When I was in my twenties, a movement spread across Christianity that launched non-denominational, charismatic churches. As a lifelong Baptist, I had no doubt most Christian churches quenched the power of the Holy Spirit in fear “people would dance in the aisles and swing from the light fixtures.” I didn’t make that up. I actually heard preachers voice this exact concern.
I had many friends leave my traditional church moving their membership to Lakewood, which began as Lakewood Baptist. Thus, began the population boom for this nondenominational mega church. Ok. Ok. Don’t get on your anti-Joel rant. That isn’t the point of my blog.
During this timeframe (early 1980’s to early 1990’s), speaking in tongues somehow turned into the necessary calling card or identifier for all Christians. This train of thought has no scriptural backing and is a false teaching, but it wasn’t the first fallacy in church communities and certainly won’t be the last.
I think it’s interesting that the Apostle Paul addressed speaking in tongues immediately after addressing healthy, Christian love in 1 Corinthians 13. I encourage you to read 1 Corinthians 14. While this chapter is a less popular teaching of Paul’s, the words are important. Let’s bottom line it: no spiritual gift is more important than love, unity and truth.
What are your spiritual gifts? Do you know? What about your spiritual passion. Think about what drives you spiritually and then read 1 Corinthians 14 with that in mind. While Paul addressed speaking in tongues, we can substitute any spiritual gift to hear a uniquely designed message for each of us.
When serving Christ and when attempting to reach others, do all for the glory of God. There are many searching souls just waiting for a divine appointment to match their search with His answers. To seek recognition or to try and win a fight moves into the egotistical; and that isn’t ecclesiastical.
“Brothers and sisters, do not be children in your thinking. Instead, be infants in evil, but in your thinking be mature.” 1 Corinthians 14:20