Wednesday, June 11, 2014
Tongues and Tongues
As believers we look forward to the day when people from every nation cry out with a loud voice: "Salvation belongs to our God who is seated on the throne, and to the Lamb!" Until then, let us be reminded that God is passionate about tongues. Because God Himself created tongues and desires praise from all languages, missional and linguistic contextualization becomes even more important.Talk about dodging the question - he even admits to it. Look, I get the idea here, give the good news before you give them the bad. What I don't get is why we insist on playing with language this way. Yes at Pentecost "tongues" meant other languages. Yes, that's a great thing. But come on - everybody in modern America, when they hear the word "tongues" has a different association. Why try to redeem a word that has basically lost its meaning already?
I know that many will say, "But, but, but, what about...?" That's fine. And more needs to be discussed-- but this aspect must not be missed.
Christians must be concerned with reaching all ethno-linguistic people groups with the Gospel that Jesus' mission can be fulfilled: God's praises in many languages. Speaking in tongues illuminates a piece of Heaven here on Earth.
You cannot possibly argue that the word is "Biblical." The Bible is not in English. If you want to preserve Biblical language, then I guess we all ought to learn Greek, Aramaic and Hebrew.
This is the kind of thing a preacher does when confronted with a difficult passage and he does not want to tackle it. This is a diversion. That does not mean I disagree with what he is saying, I don't Stetzer is right, it just means he is playing games and avoiding the issue. A preacher may need to do this sometime. He may know that his congregation is simply unprepared for a specific lesson and when presented by the calendar with a passage that seeks to teach that lesson, he needs to find a way to divert. But know blogger knows their audience that well, so why waste a blog post on it? (Unless, of course, you are just recycling material.)
Why am I so upset about this? It's simple. The common association with the terms "tongues" (a private prayer or heavenly language) is real. It can and has been a blessing to many. But Satan has also used it to produce more mischief in the modern church than anything else I can think of. I have attended funeral because someone "got a word."
This is no issue to dance around.