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Chapter 2, Section 4

Information is generally known, but ignored

Much of the above material is known to many charismatics, but largely ignored. To them a personal contact with the "Holy Ghost" shrinks to insignificance all evidence not in harmony with their gift. The real meaning of the work of the true Spirit to lead men "into the truth" has been reduced to allowing it to operate the spectacular phenomena of the tongues speakers. To them, a personal contact with "something" unseen, resulting in an uncontrollable manifestation vaguely reminiscent of the events of Pentecost, is superior to a prayer contact with the everlasting God of the universe.

The advances of the "Holy Spirit" on the minds of humanity are widely heralded through organizations such as the Full Gospel Business Men’s Fellowship International, the Blessed Trinity Society, and the many Protestant and Catholic charismatic groups. The approach or method by which the Spirit is introduced to the uncommitted does not appear to be as important as the ultimate results. Because of this, many of the nation’s top tongues advocates advise the use of proven methods to "guarantee" a direct voice-contact with the "Holy Spirit."

Dutch Reformed minister Harold Bredesen, chairman of the board of the Blessed Trinity Society and one of the outspoken leaders in the tongues movement, advised the students at Yale University to adhere to the following guidelines:

"(1) To think visually and concretely, rather than abstractly: for example to try to visualize Jesus as a person; (2) consciously to yield their voices and organs of speech to the Holy Spirit; (3) to repeat certain elementary sounds which he told them, such as ‘bah-bah bah’ or something similar. He then laid his hands on the head of each seeker, prayed for him and the seeker did actually speak in tongues. "—Cited by Stanley D. Walters, "Speaking in Tongues," Youth in Action, May, 1964. (Italics supplied.)

Was it effective? Not everyone really thinks so.

"Of the students involved, some later became unsure that the outbreak was a genuine work of the Spirit. I talked to one who had spoken in tongues when Mr. Bredesen first visited the campus, could do so later whenever he wished, and on his own initiative did so in my presence, yet doubted that it was a work of the Spirit. A devout Christian, he was genuinely perplexed."—Waiters, op. cit., p. 10. I cannot help thinking of the early Mormon example, when Joseph Smith told his followers, "Arise upon your feet, speak or make some sound, continue to make sounds of some kind, and the Lord will make a tongue or language out of it."

The Reverend Christensen, a Lutheran minister and a tongues speaker, advised the following: "In order to speak in tongues, you have to quit praying in English. You simply lapse into silence and resolve to speak not a syllable of any language you have ever learned. Your thoughts are focused on Christ, and then you simply lift up your voice and speak out confidently, in the faith that the Lord will take the sound you give him and shape it into a language. You take no thought of what you are saying: as far as you are concerned, it is just a series of sounds. The first sounds will sound strange and unnatural to your ear, and they may be halting and inarticulate (have you ever heard a baby learning to talk?)."—Cited by John Miles, "Tongues," Voice, February, 1965.

The Prescription is Given

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