House Church Talk - speaking

Glenn Frank glennfrank at
Sat May 15 20:59:26 EDT 2004


You made a comment about 1 cor 14:23...

On 5/15/04 5:47 PM, "Tim Poole" <pooletim at> wrote:

> Paul says in 14:23 If everyone speaks in tongues and an unbeliever comes in,
> will he not judge that you are out of your mind?  Paul seems to try to raise
> the awairness of the church of how they are failing to relate to the culture
> by doing what they wanted without considering what they were doing and how
> it appeared to unbelievers. Do you thing Paul could be interested in how we
> relate to our culture?

I don't think that Paul was trying to say that they should refrain from
speaking in tongues simply because the visitors and unbelievers would think
they were nuts... I don't think that is his point in context of the passage.
His point, seen later in the passage, is that all these things SHOULD BE
done, but in their right place, and time. Tongues should be allowed only if
there is interpretation following...  which is I guess something like
prophesy (in that it edifies the believers) (and the unbeliever too).

These verses always seem to contradict each other when read... He says on
one hand the tongues are for unbelievers and prophesy for believers... Yet
he says that unbelievers will think of tongues as showing that we are out of
minds... And the unbeliever is convicted to the heart by the prophesy...
Seems backwards.

But if we look at in in light of his comments that tongues are needed too
but are REQUIREING interpretation with them... Then maybe the point is that
they will think we are crazy at first (and that is ok... We are not told to
cut it out simply because they will think that we are crazy... Just that
they WILL think that) but later if there Is interpretation (which is akin to
prophesy) they will make the connection... That GOD IS REALY HERE AMONG

In other words the unbeliever thought it was crazy at first but when
explanation was brought, and he hears the encouragement and exhortation of
prophesy and teaching too, he can put it all together. "This is not just a
human wisdom or philosophy. It is connected intimately with God." So I see
that both are needed. Otherwise it just sounds like good old reasonable and
comfortable human wisdom to unbelievers. But if they see the spirit at work
in ways they do not understand AND realize the wisdom and truth they are
hearing are connected... THEN they see it is more than just us... God is
there in the midst of us!

So the simple answer to you question... I think there are passages where
Paul talks about becoming like others in order to reach them (this is true,
but I don't know that I see that in the gathering of the Body, I see it in
personal outreach)... But in this instance I do not think he is advocating a
'seeker sensitive service'. He is simply saying that 1) all things need to
be done and 2) done properly and in order.

That is My take on it.

Glenn Frank
Southern California

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