A Twisted Crown of Thorns ®

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Did You Just Speak in Tongues? No, Bwana I Actually Do Speak Swahili!

It is often said that Charismatic/ Continuationist Christianity in Africa promotes either a pietist withdrawal from social and political concerns, or a preoccupation with gaining individual health and wealth (the prosperity gospel). Needless to say it is the fastest growing branch of Christianity on the continent.  Following the recent debates in evangelical circles about Cessationism and Continuationism, Bwana Nathan Busenitz  [Bwana means "Sir" or "Mr." in Swahili] wrote an interesting article in which he  took the challenge to respond in 100 words or less, to the question “Are you a Charismatic/Continuationist?”:

[No!] I am convinced that the biblical gift of tongues was the supernatural ability to speak in authentic foreign languages that the speaker had not previously learned; AND that the gift of prophecy was the accurate proclamation of authoritative, inerrant revelation that the prophet received directly from the Holy Spirit; AND that the gift (or gifts) of healing resulted in the immediate, undeniable, and complete recovery of a sick or injured person at the hands of the healer.

I am equally convinced that those things are not currently happening in church history today.

Therefore, I am not a Charismatic.

             If given an additional 100 words to clarify:

When Charismatics/Continuationists redefine tongues as a “spiritual language” which, in fact, is not an authentic foreign language; OR when they admit that their definition of prophecy allows for numerous errors and inaccuracies; OR when they excuse their inability to heal as a lack of faith on the part of the sick person; OR when they redefine the gift(s) of healing as an extension of James 5:13–18 . . .

I am convinced that, though they are using biblical terminology to describe their experiences, there is no true equivalence between their present practice and the authentic New Testament sign gifts

Wouldn’t it be good to hear the rebuttal from a Charismatic/ Continuationist next?

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3 responses to “Did You Just Speak in Tongues? No, Bwana I Actually Do Speak Swahili!

  1. Jason August 23, 2011 at 15:48

    I would agree with your assessment, but the question I always ask is what do you do with the supposed demonstration of the gift? Is it self-manufactured babble or something else? I’ll go to scripture before experience any day, but I often wonder how to explain these “evidences.”

    • Michael Acidri August 23, 2011 at 15:54

      Neither will i tell you by what power they do these manifestations ;).

  2. Craig Benno August 23, 2011 at 21:56

    I wrote an article on tongues as a prayer / prophetic utterance here http://craigbenno1.wordpress.com/2011/08/05/the-value-of-tongues-as-a-prayer-language/

    Id be interested in what you think.

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