Question: I am a regular listener to your "Barian Call" radio program. Recently...Dave said that for someone to practice speaking in tongues would be as foolish as to practice raising the dead. This argument is so puerile...I am kind of disappointed in you. Surely, just as we might give different kinds of gifts to one another, so in the Spirit realm, gifts are not the same. We receive the gift of speaking in tongues by faith and unless we hold on to our faith and practice...in no time the gift is gone....Your comments that day actually went to attack the roots of my faith. I thank God my faith in Him can never be shaken....You should always consider very carefully what you are dishing out to your hearers. Some of them are babes in the Kingdom, and comments like that can destroy them and their faith.
Response: Just so you'll know, we are not "the Barian Call" but the Berean Call. We call ourselves and others to be like "the Bereans" living in the town of Berea (now known as Verria) in Macedonia who "searched the scriptures daily" to make sure that Paul's teaching was biblical (Acts:17:10-12). We encourage readers, listeners, and viewers to Search the Scriptures Daily (the name of our radio program) to see whether our teachings and those of others are according to God's Word. In the remarks on the radio to which you objected, I was following the Bible, not someone's interpretation of it. First Corinthians 12:4-31 makes clear:
- While there are "diversities of gifts," it is the "same Spirit...same Lord...[and] the same God which worketh all in all" (vv. 4-6). To "practice" any gift God imparts is neither taught nor is it reasonable. From Genesis to Revelation, no man of God ever "practiced" what God empowered him to do nor was ever instructed to do so.
- The words "practice," "practices," and "practiced" are found only seven times in the Bible, always associated with evil. You were taught to "practice" speaking in tongues by men, not by God in His Word. Now that you know that the idea of "practicing" a gift of God (including tongues) is unbiblical, will you follow men or God?
- "Tongues" is one of nine "gifts" described by Paul as "manifestations of the Spirit"(v. 7). Quite clearly, none of these gifts is for every believer: "Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of miracles? Have all the gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret (vv. 29, 30)?" Each of these questions demands a negative response. Tongues is no more a gift that all are expected to manifest than is the gift of prophecy, healing, or miracles. Yet many teach that tongues is the one gift that is for all. Some say that one is not filled with the Holy Spirit without speaking in tongues; others believe that only those who speak in tongues are saved. The Bible never says so. Again, you must decide whether to believe God or men.
- It is equally clear that each of these gifts, being "the manifestation of the Spirit...given to every man...severally as He will" (vv. 7, 11) is not under any man's control but under the control of the Holy Spirit. This clearly taught biblical fact means that the individual can no more speak in tongues any time he desires than he could heal the sick or raise the dead any time he desired. That fact also prohibits "practicing."