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Martin Lisemore (18/08/2011 23:26)
Well, there's going to be many different opinions on this one, and for once I'll go with experience.
Here's the reason why ...
I watched my maternal grand mother die of a coronary heart attack on August 9th 1963 at 9pm. She died in my arms. I was twelve years old. Later that evening, after immediate family had wailed and cried and burdened my beloved grand father and I, we needed to go to bed; Grand mother was in their marital bed, no longer alive. I wanted grand father to sleep in my bed.
After a while of his praying - he was a sincere Christian man - there was a silence, and I broke out in a language I knew not. He cradled me in his arms, a broken man, and heard the words coming from my lips.
Whereas I knew not what I said to him, he had an understanding, he relaxed, calmed and eased his dreadful state.
The strange language carried on ... I don't recall how long, but my Grand father was deeply comforted, and soon after it finished turned to sleep.
Our God, my grandfather's Lord, had spoken to his servant at the most desperate time of this life. Grand father was comforted, assured.
I next spoke in tongues twenty five years later when I was firmly and securely baptised in the Holy Spirit.
I see nothing in the Bible to suggest the gift of tongues, or tongues as it broke out at Pentecost - they're two different things - have been set aside by God. These things have been grossly abused, used as a badge , used as a curse - and here I know that of which I speak.
But it remains for us all, if we would receive it; the gifts of the Holy Spirit, the engine by which the fruits may be brought about, are for all time, and that means now.
I've heard all the contrary arguments, sat through hours of contrary 'preaching,' and given this word implies an animation of the Holy Spirit to deliver the words which so often is suspect, and I remain convinced, the Gifts of the Holy Spirit are in place for all time, and that includes us!
Peter, my grand father understood the words coming from my mouth, I did not, and still don't, and the effect on him was as a miracle, bearing in mind his situation that night.. They are, in a sense translatable, intelligible and recordable.
I could go on about tongues, but only on a PM - too contentious for public debate.
Penny Lee (19/08/2011 00:28)
Martin, I take your experience as I read it and do not doubt what you say. However, what you uttered had a purpose and it was clearly understood by your Grandfather and comforted him greatly and that is the point I am trying to make. On the few occasions it has happened to me, someone going off into a babble in the middle of our phone conversation made me want to put the phone down as it had no feeling of God's presence about it. Neither did the people concerned make any attempt to explain what they were saying.
Like what happened to you, I would imagine that if another Christian was in the presence of someone genuinely speaking in tongues, they wouldn't need an explanation. Also, 1 Cor 14 vs9-11 makes it quite clear:
"9 So it is with you. Unless you speak intelligible words with your tongue, how will anyone know what you are saying? You will just be speaking into the air.
10 Undoubtedly there are all sorts of languages in the world, yet none of them is without meaning.
11 If then I do not grasp the meaning of what someone is saying, I am a foreigner to the speaker, and he is a foreigner to me."
I clearly do not have the gift of either prophecy or speaking in tongues but I don't reject the whole idea of it in others, rather, I am just very wary of it as I suspect it is, much like spiritual healing, a gift which some others try to take for themselves and that is a very dangerous practice both for the one doing it and those who might be taken in by it.
I would be interested to hear more details of the second experience you mentioned above.
Editor (19/08/2011 08:33) Penny and others have rightly pointed out the difficulty of abuses and excesses. This is where godly, mature oversight and a caring discipline comes in.
If it would help I could ask a pastor (a man with much experience in the Apostolic Church) to do some Q&A on keeping a biblical line when these things occur.
Peter Carr (19/08/2011 08:50)
As the Ed says there are abuses and excesses in excercising of gifts, how many people have heard the gift of preaching and teaching abused? Yet, for me the 5 fold ministry as set out in Eph 4 is as valid today as it was then, and will continue to be so until The Lord returns. And those who abuse God's gifts will be held to account!!
Editor (19/08/2011 12:57)
I have asked a friend of mine if he will 'take questions' on the subject of the 'gifts'. The plan is that I will put questions to him in a recorded interview and then post that interview on-line.
There have already been questions posed (implicit and explicit) on this thread, but if you have any questions etc. please (preferably) post them here (so that others can see know what is in line to be asked.
However please feel free to post to me directly by e-mail.
Peter Carr (19/08/2011 19:19)
"I have asked a friend of mine if he will 'take questions' on the subject of the 'gifts'."
I could be wrong, but in order to get a balance of different theological/doctrinal perspectives, I would have thought it wise to involve a good number of views.
Editor (19/08/2011 19:29)
"get a balance of different theological/doctrinal perspectives"
May do; but this is the starting point.
Martin Lisemore (19/08/2011 21:37)
Begins to sound like a bull ring before a bull fight.
But please, in the combat which might follow, we're to bring glory to Jesus, not score points or enhance our own reputations.
Under that condition, I'm up for it!!!
Seumas, Tobermory (Guest) (21/08/2011 12:51)
Looks like a worthless exercise to me
1) "Putting a stop to cessationism" Hardly an unbiased title is it? "Cessationism vs Continuing Gifts" would be more appropriate as a title. Dice loaded from the start. Hardly the way to establish truths.
2) Editors comment "May do" Hardly encouraging. Real hands-in-the-pockets, shrug of the shoulders stuff that! If it is that hard to find a cessationist pastor in what is the Highlands and Islands, then something is far wrong. "Will definitely find someone else to provide a balance opposite view" would be more encouraging.
3) Debates of this type are worthless. This debate has gone on for decades. Both sides will offer "scripture proofs" to bolster their unchangeable dogmas. Both will be "right". Its a bit like trying to argue "pre", "post" or "a-" millenialism. All viewpoints can be "proved" by scripture. All cannot be right. Just like other theological controversies. Calvinism/Arminianism for example. eg Wesley to Whitefield "your God is my Devil" Or the "real presence" as opposed to symbolism at the eucharist. After all Luther said he would "rather drink blood with papists than wine with Zwinglians"
Fact is there are as many theologies as there are theologians. If the bible were as clear, tidy and unambiguous as a lot of evangelicals CLAIM that it is, you wouldnt have these controversies. I believe that this has been pointed out before on this site.
4) The bias on this site is overwhelmingly charismatic anyway. There are very few contributors I have read who would appear to be cessationist.So I suspect it will end up as a bunch of charismatic fanboys all patting each other on the back. Go on prove me wrong. The site should be called "Charismaniacs Together"
5) Some of the greatest evangelical theologians in history have been and are cessationist. Maybe there is a good reason why?
6) On this site there are numerous articles attacking wayward movements in the church today - prosperity theologians, kundalini spirits, false prophets, dodgy faith healers (like Todd Bentley) and so on. The modern church is rife with these charlatans. Every single one, without exception is charismatic. Penny dropped yet?
Martin Lisemore (21/08/2011 15:00)
Seumas, your 'facts' in point 6 don't stand up to much scrutiny. Cessationism has been with the institutional church since at least the days when Rome grabbed Christianity as a political and military tool removing at a stroke the Jewish foundation of the movement and gathering all power to itself. The God given Offices and Gifts were most inconvenient to Rome so they disappeared. Actually, I believe them to remain inconvenient in current churches.
Believe me, dodgy clerics, false teachers etc are not confined to the Charismatic movement, oh no. The Church of England, and it seems to me down here the C of S also, is led by them and has been for years. Well, they are daughters of Rome. 'Nuff said on that!
'The bias on this site is overwhelmingly charismatic ...' No.
Your penny dropping logic is also horribly flawed. There are, shall we say, a few dozen church goers who are up the wrong road. Ergo, all church goers are bad.
Again, 'nuff said!
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