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Chapter 2, Section 7

Spurious tongues are not Biblical

So, the spurious tongues are not Biblical; they are not Godly, and they are not the result of the presence of the Holy Spirit. This does not imply, however, that somewhere, today, God may not see the need to supply one of His people with actual foreign-language ability in order to allow them to bring the gospel into a spiritually dark area. This always remains God’s prerogative. But the gift of tongues as manifested in the charismatic movement today can certainly not be ranked in this category.

Being a socioreligious phenomenon, glossolalia has aroused the interest of many social scientists; and being quite outspoken, many of these investigators have made no attempt to conceal their feelings or conclusions.

George B. Cutten, often criticized for his blunt views, maintains that "whatever may be predicted of the psychological conditions of speaking in tongues in the New Testament, it is evident that the experience since then may be classified as ecstasy or allied phenomena. In ecstasy there is a condition of emotional exaltation, in which the one who experiences it is more or less oblivious to the external world, and loses to some extent his self-consciousness and his power of rational thought and self-control. "—Speaking with Tongues Historically and Psychologically Considered, page 157.

A study conducted by J.N. Lapsley and J.H. Simpson of Princetown Seminary supports Cutten in this. In their research they noted among the tongues speakers the presence of "uncommonly troubled people," who exhibited "more anxiety and personality instability than non-Pentecostals of the same socioeconomic backgrounds."—"Speaking in Tongues," Princeton Seminary Bulletin, LXIII, 1965, pp. 3-18.

Dr. Samarin’s research has provided him with the scientifically supported conviction that anyone can acquire glossolalia. According to him it is simply for the asking.

"The only necessary, and perhaps sufficient requirement for becoming a glossolalist," Samarin concludes, "seems to be a profound desire on the part of an individual for a new or better religious experience." "Glossolalia as Learned Behavior," Canadian Journal of Theology, 15, 1969, pp. 60-64.

Throughout all the opinions advanced by scholars, one common thought pervades—that of attributing the strange tongues to an emotional disturbance, usually excluding the probability of an outside supernatural catalyst.

Says Robert R. Gustafson, "In fact, the phenomenon called tongues today appears to provide not only a psychic release from emotional disturbances, but it also appears to provide an emotional high by which one is able to escape momentarily from inward problems and conflicts."—Eiobert R. Gustafson, Authors of Confusion (Tampa, Fla.: Grace Publishing Company, 1971), page 80. Attributing this disturbance to religious emotionalism, others express it in more ecclesiastical tones.

"When an unstable or eccentric person, in his search for light or for power, hears of some mysterious experiences of this man or that, he almost invariably hopes that such strange things also may happen to him, " says Dr. Stolee. "His heart is set on this; his prayers center on it. The beatific ‘visions,’ the ‘being in the Spirit’ that others claim as their lot he must have at whatever cost. He can and will not take refuge in the plain promises of Christ, but must have some external sign of some inward ecstasy as proof of the ‘spirit baptism.’

"If then, he knows no rivers of living waters flowing out from his life, if no thrill grips him, if no token appears, he is disappointed even unto despair. He envelops spirit fever. All because the mysterious ‘baptism’ on which he had set his heart is missing."—H. J. Stolee, Speaking in Tongues (Minneapolis, Minn.: Augsburg Publishing House, 1963), page 81.

If you have ever witnessed a committed charismatic in action, then you have no difficulty in accepting Dr. Stolee’s argument, for once set on receiving the Holy Spirit, the aspirant tongues speaker will stop at nothing to reach the desired state of spiritual bliss.

The Super-emotional State

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