Friday, July 6, 2007

New Spiritual Gifts

In the aftermath of our de novo discovery of "private prayer language," Praisegod Research is proud to announce the discovery of an entire new suite of spiritual gifts at work among Southern Baptists:

  1. Private Evangelist. An overwhelming number of Southern Baptists report that they possess the gift of being a "private evangelist." They share the gospel, just not with anybody publicly. "Sometimes the Holy Spirit just comes upon me while I'm watching TV and I repeat the Roman Road out loud to nobody in particular," reported one practitioner.
  2. Private Giving. An equally impressive number claimed to practice the charisma of private giving. In this practice, rather than giving to the church or to another person in need, the Christian simply gives to himself. The practice of this gift is actually rather robust, with more than half of the practitioners reporting that they privately give to themselves more than 90% of their income.
  3. Private Helps. A great many Christians are proficient at helping themselves privately to all manner of things.
  4. Private Ministry. "The gift of private ministry is so liberating," one participant elucidated, "because the other people involved were always the real challenge for me in ministry to begin with. Once I was free to minister by myself to myself, I really saw my spiritual gift come into full bloom."
  5. Private Prophecy. This gift was popular among many pastors, who reported that prophetic private preaching was much less likely to make listeners uncomfortable than was the actual public utterance of a word on God's behalf.
More research is called for in this area, but this much is certain—it is an exciting day for private spiritual gifts in the SBC.


volfan007 said...


there are many in our churches who have these "gifts."


micah fries said...


cameron coyle said...


I've caught wind from some of our key missionaries on the field that certain private practices are also on the rise. Take for example the increasingly popular "private baptism" where new converts, or old ones if they need it, baptize themselves in the privacy of their own bath tub. I'm sure you can see the beauty of this new practice. Most bath tubs can accommodate either the immersion or the sprinkling method, by simply choosing between the shower or the bath. But best of all, we've finally reclaimed that most elusive aspect of bygone baptisms - baptism in the nude! Practitioners around the world are praise this new and exciting way of privately identifying with God's church.

Les Puryear said...

Nicely done. Your humor is refreshing.


The Milkman said...

Snicker, snicker. I thought you were on blog-cation!!!


Tim Guthrie said...


Ben Macklin said...

Good one, Bart.

I'm a private giver in your church. So private, even I'm not aware of it.

BTW, which is private, the language or the prayer, or both?

Ben Macklin

CB Scott said...


You can do much better than this.


Steve Weaver said...


Dwight McKissic said...

Bart, I appreciate your attempt at humor but your humor makes light of the valid biblical experience of millions of Christians throughout the world, including Southern Baptists. As you know according to the Lifeway poll (which I understand you do not have high regard for) 50% of Southern Baptists believe in the biblical legitimacy of praying in tongues in private. I'm grateful that you and I genuinely love, appreciate and respect each other but it seems a little bit out of character for you from my experiences with you to make light of what so many consider a valid biblical experience.

Enjoy your blog vacation. I'm looking forward to having lunch with you as soon as our secretaries work it out.

Oh BTW, I passed by 2 vans from your church on I20 west coming out of Shreveport this past Saturday. I assume returning from a mission trip. I gave God thanks for our friendship and prayed for their safety as they passed by.


Dwight McKissic said...

Oops! There should have been a comma after Saturday and before I in the last paragraph. Sure hope Ben Cole didn't catch that:) Dwight

sbc pastor said...


Thank you for speaking on the much needed, and oftentimes neglected, subjects of “Ecstatic Babbling” and “Pentecostalism” (as referenced in your labels for this post).

Your post has helped to remind us all of the purpose of our spiritual gifts: “For the perfecting of me, for ministering to myself, for the edifying of the individual...” (Eph 4:12, CNPV - Charismatic Neo-Pentecostal Version). :0)

God Bless!!!

In Christ,

Tim Guthrie said...

Your brain was really working on that one!

Have a great weekend!


Bart Barber said...


You are SO right.

Bart Barber said...

Micah, Les, Steve, Sean, and Tim,

I'm glad to have entertained you today.

Bart Barber said...


Unfortunately, brother (as you well know), the phenomenon of private baptism is real and deliberate.

Bart Barber said...


I have many of those private givers in my church, unfortunately. I am glad to say, however, that the public givers carry the burden for them. As for your question, maybe Bro. Dwight will answer?

Bart Barber said...


Perhaps I can do better than this, and perhaps I have done better than this, but this time, this is what you got.

Bart Barber said...

Bro. Dwight,

Thanks for the prayers and the thoughts. The group was returning from Waveland, MS. The trip marked our accomplishing our Acts 1:8 challenge this year, having hit all four major areas. So far, we've been involved in local missions, we've been to Thailand, we've been to Port Arthur, and we've been to Waveland. We're thrilled.

As to the humor, I actually was thinking of you at some point while I was writing this. Although you and I differ over the private practice of tongues, I could just hear you preaching against these other "private" gifts. They are all so manifestly present to the detriment of our churches.

Bart Barber said...


You and I agree as to what the scripture says about the purpose of the spiritual gifts.

Bart Barber said...

And finally, to everyone who mentioned the vacation:

I've decided to spend my blog vacation at the same place where Ben, Art, and Marty moved to quit blogging. :-)

No, actually, I've decided that the best blog vacation is one spent neither with a prohibition from blogging nor an obligation to blog. For the month of July, I'll post when I like, comment when I like, and ignore it without guilt whenever I like. That's the nature of my vacation.

AndyHigg said...

1) on the conditions of your blog vacation (neither prohibited nor obliged), isn't that the way all blogging is? Or is there some sadistic blog-master forcing you to type snippets for our mutual digestion/perusal?

2) I sadly fear that these new gifts are far too common in our churches...with so little visible fruit, it's a wonder that we can still call ourselves Christians!

Grosey's Messages said...

loved the banter.. thanks Bart.
Port Arthur in Tasmania? dangerous place...

Alan Cross said...

Funny, Bart. Even though we disagree, I could laugh at that one.

When was your group in Waveland? We were there from Saturday through Wednesday with about 20 from our church. No one in the group spoke in tongues, to my knowledge, so maybe we could have done some evangelism together. We got to visit with several hundred people and share the gospel throughout the week. It was all intelligible, I assure you. We ministered publicly, preached publicly, helped people publicly, worked publicly, prayed for people with our understanding, and fed them publicly. None of it was private or secret. Actually, I doubt that anyone from your church would have noticed any difference between our practice and yours.

What a shame that we can't work together to accomplish the great commission or that you don't think that our church is in line with Baptist tradition. I doubt that anyone would have noticed the difference this past week. :)

In all seriousness, I hope that you will return to Waveland. Those people continue to need help. We have had a continual presence on the Gulf Coast since 4 days after Katrina through helping to rebuild a church and establish a mission, but there is so much work to be done. Good for you!

Bart Barber said...

Andy, develop relationships of a sort and you get embedded into ongoing conversations. You feel compelled to post. People post things that continue a conversation of which you have been a part. If you don't post, you abdicate. People post comments on your blog and you feel a courteous obligation to reply. You feel guilty if you don't interact.

At least, that's the way that I do blogging. It is fatiguing.

For example, I am now obligated to reply to Alan.

Bart Barber said...


Of course, since I'm on vacation, you know that I am responding simply because I desire to do so, valuing our conversation.

What we did in Waveland, I could easily and with a clear conscience have done with Methodists. Cooperation depends upon the project.

Now, if we had been planting churches...

Kudos for your involvement in Waveland. The need certainly is great. I was not there, but another of our elders/pastors/overseers was there. We were involved in construction.

Grosey, the Port Arthur in question lies in SE Texas. Hurricane Rita visited them two years ago.

OKpreacher said...


In honor of your funny blog, I thought I would share some jokes with the bloggers.

Q: How many Baptists does it take to change a light bulb?

A: Change! We can't have that.

Q: How many Calvinists does it take to change a light bulb?

A: None, only God can change a light bulb.

And finally,

Q: How many charismatics does it take to change a light bulb?

A. Two. One to change the light bulb and one to cast out the demon of darkness.

Hope you enjoyed,


Alan Cross said...


Thank you for staying consistent with your unbroken string of never admitting that you could partner with the likes of me in Baptist mission because I think that PPL is biblical! You remain consistent! At least I have found a place with the Methodists in your view.

I'm just giving you a hard time. :) I'm trying to make your vacation enjoyable.

Bart Barber said...

OK Preacher,

Your jokes were OK.

Just kidding, they were pretty good.

Bart Barber said...


Actually, the "church planting" thing was for the Methodists. You and I are already engaged in partnership and cooperation for the planting of churches.

The Ford Files said...

Private Spiritual gifts - really funny! It made me remember those "unspoken" prayer requests shared in small groups at church.

Anonymous said...

1 Cor 12:4

One who speaks in a tongue edifies the church; but one who prophesies edifies the church.

--NCRV (New Conservative Resurgence Version)

A Simple Student @ SWBTS

Anonymous said...

A Simple Student @ SWBTS

Anonymous said...

1 Cor 14:2