Southern Baptists to open their ranks to missionaries who speak in tongues

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Rob Fall's picture

I'm glad I have very little to do with the SBC.

Hoping to shed more light than heat..

jimfrank's picture

This is news?

Darrell Post's picture

In November 2013 Al Mohler affirmed the cessationist stand taken in MacArthur's Strange Fire Conference. Very disappointing news.

Jonathan Charles's picture

When I get to fellowship with our missionaries, I ask them what other groups are doing work in their area.  Without fail, when they have told me that they have Southern Baptist missionaries in their area, when I ask if they are charismatic, the answer is "yes."  I

Andrew K's picture

Well, of course!

It takes a long time to learn the native language. Why push anybody out if they've got a shortcut? It's an obvious natural advantage! Wink

jimcarwest's picture

Andrew K wrote:

Well, of course!

It takes a long time to learn the native language. Why push anybody out if they've got a shortcut? It's an obvious natural advantage! Wink

That's a joke right?

Andrew K's picture

jimcarwest wrote:

 

Andrew K wrote:

 

Well, of course!

It takes a long time to learn the native language. Why push anybody out if they've got a shortcut? It's an obvious natural advantage! Wink

 

 

That's a joke right?

Let's call it a "half-joke," shall we? Smile

David R. Brumbelow's picture

This policy change will actually change very little.

Are there charismatics, of varying degrees, in the SBC? Sure.

Is the Southern Baptist Convention basically a non-charismatic denomination? Yes.

But is the SBC pretty inclusive within the bounds of the Baptist Faith & Message 2000? Yes.

If the charismatic, tongues issue, becomes a problem with SBC missionaries, it will be dealt with on an individual basis.

This was just putting SBC IMB policy back where it has been. They don’t automatically exclude someone for a “private prayer language.”

Lest any wonder, I do not believe in a private prayer language and believe biblical tongues was the supernatural gift of speaking a language you do not already know.

David R. Brumbelow

pvawter's picture

David R. Brumbelow wrote:

If the charismatic, tongues issue, becomes a problem with SBC missionaries, it will be dealt with on an individual basis.

David R. Brumbelow


I imagine that folks said something similar to this about liberalism back in the day, as well. It sounds good, but when push comes to shove it is easier to simply ignore the individual missionary who deviates from the convention's stated position.

David R. Brumbelow's picture

The Southern Baptist Convention, while basically non-charismatic, has no “official” stated position on a private prayer language.

This policy change really just moves the IMB back to where they were before about 9 or 10 years ago, but well after the Conservative Resurgence.

There is a big difference between this policy change and liberalism.

I was very involved in, and supportive of,  the SBC Conservative Resurgence.

http://gulfcoastpastor.blogspot.com/2009/08/brief-history-of-sbc-conserv...

David R. Brumbelow

David R. Brumbelow's picture

Jim,

No.

I would look at it like a comparison of apples to pong koas.

Beverage alcohol is America’s most dangerous drug and kills tens of thousands each year. I don’t know of a private prayer language doing that. The IMB is totally justified in requiring missionaries to abstain from alcohol.

As Judge Paul Pressler well said,

“The upcoming generations need to know the havoc brought on our society and upon individuals by the use of alcohol. If we use it ourselves, we recommend its use to others. A Christian should not exercise his freedom to put himself and others at such a risk.”

David R. Brumbelow

Jim's picture

David R. Brumbelow wrote:

Jim,

No.

I would look at it like a comparison of apples to pong koas.

Beverage alcohol is America’s most dangerous drug and kills tens of thousands each year. I don’t know of a private prayer language doing that. The IMB is totally justified in requiring missionaries to abstain from alcohol.

As Judge Paul Pressler well said,

“The upcoming generations need to know the havoc brought on our society and upon individuals by the use of alcohol. If we use it ourselves, we recommend its use to others. A Christian should not exercise his freedom to put himself and others at such a risk.”

David R. Brumbelow

Observation: For you alcohol use (or disuse (total abstinence)) is an essential doctrine ... and tongues not! I'm Ok with that

For me: The modern tongues movement is counterfeit and I would not cooperate with any who practiced a "private prayer language". But alcohol use is an non-essential doctrine

Shaynus's picture

I've been planning on commenting here for a while. I grew up in fundamentalism and am now at an SBC church in Nashville. A lot of the members of my church are employed by various SBC entities and we send a disproportionate number of missionaries. 

I'm generally a cessationist in that I think the general modus operandi of the Holy Spirit is to use scripture and teaching through human agents for evangelism and teaching. Where I would want to be much more careful is limiting the Holy Spirit in what He normally does, especially in pioneer missionary contexts. I've heard too many stories to be categorical about what  can happen on the mission field. I wouldn't want a missionary uniquely empowered by the Holy Spirit with the gift of tongues to not exercise it because his sending agency would fire him. (Scenes from the BJU movie Sheffy spring to mind). 

I also think a high bar should be set for the binding the consciences of individual believers. This is where the alcohol ban analogy does fit. In many ways the two issues are unrelated, but they are related in the sense that you are binding the conscience of believers where the Bible is at best mixed on the subject. 

I note that the new regulations allow for a case-by-case review of missionary activities. They can still be fired for wrong or disruptive uses of the gift. Overall I don't think this portends a charismatic turn for Southern Baptists. It's leaders seeking to be faithful to their understanding of scriptures and acting as wisely as they know how. 

Jim's picture

So there is a slippery slope from moderate alcohol use to drunkenness, spousal abuse, and traffic fatalities but ...

None from "private prayer language"* to the chaos of the Pentecostal movement?

* Where is this found in the Bible?

pvawter's picture

David R. Brumbelow wrote:

The Southern Baptist Convention, while basically non-charismatic, has no “official” stated position on a private prayer language.

This policy change really just moves the IMB back to where they were before about 9 or 10 years ago, but well after the Conservative Resurgence.

There is a big difference between this policy change and liberalism.

I was very involved in, and supportive of,  the SBC Conservative Resurgence.

http://gulfcoastpastor.blogspot.com/2009/08/brief-history-of-sbc-conserv...

David R. Brumbelow


David,
Sorry if I wasn't clear about that. I'm not equating continuationism with liberalism, just reflecting on the fact that liberalism originally impacted the convention via foreign missions, and it would seem that the charismatic movement is doing the same.