Tongues: The Final Word … Was Not Ecstatic Gibberish

Bud Ahlheim of Pulpit & Pen tackles the speaking in tongues debate. Is the gift of tongues extant today? Are the tongues being manifested today the same as the tongues in the New Testament? Must the hearer understand the utterance?  Ahlheim answers these questions and many others.  He writes:

Right now, today, there are more than 670 million people on the planet who claim adherence to charismatic theology. They outnumber non-charismatic evangelicals almost two-to-one. While the theological perspective of the charismatic movement is an interpretation of Scripture which claims to validate the continuation of the apostolic “signs and wonders” gifts of the Holy Spirit, the overwhelming practical feature of charismatic churches is the modern exhibition of “tongues.”  As Morgan Freeman said, tongue-speaking practitioners believe they are speaking “the language of heaven.”

The sheer preponderance of the practice of tongues in the modern church, considered in light of the warning from Christ about the wide, easy gate that leads to destruction, (Matthew 7:13-14) demands that the practice must be given diligent, Berean-like examination against what Scripture actually teaches. We must know if what we see in the charismatic movement is an authentic feature of the narrow, hard way, or whether it is merely an emotionally appealing trait of the wide path deceptively introduced by an enemy who seeks to “steal, kill, and destroy.” (John 10:10)  The author of Hebrews provides the weighty admonition that we “must pay closer attention” to the revelation of divine truth given “by his Son.”

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