Author: Wm. Norman Saxon
The gift of tongues has been rightly called the counterfeit gospel. It has led modern churches to dismiss the law and the prophets -- to forget the faith once delivered to the saints. The ecstatic excitement of Charismatic Pentecostalism is sweeping the world in literal fulfillment of the Lord's description of those who seek signs and wonders (Matt. 12: 39).
The origin of speaking in estatic or unknown tongues antedates Christianity by centuries but its pagan background is utterly unsuspected by those who are caught up in the euphoria of neo-Pentecostalism. In fact the source of this ancient religious rite has stirred curiously little concern among Christians in general -- that is until the phenomenal spread of the tongues doctrine during the latter half of the 20th Century. Its growing incursion into many congregations among the more sober mainline denominations has raised the consciousness of even nominal Christians. The non-churched public is amused and titillated by the lingering scandals of nationally-known televangelists -- all of whom are Charismatic Pentecostals.
The resurgence of this oracular phenomenon has been called the most significant religious development since the 16th Century Protestant Reformation. Unless you have been paying particular attention to what has been happening in the Christian churches in recent years you may be somewhat astounded to discover how far and wide the doctrine of tongues or glossolalia has spread. Religious statistics estimate the number of Charismatic and Pentecostal adherents at about 50 million in the United States and 275 million around the world placing it among the most rapidly growing flanks of Christianity.
In the Pentecostal movement the Spirit is regarded as being communicated by and ecstatic experience. But in the Apostolic and Reformation view the Holy Spirit is communicated through the Word of God -- not some audio-visual sign.
Paul and the Oracles of Delphi is a timely study of an ancient enigma.
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