"My heart I give Thee, Lord, eagerly and earnestly." - John Calvin
Friday, June 14, 2013
Tongues: Not a Blessing, but a Curse
Deuteronomy literally means "second law," because it contains the second enumeration of the Ten Commandments. It is primarily a book of the covenant, the terms of the treaty of relationship between Jehovah and His people. It includes blessings for covenant faithfulness, as well as curses for treason against the covenant. The verse I wish to highlight is in the latter portion.
Deuteronomy 28:49, "The Lord will bring a nation against you from far away, from the end of the earth, swooping down like the eagle, a nation whose language you do not understand." There are a number of verses throughout the Old Testament that parallel this one. For example, Isaiah 28:11, "For by people of strange lips and with a foreign tongue, the Lord will speak to this people." Paul also quotes this verse to the same end in I Corinthians 14:21, and then adds in verse 22, "Thus, tongues are a sign, not for believers, but for unbelievers." That is, to unbelieving Jews. Yet, where do we see the promotion of "tongues"? In church worship services! The purpose of these verses, if I may paraphrase, is for God to tell Israel, "If you refuse to listen to Me, then I will continue to speak to you, but through languages that you do not understand." This was a judgment. It is as the parent who continues his warnings to an errant child, even as that child puts his fingers in his ears to keep from hearing. I refer to these verses as the defense of my belief that glossolalia, commonly referred to as "speaking in tongues," is not a blessing, and is not intended for today's Church. Hearing someone else speak in an unknown tongue is a final step in God's bringing discipline against a wayward believer or church. When a professing Christian hears other people speaking in tongues, that means that either he or his entire community has provoked the wrath of God and may soon anticipate some form of judgment. This is not a good thing!
My name is Chris Cole. I have lived in the Charlotte, NC, area for over thirty years, and have been an active Presbyterian during most of that time. I love the Westminster Confession of Faith as a beautiful expression of my own personal beliefs.
You can email me at email@example.com.
I prefer the English Standard Version of the Bible, and all quotations are from the ESV, unless otherwise stated.
I have a number of reviews of Reformed books on Amazon. There is a link to them in the Reformed links below.
"Seeing [that] the Lord of lords, the Lord Jesus, is so ready (never was there king so ready to hear a subject as Jesus is), [even] if thou wert the vilest body that goes, a thief, a harlot, etc., yet if thou wilt say this, 'Lord, remember on me, and give me a part of thy kingdom'; - if thou prayest to him from a penitent heart, with confidence and assurance, I promise unto thee, heaven and earth shall go [fall] together ere thou wantest [lack] thine asking. Seeing [that] our Lord Jesus is so liberal [free-giving], then seek more than enough, more than a kingdom, and thou shalt get more. The only cause why we want [lack] is in us: we have no hearts to seek it." - Rev. Robert Rollock, Scottish Presbyterian minister, about 1590, in a commentary on Luke 23:42-43