Speaking In Tongues
GEORGE L. FAULL
Dear Brother Faull,
It is my understanding that you do not practice "Speaking in tongues." Why?
Let me give you the reasons why I do not wish to "speak in tongues."
1. I could not defend it as having practical value. It does not prove that I am saved, nor that I'm spiritual, nor that I have the truth, for men of every creed claim this gift.
2. I could not defend it as an aid to devotions. It does not do anything the Holy Spirit does not do for every believer. He searches out our unspeakable requests and make intercession for us.
Romans 8:26-27, "26 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. 27 And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what [is] the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to [the will of] God."
3. I could not defend it as a sign for unbelievers. If I do it publicly, men of all conflicting doctrines do the same. If I do it in my prayer closet, how will the unbeliever know of it?
4. I could not defend its "continual existence" from the Word of God. The Scriptures neither imply nor promise the continuance of the gift, but, in fact, states that they will cease while faith, and hope yet abide.
I Corinthians 13:8-13, "8 Charity never faileth: but whether [there be] prophecies, they shall fail; whether [there be] tongues, they shall cease; whether [there be] knowledge, it shall vanish away. 9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. 10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. 11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I under-stood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. 13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these [is] charity."
5. I could not defend its "continual existence" from Church History. History records that the gifts did cease. History records when and how the gift was supposedly revived. History records the deceitfulness of the modern day movement to increase the supposed gift among churches.
6. I could not defend its "continual existence" by commonsense. Since prophecy and divine knowledge have ceased, [I neither know, nor know of anyone with these gifts] commonsense assumes that the lesser gift has ceased.
7. I could not defend its "continual existence" by the clichés of modern tongue speakers. Clichés such as:
Doesn't our God ever do anything singular or unique? Is He still making women out of man's ribs? Have you seen any world wide floods lately? Are there still virgins having babies?
8. I could not defend it as "unifying the Body of Christ." It is setting believer against believer. The only unity it promotes is unity of men of a thousand different conflicting doctrines agreeing to disagree. It may well be Romans 8:26-27, "26 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. 27 And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what [is] the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to [the will of] God."
9. I could not defend it in light of those who have "spoken in tongues," who now admit that it was not of God. We are told that we cannot deny a man's experience. Can a man deny his own interpretation of his experience? He once thought that it was of God. He now concludes that it was not. Hundreds, who have spoken in tongues, now deny that the experience was of God. How can I defend that my experience was of God when others with the same experience admit that theirs was not of God?
10. I could not defend it "as a promise from God." He did not promise it to me, therefore I cannot accept it by faith. I can accept salvation, forgiveness, and redemption by faith. These were promised to all believers. I believe the promises. I "enjoy" them because I believe the promises. I cannot accept tongues by faith because they were not promised to every believer.
I Corinthians 12:30, "Have all the gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret?"
Therefore, my "feelings" about tongues may be imaginary rather than real.
11. I would not want to be a possessor of a gift that I had to hide. Imagine having a gift for which you could not thank God publicly. If it is known that you possess tongues, YOU:
12. I would not want to be a possessor of a gift which I could not know was genuine. Who would want a diamond or a ruby if it could not be proven to be such? it would have no real value. It would cause only bickering, arguments, and debates. Since there is no way to tell the apostate's "tongue speaking" from mine, why should I want it?
13. There are more desirable gifts mentioned which would edify the Church. If it is an aid to devotions, I would get the benefit. [Incidentally, Paul didn't say it was.] But if I could prophesy or heal, I would be able to help others. I would enjoy being the steward of such abilities as these, but I would find "tongue speaking" in private or public a difficult stewardship with no real value.
Conclusion: Tongue speaking is therefore undesirable because it is unneeded, unhelpful, undefendable, and uncertain.