Speaking in Tongues

By | September 7, 2019

All right, 24 after the hour, Tim Staples
is here answering your questions. Let’s go to Ardmore, Oklahoma, to Jack
listening on iCatholic Radio app. Hello Jack.
Hey. Thanks for taking my call, guys. Welcome. Thanks. Tim, if I understand it
right, at one time you were an Assembly of God pastor, is that correct? Yes I was, I was
Holy Ghost-filled, preaching the Gospel, anywhere they’d let me, and you
could hardly shut me up. But yes, sir. All right, great. I’m an Assembly of
God deacon. I’m…I don’t know, really strongly drawn towards the Catholic
Church, but the only hang-ups that I have would be with what I would consider the
baptism in the Holy Spirit. Right. You know, I know a lot of times it’s speaking
in tongues and things, really is misused in the church, I’ll admit that, no
problem at all. But sometimes it just kind of seems like the Catholics
that I’ve talked to, that they’re very hostile towards what I would call–or
what I think some Catholics would call– the charismatic gifts. Is that
something that maybe was a hindrance to you? I mean, it really is with me, and I
just kind of need… Sure. I don’t know… You know what I’m getting at, you know where I’m coming from. Oh, absolutely, and I can tell you, that was an important issue to me when I was
coming over into the Catholic Church. And what helped me was to realize that, first
of all, if you look at the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the gift
of tongues, just to use it, is mentioned in four different sections of the
Catechism. And let me–you know it talks about, in paragraph 696, referring to the
form of “tongues as of fire” that fell on the the Apostles; in paragraph 2003 it
says, “Whatever their character– sometimes it is extraordinary, such as
the gift of miracles or of tongues– charisms are oriented toward sanctifying
grace and are intended for the faithful.” So the Catholic Church is friendly
toward all of the gifts of the Holy Spirit
as we see them taught in the New Testament. That was important to me,
especially early on, in my movement toward the Church. As I began to study
deeper, I discovered that there is a wide array of belief among Catholics when it
comes to tongues. You have some, you have even fathers of the Church, that taught
that tongues were not for today, but it was a first-century manifestation; sort
of, you know, an anti-type to the Tower of Babel in Genesis, you know, you
have that. But you also have those, and probably the majority, who believe
tongues is still a valid gift. But as Catholics, the Church welcomes all. We say,
“This is something that’s not been infallibly defined by the Church,” and so
we have a charismatic movement in the Catholic Church– Strong papal
endorsement. With papal endorsement, where the gift of tongues is exercised. Now,
sometimes, is it not really the gift of tongues? I would argue yes. Just as, you
know brother, sometimes tongues are abused in Protestant circles, well
sometimes they’re abused in Catholic circles as well. But I really studied it,
and I got Thomas Aquinas on it, I got Saint Augustine on it, and it really gave
me a broader perspective on what Christians believe; and it also
gave me perspective on what’s most important, and that is charity,
that is love, as you know St. Paul says in 1 Corinthians chapter 12 and
13, that the greatest of all is charity. And it really…the Catholic faith
brought me what I believe to be balance in my life, to where I saw the seven
sacraments, the Trinity, the great mysteries of the faith far transcend
this that is not something that’s been defined by the Church.
And so whether you’re a charismatic, hey, come in the Church, get involved in the
charismatic movement; if you’re an evangelical who doesn’t believe tongues
are for today, hey, come on in the Church we got folks for you. You know, it’s an
area where there is freedom in the Church. What book would you recommend?
A book? I–you know, I don’t have a book on that that I would recommend right now.
One comes to mind, it’s one of the first, I would say first wave of Catholic
charismatic leadership, his name’s Father Edward O’Connor, it’s called “Catholic
Pentecostalism.” Written in the early seventies, I think it’s a
Notre Dame Press book. Father O’Connor, “Catholic Pentecostalism.” Ralph Martin, to
me, is one of the–he would laugh if I called him the grandfather of the
movement, but Ralph is a very talented, I think he has kind of a
prophetic gift as a writer, Jack, his book “Hungry for God,” big impact on me; “Unless
the Lord Build A House” is another book; “Crisis of Truth,” from 1982; his latest book
is just a marvelous companion on prayer, it’s called “The Fulfillment of
All Desire,” and he studies the top four doctors of the Catholic Church and
the biblical roots of their teaching on what it means to become holy.
He gave me that book, and wow. You’re right, I mean this guy–it is a thick book
but it’s one that’s really easy to read. Yeah, he
combines kind of a light spirit with heavy content. It’s hard to describe. Yeah. Anyway, that should get you started, Jack, but, you know, check it from one
Pentecostal to another, that in the Catholic Church all gifts of the Spirit
are welcome; plus you have the beauty of having the Magisterium that can correct
you when you get out of bounds. As long as they’re in proper order,
yeah. Exactly. As you know. You remind me,
there, of 1 Corinthians 14, you know, when St. Paul was struggling a bit with
the Corinthians over this very issue of tongues and prophecy in particular he
emphasizes; but one thing that St. Paul
emphasizes is, what is that, in verse 37 and 38, as I recall, in 1
Corinthians 14, he says “If any man think himself to be spiritual or a prophet, let
him know that he must be subject to us.” And I’m not getting this word-for-word
here, but he says, “If anyone does not, then then he is not
accepted,” he is not approved, let’s put it that way. And so we always remember
that the spirits of the prophets, as Paul says again in 1 Corinthians 14, the
spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophet, there’s no such thing as
this uncontrollable, “I gotta speak in tongues!” sort of thing, no, that that is
not of God. But you must do all things decently and
in order and in submission to the authority of the Church. That was Paul’s
main point there in 1 Corinthians 14. So we believe in plurality, not
pluralism, huh? Yeah, there you go.

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