who believe.

Now let's go back to the piece of scripture I pointed to in the OP. (Yes I took that one out of context for the sake of brevity)

16 But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel;

17 And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:

18 And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:

19 And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke:

20 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and notable day of the Lord come:

21 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.

Here it clearly says that in the last days "your sons and your daughters shall prophesy". Now you have said that according to 1 Corinthians 13:8 prophecy, tongues, and knowledge were to cease. Clearly this passage tells us that prophecy not only continues to the last days but will be increased in that time. You also say that miracles were used to confirm the word according to Mark 16:20. Exactly when did miracles stop confirming the word?

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Thank you, Pastor Dave. That made for an interesting and fascinating read.

I have often gotten people telling me that speaking of tongues and working of miracles were no more until the second coming, but I never felt agreeable to that.

Your explanation and dissecting the verses for clarity was forward and understandable.

Ah, I'm rambling now. Sorry.

Thanks again.

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I, too, find it aggravating when people pick out one specific verse to support their points. Whether it be on the side of the bible or against it. Context is always important, but in all honesty, most people who pick out a verse to prove a point are Christians, and when you tell them the context of the verse and how that negates their point, they just tell you how the Holy Spirit says otherwise, or come up with excuses. Context. Look at the bible, with all the blood, murder and wrath, the injustices, and realize that it shouldn't be called "The Good Book". Just my thoughts.

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First off I have to apologize to Dr Kevin James DD. I could have made that post without using the word misguided. Sorry.

Keystrikr, Thank you. It's always nice to know when someone gets something from a post. I am compelled to say that if there was any wisdom in my post it was the Holy Spirit that works in me and not me.

....., but in all honesty, most people who pick out a verse to prove a point are Christians, ...........

cuchulain, That just stands to reason. Most non Christians aren't going to try to prove a point using verses from the Bible.

Since you are of a different belief system I'm not going to try to convince you that the Bible is the Good Book. Especially here on these forums. However I will say that the Great God YHVH has been very good to me. Just sayin'

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I understand that, and hope you understand I didn't mean my above statement towards you, or in any offensive manner. I respect your beliefs, and I know they are vastly different than mine. But, I think if you look at it per capita, the percentages would still heavily favor Christians taking quotes out of context, but since I haven't seen any studies on such or don't have any stats, I have to qualify that statement as pure opinion, of course.

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So how does a change in policy measure up with past belief? This is something that I have wondered about, especially having had personal interactions with such happening. How does a person claim to believe a certain set of values, say a particular branch of Christianity, like this topic is about, then decide to change it? Do the old beliefs just not measure up anymore, or what? I am really curious about how this comes about. I can understand expediency, of course, but in religious matters, I would think that true belief would trump any expediency issues, yes?

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Well since the article is the only information I have on this I can only guess as to why they would change policies. So let me start with this, the church I grew up in had in their beliefs a statement saying something to the effect of we do not believe we are the only one God has revealed the truth to. Perhaps, and this is just speculation on my part, some of their missionaries have come back from these other places telling of things that have happened involving speaking in tongues and because of this Baptist church leaders have decided to give a little leeway on speaking in tongues to these missionaries.

As I'm sure you know Christianity has experienced many changes over the the millennia. From different churches founded by the Apostles in the first century to later groups operating independently to Constantine calling for the Council of Nicaea in the 4th century to the split between Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches in the 11th century up to the Protestant Reformation of the 16th century to the birth of Pentecostalism in the early 20th century. Maybe this is the next step for the 21st century.

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That is true, the possibility of new ecclesiastical evidence didn't enter the equation for me. Thanks for pointing out the should have been obvious :)

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