Date: Fri Oct 13 1995 - 13:20:10 EDT
In a message dated 95-10-11 01:26:09 EDT, John Godfrey writes:
> [Karen Braithwaite said...]
> "As I sat in the pew earnestly asking God for some assurance
>that speaking in tongues was from Him and not something I made up,
>several of the deaf young people began to speak in tongues. They spoke
>beautiful, clear, unaccented English with excellent voice inflections,
>tone, and vocabulary, etc. One in particular spoke for about ten
>minutes assuring all who were there that the baptism of the Holy Spirit
>was of God, that it was a miracle and a gift from God which made
>perfect sense to those who spoke that language, and that God could be
>trusted not to deceive those who willing to follow Him. Needless to
>say, my doubts were stilled."
How can English be "tongues"? Evidently, the preacher telling this story
was mistaken. She saw a group of people she thought were all deaf, and one
of them was not, and spoke English, which he mistook for tongues. No doubt,
an honest mistake.
Another problem with your story is that it is second hand, and that it was
in a sermon. (We all now how guest speakers can speak "evangELASTICally").
Someone "looking for a sign", is not looking objectively, but is subject to
falling into the error of hearing what one wants to hear-- as compared to
object scientific evaluations.
So far, there hasn't been any objective scientific/linguistic tests that
have shown tongues to be authentic languages. This was brought up in a back
issue of Paraclete, the Assemblies journal from AGGS. When tongue speakers
have been brought under scrutiny, their "languages" examined, no linguist has
been able to confirm any tongues as a language. With almost 100 years of
pentecostalism, it has not been demonstrated to be so.
[What Kidhal seems to be suggesting is that tongues aren't from the
language area of the brain, but rather from a motor area of the brain. This
means there isn't a new language dropped into a person's speech center of the
brain. Rather, its a mechanical excersize. Interestingly enough, Kidhal's
patients can't "turn it off", unlike pentecostals who are able to do.]
Tongues has had a rich heritage in many Religions, even predating
Christianity. IMO, it is not a miraculous sign of the Holy Spirit speaking
through a person, but it is a meditation technique that has been with
humanity for many years. It is completely a natural phenomenon, and for many
it is used in a positively, to help themselves reach a more meditative state.
In recent years, I think its been proven to most folks that tongue
speaking is not a a good indicator of the Holy Spirit's presence in a
person's life. Tilton used to pray in tongues on TV, and at the same time
tell people God was telling them to send him their money. Swaggart spoke in
tongues on TV, too. And then there's Jimmy Baker. Do I need to go on? The
public no longer accepts tongues as a sign that God's spirit is "truly" in
them. (It may have been a sign to unbelievers in Paul's day, but not now).
I was at one time an Assemblies minister, but now I am happily pastoring a
non-charismatic church in a non-charismatic denomination. I am proof that
there is life after glossalalia
. I have come to understand through the Scriptures that the Spirit of God is
more about *wisdom* than about emotion.
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