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Vol.  9  No. 6 June 2007  Page 20
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Since You Asked By Louis Rushmore

Names may be included at the discretion of the Editor unless querists request their names be withheld. Please check our Archive for the answer to your question before submitting it; there are over 1,000 articles in the Archive addressing numerous biblical topics. Submit a Question to GGO.
Louis Rushmore

Speaking in Tongues

Mr Rushmore, I am a 27 year old mother of three and a member of a church. I recently read an article that you wrote about the speaking of tongues. I would like to say shame on you. I have been raised in the church my whole life and never in my wildest dreams did I think there was someone who also believes in God would say what you did. I have sat beside by grandmother while she was baptized in the Holy Spirit. I can tell you my grandmother was not “acting” like you think. I am sure you must have gone to the wrong place to feel the hand of God. I try not to judge people but I felt compelled to write you after reading your article. I will pray for you and your family and those you preach to that one day you will feel the Spirit of the Lord on you. If you haven’t felt the lord yet then sadly you have not opened your heart to him. Good Luck and God bless. Sherry Luffman

    I respectfully submit for your consideration that we all would do well to ‘open God’s Word’—the Bible—before we ‘open our hearts’ to God. Objective truth trumps subjective feeling every time! Historical evidence as well as biblical evidence both contradict the popular notion today called speaking in tongues. No one doubts your grandmother’s sincerity, but subjective feelings can be mistaken. Please re-visit the extensive article treating “The Truth About Speaking in Tongues” at http://www.gospelgazette.com/gazette/2004/jul/page2.htm.


Pure Conscience

A friend of mine forwarded your website to me. Since she knows I’m a member of the church (she is Jewish) she questioned this statement: A pure conscience was not attainable under either Patriarchy or Judaism, for there was always an awareness of sins (Hebrews 9:9; 10:2). On another ocassion when she and I visited the church while we were travelling, she became very offended and upset when she understood the preacher to say “Jews have no conscience”. Now she has seen this statement and is even more upset. I do not believe that Jews have no conscience because I know Saul of Tarsus said he had lived in all good conscience (as a Jew). And under the law, when Jews obeyed God, God was pleased. I’m not sure I understand your position, but thought I would ask so perhaps I can better understand what you are saying so I know better how to answer her. Thank you, Sandra

    Obviously I cannot answer for another person’s statements when I know neither the person nor precisely what he said. However, I can gladly answer for my statements based on the biblical text.

    Every human being who is born with a working mind and reaches the age of discernment between right and wrong has a conscience. However, once a person knows the difference between right and wrong, his conscience commends him or her for what it perceives as right and rebukes him or her for what it perceives as wrong thoughts and conduct. Yet, a human conscience can be improperly educated, as was the case with Saul of Tarsus (while he was persecuting Christians) before he became a Christian and later an apostle.

    The point over which your inquiry evidences some confusion pertains to the actual forgiveness of sins. Sins prior to the cross of Christ were forgiven in prospect (e.g., such as a promissory note) in anticipation of the cross of Christ. Only under Christianity can sins actually be forgiven; God forgets sins that have been forgiven, but under Judaism, one’s past sins were remembered annually at the Day of Atonement. Animal sacrifices were never an end to themselves, but they prefigured the ultimate and perfect sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross.

    Please re-read the article to which you refer at:

http://www.gospelgazette.com/gazette/2006/jul/page5.htm.

For your convenience, see below the verses of Scripture that I cited at that place respecting forgiveness of sins and the human conscience.

  • “Which was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience” (Hebrews 9:9).
  • “For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect. For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins. But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year. For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins” (Hebrews 10:1-4).
  • “How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” (Hebrews 9:14).
  • “Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water” (Hebrews 10:22).
  • “The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 3:21).

Songs that Speak or Pray to Jesus

Dear bro Rushmore, God bless the work you are doing.  I have some questions. Is it right to sing hymns that have the words, Tell it to Jesus; Jesus heard and answered prayers (Hand in Hand with Jesus); Blessed Jesus, Hear thy children when they pray (Saviour Like A Shepherd)?  Does Jesus hear and answer our prayers? Thank you Jimmy Lau

    Regarding intentional prayers to Jesus instead of to the Father, I penned a response at the following URL.

http://www.gospelgazette.com/gazette/2003/may/page20.htm

However, this inquiry adds consideration of songs that appear to be addressing Jesus Christ directly, especially songs that seem to be essentially prayers.

    Some brethren go to various lengths to identify songs in their hymnals of this sort and exclude them from use in the worship. Other brethren seem comfortable with the realization that hymns are a form of poetic expression and that some degree of license with prose is to be expected and of no great consequence. Few brethren irrespective of their viewpoint often clamor loudly when they happen upon a worship service in which songs of this sort are sung.

    While we certainly need to ensure that we convey no false doctrine from our pulpits, deportment or even from our singing, there is not any universally understood and accepted practice respecting these songs even among brethren who otherwise agree on biblical doctrine. We need to extend as much latitude to fellow Christians as we can in all good conscience, careful to neither require (make laws) what God has not, or on the other hand deviate from undeniable truth. At some point, we must be careful to come to spiritual blows only over salvation issues (and certainly not over opinions). We may have to rely on one another’s good judgment and forbearance.

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