Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Decide for Yourself

Transcript of chapel sermon by Rev. Dwight McKissic
Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
August 29, 2006


Good morning:

I’m delighted to be here today to share in this chapel service and, it reminds me, Dr. Patterson, when I came to Southeastern I went looking for a stoic and staid worship service, and it was much alive out there. And I have really appreciated this group of singers today, and that musician – we are looking for a pianist at my church and I want to talk to you afterwards and see if you’re looking for a job. Don’t go away because I need to see you before it’s over today.

I’m grateful for this opportunity to share today and I’m honored and privileged to serve as a trustee of Southwestern. I want to address a subject matter today. When I was asked to come and I asked the Lord about what he wanted me to share, he laid upon my heart a subject matter that took me many, many years in a pastorate to get a handle on. And I trust that this will help some of you who are probably also searching and grappling to get a handle on a subject that I want to address today. So I ask for your prayers as I deliver a message that I believe God has led me to share today.

I invite your attention to Acts chapter one, verse 5. Now I preached twelve minutes last time, so that means ya’ll owe me about thirty minutes today. Acts chapter one, verse five:

The words of Jesus.

He says, “For John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”

I want to talk about the baptism and the filling of the Holy Spirit. There are seven passages in the New Testament which speak specifically of the baptism with the Spirit. Five of these passages refer to the baptism with the Spirit as a feature event. Four were spoken by John the Baptist (Mt 3:11; Mk 1:7-8; Lk 3:16; and Jn 1:33). One was spoken by Jesus after his resurrection. We just read it in this text, Acts 1:5. The expression “you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit” means that this action was to take place at one particular time.

The KJV tells us that this event was to take place “not many days hence.” John the Baptist and Jesus referred to the baptism of the Holy Spirit as a future, historical event. The sixth time we see this phrase “baptized with the Holy Spirit” is in Acts 11:16, referring to the baptism in the Spirit as a fulfilled promise.

In Acts 11:16, Peter uses the term in reference to Cornelius and his household, who had also receive the Holy Spirit. Peter viewed the Gentiles receiving the Holy Spirit comparable with the Jews receiving the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost, thus fulfilling the promises spoken by John the Baptist and Jesus.

The seventh, and last time we see this term, “baptize with the Holy Spirit,” is specifically mentioned in 1 Corinthians 12:13. This passage speaks about the wider experience of all believers. We can conclude from these passages of Scripture that the baptism with the Holy Spirit was first of all a prophetic event fulfilled, a promised gift received, and a purposeful experience.

The baptism of the Holy Spirit may be properly defined as that activity of God whereby through his Spirit he brings the believer – at salvation – into a relationship with Christ and simultaneously into a relationship with the Body of Christ, the Church. So I want to raise a question today: Does the baptism in the Holy Spirit occur simultaneous with salvation or subsequent to salvation?

Don’t go to sleep on me now.

In the book of Acts we find four occasions for sure, and possibly five, where the baptism of the Holy Spirit occurred. No one occasion is identical to the other although there were some commonalities. In Acts 2:1-4, the 120 believers experienced the baptism and the filling of the Holy Spirit simultaneously accompanied with tongues at Pentecost. Also at Pentecost there were 3000 who received the gift of the Holy Spirit and salvation under the preaching of Peter, but no mention is made of them speaking in tongues.

The 120 were saved and received the baptism and filling of the Holy Spirit subsequent to salvation. The fact that the experience of the 120 was in two distinct stages was simply due to historical circumstances. They could not have receive the Pentecostal gift before Pentecost.

In Acts 8:12-17, we see where the Holy Spirit was received by the converts in Samaria after their water baptism. Philip preached the good news of the Kingdom of God and in the name of Jesus Christ they were baptized, both men and women. When Philip preached to Samaria, it was the first time that the gospel had been proclaimed outside Jerusalem. Evidently, because Samaritans and Jews had always been bitter enemies.

In Acts 8:16, it explains that although they were believers and had been baptized, the Holy Spirit had not yet come upon them. I believe that in this incidence and Samaria, God sovereignly withheld the Holy Spirit from them until Peter and John arrived so that they might see for themselves that God received even despised Samaritans who believed in Christ. There could be no question about it.

Also in Acts 8:26-40, we see the Holy Spirit directing Philip to go to Gaza to witness to an Ethiopian man. Thank God that the Ethiopians were included. The Ethiopian man, like the 3000 on the day of Pentecost, received the Word of God and was baptized. But there is no mention of tongues, a second baptism, or the laying on of hands. In verse 39 of Acts 8 it says he rejoiced in the Spirit as he got up out of the water when Philip baptized him.

Now Acts 2 is often referred to as the Jewish Pentecost, and Acts 8 is referred to as the Ethiopian Pentecost and the Samaritan Pentecost.

In Acts 10, verses 44-48, while Peter was preaching to Cornelius – the Italian, a Gentile – and his family and friends, the baptism and the gift of the Holy Spirit fell on this Gentile. Unlike at Samaria when the Holy Spirit was given after water baptism, these Gentiles were baptized with the Holy Spirit while Peter was yet preaching.

In other words, you can’t put God in a box. He does things like he wants to when he wants to. He’s the sovereign God. There is no formula.

In Acts 19:1-7, we find an encounter of Paul with the disciples of John the Baptist in Ephesus. Paul asked them, in verse 3, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” Behind the question is the assumption that this was usually when it happened – when you believe, when we believe, we are sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, according to Ephesians 1. They pled ignorant of the Holy Spirit, stating that they had been baptized into John’s baptism.

Paul related John’s baptism to the ministry of Jesus, and they were baptized in water a second time and received the gift of the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

Now to summarize this point: It is my belief that you cannot look to Acts for a fixed formula or a definite pattern as to how one receives the gift of the Holy Spirit. No one has the Spirit of God in a box. It is my belief that Pentecost instituted the Church, then all that remained was for Samaritans, Gentiles, Ethiopians, and Jews who were unaware of the gospel to be brought into the church representatively. This occurred in Acts 8 for Samaritans and Ethiopians; Acts 10 for Gentiles; and Acts 19 for the belated believers from John’s baptism. Once this representative baptism with the Holy Spirit had occurred the normal pattern applied. Baptism with the Spirit at the time that each person, of whatever background, believed on Jesus Christ. Baptism with the Holy Spirit is the initial experience of every believer at conversion.

Eph 1:3 says that “we have been blessed with spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” And one of those spiritual blessings, whether we realize it or not, that we received when we were saved is the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

Now the question that many of you will have to deal with when you pastor and people join your church from various backgrounds, influenced by television ministries and what have you, is the question, “Is speaking in tongues the evidence of being baptized with the Holy Spirit?”

That’s the question that every future pastor here will have to deal with. It’s something you will have to work out in your own theological pilgrimage. And the answer to that question, based on biblical authority, as far as I’m concerned, is “no.” Speaking in tongues is not the evidence of being baptized with the Holy Spirit.

However, I believe it is not the gift of the Holy Spirit, but the Bible makes it clear that for some it is a gift that God chooses to give to believers.

Now it was in 1981, on this campus, when I took a class from Dr. Jack Gray, a missions professor, that he was teaching on spiritual formations in the spiritual foundations class at the time. And I probably bought almost 1500 books, Dr. Patterson, just trying to figure out the Holy Spirit. Well over a $1000.00, and every book I would read would influence me and I would change my mind with every book.

I was a young preacher, a young pastor, called to a church at 21 years of age, and I was having to work through this issue. And Dr. Gray had a 50cent booklet in class that, had I purchased that book first, it would have answered all my questions for me.


He spent a whole week speaking on the Holy Spirit, and he made this statement in class one day, and it changed my life. He said, “Up until 11 years ago I knew the Holy Spirit as a doctrine, then I met him as a person.”

[That’s right, Amen!]

He said, “I knew him as a doctrine, but then I met him as a person.” That statement riveted me that day. We also had a week of study and prayer in that class, and we would use Peter Lord’s 21/59 prayer guide, and I grew up in a traditional Baptist church that was very anti-tongues.

I remember when the tongues movement broke out in our church, my pastor preached a sermon against tongues. He said that Jesus never spoke in tongues, and he never commanded anybody to speak in tongues. He took a hard stand, and so I adopted the position of my pastor until I got to Southwestern Seminary and Dr. Gray passed out this booklet on the gifts of the Holy Spirit that validated the gifts. And I studied Jack MacGorman’s book on the Holy Spirit, and Billy Graham’s book on the Holy Spirit. I’ve even looked at Dr. Patterson’s First Corinthians commentary where not all Baptists believe that the gift of tongues went out with the completion of the New Testament.

Some of the foremost leaders and thinkers and theologians among Baptist life believe tongues is a valid gift for today. And at 12noon, Dr. Gray challenged us to establish a daily time of praying through Peter Lord’s prayer plan, and I was at Ft. Worth dormitory here. Twelve noon was my 29/59 prayer time, and every day I let nothing interfere with that.

I wasn’t seeking the baptism of the Holy Ghost with the evidence of speaking in tongues. I didn’t even believe in speaking in tongues. I was just going through my regular prayer time.

But I literally, on this campus, in the dormitory for the first time in my life, as I was praying, some strange words began to come out of my mouth. And I began to pinch myself and say, “what is this,” and the more I prayed I didn’t understand what I was saying. I said, “this must be what people call speaking in tongues.”

Now, I don’t believe that tongue-speaking is the evidence of the filling of the Spirit. Most of the religious scandals of our time have been led by men who practiced speaking in tongues. They certainly were not living a life that showed the evidence of being filled with the Holy Spirit.

But I think it’s tragic in Baptist life when we take a valid, vital gift that the Bible talks about and come up with a policy that says people who pray in tongues in their private prayer lives cannot work in certain positions. That to me is contrary to what many of our foremost Baptist thinkers and leaders think.

[Amens heard]


Well you can understand I’m not the most popular man in the world, but at my age I don’t preach for popularity or applause, I preach what I believe is the truth of the Word of God.

[Applause. Laughter]

So, I don’t believe it’s the evidence, but I’m here to say that as the Spirit gives me utterance I pray in tongues in my private prayer life, and I’m not ashamed of that. I’m thankful for that. I don’t believe it makes me spiritual or superior or inferior to anybody. I have no prejudice or bias against tongues; however, I must stand on biblical truth and not popular opinion.

I do believe that all spiritual gifts listed in Scripture are operable today, and by the grace of God some Christians will experience the gift of tongues when filled with the Holy Spirit, although the teaching that all Christians should experience speaking in tongues as evidence of being baptized in the Holy Ghost is unscriptural. The Scripture does not preclude speaking in tongues for some when they are filled with the Holy Spirit.

As the Spirit rushes into the corners of their lives, awakening new desires for prayer and praise, speaking in tongues will naturally flow forward in some. Whatever your spiritual gift is, if you are filled with the Holy Spirit, that gift will be used to the maximum.

Paul makes it clear in 1 Corinthians 12:13 that all believers are baptized by the Holy Spirit, but he also makes it clear 1 Corinthians 12:30 that all do not speak with tongues. Now since all Christians do not speak in tongues, it cannot be the proof of the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

There is only one baptism in the Holy Spirit (Eph. 4:5). “One Lord, one faith, one baptism.” And I believer that’s referring to Holy Spirit that occurs at salvation. Being baptized is equated with being a child of God. Believers are never commanded in Scripture to be baptized, but to be filled with the Holy Spirit. As Dr. W.A. Criswell used to say, “one baptism, but many fillings.”

There is the ongoing filling ministry of the Spirit for power. There is only one baptism but many fillings. But all born-again believers are baptized in the Holy Ghost. All born again believers, who have experienced Jesus Christ as Lord, whether you’ve ever had a tongues speaking experience or not – you may never have one; that may not be God’s will for your life – but you have been baptized in the Holy Spirit. And the purpose of this baptism is to place believers in the Body of Christ.

Even carnal Christians are seen in 1 Corinthians 12 as having been baptized in the Holy Spirit.

The filling of the Spirit means the whole control of the Spirit, then enthronement of Jesus as Lord. When a person receives salvation, baptism with the Spirit, or the gift of the Spirit, I believe the Holy Spirit is resident. But when you’re filled with the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit is then president.

The filling with the Holy Spirit makes one experience Jesus as complete Lord. It is God-intoxication. Not drunk with wine, but be filled with the Spirit. Paul wrote of bringing every thought captive to Jesus Christ, to acknowledge his authority in 2 Corinthians 10:5. The fullness of the Spirit is for that specific purpose and service to bring every thought captive.

The promise in Acts 1:8 was power. And the service was witnessing. The report in Acts 2:4-11 was that they were “all filled” and unbelievers heard them telling in their own tongues of the mighty works of God. In Acts 4:31, believers were filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the Word of God boldly. In Ephesians 5:18-21, the result of being filled with the Holy Spirit was that they would give thanks to God, that they would have submission in their lives, and they would acknowledge one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs.

The fruit of the Holy Spirit is the evidence of being filled with the Holy Spirit, not one of his gifts. The gift of the Holy Spirit is the Holy Spirit himself.

In conclusion, where does the Bible teach that all Christians are to speak in tongues as the evidence of the baptism of the Holy Spirit?


I also believe that non-Pentecostal evangelicals must recognize that the gift of tongues is a legitimate spiritual gift – that it always has been and will be a part of the church until Jesus returns. Some believers will experience the gift of tongues, and some will not. Pentecostals need to recognize that tongues is not a sign of spiritual power, although it does edify the one who is speaking (1 Cor 14:4). Baptists and other evangelicals need to recognize the Spirit-filled life and the fact that the Holy Spirit desires to have intimate fellowship with us daily for empowerment, fellowship, service, comfort, and guidance.

Now for what most Pentecostals refer to as a baptism of the Holy Ghost, I refer to as the filling of the Holy Spirit. However, regardless of what terminology we use, we both agree we need the fullness of the Holy Spirit to render effective service for Christ for our families, and even on our jobs.

Now as I hurry to my seat, how to be filled with the Holy Spirit?

Dr. Gray, in his booklet has several suggestions.

You need to remember that the Holy Spirit lives in you now. Thank God for his presence. We refer to the Holy Spirit as an it but he’s a person. He shouldn’t be referred to as “it” but rather “he.”

Know that he will never leave you, according to Hebrews 13:5. We’ve been sealed with the Holy Spirit (Eph. 1:13-14). We need to get on our knees before God and thank him that he lives in our hearts now. We need to rejoice in him that he lives in us and he will never leave us. There is no complex formula given in the Bible or a certain order as to what do you do first, second, and third in order to be filled with the Holy Spirit. The Bible says ask and you shall receive. It’s God simple word to his children. There is nothing to fear in being filled with the Spirit. God blesses, Dr. Gray says, not blasts. He helps, not hurts.

To be filled with the Spirit is good, and will result in your good and God’s glory. It is as simple as this, and I’m not just preaching this for an academic purpose. I’m not just preaching this so that we’ll know more about the doctrine of the Holy Spirit. I agree with Dr. Gray. What I need, what you need, is to know him as a person.

When Paul said, “that I may know him and the power of his resurrection.” That same power that raised Christ Jesus from the dead, that was the Holy Spirit. I need to know him intimately. I need to know him experientially. I need to know him deeply. So to be filled we need to request him to fill us.

We need to repent of our sins as he directs. When I asked him recently to fill me afresh and anew with the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit reminded me of a thank you letter I refused to send to my uncle because I was upset about something that had happened in my family, and the Lord made it clear to me that until I repented of that sin and sent him that thank you letter I would never enjoy his fullness.

And enjoying his fullness meant more to me than holding onto a grudge.

There may be some sin. There may be some insensitivity. There may be some issue in your life and in my life that keeps us from being filled. Ask the Lord to point that out to you. Ask him to search your heart, to try you, and if there be any wicked way in you, to lead you into a way everlasting. Believe him to fill you. Receive his filling. And we should do this daily.

Here’s what Jesus said if we want to be filled with the Holy Spirit. If you’re hungry, eat.

I love reading through a book of the Bible in chapel every day. That’s eating the Word of God. Blessed are they that hunger and thirst. If you’re thirsty, drink! Jesus said you’ll be satisfied, that you’ll never thirst again.

He says come unto me all you that labor and are heavy-laden, and I will do what? Give you rest!

I believe I was filled with the Holy Spirit the day I was saved. I believe I was filled with the Holy Spirit when I was 17 years of age, and I never spoke in tongues that time. I didn’t believe in speaking in tongues. But God got ahold of my life when I was planning on going to the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville to study political science. I wanted to join my brother’s law practice and become a lawyer. But I fasted for three days seeking God’s will for my life, and he called me into the ministry and led me to Ouachita Baptist University. It totally changed my life and my outlook on life and gave me new direction in life.

I believe I was filled with God’s precious Holy Spirit when I preached my first sermon at St. Paul Baptist Church in March of 1974. I believe that at different times in my life, God has filled me and anointed me for a specific purpose and a specific task. But I believe God also filled me with the Holy Spirit even in a dormitory room on this campus just crying out to God to be in the center of his perfect will. As the song-writer said:

Like the woman at the well, I was seeking.
Sometimes for things that could not satisfy.
But then I heard my Savior speaking,
Draw from the well that never shall run dry.

If you want to be filled today, all you have to is cry out:

Fill my cup, Lord.
I lift it up, Lord.
Come and quench this thirsting of my soul.
Bread of Heaven, feed me till I want to more.

Fill my, cup.
Fill it up, and make me whole.

One baptism…but many fillings.

Jesus said, “If you being evil will give good gifts to your children, how much more will the Heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him.”


Kevin Bussey said...


Thanks for getting this. I can't say I agree with his theology, but I wouldn't have censored him. Is he my brother in Christ? YES! Do we need men like him? YES! Can I work and worship with him? YES!! said...

Thanks to Benjamin S. Cole for providing the transcript.

I remind everyone the issue is NOT whether or not you agree with Dr. McKissic.

The issue is should Dr. McKissic be given the grace and respect due him as a trustee of the SWBTS and Pastor of a large, evangelistic SBC church, even if WE DISAGREE WITH HIM.

Further, should an institution supported by CP funds censure someone by saying what he teaches is "harmful" to churches, when what is being taught is based upon the pastor's interpretation of Scripture, falls within the BFM, and is not considered an "essential" of the faith.

Are we really desiring the SBC to be a narrow sect where everyone must conform to a specific ideology? What happened to critical, Biblical dialogue, discussion and even dissent?

Those are the issues.

steve w said...

Thanks for posting this! Dr. McKissic has said that he wants SWBTS students to think critically about this topic and the IMB policy.

Now that this transcript is available, perhaps more people will also think critically about the IMB policy, and evaluate it biblically, regardless of whether one agrees with Dr. McKissic or not.

For this reason, I'm grateful that Dr. McKissic had the courage to say what he said.

Scott said...

In the same way that the printing press broke the stranglehold of the Catholic Church on the words of scripture, so too the internet will break the stranglehold of denominational executives who don't want laity to know certain things.

Praise God for this.

Steve Mills said...

I had a watershed moment a few months ago at a Worship Conference with various denominations as we ascribed honor and glory to the Lord: On the day we stand before the throne of glory there will be no difference betwen those who were immersed and those who were (gasp)sprinkled. Nor will there be a special section for those who spoke in tongues and for those who do not.

As a Navy Chaplain (In OKC), I find it refreshing to work with those of differing faiths. When a sailor comes to my office for counseling, he or she is not looking for a Baptist Chaplain--they see the cross on my collar and are in need of love and care.


Ken and Brandie said...


Thanks for posting this. Agree or disagree with Dr. McKissic's theology, this message needed to be accessed by a wider audience.

In a manner which has become all too typical of some, the leadership at SWBTS chose to limit access in an effort to expand control.

And as many of your readers have stated in one way or another, in this information age, those who control access to information control literally everything.

Thanks for the "expose," if you will!

SBC Layman said...

Wade and Ben,

Thanks for the transcript. Like I mentioned in the previous post. Diverse and divergent interpretatons of scripture are good. They force us to know why and what we believe. They encourage our own study of the Word


Stephen Pruett said...

There was an excellent series of posts on private prayer language and tounges in general on Jerry Corbaly's blog. I would refer you to it, but he has removed the archives and ended his blog. Maybe I am not entirely objective, but my impression was that the non-cessasionists, ecstatic utterance believers, and supporters of private prayer language more than held their own in straight up arguments about the appropriate interpretation of the relevant passages. It seems to me that the only people who oppose an open discussion on this are those who are on one side of the issue (like Dr. Patterson and Dr. Corbaly) and seem to want to convince everyone that their view is mainstream and others are not. If they are really sure that their arguments and interpretations are unassailable, why do they not want an open discussion? Dr. McKissick is an eloquent and gracious man. Why in heaven's name would we want to prevent him and others who believe like him on this issue from working for our SBC agencies or boards? I know, we haven't done that yet, only IMB missionaries have this restriction. Realistically, though does it make sense to have different rules on this issue for different agencies or employees? I would be surprised if this is not applied in the future across the board, which would preclude Dr. McKissick's further service as a Trustee. I just don't get it. Policies were already in place to prevent teaching that tongues are normative or practicing them publicly. Why wasn't that enough? Why wouldn't it be enough now? None of this makes even a little sense. I feel like have awakened into an Orwell novel. Maybe it's just a dream?!

Unknown said...

I e-mailed back and forth with Dr. Patterson this evening over the issue and think that the seminary's argument is not whether or not they should allow or endorse this message and teaching, but whether or not they should "advertise" it.

In our conversation, Dr. Patterson clearly argued that this was not censorship as Dr. McKissic was allowed to teach as he pleased and finish his message, that the message is in the archives and that CDs, videos and transcripts are readily available.

The argument is that by placing the message (audio / video) on the web that it "advertises" the message and implies that it is the concensus view of the seminary.

Wayne Smith said...

Brothers and Sisters I just read the Transcript Post and not any comments yet. The Holy Spirit lifted me up, like it did when I was 40 yrs old. What a testimony from Dr. McKissic. It just doesn't get any better and no greater High. Thank You Lord.

Thank you Wade for sharing this Love for the Lord.

A Brother in Christ without the Gift of Tongues.

Tim Dahl said...

I am saddend. National Conventions, State Conventions, Local Associations...all seem to be having trouble. God's Kingdom is under so much attack. And I'm sure the devil is having a hay-day while we fight amongst ourselves. He's been winning for too long. From the beginning of the takeover until now. When will we ever wake up, O' God.


Alan Cross said...

I'm in full agreement with Dr. McKissic's right to speak his view as well as his theology. His perspective IS the mainline evangelical perspective. John Piper and Wayne Grudem would agree. It is the continualist position and it has a great deal of Biblical support and validity. Great evangelical scholars support this position. It is neither dangerous nor fringe.

An SBC where this position is not allowed or advertised as being a valid position to hold will be an SBC without my presence. I can work with people who disagree with this position. They have that right. But, if they say that I can't believe what Dr. McKissic so effectively stated yesterday and be a good Southern Baptist, then I will leave it to them. I'd rather be a good follower of Jesus Christ and His Word than a good Southern Baptist under that type of unbiblical authoritarianism, because the two positions would no longer be synonymous, in my opinion.

Folks, this is not the time to argue whether a cessationist or continualist position is right. I'm a continualist and I would fight just as hard if all the cessationists were being marginalized. It just isn't right. You can believe either position and be a brother or sister in Christ that I can work or fellowship with. But, if you tell me that my position is not valid and is unwanted, then YOU have broken fellowship.

This is crazy. This is no little thing. This will either pull us together because we will work through it, or the SBC will split in a way that made the prior divisions look insignificant. I am very concerned for our future.

Alan Cross said...

Correction: I should have said that Dr. McKissic's position is A mainline evangelical perspective. Upon further reflection, I realized that there are competing views that carry a great deal of weight and I engaged in a subjective argument without documentation. That is not profitable to the discussion and only serves to alienate others who hold a different view.

By the way, can anyone see after reading that, how the reason for limiting access could have been one paragraph that contained a vague reference to the IMB's BOT decision. That seems ludicrous to me.

David Rogers said...

I am in total agreement with Rev. McKissic's message. The only difference is that (according to my understanding, at least) God, who in his sovereignty gives the manifestation of the Spirit "to each one, just as he determines" (1 Cor. 12.11) has not yet decided to give me the same experience he gave Rev. McKissic.

May we all heed Rev. McKissic's plea to seek the filling of the Holy Spirit in our daily lives, and leave whatever manifestations He chooses to give us in His hands.

irreverend fox said...


if I was sitting in Paiges lavish office (it is, I've been in there about a year ago, and met with Paige... that's what he told me to call him...with about 5 other pastors for two hours...he's quite a charismatic, no pun intended) I would CERTAINLY put some sort of disclaimer on the audio/video. Something like, "some of the views expressed here are not nes. that of SWBTS, our staff...blah blah blah". This guy gave a one sided sermon, which is fine, but I think that swbts ought to feel free to make a disclaimer of some sort. BUT, not archiving this is simply INFLAMATORY and ridiculous. Period.

Kevin Bussey said...

I guess I meant what David Rogers said. I guess I didn't mean Theology, it was more interpretation!

Baptist Theologue (Mike Morris) said...

I might point out that there are more than two positions on this. Most commenters have mentioned cessationists and continualists. There is also a popular semi-cessationist position. Here's a brief description of each:

1. Continualist: The gift of tongues continues now and is normative, just like it was in the time of Paul.

2. Cessationist: The gift of tongues has ceased.

3. Semi-cessationist: The gift of tongues is no longer a normative gift. It rarely occurs so that a person can understand the word of God in his or her own language.

I don't want to make this comment too long, but a key issue is the use of the middle voice in 1 Corinthians 13:8. Notice that the three verbs describing what will happen to “gifts of prophecy,” “tongues,” and “knowledge” are all translated as future tense in English, but in Greek, two verbs are future passive and one verb (connected to “tongues”) is future middle:

“Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away.” (NASB)

A pretty fair Greek scholar, our own A. T. Robertson, commented on the middle voice used in 13:8:

“They shall cease (pausontai). Future middle indicative of pauw, to make cease. They shall make themselves cease or automatically cease of themselves.”

See John MacArthur's comments:

Best wishes,
Mike Morris
(aka "Baptist Theologue")

SigPres said...

Dr. McKissic preached a message that he felt the Lord had laid on his heart, the entire message was supported by scripture, and the conclusions he drew were consistent with the scripture that supported it. If there is disagreement with his conclusions, a seminary seems to me to be the ideal place for a discussion.

I feel very blessed to be serving on the staff of a church where stating my agreement with Dr. McKissic's position will not cost me my job. It is sad to think that there are many Baptists in places of service who would have to worry about that.

If I had the power over someone's livlihood, and I used that power to get him to agree with me on an issue of relatively low importance, what have I accomplished?

Mike & Cherri said...

Thank you, Wade, for sharing this message. I very much worshipped as I read this message and LOVE reading the comments - the fellowship - of brothers and sisters across the nation through this bog. Sure appreciate ya & love ya - your sis, Cherri

foxofbama said...

Word is spreading like Wildfire. All yall find go to this site immediately for a synopsis from the mostly young so called reform conservative bloggers on this latest. What is Frank Page saying. I sent him an email this morning I sent to the staff of FBC Ft. Payne Alabama, where Bobby Welch was baptized. It was about another matter.
But here is the roundup link

And read 7829 as well about Jim Henry's daughter Kate Campbell's latest that sings like an OT prophet.
Wade, my Brother, you and Flick and my Friend Webb bring Kate for a concert to your church there in Enid, and let Bruce Prescott have the opening prayer, and then friend we are getting somewhere.
Maybe later today I will cut and paste my latest enthusiasms about kate.
Traveling Home

Charlie Mac said...

Why do some Baptists believe we must always agree with every thing the preacher or professor or seminary prasident says? I personally do not believe in "unknown tongues" even as "private prayer" language. But why not open the minds of seminary students to both sides of the issues? If all we want from the seminaries is cookie cutter preachers, why not just give them canned sermons each week and be done with it? I want and need pastors, preachers and staff members who expand my understanding of God's Word by causing me to think and study on my own. I loved the explainations on why the sermon was not immediately put on the Internet. They reminded me of the TV interview where the Texas politician was denying taking money illegally in the Sharpstown Banking scandal. He ended the conversation by saying "Besides, I spent that money to pay outstanding debts." Censorship is censorship regardless of the reasoning behind it. Say What?

Alan Cross said...

Since when does Dr. P get to run Southwestern as his own domain? That's part of the problem. A president of a seminary is a steward, not a dictator. All power cannot and should not be vested in one person. All of our consciences should be held captive to the Word of God. We should work with the community of the saints. If this argument were true, Dr. Dilday would still be at Southwestern doing what he wanted.

People are actually saying we should butt out of Dr. Patterson's perogative to run Southwestern the way he sees fit! Since when has this approach applied to any other agency or SBC institution. We don't have a bunch of little fiefdoms all over that are beyond the scope of accountability.

Man, why is my church sending in all those cooperative program dollars again? Should we just pay up and shut up? Why even have an Annual Meeting? Why don't we just let the big boys decide and go back to our little churches? This position is not tenable. said...


Hear! Hear!

As they say in our mother country to the east.

Alycelee said...

Agreed Alan.
Thanks David, for your always kind and wise words in a time when we need them.

jthomas. Are you in Virginia? First perhaps?
I wish anonomous people would consider NOT being. I submit to you it gives a credence to your post if you will come to the light of day.

Alan Cross said...

Regarding 1 Corinthians 13:8, the cessationist and semi-cessationist position holds that tongues will cease when perfection comes. You have to look at the context to see that an answer is given as to when these things would cease. Here it is:

9For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. 11When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. 12Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. 13And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

They claim that perfection is the completed canon of the Bible. Once we have the Bible, we will no longer need tongues or prophecy. Those gifts were just given to the early church until the Bible was completed. Do we really believe that once we have the Bible we will no longer see through a glass darkly? That we will know just as we are known? Obviously not, especially when you look at NT prophecies concerning false teachers, deception, and people falling away. Clearly, this is talking about when we see the Lord face to face in eternity. There will be no need for these gifts because Jesus will be with us, but faith, hope, and love will always remain.

You have to engage in theological gymnastics and be a Greek scholar with a particular interpretation to come to the cessationist or semi-cessationist positions. The continualist position comes from a straight reading of the text. Using MacArthur's hermenuetic, you can make the Bible say just about anything you want. He is not an authority on this issue to me, because he changes the way he does biblical scholarship at this point and he works form his own biases and presuppositions. It is always suprising to me that Biblical conservatives who believe in inerrancy would be cessationists.

Alycelee said...

McKissic responds to Patterson's criticism of statement on tongues in chapel sermon

davidinflorida said...

Pastor Wade, Its obvious that, according to Craig from Georgia ,that Pastor McKissic does not know how to read the Bible correctly.... Is there any way that we can get Pastor McKissic and Craig from Georgia together so that Pastor McKissic can be enlightened.....

Baptist Theologue (Mike Morris) said...

Alan, you said,

"Regarding 1 Corinthians 13:8, the cessationist and semi-cessationist position holds that tongues will cease when perfection comes. . . . They claim that perfection is the completed canon of the Bible."

Not all of us who are cessationists and semi-cessationists believe that "perfection" in the passage refers to the completed canon. Some of us believe it refers to the second coming of Christ. Verse 8 distinguishes tongues from prophecy and knowledge by use of the middle voice. Verse 9 only mentions prophecy and knowledge; it says they are in part. Verse 10 says when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away. The gift of tongues is clearly in a separate category. Thus, the semi-cessationist believes the gift of tongues has gradually been ceasing of itself, and the cessationist believes the gift of tongues totally ceased much earlier. said...

I should have identified the previous David as DavidinFlorida, and not David Mills above.

Alan Cross said...

Thank you Baptist Theologue for the clarification. I was working from what I've seen MacArthur write on the subject.

Even if that's the case, that still doesn't seem to be a very strong position for the ceasing of tongues when Paul spends almost all of chapter 14 talking about the practice very clearly with statements affirming that he spoke in tongues, he wished they would all speak in tongues, and that we are to not forbid speaking in tongues. It seems that if they were going to pass away that he could have clearly said that and we would not be basing our whole perspective on this topic on the middle voice of a Greek verb.

When I was in seminary, I asked my two of my Greek professors independently about the differences between dechomai and lambano in the Greek. They both mean "to receive." Dechomai is a more passive reception while lambano implies a more active reception. Anyway, they both gave the same answer until I mentioned how those verbs are used intechangably in Acts 8 and they seemed to point to a different type of reception taking place when the Holy Spirit came to the Samaritans. I really wanted to know what they thought because it was confusing to me. As soon as I mentioned Acts 8, they changed their answer and ended up contradicting each other. It went from clarity to confusion as soon as the context and the implication of their answer was mentioned.

My point is that the Greek is helpful, but we all take our presuppositions, even to the Greek text. This is why Greek scholars disagree with each other. I feel that we are much safer letting Scripture interpret Scripture and looking at the context. Not that the Greek is not helpful - we obviously need it and I use it often. I just caution hanging your theology on the middle voice of a Greek verb, when there is a great deal of weight from Scripture that leans the other direction.

And, I obviously defend your right to do just that. I have no problem with working with you, even though I disagree. This is only an issue, because some say that McKissic's interpretation of these passages has no place in Baptist life. The continualist would never say that to the cessationist or the semi-cessationist. That is where the problem lies.

Thanks Baptist Theologue for the information. Even though we disagree, I praise God that we can discuss these things in civil and rational manner as brothers in Christ.

Paul said...

I think we should all just ask what Benedict thinks about this and settle this once and for all.

Seriously, Bob Cleveland makes a very good point elsewhere by asking, if this perspective could bring harm to our churches why make it available at all - even at a cost? Is it actually better to make a profit off of harmful theology? If so I'll sell my Scofield Reference Bible to the highest bidder [snicker, snicker].

Don said...

Interesting. We will unlock dissertations that were kept out of the public eye for the security of our missionaries but we will not put a sermon on the website because someone disagrees with it. Very interesting. What has happened the the school that I attended?

Just because a sermon is on the website doesn't mean that the seminary endorses it.

SigPres said...

To Alan Cross,

Right on! Amen! to everything you said.

davidinflorida said...

Pastor Wade, Yes, my tongue was planted firmly in my cheek..... Just as I said the other day, if one has a prayer language than Praise God that great, if one does not than that is OK also...I dont believe that it should be a WEDGE issue for SBCers to get angry about...But thats just me , as I have been told by a guy in Georgia that I dont know how to read the Bible... said...

George Klineberg,

A man who thinks like you is dangerous for those in control, but a breath of fresh air to people like me.

Look forward to meeting you some day.



Alycelee said...

thanks cameron for erasing that.
I was about to respond :)

James said...

I was just referring to the fact that you misread "fascist" for "racist" in Ben's response. While both are fairly inflammatory, it makes a difference in what he was saying. I believe Ben is making a statement about what he sees as PP controlling information because of the ideas of the message, not the race of the messenger.

James said...

Also, I am, sadly at the moment, a Cubs fan.

Alycelee said...

Cameron, I had hoped that you thought better about calling our host a hypocrite. (consistently even) Skirt around the linguistics all you like, however the charge is
1. not true.
2. rude.
3. does nothing to foster brotherly love.

It would appear in past post, you take issue with everthing Wade post here.
Are there really biggers issues?

When disagreeing it is not necessary to disparage, in fact, we have a higher calling, to encourage, exhort, lift up. We can do all these things while disagreeing.

Do we look exactly like the world here? Unable to overlook differences of opinions for the greater good of God?
Perhaps we should ask that question the next time we post.
What would Jesus do?
Selah and Agape

Kevin Bussey said...

Alan Cross,

U Da Man!

davidinflorida said...

Dear Craig from Georgia ( master of the Bible ) good to hear from you. Now , how about answering the question that I asked you yesterday.... Our new SBC President believes that Calvinism is a false teaching. Does he or does he not read the Bible correctly???? Does he or does he not believe what he reads??? Can you answer the question??? said...


Lord willing your question will be answered in San Antonio.

If not, I will answer your question at the appropriate time.

Bob Cleveland said...

From time to time, folks lament the fact that we're discussing a sermon, the denial of streaming video of the sermon, rules for missionaries which are more restrictive than the BF&M, pastors caught in lies or other misdeeds; a case is made that we should be discussing more important issues.

I have to ask myself how important it was that Ananias and Sapphira fudged on their numbers. Or that Moses subtituted striking for speaking. Or that Nebuchadnezzar made a simple statement about who built Babylon. Or that David had Uriah sacrificed .. even though, later, he was called a man after God's own heart. And that act caused him not to be able to build the temple (even though it was credited to his account).

Maybe these issues are the important ones. We have all the systems in place to be effective in the missionary work, but we have to ask would God let us use them if our other things are out of scriptural parameters.

We underestimate the absolute necessity to conduct ourselves in a Christlike manner. All the time. Every time. And that includes avoiding the hypocrisy of refusing to let people view a video online, claiming it might "damage the churches", but then selling the same thing to them.

I've pointed out that hypocrisy more than once. No one has ever responded. Perhaps we're all that blase'?

RKSOKC66 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Bryan Riley said...

Isn't God the same yesterday, today and forever? Do we interpret God's promises based upon our experiences or based upon our faith in His promises? In other words, do we walk by faith or do we walk by sight? deep thoughts... hmm. :)

Great sermon. and great comments, Alan and others.

Alycelee said...

Cameron, so how long does one have to participate in hypocrisy before one becomes full fledged?
Will you give him another week, a month to respond to what you think it appropriate? Of course, this would be all relative and subjective in that this is your opinion, as expressed in your blog response (and perhaps the amount of grace you are willing to allow?)
You put much thought, (not to mention space :) in debating me and I thank you for being willing to interact with me here on this subject.
However, on this-we are just not going to agree.

Wade doesn't need me to defend him, nor does God.
But you see, I believe there is a higher calling here.
(A specific annointing, if you will)
I believe God is at work here, doing something about the SBC, His church, His seminary, His kingdom and working REAL character in His people. I'm not discouraged, I'm encouraged.

I do know what the scripture teaches about our communication with one another. I fail often and pray God will help me renew my mind and bring my entire person into subjection to Christ. In this venue, I now have to watch my fingers, for they type fast and sometimes go much faster than my mind and far faster than my God.

I want to be light, salt, kind, full of grace and mercy because God has given me so much, I dare not withhold any of the same from my brothers of sisters. (or those in the world for that matter.)

We don't need long dissertations, we need the reality of Christ and His kingdom working in our lives, shining through our speech (and post).

Unknown said...

Question- if we want to get past squabbling about the basics, why are we squabbling about a decision like this?
I am concerned like many, but not everything is adding up in my mind yet. Wade, Ben or others, are these valid questions for your side?:
1) Al Mohler commanded authority over Southern Seminary in a much more dramatic fashion in the not-to-distant past. Many of the comments above could be leveled directly at him without edit. Would all of you critical of Dr. Patterson also level the same criticism at Dr. Mohler?
2)Romans 13 demands we respect those God puts in authority. Do you believe God ordained that our current seminary presidents be where they are? IF so, isn’t the biblical stance to pray to God for someone’s removal instead of usurping authority? OR, are there formal grievances that facilitate these concerns among the SBC trustees?
3) When trustees put him in authority, do they put him in authority over all others but themselves? My point I that shouldn’t those who put him in authority trust that God is directing His decisions, especially in secondary matters like removing an audio clip? Please reference 2 Cor 10:8, 13:10; 1 Tim 2:12, Titus 2:15, 1 Peter 2:13, etc. Unless you are egalitarian, shouldn’t you recognize that God has set in place an authority structure- btw, that we may not always completely agree with?
4) Isn’t this post and comment thread’s intent to cause division among brothers? Isn’t it meant to call into question the action of a brother ruling an institution on God’s authority? Further, how can you square this division with Scripture? IT appears to me that the only outright public rebukes in Scripture are those involving a false gospel , heresy, or open dishonoring of brothers.
Please don’t view this as too critical, but it does appear that logical inconsistencies abound. We need straightforward Scriptural authority for this course of action. said...

swbts underground,

You ask some very good questions.

Thanks for making this again about the issues and not people.

(1). Without a doubt if Mohler acted in a similar fashion over a third tier doctrine like private prayer language, you bet, he would be held accountable in the same fashion.

(2). I pray regularly for all our agency heads (every Tuesday morning) and hope others do as well. Thanks for your reminder to pray for those in authority.

(3). Trustees are the boss of the President, not the other way around. The President is under their authority, even in disagreement, as has been beautifully displayed by Dr. Rankin these past months. The trustees are the ones in authority.

(4). This blog is to enable people to be better stewards and servants in the SBC. I think it is accomplishing a great deal.

Having said that, I would encourage people on this particular post to stick with the issues, as has SWBTS Underground.

We may not agree, but we can all be Christian and civil.


Paul Burleson said...


The definition of hypocrisy is "a feigning to be what one is not or to believe what one does not." Hypocrisy goes to motive ultimately. But, regardless of that, Wade has been accused of much worse, trust me.

Let me respond with just a thought or two. With regards to your syllogism, all would be well if the presupposition is that both posts are on blogs where it has been stated "inappropriate comments will be removed." If that is a known fact and is practiced that standard can measure both. If not, however, you can't make an approprate equation out of it.

Futher, it is, obviously, your logic that I'm addressing here not your motive. Only you can speak to that in reality.

But communication is not so much what you mean or intend but what is heard. That is why it would do you well, IMHO, to hear what Alycelee is saying. In blogging, I've found, what little I've experienced, that, because of the lack of the ability to read body language, those little weird faces that frown or smile can be very helpful.

I've checked my motive here and, best I can tell, I'm saying all this because you are a brother and have some very articulate positions that need to be heard. You would just have to trust me on that I guess.

Now I want to give my usual disclaimer. I'm not speaking for Wade or defending him. He does that more than adequately himself, and, I am a bit biased. There, I've stated the obvious. I enjoy the debate. Keep it up.

Paul Burleson

John Moeller said...

Ok, excuse me for being simple again, but I have to comment.

1. Continualist:
2. Cessationist:
3. Semi-cessationist:

Where do we get all these big words?

Let’s be simple. Some Christians have a prayer language, some don't. Are Cessationist's saying that those who have a prayer language are dreaming, faking, or lying? Even in this blog, some very prominent Christian leaders of the SBC have stated that they have a prayer language. Therefore Cessationism is proven incorrect. That leaves, Continualist and “semi-continualist”.

So back to square one, should the view of the SBC be that a prayer language is “bad”? Or, (oh no, Wade is right) The SBC should be at least hands off on the issue, but should probably embrace what many of it’s leadership have proven to be true.

Keep pressing Wade, said...


I have read Pastor McKissic's sermon three times and have yet to find one sentence that is derogatory of any individual. He has spoken his convictions on the basis of principle, but has never shown any disrespect toward any human being, including those who disagree with him.

I fail to see on what basis he is censured. Nevertheless, I appreciate your comment and will continue to try to understand your rationale and reasoning, but thus far find myself not won over by your arguments.

I only remove comments that I perceive are direct and personal character attacks against people.

I have chosen to leave all attacks against my character on the board these last six months, and have removed comment moderation, so some comments that may be of a personal attack nature are left in the comment section until someone either points them out, or I get back to the office and can remove them.

PLEASE EVERYONE, let's stick to the issues and be nice to one another.

Unknown said...

Thank you, Wade.
Rebuttal And Clarification:

1) More pointed to those critical of Patterson making SWBTS conform to what he think it should be as an institution, which is exactly what Mohler did. And on third tier issue, can’t you turn it around saying all this fuss on the blog is over a third tier issue?

2) I figured you to be a disciplined man of prayer. But, this should mean that no SBC member apart from a trustee should be seeking the removal of a seminary president outside of prayer, correct?

3) Should Patterson have consulted the trustees on the audio clip? What authority has he been given to make decisions, and which ones is he not allowed to make?

4) The blog’s intention does not account for its effect. Isn’t that the point of your contention with the chapel incident? It is not so much the intention of Dr. Patterson, which in his mind is God-honoring, but the effect of his actions? Pointedly, isn’t it evident in your comment section that this blog is in fact causing division where it previously did not exist? Why or why not?
Many praises, many thanks. In my judgment, once these issues are hammered out, much of the disparaging commenting will evaporate.

Wayne Smith said...

Alan Cross, Bob Cleveland, Alycelee and others, thank you for your Hearts for our Lord and Saviour.

God help us when we or one of us censures The Holy Spirit from sharing the Word of God to Baptist and a Baptist Seminary.
I shared in a comment above how I was moved before reading any comments.

1Co 14:39 So, my brothers, earnestly desire to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues.

Joh 3:8 The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit."

To this he added a charge to them to be faithful to the trust reposed in them, and not to betray it, through cowardice or base fear. Some make Luk_12:2, Luk_12:3, to be a caution to them not to conceal those things which they had been instructed in, and were employed to publish to the world. “Whether men will hear, or whether they will forbear, tell them the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth; what has been spoken to you, and you have talked of among yourselves, privately, and in corners, that do you preach publicly, whoever is offended; for, if you please men, you are not Christ's servants, nor can you please him,” Gal_1:10.

Rom_2:16. If men's religion prevail not to conquer and cure the wickedness of their hearts, it shall not always serve for a cloak. The day is coming when hypocrites will be stripped of their fig-leaves.

A Brother in Christ for Truth without the Gift of Tongues said...

swbts underground,

(1). The first tier issue at hand is relgious liberty, freedom of conscience and the resulting ability to dissent on the basis of principle, and soul competency. Baptists have always considered these issues first tier.

(2). Correct.

I am not advocating the removal of Patterson at all. On the contrary, I wish him the best as President of SWBTS.

I would say the same thing about IMB President Dr. Jerry Rankin, and have dialogued with Dr. Patterson about whether or not he desires Dr. Rankin to be removed. He said he desires nobody to be removed as the head of any agency unless he were guilty of immorality or "heresy."

Now, let's begin to ask the question that needs asked: Can somebody consider a third tier doctrine (private prayer language) a first tier doctrine, and then seek to exclude from service those who disagree on this third tier doctrine by accusing them of heresy? I am only asking the question but it doesn't hurt for Southern Baptists to begin putting some pieces of the puzzle together.

I would assume "harmful to churches," as Dr. McKissic's message was called by the Seminary, could be considered heresy. Right?

(3). "Should Patterson have consulted the trustees on the audio clip," you ask?

Let me tell you a story. During our public trustee meeting in Tampa, Florida in March of 2006, IMB Trustee David Button, whom I really enjoy as a person, castigated Dr. Rankin for his message to staff during chapel. Mind you, the chapel service was open just to staff, was not broadcast via the internet, and was solely for the purpose of encouraging IMB personnel.

Mr. Button felt Dr. Rankin said a couple of things that he should not have said about the "new policies." He felt that the IMB staff were attempting to coverup the event by not distributing the audio tape of the message to anyone, including trustees.

To diffuse the issue, Dr. Rankin played the message DURING THE BOARD MEETING, with press, trustees, and others present. In other words, he chose to make PUBLIC a PRIVATE message.

It was a great message.

Here's my point. Why is it that a trustee can demand that an IMB message of encouragement that is private and intended for employeess only, be made public, but yet a PUBLIC message, intended for the SBC (broadcast via the internet) then be ordered PRIVATE?

How is that consistent? It's not, unless there is only a certain message that some desire to be broadcast.

(4). With all due respect, this blog is not creating division. It is simply pointing out that DIVISION does not NEED TO EXIST ANYMORE!

We can get along believing different things about third tier doctrines. We can fellowship and cooperate around the essentials of the faith, but love our brothers who worship differently, pray differently and do "church" differently than we do.

That's what this blog is about.

We are making progress too.



Baptist Theologue (Mike Morris) said...

Alan, you said,

"It seems that if they were going to pass away that he could have clearly said that and we would not be basing our whole perspective on this topic on the middle voice of a Greek verb."

We're not just basing it on the middle voice. We're also basing it on the fact that a particular verb was used for prophecy and knowledge in verse 8, but a different verb (and voice) was used for tongues in the same verse. Also, tongues was not mentioned in verse 9, but prophecy and knowledge were described together as being partial. We all want to be as objective as possible. Solid exegesis trumps experience. The Greek analysis is part of solid exegesis. This passage in 1 Corinthians 13 is the only passage that discusses the cessation of tongues, so it must be analyzed carefully.

The founder of Southwestern Baptist Seminary, B. H. Carroll, commented extensively on 1 Corinthians 14:

"Let me show that this speaking in tongues meant to speak in a language that a man had not acquired, and had not studied. Turn to Acts 2, where this gift is first manifested and commence at verse 6: 'When this sound was heard, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that everyman heard them speaking in his own language'. . . . My second argument is based on 1 Corinthians 14:14: 'If I pray in a tongue . . . my understanding is unfruitful.' I don't know what the words mean, but if it was an ecstacy that language would not be so applicable. I have no doubt that when God gave power to Balaam's beast to speak audibly, his language was not understood by him. He spoke in a language that he himself didn't understand. Let us make a third argument. In olden times at the Tower of Babel, where it is expressly said that people were all of one lip, one speech, spoke the same language (and speaking the same tongue enabled them to hold together better, but they were holding together for evil) God came down and confused their speech. . . . It was the intent that, as the human race was dispersed through the confusion of language, at Pentecost that should be reversed, and they should be brought together and united by giving the power to speak in the language of all the nations."

B. H. Carroll, "James, 1 and 2 Thessalonians, 1 and 2 Corinthians," in An Interpretation of the English Bible, vol. XIII (Nashville: Broadman Press, 1913), 213-215.

Alycelee said...

Bless you all this evening.
I'm going home and spend time with my hubby.
He and I are in agreement 98% of the time (happens after 36 years) and the other 2% we just decided to love each other anyway.
He will read this blog this evening and smile and occasionally remind me that the kingdom is in good hands. :)

Unknown said...

Thank you, sir, for your time. I look forward to seeing this progress. I wanted to throw you some tough questions.

We're going to try and get some constructive dialogue going on campus about these issues, and see what will come of it- possibly public debates? Who knows? said...


I understand.

I think we will probably just have to agree to disagree on this one.

Thanks though for the thoughts.



Alycelee said...

Hubby isn't home yet, he is riding his bike.
Cameron, I actually like you.
You are wordy- bless your little heart, but I like you.
Here is what Websters says a hypocrite is:
1 : a person who puts on a false appearance of virtue or religion
2 : a person who acts in contradiction to his or her stated beliefs or feelings
So all that other "stuff" you added and thereby caused our discussion.
I'm from the south, we just call a duck a duck :) <--note the big toothy smile.
Mackey just came home, going for a ride.

Bob Cleveland said...

Joseph Garlington made two statements in a sermon some years back that really apply to this whole debate, as they bear on all the stuff going on.

One is "A man with an experience is never at the mercy of man with an argument". That's one reason why, I think, the cessationists can get flustered about unknown tongues. They simply cannot convince someone who's had that experience, that it never happened.

You'd never convince me, so no use trying.

The second thing was his response to the old saying: "You cannot base your theology on your experience". His retort was "Nor will I base my theology on your lack of experience".

If you haven't had a particular experience, I'm not going to let that detract from mine.

Don't expect any accord on this, at least not as long as there are people in powerful positions who think that anyone who doesn't agree with them must be wrong.

Paul Burleson said...


Thank you for your response. I've been told, I hope it was correct or I've used a blog cue incorrectly a number of times, that IMHO stand for In My Humble Opinion If that is incorrect I will comment with a red face for the next several days. :) [I really like those guys that record it in color but don't know how they do that.
Thanks again.


Wayne Smith said...


1Co 14:39 So, my brothers, earnestly desire to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues.

Baptist Theologue (Mike Morris) said...

Bob, you said,

"They simply cannot convince someone who's had that experience, that it never happened. You'd never convince me, so no use trying."

I don't think most cessationists and semi-cessationists would try to convince you that you did not have an experience. We might, however, disagree with you about what Scripture says about your experience. Solid exegesis of Scripture trumps experience. Let me give you a couple of examples:

1. A lady asked me to visit one of her extended family members who had not attended church in many years and had no evident spiritual fruit in his life. I asked him if he had ever surrendered his life to Christ in repentance and faith. He said he had not done so, but he also said that one Sunday he had an emotional experience and that God had saved him at that time. He had an experience. I suspect that it was conviction and that he did not respond in repentance and faith.

2. I took a cult class to a visitor's center at a Mormon temple. Our Mormon guide said he knew Mormon doctrine was true because he had experienced a burning in his bosom. He had an experience. I'm not sure what that experience was, but the man was not saved.

Bob Cleveland said...

Baptist Theologue:

Amen. But when the experience is solidly in accord with scripture, that's another matter.

Baptist Theologue (Mike Morris) said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
LivingDust said...

From the layman's corner:

The gifts that God gives to you are your gifts. They are for you to use and enjoy.

The gifts that God give to me are my gifts. They are for me to use and enjoy.

If God gives you the ability to "speak in tongues", so be it. If God give you a "private prayer language", so be it. If God gives you the ability to heal, so be it. If God gives you the ability to preach, so be it. If God gives you the ability to teach, so be it. If God gives you the ability to make music, so be it.

Who is man to censure what God has given to another Brother or Sister in Christ. To do so is to stand in the way of God's will.

From reading some of the posts and reading the text of the message, SWBTS ought to be inviting Dr. McKissic back more often.

Baptist Theologue (Mike Morris) said...

Bob, you said,

"But when the experience is solidly in accord with scripture, that's another matter."

Obviously, we disagree about whether ecstatic utterances are in accord with Scripture. We can agree to disagree. We can be civil about it. The problem comes, however, when we are in a worship service together. This tends to become a divisive distraction in a worship service when one or more persons has an ecstatic utterance during a worship service. If it is of the Lord, then it should be celebrated and included in the worship service. If it is not of the Lord, it should not be a part of the worship service. The local church has to make a decision about what kind of church it is. What if a member wanted to handle snakes in the church? Solid exegesis trumps any previous experience in snake handling.

Baptist Theologue (Mike Morris) said...


I have never forbidden anyone from speaking in a foreign language at a worship service.

The Greek scholar Lenski had a good comment on 1 Corinthians 14:28:

"However, no interpreter may be present at the meeting. In this event no one is to speak with a tongue. This implies that the speaker with a tongue can ascertain in advance whether an interpreter is present or not. How can he do this? He could not do it if tongues are the language of heaven or a mystical non-human language. Then interpretation would have to come as a special revelation for each case, for who is ready to assume that interpretation consists in the actual knowledge of the language of heaven or of the non-human language? Yet no speaker with a tongue could possibly ascertain in advance whether the Spirit were ready to grant someone the required revelation at the time. Thus he could never determine whether he should proceed to speak or not. This again shows that tongues are not the language of heaven or non-human utterances. Tongues are foreign human languages."

R. C. H. Lenski, "The Interpretation of St. Paul's First and Second Epistles to the Corinthians" (Minneapolis: Augsburg Publishing House, 1937), 609.

Wayne Smith said...

Rom_2:16. If men's religion prevail not to conquer and cure the wickedness of their hearts, it shall not always serve for a cloak. The day is coming when hypocrites will be stripped of their fig-leaves.

As God is our Witness

Wayne Smith said...


Food for Thought

Joh 3:8 - The wind bloweth where it listeth,.... For ought any mortal can say, or do to the contrary: and so the Spirit of God is a free agent in regeneration; he works how, and where, and when he pleases; he acts freely in the first operation of his grace on the heart, and in all after influences of it; as well as in the donation of his gifts to men, for different purposes; see 1Co_12:11; and this grace of the Spirit in regeneration, like the wind, is powerful and irresistible; it carries all before it; there is no withstanding it; it throws down Satan's strong holds, demolishes the fortifications of sin; the whole posse of hell, and the corruptions of a man's heart, are not a match for it; when the Spirit works, who can let?

and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, nor whither it goeth; as the wind, though its sound is heard, and its force felt, it cannot be seen; nor is it known certainly, from whence it comes, and where are the treasures of it; from whence it begins, and where it ends; so is the grace of the Spirit of God in regeneration to a natural man; it is imperceptible, indiscernible, and unaccountable by him, 1Co_2:14.

So is every one that is born of the Spirit: he is regenerated by grace, that is, as free and sovereign, as powerful and irresistible, and as secret and imperceptible, as the wind is: and seeing so ordinary a thing as the blowing of the wind is of such a nature, and so little to be accounted for; regeneration by the Spirit of God, who is comparable to the wind, and whose name so signifies, need not be thought so marvellous and astonishing, though the natural man discerns it not, and cannot account for it. The beauty and propriety of this simile will more appear by observing, that the same Hebrew word, רוח, is used both for the wind, and for the Spirit of God; it is used for the "wind", in Gen_3:8; and in other places, and for the Spirit of God, in Gen_1:2, and elsewhere: and so likewise the Greek word πνευμα, is used for them both, for the wind in this place, and often for the Holy Ghost: and it may be observed, that the Holy Spirit, because of his powerful, comfortable, and quickening influences, is compared to the wind, especially to the south wind, in some passages of the Old Testament, which Christ might have in view, Son_4:16. What our Lord here says, concerning the wind, is confirmed by all experience, and philosophical observations; the rise of winds, from whence they come, and whither they go, cannot be ascertained; the treasures of them are only with God, and known to him; see Ecc_11:5.

Groseys messages said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Groseys messages said...

Friends there is an issue that elevates the problem of tongues to a first level issue.
Frederick Dale Bruner wrote a tremendous book more than 30 yeas ago "A Theology Of the Holy Spirit".
He details the issue of the Galatian churches desires for "more" of the Holy Spirit.
He explains Paul's response:
Gal 3:1 You foolish Galatians! Who has hypnotized you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was vividly portrayed as crucified?
2 I only want to learn this from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law or by hearing with faith?
3 Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now going to be made complete by the flesh?
Any means used to get more of the Holy Spirit (rather than recognising that the Lord Jesus Christ in His atoning work is the centre of our attention for our faith) is a denial of the essential nature of the gospel (Justification by faith.)
I know this sounds like a shot across the bows, but, I would be unfaithful in not reminding you that the gospel is the central issue, and anything that undermines the central issue (even if it is a purported second blessing) is accursed (Galatians 1).
What is my motive here? My motive and purpose is to give a shot across the bows (a shot across the bows was a warning shot that indicated that a vessel should turn back from its proposed course). When I pastored a pentecostal Baptist church for 6 years, I found that the greatest corrective was the gospel itself. When you give attention to the gospel, all this other stuff just falls off.

Baptist Theologue (Mike Morris) said...


I'm not sure what point you're making in regard to the gift of tongues when you describe the Spirit as being like the wind. I agree that He is like the wind. If you will clarify your last post, I will be glad to respond.


When you speak of the point of Wade's blog, are you speaking of his entire web site or of this latest post which is the transcript of Rev. McKissic's sermon? Sorry about asking this; maybe I need some sleep.

irreverend fox said...

in case there has been anyone thinking that I am serious about burning SWBTS down and salting the earth where it stood...well, I AM!

Ok, no I'm not. Like Rush says, sometimes the best way to demonstrate obsurdity is to be obsurd.

The way some people are flipping out over this form of censorship I thought I might get a few "amens!" or something.

This is Paige. He's a controller. Big whoop. I've got 30,000 souls on their way to hell within a 3 mile radius of our school (where we worship).

You all have just as many depraved souls surrounding your church (or more) and sometimes I wonder if anybody gives a damn.

The sad thing is that most people are more offended by me saying "damn" then they are offended by 30,000 hell-bound souls surrounding their church.


Bob Cleveland said...

Baptist Theologue:

Amen. I don't do that.

Alan Cross said...

Grosey's Messages,

You err in assuming that all those who believe that tongues have not passed away advocate a second blessing. That is not the case. Many just see it as another gift of the Holy Spirit, just like all the rest. Would someone who has the gift of administration or teaching be accused of denying the gospel by wanting more of the Holy Spirit? Would you fire a shot across his bow? I see each gift as coming from the Holy Spirit and being equally valid.

1 Cor. 12:4-6 says, "There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men."

But, obviously we should desire gifts that build up the body, so some are more important than others. Still, tongues is not discouraged, only directed to be used correctly and in order.

Gary Snowden said...

Regarding Grosey's Messages,

I would have to take issue with Bruner's interpretation of Galatians (assuming that your summary of his book is accurate as I haven't read it). The problem of the Galatians that Paul was addressing wasn't some desire to have "more of the Holy Spirit" but rather heeding the message of the Judaizers that salvation wasn't by faith alone but required good works by the believers--specifically keeping the Jewish law and being circumcised.

Alycelee said...

I posted Dr Mckissic's serman on my blog. I then posted Dr Patterson's press release.
I sent emails to my women's group and ask them to read it and see what they thought.
So far, only my daughter responded.
She had to call me and ask who Dr Patterson was.

Here is her response.

bowbecca said...
My two cents: One speaks from conviction--the other from fear.

She takes after he Daddy, few words and extremely insightful :)

Wayne Smith said...


PPL= Private Prayer language

1Co 14:28 -
But if there be no interpreter - If there be no one present who has the gift of interpretation.
And let him speak to himself and to God - See the note at 1Co_14:2, note at 1Co_14:4. Let him commune with himself, and with God; let him meditate on the truths which are revealed to him, and let him in secret express his desires to God.

A Brother in Christ for Truth

Groseys messages said...

Alan thank you,
Spoken as a true non-tongue speaker. :) If you don't have it.. do you get it? You have to do something to get it.
The reproof given by Paul in Galatians 3 has much to do with the reception and continuing ministry of the Holy Spirit:
Gal 3:3 Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now going to be made complete by the flesh?
4 Did you suffer so much for nothing—if in fact it was for nothing?
5 So then, does God supply you with the Spirit and work miracles among you by the works of the law or by hearing with faith?

Paul's reproof incorporates the issue of the reception and continuing ministry of the Spirit in the believer's life. (vis chapters 3 and 5 of Galatians) Pentecostalism's insistence on seeking "more" through works (absolute suurrender, believer's baptism ,complete repentance, confession,a clear conscience yearning, laying on of hands, prayer of faith, and other preparations) to receive more of the Holy Spirit therefore clearly violate the gospel principle that all that we are and have come from God as a free gift through the redemption which we have in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Thus, pentecostalism's "preparatory acts" to receive the Spirit are viewed as works, contrary to the doctrines associated with justification by faith.

You ask me if I would consider putting a shot across someones bow who with the gift of asministration wanted more of the Holy Spirit. The answer is yes. The problem is with the desire for more. It is poor theology to consider the Holy Spirit as something "which tops us up".
He is a Person ( and the Third Person of the Trinity at that) Who comes into our lives without measure (John 3). The issue, as Adrian Rogers used to say, is not how much of the Holy Spirit do you have, but how much of you does the Holy Spirit have? Filling (Ephesians 5:17) is allowing the Spirit of God to fill out the various areas of our lives such as our Worship life (Ephesians 5:17-20) our wedded life (Ephesians 5:21-33) Our family relationships (Eph 6:1-4 and no I can't think of a W to go with it) Our work life (Ephesians 6:5-9) and our Warfare (Eph 6:10ff)
He fills out our lives, just as the fingers of a hand fill out a glove. therefore our greatest responsibility is to allow the indwelling Spirit of God to fill out our lives continually, and as completely as we are aware at the time.

Another concern I have is the psychological necessity of incorporating this "sign" with the advocates assurance of salvation (as portrayed in the statement of faith of the A O G churches).
How can one base one's assurance of salvation upon an experience that may or may not be valid?
Why do I say this? Consider the fall out rate from Pentecostal churches like Hillsong Australia: around 3 out of every 4 people who speak in tongues (as related by an elder and ex AOG National Superintendant from there)go out the back door of Hillsong, never to enter a christian church again. That is, as one AOG megachurch pastor related to me in his case (the Riverside Church of outh Australia), "for every 5 people who walk in the front door, 4 walk out the back door, more blasphemous and more immoral than before they walked in the front door"

My concern is always that we heirs of the Reformation not forsake the Reformation doctrine of Justification by faith the article which brings about either a standing or falling church.

Thank you Alan for allowing me to reply to your concerns.

irreverend fox said...

Grosey, you said

"incorporating this "sign" with the advocates assurance of salvation (as portrayed in the statement of faith of the A O G churches).
How can one base one's assurance of salvation upon an experience that may or may not be valid?"

that is NOT what the AG teaches my friend. I was in an AWESOME AG church during my junior high and highschool years. I even wento Central Bible Colleg in Springfield MO (AG) for a semester and realized there that I'm not a true pentacostal.

The AG teaches that justification is by GRACE ALONE, THROUGH FAITH ALONE in JESUS CHRIST ALONE.

They do not nor have the as a denomination EVER taught that salvation is tied in with tongues or any other sign gift.

You have totally misrepresented them my friend. I hope you'll correct that mistake.

Baptist Theologue (Mike Morris) said...


You asked me to see the note at 14:2 and 14:4. To what translation and notes are you referring?

Don said...

[quote]George Klineberg,

A man who thinks like you is dangerous for those in control, but a breath of fresh air to people like me.

Look forward to meeting you some day.



Maybe I will look you up while we are on SSA.

Groseys messages said...

"The Assemblies of God in Australia is a movement of Pentecostal Churches in voluntary cooperation. Each individual church is self governing but commits itself to work together with other churches in the movement for the purpose of mutual support and the spread of the gospel in Australia and the world.

The Assemblies of God in Australia was formed in 1937 and has experienced consistent growth, particularly in the last twenty years. It currently consists of more than 1,000 churches with over 160,000 constituents, making it the largest Pentecostal movement in Australia."

The Australian AOG statement of faith has differed from the AG (USA) statement of faith. Currently the 2005 revised version
says: "The Holy Spirit enables us to use spiritual gifts, including speaking in tongues which is the initial evidence of baptism in the Holy Spirit."

I note that the USA statement is premillenial, whereas the Australian one used to be until 2years ago, and used to be stronger on tongues as the proof of conversion.

Apostolic, Oneness pentecostals, United Pentecostals, Christian Revival Crusade,
and many others make the same strong statements the Australian AoG made a few years ago:
The Apostolic Network:

"I think that the Holy Spirit is necessary for salvation. Paul said that without the Spirit we are "none of his" (Rom. 8:9, see also John 3:5; Eph. 1:13,14). I also believe that speaking tongues is the initial evidence of one receiving the Holy Spirit as I have tried to demonstrate in that article. However, I would never make the statement that "tongues are part of salvation." Tongues by themsleves never saved anyone. It is the Spirit that saves, but when we see people receive the Spirit in the Bible, they do speak in tongues. This is kind of like the analogy, "Where there's smoke, there's fire." It is the fire that burns down the house, not the smoke. But when we are three blocks away we know that a house is burning because we see the smoke. So it is with the Spirit and tongues. It is the Spirit which saves, not tongues. But when we receive the Spirit we do speak in other tongues."

I apologise that the statements are not the same in Australia as in America. Maybe you can help them to sort out their beliefs.

Alan Cross said...

Baptist Theologue and Grossey's Messages: You responded to my statements, and I did not respond back. It was not intentional, but this conversation is moving so fast in so many places, I did not see your responses. Thank you for taking the time to write. I just saw them.

Baptist Theologue: I don't understand the quote from B.H. Carroll. It appears that he is making the point that tongues are actual human languages? In Acts 2, yes. But in 1 Cor. 12-14, no. They are compared to the tongues of angels, and a tongues speaker is said to me uttering mysteries in his spirit to God that cannot be understood. Regarding the Greek, I agree with you that tongues will pass, but I see no where that we have a definitive "when" outside the return of Christ. Sorry, your argument is not convincing.

Grossey's Messages: I agree with you fully on the importance of Justification by Faith! We can add nothing to grace and faith. But, tongues and spiritual gifts are not what Paul is referring to here. He is talking about works of the Law. 1 Cor. 12:31 even says, "But eagerly desire the greater gifts."

I think you make your mistake in associating every view of the validity of tongues today with the classical Pentacostal view. There are other views of spiritual gifts that fit very much within a grace alone perspective. You and I are not in disagreement on that. Spiritual gifts come from God and we do nothing to earn them. I think that we can ask for them, like we can ask for other things, but asking in prayer is not a "work" in my opinion, otherwise all prayer would be condemned as a work of the flesh.

Gentlemen, thanks for engaging with me on this. Sorry my response took so long.

Dave said...

"The issue is should Dr. McKissic be given the grace and respect due him as a trustee of the SWBTS and Pastor of a large, evangelistic SBC church, even if WE DISAGREE WITH HIM."

The answer is yes.

my new blog:


Todd Nelson said...

Wade and Ben, thanks for posting the transcript!

Alan, thanks for staking out such a biblical and wisely expressed continualist position here and on your blog. I'm one of many who stand with you.

Please forgive me for the length here. I seldom contribute, but when I do, it’s usually a long post on my day off. :-)

It seems to me that the current biggest tests of cooperation in SBC life are the issues of Reformed Theology (and church gov't) and Continualist Practices (PPL, etc) [perhaps the Emergent Church movement will be the next, but that's too complex to go into here.]

I'm all for broadening the Baptist tent to include Calvinists and "Charismatics", as long as they are committed to biblical authority, evangelism, and cooperation, to paraphrase SBC President Frank Page

I'm a SWBTS grad (1994 & 1986), and a reject of the IMB in 1994 because of alleged "Pentecostal" theology. But I'm right where Alan and Dwight are in what they've written about spiritual gifts, including tongues, and working together. Like Dwight, I do have a private prayer language. I asked for and received it from the Lord in 1993. But it's not something I advertise or divide over.

Because of the current IMB stance against PPL and other "supernatural" gifts, I've been serving outside SBC circles since 1998. I'm more hopeful now, though, that this issue is coming to the forefront. I pray that the SBC and IMB will make room for the continualist position.

Perhaps my generation, along with the ones just under us, can lead the way among Southern Baptists in being more open to the power of the Holy Spirit and expecting Him to operate in the same ways He worked in the book of Acts. I know we've had men like Jack Gray, Peter Lord, and Jack Taylor, (and women like Bertha Smith) but their influence seems not to have spread through the denomination or lasted much beyond their generation. It occurs to me just now that Beth Moore appears to be a continualist, and she is arguably the most popular Bible teacher in SBC life today!

Don't we need all the Holy Spirit's gifts for missions and ministry today, just like the first believers did? And don't the Lord's promises still apply?

I know that I need His power and wisdom here in Malaysia where I encounter people who need healing and deliverance from demons. Here I have seen the Lord heal people dramatically, and I've exercised His authority to cast out demons. These are "normal" ministry activities and part of our proclamation according to the Gospels, even in modern urban settings. [Kuala Lumpur is a modern capital city of 4 million people.] BTW, I don't handle snakes, and I do encourage medication for illnesses, both physical and mental. :-)

I have IMB missionary friends who have similar ministry experiences in Asia and Africa but can't talk about them at home for fear of scandalizing the churches. Maybe that will change one day. Knowing the denominational powers-that-be, however, and reading some blog comments, I'm afraid it's still going to be a long hard road toward tolerance and cooperation. Nevertheless, with God all things are possible!