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Chapter 3, Section 6

One Common Denominator

Having researched the subject extensively before my scheduled interviews with the psychics and mediums, I found that their reaction came as no surprise. All, without exception, approved of the phenomenon and name God as its supernatural source. They are unified in their conviction that through this new communications medium a common ground needed for the unification of all churches has finally been achieved. In the tongues, Catholics, Protestants, and Spiritualists have found their common denominator, operated by the same supernatural source whose power they assume to be God.

In a letter signed, "Ralph & Bobbi," a young married couple who attended one of the first modern outpourings of their "Holy Spirit" at the now famous Duquesne Weekend in 1967, looked back on that memorable weekend after six years of "spirit-fever." One of the paragraphs of their testimony shows the influence it had on their relationship to members of other non-Catholic churches.

"Most of our Friday evenings we go to a prayer meeting with Anglicans, Presbyterians, Methodists, Lutherans, and Pentecostals," they wrote. "And for three hours all denominational differences are annihilated, without compromising an inch on our Roman Catholicism ….

"Never have I heard the Church of Rome prayed for with such fervor," they concluded proudly, "as I have at prayer meeting. And with such love."—New Covenant (the monthly magazine of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal), Vol. 2, Number 8, Feb., 1973.

Doctrinal differences are fast disappearing among the members of the various churches, as this letter testifies. A newfound oneness in the spirit is permeating hundreds of thousands of well-meaning Christians, making a mockery of the Biblical doctrine that the Spirit of God is the Spirit of truth, and that this same spirit will lead us into discovering and accepting "all truth." Even without evaluating all the other available evidence, we can see that modern tongues stem from a lesser source than the Holy Spirit. The violation of this Biblical concept alone is sufficient to make us question seriously the source behind the tongues, for what does this superficial oneness really mean?

It indicates that the charismatics are indeed unified, but in confusion. They claim to be "one" and led by the Spirit of God (truth), but strangely enough, this Spirit of truth does not lead the charismatic Catholic to abandon his prayers for the dead or his belief in an eternally burning hell. This same spirit does not tell him to stop using the saints as intermediaries, or to stop seeking for forgiveness of sins through a human confessor. Does he have to stop believing in the infallability of the pope or in a flaming purgatory? No—they are not told to abandon their belief in these doctrines but are encouraged by their "brothers-in-the-spirit, " the charismatic Protestants to retain this heretical faith.

The charismatic Protestants, on the other hand, are free to cling to whatever doctrines they may espouse, preferring their charismatic spirit over the Spirit of truth. To them, love is the supreme test of faith. They are not unified by trust in God and His guiding principles; they are unified by one common spiritual orgasm! Doctrines are now held to be essential elements of a church's individual heritage, and the oneness in the spirit is to be the spontaneous spark which ignites the flaming experience that binds them.

As we examine the tongues and their legitimate role in today's Christianity, we find that sanction or even a quiet acceptance of the phenomenon has virtually become an impossibility. No matter how badly the charismatics want to prove the validity of the sounds, the evidence shows that in their zealous efforts to give the utterings Biblical support, the tongues-speakers have overstated their case.

The ecstatic utterance of disconnected vowels, weird and irrational to some; melodious and beautiful to the charismatics, has been termed "linguistic nonsense," "spirit-guided grunts," "untranslatable gibberish," and even less flattering names by most or all of those who have given scientific investigation to the phenomenon. And no matter the objections of the movement, there is indeed a relationship between the increase in tongues speakers and the growing degree of mental instability. What's more, both psychiatrists (for the mentally unstable) and the theologians (for the charismatics) agree that we are only at the beginning of the problem.

Yet, if this were all, the glossolaliac's case would still not be hopeless, for statistics in themselves are never absolute proof—only an indication of something. But a careful scrutiny of the manifestations as found in the books of Acts and Corinthians destroys all hopes for a Biblical basis. The gift of tongues against which Paul cautioned in Corinth has no relationship to today's charismatic gift of tongues which has its origin in paganism, heathen ritual, and even devil worship, historical records of which precede the Pentecostal outpouring of the Holy Spirit by at least 1,100 years!

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