Sunday, June 3, 2007

A Non-Angry Post about the Lifeway PPL Report

As a part of my Mea Culpa, I retract the entire post about Biased Researchers. Unless anyone objects, I will remove it entirely from the blog. Although I would step back from my tone in some of the other posts and comments, I reiterate my other questions about the research as representative of my thought.

79 comments:

Benjamin S. Cole said...

Bart:

You really hit the nail on this one. Excellent post. Perhaps your best one ever!!! Thanks and God bless...

BSC

peter lumpkins said...

Dear Dr. Barber,

I understand your own self-frustration and, if I may, self disappointment over your post you knew darn good and well you were seething about when you penned it.

Nevertheless, I would consider allowing the post to stand as is. Frankly, no one knew your inward condition as you wrote it. It's only BECAUSE you penned it that you know what was taking place, I assure you.

Besides you leave yourself open for criticism from your dissenters if you do. Our CB mentioned on a post over at Wade's where Wade "took" Ben to task but the post, according to CB, "was deleted." I have no reason to question CB. To my knowledge, he is a truthful man. Others, I'm convinced, were not as sympathetic.

In addition, the post only stands as indicative of your own humanity as made in God's image, yet fallen. Thus, it is a reminder that all of us have chapters--blog posts--we'd wish we'd never written. I know I have some pages in my life I wish I could, at least, consider deleting!

All that said, Dr. Barber, I'd contemplate it standing. But know if you delete it, my personal support will neither wax nor wane. You are one classy guy.

Grace today. With that, I am...

Peter

Bart Barber said...

Ben:

Yosemite is not a very good avatar for you. His obscenities were always unintelligible.

Brad Guenther said...

Bart,
You say you have lost a little faith in the Southern Baptist people. Wade commented that he views the PPL report as evidence that, with the Conservative Resurgence settling the issue of biblical authority, the Southern Baptist people are finally beginning to believe it.
The PPL report stated that the younger SB pastors were the only group that a majority did not accept PPL and held cessationist views. In addition to questioning how many more hold to an "open, but cautious" view, like myself, I also believe that these younger pastors are the children of the Conservative Resurgence, and in them lies a greater picture of the impact of a firm belief in biblical innerancy. And that with all the weak theology being championed in the wider tent of evangelicalism.
Do you agree or disagree? Am I making too much of this? I asked Wade the same question and received no reply.
However, I too find it troubling and surprising to see, no matter the flaws that may be in the study, how far charismatic theology has permeated SB thinking.
Thanks for your humble words here. I hope we will all be as sensitive to our own failures.
I always appreciate your insights.
Brad Guenther
P.S. Sorry for the double post. I didn't know if you would see it under the older post.

Brad Guenther said...

Bart,
I also think labeling those as cessations who do not accept PPL as biblical is another example of false-labeling for the effect of making "cessationist" an equally intolerant sounding word as "Fundamentalist." Such a view assumes that tongues equate to unintelligible utterances, whether in prayer or otherwise.
Do you think this mislabeling is strategic?

Debbie said...

Brad: I'm wondering why you and others like you keep insisting that Private Prayer language is getting deeper into charismatic thinking. It is so far from charismatics as to be non-recognizable. I think some SB's have gotten so far away from what scripture teaches and holding onto what is taught with no questions and that concerns me even more.

Brad Guenther said...

Debbie,
I'm guessing that you read 1 Corinthians 12-14 and see justification for PPL and tongues. I read the same passages and see a text that only makes complete sense if we see it is a comparison between false tongues (the pagan practice the Corinthians had adopted) and biblical tongues (a Holy Spirit given tool of evangelism as a sign to those without a gospel witness).
PPL is in no place in scripture prescribed. PPL has undeniably grown in modern Christianity through the theology of the Pentecostal/Charismatic movement.
Please explain to me how PPL is "so far from charismatics as to be non-recognizable." Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Way to show loving Christian compassion Ben. I expect nothing less, or more, from you.

Ann Seely

peter lumpkins said...

Debbie,

PPL so far from Charismatic teaching? Would you care to elaborate on precisely how Charismatics at large differ on their understanding of PPL?

With that, I am...

Peter

Bro. Robin said...

Bart

I understand your dilemma. We are to speak truth in love. But lets not forget, YOU SPOKE TRUTH!

Jack Maddox said...

Let's see...now I am being told that the PPL issue is "so far from charismatics that it is non recognizable"

I guess it is just the mean old spooky fundie in me that equates speaking in tonques with charimatics and neo-pentecostals...silly me!

Jack

ps - Yes Debbie, can you please explain

Anonymous said...

Brad,

I can easily see how the 50% number can be arrived at given the questions. Anyone not wanting to "limit the Holy Spirit" had to answer yes. It is a fallacy to say that banning prayer language practice from our agencies and boards alienates 50% because we do not know the attitude of those 50% toward such practice. Had the survey asked "God gives prayer languages....Strongly Argee, Agree, Don't know, disagree, strongly disagree" we would have more understanding of the true attitudes toward the issue. As it is we only know that 50% wouldn't rule it out. In my opinion that would include a lot of "Open but cautious" folks who don't have a problem with the policy.

The question I keep asking myself is did more than 4% (the apparent average of prayer language users among SB's) of the applicants at the IMB have this practice? Maybe Wade would agree to a quota.

Tim B

Debbie said...

Peter: It's been elaborated on over and over again since this first began. I'm sure you can read all there is to read on this subject from Alan Cross for example. You should have attended the HS conference for more details.

Brad: Read what I wrote to Peter. I disagree with what your interpretation, now mind you I am not disagreeing with the Bible, just your interpretation. It has already been discussed at nauseum for over a year. Follow my advice to Peter and that should answer your question.

Rev. said...

Bart:
Thank you, brother, for humbling yourself before others. This gives me a glimpse of hope for the future of the SBC.

Debbie said...

Tim B: You are kidding right? This also has been discussed at nauseum. The survey is accurate. Just like the Calvinism and other surveys that you all don't cry out against. :)

Bart: You do as the Holy Spirit leads you to do. After all this is what it's all about right? Letting the Holy Spirit guide in tertiary issues and not other people? Not even Robin. :)I would put you deleting or not deleting in that category with no desire to not want you in your current position no matter what you decide.

Debbie said...

Jack eloquently said: "I guess it is just the mean old spooky fundie in me that equates speaking in tonques with charimatics and neo-pentecostals...silly me!"

I would agree with that statement.

Colin said...

Bart,

Wouldn't you know it, I spend a week moving and am away from any internet connection, and see what happens- I miss your only mistake.

Anonymous said...

Ben Cole thinks LITTLE KIM is HOT and he probably listens to Britney and Jessica Simpson.

Proof positive that we should completely disregard anything he says.

Ann

PS - Ben you still are...well you know.

R. L. Vaughn said...

Brad, you mention that in 1 Corinthians 12-14 you see a text that is a comparison between false tongues (the pagan practice the Corinthians had adopted) and biblical tongues (a Holy Spirit given tool of evangelism as a sign to those without a gospel witness). Have you written anything on this that is available on the internet? I'd be interested in reading it.

Bart, this is somewhat off your topic. Debbie mentioned tertiary issues, so perhaps what I write will be at least relevant to the comments. I think folks need to consider how "the other side" approaches the issue of tongues/PPL. I'll use cessationism to make the point, for it is far to the other side from those who hold tongues/PPL. On his blog, Alan Cross has succinctly pointed out that PPL/tongues is not an important issue to him and he wouldn't be talking about it if the other side was not. I have every reason to believe this is Alan's sincerely held position and that it is no test of fellowship with him. But folks who take the position of Alan must understand that "the other side" does not necessarily view it this way. For some cessationists, I Cor. 13:10 et al. may be just a nice theory. But for most it is much more than that. Let's consider. If a person believes that a gift of tongues came from God, but ceased sometime around the passing of the apostles or the completion of the Bible (views vary here) -- how must a cessationist view present-day speaking in tongues/PPL?? If it is not a gift of God, then what is it? Is it fakery? devilish? what? Cessationism does not leave many options to view present-day practice of tongues in a good light, does it? If a person sincerely holds this position, how can one expect that person to view the subject with the same degree of ambivalence as those on "the other side" of the issue?

Even if one is not a cessationist, but holds the Biblical gift consists of speaking in human language(s) not previously known by the speaker -- how can that leave room to view the speaking of something that is not human language as a good thing sent by God? How can one expect this person to view the subject with the same degree of ambivalence as those on "the other side" of the issue?

Hope someone can make sense of that rambling!

Anonymous said...

Debbie,

I normally don’t respond to responses like yours but I would admonish you to check your tone. I am not sure where you derived the idea that I questioned the accuracy the study. I have no reason to doubt the questions and the results were reported accurately. I don’t even question their conclusions but I do question the conclusions that others have drawn. The questions were framed so as to identify beliefs and did so in a rather crude manner as anyone who knows the complexity and nuances of various positions on these matters understands. Some folks have drawn the conclusion from the survey that restricting prayer languages alienates 50% of Baptist pastors. I do not believe that is an accurate conclusion because we don’t know whether any of the 50% believe that prayer languages believe that they ought to be allowed even though 43%clearly do not believe they are biblical and 7% more are unsure.

It would seem that if you have a practice that less than 4% practice and which 50% say might be biblical but which 43% are firmly against and 7% are unsure of you would not have a “go head and allow it” as some have suggested. In my church when we are divided about a decision we usually “don’t.” It seems like somewhere the Scripture tells us that when it comes to practice “whatever is not of faith is sin.”

Tim B

Debbie said...

Tim B: Your objection to my tone is duly noted.

Luke said...

Bart,
I do not think that leaving up the OP is either right or wrong unless the Spirit has guided you to do one or the other. I like some of the others did not sense the anger for which you have apologized. However, the final call is one that you can sleep with and as Peter, your decision will not affect my view(however limited) of you.

BRO. ROBIN
Do you have a blog? For some reason, I seem to be unable to track one down.

DEBBIE
Although much has been written about PPL, I too would be interested in what YOU, not Alan Cross, would use to substantiate your statement, "It is so far from charismatics as to be non-recognizable."

Luke

Bro. Robin said...

Luke

If you want to be nice it is

www.fromthehill.wordpress.com

If you want to be naughty, it is

www.weskenney.net :-)

Have a good day!

Jack Maddox said...

Debbie

Thank you : )

Jack

ps - you just proved my point.

Debbie said...

Luke: I am not going to begin a year and a half old discussion again. If you have been listening to Dr. McKissic who has a PPL and David Rogers or Alan Cross, I would not be telling you anything different. Not because they say it,but because I see what they are saying in scripture. Besides I'm too polite to take up all of Bart's post space. :)

What point Jack? That you are a spooky Fundamentalist in my mind? If the answer is yes, then I have indeed solidified your point but not just on this issue of PPL and the straw man that is is neo-Charismatic or neo_Pentecostal. There are other things involved as well.

peter lumpkins said...

Dear Debbie,

I do not have to read Alan Cross about PPL & whether Charismatics/Pentecostals embrace it or not. All I have to do is log onto The Assemblies of God website. There are numerous essays there to demonstrate that PPL is embraced by them.

I invite you to check it out. If I'm wrong, demonstrate it as so. Then I'll be validated even more as the jackass Ben Cole proudly proclaims me to be.

With that, I am...

Peter

Luke said...

Debbie,
Not trying to be belligerent, my only question was regarding your statement, "It is so far from charismatics as to be non-recognizable.",, not the entire PPL issue. Other than being able to quote from Cross, McKissic or Rogers, do YOU have any other credible evidence that the statement YOU have made is correct. And by the way, no, I have not been listening to or reading from the three that you have mentioned. But if you would be so kind as to list specific links to where they have spelled out that "(i)t is so far from charismatics as to be non-recognizable", I would appreciate them.

Luke

Anonymous said...

Debbie,

With all due respect, have you been drinking too much of the wine proposed by those whom you so strongly apologize? To say that PPL/Tongues is not charismatic leads some to believe you have truly missed the crux of the issue. Certainly me thinketh thou protesteth too much about something thou knows so little about.

Thanks for your input, but come on!

BMcWilliams

Alan Cross said...

Hey Guys,

Since my name is being mentioned here quite a bit, I thought I'd jump in.

R.L.,

Great points, yet again. I think that you are absolutely right and what you have pointed out is something that I have now become aware of. In this case then the answer to the dilema comes by looking at who holds power. If the cessationists, semi or otherwise are the ones that hold power, the SBC will divide along these lines. If the continuationists, or those who really don't see this as a big deal hold power, then we will survive. I am not concerned enough about the SBC to be a part of any attempt to gain power, so this battle will be fought and won or lost by others, but I think that what I have stated is a decent prediction.

Others,

I think that what Debbie is talking about is the fact that pentecostalism and charismatic belief centers around the post-salvation experience of the Baptism in the Holy Spirit. This is an enduement with power from on high and is marked by the initial evidence of speaking in tongues. For pentecostals/charismatics, tongues IS NOT the big thing. The Baptism in the Holy Spirit is. For Baptists, tongues is ALWAYS the big thing. The two groups can never understand one another because Baptists cannot quit obsessing over tongues and pentecostals/charismatics cannot quit trying to get people baptized in the Holy Spirit.

The belief in a separate baptism in the Holy Spirit is foreign and incompatible with Baptist belief. In proposing that you receive all of the Holy Spirit when you are saved, but also that PPL is a legitimate spiritual gift, I am advocating a position that would not be accepted by pentecostals or charismatics. They would clearly tell me that I am wrong. Just because PPL is practiced by pentecostals and charismatics does not mean that that belief is only held by them. They also pray, do evangelism, and worship with passion. Although for some, those things might seem like foreign practices, they are truly biblical. :)

I might not go as far as Debbie does in her description because I can see the link that people erroneously make, but the link is purely superficial. The root of the issue is the baptism in the Holy Spirit, not PPL. All that I have ever said is that you can be Baptist and believe that PPL is biblical.

While I am not interested in advocating a view on PPL, I am interested in trying to clear up confusion and help people understand what is really being talked about. In this present environment, that is getting harder and harder.

Anonymous said...

Alan,

Why would you speak for Debbie and give her the theological support that she evidently does not possess for her argument? Just curious since I never mentioned your name but simply request Debbie respond.

Thanks for your insight...

BMcWilliams

Alan Cross said...

Well, if this was all about picking on Debbie and trying to trap her instead of receiving an answer to your question, then clearly I erred by jumping in.

Don't let me get in the way, gentlemen. Proceed.

Tim Rogers said...

Brother Alan,

Not trying to jump into anything, but you make a statement that I would ask you to clear up.

You say, "The belief in a separate baptism in the Holy Spirit is foreign and incompatible with Baptist belief. In proposing that you receive all of the Holy Spirit when you are saved, but also that PPL is a legitimate spiritual gift, I am advocating a position that would not be accepted by pentecostals or charismatics."

I believe you will find that PPL is an accepted belief of Pentecostals and Charismatics. The separate filling of the Holy Spirit is not a strict doctrine of the Pentecostals and Charismatics. The do believe that you can be filled with the Holy Spirit upon salvation just like we Baptist do. Read Craig Keener, he advocates a PPL with no separate Baptism of the Holy Spirit.

Blessings,
Tim

Alan Cross said...

Tim,

Pentecostals/Charismatics absolutely believe that you receive the Holy Spirit when you are saved. They believe that you are sealed and indwelt with the Spirit. But, Spirit Baptism, or the enduement with power comes later. There is no pentecostal or charismatic who does not belief in a seperate baptism of the Holy Spirit with tongues as the initial evidence. That is what defines them. Simply a belief in a ppl does not a pentecostal or charismatic make. Everyone gets hung up on tongues because it is the stumbling block for people, but the Baptism in the Spirit is the thing.

Luke said...

Alan,
Speaking for myself, this was not meant to be a pile up on Debbie but rather an attempt to have her substantiate, "It is so far from charismatics as to be non-recognizable. To make such a statement and then simply say, go read what others have written instead of giving supporting evidence is rather a flawed way of making an argument.

Never-the-less, I do appreciate what you have written and thank you for taking the time to respond. I especially liked, "Just because PPL is practiced by pentecostals and charismatics does not mean that that belief is only held by them. They also pray, do evangelism, and worship with passion. Although for some, those things might seem like foreign practices, they are truly biblical. :)" Very thought provoking.

Luke

Rebecca Illingworth said...

Alan, could you, or anyone for that matter, please give the specific scripture reference for PPL as a spiritual gift?

peter lumpkins said...

Dear Alan,

Thank you for your comments concerning Pentecostalism's emphasis on the Baptism of the Spirit and not the evidences--tongues--of the Spirit. My challenge for you is to demonstrate such by citing their works, not your unproven assertions.

As for "I think that what Debbie is talking about is...pentecostalism and charismatic belief centers around...Baptism in the Holy Spirit."

Note, however, Debbie's words: "It [Private Prayer Languages] is so far from charismatics as to be non-recognizable."

Alan, to my knowledge, Debbie has never mentioned the Baptism in the Holy Spirit in any context in these discussions. Can you dig one up? She definitively did, however, speak about PPL.

And as to "picking on Debbie," please.

I am quite confident most of us here are aware of the difference Pentecostals possess on Holy Spirit Baptism. What you have yet to concede is that Pentecostals are identical to your understanding on PPL. That was the only point I was making and have made pertaining to this specific issue.

Thanks Alan for a lively discussion. With that, I am...

Peter

Alan Cross said...

Rebecca,

Just read what Debbie has written.

Kidding.

I actually have written on this extensively on my blog, downshoredrift.com under "Holy Spirit" in my categories.

But, let me quickly say that I read 1 Corinthians 14:2-5, 13-17, and 28 to be speaking of a PPL, especially considering the 1 Cor. 12:10 speaks of speaking in different kinds of tongues. So, I believe that a PPL is a "kind" of speaking in tongues. I won't be able to engage in a huge discussion on it here, but I will be happy to answer any questions over at my blog if you want to interact with my 4 part series on it that I wrote in November. That way I would not have to repeat myself and reprint everything. Plus, most of your questions would probably be answered if you read that anyway.

Of course, Bart, and most of the other readers of this blog completely disagree with me on the issue and think that I am interpreting it totally wrong.

Alan Cross said...

Peter,

The reason that I said that "I think" that Debbie is talking about the Baptism in the Spirit is because that is what I was talking about in a recent post that I believe that she was referencing. If you want further information regarding what Debbie believes, ask her.

As far as citing the works of Pentecostals to demonstrate the fact that they believe in the Baptism of the Holy Spirit as a separate work beyond salvation . . . Are you serious? Type in "pentecostal" on wikipedia. It is common knowledge, as you state later in your post.

Re: there not being difference, I never said that there were differences between my view of the nature of PPL and a Pentecostal/Charismatic view. But, I have serious differences with the initial evidence concept that they promote. I said that I do not go as far as Debbie does in saying that PPL is so far removed from Pentecostal/Charismatic doctrine. Clearly it is not. But, again, just because it is related, does not mean that it is wrong.

Read carefully: As PPL is connected to a separate Baptism in the Holy Spirit with tongues as the initial evidence, I completely disagree.

As PPL is practiced privately by Pentecostals/Charismatics, I see no problem with it, as long as it falls within the Biblical injunctions.

I would love to keep debating this, but my wife needs help in putting the kids to bed. She is being very patient I will check back later if anyone has any further questions. :)

Rebecca Illingworth said...

Alan, thanks for the scripture reference. The passages are very familiar to me. Although I haven't read over at your blog, you've answered my question, and there is no need to delve further. Like some of the others that post here, I do not agree with your interpretation of taking scripture and seeking to find a "kind" of tongue hidden in these passages. Seems a dangerous way to seek the truths of the Bible, imho. But I appreciate your response.

Alan Cross said...

Rebecca,

I do not believe tongues that are prayer to God privately in this passage are hidden. I believe that it is rather explicit. I only mention "different kinds of speaking in tongues" to differentiate the kinds of tongues that are prayers to God from those that are to be interpreted for the benefit of the body and those that are foreign languages. Both other types are found in Scripture as well.

Thank you for you gracious spirit in disagreement. May God bless you.

Alan Cross said...

Luke,

I understand what you mean now. Thanks for clearing that up.

Jack Maddox said...

Debbie

You label me and you do not even know me. You have never sat down with me and discussed these issues. You did introduce yourself to me at the conference and I thought you to be very gracious and polite...however you never attempted to talk to me. In fact, , to act like you know me, where I am coming from and who I am simply because you have read a few comments I have posted to me is the very height of arrogance on your part. I say this with no malice but with a certain concern for the spirit you convey. I do not believe it to be who you are yet an attempt to emulate some that you admire.

Debbie, On what basis do you call me a "Spooky Fundamentalist"? By the way...what is a SF? Is it my KJV only position? Can't be, I preach out of the ESV. Perhaps it is my rigid Pre trib eschatology? Nah...I am pre trib but far from dogmatic. Perhaps it is my anti Calvinist views...whoops, cant go there, I am a 5 pointer. I know, its where I stand on women preachers...probably not, I am opposed to women pastors but have no problem with women teaching and I do not interfere with other church's on this issue, it is a local church issue to me. What could it be...perhaps it is my independent approach to missions...no, I am a cooperative program man and have been all of my ministry.

Perhaps it is my hyper dispensationism? Far from it!
Debbie, I do not even own a Schofield Bible! Can you believe it!

Maybe it is just that I do not agree with your pastor and have enough backbone to say so. He respects me for it...why can't you without calling names and making condescending assumptions about folks you really no nothing about.

Question Debbie. Have I ever labeled you anything except supportive of your pastor and a gracious lady? You have never heard the L word out of typing fingers... never even the M word. WOW! I sure am a mean one

So Debbie, again I ask you...what makes me a fundy? What makes me spooky? And where have I ever posted anything that would make one feel that way.

Why don’t you take the time and read my blog...I have started posting again...perhaps there you can get a better idea of who I am.

Blessings Debbie. Have a very safe trip to Texas and enjoy our TEXAS size hospitality!

Jack Maddox

Tim Rogers said...

Brother Alan,

Sorry, I did not mean to leave you hanging. I promised my little girl we would watch "Because of Winn Dixie". Well, she decided tonight was the night for us to watch it.

Great Movie. I just finished crying my eyes out. :>)

The scripture you cite is, if I can remember, deals with tongues in public worship. According to the passage if there is no interpreter then the one with that gift is to remain silent and as v. 28 says "If there is no interpreter, the speaker should keep quiet in the church and speak to himself and God." It does not even imply that this person should speak to God in an ecstatic utterance. It says if there is not interpreter they are to remain silent in speaking in tongues. It then says if they feel they need to speak to God then do it privately. Why? Because they are giving a revelation from God for the church. However, there is not interpreter to interpret for the church so they are to speak to God privately. Why would this not mean in ecstatic utterances? In the context of the Scripture Paul has already said; "For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my mind is unfruitful. So what shall I do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will also pray with my mind; I will sing with my spirit, but I will also sing with my mind. If you are praising God with your spirit, how can one who finds himself among those who do not understand say "Amen" to your thanksgiving, since he does not know what you are saying?"

Paul has given instruction for Public Worship not private devotions. For one to read Private Prayer Language here they first, have to agree with the Charismatic/Pentecostal doctrine of God giving the Gift of Tongues, and two they have to pull the Scripture out of context to justify their PPL.

I know that we have gone back and forth with this. I know that I will not change your mind with this short, less than scholarly, critique. However, I just want you to know where others are coming from in this debate. The passages you reference is a Public Worship. But you use them to justify a Private Devotion.

I do look forward to seeing you again in San Antonio.

Blessings,
Tim

Alan Cross said...

Thank you, Tim, for your thoughtful response. I do understand where you and others are coming from and your succinct response actually helped me see it a bit more clearly regarding public worship. Sometimes less words are more effective than many.

However, when I am in public worship, I consistently pray within my heart to God. I pray silently throughout the service. I am sure that you do too. I do not see where what you have said is a necessary interpretation, especially in light of 1 Cor. 14:2, and as you and I have both cited, verses 13-17.

Anyway, we obviously disagree, but I do appreciate the engagement and friendly discussion. I look forward to seeing you as well, and I am sorry that we were not able to talk more at the Baptist Identity Conference at Union back in February. God bless you.

peter lumpkins said...

Alan,

With all due respect, you simply misread my point to you. You wrote:

"For pentecostals/charismatics, tongues IS NOT the big thing. The Baptism in the Holy Spirit is." My response was: "Thank you for your comments concerning Pentecostalism's emphasis on the Baptism of the Spirit and not the evidences--tongues--of the Spirit."

Thus, your "As far as citing the works of Pentecostals to demonstrate the fact that they believe in the Baptism of the Holy Spirit as a separate work beyond salvation . . . Are you serious?" is quite misplaced. I am perfectly aware of their doctrine pertaining to the subsequent coming of the Holy Spirit in a Powerful Baptism.

But that about which I am not aware is your insistence that "tongues is not the big thing."

First, to say Pentecostals view the Baptism THE BIG THING is right if you're looking at precisely how the Spirit comes in power. However, TONGUES is THE BIG THING if we're considering evidence of the Spirit's coming. In fact, they argue tongues is both the initial and necessary evidence of a Spirit-baptized life.

Second, Pentecostals clearly teach a distinction between Initial Tongues all receive and the special gift of tongues as a PPL. My question was, Alam, how is your understanding of a special gift of PPL different from theirs? You've seemed to answer that. It is not. Thank you very much.

Back to Debbie, you can't have it both ways. First, you write: "... "I think" that Debbie is talking about the Baptism in the Spirit." Then you dissent "...I do not go as far as Debbie does in saying that PPL is so far removed from Pentecostal/Charismatic doctrine. Clearly it is not."

What's a guy to believe anymore? ;^)

Grace. With that, I am...

Peter

Debbie said...

I know what I believe and why. Alan is correct in that I have nothing different to say than what he has already said. Now you can believe that or not. The reason that I do not go into detail is that I can already point to those who have written what I believe and have done it quite adequately. I cannot improve on what they have already said. Thank you Alan.

Jack: I read your comments and have for a very long time. Let's just say so far the fundamentalists and you have a lot in common as far as doctrine and approach.

My motto is if you don't want to know don't ask Jack. You asked if I thought you were a spooky fundamentalist and I answered honestly.

Debbie said...

Jack: You mentioned our meeting briefly at the Holy Spirit Conference. I really enjoyed meeting you and wish we could have spent time talking. I am hoping to go to the next one God willing. I am not against the Fundamentalist or you believing differently than I or having the beliefs that you do even if it would be a sort of doctrinal purity. Where I object and draw the line is when others are expected to behave and believe the same or not serve in the SBC either in missions or leadership or trustee roles.

I do consider myself a kind person who loves the Lord Jesus with all my heart, soul and mind plus. Where I become a tiger so to speak and fight with every thing I have is when some try to exclude those who are not liberal in their theology but simply see things differently. I would not want you to be excluded and after having two of the finest Christians I know excluded from the IMB for not meeting the current guidelines and my own minister go through what no one should have to go through for standing up for what he believes, I've seen first hand what this new policy, guideline or whatever you call it can do. It's not building the Kingdom, it's tearing it down.

Jack Maddox said...

debbie

Thank you for your kind reply. However, your reply simply does not match your rhetoric. You label those and attach motives to with whom you disagree. On another Blog you agreed with the poster when folks like myself were compared to David Koresh of all people.

I appreciate your zeal, however zeal without knowledge is often times hurtful.

I am through with this line of thought and I wish yopu only blessings and Godspeed in your service to our Lord.

Jack

Alan Cross said...

Peter,

I am trying to be clear and I don't know why you are not understanding me. My apologies.

Tongues are clearly a big deal IN THAT they are the evidence of the Spirit's coming to Pentecostals/Charismatics. But, for them, they point to the BIGGER DEAL, which is Spirit baptism with fire and power. I would not say that tongues don't matter at all to them, but there is no doubt that the bigger issue is the Baptism in the Holy Spirit, of which tongues is the evidence. If you read any of the significant leaders of Pentecostalism, especially the early ones, they will affirm that. I DO NOT BELIEVE THAT THEY ARE CORRECT IN SAYING THAT TONGUES ARE THE SIGN OF SPIRIT BAPTISM.

As far as a Private Prayer Language goes, yes Pentecostals/Charismatics teach that for many, that is what speaking in tongues is. I agree with them. I differ with them as to the signficance of it. They believe that ALL believers should speak in tongues, and if they do not, there is some deficiency. I vehemently disagree. Clearly, according to Paul, not all will speak in tongues. So yes, I agree with Pentecostals/Charismatics in that there exists a private prayer language, but I absolutely disagree as to the significance or purpose of it if they link it to "initial evidence," which some do. That difference is HUGE. But, you are also right in distinguishing tongues as "initial evidence" from PPL. Many Pentecostals do make that distinction, to the point of saying that many will speak in tongues at the moment of Spirit Baptism, but will not do so again unless they receive the gift of tongues as PPL. I find that argument confusing and a stretch of Scripture because I obviously do not buy the initial evidence theory. I see a huge difference in my view of tongues from Pentecostal/Charismatic theology, although the idea of PPL is similar. That is what I was speaking of.

As far as Debbie goes, I am not trying to "have it both ways." I think that you are being too clever by half in trying to trip me up. I really did think that she was speaking of my comments on the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and I really do not go as far as her in saying that PPL is "so far from charismatic thinking as to be non-recognizable." I disagree with her there, because there is clearly a link.

I only jumped in to try and provide some clarity to the questions that were being asked and explain a nuance to this argument that I believe is signficant. It is clear that for some, the "argument" is perhaps the main thing. That is not my intention. I am tired of arguing and the constant ya-yaing that goes back and forth over this. These debating methods are growing wearisome, especially when you are accusing people of trying to have things both ways. I am not doing that. I apologize for any misunderstanding.

With that, I am . . .

Finished and weary of all of this.

Debbie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Debbie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Debbie said...

Alan thank you so much. This is the reason that I didn't go into a lot of detail. I think your writings did a very good job of explaining.

Debbie said...

Peter: My statement simply means that the gift is not given to everyone, is not a sign of salvation or holiness, is not a second baptism. I believe Alan explained well. We disagree on the fact that it is so far away as to not be recognizable. I can live with that. That is what I meant by my statement.

You are putting it into a category which in my opinion it does not belong.

Debbie said...

Zeal with no knowledge Jack? My how you underestimate me. You may not have seen it in this post because I get tired of repeating myself.

All: Now you know why I did not fully answer your questions, not only have I answered them over and over again in the past, but you guys are so predictable in the debating department. Why can't you just take someone at their word and leave it there? NO, you continue to dissect. That is a dishonest way to discuss things in my opinion.

peter lumpkins said...

Alan,

I simply quoted your two statements you made pertaining to what you felt Debbie was saying. Each was clearly different. If that makes me "too clever" then so be it, my brother.

As for your response to me about the other, I'm not at all sure to what you are actually responding, Alan. Nothing in your last post's answer seemed to connect with mine.

Debbie,

Whatever you say your statement "simply means" is fine with me. Yet it is not apparent that's what you sad earlier.

Grace. With that, I am...

Peter

Rebecca Illingworth said...

Several weeks ago, our Sunday School class lesson, from our beloved Lifeway publisher, was on the topic of false teaching from I Peter. It made for a lively class.

The topic infiltrated my quiet time that week because of a situation a few of us were handling at the office in a corporate setting weekly Bible study. One of our members brought material to our study about Jerry and Esther Hicks and her spirit guide "Abraham" and thought we should use it as the basis for our next study. This lady concluded, erroneously, that if a spirit guide was named "Abraham" - it must be biblical. It's a popular teaching today, "The Secret", as promoted by Oprah.

It is, indeed, false teaching. But many had fallen for this garbage. So a choice had to be made. We decided to view the video, and have time for input. To use it as an opportunity to show the false teaching. The week before, I did my homework, in my Bible and on my knees. Then, the next week, we watched the video, and a stand had to be made using God's Word.

Jack, I understand how you feel. Those taking the stand were called closed minded fundamentalists, although we weren't referred to as spooky. And I'm the only Southern Baptist in my group!

Luke said...

I guess, if labels are going to be thrown around, I can live with Spooky Lukey. Now if I just had a picture of me with my chainsaw in hand with that caption underneath it.

Debbie asked: "Why can't you just take someone at their word and leave it there?" I will tell you why. Proverbs 18:17 He that is first in his own cause seemeth just: but his neighbor cometh and searcheth him. Just searchin for the truth.

Luke

Alan Cross said...

Rebecca,

I would have stood with you in your condemnation of "the Secret" and the Abraham revelation. I would have been happy to have been called any name that anyone would have wanted to assign to me, be it "spooky" or not.

Are you placing PPL in the same camp as that false teaching, or are you just telling a story about being labelled for taking a stand?

Alan Cross said...

Peter,

I thought that I was being clear as I tried to answer what I thought that you were asking. Clearly we did not communicate well, because we missed one another. I'll take the responsibility for that and just chalk it up to me being dense regarding your questions. But, I assure you that I was sincerely trying to answer you and not have things both ways. I see a difference in both my own beliefs and those of Pentecostals/Charismatics, as well as in what I was saying and what Debbie was saying. But, I did understand where she was coming from in that I understood the source of her argument. If I was not clear, I apologize.

Anonymous said...

Alan,

Above you make the following statement predicting a split if cessationists hold the line.

"In this case then the answer to the dilemma comes by looking at who holds power. If the cessationists, semi or otherwise are the ones that hold power, the SBC will divide along these lines. If the continuationists, or those who really don't see this as a big deal hold power, then we will survive."

I am wondering how the Stand on prayer languages differs from the stand on alcohol or why the overall convention response would be different. My take on it is that this convention will not split over something that is practiced by less than 4% unless those who support that practice force the 40% who believe it to be unbiblical to accept it.

Tim B

volfan007 said...

cant God speak and understand english? why the need for some secret code ppl?

david

Alan Cross said...

Tim B,

If cessationists, semi or otherwise take this to the point that they push continuationists out of the SBC, then by definition, you have a split, whether it be 50-50 or 90-10. I don't know at what level it will occur, but if R.L. is correct and cessationists are not satisfied until this becomes a litmus test for cooperation, then a split is inevitable, not because people wanted to leave, but because they were not allowed to stay.

But, I am not saying that anyone is advocating that necessarily at this point. It could be what happens down the road, but we have a lot to go through before we get to that point.

One other question: I lump those who practice PPL in with those who believe that it is biblical, especially if you consider that God gives gifts to those that He chooses. I do not have all the gifts, but if I believe that they are biblical, then I am obligated to teach them. It seems like that would be a problem for cessationists. So, this is not just about practice but it really should be about belief as well, to be consistent.

Debbie said...

Peter: I should have clarified and not assume, that is my fault.

Anonymous said...

Alan,

I guess I am still wondering how this is different than the alcohol issue. Alcohol is a practice that might or might not be a minority practice, probably wouldn't poll more than 50% if the question were asked, "Does the Bible forbid the drinking of alcohol". Some were even arguing last year that alcohol is a gift from God (just like prayer languages) yet there is no significant ongoing controversy over a resolution that asked that the convention not appoint or hire drinkers. Why aren't guys fighting for the drinkers as hard as they are for the prayer language folks?

Tim B

peter lumpkins said...

Alan,

I will not have you taking the entire brunt of blame for our fuzzy exchange. I blame Debbie as well! Just kidding, Debbie :^) I too regret we failed to connect better.

I hear you, Alan. Quite honestly, we are not as far apart as perhaps you may think. While I am definitively not a hard cessationist for exegetical reasons, neither am I willing to concede--at least not yet, anyway--modern PPLs is equivalent to the biblical phenomenon in 1 Cor 12-14.

N.T. scholar, Robert Saucy, then of Dallas Theo. Seminary, wrote a treatise several years ago which gave his position toward the so-called "sign gifts" as "Open But Cautious." I have lived at that address for some years now.

A larger issue I see, however, is not with the notion of PPL but the practise of it in a fellowship of Churches that, historically, have simply not been a part of such charismatic phenomenon.

Of course, not that there have not been *some* Churches that have encouraged it. Rather, it is that it has been absent any widespread influence within SBC history since 1845.

Grace, Alan. With that, I am...

Peter

rebecca illingworth said...

Alan,

The illustration used about Esther Hicks/Abraham was fresh on my mind since I was labeled fundamentalist for that stand.

The Bible is specific about false teachers. I don’t know you personally, but I do not believe these two disagreements are in the same category. Personally, I don’t believe a Christian can be a false teacher. A Christian can err in interpretation of the Bible, but I do not put that in the same category as false teaching. And . . . even this fundamental, conservative, Bible believing pre-millennialist believes that there will be those in heaven who honestly believed on this old earth they had the gift of PPL. I just believe they are wrong in their Bible interpretation. To be honest, it makes me kinda laugh when they call themselves Baptist. But, I believe there is a difference in false teaching and in Biblical error, like the gift of PPL, IMO.

Correct Biblical interpretation is important to me. Scripture teaches we can know His Word through the Holy Spirit. I have grandchildren that have yet to trust Jesus as their Savior. SB churches are as close as a person can get to correct doctrine and that’s important to me. That’s how I want my money spent, and that’s what I expect from employees of my denomination. It’s that simple. But I do not doubt your salvation experience, if you tell me you have been washed in the blood of the Lamb. :)

Alan Cross said...

We're clear, Peter. Thank you for your gracious response.

Rebecca,

I am glad that you do not label me a false teacher or a heretic and that you think that I will be in heaven.

volfan007 said...

again, i ask, why do some feel the need for a ppl? cant God speak and understand english? why would there be a need for a secret code ppl?


david

Debbie said...

Peter said;"I will not have you taking the entire brunt of blame for our fuzzy exchange. I blame Debbie as well! Just kidding, Debbie :^) I too regret we failed to connect better."

I'll take the blame, thinking back I should have clarified. I hate repeating myself and On comments I try not to take a lot of space and in cases like this it is to my detriment. I am sorry for this lack of judgment on my part.

Debbie said...

david: It's not a need, it's not asked for, it's given. It's a gift to some from God. I do not posses this gift, but do not at all question those who do. The Bible says all things are to glorify God. I would say to glorify God. :)

volfan007 said...

debbie,

how does a ppl glorify God?

david

Debbie said...

"But you, beloved, build up yourselves on your most holy faith praying in the Holy Spirit; keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life." Jude 20,21

"Praying in the Spirit at all times with every prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert and always persevere in supplication for all the saints." Eph. 6:18

Debbie said...

Jack: As a note to you on your last comment, there was part of it I overlooked. You are right, you have not ever labeled me, you have been kind to me and you have supported me in the support of Wade. I do appreciate that.

I feel that you asked me if I thought you were a "spooky fundamentalist", based on your comments to others not me I gave you an honest answer. I could not do any other thing but answer honestly. I answered you in my blog concerning Alycelee's post and feel that is adequate. I do believe you missed what she was saying. I also cannot doubt her experience. I have talked to Alycelee quite extensively and not only because her job which requires integrity but a personal relationship with her would never have reason to doubt what she says. I do appreciate you Jack. Very much so and thank you. I have explained myself well and it's because of my kindness and love for others that I do not want anyone who is conservative but thinks differently on PPL, who baptizes who and who is referenced when the Bible speaks of the church to be excluded. That would include you. I do however strongly object to a excluding mind set based on these doctrines.

volfan007 said...

debbie,

those verses have nothing to do with a ppl. i try to pray in the Spirit everytime i pray. i have never spoken in any secret code ppl. i believe that the Lord not only understands my southern english, but that He also knows the intent and prayer of my heart before i even utter a word.

david

Debbie said...

david: I believe they do. Thus the difference of opinion and the controversy. I disagree with your interpretation, you disagree with mine. I do not however expect you to change your mind and I do not wish to exclude you because of it. I also agree with the last part of your post as well.

volfan007 said...

debbie,

then, according to your interpretation of these verses... are you saying that i dont pray in the Spirit when i pray....seeing that i dont pray in tongues? are you saying that no other christian out here prays in the spirit if they arent praying in a ecstatic utterance?

david

R. L. Vaughn said...

Jude 20,21 and Ephesians 6:18 are not verses that prove or even mention praying in tongues. Unless praying in the Holy Spirit always includes praying in tongues (which no one has shown to be true), there is nothing in these two verses that can be used to support the practice of PPL/praying in tongues.

The most that could be said is that those two verses do not exclude praying in tongues, assuming there is a Biblical case that can be made elsewhere.

Debbie said...

No david, I am in now way saying that at all. I definitely believe that you pray in the spirit as do I who possesses no PPL.

Debbie said...

that should be I'm in no way saying.