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Assembly of God wrestles with speaking in tongues (link)
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Post Assembly of God wrestles with speaking in tongues (link) Jason Moore
http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2009/october/5.15.html?start=2

what say you?
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Post revuriah
I don't see why we need to stop appearing so Pentecostal. I can understand some may not get it, but the Bible does say that tongues are a sign to unbelievers. I think that they need to get a taste of what God is doing in and through His people. I understand being seeker-friendly, but isn't there a way to do it that doesn't quench the moving of the Spirit? Let people experience the power of God, not just a nice, non offensive sermon.

I am a younger minister that wants desperately to win younger unbelievers. I want to draw them in, but I want them to know that there is a God who knows them, loves them, and wants to change them via His Spirit.
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Post UNCbluebleeder
I'm not surprised. I've visited the AG church where I live recently and it's far from pentecostal. I hope the AG doesn't go the way of the Methodist church.
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Post Been To A Church of God Lately? NPS39
UNCbluebleeder wrote:
I'm not surprised. I've visited the AG church where I live recently and it's far from pentecostal. I hope the AG doesn't go the way of the Methodist church.


We're already there!
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9/21/09 9:52 pm


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Post The A/G and tongues issue MS7777
As an AG pastor and leader of long standing, this particular issue has been a source of contention for some time now. This article correctly expresses our problem. As a movement we have been at the the forefront of church planting as a means to evangelize and grow the church. However, the church growth movement is primarially a Baptist, seeker movement. Now it is emergent, missional or whatever but the premise is Sunday morning is time to evangelize and make people "comfortable" in a "Christian" setting. Ergo, nothng should be done to make people "uncomfortable". Tongues or the gifts of the Spirit makes people uncomfortable (at least in this line of thought) so don't allow it, don't teach it.

IMHO tongues and other manifestations may make people somewhat uncomfortable but if the leader/pastor would teach about it, explain it froma scriptural standpoint then it could be allowed. So many of our young pastors have this mindset of no tongues, that there was felt the need to affirm our doctine by a resolution at our most recent General COuncil. Each year, our credential renewal forms ask if we still beleive and preach on the initial evidence and manifest tongues. Most of our preachers are being disengenuous when they fill out the form, because they either don't believe it or do not preach it.

One last point, one of our Executive General Presbyters who pastors a 6000 member church told me that tongues and physical manifestations had no role int he church today. He said that this is just our "old time pentecostal" mindset and that mindset will keep your church below 300 people forever. He said he prays in tongues but when asked when or where the baptism of the spirit is taught or allowed to be manifested he could give no answer. This situation is not unique and will become the split of the AG (it is already occuring as many are taking their churches out of the fellowship or letting their credentials lapse as they join other denominations or go independent).

Pray for the AG, and by the way, from the things I read on this board, it seems the COG is not far behind!

Maranatha
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Post Today's Church... FG Minister
is certainly different than when I was raised in the COG. Being raised COG I only thought there were two gifts of the Spirit - tongues and interpretation of tongues. That was pretty much it. If you spoke with tongues, you were in the elite. If you also had the gift of Interpretation of Tongues - you were in the super elite. I did not realize until I left my home church and went to a non-Pentecostal college and seminary that there are actually 25 gifts of the Holy Spirit and in so many ways the other 23 are of more benefit to the local church than tongues and interpretation of tongues. That does not diminish tongue speaking at all - it just means there is variety in the operation of the Holy Spirit.

My home church stayed small because the emphasis was on tongues and the unspoken gift, which many possessed, -- "judging others." My home church could have benefited had our pastors had the gift of administration and some of our members possessed the gifts of mercy or hospitality. These gifts were in short supply, but man could we talk in tongues.


I now pastor a non-denominational church where we believe and practice all 25 gifts (well, not all - few pray for the gifts of poverty and celibacy). I think we are more well-rounded. It is true that tongue speaking does not occur much at all in public worship, but many of the other gifts do. I prefer the balance we now have and I pray in tongues almost every day.
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9/22/09 8:18 am


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Post 25 Gifts? This is exactly the problem! MS7777
While God gives "gifts" to His children, these might more accurately be defined as "talents". There are 9 SUPERNATURAL Gifts of Charisma (1 Cor. 12:4-10) including the Gift of tongues which, although simialrto, is distinct and different from the the initial evidence of the Baptism in the Holy Spirit.

The idea of 25 gifts waters down the supernatural aspect of the true gifts and makes people more comfortable with the fact they haven't received the the real baptism in the Holy Spirit. THis is exactly the problem in our churches today. This kind of thinking and teaching minimizes the power of God and relegates Him to gifts of celibacy, poverty, etc which may be God-given but are more likely personal prefences and pre-dispositions.

God deliver us from such thinking. We need the power of God today as never before. I know others disagree but the only entry way into the Gifts of the Spirit is by being Baptized in the Holy Spirit and the only way (yes, I said the ONLY way) to know if you have been baptized in the Spirit is by some outward evidence. THat's what the Apostles believed (see Acts 11 for Peter's remarks to the church in Jerusalem after he witnessed the outpouring of the Spirit at Cornelius' house.

THis is what the AG supposedly believes and what the COG believes and states in their doctrinal foundations (I may be wrong about the COG - if so excuse me.)

FG preacher, don't give up the FULL GOSPEL - Supernatural impartation of 9 gifts!
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Post One More Thing MS7777
In the article cited at the beginning of this thread, it was mentioned how Supt. Wood dealt with this Resolution on the Council floor. The Exec. Committe NEVER wanted to deal with this but they were forced to because a District Council voted on it and sent it in. THis can of worms will split our Fellowship (which is exactly why Supt. Trask stepped down from his position two years early - he did not want the split to occur on his watch and he feared it might). Bro. Wood is trying to play both sides against the middle - so a voice vote was taken at the end of the council when many had already left the Council and no debate was allowed. Be sure of this, if this doctrine is allowed to be changed there will be rejoicing in some quarters and a stampede out in another quarter.

Already those of us who hold to this doctrine are being made to feel marginalized and patronized as "old-timers" who just don't "get it". I get it but don't be surprised when the "stuff" finally hits the fan, in the AG and COG and anywhere else that still holds to this way of thinking (COGOP? others).

BE FILLED WITH THE SPIRIT!
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Post Re: The A/G and tongues issue Travis Johnson
MS7777 wrote:
As an AG pastor and leader of long standing, this particular issue has been a source of contention for some time now. This article correctly expresses our problem. As a movement we have been at the the forefront of church planting as a means to evangelize and grow the church. However, the church growth movement is primarially a Baptist, seeker movement. Now it is emergent, missional or whatever but the premise is Sunday morning is time to evangelize and make people "comfortable" in a "Christian" setting.


You will never have a theologically substantial and open discussion about this issue by divying up the AG or the COG by using this kind of language which sends people to corners rather than moving us toward unity. Have the discussion. Do it without unnecessarily and incorrectly labeling people. While there is some truth to what you say, you unnecessarily diminish whole groups and remove the real issue from discussion.

I can't speak for anyone else. But, I can say that I make no attempt to make people feel comfortable to the detriment of God's character at Life Pointe Church. We have tough, counter-cultural discussions with our "seekers." In fact, Saturday we are baptizing 35 new followers of Christ. One is getting married right there at the baptism to his girlfriend he has been living with and then getting baptized with everyone else. I have zero desire to spend my life building a crowd of placated people. I want to see life transformation. I want to see people challenged. I want to see people grow. I want to see people called out of their own power and into the power of God.

It comes off to me as disingenuous to say that the certain styles/kinds of churches are somehow compromising the Gospel so they can engage the culture. That is unfair. Push that misunderstanding aside and let's discuss the merits of our theological positions without bias to ourselves and with all trust in the Scriptures. Do it in such a way where threats/intimidation/divisiveness are marginalized and the authority of Scripture is elevated. Do that and you will have a substantial discussion with valued brothers and sisters...or we can continue on carving ourselves up into lesser and/or more significant subgroups within the COG/AG based on nothing much more than preference of style.
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Post Randy Johnson
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Post Re: Been To A Church of God Lately? Randy Johnson
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Post Re: 25 Gifts? This is exactly the problem! Randy Johnson
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Post Let Me Recommend Two Books FG Minister
Dr. C. Peter Wagner wrote a book, with a spiritual gifts assessment, entitled: YOUR SPIRITUAL GIFTS CAN HELP YOUR CHURCH GROW. He lists 25 spiritual gifts. Another book is entiled: 19 GIFTS OF THE SPIRIT - WHICH DO YOU HAVE by Leslie Flynn. If interested, these might help your understanding of my position.

For example - some people desperately need someone to show them mercy (a spiritual gift) and then lead them to Christ before they need someone to speak in tongues. Or it could be that a local church is in such disarray, that no matter how spiritual they may be, they need structure and direction. Someone with the gift of administration may be just what they need over some of the vocal gifts.

Have you ever considered that some of the non-vocal gifts might be needed to prepare for the proper operation of the vocal gifts? I think a church that has the gifts of hospitality and mercy are perfect churches for the vocal gifts. I do not see the reverse. Please consider that all 25 gifts are from the Holy Spirit and are needed in the church. Of course, we still need healing and miracles and tongues, but don't discount the others. As I stated - I grew up in a church that only operated in the vocal and/or demonstrative gifts, and it was the most unloving, uncaring church I ever attended. I never want to go back to that again. There was no balance.
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Post Response 1 MS7777
First of all, to FG Minister: A am quite aware of the Wagner-Houts Spiritual Gifts assessment and have no real arguement with them per se. True the church needs to be balanced, that word is a summation of what I have tried to be in the ministry having witnessed excess from so many people and seen the destruction unbalance leaves in its wake. However, the problem I have is that too often people are left untaught and unencoruaged to seek after the real baptism with evidence which is still THE entry way into the supernatural. Having the "gift of mercy" is fine but if 1 Cor 12 is to be believed, EVERY person can have a supernatural gift of the 9 listed. ! Cor. 14 tells us to DESIRE spiritual gifts and covet to prophesy. Not to the exclusion or excess but so the church can be edified, comforted and encouraged by God personally through the Word of God to His church and by the Gifts of Faith, Wisdom etc. Most of the teaching regarding Wagner's gifts seem to indicate the gifts are already in you which tends to teach and imply that you don't need to be baptized in the Holy Spirit with evidence. Remember, Wagner is a "Third-Waver" (his words) and NOT a classical Pentecostal.

Non-Vocal gifts of hopsitalaity and others are wonderful and should be in every beleiver but they seem to me to be more of the "fruit" of the Spirit life and less of the Gifts of the Spirit.
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Post Response 2 TRavis MS7777
Travis, thanks for your post. I don't know you but from what I've read of your ministry and from your posts, you are a sincere man of God who is desperately trying to build the Kingdom of God.

I was a church planter myself years ago and built a substantial church which I pastored continuously for 15 years before moving to another church where I still pastor. I was also a coach to church planters and have had extensive training with the cutting edge stuff that is being taught today in the emergent, missional, church growth/planting movement.

My complaint stems from the fact that most of the pre-eminent voices of this movement are indeed cessationist, Clavinist and of reformed theology. The only differences is that they have taken off their ties and suits and replaced them with jeans and long-tailed shirts and goatees with high-tech gadgetry and poewrpoint sermons in order to relate to their young, hip and urban or sub-urban masses. No problem with any of that. However, as Pentecostals/Charismatics we have a theology that differs from our Calvinist brothers. I want to attract poeple to Jesus but I don't want to compromise what I beleive on the altar of comfort and acceptability.

Where have we gotten to when the Power of God and winning the lost have become mutually exclusive? I say we can have it all and I know some young pastors who are doing it. The problem becomes that when we try to listen and learn from the guys that are having the greatest successes we get names like Rick Warren, Bill Hybels and a myraid of others who teach Jesus and the cross but in a very shallow way where there is no room for the manifestation of the Spirit. Even braoching the subject to emergents sets off a firestorm of criticism as we who decry the lessening of our doctrine are considered old fogies who are clueless to the NEW CULTURE. Pullleeessse spare me.

I would like to have discussion on engaging the culture with emergents and incorporating the Spiritual Gifts in their services but so many of them have made their minds up because someone else told them to set it aside because it is illrevelant to the culture today and they believe it.

Praise God you are winning souls, baptizing them in water and marrying them and teaching them about Jesus. But could you not (maybe you do) teach them about the Spirit-filled life as well which has its entry way through being baptized in the Spirit with the ininital evidence of Speaking in other tongues? Just a thought.

Keep up the good work.
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Post Travis Johnson
MS,

Good stuff.

I can learn from Rick Warren. He's likely the most generous, Gospel-effective American pastor today. In addition to having something like the 6th largest church in America, he takes no salary from his church and gives away 90% of everything he makes...funding more ministry with more money than you and I will likely make in 100 lifetimes combined. That's an example worth emulating...though I'll pass on wearing the Hawaiian shirts. In addition, there are a number of other ministers who are not and who are cessationists (not that I think Rick is...don't think he'd make that claim) I can learn from.

The first thing that comes to my mind when I'm deciding who will influence me is not whether or not they believe in tongues as the initial evidence of Spirit Baptism. I ask questions like:

Are they passionate about the Gospel?
Are the Scriptures their highest authority?
Do they honor their families?
Are they effective advancing the Gospel?
Are they effectively contextualizing a faithful Gospel?
Are they running with integrity and tenacity?
Are their voices well defined? Or, are the middle of the road in perspective?


ARE THE PRE-EMINENT VOICES CESSATIONISTS? I'm not sure who all you're talking about as the framework for describing these people seem aimed at goatees, shirt tails being out and high-tech gadetry. Still, I don't know that it's really relevant to the fact that AG/COG guys get broad brushed as somehow being people who subordinate the authority of the Scriptures and the Holy Spirit to the desire to be culturally engaged. It personally strikes me as an unfair conclusion. It would also be unfair for me to say that people who wear suits are some sort of aberrant people simply because of their appearance. I don't feel that way. And, I think it would not do justice to the unity of the Spirit or the bond of peace we are called to seek to preserve.

DOES LIFE POINTE TEACH ABOUT BEING BAPTIZED IN THE SPIRIT? Absolutely. On one weekend, we had over 20 people who received the baptism of the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in other tongues. About 2 months ago on one Sunday alone, we had over 100 people say that they wanted to receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.

We see the work of God manifest in our church in a number of ways. We embrace it. We lay hands on people and pray for the sick every week and have since we started. We receive Communion weekly. We hold up baptism high.

What we do may look different than what a lot of people do. But, I know God is at work in a very real and tangible way. If you attended here, there would be no doubt that you would see that a Holy God was active and moving among us.

As such, I think it is an injustice to our body (and similarly in the AG) to marginalize people based on style or some other aesthetic. Doing that does not lend us to healthy discussion as we do rightly wrestle with real issues in and out of our Declaration of Faith. Last time I checked our beliefs are not canonized. They are not Scripture. And, they should certainly be able to withstand the light of Scripture being shined on them. I am confident that as this continues to happen as it has since we first began, not only with our DOF but with our practice and polity, we will be better for it.

My prayer is that as we do, we can hold love high and value one another...so that it doesn't appear that we value our man-made creeds more than God-made men who are in our church fellowship.
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Post Travis Johnson
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Post Re: Let Me Recommend Two Books Randy Johnson
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Post Travis MS7777
Then ignore my posts as they are not directed to you. You in fact should be the role model for what I'm trying to say.

I am in no way minimizing the impact of people like Warren, et al. They are doing great things. Can I learn from them, absolutely! However, I can assure you that i have had much contact with men (and women in the AG Very Happy ) who have in fact bought the lie that the Gifts of the Spirit (at least the major supernatural ones and especially the vocal ones) have no role in the culture of the emerging church. My complaint is that if you want to go there, then go there all the way. Leave the AG or COG and go be the best CESSATIONIST you can be elsewhere. Don't sign a credential renewal form that says you believe and preach the Baptism in the Spirit because you don't really believe it and if you sign it you are disengenuous (liar seems harsh but true).

As to who they are it isn't important but just for the sake of discussion the people we get taught by so often are men like Leonard Sweet, Bill Hybels, Robert Logan, Stephen Ogne, and many others of the same ilk. Even the people we have in the AG (check out AG.org and see church planting for the many resources we have available) have bought into this mindset which is in direct opposition to what we say we believe. Which is what started this thread in the first place. This tension is in the AG, perhaps it is not in the COG but I assure you we are rushing headlong into two camps which is a shame.

By the way, I have a mustache but no goatee, my youth Pastor and my Bible College Dean have shaved heads, long tailed shirts and little tufts of hair on their lower lip. That's just their uniform. I could care less about style. People in my church come in shorts and flipflops and suits and ties. I call it a "come as you are party". I wear a coat, usually a tie, sometimes a polo, sometimes a suit. My uniform varies. who cares? My people are taught the full counsel of God's Word, mainfest the gifts during our services, are prayed for healing, (we are baptizing 12 this coming week), are taught about sin in love, love each other, are welcoming and inclusive and are trying their best to model Christ in their lives. But they are taught they cannot do it in their flesh, we can only love, have power and change by means of the Spirit within us.

Our mission statement: Reaching, Teaching and Transforming People, by His Spirit!
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Post Travis Johnson
MS,

My only points are:

1. Avoid discussion tied to style, age, etc... It does more harm than good. It causes unnecessary division. I felt like that is what you did and the top...no doubt unintentionally.

2. We need to have a discussion about our beliefs. My biggest concern is the pat answers we give about things of the Spirit that Scripture infers...and does not emphatically state...yet we do. We boil down the person and work of the Holy Spirit into such a neatly and fully defined package that we remove the awe and wonder...making Him into some sort of formula, equation, or easily understood mechanism. I have questions about Spirit Baptism. I do not feel as fully convinced about how easily understood His working is. I think I should be able to teach and experience the power of God without reducing Him to some sort of pat answer that many would argue is not so pat according to Scripture.

So, let's have the discussion. But, let's value one another, learn from one another, and walk together in the Power of the Spirit and in the Power of Pentecost.
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