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Thread: LJ, Bill and Carr's coffee table

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    tWebber Carrikature's Avatar
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    LJ, Bill and Carr's coffee table

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    Quote Originally Posted by Littlejoe View Post
    WE BELIEVE… The Initial Physical Evidence of the Baptism in the Holy Spirit is ‘Speaking in Tongues,’ as experienced on the Day of Pentecost and referenced throughout Acts and the Epistles.
    I've got to admit, I have a problem with this one. As a kid, my family attended a church that held this belief. It turned into sessions where people where prayed over others to be baptized with the Holy Spirit. Most often it turned into (afaict) people speaking gibberish to show that they had. It never 'worked' on me. I ended up just copying the same gibberish sounds to get them to leave me alone. I suspect I'm not the only one that was guilty of that.

    It wasn't until I was an adult that I realized the bit where there should be an interpreter present or it shouldn't be practiced. I can't remember where that verse is, but it was one of Paul's letters. Since then, I've been fairly convinced from various readings that glossolalia was actually a miraculous speaking of foreign languages (which is NOT what I've seen practiced today).
    Last edited by Littlejoe; 04-04-2016 at 09:13 PM.
    I'm not here anymore.

  2. #2
    Professor and Chaplain Littlejoe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carrikature View Post
    I've got to admit, I have a problem with this one. As a kid, my family attended a church that held this belief. It turned into sessions where people where prayed over others to be baptized with the Holy Spirit. Most often it turned into (afaict) people speaking gibberish to show that they had. It never 'worked' on me. I ended up just copying the same gibberish sounds to get them to leave me alone. I suspect I'm not the only one that was guilty of that.
    Well, I can't speak for all churches in the AG, but in my own church this is the belief, but it's not pushed like you describe above. We've been members of this church for going on 20 years and the scene you describe above has never happened AFAIK. However, contrary to your experience growing up, I grew up in the Southern Baptist Denomination, and I didn't believe in a separate "Baptism in the Holy Spirit" and when it came to "Speaking in Tongues" , well, that was regarded as somewhere between "heresy" to "Of the Devil"...seriously. I had friends from the AG and I just thought they were wrong on it...that is, until it happened to me....not in a church service...not even in a church. It happened while I was on vacation staying with my Aunt and Uncle...and it literally changed my life. Because of the experience, a lot of my doubts, and struggles I was having with belief, really disappeared. Not to get to deep into a "testimony" but I had wandered into disbelief in my teens and early 20's and was pretty much hard agnostic. After I made a decision to try "Jesus" again, I really struggled with my faith. This totally changed that struggle to a faith that cannot be shaken. I wish everyone would (could?) experience something like it. It's been an anchor to my faith for 30+ years now. So, I don't have a problem with it per se. I do think it can be misused and/or abused at times, but I believe it's correct doctrine.

    It wasn't until I was an adult that I realized the bit where there should be an interpreter present or it shouldn't be practiced. I can't remember where that verse is, but it was one of Paul's letters. Since then, I've been fairly convinced from various readings that glossolalia was actually a miraculous speaking of foreign languages (which is NOT what I've seen practiced today).
    That can be another long and complex discussion. I agree with you that it certainly is "glossolalia" and when a message is given in a public setting such as a church service, there MUST be an interpreter for it to be biblical. But there are (up to) four uses or purposes for speaking in unknown tongues according to scripture (as defined by the AG church).

    1) As noted in the Tenet's of Faith, as the initial evidence/sign of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. (See Acts 2:4, 10:46, 19:6)
    2) as a gift to edify the church when a message in tongues is interpreted (see 1 Cor 12:10)
    3) as a sign for unbelievers that the might believe (see 1 Cor 14:22)
    4) and as a God-given gift that lets our prayers and praise be more effective. (see 1 Cor 14:2, 14; Romans 8:26)
    I would say #4 is one of the more common uses I see. As people pray and worship they may "softly" pray or praise in tongues. It's not intended to be a message or proclamation to the church body.
    "What has the Church gained if it is popular, but there is no conviction, no repentance, no power?" - A.W. Tozer

    "... there are two parties in Washington, the stupid party and the evil party, who occasionally get together and do something both stupid and evil, and this is called bipartisanship." - Everett Dirksen

  3. Amen Adam, Adrift, Bisto amen'd this post.
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    Thanks Old Man... Bill the Cat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Littlejoe View Post
    I wish everyone would (could?) experience something like it. It's been an anchor to my faith for 30+ years now.
    Same here. No matter how much I ever doubt, and I do from time to time as I believe we all do, it is a strong proof for me that He is really there and He really does affect my life.


    Without a clear-cut definition of sin, morality becomes a mere argument over the best way to train animals --- Manya the Holy Szin --- The Quintara Marathon ---

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  5. Amen Adam, Littlejoe, Adrift amen'd this post.
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    tWebber Carrikature's Avatar
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    LJ, thank you very much for your response. I don't want to derail this thread, so I'm just going to leave it at that for now. I'd be really interested in pursuing this discussion, though I think it'd be better suited for non-debate and probably Christian-only. I don't know where that would be. Is there an invite-only option? That might be worthwhile...
    I'm not here anymore.

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    Professor and Chaplain Littlejoe's Avatar
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    Ok, grab a cup of Joe and let's discuss what's on your mind...I'm certainly excited to have a calm, limited access, discussion rather than a debate.
    "What has the Church gained if it is popular, but there is no conviction, no repentance, no power?" - A.W. Tozer

    "... there are two parties in Washington, the stupid party and the evil party, who occasionally get together and do something both stupid and evil, and this is called bipartisanship." - Everett Dirksen

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    Thanks Old Man... Bill the Cat's Avatar
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    I'll detail my experience in the next day or two.


    Without a clear-cut definition of sin, morality becomes a mere argument over the best way to train animals --- Manya the Holy Szin --- The Quintara Marathon ---

    I may not be as old as dirt, but me and dirt are starting to have an awful lot in common --- Stephen R. Donaldson ---

  9. Amen Littlejoe amen'd this post.
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    Professor and Chaplain Littlejoe's Avatar
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    I would be glad to as well...but I was waiting on Carri to ask whatever he had on his mind when he recommended we start a separate thread to see if that was necessary.
    "What has the Church gained if it is popular, but there is no conviction, no repentance, no power?" - A.W. Tozer

    "... there are two parties in Washington, the stupid party and the evil party, who occasionally get together and do something both stupid and evil, and this is called bipartisanship." - Everett Dirksen

  11. Amen Bill the Cat amen'd this post.
  12. #8
    tWebber Carrikature's Avatar
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    I kept coming to respond to this thread yesterday, but I couldn't decide how I wanted to go about this. I'm very interested in discussing this with both of you. Fair warning that I might be slow to respond sometimes, though. With topics that are important enough to me, I tend to come back and read what people have said a few times while I think about how to reply. I'll try to make a point of telling you that I'm processing so you don't have to wonder if I've wandered off. I owe you both that much, at least.

    I've said already that my personal experiences with others speaking in tongues ended in me just pretending that I could to it, too. I don't have any way of knowing if I was really the only person doing that. Suffice to say it was enough for me to doubt what everyone around me was doing (and not just speaking in tongues). I probably need to sit down and layout what I remember happening in context of the church my family was attending at the time. Honestly, that's probably going to turn into a full story of everything happening to me at the time, since it's all interconnected as far as I'm concerned. If ya'll are interested and/or think it will be helpful to the conversation, I will make a point to sit down and do that (probably tonight).

    I've used the terms 'glossolalia' and 'gibberish' to describe what I've been exposed to because that best describes what everyone was doing. I could pretty successfully fool the people around me by simply copying three or four sounds that they were making and repeating them over and over. That's what everyone else was doing, after all. I want to clarify here that I don't mean 'gibberish' in a derogatory way. Please understand that I don't know how else to describe it except calling it gibberish or nonsense sounds. If there's a way either of you prefer to describe it, I'm willing to use your terms. And while we're on the topic of terminology, I've since encountered the term 'xenolalia' for the experience where a person is speaking an existing, human language that they don't actually know. I had been told that 'glossolalia' was supposed to be speaking in a divine language. I don't want to get hung up on terminology, though. I'll follow your lead here.

    Similarly, I don't want this to turn into second-guessing what people have or haven't really experienced. I don't always know how to explain mystical experiences (supply a better word if you like), and I'll readily admit to having some myself as a kid. I don't think it's fruitful to convince someone that what they think happened is wrong. It's not like you're really going to convince people of that, anyway. I may end up asking some pointed questions about experiences so that I can get a better idea of what happened, but I don't want anyone to think I'm casting doubt on it. If you feel like I am, say so. Feel free to ask me pointed questions, as well. Anyone that joins us later should follow this same framework.



    So with all of the caveats above, I think there's a few things I'd like to explore in this discussion: 1) what people believe they are doing when they speak in tongues, 2) get a better idea what the Bible says about it, and 3) explore it in the context of a faith-affirming experience (and perhaps more particularly, why only some people get one). The first two are probably more intellectual exercises (at least for me), but I'm not sure how much of #3 can happen without #1 & #2. That's not to say I'm not in earnest with #1 and #2, just that I don't really have beliefs involved in what the answers are.

    I don't know the best way to do this. It might be helpful if we start by having everyone describe their experiences and their understanding of what is happening. That way we know where everyone is coming from.



    As a final note, we probably should establish which Bible translation(s) to use. I tend toward NIV because that's what I was raised with, but I've had reason to doubt the latest version of that translation. I've moved to ESV as a baseline, though I frequently compare across translations. As always, I'm willing to defer to your preferences.

    Thanks for doing this. I'm really interested to see where this takes us.
    I'm not here anymore.

  13. Amen Littlejoe amen'd this post.
  14. #9
    Professor and Chaplain Littlejoe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carrikature View Post
    I kept coming to respond to this thread yesterday, but I couldn't decide how I wanted to go about this. I'm very interested in discussing this with both of you. Fair warning that I might be slow to respond sometimes, though. With topics that are important enough to me, I tend to come back and read what people have said a few times while I think about how to reply. I'll try to make a point of telling you that I'm processing so you don't have to wonder if I've wandered off. I owe you both that much, at least.
    I know Bill is really busy at the moment, and I am a bit like you as I like to "chew" on things sometimes before I reply. So, this may be a slow conversation, but that's ok! Thanks for the warning though!
    I've said already that my personal experiences with others speaking in tongues ended in me just pretending that I could to it, too. I don't have any way of knowing if I was really the only person doing that. Suffice to say it was enough for me to doubt what everyone around me was doing (and not just speaking in tongues). I probably need to sit down and layout what I remember happening in context of the church my family was attending at the time. Honestly, that's probably going to turn into a full story of everything happening to me at the time, since it's all interconnected as far as I'm concerned. If ya'll are interested and/or think it will be helpful to the conversation, I will make a point to sit down and do that (probably tonight).
    I'm familiar enough with the scene you painted that I got the gist. If you feel it may be helpful, by all means! I don't necessarily think of this method as unbiblical as we see something akin to it in a couple of places in Acts.
    I've used the terms 'glossolalia' and 'gibberish' to describe what I've been exposed to because that best describes what everyone was doing. I could pretty successfully fool the people around me by simply copying three or four sounds that they were making and repeating them over and over. That's what everyone else was doing, after all. I want to clarify here that I don't mean 'gibberish' in a derogatory way. Please understand that I don't know how else to describe it except calling it gibberish or nonsense sounds. If there's a way either of you prefer to describe it, I'm willing to use your terms. And while we're on the topic of terminology, I've since encountered the term 'xenolalia' for the experience where a person is speaking an existing, human language that they don't actually know. I had been told that 'glossolalia' was supposed to be speaking in a divine language. I don't want to get hung up on terminology, though. I'll follow your lead here.
    I must admit, I was thinking you were using the term 'glossolalia' as I understood the term colloquially. Looking up the meaning in the dictionary I realize that is probably NOT the case. I always had heard it defined simply as an "Unknown" language as in, Unknown to the speaker but not necessarily unknown to anyone in the world. Also, there is that passage in 1 Cor. 13:1 that states: ..."13 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal..." so, I have heard the explanation that it could be a "heavenly tongue"...

    But, to give you an example of what is considered proper use, Assemblies Of God (AOG) Missionaries - Mark and Huldah Buntain were missionaries to India for many years (Huldah still is) but Mark has since passed away. Huldah Buntain came and spoke at our church once. She recounted a story that IIRC was "documented" in one of his books. I'm ashamed to say I don't know which one. (I'll see if I can dig up the reference) But the story she recounted (as paraphrased by me) goes something like this:
    Mark was on a evangelism crusade to reach some of the outer lying areas north of Calcutta. He was preaching at a remote village. As he was speaking to the village a band of men came into the village, causing a bit of a stir. The interpreter that was traveling with Mark, asked the village elders what was going on. The elders replied that this group of men were from a village quite a distance away, and they were known to be pretty fierce warriors and were devoutly Hindu(?) not sure on that part. The elders went on to say that they did not speak the same language (dialect?) as these men and had no way to talk to them. Mark then asked his interpreter if he spoke their language. The interpreter said he did not. Mark then full of the Holy Spirit, went over to the group of strange men and began to speak in a language that no one there understood. Including Mark himself. Mark preached/spoke for quite a while (IIRC it was about an hour?). The men seemed to listen intently, then began to weep and speak amongst themselves. After a while, someone was found who could interpret between them and the villagers and from there be interpreted into English. The story goes that the leader of this village had been sent a vision by God, to journey to this village and that there they would receive the truth. (Apparently, Mark had preached the Gospel to them in their native tongue without knowing anything of what he was saying.) Upon learning that Mark didn't even know their language even those unconvinced in the group became believers.

    That's not exactly right I'm sure but the gist is spot on.
    Similarly, I don't want this to turn into second-guessing what people have or haven't really experienced. I don't always know how to explain mystical experiences (supply a better word if you like), and I'll readily admit to having some myself as a kid. I don't think it's fruitful to convince someone that what they think happened is wrong. It's not like you're really going to convince people of that, anyway. I may end up asking some pointed questions about experiences so that I can get a better idea of what happened, but I don't want anyone to think I'm casting doubt on it. If you feel like I am, say so. Feel free to ask me pointed questions, as well. Anyone that joins us later should follow this same framework.
    As someone who admittedly doesn't believe, Bill's and my accounts will probably be hard to get your head around. I say that knowing I sometimes have a hard time getting my head around it. I'll also work on getting my experience posted so that we have something to work from.
    So with all of the caveats above, I think there's a few things I'd like to explore in this discussion: 1) what people believe they are doing when they speak in tongues, 2) get a better idea what the Bible says about it, and 3) explore it in the context of a faith-affirming experience (and perhaps more particularly, why only some people get one). The first two are probably more intellectual exercises (at least for me), but I'm not sure how much of #3 can happen without #1 & #2. That's not to say I'm not in earnest with #1 and #2, just that I don't really have beliefs involved in what the answers are.
    Sounds like a good plan.
    I don't know the best way to do this. It might be helpful if we start by having everyone describe their experiences and their understanding of what is happening. That way we know where everyone is coming from.
    Ok, give me a day or two to compile it and I'll post it. Bill may be closer or more succint than I so, Bill if you're already ready to go, please go ahead.

    As a final note, we probably should establish which Bible translation(s) to use. I tend toward NIV because that's what I was raised with, but I've had reason to doubt the latest version of that translation. I've moved to ESV as a baseline, though I frequently compare across translations. As always, I'm willing to defer to your preferences.
    Thanks for doing this. I'm really interested to see where this takes us.
    I also prefer the ESV. I like the older NIV and NASB. To me the ESV is a good compromise between the two, but I prefer to compare and contrast as well. So, if Bill agree's we can set ESV as the baseline and if quoting a different version we can state that!

    I'm also interested in where this may take us! Thank you for the invitation to share our experiences with you and others!
    LJ
    Last edited by Littlejoe; 04-06-2016 at 10:51 PM.
    "What has the Church gained if it is popular, but there is no conviction, no repentance, no power?" - A.W. Tozer

    "... there are two parties in Washington, the stupid party and the evil party, who occasionally get together and do something both stupid and evil, and this is called bipartisanship." - Everett Dirksen

  15. Amen Raphael amen'd this post.
  16. #10
    Thanks Old Man... Bill the Cat's Avatar
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    Ok, short on time to be sure, but here goes: Sorry this is so scattershot...


    I had grown up in a Southern Baptist church. I got my best sleep in the balcony during services. Anyway, I had never heard of tongues or anything like it because I really didn't care at that point to pay much attention. I believed in this concept of a "Jesus", but never anything I could actually tell you about. Anyway, off to the Air Force and back. Got really saved in the process, but still not sold out to learn the Bible..

    Well, as a favor to my now deceased brother-in-law, I started attending his church to play on the softball team. I was a really good pitcher, and we even won our league championship! It was at that church, a International Pentecostal Holiness Church, that I was introduced to speaking in tongues, and it was there that my fervor for the things of God was set on fire. I started dating my wife, Mrs the Cat, during that time, and she got saved there too. Well, she started speaking in tongues before I did. I'd regularly hear her praying and words I didn't understand were coming out of her mouth. Well, that church folded when the pastor died. He was a giant man who could stomp his feet and wag his finger like no one I've ever heard.

    We moved houses at the time to get to a better school district for our girls, and started attending another IPHC church. I was (to be completely honest) jealous of my wife's "prayer language", as it was called there. I tried so hard to force myself into it, but it just wouldn't come out of me. Well, we had a revival and the speaker called for altar call, so I went. I confessed my jealousy to the Lord and had several people praying for me, and then the next thing I know, I'm coming to on the ground. I literally have no clue what happened to me from my own observation. My wife told me I stiffened up, hit the floor and started "going off in words she had never heard". Like I said, I had absolutely no idea what had happened, but I knew something had happened because the people praying for me were staring at me. All said the same thing my wife said, that I was down for like 2 minutes giving a "tongues speech"!

    I continued to be able to pray that way for about 2-3 months, and then it suddenly stopped, and to be 100% transparent, it stopped when I started to get into apologetics here. But I can say for 100% sure that I know that I know that God did that for me when I needed it most, and it has been a very tangible piece of my faith ever since. It is as real to me as the people standing here at my office. When I encounter times of doubt, I remember what He did for me. Nothing in this world could ever shake my faith enough to make me believe that it didn't happen or that I somehow faked it.




    Without a clear-cut definition of sin, morality becomes a mere argument over the best way to train animals --- Manya the Holy Szin --- The Quintara Marathon ---

    I may not be as old as dirt, but me and dirt are starting to have an awful lot in common --- Stephen R. Donaldson ---

  17. Amen Littlejoe, Raphael amen'd this post.

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