I’m disappointed that some bloggers have misrepresented what I said on TBN. Thank God that the video recording vindicates me and documents the fact that I in no wise advocated moving the SBC to “a open charismatic position”, unless you consider the positions of the late SWBTS professor Dr. Jack Gray, Dr. Jack McGorman, Dr. Ken Hemphill, Evangelist Billy Graham “to be an open charismatic position.” The position that I stated on tongues is the position I’ve always stated at SWBTS Chapel, KCBI Radio interviews and debate at the SBC in San Antonio, on my blog and elsewhere. Please don’t hold me accountable for what any other guest on TBN might have stated or how they prayed. I stand by what I said 100%. Debbi is right, I said nothing that I have not already stated in SBC venues. Unless one consider the results of the Lifeway poll which indicated that 50% of Southern Baptist Pastors who believe that a private prayer language is a legitimate gift of the Holy Spirit is inaccurate, then I was advocating a Baptist and biblical position, not an “open charismatic position.”
My “ just do it “ comment was in reference to praying in the Spirit, which I clearly expressed that I’m not convinced that all believers must pray in tongues in order to pray in the Spirit. Whether one defines praying in the Spirit as praying with words understood under the influence and control of the Spirit (Ephesians 6:18; Jude 20), or praying with words not understood under the influence and control of the Spirit (I Cor. 14:2) or even without words under the influence and control of the Spirit which would include silence, meditation, groans, moans or sighs(Romans 8:26,27; John 11:33,38)—my answer to the host question regarding the necessity of all believers to pray in the Spirit was—“Just Do It”, meaning, praying in the Spirit based on any one of the three ways I defined it above. I believe when persons pray in English or their native tongue under the influence of the Holy Spirit they are praying in the Spirit. I do not believe that it is necessary to pray in tongues in order to pray in the Spirit and I made that clear. Unfortunately, you chose to misrepresent my viewpoint.
There was no attack by me or anyone else on the panel from my vantage point on Dr. Paige Patterson. Here again, I’ve been falsely accused by you. There was simply a restating of the facts—no attack. Certainly if you don’t consider Dr. Patterson’s press release stating that my chapel message was “harmful” to the churches was an attack on me, then I don’t understand why my referencing his public press release would be an attack on Dr. Patterson.
The only desire that myself and the panelist on TBN have for the SBC is that we experience a revival in America likened unto the 1st and 2nd great awakenings. I hope that you would correct this post or take it down—because it simply is not true. Finally, one of the problems with this subject matter is the fact that the SBC has no official position on praying in tongues in private. I believe it is high time that the SBC adopts an official position and that would settle the controversy in the SBC surrounding these issues.
I close with quotes from two men in the SBC that I value and respect dearly who addressed the issue of tongues long before the current IMB tongues controversy. However, I find their comments relevant today. Dr Billy Graham stated:
“ Although there is honest disagreement among Christians about the
validity of tongues today. I personally cannot find any biblical jus-
tification for saying the gift of tongues was meant exclusively for
New Testament times … Indeed, tongues is a gift of the Spirit …
Today there are Presbyterians, Baptists, Anglicans, Lutherans, and
Methodists, as well as Pentecostals, who speak or have spoken in
tongues.” ( Billy Graham, The Holy Spirit (Dallas: Word, 1988), pp 226,234.
Dr. Jimmy Draper stated in The Church Christ Approves regarding tongues:
“Primarily a private gift.—The restrictions on the public use of this
gift are such that the primary use has to be private. Paul said, “I
thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all: yet in the
church I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that
by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in
an unknown tongue” (I Cor. 14:18-19). He apparently spoke in
tongues in private, but in public he preferred to speak his natural
language.” (Nashville: Broadman Press, 1974) p. 57
Dr. Draper also stated in The Church Christ Approves:
“Only the sovereign Holy Spirit has a right to forbid or command
in personal devotions!” (Nashville: Broadman Press, 1974) p. 55
As it relates to the issue of tongues in SBC life today, many who serve on our trustee boards and post or comment on blogs have taken on the role of in Draper’s words “a sovereign Holy Spirit.” How unfortunate for the SBC.