Don’t know if you caught this story but it made me wonder. Are you guys having any success against these “spirtual gift quenching” pharisees in the SBC? How can you “ban” someone from a private prayer languge? And what would Daniel do with this edict if he were an SBC missionary? Let me get this straight: drinking and smoking in private = ok. Praying in the Spirit = not ok? Crazy. I guess now even that crazy tongue-talker himself, The Apostle Paul, would fail the SBC mission board application process. Maybe you should consider my offer to become a Bishop of Bishops Apostle for the Valley, and you can all come under my covering and doctrinal authority (for a registration fee of $499.99 and annual tithes of 10% of your church’s income, of course). Whoo-hoo! Sometimes it feels really good to have “non-denominational” in front of our church name. If you want to comment on this, go to my blog at https://jimost.wordpress.com
Southern Baptists bar new missions candidates from glossolalia.
Trustees for the Southern Baptist Convention’s (SBC) International Mission Board (IMB) have voted to bar new missionary candidates who practice a “private prayer language” from serving on the mission field.
The trustees voted 50-15 for the new guidelines on November 15, during their meeting in Huntsville, Alabama. The move will not affect current IMB staff or missionaries. Worldwide, 5,122 IMB missionaries work among 1,194 people groups.
Candidate guidelines approved by IMB trustees at the meeting state, “In terms of worship practices, the majority of Southern Baptist churches do not practice glossolalia,” or tongues. “In terms of general practice, the majority of Southern Baptists do not accept what is referred to as ‘private prayer language.’ “
Because the ruling is not retroactive, it will not apply to IMB president Jerry Rankin. “I acknowledged even in the discussions that [tongues] has been a continuing practice [of mine] for 30 years,” Rankin told CT. The trustees who elected him president in 1993 knew he prays in tongues.
When asked, Rankin told CT, “I am assuming that this does not have anything to do with me, because it was stated that it doesn’t.”
Trustee Allen McWhite, who opposes the IMB’s recent action, told CT, “We have no indication whatsoever that there have been any problems on the mission field” concerning missionaries practicing a private prayer language. The Baptist Faith and Message, the SBC confession of faith revised in 2000, does not address tongues.
The board’s personnel committee first raised the tongues issue more than two years ago. The SBC North American Mission Board already bans missionaries from “promoting glossolalia,” including having a private prayer language.
IMB board of trustees chairman Tom Hatley said that during candidate interviews, those who practiced a private prayer language gave differing explanations of it, varying from an angelic language to a “revelatory” gift of the Holy Spirit.
“That’s one reason that Southern Baptists have been suspicious of glossolalia,” said Hatley, who voted with the majority. “If somebody believes they’re getting direct divine revelation from God, obviously that’s claiming an equality with Scripture that we would not allow.”
McWhite noted in a letter to the trustees’ personnel committee that Southern Baptists don’t universally agree on these issues and recommended that they let stand current staff guidelines. The IMB’s staff policy manual already has “a strong statement about charismatic practices that cause division and confusion among our missionaries and/or impact our work on the field,” he wrote.
Some 27 percent of the world’s Christians are Pentecostal, charismatic, or neo-charismatic, according to the World Christian Database.
During the November meeting, trustees also voted to accept only those missionary candidates baptized in churches that teach believer security and that practice only baptism by immersion.
Copyright © 2006 Christianity Today.
Thursday , October 19, 2006
FORT WORTH, Texas — Trustees at a Baptist seminary have put it in writing: They will not tolerate any promotion of speaking in tongues on their campus.
The 36-1 vote Tuesday came nearly two months after the Rev. Dwight McKissic of Arlington said during a chapel service at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary that he sometimes speaks in tongues while praying.
McKissic, a new trustee at the Fort Worth school, passed the lone dissenting vote on the resolution.
It states: “Southwestern will not knowingly endorse in any way, advertise, or commend the conclusions of the contemporary charismatic movement including private prayer language. Neither will Southwestern knowingly employ professors or administrators who promote such practices.”
Seminary President Paige Patterson did not allow a videotape of McKissic’s sermon to be posted online or saved in the seminary’s archives with the sermons of all chapel speakers.
McKissic called for the Southern Baptist Convention to weigh in on the matter.
Asked whether the convention would make a statement, SBC executive committee spokesman John Revell told The Associated Press by e-mail: “We will all find out the answer to that question in June when Southern Baptist messengers gather in San Antonio for their annual convention.”
During his sermon at the school’s chapel, McKissic described experiencing a “private prayer language.”
Seminary leaders have said the McKissic’s comment conflicts with the SBC’s International Mission Board, which voted in November to ban missionaries from speaking in tongues in private. Previously, missionaries were discouraged from speaking in tongues publicly.
The controversy has erupted as some Baptist churches become more accepting of charismatic forms of worship.
Speaking in tongues is common among Pentecostals, whose more exuberant brand of Christianity is spreading in the United States and in foreign countries where Southern Baptist missionaries work.
“I have opposed (speaking in tongues) for all of these years because I think it’s an erroneous interpretation of the Bible,” Patterson told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “Southern Baptists traditionally have stood against what we feel like are the excesses of the charismatic movement.”
Patterson said he defends the right of other Christians to believe in speaking in tongues.
This from KRIS TV, Corpus Christi: Southern Baptists lack consensus on speaking in tonguesNASHVILLE, Tenn. — The first time the Rev. Dwight McKissic ever spoke in tongues, he was a seminary student, praying on his knees in his dorm room. “Strange sounds begin to come out of my mouth,” McKissic said. “The only thing I could think of was, I was either losing my mind or this is what the Bible calls speaking in tongues. I wasn’t trying to do it. It just happened. “It’s this sense of being intimate with God,” said McKissic, who is now a Southern Baptist minister in Arlington, Texas. “It’s different, but not necessarily a better way to pray.” Southern Baptists have long viewed speaking in tongues with ambivalence, not exactly condemning a practice that’s mentioned in the Bible, but not allowing it from its pastors and churches. But now, as Baptist churches become more accepting of charismatic forms of worship, some are asking the denomination to clarify its position: Is it OK for Baptists to speak in tongues? McKissic is at the center of the debate, recently sending a letter to the Southern Baptist Convention’s president and executive committee, asking for church leaders to clarify the convention’s position. The nine-page letter was in response to Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary’s refusal earlier last month to post on its Web site audio and video recordings of McKissic’s sermon at the school’s chapel, in which he describes experiencing a “private prayer language.” Leaders at the Fort Worth, Texas, seminary said the statement conflicted with the SBC’s International Mission Board, which voted in November to ban missionaries from speaking in tongues in private. Previously, missionaries were discouraged from speaking in tongues publicly, but private prayer was not monitored. Dissenting bloggers in the denomination, who have been credited with helping propel the little-known Rev. Frank Page to election as convention president in June, have criticized the mission board’s decision.
Speaking in tongues is common among Pentecostals, whose more exuberant brand of Christianity is spreading in the U.S. and in countries where Southern Baptist missionaries work.
There are different understandings of the practice, which is believed to be inspired by the Holy Spirit. It commonly sounds like a series of nonsense syllables strung together rapidly in a song or chant.
Curtis Freeman, director of the Baptist House of Studies at Duke University Divinity School, said Southern Baptists and Pentecostals are competing for the same converts, but Baptists have traditionally seen the practice as undermining their belief in biblical authority.
“There’s a kind of theological division,” Freeman said. “The focus of Baptist piety tends to be on Jesus and the Bible, while Pentecostals are more focused on the Holy Spirit.”
Freeman said many Southern Baptist churches in recent years have become more charismatic-friendly, with more praise-and-worship music, singing choruses and lifting their hands at worship services.
McKissic, a seminary trustee and pastor of Cornerstone Baptist Church in Arlington, Texas, said missionaries should be able to speak in tongues privately and that nothing in the Baptist Faith and Message, the denominations articles of faith, or Bible is at odds with what he said in his chapel sermon.
“I recognize this is a thorny, uncomfortable issue for all of us, but righteousness and biblical integrity demand that we deal with this issue,” McKissic’s letter states.
Kenyn Cureton, vice president for SBC relations, said the executive committee, which met last month at SBC headquarters in Nashville, did not address the issue because it is “not official and therefore pending business at this point.”
McKissic said if the executive committee does not act, he would make a similar proposal at the SBC’s convention next year in San Antonio, Texas.
Pentecostals believe speaking in tongues is a sign of the Holy Spirit. Sometimes this speech is translated publicly by another person, while at other times it is a private prayer language that McKissic describes.
Soon after the International Mission Board’s vote last fall, bloggers jumped into the debate _ the most notable being Wade Burleson, a pastor from Enid, Okla., and a member of the mission board.
Burleson was reprimanded by other board members for writing about the board’s internal debates on his blog and threatened with removal.
Burleson said the issue was not whether most Southern Baptists agree with McKissic’s views, but whether his sermon can be viewed by the public.
Freeman, from Duke University, said most in the SBC’s “new guard” led by Page are likely to be more “charismatic-leaning” and open to charismatic practices like speaking in tongues privately.
“Page and the others I think want there to be a bigger tent in the SBC,” for it to be more inclusive, Freeman said.
On the Net:Southern Baptist Convention: http://www.sbc.netSouthwestern Baptist Theological Seminary: http://www.swbts.eduWade Burleson blog: http://kerussocharis.blogspot.com