Friday, July 13, 2007

Pride, Speaking of Tongues, and Visions

Here is my response to a post and comments on the post at the following link: http://touching-world.blogspot.com/2007/07/are-you-ready-for-dip.html

However he gained it, Mr. Mohandas has found a truth about humility vs. tongues. It takes a lot of patience, persistence, and work for most people to speak in tongues! Ask any ex-charismatic and he or she will tell you it's all a big ego trip. That's what Paul meant in I Corinthians 14 when he wrote that he who speaks in an [unknown] tongue edifies himself, but he that prophesies [or preaches] edifies the whole church. This isn't a progressive statement (from edifying yourself to edifying the church); it's a contrast. One is inferior or bad while the other is superior or good. Chapter 13 and other passages clearly teach that real spiritual gifts serve not to edify the individuals who possess them, but to build up the whole body of Christ. The work and the evidence of the Holy Spirit in our lives shows not in the GIFTS of the Spirit, but in the FRUITS of the Spirit. By elevating a fruit such as humility above a gift such as tongues, Mr. Mohandas has taken a step in the right direction.

Despite his increase understanding of these priorities, unfortunately, Mr. Mohandas remains deeply in error about the baptism of the Holy Spirit. The Baptism of the Spirit identifies us with Christ (from the Fathers's point of view); places us into the Body of Christ, the Church; assigns us our function in the body; and enables us to fulfill our missions by bestowing us with the gifts of the Spirit and with the Spirit Himself. This all (and more) occurs at the moment of salvation. Mr. Mohandas' writing and vision capture none of it.

None of the things associated with the Baptism of the Spirit require repetition. What needs repetition is not the baptism of the Spirit, but the FILLING of the Spirit. The filling should be sought whether you preach, teach, resist sin, love your enemies, pray, or any other spiritual endeavor. The Spirit's power enables us for service and for holy living. Look at someone who speaks nonsense in a great show at the front of the church and at someone who changes diapers in the nursery or wins souls, and ask yourself who is really giving evidence of the Spirit's work by building up the body of Christ, who is really displaying the fruits of the Spirit such as humility.

All of that is overshadowed by an even more basic issue: Whether Mr. Mohandas' vision constitutes divine revelation. I'd say that the doctrinal errors prove that the vision was not from God. Furthermore, if the vision was from God, then we need to cut-and-paste it into our Bibles. Have you ever noticed that the modern Bible translations never contain the Books of Oral Roberts, or I and II Copeland, or the Epistle of Sidharth Mohandas? It might seem harsh to use the term "false prophets," but it applies in many cases.

11 comments:

Sidharth said...

Dear brother,

First of all, I am not a charismatic nor a pentecostal. I come from the hindu faith and came to Jesus at the age of 9. He healed me of cancer and this is how we came to know the Lord.

I can send you an e-mail on the Baptism in the Spirit, if you are open to it. Anyway here are some points for you:

(1) 1 Corinthians 12 and 14 speaks about the Gift of tongues, Acts 2:4, Acts 10:44-48 and Acts 19:1-6, where the baptism in the Spirit is mentioned [and also the only 3 places out of the 5 where the evidence is mentioned]- all who received spoke in other tongues- this is not the Gift of tongues, but just the evidence. I have experienced both the evidence of the Spirit baptism and the Gift of tongues. And I know what the difference is. =)

(2) I can't find this post in the Bible either. Is it from God? =)

Sidharth

NYCindividual said...

I'll leave the jist of the argument up to you two, but I would like to point out that there is a difference between reading the Bible, interpreting the Bible, and posting about what certain scriptures mean and claiming to have a direct revelation from God.

NYCindividual said...

I forgot to mention that there can also be a difference between actually having an experience (such as speaking in tongues) and thinking you have spoken in tongues. My mom grew up in a Charismatic church and felt left out because she couldn't speak in tongues or fall back when the pastor touched her in a
"be healed" sort of way. A lot of times people get caught up in the emotions of things or want something so bad they think they experience it or just plain think they know what a thing is and think they have an experience when they aren't really experiencing it. I'm not saying that any of these apply to you. To believe such a thing would be judgmental and rude, especially since I barely know you. I'd just like to point out that not everything is the way it seems and often we are decieved and do not realize it. My Uncle once said "Mary had a little lamb" in Russian at a church that believed in speaking of tongues and those present who thought they had the gift of interpretation started to say radicla things like "we aren't consevrative enough," "our sports teams don't have modest uniforms," "we don't give enough time and money to the church," etc etc. All he had said was Mary had a little lamb and the church thought he was speaking in tongues when in fact he was Russian and speaks Russian fluently. I don't know the specifics of what denomination this church was or whether you have any connection to the church so I willingly say that just because one church was faulty in their judgment and experience does not mean that you were. Still, it does prove it possible to fooled.

Poorhouse Dad said...

I rejoiced when I first saw your name and read that you came from the Hindu faith to Jesus, for it shows that you have come so very far. Likewise, I rejoiced at your healing from cancer, for all good things come from above.

I appreciate your offer to send me things and your ability to engage in polite discussion of ideas! I'll gladly read with an open mind whatever you send, confident that you will also keep your mind and your Bible open.

Now, you may not belong to a charismatic congregation (true Pentecostalism has nearly died out since 1960), but your belief in and practice of tongues place you squarely in the middle of that label. I'm mystified about why you deny it. I know that many movements have abandoned old labels once those labels become either corrupted or demonized; and I wonder whether that is happening with charismatism.

"(1) 1 Corinthians 12 and 14 speaks about
the Gift of tongues, Acts 2:4, Acts 10:44-48
and Acts 19:1-6, where the baptism in the
Spirit is mentioned. . . ." (Sidharth)

I'm glad to see that you didn't include Acts 8, as so many do. However, I'm disappointed that you did leave out 1 Corinthians 13, for it lays the cornerstone for the exercise of all spiritual gifts, and I thought you had begun to see that. Paul wouldn't talk about tongues, switch subjects to something irrelevant, and then come back to the first subject a whole chapter later. He's talking about tongues the whole time, chapters 12-14! And chapter 13 goes to the heart of the great mis-teaching of the charismatic movement.

With respect to tongues being evidence of the baptism of the Holy Spirit, all the passages in Acts fit into Luke's thesis statement in 1:8:

But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost
is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me
both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria,
and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

Remember that during the apostolic period, the "God's people" was redefined. No longer were the physical descendants of Abraham "God's people." Now, the spiritual descendants of Abraham were -- that is, you and I, who were considered "goyim," dogs, by the Jews. This prejudice ran so strongly in the infant Christian church that even James and Peter had to be corrected about it! As the prophecy of Acts 1:8 unfolded, God wanted the Jews to know he was now turning dogs into sheep and sheep into goats.

The Jews needed to know this for two reasons: First, the Jewish believers needed to understand that we goyim have equal standing with them! Second, the unbelieving Jews needed to understand the Old Testament prophecies about how, when they rejected God the Son, the God would reject and scatter their nation. Paul references these prophecies in 1 Corinthians 14, but I've never met a tongues-speaker who had a clue as to what it meant or what requirements it imposed on those who speak in tongues. (Please take that as a challenge, not as a condemnation.)

So the only three anecdotes about speaking in tongues in the Bible correspond to this: First, God baptized the church at Jerusalem with the Holy Spirit. This was for the whole church, not just for a select few leaders or priests, as in the Old Testament system. Second, God baptized the "dogs" of Samaria with the Holy Spirit just like he did the Jewish believers. Third, God baptized gentile "dogs" of Rome. This expansion of God's "family" was repulsive to Jewish eyes and treasonous to their leadership! Evidence of the baptism of the Holy Spirit was, for that time, essential; and it was essential that the evidence be supernatural -- the fruits of the Spirit just wouldn't work fast enough or definitively enough.

Today holds a totally different situation. Peter and James didn't have the completed Word of God. Then, they saw a little here and heard a little there. We need for God to continue giving us evidence that the Holy Spirit can indwell more ethnic groups only if we reject the Word of God. We need for God to give us evidence that we have received the Holy Spirit only if we live in ignorance of God's Word. God has made and defined the promise in His Word, and only those who either question His Word or who have weak faith would require evidence on top of it. Remember what Christ Jesus said to in John 20:29:

Thomas, because thou hast seen me,
thou hast believed: blessed are they that
have not seen, and yet have believed.

The greatest rewards come not to those who face irrefutable truth, but to those who believe God and walk by faith.

"(2) I can't find this post in the Bible either.
Is it from God? =)" (Sidharth)

You haven't said that it was from God, so I have nothing to say about it. However, you did say in your original post:


I’m gonna share with you a vision the Lord showed me....
The Lord caught me up into a vision...
He was teaching me on the Spirit baptism.
He showed me....
He asked me, 'What do you see?".
He said....
I asked Him... and He said,... and He said....

In your last post, you didn't say that it was from God, so there's no comparison. In your first post, however, you did say, "Thus saith the Lord" (my paraphrasing). Thus doing, you bring upon yourself the label, "prophet" and severe accountability. Don't worry, I'm no Moses or a Joshua; but is a very serious thing that you have done.

Even so, the blood of the infinite God the Son has power to wash away all manner of sins, even sins of presumption (except, of course, the sin of resisting the Holy Spirit as He attempts to draw us to Christ our Redeemer).

Sometimes I cling to factual logic and evidence to the point of offending people, or state a view so strongly that readers take it as a personal attack. I hope I don't cause that between us, because Paul warns against offending our brothers with excessive zeal about issues that don't amount to fundamentals of the faith.

- - Poorhouse Dad

Sidharth said...

Dear Poorhoused,

Thank you for your response. If you could give me your e-mail ID. I could send you articles I have already written on this topic of the Spirit baptism.

The first thing I usually do is to prove from the Word that the baptism in the Spirit is a separate experience from salvation, with a purpose of empowerement.

Most Christians agree on this. But the major disagreement is on the evidence. I have written posts on this as well. I disagree with the Pentecostals and Charismatics who say that everyone can operate in the gift of tongues. I have written articles on this as well. I could just forward it to you, but I decided I'd take the time to answer your questions. Which will take me a lot of time. :)

Sidharth

Sidharth said...

I just read NYCindividuals post in here. You must realize that one can abuse the gifts of the Spirit and try to counterfeit it. God's gifts are holy and there are genuine ones. Just because someone mimicked, doesn't mean God's gift are unreal. Would you stop using real money, just because there is counterfeit ones around. :)

I have been listening to the same arguments as Poorhoused wrote for years from traditional Christians.

Sidharth

Poorhouse Dad said...

Sidharthd,

I would like to read your articles. Please send them to alphaNOdogSPAMtucker@aDELETEoCAPSl.com. Please be patient because my free time is very limited. The next week will be extremely busy as I juggle my regular job, a special assignment, a vacationing co-worker's job, and family.

Your claim that the baptism in the Spirit, is a majority position, seems doubtful. First, Catholicism teaches that the baptism in the Spirit occurs at the time of infant water baptism. Second, most Protestant churches took that doctrine with them as they departed. Third, Calvinistic churches teach that the baptism of or by the Spirit takes place simultaneously with salvation. (They believe in subsequent fillings of the Spirit, not just for empowerment, but for greater empowerment. Those can repeat and have only that one point in common with the baptism.) Until the growth of charismatism, then, the beliefs of the vast majority of Christians (not that they are all true Christians) conflicted with the belief in a baptism separate from salvation. Historically, your assertion doesn't stand; but in the last thirty years, that could have changed. I don't know what fraction of Protestantism is charismatic today. But I still doubt your belief holds a majority.

Also, to be charismatic, you don't have to believe that tongues is for everybody. That is a common idea, but you need only believe that God dispenses sign gifts or supernatural evidences of the Spirit.

-- Poorhoused

Sidharth said...

I tried sending the mail, but I received a Delivery Failed mail.

Sidharth

Sidharth said...

[This was the mail I sent to the ID you gave me. The article is too big to post in here]

Dear brother,

I greet you with the love of the Lord!

I am acquainted with most of the main-line churches in our day and I know wonderful men and women of God whom I dearly love in these denominations. At the moment I am a bit busy, so I will write to you concerning the baptism in the Spirit later when I get time- I will present my beliefs and why I believe them. For the time being, I thought I should inform you about the fact that majority of the churches in our time believe in the Spirit baptism as a separate event other than salvation. Being a person from no defined denomination, I visit people from all Christian backgrounds including Catholics.

Catholics did not believe in the born-again experience hundreds of years back. But in recent years I have heard and met countless Catholics who believe in the born-again experience and have taken adult baptism than infant baptism. There are Catholics who still adhere to the false teachings of the Popes, but God's Word stands tall over them. There are countless Catholics that I know who have received the Holy Spirit baptism with the evidence of speaking in other tongues, and there are those who believe in the Spirit baptism as a separate event but do not believe that the sign is to speak in tongues.

I have met with Prebysterian, Baptist, Methodist who has a whole believe in the Spirit baptism as a separate event. The only thing that most disagree is the evidence. There are Charismatics who believe in the Holy Spirit baptism as a separate event but do not believe in the evidence of speaking in tongues.

I will attach with this mail an article I wrote on the Spirit baptism some years back. I dont think I answer all your questions and arguments in that. I have to go through your mail slowly and understand what you're trying to say before I do that.

Yours in Christ,

Sidharth

Poorhouse Dad said...

try aplphadogtucker@aol.com - sorry the other email did not work - it usually does - I use it to keep spam out - it's supposed to go through the email above when it's not spam

Poorhouse Dad said...

I apologize for the typo. That's alphadogtucker AT aol DOT com.