Clarifications with Dwight McKissic

by Bart Barber on November 8, 2013 · 145 comments

My ongoing dialogue with Dwight McKissic regarding the nature of the gift of tongues has now occupied a number of posts across a six-month timespan:

  1. I wrote The Nature of the Biblical Gift of Tongues: Consideration of Relevant Non-Narrative New Testament Passages on July 5.
  2. Dwight wrote A Biblical Basis for Speaking in Tongues in Private on July 9. This post did not explicitly respond to my post, but it coming just four days after my initial post and containing significant overlap in content, it belongs in this list, I think.
  3. I then authored The Nature of the Biblical Gift of Tongues: Consideration of Relevant Narrative New Testament Passages on September 3.
  4. Dwight republished THE BAPTISM AND FILLING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT on September 6 in specific response to my post of September 3.
  5. Because Dwight’s previous post had not put all of my questions to rest, he graciously wrote de novo his most recent installment in the dialogue, A RESPONSE TO BART BARBER’S QUESTIONS REGARDING THE RELATIONSHIP OF TONGUES IN ACTS AND I CORINTHIANS 12-14 on October 11.

I believe that our interaction in this series has been helpful for the two of us—and I dare hope that this has been the case for others as well. This dialogue will continue, as God gives me opportunity, with forthcoming posts searching for any light that our knowledge of the Greco-Roman culture or Christian History might bring to us.

For now my desire is simply to reply to Dwight’s most recent post rather than to add anything new to the conversation. And this I will do.

But first, in light of intervening events, perhaps it might be helpful for me to state plainly that I regard Dwight as a fellow Christian, a fellow Southern Baptist, and my brother. Now, on to business.

I was quite thankful for the list of agreement items that Dwight delineated. I affirm with him that we agree about all of those items. The current post might be more winsome if I were to spend more time dwelling upon those points of agreement, but it would be less efficient. I tell you that, regardless of word counts, my heart dwells more upon our points of agreement than upon our points of disagreement.

Clarification of Possible Misunderstandings

  1. Dwight may have misunderstood the nature of the 12-point list that he quoted in his response. The preface to that list (just to help you identify the one of which I speak) read “Considering the relevant narrative passages in the New Testament, we conclude the following.” I did not intend this list to serve as a summary of my overall view of the gift of tongues. Rather, this list serves as a summary of what I think the narrative passages—and the narrative passages alone—of the New Testament teach with regard to the gift of tongues.

    It is true: what I read about the nature of the gift of tongues in Acts has influence over my understanding of what I read about the nature of the gift of tongues in I Corinthians. Although this is a confession that Acts is dominant in my thinking on this particular question, that does not mean that I Corinthians has no influence whatsoever upon my thinking. As a point of good scholarship, at the end of a post that dealt only with the narrative passages I gave a summary solely of those things that we could observe about those passages. A summary of my conclusions will come at the end of this series, presently scheduled for year 326 of the millennial reign of Christ.

    And therefore, that list does not serve as my “final answers regarding the tongues in Acts and Corinthians.”

  2. I do not differ with Dwight as to whether the gift of tongues comes in a singular kind of tongues or plural kinds of tongues…singular manifestations of the gift or plural manifestations of the gift. Rather, we differ, as I understand it, on the question of what a “kind” of tongue or “manifestation” of the gift is.

    If the biblical gift of tongues has enabled people to speak in Semitic tongues, Germanic tongues, Romance tongues, Balto-Slavic tongues, then I count those as different kinds of tongues and different manifestations of the gift. I do not see why—nor have I ever read any argument that endeavored to support rather than just presume why—these “kinds” and “manifestations” must necessarily amount to categories of “humanly known” and “other” rather than simply “Semitic,” “Italic,” and “Slavic,” for example.

  3. Dwight has stated that I “certainly [do] not believe that one of the ways that the Holy Spirit [manifests] Himself is by gifting some believers to pray, praise and give thanks in tongues at the Spirit’s prompting.” I dispute this, and I think that this misunderstanding arises out of the first misunderstanding that I offered above. I did observe that the idea of praying in tongues does not appear in the narrative passages. However, when I dealt with the non-narrative passages (in the first post), I wrote this:

    But the other interesting part of this sentence is how quickly Paul moved from prayer to singing. Again, this strengthens the idea that there is no particular association between speaking in tongues and prayer that does not equally apply to singing and other forms of discourse. An emphasis upon “praying in tongues” or tongues as “private prayer language” as the essential nature of the gift is not a biblical emphasis. The Bible tells us about SPEAKING in tongues, which may express itself in prayer, singing, discourse, public praise, etc. It INCLUDES prayer, but nowhere does the Bible restrict the purpose of this gift to prayer alone.

    I think that a fair reading of this paragraph (and, indeed, of that post in its entirety) demonstrates that I do recognize the gift of speaking in tongues to be a gift related to speaking and applicable to everything that one can do by speaking—”prayer, singing, discourse, public praise, etc.” It is therefore not an accurate understanding of my view to suggest that I “certainly [do] not believe that one of the ways that the Holy Spirit [manifests] Himself is by gifting some believers to pray, praise, and give thanks in tongues at the Spirit’s prompting.”

    It is likely because of my weaknesses as a writer that my post was so easily misconstrued at this point. I would humbly ask of Dwight that he read my second post a little more carefully so as to discern in it that which I have not expressed clearly enough.

  4. If ecstasy is interpreted merely as enthusiasm (as with oil discoveries and football games), then I am not to be construed as in opposition to it. My upbringing, as was Dwight’s, was in country Arkansas churches. I was well acquainted with “let’s sing out of the red book tonight” and the revivalistic indulgence in what a music minister once referred to as “that Stamps-Baxter Hop-Along-Jesus Music.” Enthusiasm, per my spiritual roots, was the defining characteristic of the true and genuine faith.

    I no longer believe that—no longer think that enthusiasm is the indisputable sign of the faith—but I do believe that we are either emotional and passionate about our relationships with God or we are spiritually sick. The person who is not enthusiastic about the gospel is either lost or a monstrous spiritual deformity.

    The question is to whether all forms of enthusiasm are special spiritual gifts imparted by the Holy Spirit. I think that we would both agree that they are not. The so-called Toronto Blessing of holy laughter, for example, I would guess to be something that both Dwight and I would define as enthusiastic (whether it is enthusiastic about truth or not) and yet something that both Dwight and I would diagnose as something other than a spiritual gift bestowed by the Holy Spirit. That we make this distinction is not what divides us; rather, we differ over how to apply this distinction in some cases—particularly over the question of the nature of the gift of tongues in the Bible.

Conclusion

Although I could write more (and HAVE!) arguing my points against Dwight’s points on this question, that is not the purpose of this reply and I will refrain from doing so. All I have sought to do is to address those points where I believe that Dwight has misunderstood me without delving into those other points where he has understood me full well but continues to disagree with me. Those additional matters will have to await my next installment, coming sometime before the United States of America pays off the national debt.

1 Bob Cleveland November 8, 2013 at 10:24 am

Question: If tongues were known languages … and the list of languages heard by the listeners … then why did some not understand? Given the response of others, why did some react with scorn?

If in the later occurrences, it was known languages, why did it take a “Spiritual gift” to interpret? Why not just find someone who speaks that language?

If the gift of tongues in 1 Corinthians was the same as in Acts, then it would be logical for Paul to have limited their use … declaring the mighty works of God … and tell them to allow the prophets to speak. That, as opposed to preaching from the Bible, is how they heard from God back then.

If tongues is, indeed, the language of angels, then both those instances would mesh quite nicely, and it would not be surprising that they’d intimidate so many believers.

2 Dwight McKissic November 8, 2013 at 5:56 pm

Bob,

Great question. They deserve an answer.

3 John Wylie November 8, 2013 at 10:32 am

I personally think that many of us who comment on SBC Voices should take a page from your and Dr. McKissic’s book. The kind and Christian tenor of your interaction with one another is certainly something I need to learn from. One thing I have learned from this conversation is that there is a lot of room for disagreement in our fellowship.

To all the people I’ve responded to in anger because I’ve disagreed with you on this blog, please forgive me.

4 volfan007 November 8, 2013 at 11:59 am

I went to Moe’s yesterday, and I had the stack with pork and the works on it. It was absolutely tremendous. In fact, it was so good that I nearly spoke in tongues.

David ;)

5 Dwight McKissic November 8, 2013 at 6:07 pm

Bart,

Thanks for the clarifications. I’ve read this post hurriedly-on my I Phone- while in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, preparing to speak at a Men’s Conference. It appears that at certain points I did not fully grasped what you were saying. Thank u for understanding that there was no deliberate, willful intent to misrepresent you in any fashion. I think I understand you better now. I will give this post a critical reading next week from my computer screen in my office. At that point if I think there is an additional comment that I need to make, I will. Thanks for the dialogue as well.

6 Dwight McKissic November 8, 2013 at 6:20 pm

Bart,

One more thing. I appreciate the fact that your brand of cessationism-unlike MacArtur’s does not relegate me to the category of a “cult’l or in the class of Mormon’s & Catholics. If my memory serves me correctly, you did not think that my view on tongues disqualified me as a trustee. For that I will always be grateful.
As time permits I will respond to Macarthur. I appreciate the fact, although we differ, you deem me as a brother, and not a cult member.

7 Truth Unites... and Divdes November 8, 2013 at 10:14 pm

Pastor Dwight, I believe that is a faulty characterization of Pastor John MacArthur. He would not regard you as a cult member, nor in the class of Mormons and Catholics.

8 Dwight McKissic November 9, 2013 at 12:13 am

Truth Unites…and Divides,

If u read carefully the manuscripts of the messages that he delivered at his Strange Fire Conference, I would be totally baffled to try & understand why u would believe that MacArthur would not consider anyone who embrace any theology associated with the Charismatic Movement as cultic. Read the manuscripts, as I have, & then tell me that MacArthur would not consider me cultic.

9 Truth Unites... and Divdes November 9, 2013 at 1:04 pm

Pastor Dwight, I have read the transcripts of the messages of the Strange Fire conference. And Pastor MacArthur would not regard you as a cult member.

I will retract if I am otherwise informed by either him, or someone closely affiliated with his ministry.

Otherwise, you should consider a public retraction.

10 Dwight McKissic November 9, 2013 at 5:58 pm

Truth Unites…and Divides,

This is a case where two people read the same thing & draw ed different conclusions. Other blogs have stated what I have stated. One blog stated that on page 128 of the Strange Fire book, MacArthur makes such a comment explicitly. He certainly compared the Charismatic Movement to Catholics & Mormons. He thinks that speaking in tongues is evil, demonic, and a misrepresentation of the Holy Spirit. Why wouldn’t he then view me as a cult member? You would have to disregard plain English to draw any other conclusion. If u can show me evidence contrary to what I am saying, I will make a public admission that I am wrong.

11 Truth Unites... and Divides November 12, 2013 at 12:57 am

Pastor Dwight McKissic: “If u can show me evidence contrary to what I am saying, I will make a public admission that I am wrong. “

Pastor Dwight, I’ve taken the courtesy to contact Fred Butler who’s a long-time member of John MacArthur’s church. He works in the radio ministry of John MacArthur’s called “Grace to You.”

Fred has expressly informed me that he thinks John would consider you confused and misguided, BUT not a “cult” member if we are defining cult along the traditional definition.

This is evidence contrary to what you are saying.

Thanks,

Truth Unites… and Divides

12 Dwight McKissic November 12, 2013 at 1:21 am

Truth,

Fred Butler’s opinion does not tell us what John MacArthur would say on this issue. You simply shared Butler’s viewpoint based on information that you conveyed to him. In order for me to recant and apologize for what I’ve stated, I would need to hear MacArthur himself say that one who holds my continuationist position & speak in tongues as the Spirit gives utterance is not in a cult comparable to the Mormons. A plain reading of his words lead to that understanding. Again, it is reported that Page 128 of his book explicitly states such. I don’t have a copy if his book yet, but that is what has been reported. I know his opening Strange Fire message placed charismatics & Mormons in the same category. Therefore, Butler’s thoughts on this matter simply can’t account for MacArthur’s spoken & written words. Nice try though, Truth.

13 Truth Unites... and Divides November 12, 2013 at 1:15 pm

Pastor Dwight McKissic: “Fred Butler’s opinion does not tell us what John MacArthur would say on this issue.”

Yes, it does. Read it again.

“One blog stated that on page 128 of the Strange Fire book, MacArthur makes such a comment explicitly. He certainly compared the Charismatic Movement to Catholics & Mormons. He thinks that speaking in tongues is evil, demonic, and a misrepresentation of the Holy Spirit. Why wouldn’t he then view me as a cult member?”

Pastor Dwight, please provide a link to the blogpost that you are referencing. Thanks.

14 Dave Miller November 12, 2013 at 10:53 pm

Wow, Fred Butler’s Blog motto is “Smiting Theological Philistines with a Great Slaughter.”

That is exactly the kind of problem that has been growing in the “discernment” crowd – a kind of vicious joy at picking apart others and their views.

Why would anyone revel in the idea of a “Great Slaughter” in a theological discussion?

15 Dale Pugh November 14, 2013 at 6:23 am

So in McArthur’s opinion Dwight’s only “confused and misguided.” That should be a real comfort to Dwight.
Maybe McArthur is “confused and misguided.” Oh, but that can’t be. He’s John McArthur, after all. The last word on all things biblical and theologically accurate.

16 Dave Miller November 14, 2013 at 12:29 pm

Dale, I wish I could chide you for the unfairness of your sarcastic observation. But it is spot on.

17 Dale Pugh November 14, 2013 at 2:03 pm

Would it help any if I simply consider myself chided? At that time in the morning I don’t have much sarcasm control.

18 Dave Miller November 8, 2013 at 11:47 pm

I also appreciate the tone in which the two of you have carried on this discussion. Would that some of that spirit would have been evident in a recent conference out west!

19 Dwight McKissic November 12, 2013 at 11:13 pm

Truth,

Fred Butler spoke for Fred Butler. He can’t speak for John MacArthur, particularly in light of the fact that John MacArthur has published statements contrary to what Butler said.

I don’t know how to do the “link” thing. But the name of the post was “Why John MacArthur May Be Losing His Voice?” I believe that the name of the blog is “Parchment and Pen”. Thanks for your response.

20 Debbie Kaufman November 13, 2013 at 2:37 am

Dwight: If I might be permitted to help you in linking to the article you mentioned in Parchment and Pen. Here it is.

http://www.reclaimingthemind.org/blog/2013/10/why-john-macarthur-may-be-losing-his-voice/

21 Debbie Kaufman November 13, 2013 at 2:47 am

Truth: In the comments there is reference to the MacArthur videos on Youtube. Check it out and see if your response would still be the same. I don’t see how it can be.

22 truthunites November 13, 2013 at 10:46 pm

Pastor Dwight McKissic: “Fred Butler spoke for Fred Butler. He can’t speak for John MacArthur, particularly in light of the fact that John MacArthur has published statements contrary to what Butler said.”

#1. Yes, he can. Fred Butler was indeed speaking for John MacArthur.

#2. It would be like this. Suppose a person, let’s call him Russell Moore, was working in the radio ministry for Pastor Albert Mohler. Suppose someone wanted to know whether Pastor Albert Mohler would say that both the Bible and the BF&M prohibit women from serving as elders in SBC churches. This person contacts Russell Moore to ask what he thinks Pastor Albert Mohler would say. Russell Moore says that having known and worked with Albert Mohler so long, that Albert Mohler would clearly say that women are prohibited from serving as elders in SBC Churches per Scripture and per the BF&M. Russell Moore would be and is a credible spokesperson for Albert Mohler in this situation.

Same thing with Fred Butler and John MacArthur. Fred Butler is a credible spokesperson for John MacArthur.

(FWIW, the Russell Moore-Albert Mohler example is akin to our conversation: Here.

#3. If your claim is that Fred Butler can’t speak for John MacArthur, then quite frankly, you can’t either. Turning your argument back upon you, you cannot then claim that John MacArthur says that you, Dwight McKissic, a tongue-speaking SBC pastor, is a cult member.

He said no such thing.

For you to persistently maintain that John MacArthur believes that you are cult member when you are provided ample evidence and reason otherwise is wrong.

A humble retraction would be a benefit and service to you, sir.

23 Dwight McKissic November 14, 2013 at 3:40 pm

Truth,

I won’t debate the Fred Butler matter any further. I will allow you to believe whatever it is that you choose to believe regarding Butler’s ability to speak for MacArthur. I don’t accept that, but you go right ahead.

I was not speaking for John MacArthur. I was merely repeating what he has spoken and written. You have provided no evidence that MacArthur would not view me as a cult personality. Until you are willing to respond in a honest fashion to MacArthur’s written and spoken words on this subject, our conversation would be an excersize(sp) in futility for both of us.

24 truthunites November 14, 2013 at 4:37 pm

Pastor Dwight McKissic: “I was not speaking for John MacArthur.”

Yes, you were. You said/wrote this:

o “As time permits I will respond to Macarthur. I appreciate the fact, although we differ, you deem me as a brother, and not a cult member.”

o “Why wouldn’t he then view me as a cult member?”

John MacArthur never said you were/are a cult member.

“You have provided no evidence that MacArthur would not view me as a cult personality.”

Follow your own argument. You originally said that he would deem you or view you as a cult member. I provided evidence that a close associate of John MacArthur’s, namely Fred Butler, would not view you, a tongues-speaking SBC pastor, as a cult member.

It’s baffling why you would want to continue to distort and misrepresent Pastor John MacArthur. It’s actually a case of bearing false witness against Pastor John MacArthur.

A humble retraction would be a benefit and service to you, sir.

25 Tarheel November 14, 2013 at 6:03 pm

I have not read or posted here in a while, but since I am reading “strange fire” this week…I knew there had to be some discussion here about it..LOL..so I thought I would scan and see….

One thing has already popped out at me, I am sure that there will be more. ;-)

The alluding to a page 128 reference for “Strange Fire” where Mac allegedly called anyone who is charismatic akin to Mormons and JW’s would be a reading that is not in keeping with the context. He is speaking specifically of those who claim “new revelation” and provide erroneous “prophecies”. He is not, in this passage anyway…talking about those who speak in tongues.

He was making the point in that chapter that the wild and unbiblical words of prophecy (claims of new revelation) that is prevalent in the charismatic movement are not unlike the wild and unbiblical prophecies that claim to be new revelation in these cultist movements.

His point is that for consistency, if we evangelicals consider the espousing of claimed “new revelation” or “erroneous claims to prophecy” by Mormons and JW’s as being indicative cultist activity that leads to “another gospel” then we must also consider the prevalence of ‘new revelation” or “erroneous claims to prophecy” espoused in the charismatic as being likewise indicative of the same.

He goes further to assert that it is not ‘unloving’ to point out errors in “prophecy” or shoot down “new revelation” but it is in fact the biblical and necessary thing to do.

26 Dwight McKissic November 14, 2013 at 6:15 pm

Tarheel,

Thanks. In the opening message at John MacArthur’s SF conference, he unequivocally compared Charismatics(without qualification-s) in the same category as Mormons and Catholics. Read the manuscript or view the video. Everything else he says must be interpreted in line with his opening statement. Unless he specifically state that he is not speaking of those who speak in tongues, how can you say that he did not have them in mine as well with any degree of legitimacy? John MacArthur himself must clear up this matter. Self appointed surrogates simply cannot speak with any degree of authority on this issue.

Where can I get this book? I’ve been told that it is unavailable until sometimes later. Thanks again for addressing this issue.

27 truthunites November 14, 2013 at 6:20 pm

Pastor Dwight McKissic: “One blog stated that on page 128 of the Strange Fire book, MacArthur makes such a comment explicitly. He certainly compared the Charismatic Movement to Catholics & Mormons. He thinks that speaking in tongues is evil, demonic, and a misrepresentation of the Holy Spirit. Why wouldn’t he then view me as a cult member? You would have to disregard plain English to draw any other conclusion. If u can show me evidence contrary to what I am saying, I will make a public admission that I am wrong.

Further evidence is provided from Tarheel’s comment above. To wit:

“The alluding to a page 128 reference for “Strange Fire” where Mac allegedly called anyone who is charismatic akin to Mormons and JW’s would be a reading that is not in keeping with the context. He is speaking specifically of those who claim “new revelation” and provide erroneous “prophecies”. He is not, in this passage anyway…talking about those who speak in tongues.

Pastor Dwight: “If u can show me evidence contrary to what I am saying, I will make a public admission that I am wrong.”

Will you make your public admission now?

28 Tarheel November 14, 2013 at 6:22 pm

Got mine at [gasp] Lifeway.

29 Tarheel November 14, 2013 at 6:27 pm

Mac is known for black and white speak…the only gray with Johnny Mac is his hair. ;-)

30 truthunites November 14, 2013 at 6:34 pm

“Tarheel,
Thanks. In the opening message at John MacArthur’s SF conference, he unequivocally compared Charismatics(without qualification-s) in the same category as Mormons and Catholics. Read the manuscript or view the video.”

Pastor Dwight,

Here’s the manuscript: Strange Fire – Session One – John MacArthur

What part are you referring to?

31 Bart Barber November 8, 2013 at 11:30 pm

I leave for Senegal Tuesday, Dwight. It will be some time before I am able to read whatever you may write here. But when I am able, I hope to read it carefully.

32 Dwight McKissic November 9, 2013 at 12:16 am

Bart,

Safe travels & fruitful ministry is my prayer for you as you journey to Senegal. Blessings on your family & congregation as well.

33 Dwight McKissic November 14, 2013 at 6:36 pm

Tarheel,

The fifth paragraph.

34 Bart Barber November 8, 2013 at 12:36 pm

Bob,

Il y a un grand nombre de langues parlées dans le monde. Choisissez une langue au hasard. Choisissez un groupe de personnes au hasard. La plupart des occasions personne ne sera pas en mesure de comprendre la langue que vous avez choisi. Même si les personnes du groupe ont été autorisés à chercher un traducteur approprié dans tous la ville, les chances restent encore très élevés qu’ils ne seraient pas en mesure de trouver un traducteur approprié.

La plupart des Américains sont monolingue, même si le nombre d’Américains bilingues est en croissance. Généralement, nous n’arrivons pas à saisir le plein impact de Babel. On peux choisir une langue populaire comme le français, et même si beaucoup des gens, à moins qu’ils aient l’assistance de Google, se trouveraient incapables de comprendre ce qui se dit.

Und in einer Stadt Platz mit Dutzenden von Menschen sprechen laut und mit Begeisterung in Dutzenden von verschiedenen Sprachen für einen kurzen Zeitraum, wäre es schwierig, sicherzustellen, dass jede zufällige Person zufällig fiel in dieser Gruppe würde in der Nähe jemand sein Sprechen seine Sprache, nicht wahr? Das Gehirn müsste zwischen den Sprachen, einer nach dem anderen zu verschieben, bis die richtige zu finden. Das ist schwer zu tun, und wir haben allen Grund zu glauben, dass nicht mehr viel Zeit, bevor Peter trat zu predigen weitergegeben.

35 Bob Cleveland November 8, 2013 at 4:02 pm

When I speak in tongues, Bart, I’m not talking to you.

36 Doug Hibbard November 8, 2013 at 4:34 pm

Can I get either a Moderator or a Translator over here?

thanks.

37 David Rogers November 8, 2013 at 4:47 pm

Google Translator is your friend. Not perfect, but it will give you a pretty good idea.

38 Dale Pugh November 8, 2013 at 4:55 pm

“……à moins qu’ils aient l’assistance de Google…..”
Yes it is. That’s what Bart said…….
(I would insert a smiley emoticon, but I remember how they, like tongues, can be frowned upon here.)

39 Dave Miller November 8, 2013 at 5:11 pm

I’m about to shut down all this strange fire.

40 Dale Pugh November 8, 2013 at 5:19 pm

To quote Kenny Rogers, “Somethin’s burnin’…..”

41 Doug Hibbard November 8, 2013 at 5:45 pm

That our blog would allow such language is just questionable.

42 Dwight McKissic November 8, 2013 at 5:54 pm

Bart & Bob,

LOL.

43 Chris Johnson November 13, 2013 at 10:22 am

First of all… Bart being from Arkansas explains a lot :)

Secondly, Bob did ask a great question.

It does appear that when the Holy Spirit invokes His own to speak the message of the gospel, the message will need to be displayed to the world, and interpreted to the world. He is able to do both in the instruments of men and women that He gifts for those purposes. Since language is discussed, there is really no other reason to believe that how God gifted the speaking is something different than language. There are certain reasons that people do not understand a foreign language, and there are reasons why people scorn when they hear a message. There is nothing angelic about those things.

Lastly, …it seems to me, after 30+ years in ministry, that I have not seen why this subject is so difficult to understand. The scriptures are intended to be clear and edifying, sometimes men intend them to be mysterious. Tongues/Languages are spectacular for the church. We should embrace them and hear God at work, since we absolutely know when they are real or fake.

Blessings,
Chris

44 Roger Simpson November 13, 2013 at 4:03 pm

Chris:

OK, I give up! what is the criterion by which “we can absolutely know when [tongues/languages] are real or fake?”

Roger Okla City

45 Dwight McKissic November 13, 2013 at 7:21 pm

Roger,

Inasmuch as 1 Corinthians 14: 2 makes it clear that when a believer is praying in tongues that are talking to God–not man–”for no one understands him, they speak mysteries,”–why then is it a relevant question, whether or not anyone views it as legitimate? They are talking to God in private. Who is qualified to judge? No one would be familiar enough with all the languages if the world to know whether or not they are legitimate. And that’s presupposing that tongues are a language known on earth. 1 Corinthians 14:2 suggest to me that they are not known languages. But at either rate, again, who would be qualified to judge? Praying in tongues in front of evaluators to me would be like bathing in front of strangers. That is the fallacy of the IMB policy: it is in direct contradiction of Pauline teaching in 1 Corinthians 14.

46 Chris Johnson November 13, 2013 at 8:27 pm

Brother Dwight and me have been down this road before ( a friendly road), and have a different context in mind when reading Paul’s letter to the Corinthian church.

But, in a way, I agree with Dwight that there is little reason to question private prayer. Simply because it is private and should remain private. It is impossible to test.

On the other hand, all of the Apostles would agree that we are to test all things in the context of the church setting, that is just part of the beauty of the body.

Blessings,
Chris

47 Chris Johnson November 13, 2013 at 8:18 pm

Roger,
Great question!

I touched on this with Dwight several months ago, but I’ll try to summarize it a bit.

Believers are called to test things. This is without a doubt how you determine the reality of tongues in any setting. Of course private prayer is private, so that concept is impossible to test for that very reason, and from the context of the Corinthian letter is not part of what Paul is referring to within the church gathering; although it must be noted that the “operation” (or substance) of tongues must be the same within the context of the church as it would be in the private setting, yet in a private setting there is not an opportunity to test the spirit.

As John stated:

“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are of God; for many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit which confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit which does not confess Jesus is not of God.”

John, as was the same for Paul, used love as the foundation for meeting out this test. The Corinthian church was obviously dealing with things inside the congregation on a level and scale greater than most leaders have ever had to deal with inside most churches. At least that has been my experience so far. The Corinthian text is clear about the multitude of specific sins within the church, and it is in that context that the Apostle Paul gave his instruction.

Testing is the tough part, but the necessary part. Not too many pastors are comfortable stopping someone that is out of order, or stopping someone that may seemingly be uttering something that no one can understand. But, the Pastor should. He is instructed to test these things whether they are out of order, or fake all together. In fact, how could he (the Pastor) follow Paul’s instruction of bringing order without testing? Paul, like John is all about testing, and both command that testing occur in love to bring order, and to sort out the pretenders. Just because someone begins to utter ecstatic phrases, does not preclude them from being tested.

I’ve done this before in a group setting where some men had gathered to pray and one guy said he could speak in tongues, and then let loose a stream of utterances without any meaning, or path to a meaning (Paul’s instruction for the church). I stopped him, and ask if he was able to interpret, or if anyone could interpret. He could not, and no one offered any… so, I ask him not to do that again as we continued to meet and pray. I was polite, but also knew from past experience where he had learned his very familiar phrases. His utterances were obviously counterfeit and not done out of love, but done for a much different reason. The other men enduring the episode learned how to handle such an event and test the situation.

Interpretation is a form of testing. As was the result in Acts where various people groups heard men speaking the gospel in their own language while traveling through the trade city on that amazing day, it is the Holy Spirit gifting Corinthians to interpret languages conveying the clear message of gospel to others in the church. Both of those episodes are marvelous acts of love created, and displayed by the Holy Spirit. It is the same Holy Spirit that commands us to test those spirits and their message, so that the message will remain consistent to how the Spirit moved at Pentecost.

In other words the Holy Spirit testifies to the reality of God in your life by causing you to own up to the truth about Jesus Christ and what he has done. So when you give a genuine confession, whether in a known or unknown language, the church can know that you are of God, and you have the Holy Spirit resulting in love.

Blessings,
Chris

48 Dwight McKissic November 13, 2013 at 8:26 pm

Chris

Are u suggesting that a person’s private prayers should be subject to testing?

49 Chris Johnson November 13, 2013 at 8:36 pm

Not at all… private is private.

50 Roger Simpson November 14, 2013 at 6:37 pm

Dwight & Chris:

Thanks for engaging this dialog one more time, in a shorthand form, so that a layman like myself can look at a summary of both of your positions.

Regardless of any other aspects of the debate, I guess all sides agree that “private prayer language” is not subject to any empirical test so it is not therefore not possible, even in principal, to examine it to see if it is real or fake.

Based upon both of your responses, it is “non private utterances” are the remaining area of contention regarding tongues. Thanks to both of you for putting up succinct arguments to support your respective positions.

Personally, I don’t know much about tongues one way or the other. I don’t have any thing against ecstatic utterances but if I couldn’t understand them then they wouldn’t do me much good.

But if a guy who does not even know English spoke in Swahili and somehow I understood it (even though I don’t know Swahili) then I guess a miracle would be evident. The miracle would be (a): God giving me some special hearing ability to understand Swahili, or (b) God translating Swahili to English so I could hear what the guy was saying in English even though he was speaking in Swahili. In either case the miracle would be implemented by God, not by the other guy or me.

Roger Simpson Oklahoma City OK

51 Chris Johnson November 15, 2013 at 2:18 pm

Brother Roger,

Well put…. I also believe that there is no possible way to truly understand
“Private Prayer Language” since the context is always private.

When does “Private Prayer Language” emerge into the public scene? I’ve seen this occur in worship services where someone may be praying while standing around everyone, and then they break into some unintelligible utterance. Some might call that a “prayer language or tongues”, but in the context of the church it is important that everything be done in order and for its edification (a clear level of understanding). Many times those eruptive type of events can become habit forming experiences, and can result in the same need for correction as the Apostle Paul was giving to the Corinthian church.

Unfortunately today, many tend to think it is somehow a “Spiritual” elevating experience, when in reality it is a “spiritual” elevating experience. That’s when Paul would instruct the “spiritual” to become “Spiritual” and edify the church through clear prophesy (language, understanding.

Blessings,
Chris

52 truthunites November 14, 2013 at 6:52 pm

Pastor Dwight: “In the opening message at John MacArthur’s SF conference, he unequivocally compared Charismatics(without qualification-s) in the same category as Mormons and Catholics. Read the manuscript or view the video.”

Pastor Dwight: “The fifth paragraph.”

Pastor Dwight, is this the paragraph you’re referring to:

“There are a half a billion of professed Charismatics. For some frame of reference, there are a billion Roman Catholics, and 14 million Mormons. So you see that this is a massive issue. And yet, nobody would fault pastors for confronting Mormonism for their false view of God, Christ, and Salvation. Why then has the church been so reluctant to confront this movement that has captivated so many people?”

53 Dwight McKissic November 14, 2013 at 7:09 pm

truth,

Yes it is. My offer to apologize yet stand if any credible evidence exists that MacArthur does not view Charismatics as cultic and tongues speaking as misrepresenting the Holy Spirit. I would love to have to apologize. It would not be the first time having done so. It would be the right and Christian thing to do. But, after reading that paragraph, and other inflammatory remarks by MacArthur, I would need him to speak-not through anyone else–saying that he does not view a believer who believes in orthodox biblical doctrine as cultic who also speaks in tongues. I would gladly apologize if MacArthur himself released such a statement. Until then, what I have read and heard leads to that conclusion.

54 truthunites November 14, 2013 at 7:28 pm

“In the opening message at John MacArthur’s SF conference, he unequivocally compared Charismatics(without qualification-s) in the same category as Mormons and Catholics.”

Pastor Dwight,

You have fundamentally misunderstood what John MacArthur is saying in that particular section (paragraph 5) of his opening address at the Strange Fire Conference.

Because you badly misunderstood it, you then drew a terribly wrong inference.

All Pastor John MacArthur was saying in that section was to point out an approximate scale and magnitude of the numbers of adherents as a frame of reference:

o 14 Million Mormons
o 500 Million Professed Charismatics
o 1 Billion Roman Catholics

He did not, as you claim him to do, unequivocally compare Charismatics(without qualification) in the same category as Mormons and Catholics.

You misread and misunderstood him badly.

He was simply that it’s an important issue worth addressing and confronting due to the large number of Professed Charismatics. He was merely using the numbers of Catholics and Mormons as a point of reference, as a point of comparison.

He certainly wasn’t saying that Charismatics are the same as Catholics or Mormons.

Pastor Dwight: “If u can show me evidence contrary to what I am saying, I will make a public admission that I am wrong.”

Further evidence is your misunderstanding of what Pastor John MacArthur said.

55 Dwight McKissic November 14, 2013 at 8:10 pm

truth,

MacArthur could have compared Charismatics to orthodox evangelical groups and made the same point. By inference, he clearly was associating Charismatics with Catholics and Mormons. When one considers the totality of what he said on the subject it is quote clear that he views charismatics and cults as synonymous.

56 Tarheel November 14, 2013 at 9:05 pm

Earlier you said he “unequivocally and without qualification” said that all charismatics were cultic just like JW’s and Mormons….

Now your saying he “inferred” it by assocation.

Theres a lot of room between those accusations…which is it?

57 truthunites November 14, 2013 at 8:30 pm

Pastor Dwight: “By inference, he clearly was associating Charismatics with Catholics and Mormons.

No, he was not. That’s a wrong inference.

And for what it’s worth, Catholics are not regarded as a cult.

58 Dwight McKissic November 14, 2013 at 9:38 pm

truth,

If you listen carefully to what JM had said about Catholics throughout the years & as I recall even during the SF conference, you may rethink your statement that JM dies not consider Catholics to be a cult. You may also check with the “Fred” guy. He knows all things MacArthur-:).

59 Dwight McKissic November 14, 2013 at 9:34 pm

Tarheel,

When you read & listened to JM’s total attitude toward charismatics it’s both: inference & unequivocal can describe his view that Charismatics are cultic. Sometimes he expresses it by inference. And at other times it is emphatic & unequivocal. Much has been said & written about it. After I read the book, I will say more. But if he truly does not believe that Charismatics are not like the Mormons, then it is encumbent upon John to make that clear.

60 Dave Miller November 14, 2013 at 10:12 pm

We are parsing words here, Dwight.

JM has made his disdain and disrespect for charismatics abundantly clear for many years. He has insulted them directly and intentionally.

Talk to any reasoned charismatic out there (yes, they do exist) about John MacArthur and people will understand the hurt and division that JM has caused in the Body of Christ with his harsh condemnation.

The only people who seem not to see that are the strict cessationists who agree with him.

61 Tarheel November 15, 2013 at 5:19 am

Interesting assessment given that I’m not sure I’m a strict cessationist …. Although I’m not entirely sure what that term even means.

I will say though;

While I do not deny the use of ndividual private prayer languages (so long as they’re actually kept private and not taught as the sole or primary indicator of the Holy Spirit’s work)…

I do reject new revelations and words of prophecy.
I also reject modern day miraculous and instantaneous healing like those performed by the apostles.
I also reject inane babblings, laughter, being slain in the Spirit, ect… Especially when such is being attributed to God and portrayed as biblical activity.

I don’t agree with everything he says, and more often disagree with the way he says what he says, but IMO his overall contributions and body of work if you will to the body of Christ has been extremely important and helpful.

62 Truth Unites... and Divides November 15, 2013 at 12:45 am

Regrettably, Dwight McKissic insists upon bearing false witness against John MacArthur.

63 Dwight McKissic November 15, 2013 at 2:07 am

truth,

I have been reading SF the past three hours. I purchased it at Lifeway at about 8:30pm. I am more convinced now than ever that JM la s the charismatic church a “false” religion. Before I take it back I will add more to it. He acknowledges some genuine believers within the movement, but see the movement as a whole as false, flawed, confused, and corrupt to the core. Basically, the way we Jew a cult is how JM views anyone who embraces or adheres to any aspect of what might be considered associated with the Charismatic Movement.

64 Tarheel November 15, 2013 at 5:33 am

Dwight said referring to JM;

“He acknowledges some genuine believers within the movement, but see the movement as a whole as false, flawed, confused, and corrupt to the core.”

I think there’s a lot of truth to that statement – JM has been very clear in stressing that while there are genuine, and otherwise faithful, believers and scholars involved or sympathetic to the Charasmatic movement he feels that there’s great danger in the movement….I happen to agree with that. (the last chapter is an open letter to such people, and I think it’s very gracious yet firm to his convictions.

My respect for JM has actually increased due to this work…I’m used to his brash and confrontational tones and can look past that and glean helpful insight.

It’s like eating fried chicken…eat the meat, and throw away the bone.

I do that BTW with every book and author.

65 Dwight McKissic November 15, 2013 at 2:51 am

truth,

You accuse me of bearing false witness while you will not even reveal your true identity. Will the real “truth” stand up and tell us who you are? To falsely accuse me of bearing false witness while you hide the “truth” of your identity is disingenuous at best, and hypocritical at the worst. If we are going to continue an open honest conversation on this matter & hurl character assaults across the bow, at the very least I believe that integrity & honesty dictate that you identify yourself. You should not be able to attack someone’s character while hiding behind a hidden identity. Something is just not right about that. If I am to continue this dialogue with you, it is imperative that I know who I am talking with. One thing for sure about JM that I deeply respect and that is: he speaks plainly and in non-ambiguous language. He neither uses ghost writers, or hide behind eponymous names.

66 Dave Miller November 15, 2013 at 11:47 am

Well said, Dwight.

67 Tarheel November 15, 2013 at 6:45 pm

Mr. Miller, way off topic, but Dwight’s comment and your affirmation made me want to query you for a second…

I am not sure I understand the “you are anonymous therefore you are an inferior poster” concept that seems to get thrown around here when debates get a little ‘heated’.

Think of it this way…

Do you have any verification system whereas to identify those who post with “real names” but are individually not known by you? How effective is the process of identifying every poster anyway?

For example…if someone stated posting tomorrow under the name
“Roscoe Davenport” would he get instant “cred” over Truth, or myself even though that may his real name, or simply a conjoining of the last names of two characters on the “Dukes of Hazzard”?

I have never met cb or Dwight, for example, I only shook hands with you once in the hallway at the SBC convention in Houston, and at that same convention I also met Jared Moore and Chris at the Founders breakfast (I told all of you my real name and said I am ‘Tarheel” on voices) but you have no real way of knowing for absolute certain that I am who I say I am….Likewise most posters here have no way of knowing that those posting under these names are actually so named…and even if everyone was using their real names…few of us are so ‘famous’ that it would matter that we all know each others name or not….

Ya feel me, sir?

68 Dwight McKissic November 15, 2013 at 8:10 pm

Tarheel,

Can’t speak for David, don’t know if he would agree or disagree with what I’m ’bout to say, but here goes:

If you are going to be bold & brazen enough to accuse someone of making a “false accusation,” you also need to be transparent & truthful enough to at least make such statements while using your real identity. There is no accountability for irresponsible, insensitive, inflammatory, and innaccurate comments when the name that you use is untrue.

69 Dave Miller November 15, 2013 at 8:20 pm

Tarheel, it’s complicated.

Your email, which I have, reveals your name, so I know who you are. If you wish to not share it, then that is your choice. No big deal.

But someone like “Truth” who is often aggressive and accusatory in tone while hiding his identity carefully leaves a bad taste in my mouth. It seems a way of avoiding accountability.

70 Dave Miller November 15, 2013 at 8:42 pm

I guess I have a question for you and others who choose to use nom de plume. Why? I have always blogged under my own name and would be interested in why some choose not to.

71 volfan007 November 15, 2013 at 8:51 pm

Mom de plume? Is that French?

My reason for using a screen name came from the old days of computers, and being told to NOT give out ANY personal info. on the internet. I heard from “everyone” that it was dangerous to tell people your name, address, phone #, etc. SO, I chose this name, and continued to use it, whenever I first heard of blogs…back in the day. And, I’ve just kept on using it every since. I figure more people know me by this name, Volfan007, than they do by my given name, David Worley.

David

72 Dale Pugh November 15, 2013 at 8:56 pm

“mom de plume”–in English is that “mother of a pen?” Oh dear. Now I’m laughing.
I believe it’s “nom de plume.” A case of the “m” being too close to the “n”, methinks.

73 Dave Miller November 15, 2013 at 9:08 pm

Liberals.

Autocorrect makes fools of us all.

of course, as a moderator I can make corrections.

74 Dave Miller November 17, 2013 at 12:27 pm

“Divides”

You seem to have hidden yourself once you were challenged on your anonymity. However, you made a direct challenge to Dwight McKissic’s integrity.

You were wrong.

Here is a clip in which JM compares Charismatics to the Mormon cult. Unequivocal.

Dwight was right.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5W80GTU53BE#t=165

It might be well for you to offer him an apology now.

75 Tarheel November 17, 2013 at 3:52 pm

Who is the “they” that he’s talking about….might there be some further context that needs ro be applied…that panel discussion went on for some time….comments preceded and followed the clip you linked mr. Miller.

Do you broadcast your sermons? Maybe I can splice a clip outta that to make comments unequivocal” in any way I might desire?

76 Tarheel November 17, 2013 at 3:56 pm

In other words…do you believe for a Second…even a milasecond that JM considers all people who are not cessationists to be cultic and not saved? Really?

That’s what y’all are accusing him of.

Have you read the final chapter of “strange fire”…he sure undermines that idea resoundingly.

77 Dave Miller November 17, 2013 at 4:49 pm

For the record, I don’t know what he believes. But he SAID things that seem to indicate that he does, in fact, believe that charismatics proclaim a false gospel that does not save.

78 Dave Miller November 17, 2013 at 4:48 pm

He compared Charismatics to Mormons. Clearly. That was “Divides” accusation against Dwight, that JMac did no such thing.

I frankly don’t care what JMac thinks anymore. His hatefulness towards other believers has jumped the shark for me. I’ve always appreciated him and read his commentaries, but he has just gone over the edge and I don’t care what he says or thinks anymore.

But, Dwight’s point was proven. JMac made the comparison between charismatics and cults that Dwight asserted.

I’m not interested in the least in exegeting the finer points of JM”s theology. I find it a shame that he has chosen the nuclear option against the Body of Christ, but that is his choice.

But he did, unequivocally, compare charismatics to Mormons.

79 Tarheel November 17, 2013 at 5:39 pm

Your basing that off of that clip?

Have you read the book?

Your bias against JM and sympathy toward others might be clouding your analysis.

If you can’t see that SOME charasmatics preach “another gospel” and that fact does solicit a condemnation then you’re being, IMO, willfully blind.

That clip you showed was absent the context necessary to make accusations that you, Dwight and others have made toward JM…

I’m guessing it’s ok for y’all to speak words of condemnation toward JM…. all the while doing what you claim hes doing by claiming offense without context and deriding his ministry while ignoring his total body of work.

80 Tarheel November 17, 2013 at 5:41 pm

You speak of JM’s “hatefulness” yet what your espousing toward him seems pretty similar.

Just sayin’

81 Dave Miller November 17, 2013 at 5:50 pm

By the way, your “I’m rubber, you’re glue” comment strains credulity.

JM can publicly excoriate millions of believers over a 4 day conference, calling them name after name, lobbing insult after insult against them.

But when someone calls him on it, you recoil in horror.

Why did you not get that excited over MacArthur’s invective?

82 Tarheel November 17, 2013 at 5:51 pm

For what is worth…in that clip…JM responded to a devils advocate “but they [whomever the conversation was specifically addressing] are nice people and claim Christian” To that JM retorted “mormons claim that too, does that make it so?” (paraphrased)

That IS NOT like saying they’re a cult like Mormons ….that is like saying “being nice and claiming to to be Christian is irrelevant to whether they are…for example Mormons fit that description and aren’t (gasp) gospel christans “.

Do you not agree with that position?

83 Dave Miller November 17, 2013 at 9:49 pm

Look, you will evidently go to the mat defending Mac. That’s fine. You are welcome to your view.

I have been a long time supporter of him and have respected him a lot. That has changed as a result of this. I think him and his extreme brand of cessationism is going to war against fellow believers.

I didn’t start this attack. All I did was call JM’s attack for what it is. Wrong. Sinful. Hateful against fellow believers.

This will be my last point of discussion on this.

I only raised this video because it proves exactly what Dwight said and the Truth Divider made accusations against him for.

Mac compared charismatics to a cult. And that’s a fact, Jack.

I am through with this conversation.

84 Tarheel November 17, 2013 at 10:40 pm

…well fine.

You claim to respect and honor him for years, yet WITHOUT reading his book or attending the conference…all tht changes?

Seems that respect fizzled rather easily.

I’m only saying you’re assessing condemnation based on 1-2 minute clips or the comments of friends or whatever…and have not even shown the “respect” of reading his book from which all ths came before throwing him under a bus.

I’m willing to give the benefit of the doubt to those I respect.

85 Tarheel November 17, 2013 at 10:42 pm

…and speaking of recoiling in horror….

Get ready….

Johnny Mac is a cessationist.

Lol.

Come on…he saying nothing substantively different now than he said 25-30 years ago with “Charasmatic chaos.”

86 Dwight McKissic November 17, 2013 at 11:02 pm

Tarheel,
It appears that you watched the video that David linked to. Having viewed that you still don’t believe that JM emphatically believe that the Charismatic church is not a part of the “true church”?

87 Tarheel November 17, 2013 at 11:41 pm

Without the preceding and following comments for context I’m not ready to assume that of JM.

I explained above (in what’s now comment 82) a completely plausible, IMO, interpretation of that <2 min. Clip.

I've read the book, followed JM's ministry for years and I'm not willing to throw him and his faithful ministry aside as easily as some appear willing to do.

That said, I DO think that one charasmatics do deny the trinity, deny the authority and sufficiency of the scriptures, and preach another gospel….namely the health, wealth and prosperity teachers. Many if whom decieve and manipulate millions with thier filth.

JM in his "open letter" chapter demonstrates grace toward biblically faithful continuationists stating he believes them o be in error, but in he faith. He did NOT say that all who are not cessationists are apostate or cultic…he said some (many) are…and that's a completely reasonable position.

88 Wm. Dwight McKissic, Sr. November 18, 2013 at 4:37 pm

Tarheel,

Will you acknowledge that JM said that the Charismatic Movement is not a part of the “true church”? Your response does not specifically answer my question. Thanks.

89 Tarheel November 18, 2013 at 6:10 pm

I do not think that JM has said that ALL charismatics are cultist/apostate and/or not part of the true church….he has clearly said for years, as have many, many others, that alot of those in the movement are not.

I agree with him.

90 Dwight McKissic November 18, 2013 at 6:26 pm

Tarheel,

You are splitting hairs. But that’s ok. His book is clear enough. The video is also clear. He referred to the Charismatic Movement as “false.” Will you at least acknowledge that? I won’t ask you again. I am writing a posts on the subject that I hope Dace will published. I will quite directly from the book & let the reader be the judge. But it is clear to me @ many others on the Internet that JM has compared the Charismatic Movement to a cult & believe that the movement is false that has a minority of true born again believers in it.

91 Tarheel November 18, 2013 at 6:44 pm

It is not splitting hairs….

Ya’ll are contending that he has declared the whole charasmatic movement and everyone involved in it as not being part of the true church…..that is not what he has said.

He has said, and I agree, that the overall movement is based on faulty premises, errant biblical positions, and in some cases flat out heresy.

He is not calling YOU and every charismatic leaning person a non believer (in fact he goes to effort to show that is NOT what he is saying)….he is saying that the movement that you are joining yourself with is not biblical….I agree with him.

This is not unlike those who address Calvinists in the lowest of terms…and deride the ‘movement’ as being unbiblical….are those who do that contending that all Calvinists are outside of the true church?

Let me ask you a question….What is the true church, and how is it defined?

92 Dwight McKissic November 15, 2013 at 2:11 am

Oops, ….la…s should be labels

Jew should be view

93 Wm. Dwight McKissic, Sr. November 18, 2013 at 7:09 pm

Tarheel

You will not admit that JM called the Charismatic Movement “false” but he clearly did and the proof is in his book. Therefore, I won’t continue to debate that issue with you.

As it relates to my definition of a “true church”: 1. That’s MacArthur’s term, not mine. 2. This may answer the question for both of us: Would you and/or JM consider the Assembly of God a “true church”? I believe how you answer that question will help to resolve how JM and you view this matter. And Yes!!!! I believe that the AoG is a “true church”. Do you and JM believe that?

94 Tarheel November 18, 2013 at 7:37 pm

I will not acquiesce to to your assertions that are based on snip its and without larger context. I am not sure what you expect me to say.

I will off the cuff answer that. I have not studied the AoG, so keep that in mind….and Forgive me for using Wiki…

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assemblies_of_God_Statement_of_Fundamental_Truths

I think they are in great error on the “slain holy spirit” and “new revelation” and “babblings” as well as ‘divine physical healings’….but if the gospel of salvation by grace through faith is in tact..then OK.

I will qualify that if they teach that if any of these errors are indicative of true salvation or “one upsmanship spirituality”….I would part ways with them completely as teaching something that is a distortion of the gospel and exactly the kind of thing Paul was targeting in Galatians.

95 Wm. Dwight McKissic, Sr. November 18, 2013 at 7:52 pm

Tarheel,

I take it to mean that by “OK” you believe that the AoG is a “true church”? At least that is how I am interpreting you. I don’t want to misinterpret you, so please correct me if I’m wrong.

If your answer is, Yes!!! The AoG is a true church. I agree and we now are on the same page. And if this is what JM means, I am relieved to know that he is not labeling this very fine Christian denomination as “false,” not a part of the “true church,” and comparing them to a cult. The discussion has been long and tedious, but, perhaps we have reached common ground now. Thanks.

96 Tarheel November 18, 2013 at 8:57 pm

You are correct in your interpretation….

The qualifiers I mentioned are important, but generally I think I can say, for whatever it’s worth, yes.

97 Wm. Dwight McKissic, Sr. November 18, 2013 at 10:25 pm

Tarheel,

Thanks. If the AoG is a true church, as you now admit, I find it absolutely inconceivable and contradictory that JM would label a “true church,” “false” and compare it to a cult. I hope you are right though in your assessment, that he see’s the AoG as a true church. One can’t help but wonder though, if he see’s them as a true church, why did he kick up so much fuss?

He could find excess, extreme and error in the SBC, Presbyterians, Methodist, Episcopalians, Reformed Movement, and all of evangelicalism. Why profile the Charismatic Movement when there is dead orthodoxy, institutional and systemic racism, carnality, materialism, immorality, liberal views on homosexuality, and a hosts of other sins and issues in churches that would not label themselves charismatic.

The good news is, I don’t believe that many charismatics give JM much attention on this issue, and neither should they. He would have more credibility if he pulled out his weapons and aimed them at other “true churches” that have issues and problems, at least equal to the errors that he pointed out in the Charismatic Church. He has engaged in ecclesiastical profiling.

As R. T. Kendall has alluded to in an open letter to JM; there is a danger in attributing to the Devil what the Holy Spirit has done. If the AoG and the Charismatic Movement is the “true church” as you now admit, which means that it was birth by God’s Spirit; I would tread lightly and not be so quick to call unclean what He has planted for His glory, and to advance His Kingdom. And with that said, I will bid this conversation adieu ’til I post on this matter. Thanks.

98 Tarheel November 19, 2013 at 12:45 am

With respect….what you just did, sir….is exactly why such a hard stand is taken by JM….

You took my answer and extrapolated it into a full throated endorsement of the Charasmatic movement.

In fact this proves JM’s comments in his open letter chapter to be spot on….giving, even limited, qualified affirmation lend credence to the whole movement.

99 parsonsmike November 19, 2013 at 7:23 am

Tarheel,
On that note, I agree with you.
There is so many abuses in the movement, especially where tongues speaking is mandatory to be saved, but also, the health and wealth preaching, and the private prayer as the gift of tongues. Every report or experience I have with the movement had shown me that much of it is contrary to sound doctrine.

100 Tarheel November 15, 2013 at 5:52 am

Roger Simpson said;

“But if a guy who does not even know English spoke in Swahili and somehow I understood it (even though I don’t know Swahili) then I guess a miracle would be evident. The miracle would be (a): God giving me some special hearing ability to understand Swahili, or (b) God translating Swahili to English so I could hear what the guy was saying in English even though he was speaking in Swahili. In either case the miracle would be implemented by God, not by the other guy or me.”

That’s a public speaking in tongues that is embraced by many “cautious continualists”

That’s the Acts 2 manifestation and is not where mot debates over tongues generally takes place. Instead it’s the random babblings that bring about the disagreements.

The miracle in Acts 2 is not in the speaking at all…. it’s in the hearing as God “translates” languages amognst people to make conversation and evangelism possible.

101 parsonsmike November 15, 2013 at 10:21 pm

Tarheel,
The miracle of Acts 2 was not in the hearing.
It was in the speaking.
The numerous disciples spoke in tongues: the languages of the regions from whence the pilgriming Jews had traveled from.
It wasn’t that they all spoke in the Galilean dialect but was heard in other languages.
Listen to Peter in Acts 10:
While Peter was still saying these things, the Holy Spirit fell on all who heard the word. And the believers from among the circumcised who had come with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit was poured out even on the Gentiles. For they were hearing them speaking in tongues and extolling God. Then Peter declared, “Can anyone withhold water for baptizing these people, who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?” And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked him to remain for some days.

102 Tarheel November 16, 2013 at 1:47 pm

Acts 2 clearly says they were speaking “and every one HEARD in thier own language.”

103 Tarheel November 16, 2013 at 1:50 pm

Acts 2:5 Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven. 6 And at this sound the multitude came together, and they were bewildered, because each one was hearing them speak in his own language. 7 And they were amazed and astonished, saying, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? 8 And how is it that we hear, each of us in his own native language? 9 Parthians and Medes and Elamites and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, 11 both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabians—we hear them telling in our own tongues the mighty works of God.” 12 And all were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “What does this mean?”

104 Tarheel November 16, 2013 at 1:53 pm

Ooopsss…did not copy and paste the first four verses…

Acts 2:1 When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. 2 And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. 3 And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested[a] on each one of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.

105 parsonsmike November 16, 2013 at 3:53 pm

Tarheel,
Verse 4 makes it plain:
they were speaking in other tongues.

So of course they heard in their own languages, because those were the other tongues that were spoken.

106 Tarheel November 16, 2013 at 7:15 pm

Only problem with what you’re saying is that it makes no sense…

So you’re saying that the 12 apostles spoke every language know to man in just a few moments?

It seem much more plausible that, as the scripture actually says, ech man HEARD in his own language.

107 Tarheel November 16, 2013 at 7:18 pm

But your explanation of verse 4 ignores 7,8,and 11.

108 Tarheel November 16, 2013 at 7:25 pm

So Peter preached his sermon multiple times so he could do so in the myriad of languages?

Or did he preach it once and God translated it into every language…

I’m going with explanation number 2. Either way the events detailed are miraculous – but the way the text reads in totality the second explanation is more plausible.

109 parsonsmike November 16, 2013 at 9:32 pm

Tarheel,
Actually it is much simpler to take God at His Word. You assume that there was only 12. But why when there was 120 who were gathered together as His disciples?
We read:

And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.
Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven. And at this sound the multitude came together, and they were bewildered, because each one was hearing them speak in his own language.

What sound and from whom?
You assume: “every language known to man”.
But that is not what the Scripture tells us. It gives us a finite list.

What sound? Other tongues. Their own tongues. Their own languages. That is what they heard. The Scripture tells us that plainly. And just as plain it tells us that the disciples were speaking in other tongues.

And what did they hear in their own tongue as the disciples spoke in other than their own tongues? Again we are told plainly:
“we hear them telling in our own tongues the mighty works of God.”

But does that mean Peter’s sermon was in tongues? No.
He probably spoke in Greek, the universal language used in those parts at that time.
For telling them they killed the Messiah isn’t quite the same at all of them hearing the mighty works of God.

110 Tarheel November 16, 2013 at 10:28 pm

Verse 5; assembled there were Men from EVERY NATION UNDER HEAVEN.

verse 14; Peter was standing “with the eleven”.

111 parsonsmike November 16, 2013 at 10:58 pm

Tarheel,
Yes when Peter spoke his sermon, he was standing there with the eleven. But I have made the point that shows that his sermon was not the same as the tongues and languages uttered earlier, and I repeat that we are told that those tongues uttered “the mighty works of God,” while Peter’s sermon told them they crucified the Messiah. The two are different.

Likewise, if you notice that not all ‘got’ that those speaking in other tongues were speaking in their own far off native languages the mighty works of God, but instead thought the many disciples were drunk.

And accordingly we are told exactly who did get it:

And how is it that we hear, each of us in his own native language? Parthians and Medes and Elamites and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabians—we hear them telling in our own tongues the mighty works of God.

Or do you suppose that these were representative of every nation under earth and thus not all that many then?
Or do you suppose that of all the many nations represented there, only these heard?
Or do you suppose that as they went from people group to people group their ‘tongue’ changed? [Since speaking to 3000 and more people without amplification will involve multiple speeches -eh?]

Either way, my brother, the Bible is plain, they spoke in o.t.h.e.r. tongues or languages the mighty works of God and astounded many.
Hearing words in one language unknown and understanding it is the gift of interpretation. But even then, one wouldn’t say I heard it in my own language.

112 parsonsmike November 15, 2013 at 10:41 pm

Dwight and truth…,
Although I disagree with Dwight on PPL and I think that the majority of tongues speakers are babbling [at least all I have heard, which admittedly isn't many], i agree with Dwight on paragraph 5…

[here...
There are a half a billion of professed Charismatics. For some frame of reference, there are a billion Roman Catholics, and 14 million Mormons. So you see that this is a massive issue. And yet, nobody would fault pastors for confronting Mormonism for their false view of God, Christ, and Salvation. Why then has the church been so reluctant to confront this movement that has captivated so many people?]

JM is pretty much directly comparing the Charismatic movement with the false view of Christ in Mormonism.

It would be like saying:
And yet, nobody would fault pastors for confronting Mormonism for their false view of God, Christ, and Salvation, so why then has the church been so reluctant to confront the Presbyterian movement for their baptizing babies that has captivated so many people?

JM painted with a broad brush. He shouldn’t have. Certainly there are parts of the Charismatic movement that Dwight does not agree with and has publicly stated so, like the part that claims tongues speaking is necessary for salvation.

Or to put it another way, some Southern Baptists speak in tongues, so should we paint the whole movement as continualists?

Since JM is a strict cessationist, one might understand why he might say the whole movement is in error, but to compare that error and thus every tongues speaker to the Mormonisms wrong-Jesus doctrine is a step too far.

113 parsonsmike November 15, 2013 at 10:44 pm

Oh BTW, my real name is Michael White and I go to Parsons Baptist Church, and i am not an ordained minister but simply a congregant.

114 Dale Pugh November 16, 2013 at 7:21 am

Mike, there’s no such thing as “simply a congregant.” But I think you know that.

115 John Wylie November 15, 2013 at 11:17 pm

Anybody can go online and verify that Dave and Dwight are who they say they are. I personally don’t think any anonymous comments allowed because any coward can make accusations from a hidden position. Accusing Pastor Dwight of bearing false witness is simply ridiculous.

116 parsonsmike November 16, 2013 at 8:17 am

Dale,
Thanks.
I meant in opposed to being a ‘parson’.

117 Truth Unites... and Divides November 16, 2013 at 12:58 pm

VolFan007: “My reason for using a screen name came from the old days of computers, and being told to NOT give out ANY personal info. on the internet.”

Ditto.

Me: “Regrettably, Dwight McKissic insists upon bearing false witness against John MacArthur.”

The content of what’s being communicated is more important than who’s communicating it. Substance over Style, Substance over Who, Content over Form. Remove ad hominem fallacies.

Further, I would have argued the exact same thing regardless of whether it was someone’s real name or a pseudonym. The pseudonym could be “Bapticostal” and I would then have written:

“Regrettably, Bapticostal insists upon bearing false witness against John MacArthur.”

Same, same.

118 Dwight McKissic November 16, 2013 at 2:01 pm

David Worley,

Thank you for using your name & not concealing your real identity. I now understand why many blog host will not allow pseudonames.Risk & rewards can result from what a person says on a blog. When a person refuses to use their real name there are no risk. That’s the real problem of using exclusively pseudonames. Although you use Volfan, you also use David Worley. Everyone knows who you are. You & I don’t always share the same view either. But I respect the fact that I know exactly who it is that I am disagreeing with, and I believe that you feel the same way. Thanks again for not concealing your real name. Can you imagine CB saying the things that he says & not give his real name? I love CB & CB loves me. But if we did not use real names, the conversations that we have had off line would not have taken place. And it has been the off line conversations that have deepened, healed, and clarified our communication; not on-line pseudonames type communication that would have never allowed us an opportunity to build a genuine relationship. Without real names being used, the relationship between CB & I would be zero. That’s why I believe real names are important to use.

119 volfan007 November 16, 2013 at 2:16 pm

Dwight,

I agree with you. We should be willing to own what we say. If we say something, then we should be willing to put our name to it.

David

120 Tarheel November 16, 2013 at 7:31 pm

So if you put your name on it anything goes?

That’s ridiculous.

I’ll point out that one poster above just called anyone who uses a psuedonymn a “coward”….guess that character attack is ok because he used his real name in doing so.

HOGWASH.

121 Dwight McKissic November 16, 2013 at 8:13 pm

Tarheel,

In secular court it is recognized that a person has a right to confront their accuser. Certainly, there should not be any less of a standard among God’s people. If someone is going to accuse anyone of being a coward or a false accuser, they should be willing to own their words, or not speak/write them.

122 parsonsmike November 16, 2013 at 9:42 pm

Dwight,
Although i agree that you interpreted those words correctly and that JM went too far, let me ask you why you need to know who exactly is accusing you?
Jesus, when accused falsely, opened not His mouth, instead trusting the Father, and was vindicated in His rising from the dead.

So I suggest to you, that you continue to trust the Father, and when falsely accused, answer as lead by the Spirit, not worrying about who the accuser is, but instead ask for him blessings and understanding.

God alone is your judge. If you keep short straws with Him, for we read:

Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies.

123 Tarheel November 16, 2013 at 10:20 pm

I haven’t called your integrity or character in to question.

124 Dwight McKissic November 16, 2013 at 10:26 pm

Tarheel,

Is your statement directed to ParsonMike or me?

If it is directed to me I agree: you have not calked my integrity into question & neither have I asked for your name. I don’t believe that you accused me of bearing false witness against JM either.

125 Tarheel November 16, 2013 at 10:34 pm

It was directed at you, Dwight…but I haven’t done that to Mike either.

126 John Wylie November 16, 2013 at 11:39 pm

Actually no I didn’t call anyone who used a pseudonym a coward. Go back and read the comment again.

127 John Wylie November 16, 2013 at 11:41 pm

I was specifically talking about people who make accusations against others from a hidden position. I made no comment whatsoever about commenters who use pseudonyms in general.

128 John Wylie November 17, 2013 at 12:01 am

Tarheel,

I can certainly see how my comment may have been interpreted to mean that I believe all anonymous posters are cowards. It was not my intention to come across that way. For that I apologize and ask your forgiveness. But I stand behind what I said about posters who level accusations against people from a hidden position.

129 Tarheel November 17, 2013 at 12:05 am

It’s all good.

130 Christiane November 16, 2013 at 9:06 pm

when all the fuss is over, I will think of James MacArthur’s anti-charismatic venture more as ‘Strange Ire’ . . .

131 Dwight McKissic November 16, 2013 at 10:08 pm

ParsonMike,

Thanks for your comments throughout this stream. I am just about complete in reading Strange Fire. I am more convinced now than ever that JM maintains that the Charismatic Movement is a cult.

My initial statement was if I were to continue in a dialogue with someone who is accusing me of bearing false witness I would need to know who it was/is doing the accusing. The person doing the accusing gas not addressed me directly or by name since I said that, nor have I addressed directly or by his name-which I obviously don’t know what his/her name is.

Therefore, to answer your question, I don’t gave to know who the accuser is by name. But if we continue to address each other & he/she continues to accuse me then I would line to know what that persons name is. Why? For the same reason that American jurisprudence guarantee you the right to face your accuser. The integrity of both parties are at stake. But when only one person is known, then only one persons integrity is at stake. And that is fundamentaly unfair. Do you agree or disagree?

BTW, thanks for revealing your identity today. I don’t recall ever been accused falsely by you, so your identity gas never been a concern if mine. I was surprised to discover that you were not a local church pastor. I made you like “Parson Brown” in the Christmas Carol.

132 parsonsmike November 16, 2013 at 11:08 pm

Dwight,
you are welcome.
All i was saying is that we should speak the truth in love and let the Lord take care of how we are perceived. And this is because some people do not care [referring to no one in particular] of truth but have an axe to grind or an agenda to follow.
Our greatest enemy [to go to the extreme to make a point] is the forces of darkness and spiritual wickedness in high places, enemies unseen and hiding in the dark. But no weapon formed against us will prevail and God works all to our good.

133 Christiane November 17, 2013 at 9:41 pm

there is ONLY one enemy . . .

134 Dave Miller November 17, 2013 at 10:22 pm

Simply not true according to the Scriptures.

Paul said, “Many…walk as enemies of the cross of Christ.” Philippians 3:18.

Anyone who advocates a gospel different from the one reveal in scripture is anathema, and enemy of God and the gospel.

To those, Paul says (Galatians 1:8) “Let him be accursed.”

135 Tarheel November 17, 2013 at 10:59 pm

you’re right David miller, oh wait….unless they are Charasmatic and claim to be gospel Christians….then they’re completely off limits. ;-)

136 Dwight McKissic November 16, 2013 at 10:13 pm

Parson,

It was comment # 65 where I stated that I needed my accusers name if the dialogue was to continue.

137 Mark Lamprecht November 17, 2013 at 9:05 pm

BTW – John MacArthur will be answering questions from his critics regarding Strange Fire TONIGHT at 9pm EST. Don’t miss it! http://bit.ly/IaEun4

138 Dwight McKissic November 17, 2013 at 11:46 pm

Mark,

Thanks for this link. I only caught the last couple of questions. Did u see all of it? From what I saw he said nothing different that what he said in the book, and his sermon preached at the conference. He still labels the movement as a whole as being a “false” movement. Did he say something prior to my tuning in that indicatesd that he views the Charismati Movement in a better light? Thanks.

139 Mark Lamprecht November 18, 2013 at 12:10 am

I watched (listened really) while trying to finish homework. I probably could not answer your questions too accurately. I do recall him praising Piper, for example, and telling a story of when they prayed together for hours in the basement. I think it was around the time Piper was diagnosed with cancer.

140 Dwight McKissic November 18, 2013 at 12:14 am

Mark,

Thanks. May the God of all grace grant you success in your studies.

141 Truth Unites... and Divides November 18, 2013 at 1:36 pm

Michael Jordan is no longer my favorite Tarheel.

The, THE (Pronounced “Theeeee”) Tarheel on this thread is now my favorite Tarheel. Further, I have no idea what a Tarheel is, other than it’s the name of UNC athletic teams. So I had to go look it up in Wiki. I like this part:

“the author explains that the nickname (“tarheel”) came about when North Carolina troops held their ground during a battle in Virginia during the American Civil War while other supporting troops retreated.”

Yes! That’s what you call “standing firm in the faith” (1 Cor. 16:13)!

Tarheel to Dave Miller: That clip you showed was absent the context necessary to make accusations that you, Dwight and others have made toward JM… “

Wonderful rebuttal. As someone once said: “If someone gives you the text without the context, then it’s simply a con!”

“I’m guessing it’s ok for y’all to speak words of condemnation toward JM…. all the while doing what you claim he’s doing by claiming offense without context and deriding his ministry while ignoring his total body of work.”

Is this the familiar “log in the eye” response by Jesus to a condemning Pharisee?

“Your bias against JM and sympathy toward others might be clouding your analysis.”

Here’s someone else’s view from a different post and thread:

“The best way to help SBC Voices would be to get a new commander and chief. Someone that is not so political, and would allow us to talk to one another without interference, and shoving his ideas down our throats. With an attitude like Dave Miller has, and his micro-managing the blog, most people don’t dare to comment. It’s a shame.

Dave only has a few that he will comment with and the rest he ridicules.”

142 Tarheel November 18, 2013 at 2:26 pm

Truth…

I do not personally know Micheal Jordan…

I am not personal friends with Micheal Jordan…

But i can assure you sir….I am no Micheal Jordan. ;-)

He should still be your favorite Tarheel.

I truly hope no one ever takes snip-its of McKissic’s or Miller’s sermons without full context and makes argumentation against them….

143 Wm. Dwight McKissic, Sr. November 18, 2013 at 3:10 pm

Tarheel,

I don’t know if you saw my earlier question, but I asked you based on the video clip, are you disputing that JM clearly does not view the Charismatic Movement as a part of what he labels the “true church”? Thanks.

144 Tarheel November 18, 2013 at 4:32 pm

Sir,

I did see it and I did answer that question….see what is now post 87 above.

145 truthunites November 18, 2013 at 8:17 pm

Since this post is about speaking in tongues, here’s a journal article that might be of interest:

THE GIFT OF TONGUES:
COMPARING THE CHURCH FATHERS WITH CONTEMPORARY PENTECOSTALISM

by Nathan Busenitz.

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