(no subject)

From: David Moore (dvdmoore@dcfreenet.seflin.lib.fl.us)
Date: Mon Oct 09 1995 - 18:39:07 EDT

BibAnsMan@aol.com (Jim McGuire) wrote:

> It is disappointing that we do not follow the biblical pattern Paul
>presents here. So many today allow all kinds of tongue speaking and do not
>test all things (1 Thess. 5:21). If we were to test the validity of the
>tongues with a tape recorder, I believe we would see that the majority of the
>so-called tongues would be found out false. Take the tape recording and get
>two different interpretations to agree and analyze it for true grammatical

        Your idea of testing tongues with a tape recorder reminds me of a
friend of mine who holds similar views to yours on the matter of tongues.
He lives in Alaska and told me somewhat pointed story about someone he
knew who was able to speak one of the Eskimo dialects. This person, it
seems, went to a pentecostal meeting; and, when he found an opportunity,
he spoke out several sentences in Eskimo, then waited to hear the

        "And when the interpretation came," my friend related with some
satisfaction, "it wasn't anything like with what he had said in Eskimo."

        "What was the interpretation?" I asked.

        My friend claimed he didn't know.

        I've wondered since then about that forgotten interpretation.
Could it have been something like, "Thus says the Lord: I am God almighty
and omniscient who knows you from afar. Do not presume to come before me
with a deceitful heart, for only the pure in heart will see me, and only
those who are without guile will know me.

        But since the fellow was waiting to see if God could translate his
dialect of Aleut, whatever the message that came by spiritual gift was, it
went right past him, didn't it.

        To address your suggestion about the tape recorder more directly:
context is very important in any interpretation. I would be very
surprised if you got anyone who takes the spiritual gifts seriously to
venture an interpretation of any message in tongues without crucial
understanding of the spiritual context in which the message originally
came. In most cases, no interpretation would be offered outside of that
which is available within the context of the Full-Gospel service itself.
Since you seem to want to look at tongues with a scientific eye, a book
that might interest you is _Tongue Speaking: The History and Meaning of
Charismatic Experience_, by Morton Kelsey (New York: Crossroad, 1981).

        Your arguments on "tongues as the normal word for language" and
"unknown prayer language passages" are wide-ranging and consist of a great
deal of rhetoric salted with verses from Scripture. To give a sober and
detailed answer to them would require presenting a practically full-blown
theology of spiritual gifts which would considerably stretch the bounds of
legitimate topic for this list. Perhaps it would be better if we took
some of the specific scriptures that are fundamental to this theme to see
if there are any areas of legitimate agreement and consensus of
interpretation among interested list members and then proceed step by step
from there.

David L. Moore Southeastern Spanish District
Miami, Florida of the Assemblies of God
dvdmoore@dcfreenet.seflin.lib.fl.us Department of Education

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