Charisma Magazine (heavily promoted by the New Apostolic Reformation) recently published an article about speaking in tongues as a Christian practice. The article not only presented category fallacies, it uses two scriptures (Acts 1:8, Acts 2:39) that have nothing to do with speaking in tongues to try and convince their readers that this is a gift for all believers today.
JESUS VERSUS THE NARISMATIC MOVEMENT.
From the below article, we highlight an observation about ‘prayer language’ made by the author Mikel French:
“Language is at the center of all our interaction. More than just the communication of ideas, it establishes authority and agreement, and it influences ability. Because language is also tied to culture, it is a marker of the family to which you belong. This is no less true of our prayer language.”
This statement proves that the NARismatic movement has nothing to do with biblical Christianity and is a different ‘kingdom’. The gospel goes forward in all human languages with God bringing us all into one one family, one body, under one head – that being Christ.
It’s only in the last century that Christianity has witnessed a ‘new movement with a new language’ – a false movement that mocks the Triune God by claiming they received their ‘spiritual language’ from the Holy Spirit, bringing with it a false spiritual baptism for those who they claim are truly ‘sons and daughters’ of the true ‘kingdom of God’. Mikel French also espouses this unbiblical separation (emphasis ours):
“The kingdom of God is not a crowd but a family, and our prayer language is a part of our spiritual culture and heritage as believers. Our heavenly Father promises us we will “receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you” (Acts 1:8). It is a powerful gift for us, our children, our grandchildren, and to “all whom the Lord our God will call” (Acts 2:39)—all the sons and daughters of God.”
Again, the NARismatic cult insists that those ‘whom the Lord our God … [calls] … the sons and daughters of God’, WILL receive this Acts 1:8 ‘spiritual baptism of power’. The outward sign that proves they have this baptism of power is the speaking of tongues. This is ‘true Christianity’. The promoters of this false spirit advocate a prayer language that engages in nothing more than ‘vain repetitious babble’.
This is the same group who claim that they are not doctrinally divisive and are all about global Christian unity. Nevertheless, Jesus makes it very clear that these people have nothing to do with the Kingdom of God.
IS GOD CONSTRAINED BY THE LIMITS OF HUMAN SPEECH?
The NARismatic movement, along with Mikel French, insists the Holy Spirit gives the gift of tongues so “our spirit and the Spirit of God both to speak directly and hear one another clearly, unhindered by the constraints of human speech”. In reality it is nothing more than repetitious ‘babble’. If the gift of speaking in tongues were active in the church today, it would be performed in agreement with Scripture. It would be a real and intelligible language. And what does the bible say? In contrast to how they pray, Jesus instructs His followers in this way:
“And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words.” Matthew 6:7
If it is one baptism (which bears fruit in keeping with repentance) that baptises pagans into the faith, then this false baptism (which bears fruit in keeping with rebellion) is ‘baptising’ people out of the faith. In their ongoing promotion of this false baptism we see their refusal to admit that what they are actually engaging in – God Himself calls pagan.
A cross reference of Matthew 6:7 is where Elijah challenged the pagan prophets of Baal.
“Then Elijah said to the prophets of Baal, “Choose for yourselves one bull and prepare it first, for you are many, and call upon the name of your god, but put no fire to it.” And they took the bull that was given them, and they prepared it and called upon the name of Baal from morning until noon, saying, “O Baal, answer us!” But there was no voice, and no one answered. And they limped around the altar that they had made. And at noon Elijah mocked them, saying, “Cry aloud, for he is a god. Either he is musing, or he is relieving himself, or he is on a journey, or perhaps he is asleep and must be awakened.” And they cried aloud and cut themselves after their custom with swords and lances, until the blood gushed out upon them. And as midday passed, they raved on until the time of the offering of the oblation, but there was no voice. No one answered; no one paid attention.” 1 Kings 18:25-8
THE PROVERBIAL ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM?
Mikel French states,
“Anyone who has been in ministry can attest that whenever the subject of the Holy Spirit and speaking in other tongues or languages comes up in conversation or messages it can cause some people to become pretty awkward. Even when it isn’t brought up, the question still seems to linger in the air. It’s the proverbial elephant in the room. Part of this is because many people have misrepresented the idea of praying in tongues. Hollywood consistently portrays this act of faith in a negative light, making it seem unnatural or cultlike, and as a result, people’s assumptions and expectations about it have been skewed. I’d even go as far as to say it has become popular nowadays to feel uncomfortable about it.”
We don’t need “Hollywood consistently [portraying] this act of faith in a negative light, making it seem unnatural or cultlike.” Their very own NAR Apostles and Prophets make it seem that way! You can go to Bethel, Morning Star, Hillsong, The Call or any of their revival meetings and observe their leaders encouraging followers to “Cry aloud, for he is a god.” In doing so, the NARismatic cult portrays God much like Baal himself. Their antics would make even the world wonder if their god is “musing, or […] relieving himself, or […] on a journey, or perhaps […] asleep and must be awakened”?
Just like the followers of Baal, they have no concept of the Triune God being omnipotent and omnipresent. Instead they ‘invite’ their god into their meetings, calling false ‘fire’ to come down as they assemble at their ‘altars’ – and doing so bring nothing but judgment upon themselves with their vain attempts.
Scholars have linked Jesus’ words to the ravings and empty phrases of the pagan prophets of Baal. This should alert more discerning believers’ attention to the pagan-roots of the NARismatic movement. If you see them trying to influence your churches with this false teaching, point them to Jesus’ words and His judgment on the prophets of Baal. Why would the Holy Spirit contradict Jesus? If Jesus said to do one thing (don’t babble like pagans) and the Holy Spirit is now saying to do another (babble) – which one’s wrong? Which one’s lying? Or who is leading one to be a disciple and the other a pagan? Isn’t the Holy Spirit’s job to point people to Jesus?
Jesus taught us very clearly how to pray:
“So then, this is how you should pray:
‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be Your name,
Your kingdom come,
Your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors;
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one
Jesus could not be more plain.
Do you want to be in a family that is in Christ that prays the way Jesus tells to pray? Or do you want to be in a family where you can babble with the prophets of Baal?
Mikel French writes,
How Praying in Tongues Can Unlock the Breakthrough You Seek
Anyone who has been in ministry can attest that whenever the subject of the Holy Spirit and speaking in other tongues or languages comes up in conversation or messages it can cause some people to become pretty awkward. Even when it isn’t brought up, the question still seems to linger in the air. It’s the proverbial elephant in the room.
Part of this is because many people have misrepresented the idea of praying in tongues. Hollywood consistently portrays this act of faith in a negative light, making it seem unnatural or cultlike, and as a result, people’s assumptions and expectations about it have been skewed. I’d even go as far as to say it has become popular nowadays to feel uncomfortable about it.
Rather than seeking a biblically rooted understanding of this powerful means of communicating with the Holy Spirit, people shy away, afraid of the unknown or, perhaps more, afraid of how others will perceive them. Instead of asking, “How could speaking in tongues enhance my walk with Christ?” they whisper, “Do I have to?”
For new and seasoned ministers alike, this can be a challenging question to address, since doing so means taking on not only that person’s assumptions and insecurities but also the culture’s assumptions and fears about speaking in tongues. As such, I’ve learned it’s best to respond with a relatable example. Whenever someone asks me, “Do I have to speak in tongues?” I reply:
“Do I have to hug my grandchildren, or do I get to hug my grandchildren? Do I have to get out bed in the morning, or do I get to get out of bed in the morning? Do I have to kiss my wife, or do I get to kiss my wife?”
The answer to all these questions is yes—yes, I have to, but with jubilant joy and because of overwhelming love, I get to!
Instead of viewing these necessary actions as mandates to be checked off the to-do list, I choose a different perspective. It is not a question of, Do I have to? Instead, I think, Wow! I get to hug my grandchildren, and I would love to get to do it more. I get to rise out bed in the morning, and at my age, I am thankful for that. I get to kiss my beautiful wife, and praise God, she still acts like she loves it. Likewise, and even more importantly, I don’t have to pray in tongues daily, but I get to pray every day in a prayer language designed to build up my most holy faith.
Language is at the center of all our interaction. More than just the communication of ideas, it establishes authority and agreement, and it influences ability. Because language is also tied to culture, it is a marker of the family to which you belong. This is no less true of our prayer language. The kingdom of God is not a crowd but a family, and our prayer language is a part of our spiritual culture and heritage as believers. Our heavenly Father promises us we will “receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you” (Acts 1:8). It is a powerful gift for us, our children, our grandchildren, and to “all whom the Lord our God will call” (Acts 2:39)—all the sons and daughters of God.
I think where people get off track is that sometimes we get so hung up on the term speaking in tongues that we forget that this gift is a language, a way for our spirit and the Spirit of God both to speak directly and hear one another clearly, unhindered by the constraints of human speech. It is not about the action we take as speakers but rather about the exchange taking place between our spirit and the God who created us and calls us His own. When we speak in tongues, we aren’t holding a better, louder megaphone pointed at heaven, but instead we become better listeners and are more tuned in to His voice.
If you find yourself in a season in which you need to hear from the Lord, speaking in tongues will unlock the breakthrough you are seeking. If you are facing challenges that seem insurmountable, pray to your heavenly Father in your prayer language and know that He hears and wants you to hear His voice in return. If you want to receive the fullness of His Holy Spirit, ask Him right now to know His mind, His will and His power and be ready to receive all He has for you—including the gift of tongues.
If you have not yet spoken in tongues, take a step of faith as His Spirit is giving you His language. Allow the rivers of living water to come out of deepest part of your being. You are His child, and He wants to teach you His language. Allow Him to fill you to overflowing for your edification and for the edification of those to whom you are called to minister. Let me know today you were filled with the Holy Spirit at email@example.com.
You are beautiful. I see Jesus in you.
Have an awesome week!
Source: Mikel French, How Praying in Tongues Can Unlock the Breakthrough You Seek, Charisma Mag, https://www.charismamag.com/spirit/prayer/38159-how-praying-in-tongues-can-unlock-the-breakthrough-you-seek, Published August 22, 2018. (Accessed August 29, 2018.)
Email all comments and questions to firstname.lastname@example.org