12 Witnesses

Let these stones be a witness to what we have done here this day.

Roundtable Reader

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Just a few places you can read the media’s take on the Roundtable. Feel free to ask questions of clarification, etc.

Hannah Elliot, ABP – Leaders at Texas conference join McKissic’s call for more freedom

Tammi Reed Ledbetter, SB Texan – Arlington roundtable seeks SBC policies not exceeding BF&M

Tammi Reed Ledbetter, Baptist Press – Organizers cite common ground on prayer language issue

(I would clarify that while we are on common ground on this issue, our common ground is the acceptance of diversity on the theological matter surrounding this issue and others.)

Associated Press, Dallas Morning news – Pastors back ‘private prayer language’

Nathanial Jones, Ft. Worth Star-Telegram – Change on prayer policy is sought

More to come as they are released. Feel free to email me any additions you may think need to be on this reader.

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35 Responses to “Roundtable Reader”


  1. Bart Barber
    on Dec 6th, 2006
    @ 8:39 pm

    It was nice to read how warmly everyone received the idea of a cessationist participating in the panel in the Spring.

    Fortunately, there’s a Kevlar vest about to close on eBay for cheap. :-)


  2. John Stickley
    on Dec 6th, 2006
    @ 9:35 pm

    Warning… shameless plug ahead…

    I’ve tried to keep a running list of coverage of the event, including blog posts, secular media coverage, Baptist media coverage, and related information. Might be helpful as a “one-stop” shop. I’m sure I’ve missed something, but I think it’s fairly complete.


  3. Chris Conner
    on Dec 7th, 2006
    @ 1:18 pm

    I’ve been pastoring for 10 years and been reading different blogs for about 8 months. I look with interest on being the best pastor that I can possibly be for the glory of the Lord. Therefore, I’m always looking for more effective ways to reach people and disciple people. I’m open to whatever will reach people, as long as it is Biblical. It doesn’t matter to me if people use cell groups, Sunday school, praise music, hymns or a tin tub on the side of the road with a spoon. I don’t care about the method. We must do whatever to reach people with the gospel. That is the reason I began to read blogs. I believe strongly in the priesthood of the believer. I agree with Brother Mckissick that the dryness of churches are hurting our ability to reach our culture. The biggest sin in Baptist churches today may be boring people to death! However, I do not believe that tongues as practiced today and understood in the context of our culture is biblical. Do I fellowship with people who disagree. Absolutely! Two of the men that we have worked most closely with to reach this area for Christ practice tongues. However, I would not support financially their efforts to teach doctrine. I would not recommend that young people going in to the ministry attend their Bible Colleges to study. I would not support as a church a city wide crusade that a member of their denomination was preaching, unless I knew that false doctrine would not be taught. Do you as a individual have a right to interpret the Scriptures? Absolutely and as a pastor you will answer to the Lord on your stewardship and teaching. In saying all of this, you need to realize that there are many men like myself, who are terrible keyboard operators and therefore do not normally post on blogs, that feel that the issues of tongues is a “deal breaker” in the SBC. Neither I, nor my church will knowingly support missionaries who speak in tongues as practiced in the Pentecostal church today. What about women preachers, gay pastors? What about those who deny the Word of God? Where is the place you would draw the line in supporting missionaries and other Baptist entities and their teaching?


  4. jasonk
    on Dec 7th, 2006
    @ 1:57 pm

    It is interesting, Pastor Conner, that you equate speaking in tongues with homosexuality and denying the Word of God. Paul did not tell the Romans “Do not keep people from being homosexual,” but he did say, “do not forbid people from speaking in tongues.”

    I agree with you that much of what takes place in modern charismatic circles with regard to speaking in tongues is not the biblical model, in my opinion. But to equate it with homosexuality and denying Scripture?

    Further, it should be understood that these people are not suggesting that people should be allowed to speak in tongues. They are referring to something that takes place in their prayer closets, alone with God. So are we going to allow the denominations into our most intimate moments alone with God? I would hope not.


  5. Sean Pease
    on Dec 7th, 2006
    @ 2:51 pm

    These reports are very interesting to me. Tammi Reed Ledbetter’s writing really blesses my soul because I was at the roundtable and she wrote what I saw, heard, and felt. most of the other articles listed turn me off just by there titles. I did not attend this meeting to discuss tongues or private prayer language. I went to show my support for working together as a body of believers.

    I was surrounded by many brothers and sisters who had different views on the gifts. I didn’t feel that anyone at this meeting was there to defend tongues, baptism, or worship style. When I sat down at the table next to my brother I told him that I was there because I am tired of people defining Southern Baptists because of what we are against. I want people to know what I am for – Jesus Christ.


  6. Chris Conner
    on Dec 7th, 2006
    @ 3:36 pm

    Jason, just call me Chris. I don’t have the keyboarding ability or time to defend my view of Scripture as for tongues. (took about 2 hours to put these 2 comments in.) Quickly, I believe the Scriptures teach tongues as languages. I believe Paul’s reference is to the supernatural God-given ability to communicate the gospel in a different language if needed. My question to the other issues was to be a general question as to what areas of interpretation in areas of controversy would cause others or you to say “I can not in good conscience support that which I believe in not scriptural.


  7. jasonk
    on Dec 7th, 2006
    @ 4:10 pm

    Thank you, Chris, for your kind reply. As a 52wpm typist with )

    Again, the issue here is what goes on in a person’s private prayer closet, and I’m not sure we should be delving into that. If there is any scriptural evidence that a private prayer language exists (and I believe that there are valid arguments that it does), is it our place to restrict those people from service in the denomination?

    Thanks again for your kind reply.


  8. Stuart
    on Dec 7th, 2006
    @ 6:44 pm

    I think there is a very short response if your concerns are “missionaries who speak in tongues as is practiced in the Pentecostal church today.” That certain would include prayer in the spirit, but would also include public expressions in public worship services, usually without an interpreter, and considered normative for believers who have been baptized in the Spirit.

    The short response is, “Where, praytell, has that been advocated?” The IMB has had policies in place for a long time addressing “missionaries who speak in tongues as is practiced in the Pentecostal church today.” Further, those who have spoken against the new policies enacted in November 2005 have themselves never spoken in favor of “tongues as is practiced in the Pentecostal church today.”

    If you have seen such advocated, I think I can speak for a number of people in asking you please to cite where.

    If I may answer your last question to Jason, I think many around here would simply suggest the BFM2K as good guide for setting the boundaries of cooperation.


  9. Stuart
    on Dec 7th, 2006
    @ 6:46 pm

    Oops. I meant to address that last comment to Chris.


  10. Todd
    on Dec 8th, 2006
    @ 9:19 am

    Art,

    The anti-SCCC Convergence position is beginning to coalesce in and around the blogs. It might be interesting to post on your site not only the news reports about the Sandy Creek-Charlestonian meeting but also the blogs that are speaking against it. The position that is getting clear in these blogs is that those who affirm a private prayer language are outside the SBC camp, unbiblical, and a threat to our convention. While I know that your heart is reform, as this counter position gets a more solid foothold, it will force those who affirm a private prayer language to decide what we will do with our mission money. I find it very hard to give money to a mission agency that would not endorse me as a missionary. This tension cannot exist forever.


  11. Art Rogers
    on Dec 8th, 2006
    @ 1:17 pm

    Todd,

    You first since I can write it fast. Glad to have met you at the Roundtable.

    John Stickley’s link above to his own blog is better and I am overwhelmed right now. You are right, and I defer to John who is doing a great job. Don’t let me down, John!


  12. Art Rogers
    on Dec 8th, 2006
    @ 1:23 pm

    Chris,

    As Jason and Stuart pointed out, this is not about the abuses of “tongues” in the Pentacostal movement – either the confusing public speaking, not one at a time, not with an interpreter – nor the doctrine that one must speak in tongues as evidence that they are saved.

    I would add that Dwight, Ben, Wade and I have all said that we are against such abuses, none allow such in our churches and reaffirmed this in the Press Conference that followed.

    This is not about glossolalia, though. This is about the Sufficiency of Scripture within the beliefs and practices of Southern Baptists.

    Thanks for taking the time to read and, apparently, the time to write! I appreciate you sharing your voice.


  13. Bryan Riley
    on Dec 10th, 2006
    @ 1:39 am

    Chris, do you trust God, through the Holy Spirit, to ensure that His word doesn’t go out void? Have you ever met one person who agrees with you lock, stock and barrell on every aspect of scriptural interpretation? You pull out some outlandish examples to illustrate your point, but I must say that if you do know 10 people who absolutely agree with every interpretation of every verse of the bible, then, wow, I’d be amazed. Where will you draw the line on what has to be all the same? I’ve gone to at least six different SBC churches in my life, with many more pastors, and not one of those has been in agreement on every aspect of doctrine.

    We are talking about taking Jesus to a dying world. We are talking about teaching people about the free grace of God for those who would believe. And, we are talking about a single Body of Christ, demonstrating the truth of Christ through our unity and our love. (See Jesus’ prayer in John 17). Why can’t that happen??? It doesn’t frighten me that someone may teach some disputable matter of doctrine differently than I would so long as they are teaching the same Jesus that we all know and love. I trust that God will take care of the rest. I am more scared of our lackadaisacal approach to the doctrine of unity, 1 Corinthians 12-13, Ephesians 4, Romans 12, and so forth, than I am that someone may have a different interpretation of a single gift of the Spirit or whether any Christian can baptize or not. Why do we let these types of distractions carry us away from telling the world about Jesus??? Living our lives like we believe in Jesus???? Oh, wait, I know why: 10Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.


  14. Geoff Baggett
    on Dec 11th, 2006
    @ 2:23 pm

    Can I ask a dumb question? It’s been on my mind. Once someone tells averyone about their “private prayer language,” is it still private? Once “in the open,” is it not simply glossalalia?

    I love you, guys, but this just sounds to me like something else to stir up a fight over. I’ve been in the ministry for seventeen years, and I can’t honestly recall that I ever even heard of a “private prayer language” until all of this started a couple of months ago. It seems to me that both sides of this argument are doing quite well at accentuating, aggravating, and causing divisions in the church,


  15. Art Rogers
    on Dec 11th, 2006
    @ 3:11 pm

    Geoff,

    That is both simple and complex at the same time. The word “Private” is not meant to imply that one would never reveal that it was practiced in their lives (if it were, then the Boards of Trustees are violating the conscience of everyone to whom they pose the question). Rather, it is meant to imply that the “conversation” is between God and the person praying alone.

    Moreover, Geoff, this is not about the establishment of a doctrine of a Private Prayer Language within the Southern Baptist Convention. Individuals in the SBC already hold to such a doctrine, therefore, it is established.

    The true division here is between those who have already excluded other Southern Baptists because they didn’t hold to a particular view on this and other issues.

    The division is about cooperation and exclusion. PPL is just a point of discussion within the conversation.

    My main worry is that many, like yourself and Chris above, will misunderstand that we are trying to make the SBC a place where glossolalia is acceptable. That is not the issue.


  16. Geoff Baggett
    on Dec 11th, 2006
    @ 4:22 pm

    Art,

    Thanks for your reply. But I think that (making the SBC a place where glossolalia is acceptable) is, exactly, the issue in the eyes of those who are observing all of this from the “outside.” Just look at the headlines that you linked to above, “Organizers cite common ground on prayer language issue,” “Pastors back private prayer language.” What does that look and sound like to the world and to rank and file Southern Baptists? It sounds like “private prayer languages” is completely the subject of this conversation, dspite your disclaimers.

    I do not feel that Chris and myself have misunderstood the nuances of the entire episode at all. Like Chris, I hold a deep (and, I believe, Scriptural) conviction that the “tongues” referred to in Paul’s clarifying passages were, indeed other known languages. The repeated link of tongues and prophecy seems to support this view. I know that there are others who disagree with me, but that’s what opinions are for, I guess.

    Your explanation of the existence of a “private prayer language” as an established doctrine in Southern Baptist life simply because there are Southern Baptists somewhere who believe in it is a bit simplistic and would fail several tests of logic. I know, personally, some Southern Baptists who twist and claim the Scriptures as a vindication of homosexuality. I know some Southern Baptists who firmly believe in the validity of a female headship in the local church. But these are not “established doctrines.” They are both honestly held views that simply do not wash with the truth of Scripture. I have yet to locate a single instance of a “private prayer language” in the Bible.

    You say that people are being excluded from cooperation and fellowship. I have read this statement in several forums, and perceive it as an emotional rally-call against the establishment, but I still do not know who has been excluded or how, exactly. Not anecdotal victims. Who has been excluded?

    In my simple world and mind, a “private prayer language” is an utterance in an unknown tongue. That is, by definition, glossalalia … despite the fact that it is not practiced in what you describe as the “traditional” charismatic sense. But it is speaking in tongues, nonetheless. As the old farmer would say, “Where there is smoke, there is fire.” The vast majority of Southern Baptists take doctrinal issue with speaking in tongues and would, understandably, take issue with commissioned missionaries having such a practice … even in private.

    In the end, this just sounds like another ugly, public, dishonoring family fight … one that the media loves (as evidenced by all of the above-cited coverage that your meeting has been getting) … and one that will serve as a tragic and divisive distraction Southern Baptists.


  17. Alan Cross
    on Dec 11th, 2006
    @ 4:52 pm

    Geoff,

    Before these new policies, this issue was left to a matter of personal interpretation. It was not an issue, if the speaker did not make it one. There is a lot of ignorance around this subject. Some assume that opponents of the IMB policies are jockeying for a full blown charismatic movement. Others assume that the opponents are causing division. I guess that we live in an SBC where theological stances can be created by fiat and we all have to succumb, lest we be accused of fomenting division. This perspective does not make sense to me.


  18. Bob Cleveland
    on Dec 11th, 2006
    @ 10:24 pm

    Geoff:

    The “SBC” per se isn’t a church. Paul’s admonitions of caution pertaining to speaking in tongues were to the gathered church. And it’s always been up to the local pastor to see to it that ALL church functions were conducted on sound scriptural footing.

    The real issue is that there are those who want to make tongues unacceptable in SBC churches and institutions. And that flies in the face of scripture, plain and simple.

    As to the opinion of the vast majority of Southern Baptists, the vast majority of Israel didn’t want to obey God and take the promised land. None of them got to see it.


  19. Geoff Baggett
    on Dec 12th, 2006
    @ 8:26 am

    Alan -
    I agree wholeheartedly. There is, indeed much ignorance on this subject.
    And, yes, there are lots of things in the SBC (institutions, agencies, state conventions, etc…) that most of us who serve as pastors do not agree with. Indeed, there are times when we disagree vehemently, and we have the complete freedom to speak out and share our views. I do so often, and no one has ever asked me to leave anything [well, except our local association, but they never really accepted us anyway ... :) ]. It’s just that most of us neither have the time or budgets, nor feel compelled to organize grand rallies and “roundtables,” alert the newspapers, and hold press conferences.

    Bob -
    Granted, the SBC is not the local church. But how would the expression of tongues be handled in your local church. In my church, we do not regard the practice of tongues-speaking as scriptural. If someone were to attempt to do so (practice speaking in tongues), they would be confronted in biblical fashion. They would be required to stop the practice. If they refused, they would disciplined, even to the point of being removed from the fellowship. And it’s not because we are mean-spirited, closed-minded, or bigoted. It is not because we are “un-enlightened,” or that we have misunderstood the Bible, or that we are ignorant. It is simply because the elders of our congregation have the responsibility to make sure that our practices are, as you say, “on sound scriptural footing.”

    Anyhow, thanks for reinforcing my point. It still seems to me that this entire discussion is, indeed, about tongues. It is about opening the doors of our seminaries and agencies to the practice of tongues.

    And Bob, your last illustration comparing this current debate to the disobedience of Israel just has me downright baffled. Needs a bit of clarification…

    I love you guys … thanks for the discussion … I look forward to more in the days ahead.


  20. John Stickley
    on Dec 12th, 2006
    @ 9:29 am

    It appears the folks from Cornerstone have now published audio from the roundtable on their site.

    I’ve posted links directly to the clips here.


  21. Art Rogers
    on Dec 12th, 2006
    @ 10:28 am

    Geoff,

    First, comparing continualists to those who advocate homosexuality, and to a lesser degree advocate female headship of a local church, from Scripture in the SBC is a straw man argument – though I am confident it is not intentional. There are Scriptures that clearly speak against the latter. On the other hand, while you say there is no evidence in Scripture for a PPL, I would say that the lack of clear Scriptural teaching belongs to the cessationist point of view. That’s my opinion. There is NO Scripture that says, “Forbid not the homosexual act” or “Forbid not the women to be the pastor,” which is what you are implying in your comparison. There is a lot more to be said there, but you get my point.

    I am not sure what you are asking for when you ask who is being excluded. You say that you don’t want anecdotal stories but want to know who exactly is being excluded. That question confuses me a bit, so I will answer in both ways. In principle, anyone who has ever experienced a personal time of “glossolalia” is not allowed to be a church planter internationally or in North America. Further, if you believe that there is even the possibility that a PPL is Scriptural, no matter your academic pedigree or your commitment to the SBC, you could not serve at SWBTS. In practical terms, I have spoken to several missionary candidates and at least one excellently qualified academician who are now disqualified from serving. That is the problem.

    Finally, Bob did reinforce your point, and is, therefore, wrong. ;)

    Bob, you know that I love you. Still, the issue is not those excluded on behalf of PPL, but that there are a good many folks excluded on any number of issues within the SBC. Right now, the IMB has authorized baptizer exclusions; there is an anti-Calvinist rant running through certain circles within the SBC with a motion from the floor of the Convention last year that the Executive Committee commission a study of the impact of Calvinism on the SBC; let us all not forget the Sufficiency of Scripture argument concerning Resolution #5 last year. The Chairman of our Executive Committee advocated Traditional worship as a Baptist distinctive not long ago – on these grounds you would have been excluded a long time ago. In fact, on these grounds you have been excluded by your local association. So, I suppose, you are one of those about whom I am concerned because you are being marginalized as a Southern Baptist by other Southern Baptists because they disagree with you that you can be a Southern Baptist and think differently than them.

    These are all parts of the ongoing conversation about inclusion and exclusion of people based on differing interpretations of Scripture and what it means to be a Southern Baptist.

    How did PPL become the spotlight issue among all of these? That must be the subject of an upcoming post.


  22. Paul Burleson
    on Dec 12th, 2006
    @ 10:55 am

    Geoff,

    A question. What do you make of the admonition in dealings with tongues in I Corinthians 14:26-28? There seems to be some specific instructions to the church on how, were it to happen, it’s to be handled. [2 or 3, not at all unless interpreter present, prophecy far more important, won't mean anything but confusion unless an interpreter is present, are all part of the instructions.]

    But the next to final instructions seems to be…”forbid not to speak with tongues.” The final instruction is “let things be done decently and in order. I’m assuming we don’t accept the final without also accepting the next to final instruction do we not?

    This is from one who does not speak in tongues personally, publically or privately, and has serious questions as to the validity of much, if not most, of what I see practiced in the movement today. This statement is to be seen in the context of Pentecostal theology which I believe to be basically flawed. But I can’t throw out the baby [tongues] wih the bathwater. [Rejected Pentecostal theology] I have to take seriously the text.

    I struggle as much with your stated manner of handling tongues in your church as I do the idea of tongues itself. It shows me we all need grace tempered approaches to this issue because we do disagree on what the text actually says. [You believe it says one thing, I believe it says another, Pentecostals yet another. Maybe we really do see through a glass darkly. Maybe that's why our fellowship is to be around the person of Christ and Him Crucified. [I Cointhians chapters 1-3]


  23. Geoff Baggett
    on Dec 12th, 2006
    @ 1:22 pm

    Art, thanks for the response, my friend. But I wasn’t making a comparison of views on homosexuality and female pastors with views on speaking in tongues. I was merely using those as illustrations to intellectually counter your premise that simply because Southern Baptists somewhere in the world believe something that it must be considered as “established doctrine.” I guess I didn’t make the point very well. But I still say that “private prayer language” is far from an established doctrine in Southern Baptist life.

    I understand that this entire discussion was birthed as a response to actions of exclusion in Southern Baptist life. I can offer testimony. I doubt that few feel more excluded in Southern Baptist life than I do right now. The Southern Baptist church that I planted five years ago has been excluded by the local association because of our name (no Baptist on the sign), polity (elder-led), and celebrative worship (awesome praise band, screen, no hymnals, clapping … you get the picture). So, I have little to no contact or involvement with local SB pastors. I have been personally “let go” from a contract position with a Southern Baptist organization because I desired to start a ministry that was viewed as “competitive” by some in that organization. All this after 20 years as a dedicated Southern Baptist and education in Southern Baptist schools. I’m pretty much disconnected right now, and more than a little hurt by it all. So, I know where you guys are coming from. Believe me. I know that of which you speak.

    I’m just heartbroken and disappointed that tongues has become the nexus for this discussion.

    Paul, I guess I didn’t express myself very clearly. I was describing the hypothetical (it has never happened) instance of an attempt to publicly use tongues in our congregational worship. But that’s how we would handle it. We believe that it would, indeed, be a grace-tempered and biblical approach. But I could not describe that in detail in a single paragraph. No need for you to struggle.

    Perhaps most of us do not handle 1 Corinthians 14 very well (if at all) because the occurrence is so far outside the realm of our personal spiritual heritages and experiences. Or, perhaps as many believe, such occurrences of unknown tongues (not other spoken languages) have ceased (if they ever existed). Herein lies the complex web of our theological (and now, relational) dilemma.

    Art, sorry for the novel. ;) Love you guys. Let’s do remember that we’re all on the same side.


  24. Art Rogers
    on Dec 12th, 2006
    @ 1:59 pm

    Geoff,

    I agree wholeheartedly. To some degree, I understand. While I do disagree with you on the possible existence of PPL in Scripture (more on that one day, I hope), I am frustrated that it alone is dominating the conversation as well.

    I also understand your frustration.

    For those reading this comment, let me give some background. Geoff and once served in nearby counties as Youth Ministers. The counties were in southwestern Kentucky. Geoff and I even shared a room, once, at a Kentucky Baptist Youth Ministries Association retreat before he proceeded me into the pastorate. Rural KY, even western KY (as opposed to the Appalachian area), is not a place given to much change among Southern Baptists. I remember the incredibly harsh response from pastors and churches to a similar church plant in our county. Since it came from a larger church in Bowling Green, they sustained the church and it sought membership in that Association when our Association denied it membership. It is incorporated now, but still has a membership in an Association from another county.

    Brother, I know where you are and I affirm to you that the root issue is not PPL, but the narrowing of parameters on many issues.

    I am posting on an article concerning our SBC President this afternoon, but tomorrow I will post a long article on this issue.

    Also, feel free to write as extensively as you desire.


  25. Todd
    on Dec 12th, 2006
    @ 2:02 pm

    Geoff,

    Can you explain why you believe that tongues have ceased? What biblical teaching do you base this upon?


  26. Geoff Baggett
    on Dec 12th, 2006
    @ 2:48 pm

    Art,
    Thanks, man. It’s been a long time. I didn’t know if you would remember our “roomie” days at Cedarmore (or was it Jonathan Creek … man, I’m getting old…)

    Todd,
    I never once said that I believed tongues have ceased (the standard cessasionist view). I’m sorry you misunderstood me. I suppose the best way to state my view is that I belive the gift of tongues was and is a gift of languages, much like the gift evidenced at Pentecost. I believe that it was and is a spiritual gift to make for more effective communication of the gospel … a gift for the purpose of clarity and unity of all tribes and peoples at the throne of God … not a gift toward confusion and misunderstanding within the church. I presently do not accept the notion of unintelligible utterances as a valid, edifying spiritual gift. Maybe God will convince me differently someday, somehow. But I have never experienced anything like that, and I have seen the interpersonal, relational havoc wreaked upon the church by those who claim to have “the gift” and look down upon those who do not. I know that not everyone will agree with me. Many others do. But like I said before, that’s what opinions are for. ;)

    Todd, thanks for further making my point for me. This whole thing has left “private prayer languages” behind. It’s becoming all about glossolalia as a whole.


  27. Paul Burleson
    on Dec 12th, 2006
    @ 2:51 pm

    Geoff,

    I’m assuming you know whatever struggles I might have are with theological concepts and actions…not with brothers in Christ. I never wish to forget that or to convey otherwise to a brother. If I’ve given that appearance consider it withdrawn. You are engaged in the kind of new church I’ve been a part of [though not pastor/as a member] for the past ten years. That Fellowship even has membership month in March every year so all can renew covenant commitment with seriousness. We’ve faced our own brand of marginalization. Aren’t we glad we answer to the Head of the Church instead of institutions. :)

    I would still struggle with the concept of dealing with a presence of tongues being dealt with as you’ve described hypothetical or no, but, that’s a theological difference between brothers I assure you.

    Keep up the Kingdom work.

    Paul B.


  28. Kevin Holmes
    on Dec 12th, 2006
    @ 3:05 pm

    Geoff,

    I don’t know your church, but you state that if anyone in your church spoke in tongues (and assume for you that would include in private), they would be dealt with through biblical church discipline. 1) Do you honestly believe that NO ONE in your church is habitually involved in some behavior that the Bible explicitly states is sin? 2) Can you be sure that NO ONE in your church speaks in tongues during their private devotional/prayer times?

    Kevin


  29. Todd
    on Dec 12th, 2006
    @ 3:48 pm

    Geoff,

    Thanks for the reply.

    Here’s the deal. I think the position that you stated, that the gift of tongues was/is the ability to speak a never before studied language for the purpose of spreading the gospel is a very weak biblical position. I read Acts 2 as different from 1 Corinthians 14. Acts 2 was really a miracle of hearing. Further, when tongues was practiced in Corith, the problem is that it was unintelligible speech, not that the lost were hearing the gospel in their native language.

    As to your concern about the divisive nature of the abuse of the gifts, I think you are exactly right. That is why Paul gave his instructions. However, he did not teach the church to stop the practice because of the abuses, but only to restrict the practice.

    Bottom line, we interpret Acts 2 and 1 Corinthians 14 differently. The good news is that I am OK with appointing a cessasionist to the mission field.


  30. Geoff Baggett
    on Dec 12th, 2006
    @ 4:06 pm

    Paul, Thanks my brother.

    Kevin, I never said that. I was speaking of a public worship situation. I stated that very clearly above in my discussion with Paul.

    Todd, since it is my position, I do not consider it weak at all. [What do you know? I really AM a Southern Baptist! ;) ] Many very smart, well-studied, Jesus loving folk share this view … or some modification of it. But are you so sure about the situation in Corinth? My studies and training have indicated that Corinth was a multi-cultural crossroads. Would not languages have been an issue? Just a thought.

    I’ve traveled in many lands and met people of many different people groups. I know I’m just a highly educated old country boy, but pretty much any spoken language (other than Kentucky/Tennessee English) IS unintelligible speech. ;)

    Bottom line, if you disagree with me, I don’t give a rip. We’re brothers, anyway. Smart people have argued this one long before the current situation ever came along, and will again after it dies down.

    That’s it … I’m done. Let’s talk about something else…


  31. Darren
    on Dec 12th, 2006
    @ 4:19 pm

    Geoff,

    …you wrote, “Smart people have argued this one long before the current situation ever came along, and will again after it dies down.”

    That’s the bingo award for me. And that’s my point about the whole thing. Rather than all the blogs, posts, articles and rebuttals about tongues and a private prayer language, why can’t we agree that just as you said, “smart people” have differed over this issue and there should be room under the Southern Baptist umbrella for both views. The old policy worked fine…it’s this narrowing policy which speaks to how a person prays in their private closet and forbids some great people as missionaries which is so concerning.


  32. Art Rogers
    on Dec 12th, 2006
    @ 6:22 pm

    Not to pile on, Geoff, but if you think Todd made your point, I think Darren makes mine.

    Moving on until tomorrow when I post a major article on how PPL got to where it is now.


  33. Todd
    on Dec 12th, 2006
    @ 9:15 pm

    Geoff,

    I agree with your conclusion. Let’s agree to disagree since they are both valid interpretations and both have historical agreement in our baptist family. Agreed. Let’s agree and move forward in building the kingdom….together!


  34. Art Rogers
    on Dec 13th, 2006
    @ 12:25 am

    Now if we could just get the IMB, NAMB & SWBTS Boards to see it that way.

    Just for starters.


  35. Bryan Riley
    on Dec 13th, 2006
    @ 3:07 pm

    How is it a reasonable interpretation to suggest that tongues (as in unintelligible utterances) never existed as a gift of the Holy Spirit?

    Is it walking by sight to interpret scriptures based on statements such as this? “Perhaps most of us do not handle 1 Corinthians 14 very well (if at all) because the occurrence is so far outside the realm of our personal spiritual heritages and experiences.”

    Would that also be why we struggle with James 5? Ephesians 4? 1 Corinthians 12 and 13? Romans 12? The Sermon on the Mount. The list can go on and on…

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