On SBC's (Southern Baptist Convention) official website under their FAQ (refer to SBC FAQ), regarding their stance on tongues/other charismatic gifts, they state the following: "There is no official SBC view or stance on the issue. If you polled SBC churches across the nation on the topic of "charismatic" practices you would likely find a variety of perspectives. Probably most believe that the "gift of tongues" as described in the Bible ceased upon the completion of the Bible. Some may view speaking in tongues as a spiritual gift given to some Christians enabling them to communicate the Gospel to foreign cultures in a language the speaker had not known previously. A very small minority might accept what is commonly practiced today in charismatic churches as valid." (end of quote)
The change that the SBC's International Mission Board brought was that they would no longer disqualify missionary candidates (applying to serve through their agency) who practiced charismatic gifts (refer to International Mission Board Drops Ban on Speaking in Tongues).
Thus, there is a difference to be understood. SBC is an organization with autonomous churches which make up its membership. SBC has stated that the subject of tongues/charismatic gifts has varying views among all of their member churches. Just because their International Mission Board changed their admission policies for missionary work, doesn't mean that the SBC member churches have accepted tongues in their fellowships. The International Mission Board is separate from the individual churches in their work and policies.
While I agree that the SBC's International Mission Board made a positive change regarding such discrimination, how many charismatic churches will follow suit? In other words, currently, even I've come across Pentecostal churches who harass/give a hard time to people who don't speak in tongues (it can be an obstacle for such people trying to join their fellowships). I've even come across Pentecostals who demand that marriage proposals (from other denominations) must be able to speak in tongues in order to be accepted. Will they also get rid of their own discriminatory practices?
Pastor Shibu stated that the SBC changed their policy because they realized that speaking in tongues (a divine language and not a foreign language- according to his teaching in this video) allows the Gospel to be propagated to other nations. Again, I'm not trying to troll Pastor Shibu. I agree with many of the things he has said in other clips, however, I do have to disagree with him on this.
I believe that tongues can be either:
(1). heavenly/spiritual languages (totally separate from earthly languages)
(2). foreign earthly languages (ex. English, Malayalam, Hindi, Spanish, Greek, Hebrew, etc.)
Refer to 1 Corinthians 13:1 where it states the phrase, "If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels" (as a reference to different types of tongues).
Let's take a look at the model given to us in Acts 2 regarding what type of tongues (heavenly/spiritual language vs foreign earthly language) was given to the early believers on the Day of Pentecost:
Acts 2:4-11 (NLT):
And everyone present was filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking in other languages, as the Holy Spirit gave them this ability.
5 At that time there were devout Jews from every nation living in Jerusalem. 6 When they heard the loud noise, everyone came running, and they were bewildered to hear their own languages being spoken by the believers.
7 They were completely amazed. “How can this be?” they exclaimed. “These people are all from Galilee, 8 and yet we hear them speaking in our own native languages! 9 Here we are—Parthians, Medes, Elamites, people from Mesopotamia, Judea, Cappadocia, Pontus, the province of Asia, 10 Phrygia, Pamphylia, Egypt, and the areas of Libya around Cyrene, visitors from Rome 11 (both Jews and converts to Judaism), Cretans, and Arabs. And we all hear these people speaking in our own languages about the wonderful things God has done!”
Verse 7-8 clearly show that Galilean believers (believers from Galilee), which I'm guessing all were Jews, started speaking regarding the wonders of God (the basis of the Gospel) in the native languages of devout Jews who had migrated/or visiting from from nearby regions back then- Parthian, Mede, Elamite, Mesopotamian, Judean, Cappadocian, Egyptian, Libyan, Roman, etc.). They were speaking in the respective languages of each of those geographical locations mentioned in the passage. They were not speaking in a heavenly/spiritual language. That is what needs to be understood. Thus, the point to be understood is, in order to propagate the Gospel to people speaking a different language than you, the gift of speaking tongues through foreign earthly languages is needed, not the mysterious heavenly form of tongues which Pentecostals claim to be the driving force in their evangelism. What was the driving force of evangelism of the early church which attracted people to their fellowships? Was it tongues and other charismatic gifts? No. It was their acts of kindness and sharing with each other. This is what attracted people (in a godly way) to their fellowships- not the lust for material blessings from God (which unfortunately is what is being used by Satan to attract people to his carnal minded churches which he controls). Refer to Acts 2:44-47 and Acts 4:32-37.
So where then is heavenly/spiritual tongues used? By our own spirit to speak/pray to God (refer to 1 Cor. 14:2,14). Will everyone have the ability to speak in tongues? Why does Paul say that he "wishes" that everyone would be able to speak in tongues if all believers are automatically supposed to speak in tongues through the baptism of the Holy Ghost (refer to 1 Cor. 14:5)? This indicates that not all believers will have the same gifts, especially speaking in tongues (whether speaking in heavenly/spiritual language or foreign earthly tongues). I believe that with today's improvement in propagating education (through books, internet, educational courses), foreign earthly languages have been made easier to access and learn. Perhaps, this is the hand of God at work to help people propagate the Gospel to foreigners.
One can pray in tongues if they have the ability from the Holy Spirit. Again, the Bible doesn't say that all believers will have this gift as I just mentioned above. When Jude wrote we need to pray in the power of the Holy Spirit, that doesn't automatically mean we must pray in tongues. To teach that we must pray in tongues is based on making an assumption about Jude 1:20. Romans 8 teaches us that the Holy Spirit prays for us through groanings, not tongues. Paul also says in 1 Cor. 14:15, that since he has the gift of tongues, he will pray both in tongues as well as pray in words (an earthly language) he himself understands. Thus, what is the lesson to us regarding what the interpretation of Jude 1:20 is? Praying in the power of the Holy Spirit means:
(1). that all of us should allow the Holy Ghost to pray for us through groanings
(2). If one has the gift of tongues, pray both in tongues as well as in your native earthly language. If you don't have the gift of tongues, then simply pray in your native earthly language. It doesn't mean one has not been baptized by the Holy Ghost, for there aren't 2 different baptisms, there is only one baptism in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost (refer to Ephesians 4:5). I believe that confusion regarding baptism was present with the early church (refer to Acts 19:1-4). At that time, some believers (those who followed the teachings of John the Baptist) didn't know the existence of the Holy Spirit (Holy Ghost). Thus, they didn't understand that they need to be baptized in the name of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, as Jesus commanded in the Great Commission (refer to Matthew 28:18-20). A similar confusion is being propagated by charismatics through their teaching regarding tongues. I'm sure they point to verse 6 of the same chapter to try and come up with a convincing argument that the believers during that occasion started speaking in tongues after they were baptized again by Paul. That doesn't mean all believers will experience the same. Again, I'd point charismatics to 1 Cor. 14:5 regarding how Paul expresses that he wished all believers could speak in tongues- which indicates that not all believers at that time were able to speak in tongues. Even though Paul expressed that wish, he stated (from the same passage) that he even desired more that all believers could prophesy/teach others than speaking in tongues.
Problems/confusion arise when people try to complicate the subject of tongues through misinterpreting Scripture. I believe both charismatics and non-charismatics are guilty of this. I believe that there are erroneous teachings among both charismatics and non-charismatics regarding tongues. Both unfortunately twist and distort the Bible and one of the common things I'm seeing today is the propagation of carnal minded Christianity through their erroneous/false doctrines [i.e through prosperity Gospel of charismatic groups and sin excusing (unconditional eternal security) doctrines of non-charismatics as well as even some charismatic groups]. As a result, Christianity has become a mess and a source of ridicule for their critics (among other religions as well as among atheists).
It's sad that the material prosperity (wealth) of SBC and as well as the material prosperity linked with the spirituality/charismatic gifts of charismatic groups (Pentecostal) is what is being used to attract people to the Gospel. What a disgrace! It shows that many modern Christians are no different than the Jews that Jesus had encountered (refer to Mark 7:1-23 and Matthew 23:1-36)- their hearts and minds are still far from God and their practices and worship to show their holiness/spirituality is nothing but a farce. May we throw off our carnal ways and the pursuit of wealth to come to God. Money/prosperity is not the evidence of God's favor towards us. If the opposite was true, then every believer who has existed throughout history would've been rich and successful. However, we know that isn't the case- some were rich and some were poor (ex. John the Baptist who lived in the wilderness eating locusts, Paul who made a living by being a cobbler while serving God at the same through his ministry to the Jews and Gentiles, etc.). Christ and the early church are our examples to follow regarding what it means to live a Christian life. Christ lived in poverty even though He was the most spiritual man to ever have lived on this earth. He gave up His heavenly riches to become poor on this earth. The early church followed the teachings of Christ directed towards the rich (i.e. sell their possessions and give to the poor). Refer to Acts 2:44-47 and Acts 4:32-37. They shared everything that had with each other and sold their possessions in order to help the needy among them. How many churches practice this today? Churches are filled with only some people who are millionaires, but how many of the rest are millionaires? Let the millionaires make the less privileged among them into millionaires [by sharing their wealth with them and showing them how to succeed in their education (show them how to study properly/tutor them) and career]. Then they will be on the right track. Otherwise, there is no point in saying that churches have millionaires because of their spirituality and divine favor from God due to what they teach or practice. The common factor I've observed regarding this among various Christian denominations is carnal minded Christianity through the following practices:
(1). In non-charismatic groups like the Brethren or Baptist, they brainwash their members to think that attending every meeting and giving to the church establishes favor from God and your spirituality/testimony in front of others.
(2). In charismatic groups (Pentecostals), they teach that by giving money to their ministries, speaking in tongues, etc. will help you establish favor from God as well as your spirituality in front of others and also pave the way for you to become rich (materialistically). This is how many false teachers become rich and live luxurious lives.
The whole point of giving to the church/to God is to edify the entire church so that everyone in the church becomes rich (not that the pastor becomes rich so that he can buy luxury cars, jets, homes/mansions, etc. as seen with many prosperity Gospel teachers in America)- in other words no one should be left needy/poor within an assembly. The whole point of the Gospel is to change us so that we may share and help each other and be rich our faith in God. Christianity has not understood that message and it is seen through their practices as well as the state of their churches today.
Charismatics lure people to accept the Gospel by promising them blessings in the form of material blessings (money/wealth). Non-charismatics lure people to accept the Gospel by preaching a false gospel message based on perverting God's grace into licentiousness (unconditional eternal security) and then showing the success/rich among them to deceive others to think that they have divine favor from God (even though they are wicked/hypocrites). Both groups have become excellent at marketing their product- a carnal form of Christianity (fake Christianity which produces narcissistic sociopaths- the very children of the devil). Thus, you can clearly see Satan and his demons at work once you carefully analyze what is happening. He propagates a false message to cater to the itching ears of the sinful nature of people which desires licentiousness and prosperity instead of God's call to become holy/righteous, humble and sell your possessions/share with others (the Gospel is not at all about the pursuit of wealth- as carnal minded Christians have made it out to be). Satan is using them and their teachings to entrap people in sin (refer to 2 Peter chapter 2 and Jude 1:4).
Proverbs 28:6 (NLT):
Better the poor whose walk is blameless than the rich whose ways are perverse.
Psalm 37:6 (NLT):
It is better to be godly and have little than to be evil and rich.
I've mentioned in another comments regarding the moral state of many churches today. Various forms of immorality are rampant among churches today (both Brethren and Pentecostal). In regards to Pentecostal churches, what is the point of speaking in tongues to demonstrate spirituality when church ministry leaders (especially among young people) today are engaging in wickedness on the side (ex. engaged in pre-marital relationships- living with girlfriends (fornication), going to nightclubs, strips clubs, etc.)?
What is the point of the Brethren coming up with their own rules regarding church attendance, jewelry, consumption of alcohol beverages, facial hair for men, cosmetics for women, etc. when they themselves hypocritically engage in various wicked behaviors on the side (which they justify through their doctrines regarding salvation and sin- ex. unconditional eternal security)?
Today, whether Pentecostal or Brethren, the tendency is the pursuit of wealth as well as spirituality (in order to compete with and impress others). That's all it is. They bring God and the Bible into this process in order to convince and deceive people by creating false teachings to promote their agenda. In many Malayalee families, women are the driving force behind their families (children and husband) to pursue the various forms of material and spiritual glory. It's narcissism. In the process, it's become unbearable to live in such cultic environments (family + church environment). This is why many youth rebel today and leave the Malayalee setting altogether.
Proverbs 21:9 (NLT):
It's better to live alone in the corner of an attic than with a quarrelsome wife in a lovely home.
The above verse is so true. It's far better to be single and live alone in a humble setting instead of pursuing a Malayalee spouse (who will likely have the same carnal minded behavior like their parents) in the fake/deceptive super-spiritual Malayalee community. You will also likely get stuck with a sociopathic sexually promiscuous person (who's had multiple partners before entering marriage). You will only be forced to continue in the carnal ways of previous Malayalee generations (i.e. pursuing wealth and spirituality) in order to bring glory to self (narcissism) all the while claiming that is to glorify God and establish favor with Him. It's all a farce. In the process, such carnal minded Christians will turn your heart away from God and deceive you to join them in living in their self-deception (refer to 2 Timothy 3:1-9,13).
I heard on the radio regarding a book written by Carey Scott (a Christian author) which addresses insecurities instilled in us by the narcissistic world around us (the need to match up to worldly standards). It's called "Untangled: Let God Loosen the Knots of Insecurity in Your Life." You can also visit her website (Untangled).
Both unbelievers as well as carnal minded Christians instill inadequacies (ex. not wealthy enough, not educated enough, not having a prestigious job/high salary, not spiritual enough based on unBiblical or extra-Biblical criteria, etc.) in people and thereby propagate the pursuit of narcissism. They make people mentally abnormal as narcissism is a mental disorder. Clearly, you can see Satan working in the hearts of such people to make everyone else like him (as he is the father of narcissism and sociopathy). It's sad that churches today are being used as a tool of the devil for this.