I was recently on a FaceBook profile where what seemed to be a pastor of a church was throwing out some questions to a sister in Christ who is outspoken about her faith and love for G-d. He wrote, “Here is a thought for discussion if you don’t mind Annika. How do you feel about preachers and teachers that go off into tongues while preaching and teaching and intentionally have no interpretation? How do you feel about Christians being encouraged to pray in tongues corporately? How do you feel about praying over people and their needs and doing so in tongues? Is the above scriptural…:)…God bless”
OH golly! I just want to shake people sometimes and say WAKE UP!
Being the non-confrontational soul that I am (NOT), I chose to post a comment to this well-meaning brother who was seeking to stir up a debate that really, in my humble opinion, does not really matter in the greater scope of things. My response follows:
“WOW! Loaded question Clyde! You know, ultimately it all boils down to is that church you speak of winning souls? Doesn’t it? The tree is known by its fruit. Take the River Church in Tampa Florida USA – www.revival.com. They are bringing about 500 souls to Christ daily on the streets of their city – so many in the last few years since they started hitting the streets that the crime rate in the city has dropped some 30% from what I have heard. The city fathers are meeting with the church leadership about helping in the city with all sorts of needs since they attribute most of this drop in crime to their direct efforts in winning souls and healing broken lives. All this said, River Church (revival.com) starts their services with corporate prayer in tongues – I mean, anyone that has that gift in that congregation is “praying in the Holy Ghost.’
“My point is this. Is it REALLY something worth splitting hairs over? Does it really matter to G-d that the Body is made up of so many different ‘members’ and each having a different rolls and functions? Is our time as Christian – preachers or not – best used to debate issues as insignificant as that of what is ‘appropriate’ in a church service or to debate anything for that matter that brings division in the Body of Christ where the core tenants of our Faith are in order? Wouldn’t out time be best spent bringing the lost to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ; and, that of seeing these redeemed lives become productive in the Body of Christ and in the world? Is such a debate as that of whether someone is speaking in tongues and where they do it, worth the time in light of the importance of the advancement of G-d’s kingdom on earth – mainly that of winning souls into the Kingdom?’
“I will leave this to the great ‘theologians’ and ‘academics’ of our day who choose to argue such points over that of actively winning souls. I will leave such unproductive debate to the scholarly religious community types who hold the position of pulpit ministry where they choose to sit in judgment of congregations who are different than their own. I will leave such lofty debate to the Ecumenical’s as they sit in wonderment of why their church memberships are dwindling, where the average age of their congregations are rapidly approaching the a graveyard call, and where the spiritual lives of their congregations are drying up to a point of PRE-born again infancy.’
“I am not any great theologian, nor am I so presumptuous as to think that I know the will of G-d for everyone concerning how He wants everyone to conduct church services, BUT I do know this one thing… “He who wins souls is wise.” A tree (church) is known by its fruit.”
Wheeeww! OK, so I posted this, and well, leave it to me to stir up a big can of worms.
How do you feel about this issue? What do you think is more important to the Christian Church – finding dividing lines to stand in opposition to other congregations that do not worship G-d in the same way that we do, or focusing on winning souls and bringing healing to broken lives? Weigh in on it! Stir up my can of worms why don’t ya? Leave a comment!