Help! What’s the Deal With Unknown Tongues and Prophecy?
Lately, in our series on the Supernatural, we’ve been diving into some of the stranger aspects of Christianity. With the doctrines of unknown tongues covering eight chapters of scripture, all by itself, it’s amazing how few pastors actually address it. As bizarre as some of those passages might be, what kind of pastor would I be if I simply ripped them out of my Bible and never addressed them? Truth be told, there are a good number of teachings in scripture that are rather mystical or strange.
For example, Jesus spat in a man’s eyes to heal him. Another time he rubbed mud in the person’s eyes. Another time, God required a man to dip seven times in a dirty river… I.e., if we were to look for a “formula” to the miraculous, our ideas would take us all over the map.
Many times, when we read the Bible, we forget how scared the disciples must have felt as they followed Christ’s example. In fact most miracles in the Bible were preceded by some pretty strange things. For example, Jesus told Peter to go fishing… and then he’d find money to pay taxes in the mouth of a fish. Or tell 5000 people you’re going to feed them and THEN multiply 5 loaves of bread and two fish. Or later on, he told them to grab a man’s donkey (before passover) and if someone stops you, tell them: “My master has need of him.”
“O.K., let me get this straight Jesus… you want me to basically steal a man’s donkey. And if he tries to stop me, I’m supposed to say this magical phrase… and it’ll suddenly make sense to him?”
Quite simply, it took a lot of guts for the disciples to follow Christ. Following Christ required risk – which is just a fancy word for faith. Faith isn’t a theoretical thing. It’s a verb. It’s a muscle we choose to flex. And if we want to experience more miracles, we’ve got to become comfortable flexing that muscle.
Don’t get me wrong: I’m not saying we should be foolish, spooky or mystical.
We don’t need to become cultic in order to experience God. Indeed, that’s why Paul was so specific to the believers in 1 Corinthians 14. God asks us to walk a fine line. And that’s why we’re doing this series on the supernatural. We’re asking the question: How do we wade through the tension that often accompanies the supernatural? How do remain open-minded to strange experiences without checking our brains at the door?
Of course, when talking about unknown tongues and the prophetic, I’m bound to raise a few questions. That’s why I wanted to point you to a quick resource that’ll help you in your studies. First off, for those who missed my Sunday message studying Unknown tongues, click here to link to Substance Media:
Secondarily: about a decade ago, I compiled a long list of theological questions pertaining to unknown tongues and the miraculous. And to help a few people in our last church, I ended up compiling it into a quasi-book called “Skeptics Guide to Tongues and Prophecy.” Of course, I’ve never published it (on purpose). Partly because I’m still working through my own theology on this. And partly because, I’ve never fully edited it. (By the time you read the ninth spelling error, you’ll see why). My standards for good writing have changed a LOT in the past ten years.
Yet, at the very least, the information inside will still give you a leg up in your own study of the Bible. Unfortunately, there aren’t a whole lot of studies which adequately address the deeper problems that most people have on these issues.
And, as always, you don’t have to agree with me. I just want to give you a resource that will drive you deeper into Scripture. Make sense?
Because the real goal is this: I want to be effective with the Gospel. And I don’t want to miss out on anything that God has for me… even if it requires a little risk. Would you agree?
Download The Skeptic’s Guide to Tongues and Prophecy by clicking on the image below.