A Brief Look at: Charismatic Speaking in Tongues

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Why are we taking the time to study and talk about what is commonly known in Christian circles as ‘speaking in tongues’? The primary reason is relatively straightforward and simple, which is, namely, that it is a biblical topic about which many Christians are confused. Now I do not mean to imply by that statement that I alone am not confused and thus have a definitive answer to the issue. We will see that there have been arguments and disagreements about the use (or misuse) of ‘tongues’ for many decades, even centuries, in the history of Christianity. I do not propose that this study will solve the issue for the Christian community at large or that it will satisfy everyone who reads it. However I do hope that in the context of this study we will gain some insight and understanding of what the Bible actually does teach about this particular spiritual gift. To that end, with the Holy Spirit’s help, I pledge to try to be as thorough and as fair as possible when looking at the passages we will see.

To clarify then, when I say many Christians are confused, I simply mean that many have questions about this thing which has become a very visible practice in the Christian community. They know that many believers condemn the practice of speaking in tongues but that many others affirm and extol it but they themselves are not sure why this is so. It may even be that they already have an opinion about it (perhaps a strong one!) but would not be confident trying to biblically explain that opinion to someone else. Or perhaps they have just never had an occasion to look at the issue as we are going to do now and would not even know where to begin such a study. There are probably some among us who fall into one or more of those categories. So as a means of trying to shed some light on this controversial subject we are going to spend some time figuring out what the issues actually are and also what the Bible seems to be saying about the issue.

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