Edify Thyself. Pray in Tongues.

 

I do not care for Twitter, because it ends up being an endless vomit of slanders, fanboys and logical fallacies. However, it can be useful to see how bad or better said, to see what type of bad thinking is happening in the church, so as to rebuke it and correct.  Here is another example of so-called orthodox people trying to correct the so-called bad “health and wealth,” teachers.

Kenneth Copeland
“Spend time praying in tongues. The scriptures that come up out of you—that’s the wisdom of God. “

Jack
“Scripture tells us that only sin and wretchedness come from us… not Mr. Copeland though. God’s written word is apparently not enough, one must speak incoherent gibberish and take it as SCRIPTURE and God’s wisdom. That’s a lofty claim! When’s his next bible coming out?”

I will not spend long on this but will briefly say this. To correct something, you need an extensive understanding and logical patience to divide the exact thing that is wrong and what is not. Most do not have this. And many theologians and scholars often do not have this; rather, they have a fanboy understanding of their tradition and jargon, but not of the Scripture and logical deductions from it.

I sometimes wonder if these people are in a race to belittle the Holy Spirt.  Matthew 7, “But the Pharisees, when they heard it, said, “This [Jesus] does not expel demons except by Beelzebul the ruler of demons!” … But if I expel demons by the Spirit of God…  For this reason I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven people, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven!”[1]

Not a follower of Kenneth, and not sure he said it the best way, but this person’s critique is condescending to God’s Word and Spirit.

This is obviously self-refuting; thus, we know why this person is so sinful and wretched in their critique of the Word and Spirit.  But beyond this noticeable point, since most fanboys are self-refuting, let us consider how they represented Kenneth. Kenneth used “scripture,” and “wisdom” (aka maybe like “words of wisdom” which is a spiritual gift) interchangeably, and so, at least from this tweet, I would not logically infer Kenneth is saying praying in tongues produces additions to Scripture to be printed in the next batch of Bibles. Maybe he did, but its not deductible from this tweet. Either way, I do not care. And if that is not what he meant to say, then to say otherwise is bearing false witness. Do Christian not remember how closely the “false witnesses” quoted Jesus regarding the tearing down and building of the temple? It does not take much to become one of those hellish creatures.

Paul says that he desires for all to “pray in tongues,” which is empowered by the Spirit. Paul says praying in the Spirit “edifies” the person doing it.  Well, what type of edification? In context of the passage it is edifying oneself in God and Jesus Christ. This is the power of praying in tongues! Here is a question. What is one way Paul was able to encourage and edify his soul in Jesus Christ in the middle of all the hardships he endured?  “I give thanks to God that I speak with tongues more than all of you.”[2]  Thus, if praying in tongues edifies oneself and Paul was doing this constantly, then Paul was constantly uplifting his own spirit by this Spiritual gift. Here is another question. Do you suppose that praying in tongues is mostly confined to this gift only, or that there is rarely any good effects that might come from God’s Spirit edifying your spirit in Him? Or is it reasonable that Paul in his constantly praying in tongues walked away with the same Spirit leading Paul in relevant Scriptures to think upon, or lead into other gifts such as “words of wisdom”? This is so simple to understand, why must I talk about it? Yet, for spiritual people these are basics of Jesus’ Kingdom, and they have been walking in the for a long time.

Paul told Timothy the Scripture was already “sufficient,”[3] which was most likely only referring to the Old Testament, but at the very least if it did refer to the New Testament it was already sufficient when parts of the New was not already written. Yet, despite this sufficiency of the Scripture being already in play, Paul commands all to seek the gifts and wants all to pray in tongues. Thus, one cannot say the gifts diminish the sufficiently of the Scripture without logically gutting out entire books of the N.T., if not all of it.  If these fan boys find Kenneth wretched, then what are they if not demons?

Jack belittled the Holy Spirit, who comes down to encourage the souls of His elect children through tongues He gives: “Speak incoherent gibberish and take it as SCRIPTURE and God’s wisdom.” The Scripture is God’s public Revelation for the church. It is our epistemology (i.e. starting point for knowledge); however, it is not the only time God reveals. John talked about things God revealed to him, but could not reveal it to us. And thus, we have a divine infallible testimony of private spiritual revelations from God that are truths.  Yet, our point about tongues is said to be caused by God Spirit speaking. If the Spirit speaking is not “God’s wisdom,” then what is, when the Spirit is not? Thus, on  this nitpicking point, Jack is wrong, again.

I could go on about how all the arguments against the gifts are wrong, and how even if the gifts have ceased one is able to still get all what they promise in faith; but for that I would recommend Vincent Cheung’s relevant books on it. For now, let us who are spiritual and find the commandments of God a joy, do them in joy. “Strive for spiritual gifts.”[4] Increase faith by reading God’s word day and night.  How many struggle with downcast souls? Has not the Scripture commanded us how to help this? Encourage your soul in Jesus Christ everyday by praying in the Spirit (Yes, this same Spirit who gives God advice), and in this great power God gives you, love those around you. Some say with great power comes great responsibility. But God says, with great power should come great love.

 

——–EndNotes———

[1] 7:24,28,31. LEB [] added by author.

[2] 1 Corinthians 14:18

[3] For more see Vincent Cheung. “Scripture: Sufficient Against Cessationism” From Fulcrum, 2017.

[4] I Corinthians 14:1