Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Deliver Us From Dogmatism We Pray

A very famous preacher died and left his sermon notes to his alma mater's library. In one particular exposition of a text from II Corinthians the preacher had underlined a point and placed in quotation marks the following comment:

"Argument here very weak; raise voice for added emphasis."

It seems to be human nature for people to shout at one another when the basis for one's beliefs is built on tradition. However when the truth settles in a person's heart, there is a great deal of room to love those who disagree. Truth stabilizes. A lack of truth destabilizes.

I am praying that there will come a time in our Southern Baptist Convention when people are so secure in our understanding of the gospel and our mission of world evangelism that we DON'T CARE, and are QUIET, when brothers and sisters in Christ disagree with us in areas of non-essential doctrines. All doctrine is important, but not all doctrine is essential to fulfilling our mission.

The proper qualifications of the administrator of baptism and the private use of tongues, commonly called a private prayer language, are the two most recent examples of non-essential doctrines that ought to cause us all to say, "Look, I know what I believe about these issues, and you may not agree with my intepretations, but frankly, I am not concerned about convincing you that I am right and you are wrong. All I am concerned about is that you and I cooperate together to spread the good news of Jesus Christ to a lost world."

I personally am not convinced from Scripture or experience that speaking in tongues in public, or even in one's prayer closet, is a gift of the Spirit. However, there are some Southern Baptists who do believe tongues is a gift of the Spirit of God, and they claim to have it. If they told me I had to have it then we would have a problem. Likewise, if I told them they could not have it, then we would have a problem. Neither one of us has to yell and scream at the other "you are a heretic," because we both are in agreement on the cardinal doctrines of the faith.

Sunday morning we received into our church a young lady who shared her faith in Christ quite eloquently. She was quite confident her sins were forgiven because of Christ's work on her behalf. Her hope was solely in Christ. She was baptized at the hands of a minister who does not hold to eternal security, in a church that does not either. However, the young lady does believe in eternal security. We received her baptism.

A few churches in our convention might not believe her baptism to be valid. We do. We are not asking other churches to believe like us, for then we would have a problem. But likewise, when those churches who believe the hands of the baptizer are as important as the heart of the baptized, and then tell us we must believe like them, then we also have a problem.

I am not asking other churches to see it like we do, but I am asking other churches not to demand that we see it like them. The essence of COOPERATION is the freedom to disagree in interpretation of non-essential doctrines, but to cooperate with each other in the midst of our disagreement in fulfilling our common mission.

Surely I am not the only one who thinks this is such a simple thing for us to do, am I?

In His Grace,

Wade Burleson


JUSTAMOE said...

We do sort of have a track record now for insisting on some doctrines non-essential for salvation being definitely-essential to our cooperation, don't we (cf. BFM2000, family/marriage article--the few words there became part of the line dividing wonderfully-gifted brothers [Grk, 'brothers': "ones from the same womb")?

It's good to rein-in the tendency--I mean, our what's-absolutely-essential theology can be compacted to a mass only so dense; after that, we weary ourselves in trying to compact it further (like trying to squish an anvil further into an iron ball--why?!--don't we have other important things to do besides that, and wouldn't the anvil lose its intended functionality at that point?). Doesn't God have a purpose for our holding a set of beliefs--"the faith"--which goes beyond only holding it, and don't we risk being doctrinally-sound but sound-asleep if we ignore that purpose for the sake of somehow achieving "absolutely-solid theology"? (In their zeal to know-and-hold-it-all, the religious leaders at the time of Jesus' incarnation missed Him while trying to determine, "How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?"--that answer didn't matter as much as The Answer just arriving in their midst and for our salvation!)

I think your posting today captures the issue well. Now if its truth will travel the 18 inches between understanding minds to yielding hearts, the SBC can move forward. If a truth transition like that can't be made, look for more of the same, I suppose.

Today anyway, someone lost near us needs the testimony of a "satisfied customer" of the Lord Jesus Christ--let's not forget them and fail to be those positive witnesses! Revelation 22; it'll all be over soon (which also is debated, but also non-essential!).

Anonymous said...

Well said, Wade. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

"I know Whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I've comitted unto Him against that day."

I don't get all the doctrinal and theological truths correct, but that is not the basis of my faith (salvation and faith based on knowledge is essentially another for of works righteousness). The security and basis of my faith is in knowing Christ and trusting Him. Grace takes care of my lack of knowledge.

I agree that we shout loudest when we are most insecure. I don't quite agree that it is truth that quells insecurity. Rather, it is trust.

I've taught theology enough to know there are issues I will never work out with absolute certainty (if I am honest). I have heard lots of shouting about them. I can deal with the uncertainty from those questions as long as I can trust Jesus as Lord and as sufficient to accept me in my lack of understanding.

Truth is not the opposite of insecurity--confidence is. Con fides in its origin meant "with faith." Faith is not "the things I believe" as much as "the One I believe." Perhaps the better translation for pistis (faith) is trust. Obviously, there are propositional elements to any faith, but the stress falls better toward the relational dependence upon Christ.

"Follow Me" is a relational call to trust. As long as we make doctrinal truth the central criterion of faith, we will be hopelessly divided, for we will never see eye-to-eye, even on defining "the major issues". I give thanks that God's grace allows me to be room to be wrong and still remain secure in the love, mercy, grace, and forgiveness of Christ Jesus as my Lord and Savior.

Anonymous said...

I am asking this question out of true ignorance, not to be smart: How do you know that a pastor or a church does not hold to eternal security?

Kevin Bussey said...

You are right Wade. My concern for myself is this: What if I am so dogmatic and push my agenda and find out in heaven I was wrong? Ouch! You are right! Lets stick to the fundamentals but love everyone!

PBill said...

Your words here effectively summarize what I believe and feel in these areas. Good work. We've gone too far down those roads and now is a good time to fix that.

Anonymous said...

I couldn't post this on 'not understaning English' because I don't know how to become a blogger. So I will try putting it here.
My statement, “Wade, you are right. Sometimes I don’t understand English” was meant to be a PS to my letter, but since the letter didn’t make the cut, my PS had little meaning. I’ll try again.
The 2000 and the 1963 BFM states; “Confessions are only guides in interpretation,
having no authority over the conscience.” Now this is English but do we understand it?
What is our BFM? It is our beliefs or it is our confessions of what we believe. That being
said, we can apply a rule of math that says, “Things equal to the same the same thing are equal to each other.” Things that are equal may be substituted. So instead of “Confessions are only guides in interpretation,...” we can say, “Baptist Faith and
Messages are only guides in interpretation, HAVING NO AUTHORITY OVER THE CONSCIENCE.”
What does this English mean? It means the BFM does not have authority to fire anyone.
What the IMB has done is: “If you don’t sign the BFM that states we don’t have authority to fire you, we’re going to fire you.” That’s like saying, ‘If you don’t agree with us that killing people is wrong, we are going to kill you.’
IF, (and I say that with capitals) signing a paper makes you ‘aligned’ with the BFM, then it can be said all missionaries who have not left or been fired are aligned with the BFM. On the other hand, what if President Bush said, “We are keeping terrorist from coming into the U.S. because everyone has to sign a paper they are aligned with us.” It would be the biggest joke around.
If I have not understood the English that says, “HAVING NO AUTHORITY”, I would appreciate if someone could explain it.
Rex Ray

Bill Scott said...

Dr. Erwin Lutzer, states in his book, "Doctrines that Divide" when speaking of prejudicial thinking, the following:

"Prejudice dies hard. We've all met people who would never give up cherished doctrines even if the became convinced that such teachings were unscriptural...The hidden assumption is, "I'm not open to rethinking what I believe. Whether my beliefs are true or not is not of primary importance. I like what is familiar. I don't want to deny my upbringing. I'm comfortable so leave me alone."

I think Dr. Lutzer's thoughts reinforce the power of dogma. When dogma becomes the primary focus, the dogma then handicaps the very scriptures the dogma is so stubbornly trying to reinforce. I find this a terrible irony.

Bill Scott

Anonymous said...

- we would have accepted this baptism as well. So do thousands of SBC churches. This is why the new guidlines are so devisive and still most Southern Baptists do not know or understand the new guidlines.

My church is unique because of the influence of John Brown University. Harvard Avenue is full of people from other denominational backgrounds, many AG's who are continualists and were baptized in a church where eternal security was not preached. This issue is so relevant to me - very few of my members would be accepted by the IMB.

What kind of position does this put me in as a pastor who has been on the field for only one year. The culture will take years to change - but do I stop calling for people to surrender to missions? This will not happen, but I may be forced to support more independant mission organizations which will hinder our support of the IMB. Not because this is my desire, but the practical implications simply play out this way.

Thanks again for your continued stand, consistency, and humility. I have had some interesting conversations here in Northwest Arkansas about this matter, and fortunately have been able to help some people see this issue more clearly. Stay the course.

Anonymous said...

I am having trouble understanding this statement in today's post "I personally am not convinced from Scripture or experience that speaking in tongues in public, or even in one's prayer closet, is a gift of the Spirit"
I can understand why you might think the "gift" doesn't exist today, but not why it's not a gift at all. I personally believe there is solid scriptual evidence that it is at least a gift.

Kiki Cherry said...

Thank you so much for this post.

I have been letting these arguments over non-essentials really get to me. And it has affected my role in ministry.

I quickly realized that I am not a landmarker, dispensationalist, reformed.......oh, and not MALE! I have had a lot of stuff thrown at me through all of this, by many people I respect.

My naive perspective on who we are as the SBC, and security that I was part of a group of like-minded believers was totally shattered.

I have been buying into the lie that if I am not lined up with my brothers in the SBC on all these non-essentials, then I can't serve in any role within our denomination. Even though we do line up on the things that really count.

We have been seriously looking for other ministry options, and even considering getting out of ministry completely and finding secular jobs.

But a wise mentor of mine, who is one of our Directors in PA/SJ, gave me a good pep talk this weekend.

GOD is the one who called each of us to ministry. God's heart is for the lost to be reached.

We need to get back to the main thing. We need to be cooperating for the sake of the gospel.

Time is short. It's time to refocus and keep running toward the finish line.

Jeff Richard Young said...

Dear Friends,

Sometimes a Christian gets hung up on a disputable matter because he believes it indicates misunderstanding of more important matters.

For example, some cessationists preach against speaking in tongues and/or miraculous healing because they believe it indicates a person's opennes to certain errors and abuses common in some charismatic churches.

I suppose this is what drives the narrowing of parameters, a desire to "nip in the bud" any serious errors that might spring from or be indicated by such beliefs as "private prayer language" or "alien baptism."

Please don't get me wrong---this is NOT my position. I do think that we can cooperate with baptists who differ from us in a wide range of beliefs and practices.

But the question was about how simple this cooperation should be. For some Christians the need to "nip in the bud" certain errors seems just as simple, I am sure.

Love in Christ,


P.S. We love you, Dr. B, and we're praying for you!

wadeburleson.org said...

Former M.

Truth and trust come from the same root word. Your point is well taken, but trust in untruth is of no benefit. Only trust in truth provides stability.


I know the pastor personally and the confession of the church. It makes me no difference what the church believes, I am looking into the heart of the person who is joining our church to find out what SHE believes.


I realize that people want to argue that signing the 2000 BF&M is similar to the problem of the new policies. However, I affirm our confession, I was not a trustee at the time a demand was made to sign it, and what I am battling now is the movement BEYOND the BF&M.

Tomorrow's post will make that clear.

In His Grace,


Anonymous said...

Many SB churches would not accept the baptism you write of today.

Ultimately, I fear that what that does is lead to an inflated number of "conversions" reported by any number of churches. What does that do? Makes the pastor look really good in the eyes of the BGCO as well as the SBC record keepers.

I'm afraid that that, Mr. Burleson, is unfortunately the basis for many churches that do not accept baptism based on the person's confession, but rather based on what the perceived church's view on salvation is.

JUSTAMOE said...


I can affirm the confession, but everyone knows its wording has divided us unnecessarily. I agree with you about your present stance; a line finally has to be drawn somewhere--this is the group remaining to draw that line. Carry on, brother.

Anonymous said...

OK, I understand that part of it. I guess I am trying to ask is this: Say you don't know the person well and they say they belong to a certain church. How do you know that church and its pastor do or do not hold to eternal security? Is it by denomination (say they are Methodists or Episcopalians)? I am truly interested in this concept Thanks! Ann

Tim Batchelor said...

Do any of you see any difference between the IMB's narrowed theological paramaters (beyond the BF&M) and the requirment of our seminaries for faculty to sign off each institution's "Abstract of Principles" (which are also more narrow than the BF&M)? Are they different issues or they the same issue? If they are the same issue then would consistency not require a call for seminaries to abandon their abstracts? Just wondering.


Trevor said...

Holy cow, that is well said. I couldn't agree more.

Anonymous said...


When I speak of trust, I speak of the person of Christ as its object. I can't fully trust things or ideas, for they will always be less than the fullness of Jesus Christ. I trust the person of Christ Jesus far above the "truths" we claim about Him.

In Greek, truth and trust are separate roots. Their form is too distinct to be from the same root. In English, we have changed the way we understand the terms for faith and trust. I believe we do injustice to the concepts in the Greek New Testament.

Anonymous said...

Bro. Burleson,

You wrote: "A few churches in our convention might not believe her baptism to be valid."

I hope you realize that more than just "a few" Southern Baptist churches reject alien immersions. While I am not sure what group immersed this lady (I don't believe you said and that would make a slight difference), I would say a very strong percentage of Southern Baptist churches would have rejected her. For example, though I have never been to Oklahoma, I had a preacher friend from there tell me that perhaps as many as 80% of Oklahoma Southern Baptist churches reject alien immersion. Do you think his figures were wrong? I do know that there was a time (before WWII) that 98% of Oklahoma Southern Baptist churches rejected alien immersions.

wadeburleson.org said...

Former M.

Good point. I was using the English, and your point is well taken.


Interesting question about our seminaries, but I do believe their is a difference. The Abstract is not a statement signed by students, but by Professors. It is similar to missionaries being made to sign the BF&M. The principle to me being violated is that the once the Abstract or BF&M are signed, then the rules are changed and policies beyond the charter documents are created and enforced.

The issue for me is a little separate from Seminaries abstracts. Does the IMB have the right to establish doctrinal conformity on doctrines to which the BF&M is silent?

You will respond, "Do the seminaries have that right as well?"

It is well known that one of our seminaries teaches from a reformed perspective, and others do not. I would assume that if their charter documents, such as Abstracts, demand a certain theological position be taken, then the seminary is right in following through with their Founder's desires.

However, the IMB was established for all of us to cooperate together. I would think the IMB's doctrinal standard should be the BF&M, but seminaries may be allowed a little more latitude.


The IMB must investigate to know what the church believes or ask the person coming from the church to investigate. I am saying that is unnecessary. ASK THE PERSON WHAT HE/SHE believes since baptism identifies the person with Christ and not a church.

wadeburleson.org said...


I believe my fellow pastor's percentage to be off by about 20 percent. Probably 60% of the churches would reject her baptism, which our church found to be Biblical.

But the percentage is irrelevant. The point is that there are churches on both sides of this issue, and probably the largest CP giving churches hold to the same view as we do.

Anonymous said...

Got it! Thanks, Ann

Bill Scott said...

I can’t help but remember the declaration from “Chloe’s household” concerning divisions:

I Corinthians 1:10-17

10 Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. 11 For it has been declared to me concerning you, my brethren, by those of Chloe’s household, that there are contentions among you. 12 Now I say this, that each of you says, “I am of Paul,” or “I am of Apollos,” or “I am of Cephas,” or “I am of Christ.” 13 Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?
14 I thank God that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius, 15 lest anyone should say that I had baptized in my own name. 16 Yes, I also baptized the household of Stephanas. Besides, I do not know whether I baptized any other. 17 For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of no effect.

I believe that same situation that Paul faced with the church at Corinth is the same situation that we face today in many ways. We must “preach the gospel”.

Dogmatic interpretations and legalisms concerning baptisms will only continue to hinder the preaching of the gospel.

Bill Scott

Anonymous said...

It may be simple but it is not always easy.

I was readng through Romans 14 and was struck by several things.

1)We are commanded to accept those who are weak by not passing judgement on "disbutable matters"

2)Paul does not weigh in on WHICH side is the one with weak faith"

3)Each person should not just take issues on a side without deep thought and study (fully convinced in one's own mind")

4)Whatever side one takes on a issue should be done for no other reason than to honor God ("as to the Lord")

5) Whatever one may believe on "non essential" issues must be kept between the person and His Lord."

That seems to offer a Biblical rational for the "prayer tongue" to be allowed in private.

I guess the rub tends to be in what some would call essential and "non" esential. To me that is the wisdom of the BF&M (whatever edition) It is in theory crafted to allow for wide spread agreement on what the majority of Baptists would consider essential.

But, even in disagreement on what is essential the apostle Paul commands believers to be kind, loving, and humble as they interact (even disagree)with each other concerning those issues

He bases this on several things

1)Each person must stand and give an account for convictions held.

2)The Holy Spirit knows how to guide a believer towards the truth (through dialogue with other believers, study of the word, and prayer)

3)No one is right all of the time on every issue (ok...Paul did not say that, but that is what he meant) smile

It seems that on non essential items being right is not an excuse for being judgmental......

So Wade, it may not be easy. But, it is the right thing to do.

Blog on....

What is easy is not always right
What is right is rarely easy.


Anonymous said...

Funny how we are here talking about what we believe, why we believe what we believe, what we believe others believe, how many others believe what we think they believe... but still nothing from the Board regarding what they believe and why they issued the policies that started this whole ruckus in the first place.

I'll say it again... the silence from the Board has been deafening...

Kevin said...

Is it the church who places these demandes to Re-baptize on people and sometimes the Pastor of the church has to "pick his battels" over alien baptism but if you had a member of your church who wanted to move their membership from your church to the one i serve we would accept them in with out a problem because they came from a SBC church which seems to realy mess up the reason for re-baptizing them in the first place.

Just thought i would toss that in there to see what you and some of the commenters thought about that.

The issue on the tounges is one that i have dealt with at another church were it became a issue in God doing a New thing and it brought about a lot of confusion and we know who the athur of that is but I have come to believe that I can coperate with any denomination in winning people to Christ and have.
Keep up the good work

mama2train said...

I wanted to thank Pastor Wade for speaking out against the ever-narrowing requirements being set forth by the Convention. I am an adult Missionary Kid, and I spent six years of my life overseas sharing in the family's call to missions. My parents are continuing to serve right now. The increasingly restrictive requirements have been a concern for our whole family. It seems as though the Priesthood of the Believer, once a cornerstone of our denomination, has been trampled. I was particularly troubled when missionaries previously on the field were forced to sign the new BF&M after having been promised they would not be required to. It is partially because of this violation that I feel increasingly uncomfortable being a member of a Southern Baptist Church. For so long, our denomination has denounced the traditions of man, and now they are forming their own. It is very sad. I truly appreciate you for sharing a growing concern publicly. I admire your bravery, and pray that you will be reinstituted so you can continue to have a steadying impact on our fragile community.

Anonymous said...

I am trying to understand about Dr. Rankin's PPL. Do I understand that tongues are involved in this PPL. If so please give some Scripture reference that he uses to validate this PPL. I would sincerely like to spend some quality time to read those Scriptures and really try to see how he justifies this troublesome thing. I,m no theologian by any measure but I have been saved for 43 years and have been teaching the Bible for 35 years. Can you possibly do this for me? I would be very appreciative of it, I truly am sincere. I pray that God will give you wisdom. Jim Sadler

art rogers said...

Most who read what I write already know that I agree with you on this issue, so I won't spend a lot of time doing that here.

I want to accentuate a point you made in the comments, though, Wade. Those who continue to debate the dogma are missing the point. The point of this post and the point of the debate is that dogma is not the point - cooperation is the point. Debating dogma has its place, but it is not at the Board of Trustees of any of our institutions. The SBC as a whole is the place but bringing it to the IMB is distructive to the MISSION - winning and discipling the world.

Please don't get caught up in cessationalism or qualified administrator baptism - at least not in this conversation. Debate it all you like in the times and places where that debate is "iron sharpening iron." This is Bapitst controling Baptist.

Bill Scott said...

The passage that you seek is found in I Corinthians 14:12-40. The distinction that you seek is found in the phrases "speaks in a tongue" (vs. 13) and "pray in a tongue" (vs. 14).

The latter of these two phrases is the basis for a PPL. The former (speaks in a tongue) requires an interpretation. Paul goes on to talk about he potential for confusion in the remainder of the chapter.

I hope this provides you the Biblical reference that you desire.

Bill Scott

wadeburleson.org said...

The last two comments:

Thanks Bill for answering Jim's questions.



You get the shiny apple.

art rogers said...

Thanks, Wade. I'm patiently waiting for another contest and a shot at an autographed copy of a certain book. As you remember, I got honorable mention last time.

Anonymous said...

Regarding 1 Corinthians 14:14, it can be argued from the context that the verse refers to public praying rather than a private prayer language:

Albert Barnes' comment on the verse:

"The reference to prayer here, and to singing in 1Co 14:15, is designed to illustrate the propriety of the general sentiment which he is defending, that public worship should be conducted in a language that would be intelligible to the people. However well meant it might be, or however the 'heart' might be engaged in it, yet unless it was intelligible, and the understanding could join in it, it would be vain and profitless."

John Gill's comment on the verse:

"In the Hebrew tongue, which the greatest part of the Jewish doctors insisted (a) upon should be only used in prayer; which notion might be borrowed from them, and now greatly prevailed in the church at Corinth; and the custom was used by such as had the gift of speaking that language, even though the body and bulk of the people understood it not."

Bill Scott said...

I agree entirely about the context of the passage. Logically speaking, praying in tongues could be done in private or in public (as in vs. 14). It is up to the recipient of this gift to decide the place in which it would be exercised. I think this was brought out in the recent interview with Dr. Rankin.

Wiersbe's commentary says this,
"The principle of edification encourages us to major on sharing the Word of God so that the church will be strengthened and grow. The principle of understanding reminds us that we share must be understood if it is to do any good. The private use of spiritual gifts may edify the user, but it will not edify the church; and Paul admonished us to "excel to edifying the church" (1 COR 14:12).

I COR 14:14 is the only passage in scripture that refers to "praying in tongues" directly.

The semantic tango is an exhausting but necessary dance sometimes :-)

Thank you for the clarification on the literal context.

Bill Scott

Anonymous said...

Wade it is interesting to read the comments. Jim's comment about not understanding the tongues part is indicative of the majority of Christians. When I recieved the baptism of the Holy Spirit, my bible came alive. This Holy Spirit that had been "bottled" up in me miraculous openned my eyes in such a way as I never dreamed. We all are christians. Saved by the blood of Jesus. We are not robots.


JUSTAMOE said...

1 Corinthians 13:4-8: A Faithful Paraphrase

Agape can restrain itself when being provoked by people, and even can be kind toward folks instead.

Agape is emotionally-mature; it is other—focused, not self-centered (it doesn’t get unduly jealous, and doesn’t need to point-out itself by selfishly misbehaving).

Agape acts nobly; it isn’t at all self-seeking, but the opposite of selfishness and sinful pride.

Agape isn’t on the verge of explosion, and it doesn’t keep track of the evil it experiences or observes and who did it.

Agape doesn’t feel entitled to receive, but to give.

Agape isn’t appealed to by unrighteousness, but it celebrates with the truth (if the truth is denied, and moral considerations are minimized, agape can’t be happy—it always offers protection, but points to the truth).

Agape always keeps faith and hope alive—it sees reality for what it is, but continues to give the benefit of the doubt and to look to a better future.

Agape doesn’t take failure as final—other things, including some exciting spiritual things—will cease to be, but agape never will suffer collapse.

Agape’s character is unfailing—God infinitely has agape, and even is agape.

Seemed pertinent to the discussion here. (Galatians 5:22a)

JUSTAMOE said...

"A healthy church going most quickly on-mission with God as He seeks to redeem the world to Himself in the time He has allotted prior to Christ's return"--this is my understanding of believers' possession of any/all spiritual gifts mentioned in the Scriptures.

The body definitely is to be edified, but so that it can obey the Great Commandment and Great Commission--not so that its blessings can be consumed by it upon itself.

Anonymous said...

Baptist Theologue said:

Regarding 1 Corinthians 14:14-15.
"For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayers." & "I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding"

John Gill's comment on the verse:

"In the Hebrew tongue, which the greatest part of the Jewish doctors insisted upon should be only used in prayer; ...
even though the body and bulk of the people understood it not."

I not certain I understand.

Certainly he isn't referring to the (Hebrew tongue) as the praying in the (SPIRIT) part of these verses?

Please clarify these for me!

Sorry Wade! I disgress only momentarily from the MISSON.

Signed Okie

Anonymous said...

Anonymous, in regard to Gill’s comment on 1 Corinthians 14:14, you asked:

“Certainly he isn't referring to the (Hebrew tongue) as the praying in the (SPIRIT) part of these verses?”

I think he was indeed referring to the Hebrew language. Theologians have differed about whether the “tongues” in 1 Corinthians 14 refer to known foreign languages, some type of supernatural language, or to some type of emotional outburst. One point of confusion is that the King James Version translation is as follows: “For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful.” The word “unknown” is absent from all the Greek texts, and it is thus italicized in my King James Version. There is an interesting discussion on what type of language is referred to in verse 14 at the following link:


Bill, you said the following:

“I agree entirely about the context of the passage. Logically speaking, praying in tongues could be done in private or in public (as in vs. 14).”

Unfortunately, there is confusion because not everyone agrees that the phrase “private prayer language” means praying in supernatural tongues in private. Some see it as making some type of groaning sound. Most Southern Baptists, however, have probably groaned at some point during their lives when they were praying, and I think we would all agree that most Southern Baptists have not had a private prayer language. Thus, I would say that “private prayer language” refers to the charismatic/Pentecostal practice where the tongue speakers believe that they are experiencing a supernatural language or a supernatural, ecstatic utterance (not a known foreign language) while they are praying in private.

Kris said...

Thank you Mr. Burleson. Thank you for your leadership. Thank you for your love for our Creator God & Father and our Lord Jesus Christ. Thank you for your love for the SBC. Thank you for love for missions. Thank for answering our Saviors call to give up you life to serve His church. Thank you for standing up and contending for the faith. Thank you for being a man of peace. Thank you brother.

Grace & Peace
Kris Kinder
Cement FBC

Anonymous said...

To Rex Ray,
You’re beating a dead horse to death. Whine, cry, moan, and grumble...that’s all you ever do! Nobody listens to you. You’re a broken record...over and over. WAKE UP! Admit you’ve lost. The vote’s been taken and you came in second. So get with the program and be on the CUTTING EDGE. Doctrine will win the world for Christ. Inerrancy is the battle
cry. Shut your eyes, turn your mind off and follow your leaders. They know what’s best for you.
They’re accountable to God and you’re to be accountable to them. If they’re wrong, it won’t be
your fault. If God tells you he gave you individual priesthood at Calvary when he split the veil, you can say, ‘Lord, our BFM sewed that veil up years ago. INDIVIDUAL went out the window...it’s
priesthood of BELIEVERS now... majority rules...we don’t need the Holy Spirit...He’s into that
INDIFICUAL stuff...now we have God-appointed leaders.’ If God says he gave you his WORD to guide you, you tell him our guideline is the BFM because our literature says so.
Rex, you idiot. You asked anyone to explain why the BFM says it has NO AUTHORITY OVER THE CONSCIENCE. Don’t you know that nobody is going to touch that with a ten-foot pole. Their minds are made up. Don’t confuse them with facts. If they answered that question, they couldn’t pop the
whip. The last thing authority wants is less authority.
Rex Ray

wadeburleson.org said...


I don't agree with you, and I have not posted some of your posts that your critical of others by name, but I have to hand it to you, you are the first person to ever write a post to himself. I appreciate your humor and wit.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Bill Scott. You must think I am rather shallow. I thought perhaps there was more than this in his explanation. These Scriptures have been settled in my mind long ago. Charlie, I never said I did not understand the tongues part actually I do understand the tongues part. I simply wanted to know from whence comes Dr. Rankin. I have already spent quality time in the Scripture suggested. Jim Sadler

Anonymous said...

Wade Burleson said...

But the percentage is irrelevant. The point is that there are churches on both sides of this issue, and probably the largest CP giving churches hold to the same view as we do.

February 21, 2006

Bro. Wade, I am not arguing for either side here except that your statement did bother me some. Does it make it right if the churches are the "largest CP giving churches...?" I hope not! Humility will always be your best course of action even if your church grows to the the largest CP giving church, always remembering that, "pride comes before the fall."


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the kind words. Thanks for being fair to print the
‘other’ side of the story even when you disagree. Thanks for what
you have accomplished. It’s been said, “You can’t fight City Hall”,
but you did and won. Its been said it’s better to bury a robber than wound him. I wonder at the ‘wisdom’ of your being wounded
instead of being buried at the next convention. “Wounded” does
not suggest you are a robber other than your removing ‘wrong’
from the IMB. What I’m trying to say is that ‘wrong’ may regret
the day they let you live.
I’m thrilled at the possible acceptance of your five issues. By the way, do you have a 11 foot pole?

Anonymous said...

Wade, now that Southern Baptists appear to have dispensed with SOUL FREEDOM, now that they appear to undercut the AUTONOMY of the church (through the ease with which they disfellowship congregations for exercising that autonomy and through the ease with which they emasculate the pastors of such congregations), now that they have dispensed with the claim that "BAPTISTS HAVE NO CREED", can we expect that they will announce the coronation of their MONARCHICAL BISHOP very soon? Can we also expect to revert to the day when no one else, but the BISHOPS, may interpret scripture? The SBC - and America - is going to pay a VERY HIGH price for all of this neo-asceticism one of these days, mark my words.

Anonymous said...

First let me sat we support you and your position with our thoughts and prayers in the SW corner of the state. Many thanks for taking a stand for the Kingdom sake and keep up the good work!
Speaking of doctrinal non-essentials...I first realized the overemphasized push for signing the "abstract of principles" while in seminary at Southwestern seminary. It was during an elective with Dr Jack MacGorman, that professors were told to sign. I remember several great professors deciding to leave the campus, which was dissapointing to a student at the time. However Dr. MacGorman was told that he could continue to teach, even though he would not sign the "abstract of principles." You see Brother Jack would only sign his Bible, which he would quickly show anyone who asked, but not the "abstract." His name graces the newest building on the campus, the Leadership Development Center. How ugly that would have been to ask Brother MacGorman to resign, while leaving his name out there for everyone to see on the Leadership building? He resigned that semester, stating that he had to hold himself to the same standards as other professors. I watched a man of faith, deeply devolted to teaching the Word of God, weap in the decision to step down with humility. I admire him for his stance, especially since he went against the flow. Wade, I admire you for taking a stance and holding to your convictions. Coincidentally Dr. MacGorman taught his last seminary elective on the book of Revelation.
I wonder does how much does it break the heart of God to see His children divided over the trivial instead of united over the triumphed Lord Jesus Christ?

Anonymous said...

Baptist Theologue

Thanks for the link to the interesting articles.

Good reasoning through-out.

Really DOES explain away the NEED for the the Holy Spirit to speak or interpet TONGUES. (Hebrew).
No NEED for the spirit at all since this reasons it is NOT a "GIFT".

What is his take on Acts 19:1-6.
Pauls is in the region of Ephesus when "the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with "tongues", and prophesied." Are speaking Hebrew?
Signed Okie