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Date Posted:15/10/2009 1:39 AMCopy HTML

The please consider essay on the Corinthians meeting context argument is one of the more baffling essays of Ian's I have had the displeasure of reading.

The first half of the article discusses the idea that what Paul refers to as the church, is indeed the wider body of Christ. In many regards, I can see how this could be a legitimate conclusion to draw from the universal themes of many of the scriptures in 1 Corinthians 12 (namely, 1-6, 12-13, 14-26, 27, 31). I concur that this is most likely if not absolutely a reference to a wider body of Church, not a specific meeting context. However, what the essay fails to address is the obvious meeting context of chapter 14. When Paul writes that he who prophesies edifies the church, surely he is not referring to the wider body of Christ as this would not make sense. How can an individuals prophesy edify Christians around the world? This is definitely referring to a meeting context and I challenge Ian to refute that (without the use of his pseudo-intellectual rhetoric).

'I wish you all spoke with tongues, but even more that you prophesied'. Paul is effectively saying here 'I wish that you would all step out in the meeting and speak in tongues, but even more I wish that you would prophesy for it edifies the church (gathering) greatly). The main thing we can draw from that in defense of everyone speaking in tongues, is that Paul says quite clearly that WE ALL have the ability to speak in tongues. This IS in a meeting context, in a meeting, there is an oversite, (those who teach) etc etc.

There is an obvious duality of context when Paul states that he's glad he speaks in tongues more than all of them, yet he would rather say 5 words in his native tongue. The duality is the meeting context and outside of the meeting, clearly Paul is glad he speaks in tongues, but in a meeting, it is not as important. EVERYONE at that time had the ability to speak in tongues because they had received the holy ghost.

I am very open to a better explanation of these passsges because the one Ian has provided is insufficient and leaves out vital passages.       
Didaktikon Share to: Facebook Twitter MSN linkedin google yahoo #1
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Re:Why Ian's meeting only argument is incorrect...

Date Posted:15/10/2009 1:54 AMCopy HTML

Good afternoon, Guest.

I suppose I should be upfront in pointing out that I'm not surprised that you struggle with interpreting the various C-O-N-T-E-X-T-S that elucidate meaning from biblical texts, given that you clearly failed to note that the essay on 'Please Consider' that deals with the subject you've raised was written by Drew Dixon, and not by me as you stated in your post. When a person demonstrates that he can't see what's directly in front of him as he reads an essay at "PC" (i.e. something as simple as an author's name), what hope is there that he'll properly grasp what Paul sought to impress upon the wayward and carnal Corinthian Christians when he reads the apostle's words in Elizabethan dress, through Revivalist-tinted glasses? I'm even betting that you believe 1 Corinthians 12-14 was intended as guidance on how every church should run its meetings too.

Goose.

Ian

email: didaktikon@gmail.com
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Re:Why Ian's meeting only argument is incorrect...

Date Posted:15/10/2009 3:26 AMCopy HTML

 Riddler,

Why does the Revival Fellowship preach this is the context of a 'meeting' if Paul also asks if all are apostles? Or prophets - which clearly not all 'in a meeting' are apostles or prophets? (1 Cor 14:28-30) Why is the answer an implied 'no'?

Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular. And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues. Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles? Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?

Why does the Greek word used in these questions imply the answer is 'no'? ()

Why have other scriptures with the same Greek word () been translated as a negative or rhetorical 'no'? (E.g. Romans 9:14; Luke 22:35; Romans 11:1; Romans 3:5-6)

Why do other translations read, 'Not all have the gift of healing, do they? Not all speak in other languages, do they? Not all interpret, do they?' (1 Corinthians 12:30)

Why is the Revival Fellowship alone in this interpretation? Why doesn't the Strongs concordance (sold in the bookshop) back up this unique interpretation? Why aren'tt there any other published concordances that have the same interpretation?

Why does Paul distinguish between differing manifestations of the Holy Spirit? (1 Cor 12:7-11)

Why does Paul say, 'for to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another different kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues.  But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will'?


[URL]http://www.whyilefttherevivalfellowship.com[/URL]
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Re:Why Ian's meeting only argument is incorrect...

Date Posted:15/10/2009 3:48 AMCopy HTML

Ian,

To tell you the truth, I respect your opinion and have read the please consider site and agree with most of it. I am currently in a state of MASS confusion and terror and other emotions similar to those. The only argument that I still believe can be defended is the meeting context one.

I didn't realize the article was not yours, although I'm sure you would have to agree with it to submit it to the site. I understand the do all speak in tongues? no thing that you talk about. But it still doesn't answer my question about the meeting context because Paul is stating all of these points in relation to a meeting. Surely you can see that chapter 14 is clearly written in a confined setting as opposed to the wider body of Christ. Once again, how can a prophesy edify the WHOLE church, surely that edification is only subject to those who actually hear it?

I know you'll probably hit back at me with some witty banter, a few Ian-isms, a bit of 'clearly your little brain cannot fathom the vast mass of confusion because you have no grasp of the original text etc etc'. You're right, I don't have a huge grasp of the original texts, I do know however that I have used the meeting context to talk to many other Christians and many of them don't have anything to say on the matter. I found Drew's essay a little underwhelming and I do honestly believe you can see some of these scriptures sound as though they are in a congregation context. And if you can possibly concede that this might be the case, is it not fair to say that a lot of what Paul implies suggests that ALL had the ability to speak in tongues at that time.

Also, I get that your intellect is much more vast than mine, I get that you have studied theology and that is part of the reason I like to hear these things from you, because I am not as intelligent. I have been BROUGHT UP in a fellowship, I have heard these arguments tome and time again, they are imprinted in my brain. Thus, when someone like yourself comes along and blows it all away, I'm a little stumped. Chapter 14 SEEMS to me, to be talking in a confined setting, a gathering if you will. Please enlighten me on why I am wrong. I am OPEN TO THIS POSSIBILITY. 
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Re:Why Ian's meeting only argument is incorrect...

Date Posted:15/10/2009 4:01 AMCopy HTML

Riddler,

I have not studied Theology either but it seems really straight forward to me:

Why would Paul write to the Corinthian church asking them 'do all speak in tongues?' in the same breath as 'are all prophets?' Clearly the desired answer to this series of rhetorical questions are all the same. Is it then a yes or a no?

Do you also think the entire Corinthian church were prophets?

Is it more likely that everyone in the church was all of these things or not all of these things?

Get some non-KJV perspective: http://bible.cc/1_corinthians/12-30.htm
[URL]http://www.whyilefttherevivalfellowship.com[/URL]
Didaktikon Share to: Facebook Twitter MSN linkedin google yahoo #5
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Re:Why Ian's meeting only argument is incorrect...

Date Posted:15/10/2009 4:05 AMCopy HTML

Guest,

To be honest, I find it very difficult to reconcile statements such as this one: "To tell you the truth, I respect your opinion and have read the please consider site and agree with most of it" with this: "The please consider essay on the Corinthians meeting context argument is one of the more baffling essays of Ian's I have had the displeasure of reading." Sorry, but you just don't come across as consistent.

Try to wrap your mind around this: Paul's first letter to the Corinthian Church was a corrective against their hubris and multiplied errors. Certain of the Christians there believed exactly as the Revivalists currently believe, that "tongues" indicated spiritual status! Understand this factor, and you'll go a long way to properly comprehending what our passage presents. Furthermore, Paul himself dropped something of a "bombshell" on his readers when he pointed out that he, too, spoke in tongues! Certain of the Corinthian believers thought that
they alone were the "super spiritual" Christians, because they alone possessed this gift. A little study into the history of Corinth during the first century should prove enlightening as to why.

Finally, I'll point out that you've completely misunderstood Paul's true position on "tongues" as a public gift. Note, for example, the implications that result from the presence of the word "if", rather than "when", in the statement, "If anyone speaks in a tongue, let there be only two or at most three, and each in turn; and let one interpret." (1 Corinthians 14:27). Attempt a little sustained reflection on this "nugget", and see what develops.

Such should suffice for now.

Ian


email: didaktikon@gmail.com
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Re:Why Ian's meeting only argument is incorrect...

Date Posted:15/10/2009 4:15 AMCopy HTML

Riddler,

I am currently in a state of MASS confusion and terror and other emotions similar to those.

That is a horrible place to be in Riddler. Revival twists the mind in so many ways, all the more so when you have been  brought up in it and you don't know anything else. What we have all been through is spiritual abuse but there is life after revival.

 
 


 

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Re:Why Ian's meeting only argument is incorrect...

Date Posted:15/10/2009 4:52 AMCopy HTML

Hi R2

I know you've been given plenty of advice, but I'd like to suggest something else that I found really helped me "grok" the flow of Paul's message in 1 Co. It's simple. Read the letter aloud to yourself. It's the way Paul's readers would have done it. Start from the beginning of the letter and work though to the end. From memory it took me 1-2 hours, but I might be thinking of another book. (Either way it was time well spent.) Then do it again, and again, and ... see whether the "meeting context" argument still seems "natural".

As someone else said, I'd suggest reading non-KJV versions. The NLT flows like spoken language and the ESV  has the cadence ("feel"/"rhythm") of the KJV but uses the English of today.
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Re:Why Ian's meeting only argument is incorrect...

Date Posted:15/10/2009 6:27 AMCopy HTML


Thank you all for your interesting insights.

The "if" rather than "when" phrasing is an interesting one Ian. That's the sort of thing my cognitively biased intellect can consume like a rabbit stew.  It's still all a bit of a mess in my mind but perhaps I should take some of your advice and meditate upon these things for a while as opposed to having a minor panic attack over them.

I have heard many times the Revivalists mention the 'do all speak with tongues?' no, not in the meeting but yes, all have this ability. Are all prophets? no, not in the meeting, but yes, we are all prophets. I'm sure this sort of liberal interpretation is an abomination to many of you, but again, when this has been offered as an acceptable interpretation for so long, it's hard to be bi-partisan towards your own interpretation.

One thing I still can't understand, is this passage in 1 Corinthians 14 v 5, 'I wish you all spoke with tongues, but even more that you prophesied. For he who prophesies is greater...'. Let's just forget tongues for a second and focus on context, I read this (perhaps incorrectly obviously) in a location specific context. Perhaps because I see prophesy as only relevant in a meeting situation to edify? So, are you all saying this is not in a meeting? Sorry to harp on but this is a big one for me.
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Re:Why Ian's meeting only argument is incorrect...

Date Posted:16/10/2009 3:20 AMCopy HTML


"One thing I still can't understand, is this passage in 1 Corinthians 14 v 5, 'I wish you all spoke with tongues, but even more that you prophesied. For he who prophesies is greater...'. Let's just forget tongues for a second and focus on context, I read this (perhaps incorrectly obviously) in a location specific context. Perhaps because I see prophesy as only relevant in a meeting situation to edify? So, are you all saying this is not in a meeting? Sorry to harp on but this is a big one for me." 


Hi Riddler,

Consider that the church is the body of believers who have placed their faith in Jesus Christ (gathered together in one place or not).
Now consider that prior to verse 16 of chapt 14, this passage does not specifically address the church in a gathered together context (although that doesn't mean it can't include the gathered context).

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1%20Cor%2014&version=NIV

It seems that leading up to verse 16, Paul is speaking generally about the use of tongues and prophecy within the church (see previous definition of church), regardless of one's location -whilst it can apply to the gathered context it can also apply to a non-formal setting -ie with a fellow Christian in their lounge room, for example.

I think you hit the nail on the head when you supposed that your confusion might stem from "Perhaps because I see prophesy as only relevant in a meeting situation to edify?".
Exactly. If you look at all the examples of prophecy being used in the bible you will see it differs a lot to the way Revivalists suggest it should happen.

Paul is stressing in your above quoted verse, as he has all along, to be desirous of those spiritual gifts such as prophecy which edifies other believers, to by all means seek for all the gifts available, but ultimately it is the Holy Spirit who decides which gifts he will give to each one of us (1 Cor 12:11 see below).

But it is the Spirit who does all this and decides which gifts to give to each of us. (CEV)

So, whilst Paul thinks it would be great if we could all speak in tongues, ultimately, again, it is up to God to decide which gifts he will give to us. Furthermore, he wishes that we would seek for the better gifts such as prophecy and the ones he talked about at the end of 1 Cor 12 -that edify others (also see 1 Cor 12:7 -The Spirit has given each of us a special way of serving others" CEV). This is because using gifts that edify others enables us to fulfill God's will by obeying the 2 *most important* commands given by Jesus to love God and one another as ourselves: See Matt 22:36-40 below:

Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?" Jesus replied: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.'This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments." (CEV)

Consider also (remembering again the definition of the church)1 Cor 14:12 

Since you are eager to have spiritual gifts, try to excel in gifts that build up the church.

and Paul stresses his point several times...

In chapt 7:7 (CEV) Paul says 

"I wish that all of you were like me, but God has given different gifts to each of us." 

(referring back then to him being single and having different gifts and abilities to say, some married women)

Also, in Chpt 8:1 (CEV) Paul says that 

"knowledge makes us proud of ourselves, while love makes us helpful to others."

1 Peter 4:10 is also relevant (as Peter also addressed this same thing):

Each of you has been blessed with one of God's many wonderful gifts to be used in the service of others. So use your gift well.

So, again, you see location is not the issue but rather we should use the gifts God has given us to serve others wherever we are, wherever we go.

If the gifts we have, whether they be prophecy, wisdom, gifts of healing etc can be used to serve others (again, no matter where we are) then of course they are much better than using the gift of tongues in front of others without a translation - as this is *not* helpful to others and only edifies ourselves whereby defeating the thrust of the message of Jesus to love and serve God and others as ourselves.
Of course, there is nothing wrong with praying in tongues when you're by yourself, as it is still a God given gift (unless you are one of the few who will admit they made it up when they were kids so others would stop condemning them to hell -all very sad). However, praying in English/ in the language of your own understanding is highly beneficial and largely under-rated, I believe in Revival (hence the hours spent glossalating when grouped together at high speeds for hours on end at various camps and organised P&Fs -something else I'm yet to see as being a biblically based practice).  

I hope this helps, if not, it was fun reading the passages again.

God bless, Riddler

RDP
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