Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Speaking in Tongues & GENERAL CONFERENCE 2012

[From 5/7/12]

"When you come together, each one has a hymn, a lesson, a revelation, a tongue, or an interpretation.  Let all things be done for building up."
(1 Corinthians 14:26)

Speaking in tongues is not too prevalent in the UMC.  I'm sure it may happen, but it's not very common.  That's not the case in more charismatic churches.  The 14th chapter of 1st Corinthians deals almost exclusively with this topic.  Some might deem it irrelevant for those churches who don't practice this spiritual gift.  I disagree.

The main point Paul seems to be making in chapter 14 is that speaking in tongues must be accompanied by the interpretation of tongues.  It does no good, Paul says, to do something that people don't understand.  God has given us spiritual gifts for the building up of the body.  Tongues without interpretation benefits no one.  It's better to keep silent, if no one can interpret.

Even though we may not speak in tongues, the wisdom can still apply to us in the UMC.  Whatever we say and do should build one another up.  Period.  Anything else is not helpful.  It's better to remain silent, if we can't encourage each other. Sometime to think about, post General Conference 2012 (the every-four-years global gathering of Methodist members & leaders).

No comments: