Just when I was begining to think convergence was possible on the charismatic debate the southern baptists IMB have taken a renegade step in my view. They have banned all future missionaries from speaking in tongues. In classical Christian hypocrisy they have decided not to make that ruling retrospective. Anyone currently serving as a missionary can still speak in tongues privately. I cannot see the logic of this decision. If tongues is not of God why permit existing missionaries to continue this practice? (HT Paul Schafer)
If we can agree to disagree on prophecy (by essentially recognising we each have different definitions of what prophecy is) I suspect that mentioning tongues will reignite our charismatic/cessationist debate and may be more difficult to come to an agreement on. Having said that I am still convinced of my position on prophecy- as a smart home school mum says “if prophecy is synonymous with scripture, then a problem quickly forms. Should modern day believers aspire to write their own book of the Bible? Obviously not – Paul clearly isn’t asking me (Adrian: or for that matter his first century readers) to write the book of IV Kings“
Paul has a clear command to the readers of his epistles. We ususally take these commands as applying to us today. I hope the Southern Baptist Missionary Agency have some solid exegesis to support not applying this command to today as I certainly havent seen anything that would convince me to disobey this command of Paul:
Or was it from you that the word of God came? Or are you the only ones it has reached? If anyone thinks that he is a prophet, or spiritual, he should acknowledge that the things I am writing to you are a command of the Lord. If anyone does not recognize this, he is not recognized. So, my brothers, earnestly desire to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues. But all things should be done decently and in order. 1 Cor 14:36-40
Google Blog search is as always a great way to follow the debate- there are some interesting blog entries to read.
Meanwhile Josh Harris, a Reformed Charismatic pastor has published his most recent sermon on how married people can help singles find a husband or wife (!) I thought that it was really good and would encourage you to listen to it. At the end of the message a prophecy is shared- if you want to find out a bit more what a reformed charismatic church looks like, I would recommend listening to this sermon. I had it in mind to listen to already but thanks goes to Carolyn for letting us know the sermon was up. Incidently, Carolyn’s book “Did I kiss marriage goodbye” is worth buying just for the title alone!
Gaddabout also has an interesting post about the differences in approach to healing between charismatics with and without a reformed slant.