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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Saturday, May 31, 2008

More on Speaking in Tongues

I wrote Tongues as Evidence of Salvation some time ago as a rebuttal to those who believe one must speak in tongues to be saved. It was rather short and focused on primarily one passage. However, today, I feel compelled to post a more extensive search of Scripture in reference to the false belief that one MUST speak in tongues to be saved. My reason for doing so is due to a blog I visited not long ago that had so many things right about God, but is so in error over this one point. The purpose of my post is to persuade, not to demean or ridicule. I think it is an extremely important issue. In essence, a person who believes in speaking in tongues as proof of salvation is promoting a works-based salvation, because they require that you take an action (do something) in order to be saved. I have personally known individuals who came out of this type of background who had trusted Jesus for their salvation, but who thought they were still going to hell because they'd never spoken in tongues - and in fact they were told as much. They even went so far as to try to fake the tongues in order to be accepted. They were also told that if they were baptized in anything other than Jesus's name, they would also go to hell. Again - this is a works based salvation, which makes it a false doctrine that is contrary to Scripture.

First of all, Salvation is by grace through faith alone - not works. Here are books of the New Testament where you can find Scripture that refers to eternal life and/or being saved that teach salvation through faith in Jesus Christ, plus nothing, minus nothing:

Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Acts, Romans, I Corinthians, II Corinthians, Ephesians, I Thessalonians, II Thessalonians, I Timothy, II Timothy, Titus, I Peter, II Peter, I John, Jude. That is 18 of the 27 books of the New Testament, which is more than half.

This is a partial list of verses clearly indicating that salvation (eternal life with God/Christ/Holy Spirit) is through faith alone.

That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.” John 3:15

And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Acts 2:21

But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they.” Acts 15:11

And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.” Acts 16:31

Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.” Romans 5:9

For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.” Romans 5:10

For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:23

That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” Romans 10:9

For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Romans 10:13

Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)” Ephesian 2:5

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:” Ephesians 2:8

Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,” II Tim 1:9

Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;” Titus 3:5

And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.” I John 5:11

These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.” I John 5:13

And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.” I John 5:20

References to speaking in tongues in the New Testament:

Mark (one time)
Acts: 5 times (referring to 3 separate events where tongues were spoken)
I Corinthians: 12 times (in every instance, it is instruction and information on the gift of tongues, but not referring to a particular event where tongues were spoken)

It is interesting to note that no where in any of these passages does it state that one must speak in tongues to be saved. Also, with 27 books of the New Testament, if tongues were required for salvation, and since Scripture was written under the influence of the Holy Spirit, one would think more time would be devoted to the subject just for clarification if for no other reason.

I think it is interesting to note also: Romans: none (although the familiar “Roman Road” is used to lead the lost to Christ every day.

Those that believe that you MUST speak in tongues to be saved have ONLY ONE verse in the whole New Testament that supposedly supports their belief:

“And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;” Mark 16:17

If you read the passages before and after verse 17, you get a true picture of the meaning.

"15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.

16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. (notice it does not say He that believeth and is baptized and speaketh in tongues)

17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;

18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.

In these passages, Jesus was referring a specific period of time that started on the day of Pentecost, but was not referring to a permanent sign of salvation. Once Scriptures were completed, the sign gifts were no longer needed and in fact did cease. If you believe that you must speak in tongues to be saved, then you should be able to drink strychnine, play with poisonous snakes without fear, and heal everyone you meet. If you can't do these things, then you are claiming only part of this Scripture and being a cafeteria believer.

Since the Bible (God’s Spirit-written WORD) cannot contradict itself, then the ONE VERSE in Mark is OBVIOUSLY being misinterpreted by the tongues crowd in the face of ALL THE OTHER SCRIPTURE that says otherwise!

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At 2:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah, what great timing! I was listening to 1 Corinthians 14 on my iPod this morning and had a draft of it up in another window for my Bible Study Blog. I was just getting ready to make some similar points and I opened your post!

My piece won't post for a couple months but I'll definitely link to this.

Very well said, as usual. I know that some think the gift of tongues ceased with the early church, but I don't see evidence of that. But I also see that most of the supposed speaking in tongues does not follow the Biblical model. And it certainly isn't required for salvation. It is a gift, but not everyone gets every gift.

At 3:41 PM, Blogger Ms.Green said...

Neil, I think it is interesting how often you and are on the same wave length when it comes to issues of doctrine that we're considering writing about...

There have been many times when I was planning on posting on a particular topic only to visit your place and find that you've already done it. Hmmmmmmm.

But then we do have the same Holy Spirit, don't we? *smile*

At 10:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!


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