Thursday, October 19, 2006

PPL (Private Prayer Language) & Tongues

I have spent some time today reading through some of the blogs that I visit on occassion. One of the hot topics is still PPL and tongues. I began to think of this subject and have an observation that I want to make.

Tongues is a legitimate gift of the spirit, according to I Corinthians 12. But what position should it take in Christian life, and what position does it take in some Christians lives? In this passage of Scripture Paul gives a list of spiritual gifts, it is not the only list in Scripture, but it is one of the most clearly stated. In it Paul states that the first (and therefore the greatest gift, the first item listed in such a manner in the Greek always demonstrates importance as to order given) gift is apostles, the second greatest gift to church, in the context of these gifts, is prophets, third is teachers, fourth is miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administration, varieties of tongues (v. 28).

One of the problems that I see with charismatic tendencies is the idea that, especially with tongues, that everyone should manifest this gift of the Spirit if he is a true believer/saved. And yet Paul says very clearly, in my opinion, in verses 29-30 that everyone will not receive all the gifts. "Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of miracles? Do all have the gifts of healings? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret?" These are questions that he is asking in which he knows and assumes that the reader already knows the answer, which is NO, not everyone has all or some of these gifts. You may only possess one or even none.

This is where, IMHO, it gets very interesting indeed. When the reader of I Corinthians 12 comes to verse 31 he see something that is very important. This verse says, "But earnestly desire the best gifts. And yet I will show you a more excellent way." The list has been given. The gifts are listed in order of importance. And Paul says that if you are going to desire or persue any of the gifts listed; persue or desire the most important ones.

I too do not believe that there is biblical support for what McKennsic and others are defending in the SBC concerning ppl. I base this belief on Paul's statements in I Corinthians 13:8-11. It seems to me to be very clear that these things, although biblical, should not be given a greater emphasis or focus. Elsewhere Paul says that he too spoke in tongues, but he said that he would rather say 5 words the encouraged and strengthened the body of Christ than a thousand words in tongues that did not strengthen and edify.

As I stated in a previous blog, as Christians, we sometimes get so caught up defending a personal preference or belief that we lose sight of the task at hand. Our "enemy" is very crafty and cunning. I believe that many times he "helps" us focus on the minor so that we will forget about the major. The major is fulfilling the Great Commission, "...making disciples of all men..." As we continue to discuss the minusha, may we be ever mindful of the main thing.

Serving Him,
Mike

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Brother Mike,

Good words and great insight. I am also amazed that people try to defend something the Bible does not advocate.

Blessings,
Tim

Pastor Mike said...

Tim,
Thanks. I cannot fathom how people can get mixed up on issues such as this, when, to me, the Bible makes it so clear. Maybe I am too simple-minded. Blessings to you too brother.

Serving Him,
Mike

Anonymous said...

Mike,

Another good post. Your words are well chosen and wisely spoken.

Regards,

Les

Pastor Mike said...

Les,

Thanks for the encouragement. God bless you.

Mike

sbc pastor said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
sbc pastor said...

Michael,

I believe that you have provided some very important words of wisdom:

"Our 'enemy' is very crafty and cunning. I believe that many times he 'helps' us focus on the minor so that we will forget about the major. The major is fulfilling the Great Commission, '...making disciples of all men...' As we continue to discuss the minusha, may we be ever mindful of the main thing."

I truly enjoyed the World Missions class that we took together at SEBTS last year. I remember studying the text of Matthew 28:18-20. The only imperative verb in the text is "make disciples." Certainly, that is the main thing! God bless!!!

In Christ,
JLG

Bishop Joe said...

Mike,

This is my first time reading your blog. And I must say GOOD STUFF! It’s a wonder why so many people seem to be supporting Rev. McKissic’s attempt to insert extra-biblical doctrine into the BF&M. Anyone can see this is all a lead up to getting some ambiguous statement into the BF&M that will allow anyone with pentecostal leanings to have a field day through the grammatical loopholes. You can find my thoughts on this in greater detail at my blog: (www.uberconservative.blogspot.com)
Thanks again Mike for a great read.

David Rogers said...

Mike,

I'm sorry, but I must dissent with the gist of what I hear you saying here.

Where in the Southern Baptist blogosphere is ANYONE saying that all believers ought to speak in tongues or that PPL ought to be elevated to a position of prominence among the spiritual gifts? What is happening, rather, is that the whole issue is being brought to the forefront by those who are attempting to prohibit a practice that those within SB circles who maintain it were, for the most part, perfectly happy to keep to themselves, and not a make a big deal about.

Pastor Mike said...

Bro. David,
I guess this is an issue that we will disagree on, in a Christ-like manner. I do agree that some are trying to make an issue of PPL, but I tend to see it as those who are practicing in private but wanting to make it public. I was not at SWBTS when Dr. McKissic spoke so I cannot say for sure, but I will say that from what I have read and heard, he had an agenda, along with those at the IMB BoT who seem to lean in this direction. This is an issue that has surfaced in the past in the SBC and we have always come down on "the Open but Causious" or Cessassionist side of the argument. Can you tell me of a passage of Scripture that teaches, talks about or demonstrates a PPL? I have ernestly searched and cannot find any verse in Scripture that accomodates this position. God bless.
Serving Him,
Mike

David Rogers said...

Mike,

1 Cor. 12:10 ("various kinds of tongues"), 1 Cor. 13:1 ("tongues of angels"), and more directly, 1 Cor. 14:2, 4, 14-19, & 28.

Pastor Mike said...

David,
I thank you for getting back to me with the verses. I would tend to disagree with you still. Rather than regurgitate someone else thought I will direct you to Brad Reynolds' blog. He posted a white paper today by Dr. Yarnell from SWBTS. IMHO he does an excellent job of dealing with the passages you suggest might allow for PPL's. God bless.
Serving Him,
Mike
www.guardian-ministries.blogspot.com

Melodies815 said...

I know it has been some time since this blog was originally posted, but I want to thank you for having the courage to teach the Word in truth.

I am not Southern Baptist or any denomination for that matter. I am in love with my Lord and I am a believer. Your comments are for tge entire Body of Christ, especially those of us who are in the Charismatic circles. None of us can turn on any of the gifts of God at will..not speaking in tongues or healing, or workings of miracles. These gifts are supposed to be used expressly by the Lord through us in order to either draw people to Christ OR to encourage the Body, OR to bring about correction and turn us back.

Tongues are a sign for UNBELIEVERS! They are a sign to them that God loves them and hears them and can speak to them, no matter what supposed barriers are in place. Prophesy of for us, to edify and encourage.

All of us are not going to speak in tongues....but there is certainly a lot of pressure to speak thus as evidence that we are filled with the Holy Spirit, when in actuality, the evidence of being filled is fruit. God is coming back for a church that looks like Him...

...like love.

I could write more, but thank you so much for posting. I could say more, but I will stop for now.

Many blessings to you,
Christi

Anonymous said...

Dear Pastor, I have read your notation. I feel we have many roles and the that we communicate is very important.We cannot forget the past but incorporporate the present.Ro