Mentioned Tongues At Every Point essay example
First, I will discuss the argument that tongue speaking is mandatory and one is not saved until they have praised God in an unknown language. In Acts 2 it clearly states that tongues is the initial sign of the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Luke clearly identifies tongue speaking three instances in Acts when a believer is baptized. The other two instances in Acts when a believer is baptized it is not clearly stated whether those people spoke in tongues, but it is inferred in both instances. This is the more "traditional Pentecostal" view and is fading among Christians today. The second view that tongues is not mandatory and not always accompanied by the spirit is what Keener agrees with and therefore, more spoken of.
Keener is active in speaking in tongues and testifies that one does not have to speak in tongues to believe in Jesus Christ. He argues that his closest friends are Christians, and powerful ones at that, and never have uttered a word in tongues. Keener states that the reason Luke mentions the speaking of tongues is that he is trying to get across his central theme which is "Spirit empowered cross-cultural witness". Tongues are central to this theme, so therefore, this is the reason Luke speaks of tongues to often. If this is the case then Luke would of mentioned tongues at every point it occurred, and so if it did not occur Luke did not speak of it. Also, if tongues was so crucial to the belief that a Christian had to speak in another language at the point of Baptism, then why did Luke not specifically mention tongues every time their was a conversion.
This argument has key points, but overall Keener wishes that the gift of tongues not become controversial and a big issue, instead, that Christ alone will be the focal point. This is my view and opinion on the spiritual gift of tongues. First of all I was not raised in a charismatic environment and had never been heard of or even been exposed to tongues until I attended Southwestern. I had just accepted Jesus as my savior and was somewhat unknown to many things about the Christian faith.
My first experience was in chapel, and it immediately caught my attention. I had many questions about it, and still do. I hold true to the same belief as Keener that it is not mandatory. I myself have never spoken in tongues, but I do testify as being baptized by the spirit many times. The Person and Work of the Holy Spirit class has answered many of my questions. I readily agree with what you said, "tongues has never been used as it was intended to be used".
But I still accept tongues as a spiritual gift that is a sign of the Holy Spirit empowering. I love the way Keener put it: "If all Christians began speaking in tongues tomorrow, that would not constitute a revival. But if all Christians began loving Jesus and one another passionately enough to fulfill the Great Commission, we would experience a revival like the world has never before seen.".