Thinking Out Loud - Ms. Green

Commentaries from a female, conservative Christian worldview. Intermittent observations on human behavior and current events. Occasional bursts of personal tirades,confessions, and discoveries. Frequent discussions about my "Narrow-Minded Faith".

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Sunday, November 25, 2007

Tongues as Evidence of Salvation

This is an off-the-wall post that resulted from one of my morning quiet times this past week.

The subject of speaking in tongues cannot be discussed in a few paragraphs. It is an exhaustive subject, with many verses to dissect and study. So I’m not asking to open a debate over whether Biblical tongues have ceased or if they are still relevant today. (please don’t try to start that discussion now – I don’t have the time – maybe some other time)

Having said that, there is one area of the speaking in tongues subject that I do want to address.

There is a group that teaches that you must speak in tongues if you are a Christian. In other words, tongues are proof of salvation, and anyone who does not speak in tongues is not truly saved.

Read the following passage: I Corinthians 12:27- 30

Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular. And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues. Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles? Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?

Paul is speaking to saved people. Members of the Body of Christ. He is explaining the different rolls of the members of that Body. He then asks a series of questions. It is implied that there is one answer for them all. That answer has to be either “yes” or “no”.

There is no answer except yes or no. And the answer has to be the same for all the questions.

If the answer is no, then this passage in and of itself proves that tongues are not essential for true salvation.

If the answer is yes, then those that adhere to this belief have a whole new problem. You see, if the answer is “yes”, then not only must you speak in tongues to be saved, but you must also, by necessity, be an apostle, a prophet, and a teacher. You must also, by necessity, work miracles and be a miracle healer, and be able to interpret everyone else’s tongue speaking.

One of the requirements to be an apostle is that you must be a witness of the risen Lord. If you are a true prophet, then even one wrong prophecy makes you a false prophet. And I don’t know anyone who speaks in tongues who is going around making the lame walk, the blind see, the deaf hear, and the dead come back to life.

Tongues, which ceased upon the completion of Scripture, never were, and certainly are not now, a necessity that proves one is truly saved.
Continue reading..


At 8:04 PM, Blogger Mark said...

I think speaking in tongues is still possible, however, speaking in tongues is only necessary when witnessing to a lost person who only understands his own language, just as they were used in the beginning, at Pentecost. It is the only time that I can see when speaking in tongues has any benefit at all.

At 8:19 PM, Blogger Neil said...

Great point, Ms. Green. The verses on tongues are surprisingly simple. I don't know how people could draw the conclusion that you have to have that gift to be saved. I think it leads to all sorts of problems.

At 4:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I visited a church yesterday where the pastor passionately stated that speaking in tongues was essential to being a believer according to Acts 2, 2:17 in particular. Mark 16:16 & 17 were also noted. I don't understand the whole speaking in tongues because I don't understand what purpose it serves in salvation. Also, does my baptism count if I can't speak in tongues? Why do people that speak in tongues all say the same thing? Why do the words they mumble sound like they're copying off each other? Finally, the pastor also stated you must be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, not in the name of the Father, son, and holy spirit.

At 11:05 PM, Blogger Ms.Green said...

Hi Anon,

Speaking in non-biblical tongues is a work (a deed). We are saved by grace through faith, not our works. (Ephesians 2:8-9)

I say non-biblical, because all tongues in the New Testament were simply unlearned human languages.

There are many denominations that teach a works-based salvation, and they are all in opposition to what the Bible says about salvation, which is that we can do nothing to save ourselves.

The United Pentecostals do not believe in the Trinity, and thus they believe you must be baptized in "Jesus' name" only. - Which is also a work - because if you don't get "baptized" right, they think you go to hell. They believe you must speak in tongues to be saved, which is also a work.

In Jesus' time, tongues were a supernatural sign to unbelievers that the message of the Messiah was true. Tongues were an unlearned human language, not gobbilty-goop.

Tongues are only mentioned in two books of the New Testament, and they are never listed as a requirement to be saved.

As for baptism, that is also a work, and is not required for salvation.

When Paul was asked "what must we do to be saved?", his response was as follows:

"And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house." Acts 16:30-31 This is from the same book (the book of Acts) that Pentecostals use to say that tongues are a requirement of salvation, and yet when Paul was asked, "what must I do to be saved", he never mentioned tongues.

Also, the book of Acts was written by Luke, who wrote the Gospel of Luke, and he never mentioned tongues being a requirement for salvation.

As for baptism, that is also a work, and is not required for salvation.

Salvation is by faith alone. God does all the work - in fact, to be more specific - Jesus DID all the work on the cross.

As an afterthought - tongues ceased after the first century, upon completion of the Bible. The modern tongues movement does not resemble Biblical tongues at all. It instead resembles the "ecstatic utterances" of pagan cultures down through the centuries. There are those who will say, "but I've experienced speaking in tongues and its real". We are to judge by Scripture, not by experiences.

I hope I've helped. If not, please feel free to email me or post again...whichever you feel more comfortable with.

My advice would be to stay away from that church - they will get you wrapped up in emotion and works and away from the true nature of salvation, which is faith and trust in Jesus Christ alone.


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