There has been quite a stir over the years about the rise in Pentecostalism throughout the evangelical church. Baptists and Presbyterians alike do not support the use of the spiritual gifts in the modern church, claiming they were done away with at the end of the apostolic age. Those who have spent their lives in the Southern Baptist church and have never ventured out to other denominations would have no reason to challenge this thesis about our spirit filled brethren. I, on the other hand, have had the blessing of being able to see the story from both sides of the fence and Therefore, I believe myself to be qualified to speak on the matter. As a matter of fact I know I am qualified to speak on the matter. My qualifications come from the greatest accreditation agency in the universe, the southern association of God given revelation.
That being said, I have kept myself as open minded as possible on this matter and have given due diligence to my investigation of this spiritual controversy. Having gathered all the evidence I need, physically, spiritually, historically, and theologically, I have arrived at my conclusion in the most blessed and unarguable way, and will present my findings and conclusion to you without reservation or apology. I know, without a doubt, that the spiritual gifts, including the speaking of tongues, is for the new testament church today and is as much alive as it was in the first century when The Acts took place. Here is the full report of my findings.
One of the most charismatic, no pun intended, voices of this generation against the use of tongues in the church is John McAurthor. In his book strange fire, he basically states that those who speak in tongues in the church are blaspheming the Holy Spirit. This is the same antagonistic pastor who regularly slams his peers on national radio in response to their differing beliefs. He has made derogatory remarks about Charles Stanley on his radio program. I have heard him in interviews with John Piper state that Elevation church pastor, Steven Furtick, was unqualified. That one really got under my skin. When did you, Dr. McAurthor, recieve the credentials to tell God who is and who isn’t qualified to be a pastor? There are Oxford alumni splitting the gates of hell wide open! Your secular degree or alumni affiliation mean nothing to God. It is more likely that it is actually an abomination to him. Your life is still but a vapor and your works are filthy rags. Just because you are as spiritually dead as a door nail does not give you the right to slam the brethren nationally to the pagans over the air. Another example of those in opposition to the spirit filled church is the SBC. It has been reported widely about the Southern Baptist Convention, that if one of its elders recieves the baptism of the Holy Spirit they are forced to resign and are excommunicated from the denomination. I was very open minded and tried my best to see both sides of this view. I looked at it from Dr. McAurthor’s view and the view of the SBC, as well as the views of the Assemblies of God, and the United Pentecostal church as well. However, when pitting my own seeing, hearing and touching experiences, along side what the bible says about this, I had no choice but to deem not only Dr. McAurthor and the SBC’s views, but also anyone else who consider it to be false as incorrect, ill informed, and uneducated.
I studied this so diligently and with much prayer. As I began to see more and more evidence mount up about the truths and power of the spirit filled life, I became hungry for it as well. After much prayer and seeking the presence of the Holy Spirit, I received the baptism myself as well as the gift of speaking in tongues. The spiritual awakening that happened in my life at that moment and ever since that moment, has changed me forever. I have never been more in love with Jesus than I am now. I have never been more hungry for his word than I am now. And I have already, just in a few weeks, experienced spiritual enlightenment and supernatural power as a result of this change in me. We all know the verses in the bible that speak about walking in the spirit. That talk about the presence of the Holy Ghost and the power we have in him. Yet I have never met a Southern Baptist brother or sister that really knew they had that power or what it was really like. Jesus told his disciples to wait until they received the gift before going out into the world. Why? They had already received the Holy Spirit in John chapter 20 and they were already saved. So why did he say wait? The answer is all over the bible. They are two separate experiences.
The first experience of being born again happens when the believer gets saved. The Holy Spirit joins with his/her spirit and gives him/her the ability to live the Christian life. But there is more. Beyond that there is the outpouring or manifestation of the Holy Spirit that happens when you are baptized by fire. This manifestation gives to you the same power and authority Christ had when he walked on this earth. He imparts to you the power of the Holy Spirit to take on the world and be his witness, even unto death, to the whole world. No one can stand in the fire and face sudden death for Christ without such a supernatural manifestation of his power. Paul calls it the earnest (or down payment) of our inheritance. The power is real. We can have it today. It is yours if you want it. Will you seek this power through prayer in your own life? I can guarantee you will never be the same again.