Speaking in Tongues Debate - 17 - Finally Brethren

FINALLY, BRETHREN

    This last chapter is for you my non-Pentecostal brother. My book has put you at ease. It assures you that you are right. My spiritual journey is similar to yours. Perhaps you would like me to go even further, all the way to the end of a logical conclusion, and say that the present speaking in tongues which is both anti- and extra-scriptural can only be of diabolical origin. I have not said that, it is true, because conscientiously I cannot go beyond what I have seen for myself to be true or false. Certainly I recognize that the father of  lies is waiting in ambush behind this experience. Some people affirm that they have, according to the commandment of Scripture, tested the spirits controlling those who speak in tongues and have found that they were demons. I have not gone that far. I have not received the gift of testing the spirits other than by examining the Scriptures. The simple use of a tape recorder has confirmed this scriptural examination and revealed that a spirit of error is presiding over the speaking in tongues today. The spirit of error is certainly not the Holy Spirit. Perhaps you will tell me that a satanic spirit and a spirit of error are as different as a white hat and a hat that is white. Since you insist, I would refer you to the writings of Dr. Gerald E. MacGraw which are, in fact, an extension of my own book. I suggest that you consider a few short excerpts from his interesting article entitled "Tongues Should Be Tested":

    "...after a few moments of prayer, we ask the person who came for counseling to speak in tongues ... For most of them had already exercised the gift of tongues during their private devotions. Then the leader of the group interrogates the spirit who inspires the speaking in tongues, not the person himself. Many doubted the authenticity of this gift, but many others were certain that this test would confirm its divine origin. The shocking fact is that more than 90% had to admit after this test the demonic origin of their gift of tongues. There are many Pentecostals and charismatics who recognize that demonic tongues exist. However, they insist that their gift is genuine. A young woman asked to have her gift tested because she felt there were evil influences in her life ... she was sure that her gift was of divine origin. Another woman in her church who had the gift of discernment had assured her that in her case the gift came from the Holy Spirit. When we got together to Pray for the deliverance of this young woman, the spirit told us that he hated the Lord Jesus Christ. In questioning this demon, he confessed to be the origin of this girl's gift of tongues ... Even well grounded Christians can be possessed by a demon who speaks in tongues ... There have been missionaries home on furlough who have heard someone blaspheming in tongues, using the language of their mission field. Someone asked to see me. She was a remarkable Christian, gifted, well balanced and trustworthy, a soul winner ... it was impossible for me to imagine that this distinguished Christian could harbor a demon, concerning, the gift of tongues ... Soon she began to speak in tongues, expressing bitterness and hate towards Christ, towards herself and towards us. Undeniably, she had a demonic gift in tongues. Others ... are profoundly sincere and spiritual. Their life witnesses a true conversion, a real desire to grow in the Lord ... I do not believe that the demon who speaks in tongues can separate someone from Christ ... But the experiences that I have had in counseling show that multitudes of enthusiastic Christians think they are speaking in tongues when it is only an illusion."

    I leave Dr. MacGraw with the responsibility of his conclusions, but I do not contradict him. Others in Europe have come up with the same results as he. When George Burch tested the gift of tongues in 147 people in the United States he found that 3 cases were doubtful, whereas the 144 others were cases of demon possession. This is, however, an area of investigation to which I do not yet have access. I can neither deny nor confirm that the gift of tongues is, as Dr. MacGraw asserts, 90% of demonic origin. What I confirm nevertheless, Bible in hand, is that the gift is 100% false.

Indian Wrestling

    It is between the two of us, my brother. We are going to arm wrestle. You want to catch me off guard, pushing me to say what I do not want to say. With three seemingly irresistible tries, you would like to force my hand.

Since the gift of tongues does not come from God, it must come from Satan.
You would like to add the weight of James 3:11, relating to the use of the tongue, "Does a fountain send out from the same opening both sweet and bitter water?"
With unbeatable logic, you would like to draw the only possible conclusion: those by whom Satan speaks cannot belong to Christ. Christ and Belial cannot cohabitate the same life (II Cor 6:15). Destiny: 1000 degrees Centigrade for eternity!
    Be careful! With that kind of reasoning you might very likely be brought before the bar yourself. For you also praise the Lord Who saved you from a great condemnation by His sacrifice. And the same lips which are a source of fresh water during the worship service on Sunday become a spring of bitter outside the church when you slander your brother, your co-worker, in the work which God has entrusted to him. And you say that it is a demon who speaks through your Pentecostal brother? You may be right, but who fills your own mouth when you bark unpleasant orders at your subordinate, when you stay stubbornly silent before your own spouse, when you slander your brother or despise him, or strike him with the rod of truth, boxing his ears instead of washing his feet? When you listen to some Christians during the week you wonder what they could sing on Sunday except the calumny from the opera "The Barber of Seville" by Gioacchino Rossini!*
    Confess that your fountain sometimes gives fresh water, sometimes bitter, and that this bitterness is not of God.

*Dr. Bartolo, the suspicious old guardian of the beautiful Rosina, is fearful of losing his ward to the handsome young nobleman, Count Almavira. In the aria "La Calumnia" (Calumny) Don Basilio, a music teacher, advises Bartolo to plant a rumor about the Count which will cause Rosina to reject him. Basilio describes slander as something which begins from a small insinuation, which then grows into a fearful tempest and which at last falls in fury upon the helpless victim.

Who Is to Blame?

    Moreover, do you not understand to what extent you are responsible for the slipping away of those in your congregation who seek manifestations of the Spirit? One day I went to a shoe store to buy a new pair of shoes. When the salesman saw what I had on my feet, he said something which I will never forget, "Your shoes are very tired and worn out." Can the same thing be said about your church meetings? They are tired and worn out. The songs are tired, the messages are tired. Certainly they still fit, but how worn out they are! Freshness and spontaneity among brothers have grown long beards. Your brotherly love is also tired. Do not forget that people always prefer warm error to cold truth. Too often the truth you profess is nothing more than cold orthodoxy. People cannot warm themselves very well on an iceberg, even less in a deep freeze! An old sputtering, smoking, wood burning stove will create a warmer and cozier atmosphere than a sophisticated furnace which is running only at a fourth of its capacity. There is no place for lukewarmness in the work of God. Souls are not being saved. The Spirit was given to us so that we would have an abundant life, nothing less. Where the life of the Spirit is abundant and flowing with living waters, Christians are not in danger of slipping into false experiences offered as a panacea to heal all the ills of the church.

It is also Written

    Slowly but surely I come to the end of my book. It was especially for you, my non-Pentecostal brother, that I wrote it, not for the others. They will no more be persuaded of their error than a Jehovah's Witness would be persuaded of Christ's Deity, even when shown the truth in the Scriptures. More than ever, I am on your side. I have recognized the truth of your teaching and the purity of your doctrine. Recommend this book to those who are troubled by the charismatic's siren song. After all, I lent my ear to their melody, but by the grace of God, the help of the Spirit, and the light of the Word, I was able to avoid their dangerous reefs. You have finished this book. It would be good to pick it up again and read it carefully once more, systematically studying the truths brought out, and the errors which are exposed. The questionnaire at the end will help you to answer those who ask you a reason of your hope (I Pet 3:15).

    Well equipped for every good work, you will then be a man of God who accurately handles the Word of Truth (II Tim 2:15). Without ceasing you must bring back to the Scriptures all those who have strayed to experiences which are only scriptural in name. Remind them that three times during the temptation in the desert, Satan proposed experiences to our Lord and each time Christ replied, "It is written" (Matt 4:7). When the Adversary becomes more subtle in his seduction and says, "It is written", we must answer, "It is also written." Just as our divine Example, we must dare to say to those who are blown here and there by every wind of doctrine, what Jesus said to the Samaritan woman, "You worship that which you do not know..." (John 4:22). It may even be necessary to resist them to their face. Contend for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints (Jude 3), and following the example of our Master, tell them with truth and love, "You are mistaken, not understanding the Scriptures..." (Matt 22:29).