Friday, November 24, 2006

paging Reverend Haggard...

My recent viewing of "Jesus Camp" reminded me of the comic genius of Betty Butterfield. Watch her shill for the United Church of Christ, and speak in tongues to boot! Sounds exactly like what you hear in "Jesus Camp."

For those concerned about the scriptural basis for speaking in tongues, it should be noted that the Pentecost event described in Acts involves a cluster of the faithful on whose heads appear tongues of flame, and from whose mouths issue utterances understandable to all the passersby, each in his own native language. This is in marked contrast to the gibberish that passes for "speaking in tongues" in many charismatic and evangelical churches.

I'm not a big fan of scriptural arguments because I'm not a scriptural literalist, but since the Christians in question do often quote scripture to their purpose, I think it's only fair to hold them to their own literalist standard, and to ask them why, when they speak in tongues, they do so in such an unscriptural way.

Acts, Chapter 2:

When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.

Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard them speaking in his own language. Utterly amazed, they asked: "Are not all these men who are speaking Galileans? Then how is it that each of us hears them in his own native language? Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome (both Jews and converts to Judaism Cretans and Arabs—we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!" Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, "What does this mean?"

Some, however, made fun of them and said, "They have had too much wine."


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