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Summarize the Baptist belief of speaking in tongues.


Some history is in order. According to the Bible in Acts Chapter 2, those who followed Christ were waiting together, praying, and the Holy Spirit came into the room like a rushing wind. Tongues of flame appeared over the heads of those gathered in the room, and they were able to speak in languages that they had not known previously.

The Bible in Acts 2, for example, describes the followers of Jesus Christ gathering on Pentecost after Christ ascended to heaven, when:

"...suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance."

There are some denominations that continue the practice of glossolalia or speaking in tongues. Some call this a "private prayer language" while others believe this is actual understandable language meant for the spiritual strengthening of the person who is able to understand the message. There are some rules given to the Church  regarding spiritual gifts in 1 Corinthians Ch 12 and 13. The point is that the gift of tongues is not the only way to Christ.  Some denominations believe that if you do not speak in tongues, then you are not saved. Other denominations believe that tongues are gibberish and nonsense...something to attract attention.

Baptists believe in something called dispensationalism which means that there are different elements or eras of Biblical time. After the written word was finished and the Bible was complete, so the need for this glossolalia went away. So, baptists mainly believe that this is not "baptist" doctrine or belief. There are nine gifts listed in the Bible in the book of 1 Corinthians Chapter 12. Of these nine, two of the gifts concern "other tongues"...one speaking and the other interpreting.

"I have opposed (speaking in tongues) for all of these years because I think it's an erroneous interpretation of the Bible," Patterson said. "Southern Baptists traditionally have stood against what we feel like are the excesses of the charismatic movement. All we're doing is restating where we've always been."

The modern forms of pentacostalism all have their roots in the Azusa Street Revival in 1906 in Los Angeles, California. William J. Seymour, Clara Lum and Florence Crawford began the Azusa Street Mission and a newspaper called The Apostolic Faith at this time.  (http://www.azusastreet.org/revivalbegins.htm)

In the Bible, there is no statement that speaking in tongues is something that will disappear when the Bible is complete, nor is there anything to indicate that a person "must" speak in tongues in order to show evidence of salvation.  It is and has been a point of contention in various denominations for some time.

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