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Glossolalia: A Gift Of The Spirit

1026 words - 5 pages

Glossolalia: A Gift of the Spirit
The ‘Gift of Tongues’ (Glossolalia) as described by many Christians in present day is said to be evident proof of the manifestation of the Holy Ghost in an individual. Although many outsiders see it as a new belief or ideology, Christians believe that it is not a new practice but rather a forgotten gift of the spirit given to the early church right after Jesus’ departure. Many believers provide proof of that by recalling the biblical event with the Apostles at the Pentecost, found in Acts 2 and also the twelfth chapter of the first Pauline letter to the Corinthians. Some of these manifestations and gifts of the Spirit emerged to the public, after a ...view middle of the document...

5:18 (Forbes 51). This manifestation of the Holy Spirit became the evident proof of a new type of baptism. Given that these events happened right after Jesus’s ascension could only mean that the promise of the Paraclete was being fulfilled and at the same time beginning a new time of salvation. But time passed, new ideologies came along and people began to draw away from the teaching of Christ and the Apostles.
It was not until the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th that the subject of charismatic practices flourished completely. Before the time of American revival “in [mid 1800s] London, [Edward Irving a Presbyterian preacher] and his people had…been praying for the return of the ‘Gifts’” to restore the charismatic experience “because the faith of the Church grew cold and dead” (Burgess 190, 193). His congregation and people of the surrounding areas eventually experienced the gift of tongues and divine healing at their homes and in their own account of prayer; the word got around and the Presbytery excommunicated Irving claiming that he was losing his mind and leading his congregation into a delusional state of mind. While all of these events were happening in London, in America Charles Parham founded a Bible school in 1900 and on January 1, 1991 one of his students acquired the gift of tongues, giving birth to Pentecostalism. I was there that “Pentecostals…identified glossolalia as the ‘initial, physical evidence’ of the baptism in the Holy Spirit” (Chan 3). Simon Chan author of Pentecostal Ecclesiology says that although the initial evidence doctrine is very controversial and lacks proper theological evidence it should not be discarded.
Despite the fact that many Pentecostals do not completely understand the concept of initial evidence, something inside of them, perhaps the Holy Spirit lets them know that there is truth and fulfillment in it. Perhaps the people in the Azusa Street Mission felt the same way. William Seymour met Parham in Houston...

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