13 truths about speaking with tongues

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1. Tongues are (or were) real languages not gibberish.

2. Speaking with tongues (i.e. miraculously  speaking in a foreign language) was not meant to benefit believers, but to serve as a sign to persuade unbelievers.

3.The spiritual gift of tongues does not empower believers to speak an angelic language

4. The spiritual gift of tongues does not empower believers to speak a mysterious language.

5. “Praying in the spirit” or “praying in the Holy Ghost” is not a command to pray with tongues.

6. Paul criticizes, ridicules and discourages the practice of praying in tongues (without the gift of interpretation).

7. Speaking in tongues is useless unless there is an interpretation.

8. Not all believers are granted the gift of speaking with tongues.

9. God issues the command to be quiet in the church unless it is possible for the tongues to be understood (interpreted).

10. Since God is not the Author of confusion, speaking with tongues in church without providing a valid interpretation is not from God.

11. If tongues are spoken in the church, it should only be done by one person at a time, and then by no more than three persons in total. Therefore, a church collectively speaking in tongues is madness.

12. Women are not permitted to speak tongues in the church.

13. Tongues and other spiritual gifts will eventually cease.


1. Tongues are (or were) real languages not gibberish. See Acts 2:4-11 & 1 Corinthians 14:21-22

The words lâshôn [H3956] in the Hebrew and glōssa [G1100] in the Greek, literally refer to the tongue; a member of the body and the organ of speech located in the mouth. However, to lexicons of both the Old and New Testaments of the bible, this word tongue is figuratively used to refer to any “language or dialect used by a particular people distinct from that of other nations.”¹ In fact, the English words gloss and glossary are both derived from their cognate glōssa. Therefore, when the bible employs the word tongue to refer to the spiritual gift granted by the Holy Spirit to believers, it is the gift of speaking a foreign language that is in scope.

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Does Colossians 2:16 render the Sabbath irrelevant?

no sabbath for you2

[UPDATE 12/27/2016 – This article was recently modified to reflect a more accurate and thorough exposition of Colossians 2:16-17]

A friend of mine forwarded me a daily devotional email from Compass International called “Good Morning Lord” (or GML). In the past, I was actually subscribed to the same GML devotional based upon a recommendation from the same friend, but after receiving a couple of questionable emails from them, I decided that I had read enough. It’s not that I simply unsubscribed; I actually sent an inquiry email trying to engage GML in what I thought would be a fruitful dialogue but alas I received no response. Anyway, my friend thought this email would peak my interest since he knows that in our circle, I am a Sabbath-keeping oddity. Boy was he right! My response (in red) to the GML for October 28th 2015 follows:

Good Morning Lord email for October 28, 2015

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

Rest from your work one day a week, any day you choose.

ChristPlusZero.org:
The folks at Good Morning Lord (GML hereafter) have in the past had one or two heretical ideas about the bible and this GML “bible study” on Colossians 2:16 is no exception. Not only is the idea that we can keep the Sabbath any day we choose a heresy, virtually everything that GML has mentioned in this “bible study” about the Sabbath is in error. Where shall we begin? First of all, persons who wish to teach others about the bible should strongly consider taking a course in logic before proceeding. The logical blunders in this “bible study” are many. For instance, the GML Thought For The Day contains an unsustainable hermeneutic which falls under the logical fallacy known as Reductio ad Absurdum. Such an approach to understanding Scripture is irrational because it employs a form of reasoning which fails when applied to similar scenarios within the bible. For example, if Christians can rest (i.e. observe the Sabbath) “any day [we] choose” despite Scripture clearly and repeatedly telling us that the Sabbath is the 7th day (Genesis 2:2-3, Exodus 16:22-23, Exodus 20:11, Exodus 31:15, Exodus 35:3, Leviticus 23:3), then it follows necessarily that we can also claim Jesus rose from the dead on “any day [we] choose” despite the biblical assertion that Christ actually rose on the third day (1 Corinthians 15:3-4). In other words, the rationale behind GML’s Thought For The Day also allows us to redefine a core tenet of the Gospel. How many Christians are willing to live with the consequences of this rationale?
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Colossians 1:15,16 – Is Jesus the eldest creature or is He preeminent over all

Featured verse:
Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:
(Colossians 1:15-16)

Similar References:
2Co 4:4, Phi 2:6; Heb 1:3, John 1:18, John 14:9

The firstborn of every creature?
To have the preeminence means, “to be first, to have the first place” (Bauer-Danker Lexicon), that is, to be held in highest honor or position (Study Notes – Gary Everett). When Colossians 1:15 calls Jesus the “firstborn of every creature” this simply means that He has preeminence over every creature by virtue of being their Creator. In fact, this is the same reason Paul provides in Colossians 1:16 for calling Christ the “firstborn of every creature” in the prior verse. Continue reading

In eight consecutive verses, eight different times Jesus claims to be God

The bible informs us that one of the reasons why Jesus was killed was because of His claim to deity (Mark 14:61-64) and yet it is popular to hear some assert that Jesus never claimed to be God. In a recent bible study, I made the observation that within the John 5:1-24 excerpt, Jesus made five (initially I actually said three) claims to deity and I set out to discuss them but time did not allow for me to delve into each one with the depth that each deserved. However, upon writing this blog as a way to address the deity claims after the fact, I ended up documenting eight distinct claims to deity. In fact, if you carefully follow my reasoning below you may find that there are more than the eight listed.

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Contending for the Faith: Refuting “The Ledge” Movie

the_ledge
The plot of the film entitled “The Ledge” (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1535970/) centers around an openly atheist hero (Gavin) and a Christian villain (Joe). At a particular point during the film, the conservative Christian husband engages in some interesting dialogue with the atheist man trying to seduce his wife. It is most of this dialogue that this blog concerns itself with. The film’s director is an outspoken atheist named Matthew Chapman, who also happens to be the great-great grandson of Charles Darwin. He claims that he didn’t make the film for atheists, but anyone who watches this movie may come away with a different opinion. Either way, not much appears on the web in the way of critiquing what must be characterized as an utterly irrational attempt at dispelling the Christian worldview. So I decided to provide a rational response to a particular section of the contrived dialogue that comprises the crux of the film’s aim. Specifically, I have identified at least 20 errors in reasoning that occur during the dialogue that the listener may or may not have picked up on.
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If I have told you earthly things, and you believe not, how shall you believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?

The person I spoke with below put forward the idea that the word “ground” used in the Genesis narrative of the creation of the man means “cultivated earth.” She posited this idea so that it would allow for the harmonization of Genesis with the theory of Evolution.

When I think about how our dialogue went, the first verse from the Bible that comes to mind is:

If I have told you earthly things, and you believe not, how shall you believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?
(John 3:12)

James:

When you have spare time:

And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

(Genesis 2:7)

The word that you are referring to is either: dust or ground Continue reading

Irrational attacks against the Bible

Co-Worker:
It is a matter of history that the bible is the invention of a group of men coming together in a room to decide which books would go in and which ones wouldn’t therefore it isn’t the Word of God.

James:
It should be immediately apparent to any student of logic that the argument above amounts to making many mistakes in reasoning. Assuming that the above claim is referring to the famed 397 AD Council of Carthage, it would then also be false for espousing historical inaccuracies as the canon that emerged from that council differs from the canon that I axiomatically subscribe to and which is found in, for instance, the KJV or any other bible based upon the Textus Receptus.  Furthermore, any account suggesting that the scriptural canon was the result of scholars deliberating in some Roman Catholic-driven council is defied by the very words of Scripture itself.  For instance, in 1 Thessalonians 2:13  we are told of Christians who recognized that the Apostle Paul’s words were of divine origin and received it as the Word of God without the help of a council. This scripture is corroborated by Christ’s claim in John 10:27, 5  which suggests that Christians–by virtue of the indwelling Holy Spirit of God–are individually able to discern what is God’s Word and what isn’t. In fact, the bible goes as far as stating that Christians DO NOT NEED a person, a council or any other man made establishment in order to arrive at truth since they are indwelt by the Arbiter of truth, namely, the Holy Spirit of God (1 John 2:27). Finally, there is reason to believe that the skeptic above is equivocating on the word God since in the context of this conversation it became evident that he was largely ignorant of the Biblical God to whom the claim above pertains.

Other Errors in reasoning

  1. Asserting the Consequent:
    (P – The Antecedent) If the proposition that the bible is NOT the word of the biblical God is to be affirmed (Q – The Consequent) the bible’s transmittal and assembling will involve the efforts of men. (Asserting Q) The bible was transmitted and assembled through the efforts of certain men (P) therefore it is impossible for it to be the Word of the Biblical God.
    The form of this logical fallacy is:  if P then Q, Q therefore P (where P and Q are premises).
    The classic example that is used to demonstrate the absurdity of this reasoning is: (P) if it is raining then (Q) the streets are wet; (Q) the streets are wet, (P) therefore it must be raining. The reason that this line of reasoning is fallacious is because there are many other reasons that could equally explain why the streets are wet so the conclusion that it must be raining is not a necessary inference, thus it is an invalid inference. Likewise, the conclusion that the bible cannot be the Word of God because of man’s involvement in its composition introduces an arbitrary and unnecessary restriction on how God chooses to reveals His word to man; therefore, it is an invalid inference and a mistake in reasoning.
  2. Falsifying the Axiom:
    The central Christian axiom of Scripture states that the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments are the Word of God. This axiom, just like any other, is not open to further discussion about it’s truthfulness or falsehood and yet the skeptic above tries to demonstrate that this axiom is false; hence, the error in reasoning. To quote the Christian Philosopher Dr. Gordon H. Clark:“One does not, need not, and cannot prove axioms. Yet they are indispensable; every philosophy and every person must have axioms, or there would be no philosophy and no persons. From this axiom [the 66 Books of the bible alone are the Word of God] , all other Christian doctrines follow.”

    If the skeptic would like to criticize an opponents worldview, the skeptic must be willing to temporarily accept the axioms of the offending worldview in order to perform an internal critique and demonstrate that the axiom’s necessary consequences are not congruent with reality; the skeptic must show that they lead to logically unacceptable conclusions.

  3. Appealing to an Artificial Authority:
    The skeptic above would have us believe that his statement above is a true statement yet he has not demonstrated himself to be a valid arbiter of truth and is therefore incapable of authoring propositions that must be considered truth. It is an error in reasoning for the skeptic to elevate his opinion to the level of truth unless of course it can be demonstrated that his opinion coincides with a previously revealed proposition from the Arbiter of truth or it is the corollary (a necessary inference) of such a proposition. In other words, how does the skeptic know that his conclusion is “true“?