TOPIC:“The Use and Misuse of the Gift of Tongues” (Part I)
by Rev. Dr. Reg Dunlap
“All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues
as the Spirit enabled them” (Acts 2:4, NIV).
The present day tongues movement has made amazing inroads into almost every major denomination of today. Its spreading influence is seen by the fact that an astonishing number of sincere, intelligent and responsible people have testified to speaking in tongues. But though the revival of tongues is growing in America and throughout the world, the controversy over it continues to cause much debate. Much confusion, contention, and misapprehension has developed over the tongues movement. On the one hand there are those who deny the validity of the movement by stating that tongues are not for the church of today, while on the other hand there are others who claim that the gift of tongues is not only for the evangelical church, but is the only genuine evidence of the baptism with the Holy Spirit and authentic spirituality
Many questions are being asked: Is this modern tongues experience a valid and genuine thing? Is it from God? Is it for the church of today? Is it for every Christian? There is no doubt that many sincere people have claimed the experience of speaking in tongues. Are we to doubt their experience? Have they been misled and misguided regarding the gift of tongues? If their claims are false, Christians must be warned against them. If their claims are genuine, Christians must with spiritual discernment intelligently appraise and honestly analyze what the Bible has to say about the subject.
Now I would be the first to admit that there are many outward benefits that can be seen from the modern day charismatic movement. There seems to be a new love for God, a new power in prayer, a new devotion to Christ, a new commitment to witnessing, and a new experience with the Holy Spirit. Not only that, but the aggressive charismatic churches are putting many of the traditional churches to shame with their evangelistic zeal and energetic desire to see people converted. But even all of this it is not enough to accept the charismatic movement unless it can stand up under the searchlight of Scripture to be indeed a genuine work of God. Let us now examine the subject of speaking in tongues from a thoughtful and thorough study of the Word of God.
Consider, first of all, the DEVELOPMENT of the tongues movement. As we trace the history of tongues speaking we come immediately to the realization that it was not found very often in the history of the Christian church until the turn of this century. When it did appear throughout the centuries it was almost always in . . .