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Keralabrethren.net: General Forum: Doctrinal Accusations: Justified Outrage or Overreaction?

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# 08059 :  Doctrinal Accusations: Justified Outrage or Overreaction?

This is my first post here, so kindly excuse any missteps. As at least some of you might have seen over the past week or so several brethren believers have shared clips of a Pentecostal Pastor called Shibu Peediakal accusing the Kerala brethren of heresy. Since then, online ads have talked of a debate involving Shibu and two colleagues on one side "Versus" (emphasis added as this was the word used in the ad) three brethren bible teachers, scheduled to be held in Dallas on June 18. Recently, on April 24, a large gathering of "prominent" brethren teachers participated in a meeting over the issue in Ranny, Kerala as this is where Shibu supposedly made the inflammatory statements. I am genuinely conflicted over this whole issue for a number of reasons:

a) While we should definitely defend what we believe in, is this really a new isssue? I've been hearing these accusations ever since I was a child. There are volumes of books written and Bible studies and classes held over this. Will "responding" to someone who is most likely an empty attention seeker over what is really a very old issue bring any edification to our churches?

b) A lot of people have construed this to be an attack on brethren doctrine and brethren "faith"? Is there anything like "brethren faith"? I've always preferred the term Christian teaching and faith (Ephesians 4:4-6). By reducing the idioms used to the Kerala brethren, many seem to be forgetting that people like pastor Shibu are undermining the timeless scriptural doctrines we follow.

c) Given the overwhelming passion and zeal on display when a foul-mouthed pastor insults us, why are many of the prominent brethren teachers who took up the cudgels for the "faith" so silent given the utter decay in values in many brethren institutions in Kerala? Correct me if I'm wrong, but I've yet to see this level of outrage when cases have been filed against assemblies, ungodly men have taken control of our institutions, money power rules the roost in many ministries and so forth. Why is there reluctance to address the putrifying rot inside?

Post by : commonman  View Profile    since : 25 Apr 2016


Reply by : George P. Koshy   View Profile   Since : 25 Apr 2016 1:22:09 PM Close

Dear 'commonman,'

I failed to read about the real accusation by the pentecostal pastor, Shibu Peediakal. However, you are correct about the 'brethren faith.' There should not be such a thing as the 'bretrhen faith.' If there is, then it belongs to a denomination with that name.

Shalom Malekim!!!

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Reply by : commonman   View Profile   Since : 25 Apr 2016 1:44:21 PM Close

Bro Koshy,

I believe this video has the controversial accusations — excerpts of it have been in circulation for a while now. Unfortunately, I'm not sure when it occurs as this is a long video.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ogawzARY2A&spfreload=10

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Reply by : George P. Koshy   View Profile   Since : 26 Apr 2016 12:36:22 PM Close

Dear 'commonman,'

I do not go to another website to discuss a subject on this Forum. Since you raised the issue, I hope that you will provide the answer to my question. I am only asking for the evidence from the person who raised an issue on this Forum.

Shalom Malekim!!! 

 

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Reply by : appachan   View Profile   Since : 26 Apr 2016 1:05:16 PM Close

Dear Commonman,

i did listen to the message from the link you posted above and shibu spent maybe 30 seconds or less on 'brethren' talking about holy Spirit and tongues etc. not a big deal at all.in the context of his message, I did not find him insulting or abusing us, if one is thin skinned and easily offended then an arguement can be made.i think it is total overreaction on anybody's part to debate this individual. it is arrogance to think we puny creatures can defend Almighty God or our faith, God is not mocked. all we need to do is judge ourselves and draw closer to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ each day by confronting the sins(point C in your post) in our life. God will defend himself. me not losing sleep over it at all.it is much 'ado about nothing'

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Reply by : paizanjoe   View Profile   Since : 26 Apr 2016 2:30:47 PM Close

Hello common man,

You need not worry about any missteps so long as your conscience that is governed by the Holy Spirit does not  uestion you. Let me try and answer your points one by one and see if that is an equitable answer to your questions below:

  1. For your first point, attention seekers and false teachers will always be there in the midst of believers. One of the major problems we face these days are topics such as these get prominence since we are not equipping ourselves with the wisdom of spirit. There are loads of topics that could be closed if we follow Colossians 4:6. If we do that, we are governed by the spirit and our answers are from God to these people. Unfortunately, many times we are lacking because of various agendas that are contrary to the teachings of the Lord.
  2. You are correct here. There is nothing called as a brethren doctrine, philosophy or ritual. Everyone who believes in Christ are Brethren in Him. If there is any other teaching apart from this. Then I am afraid that is not from the word of God.
  3. I don't think he insulted anyone. he was being sarcastic based on some limited knowledge that he has. But even in his case. I would look at it from the positive side, like Apostle Paul in Philippians 1:15-18. Whatever said and done, Christ is being preached and for this, I rejoice and so should all.

Regards,

Joe

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Reply by : commonman   View Profile   Since : 26 Apr 2016 6:09:20 PM Close

Bro Koshy,

I'm paraphrasing  what Shibu said in a clip from one of his messages that is being circulated among Brethren groups:           

A) The brethren see themselves  as a group that have taken the Bible for "wholesale" (probably referring to interpreting the Bible).

B) The brethren are a group that follows false doctrines.

C) The devil is leading the brethren and they've been blinded to the truth about speaking in tongues and the work of the Holy Spirit.

D) He also "lovingly" invites theologians among the brethren for a debate.

As I've mentioned in my first post, it's the impassioned reaction among sections of the brethren that struck me, not what Shibu said, since such people have said the same things for ages.

 

 

 

 

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Reply by : George P. Koshy   View Profile   Since : 27 Apr 2016 4:52:15 PM Close

Dear ‘commonman,’

I am not writing these against Shibu or any other person, but just to let you know what is my reaction to the points that you brought on 26 Apr 2016. I am also writing these being not ‘Brethren,’ but being ‘brethren.’

On Point A: When a person writes about the Bible, without any respect by electing words like “wholesale,” then that person is only exhibiting his disrespect to the Bible—the Word of God that is given by the inspiration of God to man. I said this, because the word ‘wholesale’ implies selling in large quantities at a lower price. The Bible tells us that God sent His Son and He was sacrificed on the cross to save me. If that is what the ‘Brethren’ or ‘brethren’ preach, then that is far from any ‘wholesale’ that can be imagined.

Before I address the next point, I wish to make it clear that when a person say about ‘brethren see themselves as a group,’ then he/she is disassociating himself/herself from what is termed as ‘brethren.’ A person who is not a ‘brethren’ is an unbeliever and he/she is making a caricature of all believers in Christ, beginning at the Day of Pentecost.

On Point B: That is exactly what Satan would say to all believers in Christ from the Day of Pentecost.

On Point C: That is exactly what Satan would say to all believers from the Day of Pentecost. Satan ignores what is written in 1 Corinthians 13 and 14 on speaking in tongues. It is written in 1 Corinthians 13 that a person who speaks in tongues does that without love, and then he is nothing but a clanging cymbal. So are many who pretend to be speaking in tongues in the era in which we live, because it is written in 1 Corinthians 13 that when the Scriptures are completed the tongues shall cease. Those who deny the truth that the revelation of the will and mind of God is completed in the Bible—the Scriptures—are eager to mislead the ignorant and innocent with charming words that are against the Scriptures to fill the itching ears of men.

On Point D: The invitation to a debate is the first sign that the inviter is not sure about what he knows. If he knows, he does not have to prove himself with a debate about what he knows. Abel did not debate with any to show that he believed God. Enoch did not debate to show that he believed God. Noah did not debate to show that he believed God. Abraham did not debate to show that he believed God. Isaac did not debate to show that he believed God. Moses did not debate to show that he believed God. This list could go on and on. Even Christ did not debate with any to show that He is God. The challenge to a debate always shows the weakness of the person who is eager to debate. This could be shown from the world also: Galileo did not debate; Kepler did not debate; Isaac newton did not debate; Albert Einstein did not debate; and we could say that of anyone who is a true scientist. They all presented the analysis of the data they collected and rested their case for others to accept or reject.

However, Satan would like to debate with God. We read about it in Job. When God said about Job and his faithfulness, Satan debated with God about its truthfulness. When a person challenges another on a debate, then it is the first sign of his weakness on the subject he is interested to debate. We should leave them to their pursuit of the hot air of debate.

Shalom Malekim!!!

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Reply by : tomj   View Profile   Since : 27 Apr 2016 8:23:08 PM Close

Greetings to all!

I checked the site after several weeks and happened to see this topic. In fact, someone I knew forwarded that ‘message’ by this gentleman to me and I listened to it. I told the person who forwarded that to me that this kind of utterances do not warrant any response because it shows the utter disregard from these people in learning how to study Bible. Learning how to learn the Bible requires hard and diligent work. Some of these people start ‘brain surgery’ without learning anything about the human anatomy.

Why am I saying this? His big argument was based on [if my memory is correct, since it was some time ago] 1 Cor 14:14 - “For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my mind is unfruitful.” This fellow thinks this verse proves the legitimacy of tongues. So, I am going to post an article I wrote about 10 years ago and posted once or twice on this forum. Please pay closer attention to 1 Cor 14:14 in the article. Hope this can be useful. 

Tom Johns - posting the article in the next segment. 

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Reply by : tomj   View Profile   Since : 27 Apr 2016 8:24:06 PM Close

THE PURPOSES OF TONGUES.

A. Sign

In the book of Acts the primary purpose of tongues was to give evidence of the truth of the gospel, and of the judgment, if the gospel were to be rejected. In Corinthians they served to give proof of the gospel message to unbelievers.

(1 Cor 14:20-22) “21 In the Law it is written, BY MEN OF STRANGE TONGUES AND BY THE LIPS OF STRANGERS I WILL SPEAK TO THIS PEOPLE, AND EVEN SO THEY WILL NOT LISTEN TO ME," says the Lord. 22So then tongues are for a sign, not to those who believe but to unbelievers; but prophesy is for a sign, not to unbelievers but to those who believe.”

The above quotation is from Isa. 28:11-12. It is a warning that just as the Assyrian foreign language (not an ecstatic utterance) was a sign to unbelieving Jews of their coming judgment, so also tongues (languages) were a sign of the truth of Christianity and a warning to those who rejected its message. (Particularly addressing the Jews)

B. Edification

Both the gifts of prophecy and tongues (when interpreted) edified the church. If there is no interpretation, then there is no edification, except the self edification that comes as a by-product of using any gift. 1 Cor 14:4 “4One who speaks in a tongue edifies himself; but one who prophesies edifies the church.”

If I have the gift of teaching, I can teach myself, but the church is not edified unless and until I communicate what I taught myself, to the people in the church. Prophecy needed no interpretation, for it was given directly to the church in a language clearly understood. Tongues did the same, when interpreted. This is what Paul is saying in 1 Cor 14:1-13, 23-25

1 Cor 14:14 “For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my mind is unfruitful”.

Here Paul is writing about un-interpreted tongue. Some people believe it as some kind of prayer language done in private. But the entire context relates to the church. So, it likely refers to praying in a tongue. To do so, engages the spirit but not the mind, simply because the speaker can never know what he or she said. Such prayers are useless; in the sense the petitioner does not know what was even prayed. So, Paul is saying; pray with the mind, which means in a language you actually could understand.

REGULATIONS FOR THE USE OF TONGUES

1.Only two or three should speak in turn in one service and never all at the same time. (1 Cor 14:27)

2.If there is no interpreter available there should be no audible tongues (14:28) How about a test for the genuineness of what people claim to be tongues today? Have someone who claims the gift of tongue give a message. Then have three people who claim to have the gift of interpretation, write out that message. Will somebody take that challenge? See how well they could do.

3.Women are not permitted to speak in tongues in the church (14:34). They are not allowed to utter any words (tongues) even if they have the gift of tongues.

4.Never forbid the use of the spiritual gift (unless no interpreter is present) (14:39)

5.Let everything be done properly and orderly.

WHAT IS THE PRESENT-DAY EXPERIENCE CALLED ‘TONGUES’?

There are three explanations and a fourth one which combines the two.

1. It is the Biblical gift that God is still giving today, though not to everybody.

2. It is a counterfeit of the Biblical gift, which Satan promotes to confuse believers.

3. It is a self-induced experience.

4. It is a mixture of two and three.

If God is still giving the biblical gift, then it must meet the criteria for the gift as described in the Scriptures. It must be an actual earthly language used by men with interpretation to edify the church and as a sign of verification and judgment to the unbelieving Jews and regulated by the guidelines of 1 Cor14: 26-40

But even if the gift ceased in the early days of the church, does not the Scripture say it will appear again at the end of the age? Those who hold this cite Joel 2:28-32. And say that we are living in those days.
“28 It will come about after this that I will pour out My Spirit on all mankind; And your sons and daughters will prophesy, Your old men will dream dreams, Your young men will see visions. 29"Even on the male and female servants I will pour out My Spirit in those days.”

But neither Joel 2 nor its quotation in Acts 2:16-21 mentions the gift of tongues.

WHAT IS THE PRESENT-DAY EXPERIENCE CALLED ‘TONGUES’?

Contd.

We know that Satan is the master counterfeiter. His desired goal is to promote a ‘form of godliness’ (2 Tim 3:5) Satan has been deceiving many into thinking that tongues today are not only the true biblical gift, but the one that is to be coveted.

Sincere Christians want to experience all that the Lord has for them. Tongues have an aura about them as being some kind of acme of Christian experience. People then begin to seek the experience and urged on by others they hypnotize themselves into saying some tongues-like words that are affirmed as genuine tongues by those observing the person. This, then, tends to confirm to the individual that he or she has really had the biblical tongue experience. This, I would call – ‘the self-induced experience.’

SOME CONCLUDING THOUGHTS

1. Those who claim the gift of this ‘heavenly language’ (glossolalists) cannot produce any objective criteria against which this supposed ‘heavenly language’ can be measured and thus authenticated.

2. There is no reason to be dazzled by the claim by someone that they spoke in tongues. After all, they are not exercising the genuine spiritual gift, based on the scriptural regulations.

3. When Paul lists some the spiritual gifts in an order of priority tongues are last in the list. (1 Cor 12:28). Then he exhorts the Corinthians to seek the greater gifts.

4. The goal of Christian living for every believer is to be like Jesus Christ. And our Lord never spoke in tongues. So we can boldly press toward the goal of Christ likeness and never have to speak in tongues.

Speaking in tongues in nowhere presented as something every Christian should expect when they receive Jesus Christ as their Savior and are therefore baptized in the Holy Spirit. In fact, out of all the conversion accounts in the New Testament, only two record speaking in tongues in that context.

‘Tongues’ was a miraculous gift that had a specific purpose for a specific time. It was not, and never has been the evidence of the reception of the Holy Spirit. (Under the titles “Holy Spirit – Baptism & Filling part 1 & 2, this issue is discussed in detail.)

I hope this study would help every reader, irrespective of any particular denominational background. {Indebted to Charles Ryrie, Donald Burdick. Thomas Edgar, A. T Robertson}

 

Tom Johns

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Reply by : abic   View Profile   Since : 29 Apr 2016 12:09:32 AM Close

tomj
Thanks for posting your article. It's really beneficial to me. You have explained it in a simple and plain way. Based on your article, I understand that speaking in tongues is actually speaking in an existing real language that was not known to the speaker, NOT the gibberish that we see today. What I understand is that the speaker has not learned that language in any college or institutions. But through this miraculous gift, the speaker was able to speak in a different language. My questions is, do this miraculous gift exist today? May be we don't see it in our day to day life, but may be in some remote parts of the world, God could still use this miraculous gift? Most of the Kerala Brethren that I associate with tell me that this gift has ceased. But in 1 Corinthians 14 we read "Therefore, my brethren, desire earnestly to prophesy, and do not forbid to speak in tongues. But all things must be done properly and in an orderly manner." Per this I assume this could still happen today? Yes I understand the regulations to use this gift should be in alignment with what’s explained in chapter 14

On a different note, people like you SHOULD participate more in this forum. It's really edifying to people like me, rather than reading some philosophies.

Thank you!

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Reply by : paulthomas1   View Profile   Since : 29 Apr 2016 3:42:35 PM Close

abic - The gift could still exist that is in alignment with chapter 14. But who are we to decide that it has ceased based on the gimmicks we see around us?

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Reply by : tomj   View Profile   Since : 29 Apr 2016 8:19:19 PM Close

Dear abc, 

We cannot say that tongue as described in the NT has completely stoped or ceased. It may or may not have. But if something is practiced against the prescribed way as it is discussed earlier, that cannot be tongues.  

Also, all of us should understand what it means to say "1 Cor 14:4 “4One who speaks in a tongue edifies himself; but one who prophesies edifies the church.”- This NOT an encouragement to speak in tounges but to discourage even when it is spoken in the biblically prescribed way. 

Tom Johns

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Reply by : abic   View Profile   Since : 2 May 2016 5:39:33 PM Close

Thanks tomj

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Reply by : joyboy   View Profile   Since : 11 May 2016 2:14:15 PM Close

We cannot say that tongue as described in the NT has completely stoped or ceased. It may or may not have. But if something is practiced against the prescribed way as it is discussed earlier, that cannot be tongues.  

TomJ,

Not sure I agree with the bolded.  If something is done in a wrong manner, it doesn't mean that the "thing" is invalid, it just means that it was done in a wrong manner.  For example, Paul says in Phil 1:15-18 that some preach the gospel for the wrong reasons, but it's still preached.

I do believe that tongues has ceased, based on 1 Cor 13.  1 Cor 12 is about spiritual gifts and 1 Cor 14 is about Spiritual gifts.  1 cor 13, therefore is also about spiritual gifts, even though it is a parenthetical thought.  It explicitly says in v8 that "tongues will cease", and I believe the when of hte ceasing is when "the perfect comes" (v10).  The perfect, in my view, is the completed canon of the word of God, the Bible. 

There is a caveat, though.  In cultures where there is no completed canon, I believe these sign gifts still remain, since the perfect has not come for them yet. This is why we often hear of miracles on the mission field.

Just my two cents. 

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Reply by : paizanjoe   View Profile   Since : 14 May 2016 10:16:23 AM Close

Abic,

I think your post was meant for the other discussion.

Regards,

Joe

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