Fear of Spiritual Gifts?
I believe one of the reasons "Tonguegate" has caused so much controversy is that there are some in SBC life that are afraid of "Spiritual Gifts." The joke among some it that many SBC churches have become "duelatrian" - we haven't seen the Holy Spirit in years. Now that is not true, but there has been a fear of the "Charismatic movement" in SBC life for as long as I can remember. I don't know why this is. Even in CWT or EE that most SBC churches taught for years, we were taught the people did not come to Christ without the Holy Spirit drawing a person to Christ. I will admit that it scared me to see a person raise a hand in church when I was younger because I was taught that meant someone was "Charismatic." But this is generational and the younger generation finds this a way to worship God. It does not mean they "speak in tongues!" Now, I am not "Charismatic" (I don't speak in tongues and never have). I don't see the need for it today. However, I would never tell someone that they could not do so. That is between them and God. If someone spoke in tongues in a service I was presiding over, I would ask for an interpreter and if there was no one to interpret they would need to remain silent. I hang out with several "Charismatic" believers morning at a local coffee shop. They are fine people and love God. We don't talk about "tongues." We talk about reaching our community for Jesus! We dwell on what we agree on rather on what we disagree on. I am teaching a discipleship class on "Spiritual Gifts" that Peter Wagner developed. Today I read a passage that made me think of the IMB Controversy (Tonguegate). Wagner said in Your Spiritual Gifts Can Help Your Church Grow : (emphasis mine)
Suppose you determine the position of your church on this (tongues and Private Prayer language) and others gifts, but you disagree? I suggest one of two courses of action. Either decide to be loyal to your church and its belief, and practice without grumbling, or respectfully leave and ask God to take you to another church where you feel more at home. Notice, I do not recommend that you decide to stay where you are and try to convince the church or certain people in it to change their position.As I read this I thought of Dr. Rankin, the President of the International Mission Board. He has never hid that he has a Private Prayer Language. He has not caused a controversy by saying everyone needs a PPL. He has not taught it to anyone I know. He has abided by the BFM 2000. He has done everything asked of him. Why then are the Board of Trustees trying to force him and other missionaries out by the proposed change for IMB missionaries? I believe that is a mistake. Why cause trouble now when we have missionaries who also have a PPL? Why now? Why upset our missionaries with something that is a "non-essential?" My prayer is as the BOT's meet this week they will reconsider the new policy.
posted by Kevin Bussey at 3/20/2006 08:58:00 AM