Posted November 14th, 2011 at 10:00 AM by Lois
Just pondering the doctrine of initial evidence.....
If speaking in tongues is the initial evidence of receiving the Spirit (I am speaking on Apostolic teachings here), then why do so many also expect continued evidence after one initially speaks in tongues?
As mentioned in a prior post, we never see again that those who spoke in tongues in Acts 2, 10 & 19 ever did it a second time. And yet many proponents of this teaching not only expect to see this happen initially, but also need to see its continued use.
How many have been told to 'pray through' after doing something wrong or seemingly wrong or if you left their church for awhile? To these people, 'pray through' means to pray until tongues come again. They want proof that God's Spirit is yet inside you. Maybe you needed it yourself, too. There is no faith at all in this, proof is wanted. It is as if some believe God's Spirit regularly hops in and out of a believer.
Not only is there the thought to 'pray through' to tongues, there can also be things said from the pulpit, like "If you haven't spoken in tongues in the past week (month, etc.), you had better check yourself!" Why? Where is faith? Do believers lose God so easily? Is God so fickle that at the slightest wrong, He up and leaves?
Things, like these and more, to me mean that the teaching is not simply initial evidence. (Note: I know that all Apostolics do not practice or believe the above in regard to the necessity of ongoing tongues.) It is really initial AND ongoing evidence to them. They have a need for a sign that they, and others, are still okay with God. This is not walking by faith or standing on God's promise to never leave, nor forsake, believers.
Think about it. If tongues are indeed the initial evidence, why then is there such a push for this continuing evidence, especially when it is never found in Scripture? When did you ever read Paul pressing believers to 'pray through' again till they spoke in tongues? When did Peter ever teach that if you haven't spoken in tongues in over a month that you'd better find out what was wrong? These doctrines are not taught or seen as examples in the Bible.
So, I say tell it like it really is. They don't mean just initial evidence---they really mean initial AND ongoing evidence throughout your entire walk with God.