Is the New Covenant Church of God Truly "Charismatic"?
Q. How can you claim to be charismatic Christians when your members do not speak in tongues and you reject most tongue-speaking in the charismatic churches as being "gibberish"?
Because up until now we have not needed tongues even though we fully anticipate that we will. Why should we desire tongues when we are told to desire prophecy more? And since we have prophecy (which is, in effect, tongues translated into a modern language ready-made), why should we have need of the inferior gift?
Paul said: "Eagerly desire the greater gifts" (1 Cor.12:31, NIV). What are these? Faith, hope, and love, with love as the greatest of all (1 Cor.13). These three we prioritise. We set prophecy higher than tongues, as the apostles did. What has God done? He has given us what we have prioritised because these are needed always. Tongues we have not needed, prophecy we have, and one day we won't need prophecy either (1 Cor.13:8). When we need tongues, we have faith and confidence that God will give them to us.
And what tongues are we expecting? The gift to speak a modern language supernaturally for the benefit of those who cannot understand our own. We don't need or want the soulish gibberish of most charismatics so we don't open ourselves up to it. It's not only fruitless but earns the justified disrespect of the more enlightened and intelligent unbelievers when it is practiced. We believe in an orderly Gospel, as the apostle Paul did, and have no intention of making a vain display that will only invite scorn from those who might otherwise be saved (1 Cor.14:23).
We are, however, tolerant of our charismatic brethren; though some tongue- speaking is unquestionably devilish, most of it is soulish and relatively harmless. We minister alongside charismatics who practice such things but we do not imitate their ways but rather view them as an adult might look upon a small child unable to articulate words or sentences properly. When the fullness comes, they will cast it all aside for the greater gifts.
This page was created on 8 April 1998
Last updated on 1 October 1999
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