The Purpose of this ARC Perspective is to address a phenomenon that has received widespread attention, (and abuse), over the last hundred years or so: Speaking in Tongues.
Taken from the Greek compound word, “glossolalia,” meaning; “language speaking,” this subject matter has been the source of great concern and consternation amongst the followers of Jesus Christ who stand on either side of the issue. What are Tongues? Are they for today? Must one speak in them? Is there more than one kind? These are but a few of the questions that we seek to answer in this study.
In tackling this subject matter, we recognize that there is always the chance that some of our Christian Pentecostal brethren may be offended. Many of them see any work that questions this phenomenon in any way, as blasphemous. We pray that they would receive our work as we intend it; as an educational tool meant to inform, not to injure. Others may see this work as an unnecessary irritant that will further divide an already fractured Christian community. To such we would say, quite simply, any unity that is not based on truth is a false unity.
We, of the Apologetic Research Center, hold the position that the “tongues speaking” discussion is an in house debate, having Christians of good conscious on both sides. The issue between them centers on whether an experience after the point of salvation is valid or not. This reality does not hold true, however, for all who would seek to join this debate.
There are many today who see this phenomenon as validation of the salvation experience itself, most notably of whom are individuals holding a “Jesus Only” theology. To them, speaking in tongues is the third step in their 3-step plan of salvation. Without this experi-ence, to them, one is not, and cannot be saved. We of ARC believe this teaching to be heretical, and have exposed it as such in the ARC Perspective entitled; “JESUS ONLY? Examining Modern Day Modalism.”
Because many groups holding this theology today identify themselves as “Pentecostal,” some tend to confuse them with Christian Pentecostals. Nothing could be further from the truth. While Christian Pentecostals hold that the phenomenon of speaking in tongues is secondary to salvation, “Apostolic Pentecostals,”1 as they call themselves, hold that speaking in tongues is necessary FOR salvation.
While we reject the orthodoxy of the “Jesus Only” position out of hand, our focus in this work rests solely on providing a comprehensive study by which individuals seeking to get a better grasp on this subject matter can. To that end, we ask God’s blessing.