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“At thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore” (Ps. 16: 11)

The Basket Case Chronicles #167

Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the church. Wherefore let him that speaketh in an unknown tongue pray that he may interpret. For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful. What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also. Else when thou shalt bless with the spirit, how shall he that occupieth the room of the unlearned say Amen at thy giving of thanks, seeing he understandeth not what thou sayest? For thou verily givest thanks well, but the other is not edified” (1 Cor. 14:12–17).

When it comes to the public meeting of the church, the apostle Paul privileges the mind over the heart. This is not the same thing as privileging the intellect over love because the reason he is doing it is because he wants us to excel in the edifying of the church (v. 12). The Corinthians were zealous for spiritual gifts, but he wants them to press on beyond that—with the edifying of the body in mind. A man who speaks in tongues should (as far as public worship is concerned) pray for the gift of translation (v. 13). Genuine tongues that are untranslated are therefore excluded from public worship. How much more would untranslatable sounds be excluded?

Praying in tongues is a blessing to the spirit, but not a blessing for the mind. As far as the mind is concerned, the whole thing is “unfruitful” (v. 14). Why choose? Paul says that he will pray in the spirit and he will pray with his understanding as well (v. 15). If he does not do this, then someone who is ungifted or unlearned is in no position to say amen when the whole thing is over—which means that it must not be done (v. 16). You had a good time, but your brother was not edified (v. 17). What was the point?

We can see here a distinction between an emotional “blessing” and real edification. As the proverb goes, nothing dries more quickly than a tear. You can have all kinds of sensations, but when the sensation is passed, nothing is different. But when you build an edifice, when the project is done, the building is still there. That is what it means to be edified—the listener is built up, and changed from that point on. It is like adding a wing to your house. When you are done, the wing remains.

When the sermon series is completed, the congregation is transformed. It is like taking a journey—with a good map. When you get there, you have arrived somewhere. Speaking in tongues without true translation is like running in place.

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Drew
Drew
7 years ago

But you admit that–as pointless as it may be–speaking in tongues (without true translation) is a true phenomenon?

Eric Stampher
Eric Stampher
7 years ago

Drew — You probably mean that speaking in tongues without translation was not pointless, except for others.

This post doesn’t reveal if Doug thinks it remains a phenomenon today.

Many in his posse hold that this phenomenon was given by the Spirit only during the time of the apostles & early church to give them some an extra experience & show of validation that the Spirit was indeed there comforting & stamping His approval.

Eric Stampher
Eric Stampher
7 years ago

Do you hold that these loud & clear manifestations were given to fulfill our need of such experience?

Then why it don’t we see the Spirit in this way before Pentecost?
Why not much after?
Why not away from the area?

Did God forget about all the other folk who would need this?

Or did it serve an extra function just then.

Andrew Lohr
7 years ago

“mind over the heart”? Not quite. Edification, including the heart, over exhibition. (Biblical “heart” is far more than just feelings.) “Genuine tongues that are untranslated are therefore excluded from public worship. How much more would untranslatable sounds be excluded?” I agree. Modern “tongues” is mostly babbling, with some language miracles (language miracles: Bruce Olson, Bruchko; Jim Rutz, Megashift.) NT tongues is language miracles (Victor Budgen, “The Charismatics and the Word of God,” on I Cor tongues.) Doug can “forbid” babbling. But he sins (“forbid not to speak with tongues”) if he forbids translated language; and this, he omitted to say… Read more »

Eric Stampher
Eric Stampher
7 years ago

Andrew thanks for the reading tip — I’ve got them on order.

Doesn’t Doug’s thought: “Genuine tongues that are untranslated are therefore excluded from public worship” show does not forbid translated language?

Nonetheless, if he / we assume there is no real tongues happening today, so no translation — it’s understandable to see elders warily snuffing out the false fires they think they’re seeing, no?

Rob Steele
Rob Steele
7 years ago

Maybe more like dancing in place? Still ephemeral but less pointless.

John C
John C
7 years ago

Yep… It’s Wednesday… and that means – Strawman argument against Tongues day!