Paula22466 wrote:For example, in 1 Cor 14:6-12, would you agree Paul is using sarcasm, or at the very least a corrective tone sprinkled throughout? The Corinthians had evidently been abusing the true gift of tongues.
I definitely think Paul is NOT being sarcastic in THIS passage. I do think he is being corrective (or at least instructive). If we want to see sarcasm, we can look at I Cor. 4:6-10. If I remember correctly, the guy whose stuff we were looking at cited this as an example of Paul’s sarcasm that should make us believe that he is being sarcastic in chapter 14. But the styles are entirely different—evidence that Pual is NOT being sarcastic in Chapter 14. This matters immensely, and is one of the major problems with the fellow’s handling of this passage. Consider the first part of 4:8. If Paul is serious, we have one meaning; since he is sarcastic we have the opposite meaning. Only by claiming that Paul is sarcastic in chapter 14 (and combining that with his other errors), can he get the “interpretation” he does. Paul is NOT sarcastic in I Cor. 14:5; he is serious: he wishes they all spoke in tongues!
Paula22466 wrote:Also, Paul says, "seek to abound for the edification of the church," so why would people, as they still do to this day, diligently seek for this gift as if it were some sort of badge of uber-Christianity? (That drives me crazy).
Well, Paul tells us to seek ALL the spiritual gifts. That includes tongues. Add to that the false (in my opinion) teaching that everyone who receives the baptism should automatically speak in tongues. You would not believe (actually you might) some of the goofy things I’ve seen people tell other people to do after praying for the baptism, if they did not automatically start speaking in tongues. Add to that that God in his sovereignty does seem, empirically, to give this gift more often than many others; we just see it more. In other words, people are seeking the baptism, but the result is often speaking in tongues. Add to that the possibility of faking it. In other words, a person doesn’t see any of the other gifts “operating” in their lives, so they force themselves to “speak in tongues,” even if it’s not real. And on and on.
Paula22466 wrote:What of 1 Cor 14:22, where Paul says, "So then tongues are for a sign, not to those who believe but to unbelievers." And Paul goes on to say, if one does use tongues it should be done in very small groups. So, my question for you (or anyone who'd like to answer) is how can these people(the people who are still abusing the true gift), in good conscience, have outbursts of this "babbling," (that no one understands, including themselves) in church, or where ever else they please? If tongues are for a "sign to unbelievers," as the Apostle says, why would you even use it privately at all?
I see several questions here (and I’m not sure about the “small groups” part):
1) Re: outbursts of babbling: I don’t think it is babbling. I think it is a language. (See my first post on page 1 of this thread and see I Cor. 14:10-11.) Putting that aside, if you are referring to the practice in certain Pentecostal/Charismatic/Third Wave churches of many people speaking/singing in tongues at once; I think this should not be done. It sounds beautiful—which makes sense since many of the people may be speaking in the tongues of angels (see I Cor. 13:1). That doesn’t make it right. Most folks justify this by making a distinction between “speaking in tongues” and “praying/singing in the Spirit” and/or “using a personal prayer language.” Personally, I see these distinctions as invalid, and an excuse to ignore the proscriptions of I Cor. 14.
2) As far as “wherever they please,” that MAY very well be OK, since tongues are a sign to unbelievers. BUT this should be informed by I Cor. 14:21; otherwise it can be counterproductive.
3) As for private use, Paul’s instructions about tongues in public worship and tongues as a sign for unbelievers tells us nothing about what we should or shouldn’t do privately. Or at least, it tells us nothing directly. But within those passages, we see some reasons why we very well might want to use tongues privately. I Cor. 14:4 tells us that when we speak in tongues we edify ourselves. I Cor. 14:14 tells us that when we pray in a tongue, our spirits (lower case “s”) pray. I Cor. 14:15 tells us that when we speak in a tongue, we may be praying, singing, and/or blessing in the spirit. These are glorious, glorious experiences. I Cor. 14:18-19 may imply that Paul speaks in tongues in front of unbelievers or in church with interpretation, but it equally (at least) may imply that he speaks in tongues privately. Furthermore, Romans 8:26 may refer to praying in the Spirit (i.e., speaking in tongues). I believe it does. What a wonderful comfort that is.
That’s my 2 (I mean 4; I mean 6; I mean 8 . . . ) cents worth.