I CHOSE NOT TO BE A BAPTIST
Copyright (C) 1991/2003
By Phil Scovell
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This article is in response to one written by Raymond J.
Storms entitled "I Chose Not To Be A Charismatic." The reason
for my article is to show how remarkably similar my situation
was, as an independent Baptist, and to expose the error in his
Scriptural interpretation and application. If you have not read
his story, please do so before reading this article. I will,
however, summarize his story briefly if the reader has not
secured a copy of his article. In fairness, I am asking those
who are posting this file on a BBS or the internet to please
allow the two articles to appear together and let the reader
HERITAGE AND UP BRINGING
Raymond Storms, by his own admission, was raised by Godly
parents. His father was a hard working man of God who gave his
life to winning the lost to Jesus Christ and the teaching of
Christians for the glory of God. Reading Brother Storms' article
clearly demonstrates his father's love for the Lord and for those
without Jesus Christ. He, and his family, suffered poverty,
persecution, rejection, and ridicule for the sake of Christ as
they labored in the ministry of church building. He likewise,
however, admits to consistent answers to prayer, miraculous
provisions when in great need, changed lives, healings, and
miracles all in connection with the ministry of his faithful
father as he sought to build God's house.
The bitterness that began to germinate in Brother Storms
heart from the rejection and persecution he experienced as the
son of a preacher is quite evident from his article. His brother
likewise confessed his dissatisfaction and wanted nothing to do
with the ministry when he left home; choosing rather to make
money. This, of course, is certainly not uncommon among the
children of ministers. Eventually, however, it would appear that
his father's faithfulness to God brought them financial security,
a nice home in which to live, and a life void of the earlier
persecution and rejection.
THE GIFT OF TONGUES AND THE BAPTISM OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
Brother Storms' own experience of the baptism of the Holy
Spirit was clouded, at least to a certain extent, with doubt and
misgiving. He admits that the "prayer language" of his parents
and church members did not sound much different than that spoken
by the Italians of his neighborhood. He very much desired the
baptism of the Spirit, however, and sought for it until one night
he was rewarded. Apparently his doubts were reinforced because
of an experience he had later in his pastoral ministry with a man
he identified as Milt. This man, too, doubted the reality of his
experience with the baptism of the Holy Spirit and speaking in
He also details a visit he had with several fellow
Pentecostal ministers in a restaurant where they discussed
different techniques employed by charismatics in order to help
those seeking the baptism of the Holy Spirit obtain the gift of
tongues. These included: Breathing in deeply several times in
order to "breath in" the Holy Spirit, mumbling baby talk - la,
la, la, la - over and over until a language formed, and cackling
like a hen until the "heavenly language" manifested itself.
Eventually Brother Storms' doubts crystalize during a
meeting of the Assemblies of God pastors conference where they
debated the denomination's involvement with ecumenicalism. At
this meeting two messages in tongues were offered which, in
Brother Storms' own words, were translated with converse
ECUMENICALISM AND SEPARATION FROM THE WORLD
Closely connected with his concerns about the baptism of the
spirit was the ecumenicalism the Assemblies of God were beginning
to manifest. The lack of a separatist stand among the
charismatics, likewise greatly concerned him as well, and He
spends a great deal of time in his article Scripturally
documenting the clear Biblical position he holds on this subject.
He finally admits that his own personal attitude toward
those who did not speak in tongues was one of spiritual
superiority. He illustrated his feelings by telling a story of a
man aboard a ship who was invited to eat at the captain's table.
This is likened to those who speak in tongues and those who do
not. He even confesses that those who claimed to be born again
but do not believe in speaking in tongues were "second rate
FILLED WITH THE SPIRIT
Finally Brother Storms relates his discontentment with the
lack of separatist stand in the Assemblies of God and after being
invited to a Jack Hyles pastors school, he relates the story of a
message by Brother Hyles on being Spirit filled in order to win
the lost to Christ. He, unable to get to the front of the
church, prayed with a pastor by the name of Ed Nelson. He then
reports that he returned home and experienced the greatest church
attendance in his own church for the next three months since he
had been pastoring at that location. He likewise reported that
he won more people to Christ in the six months following his
experience than since he himself had been born again.
LEAVING THE CHURCH
Finally, after becoming discouraged over a problem he faced
with his assistant pastor, and because of his bitterness toward
his denomination, as well as misunderstandings experienced in his
own family, he chose to leave the Assemblies of God church and
apparently became a Baptist; though he never says this.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE FILLED WITH THE SPIRIT?
At least twice Brother Storms confesses he now feels that to
be filled with the Spirit means one will become a witness (I.E.,
a soul winner).
EIGHT REASONS WHY HE CHOSE NOT TO BE A CHARISMATIC
His booklet concludes with eight statements concerning why
he no longer can be a Charismatic.
PERSONAL OBSERVATIONS AND COMMENTS
HERITAGE AND UP BRINGING
I was raised in a Baptist home with a Baptist preacher for a
father. I must confess, however, I did not personally experience
the poverty, persecution, rejection, and ridicule of this man.
I, on the other hand, cannot recall my father ever testifying of
how God had answered prayer. I never had the privilege of
watching the Lord provide a meal when we sat down to eat. As far
as I knew, my dad had purchased the food himself since he had a
good paying job. Although I was never beaten by neighborhood
kids for being the son of a preacher, I likewise never witnessed
the healing of the sick or a single miracle until I left the
Baptist church. Since Brother Storms mentioned how they
eventually moved to a lovely home with two bathrooms and a nice
fenced yard, not to mention the substantial salary his father was
given, I don't see how one could say that God had forsaken His
Word to bless a faithful man which his father certainly had been.
In fact, it almost looks like God honored His Word to me.
My Baptist heritage is something I greatly appreciate.
Baptists believe the Scriptures and dogmatically live by them.
They often, as I will discuss later, believe that the winning of
souls is the evidence of a Spirit filled life. Brother Storms
apparently came to this same unscriptural conclusion after
attending the Jack Hyles Pastor's School. My father, however was
a wonderful soul winner and led many people to Christ. I,
although well acquainted with Jack Hyles' "Let's Go Soul winning"
recording; having listened to it many times, learned how to win
souls by simply watching my father. We likewise rarely held
family devotions but after coming downstairs many times early in
the morning before sunrise and finding my father seated at the
kitchen table studying the Scriptures, I somehow got the
impression the Bible was the most important thing a man could
believe. I have often said, if it wasn't for my Baptist
heritage, I doubt I ever would have been filled with the Holy
Spirit in 1982.
THE GIFT OF TONGUES AND THE BAPTISM OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
I certainly sympathize with this Brother and his trepidation
when considering the baptism of the Holy Spirit and the gift of
tongues. As a Baptist, we were taught that tongues were of the
devil and if anyone spoke in tongues, he was probably demon
possessed. In later years, however, many of us backed down
slightly from this stand because we didn't want to be guilty of
attributing the works of the Holy Spirit to that of the works of
the devil - See Matthew. 12:22-32.
Brother Storms' childhood experience of being filled with
the Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues is quite
common among Pentecostals and Charismatics of today. In his day,
and somewhat yet now, many Spirit filled people teach experience
almost over doctrine. We, as Baptist, had the doctrine and no
experience. In fact, I was taught as a Baptist that experience
was probably unscriptural. At any rate, many Charismatics even
today are guilty of not backing up what they teach with
Scripture. We shouldn't rebuke the old time Pentecostalists too
much, however, because their faith in God makes most of us of
today look pretty puny.
I had a good belly laugh when I read about his encounter
with the other Pentecostal ministers in the restaurant. I, too,
have heard Charismatics suggest people breath in deeply and thus
breath in the Holy Spirit. Of course, many Charismatics now
understand that one who is born again already has the Holy Spirit
dwelling within him (Eph. 1:13). I, too, have heard Charismatics
suggest one mimic baby gibberish and eventually the gift of
tongues would occur. In fact, a lady, whom I had known in
business for a long time, laid hands on me one day in my office
in order that I might receive the gift of tongues. She suggested
the same thing. I explained that such sounded artificial and
that I was afraid of an artificial experience. I woke up later
that night speaking in tongues. One should keep in mind,
however, that these are people who are so thrilled with their
walk with God in the Holy Spirit that they simply wish to assist
others any way they can in order that they, too, might be Holy
Spirit filled. As in any Christians walk, the flesh can easily
get in the way.
The kicker, however, was the story about the Pentecostal
lady moving among those seeking the baptism of the Spirit who
suggested that people cackle like a hen to receive. Although
this sounds extremely superficial and artificial, not to mention
unscriptural, it's actually not a bad idea. I'm kidding, of
course, but it brings a smile to my face. No one has ever denied
the weirdness of Charismatics. This lady was merely helping
people locked, in serious spiritual concentration, to lighten up.
The moment they did, joy filled their hearts and released them
from fleshly inhibitions. I personally instruct Christians in
the Scriptures and pray with them and refrain from any such
suggestions. They aren't needed by the Holy Spirit.
The zenith of my Brother's spiritual doubts occurred at a
pastors meeting when he relates how two separate messages in
tongues were interpreted differently. For those who are not
Charismatic and unfamiliar with this practice, let me first
explain to what he is referring.
I'm not going to address in detail the doctrine of the gift
of tongues but let me outline what the apostle Paul was teaching
in I Corinthians 14; the famous tongues chapter. There are
actually two forms of tongue utterances. One is where one is
speaking to God (I Cor. 14:2). The other is when one, in a
church meeting of other brothers and sisters in Christ, speaks in
tongues (I Cor. 14:27). In the case of the latter, Paul
instructed that such a public utterance of tongues must be
interpreted. Why? Because those who heard it, would not
otherwise be edified. The interpretation would be offered by
someone in the membership. How would that one know the
interpretation? In the same way the one speaking in tongues; by
faith. If you do not believe in speaking in tongues as a viable
gift for today's church, you will, of course, strongly disagree
with what I just said but frankly that's how it works whether one
believes the Scriptures or not. Again, I'm not attempting to
address the entire tongues issue; I'm simply offering proper
representation. What if no one interprets? Paul said the one who
offered the message in tongues should pray that he interpret his
own utterance (I Cor. 14:13). How long should this be allowed to
continue? Paul said by two or three and no more (I Cor. 14:27.
After that point, everybody is to remain quiet. You see, the
problem the Corinthian church had was they were all leaping to
their feet and speaking in tongues and no one was interpreting.
Although the passage seems to imply they were probably doing so
to show off their spiritual gift, Paul simply told them that they
were being disruptive. In short, Paul said that no one was able
to understand what they were saying and as the passage is read
carefully, it is absolutely clear that Paul is teaching that the
purpose of a church service is for the edification of the
Believer. In other words, if it doesn't edify; it's out of
order...not wrong; just out of order. I will speak more directly
concerning doctrinal matters when I comment on Brother Storms'
Now, what can be said about these two different
interpretations which were given at this Assemblies Of God
pastors meeting? First, let me quote what Brother Storm's said
the interpretations were:
A. "Thou hast deliberated long enough it is time to
vote. God will show His will in the ballot."
B. "Thou are not ready to vote; Thou shouldst go to
prayer to find the mind of God."
Tell me God doesn't have a sense of humor. I would have loved to
been in this meeting. First, let me say that I would have agreed
fully with Brother Storms, without question, on his position on
the ecumenicalism he saw creeping into the AG denomination. I
commend him for his courageous stand. Most Charismatics have a
problem along the lines of ecumenicalism and seem to think that
anyone who speaks in tongues must be born again. This, of
course, isn't the issue since the AG position on ecumenicalism
doesn't seemed to have improved over the years. The problem is,
why did God allow two men, I assume they were men but in the AG
it could have been women ministers, to offer two messages in
tongues to be interpreted differently. The answer is simple.
He, God, has a sense of humor. How so? The two that offered the
messages in tongues, not to mention the two that interpreted the
messages, were out of order. This was not a church meeting for
the edification of the saints. This was, at best, a meeting of
leaders to discuss a denominational position, and at worst, a
spiritual debate competition. Tongues was never meant to be used
in such a service. If the apostle Paul had been there, he would
have immediately asked the tongues speakers to take their seats.
Besides, no message in tongues was needed to determine the course
of action the Assemblies of God should have taken. As Brother
Storms pointed out so well in his article, and as I'm sure he did
likewise for the forty-five minutes he spoke at this pastor's
meeting, the Scriptures are clear on what God thinks about His
people working with those professing Christians who do not hold
to the Scriptures. It is humorous because God allowed two
different messages to be uttered which canceled each other. Were
they messages from the Lord? The tongues themselves probably
were but the interpretations were not. How could God allow such
a thing? He didn't; men did. It really makes little difference
since the messages in tongues were completely out of order in
such a meeting. I think it should be obvious that the flesh is
pretty tricky and even if Spirit filled Christians aren't
careful, they will step outside the leading of the Holy Spirit.
I can hear someone saying, "Now wait just a cotton pickin'
minute. If it's the Holy Spirit, how can this happen?" Let me
give at least two examples; both Scriptural.
In the book of Acts, Paul and Barnabas were traveling
together and they, out of the clear blue sky, had a knock-down-
drag-out. You see, Barnabas, bless his heart, wanted to drag
along little John Mark to their next revival. Paul, on the other
hand, said, "nothing doin'" because, as Brother Hyles would say,
"he didn't want a thumb sucker tagging along and slowing them
down." [Acts 15:37-40] Paul took Silas and went his way;
Barnabas took Mark and went his. Does that sound like a couple
of Spirit filled preachers to you? Now, I know this wasn't over
doctrine but these were Spirit filled men, nonetheless, who
There is, of course, one definite doctrinal battle fought
between Paul and Peter on the subject of circumcision. Peter was
wrong and Paul told him so. It isn't any different than this
pastor's meeting where Brother Storms attempted to get his
brethren to see their error. Believe me, when people don't want
to see the truth of God's Word, not even the resurrection of the
dead will change their minds. At least that's what our Lord said
when He taught on the subject of Lazarus and the rich man in
Hell. [See Luke 16:19-31.]
ECUMENICALISM AND SEPARATION FROM THE WORLD
Here is an area where Brother Storms and I have no
differences. I was a separatist before I received the gift of
tongues and I still am. I believe just as my Brother does on
both separation from the world and from ecumenicalism. One thing
that probably kept me away from the Charismatics more than
anything, besides the issue of tongues, is their lack of a
separatist stand. It's strange, however, because the early
Pentecostalists were separatists, especially from the world, as
were, and are, the independent Baptists of today. The early
Assembly Of God Christians were equally strong on their preaching
against sin and Christians who lived worldly. I am still
concerned, as I am sure is Brother Storms, that the Charismatics
take such a nonchalant attitude towards worldly living. Baptists
will be glad to hear, however, that many Charismatics of today
are beginning both to preach and teach Bible doctrine and
separation. Many are even beginning to realize the mistakes made
concerning ecumenicalism. This shift in position may be somewhat
due to the large number of Baptists who have been filled with the
Spirit and begun pastoring independent Charismatic churches.
Here is another area where my Brother and I harmonize. As a
Baptist, we, too, believed ourselves to be spiritually advanced;
especially when compared to the Pentecostalists. Since they were
either demon possessed or psychologically insecure, we had no
problem considering ourselves above them. Brother Storms said he
felt those who didn't speak in tongues were second rate
Christians. Our claim to fame, as Baptists, was soul winning.
We believed those who won the lost in great numbers were the
spiritual in our midst. Those who did not were, in affect,
second rate and not quite as spiritual as those of us who did.
Frankly this is an attitude problem among all religious groups.
How do you think denominations are born?
FILLED WITH THE SPIRIT
Unfortunately, Brother Storms fell for the Baptist
interpretation of the Spirit filled life rather than the
Scriptural. As already mentioned, since we didn't believe in
speaking in tongues, we, as Baptist, had to substitute the Spirit
filled life with something else. Our substitute was soul winning
(I.E., the winning of the lost to Christ). This was largely an
independent Baptist position and it was widely preached. We
added to the doctrine, however, in order not to leave out those
incapable of winning hundreds to Christ so we secured the Spirit
filled life with faithful church attendance, tithing, supporting
of missions, Sunday school teaching and any other related
ministry works, and faithfulness in every form. When such proved
inadequate, we resorted to a list of all the things we did not do
as Baptists. For example, no movies, no cable television, no
cigarettes, no slacks on women, and absolutely no fellowship with
those who were incorrect in their Biblical interpretation. Such
were filled, or at least, walking in the Spirit.
Seated in church one evening, a friend who was a traveling
Baptist evangelist, Dr. Tom Williams, came and said hello. I was
just twenty-one years of age and had just been asked to serve as
a deacon in the large church of which I was a member. Brother
Tom congratulated me on being asked to serve. In this
independent Baptist church, deacons were not elected but asked to
serve by the pastor and his deacon board. Eventually they were
voted upon by the membership. No one, however, was ever turned
down by the membership if recommended. When I thanked him, he
said, "That means brother Phil that you are filled with the
Spirit because they asked you to serve." I smiled broadly but I
knew I was not filled with the Spirit.
Lest the reader be concerned of my feelings toward my
Baptist brethren, let me assure you that in fact, Dr. Jack Hyles
is still one of my favorite preachers. As I wrote this article,
I lent a Jack Hyles tape to a Charismatic friend. To this day i
still consider Brother Hyles one of America's greatest preachers.
I have dozens of Jack Hyles tapes in my cassette library which is
comprised of more than 1,200 cassettes. I wish I had every
message Jack Hyles ever preached in my library. Jack Hyles is
probably one of the world's greatest personal soul winners and I
strongly recommend everyone reading this article to plan to
attend Jack Hyles annual pastor's school. You will never be the
same. However, soul winning, nor the number of souls you win to
Christ, isn't proof you are Spirit filled.
Brother Storms mentioned that following being filled with
the Spirit at the Jack Hyles pastor's school, he immediately
began winning souls. His first experience was even miraculous to
say the least. Furthermore, his church attendance increased and
he confesses to winning more people to Christ in the following
six months than he ever had in his entire life.
Let me share briefly my experience of being filled with the
Holy Spirit. If you wish greater detail, I have written my
testimony in booklet form and entitled it "When Baptists Speak In
Tongues." In 1975 I left my job and went full time into Baptist
evangelism. I traveled as a full time evangelist holding revival
meetings in Baptist churches. In early 1978 I also moved to a
small western Colorado town and served as an assistant pastor
while holding revivals on the side. Eventually I felt called to
the pastorate and was ordained as an independent Baptist
In early 1980 I sat in a hotel room in Illinois during a
week of meetings discouraged and disappointed and wondering, when
the pastor came to pick me up, if I'd be able to preach that
night. I needed to be filled with God's power; filled with the
Holy Spirit; I needed the Holy Spirit to manifest Himself to me
in a very real way. As I sat in my despondency, I asked myself
what it was I had always done in the past to maintain my
Christian walk. I named the items: I won souls, I preached and
taught God's Holy Word, I served in my local church, I prayed
forty-five minutes daily, I memorized literally hundreds of Bible
verses, I gave, at one time, twenty-five percent of my income to
the church, and I read the Bible through once each month until I
had past the one hundred mark. As I sat and contemplated my
life, I determined to return home following my meetings and
double everything I had done for God. In short, I determined to
be a spiritual man. Even as I confirmed my decision, I knew in
my heart that such would never make me spiritual.
Without going into any further detail, in 1982 I was filled
with the Holy Spirit in the basement of my rented home but I did
not speak in tongues for three more years. Why? I was a
Baptist; Baptists don't believe in speaking in tongues. If you
get nothing else from this booklet, remember that God will never
give us anything unless we first believe. It makes no difference
whether we call ourselves Baptist or Charismatic; God acts upon
what we believe.
After being filled with the Holy Spirit, an unusual thing
began to happen. I, for the first time in my Baptist life,
became keenly aware of God's presence. I had an insatiable
desire to pray and pray I did.
Shortly before I was filled with the Holy Spirit, I had
begun studying the Scriptures for answers to two major questions.
First, what does it mean to be filled with the Holy Spirit,
though I myself never considered the possibility of being filled,
and second; how does one get prayers answered. Nearly two years
later, though I knew I had been filled with the Holy Spirit, I
still wasn't getting prayers answered as I should. Yes, many
were being answered, but I was unable to understand how it
worked. I went back to God's Word for the answers just as I had
done concerning the baptism of the Spirit. On my knees,
therefore, over several months I prayed over God's Word and
asked God to teach me how to get my prayers answered. In my
search, somehow God began leading me to consider the subject of
tongues. I must admit I was extremely skeptical and fearful to
even tamper with this subject. I knew Baptists who had been
sucked up by the Charismatics and I didn't want that to happen.
To shorten the story, however, I was given the gift of tongues
and woke up one night speaking a language unfamiliar to me
personally. Keep in mind I hadn't been in a hyped Charismatic
service, I hadn't been reciting "la, la, la, la" over and over
until my tongue got tangled, I hadn't been taking deep breaths
until I hyperventilated into the baptism of the Spirit, and I
hadn't been cackling like a hen. I was asleep! What happened
thereafter? Like my Brother Storms, something did happen. God
answered my prayer. If you read Brother Storms article
carefully, you will indeed discovered that God gave him the
desire of his heart; he became a soul winner. God likewise gave
me the desire of my heart; I began to get my prayers answered. I
laughed with joy when I read that my Brother said he won more
people to Christ in the six months following his Spirit filled
experience because something similar happened to me. When my
Baptist brethren ask me what happened following receiving the
gift of tongues, I have always reported the following: "In six
months I received more answers to my prayers than I had since
being born again at the age of five." Such, however, is still
not the sign of a Spirit filled life.
LEAVING THE CHURCH
I'm sure leaving his church was, to say the least,
difficult. Brother Storms has one thing in his favor however.
In Baptist churches, especially independent Baptist churches,
Charismatics converting to Baptist theology are highly regarded.
They are greatly admired and are given a lot of personal
attention. I remember quite well hearing the testimonies of
those who had left Pentecostal and Charismatic churches. The
loudest amens were during those sermons preached by the
Charismatics who had come to our church to inform us of the gross
doctrinal error they finally recognized in the Charismatic
church. When I left the Baptist church, I was gone for six
months before anyone even noticed.
I had been a member of South Sheridan Baptist church in
Denver, Colorado for over thirteen years. I had preached there
several times both in nightly services and once in a Bible
conference. Strange as it may seem, the same pastor who prayed
with Brother Storms to receive the filling of the Spirit - at
least I'm assuming it is the same pastor - was mine; Dr. Ed
Nelson. The only Spirit filled life we were ever taught had to
do with how much we could do for God; how many souls we could
win; how many sins we didn't commit. I won souls, I preached, I
read and memorized the Word, and I wasn't Spirit filled.
Six months following my experience of awaking in the night
speaking in tongues, I left the Baptist church. Why? I left
because if discovered, I would have been asked to renounce what
had happened to me or removed from the church. Baptists are
fearful of those who speak in tongues. I actually did not choose
to leave the Baptist church; I had to leave. My pastor, Brother
Ed Nelson, is one of the greatest men I've ever known. Brother
Hyles is one of the greatest preachers I've ever heard. I could
name a dozen other Baptist men I admire and respect who have
influenced my life and for whom I thank God. The Baptist,
however, believe to associate in a fellowship setting with
Charismatics would be ecumenical and, of course, that could never
be allowed. My Baptist friends, after hearing why I left the
church, rarely speak to me unless they are pressed into an
unavoidable situation. Baptists, if they know someone is
Charismatic, will not care to do business with them and they will
spend very little time conversing with them as well. When I left
the Baptist church, I lost nearly every Baptist friend I had
because I had become an outcast; I was spiritually unbalanced and
doctrinally in error. Some thought I was demon possessed, while
others said I was having a nervous break down or was mentally
imbalanced, and some were probably glad to see me go. To say the
least, they never tried to bring me back. In fact, my own church
eventually quit doing business with me - I was doing high speed
cassette duplication for churches - but they assured me it had
nothing to do with my new beliefs. If you believe that, I have
some swamp land in Florida I'd like to sell, too.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE FILLED WITH THE SPIRIT?
Brother Storms makes some doctrinal statements concerning
the subject of tongues in his article which he incorrectly
interprets. I'm sure he knows better but in light of his
"experience," he has chosen to apply the baptism of the Spirit
A. Evidence Of One Filled With The Spirit?
He first admits that he used to equate the fullness of the
Spirit to speaking in tongues and unless one spoke with tongues,
he was not Spirit filled. This is a common mistake nearly all
Charismatics and Baptists alike have made over the years. No
where in Scripture does it say that one must speak with tongues
to be filled. One may, however, request the gift of tongues if
he is filled with God's Spirit. It is only one of several
aspects of the Holy Spirits infilling however.
B. Power To Witness?
Quoting from Acts 1:8, Brother Storms says, "Power to
witness is what He promises and that is what we should expect."
Apparently Brother Storms now equates "witnessing" with soul
winning. This is not what Acts 1:8 says. Unfortunately, many
Charismatics and Baptists alike make the error of appending to
the Word of God by saying tongues, soul winning, prophecy,
healing, the interpretation of tongues, tithing and giving,
church attendance, as well as many other manifestations and
practices, spiritual or fleshly, are evidence of one filled with
the Spirit. Acts 1:8 says it is "power" which is the evidence of
the Holy Spirit; not gifts, abilities, or talents. Look at it
this way. If one has the "power of the Holy Spirit," he will be
a "witness" (Acts 1:8). I Corinthians 14:22 confirms that
tongues are a sign to the unbeliever. Is that not a witness?
When Paul laid hands on the man who fell from the upper window
and died, was it not a witness when he was restored to life?
Peter when to the house of Cornelius and preached the Gospel and
the Holy Spirit fell upon them and they all spoke with tongues
and magnified God. Was that not a witness? When Philip traveled
around the countryside preaching, laying hands on the sick, and
performing many miracles, was that not a witness? How about
Stephen when he was stoned. He saw Heaven open and testified of
the glory of God. Was that not a witness? Did it take "power"
for Stephen to stand there and let people stone him to death? In
fact, the Scriptures confirm Stephen was full of the Holy Spirit.
It is unfortunate that Brother Storms is making the same mistake
now as a Baptist, or like a Baptist, as he did when he was a
Charismatic. He will likely, therefore, again be disappointed
some day unless he realizes that it is Holy Spirit power in one's
life which demonstrates one is filled with God's Holy Spirit.
C. No Tongues?
Brother Storms quotes I Corinthians 14:19 where Paul says he
would rather speak five words in the known language in church
rather than ten thousand words in an unknown language. So would
I...in the church. In fact, that is exactly what Paul said:
"Yet in the church I had rather speak five words with my
understanding, that by my voice I might teach others also, than
ten thousand words in an unknown tongue." Read it! Paul said,
"in the church" he would rather speak just five words that
everyone could understand rather than thousands no one
understood. Why? The church service is set aside for the
edification of the saints. The entire 14th chapter of I
Corinthians addresses exactly this. I wonder why my Brother did
not quote Paul's definite statement in the verse just before the
one he chose to quote: "I thank my God, I speak with tongues
more than ye all." What about Paul's dogmatic statement to these
Corinthian Christians at the close of this chapter: "...and
forbid not to speak with tongues." The only way a Baptist can
explain this final statement by Paul to the church is to simply
dismiss it. In other words, these manifestations of the Holy
Spirit died out with the last apostle. Of course we have a
problem with that because no where in Scripture does it say this.
Now some of you reading what I just said will point to I
Corinthians 13:8-10 where it says, "Charity never faileth: but
whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be
tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall
vanish away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But
when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part
shall be done away." All my life I was taught, both in the
Baptist church and in Baptist college, because we now have the
complete Word of God, tongues past away. Really? Then
"prophecies" and "knowledge" must have past away, too? Funny, no
body I ever heard, even in the Baptist church, tries to make that
claim. Paul furthermore says we see through a glass darkly but
eventually we will see face to face. Let me simply say that when
Jesus comes, we will see all things clearly; even the doctrine of
the Spirit filled life.
D. Least Of All Gifts?
Brother Storms also says the following concerning tongues:
"1 Corinthians 12:28 indicates that tongues is the least of the
ministries in the church. Why should we elevate it to such
prominence? The carnal church at Corinth exalted speaking in
tongues to the point that Paul had to rebuke them because they
loved to show off and "speak into the air" 1 Corinthians 14:9."
I'll answer these two statements individually. First, I
cannot see anywhere in I Corinthians 12 where Paul "indicates"
that tongues is the least of church ministry gifts. Let me quote
the entire verse before a decision is made on what it really
says. "And God hath set some in the church, first apostles,
secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then
gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues."
If God has "set" some in the church to function in these gifts,
why is Brother Storms, or anyone else for that matter,
eliminating even one of them? Furthermore, does it sound like
"diversity of tongues" is the "least" of all ministry gifts?
Well, shoot then. Let's just yank it out since it isn't worth
much. We, as Baptist, already pulled apostles, and prophets out
and they are listed as the top two. So why not tongues?
Additionally, Paul never indicated anywhere in his epistles that
tongues was the least of Holy Spirit gifts. In fact, he compares
the gift of tongues and interpretation to that of
prophecy/preaching if done in the church. Let me quote Paul in I
Corinthians 14:4-5. "He that speaketh in an unknown tongue
edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church. I
would that ye all spake with tongues but rather that ye
prophesied: for greater is he that prophesieth than he that
speaketh with tongues, except he interpret, that the church may
receive edifying." Here we discover Paul comparing the utterance
of tongues in the church service, if interpreted, to that of
prophesying/preaching. Again, the reason it must be interpreted
in the church is for the edification of the body. Such is the
nature of preaching/prophesying. If Paul, under the inspiration
of the Holy Spirit, places this kind of importance upon tongues
and interpretation, why is Brother Storms trying to, at best,
minimize, and at worst, eliminate it all together from God's
In the second half of my Brother's statement, he said that
Paul had to rebuke the Corinthian Christians because they were
speaking into the air; apparently implying that tongues is
meaningless and worthless. I believe the passage just quoted by
the apostle Paul shows otherwise, however, Paul in fact never
said any such thing. Again, let's read Paul's words in I
Corinthians 14:8-9. "For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound,
who shall prepare himself to the battle? So likewise ye, except
ye utter by the tongue words easy to be understood, how shall it
be known what is spoken? for ye shall speak into the air." This
is, of course, in the context of speaking in tongues in a church
service without an interpretation. In such case, it would be
like speaking into the air because those who were listening would
not understand. It would be like if I were speaking in a spanish
church. I can't speak spanish. How, then, would by spanish
speaking brothers and sisters in the Lord understand my message,
unless of course, one would interpret? If, on the other hand, it
is a tongues utterance which is interpreted, Paul says, as I have
already shown, the tongues message is as valuable as a sermon
preached in the language familiar to those in attendance. Even
then, Paul instructed that such tongues utterances were employed
and subsequently interpreted, no more than three such utterances
were acceptable within a given service. If Brother Storms was
suggesting that this passage indicates tongues is valueless,
meaningless, or somehow worthless, his exegesis is highly
questionable and less than scholarly. As a Baptist, however, or
as one associating with Baptists, he cannot be expected to think
otherwise. If he did, they would not touch him with a ten foot
pole no matter how many souls he won.
Do Charismatic churches employ this form of tongues and
interpretation today? Many Charismatic churches do and in all
the Charismatic churches I have visited, I have never seen
tongues thus abused. I'm not saying it doesn't happen; I'm
saying I personally haven't witnessed it. In the church I
attend, for example, there has not been a single message in
tongues with the interpretation in the past nine months. It
isn't because we don't believe in it; it's because the Spirit has
not given such a message to us. Is it possible that this
reduction is due to the complete Word which we now have and hold
in our hands? I believe it is very likely. I have spoken public
messages in tongues and have even interpreted the message myself
a number of times. It isn't as common has some would have you
believe however. It is, on the other hand, Scriptural if the
guidelines which Paul gave us are followed to the letter.
E. Endued With Power?
Brother Storms referred to the series of questions Paul
posed in I Corinthians 12:29-32 and said the implied answer for
each was "no." Then my Brother said the following: "Why should
we try to say that all do speak with tongues when filled with the
Spirit? Why should we belittle those who don't speak with
tongues? Why don't we seek power to win souls? Why not let the
Holy Spirit be the baptizer and do it His way rather than our
way; trying to tell him how it should be done. Why not be filled
again and again? We receive of His Spirit at salvation or we are
none of His, but He should fill or control us day by day (Acts
4:31). Let's seek to be endued with power to win souls. Let's
not tell God how to do it or what must accompany this power. Let
us ask and believe that we receive and we shall have what God has
promised. Let us not accept a cheap 20th Century counterfeit of
the New Testament enduement with power to witness."
I whole hardily agree with these statements but I take
exception to two remarks. "Let's seek to be endued with power to
win souls." Why must we stop with just the winning of souls?
Must we only have God's Holy Spirit power to win the lost and
then be content to remain powerless throughout the balance of our
Christian life? What about those who are born again and need
healing, restored marriages, children brought back from drugs and
immorality, financial needs met, or just their every-day prayers
answered? Are we reduced to managing our Christian walk with the
flesh once saved? Since when does the Holy Spirit reserve His
infilling power to just an elite group of soul winners? Show me
the Scripture that reduces the Holy Spirit to impotency as soon
as one is born again. Let's be endued with power, Holy Spirit
power, to win the lost but to forget the Holy Spirit and his
ministry thereafter is dangerous. The Body of Christ is powered
by the Holy Word of God and the Holy Spirit of God.
Finally, Brother Storms implies that what he once had was a
"20th Century counterfeit of the New Testament enduement with
power..." The very statement he has made concerning placing the
Holy Spirit in a box and making Him perform as a circus animal is
exactly what he himself has done. I resent being accused of
having a "cheap 20th Century" imitation Holy Spirit simply
because it doesn't conform to my Brother's personal experience.
I do not consider what he has experienced as cheap, inferior, or
in any way unscriptural. In fact, to the contrary; I believe
what he experienced is holy before God. Why, since I have
received the gift of tongues, does he now consider me as one who
has a cheapened Holy Spirit? Am I less loved by God because I
don't win as many souls to Christ as he? Is he more spiritual?
Does my Heavenly Father consider him better than anyone else
because he "wins souls?" Of course not! If my Brother will not
"forbid me to speak in tongues," I will not forbid him to win
souls. "Forbid not to speak with tongues" (I Cor. 14:39 - "Go ye
into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature"
EIGHT REASONS WHY HE CHOSE NOT TO BE A CHARISMATIC
Brother Storms concluded his booklet by listing eight
individual reasons why he left the Charismatics. Allow me to
comment on some of his remarks.
He left the Charismatics because of their compromise in both
doctrine and standards. Although I, too, share his concern, one
must keep in mind that he was involved with a denomination which
has consistently shown tendencies of ecumenicalism. He tried his
best to warn his brethren of this without positive results. He
should have gotten out, just as many independent Baptist brethren
pulled out of the Southern Baptist convention for the same
reasons. I, on the other hand, left the Baptist church because I
would have been kicked out for what I believe the Bible to say on
the subject of tongues. Many Pentecostalists have subtracted
themselves from mainline denominations because of the lack of
doctrinal and separatists stands. Baptists, especially
independent Baptists, leave the church once they have received
the gift of tongues, not because they necessarily desire to
leave, but because they must or be forced.
Brother Storms gave this as his second reason for leaving
the Charismatics: "I am convinced that many charismatics speak
psychologically-induced tongues rather than Spirit empowered
tongues and some may even speak in tongues by the power of the
You can see how the Baptist position on tongues has waned.
When I was growing up, all Pentecostals, no one had ever heard of
Charismatics then, were demon possessed. Now they are probably
just psychologically or emotionally scrambled. We must leave
room, however, for the difficult cases; they are probably
possessed of devils. I wonder if Brother Storms thinks he spoke
in tongues by the power of his own psyche or by the devil's?
What do you bet he doesn't think it was the devil? I wonder,
too, if he thinks his father, a Godly man if I ever saw one,
speaks in tongues either psychologically or by the power of the
devil? May I simply say that this argument has been around for a
long time and it is used by those unwilling to except the power
of the Holy Spirit as both Scriptural and spiritually authentic.
Even Peter and the other disciples on the day of pentecost were
accused of being drunkards when they spoke in tongues.
The third reason he gave for leaving the Charismatic church
was: "I am sickened by the foolishness that goes on under the
pretense that it is the moving of the Holy Spirit."
So am I Brother Storms.
"I have observed that many sincere people who are hungry for
God's best are misled into accepting poor substitutes for the
fullness of the Spirit."
"I see a blindness that seems to prevail among charismatics
about the importance of separation from worldliness."
I agree and I preach against it every chance I get just like
I did when I traveled as a Baptist evangelist.
"I find a mindless ecumenism that brings believers and
unbelievers together in an unequal yoke and makes speaking in
tongues the basis for fellowship."
Right again my Brother.
"I find a reluctance of charismatics to contend for the
faith once delivered unto the saints. It seems that since this
is not popular, charismatics neglect such Scriptural defense of
the faith and act as though doctrinal purity is of little
Since this booklet was written a number of years ago the
reader will probably find this not to be as much the case today
as it was in the early 1970's and before. I find Charismatics of
today becoming very doctrinally tenacious but there is still room
for improvement. Probably about the same time the Baptists
recognize the gifts of the Holy Spirit and begin speaking with
tongues, the Charismatics will become doctrinally pure; whatever
in the world that means.
"It seems that charismatics find it easy to ignore certain
portions of Scripture when those portions are inconvenient to
follow. For example: the complete disregard for 1 Corinthians
6:1-8 relative to taking your brother to court."
Funny... I felt the same way about Baptists when I
discovered they dismissed half the New Testament as not
applicable to today (I.E., healing, tongues, the office of
apostles and prophets); to name a few. I, furthermore, was
greatly concerned, about some Baptist philosophy. In a deacon's
meeting, we were instructed not to encourage blacks to join our
church and, when dealing with hispanics, to always remember they
are "emotional." One Sunday morning we even had an emergency
deacons meeting following the morning service to discuss what in
the world we were going to do. You See, a black man and his
white wife, or was it the other way around, had visited our
church. Does that sound like disregard of the Scriptures to you?
There are plenty of Baptist brethren who have embezzled church
funds, run off with the church secretary, practiced secret sins,
and disregarded God's Word in a dozen different ways. Before any
finger pointing, we should remember that flesh is flesh and God
still judges and forgives sin. By the way, I personally know
independent Baptists, at least one from the church where I served
as a deacon and as an evangelist, who took their Baptist brethren
to court. Disregard of the Scriptures in general, and of
doctrine in particular, is something all Christians need guard
A HUMBLE PRAYER
"My humble prayer is that many who are taken up with
'charismania' will read this booklet and rethink their position
and find the teaching and practices the New Testament Christians
Does that sound like a humble prayer?
Brother Storms concludes his booklet by making sure we
understand he is no longer a Charismaniac. He likewise makes it
perfectly clear we know what Pentecostals and Charismatics are
and believe. Additionally, he clearly points out that he no
longer believes as they do and, I'm supposing, wants no more to
do with them. He likewise makes sure we understand that the
doctrinally impure Charismatics are Satan's greatest weapon in
establishing the ecumenical one-world church; or at least that's
what it seemed he was trying to say to me. He shows respect for
his Godly father, who at the time of his writing, was still
preaching salvation just like he was when Brother Storms was a
young boy. You'd think, though, if his father was guilty of so
much obscene heresy, that God would have done something about it.
Somehow I get the impression that Brother Storms doesn't want to
have his name associated with the Charismatics any longer but I
could be wrong.
It is common in both Baptist and Charismatic/Pentecostal
churches to experience heart ache because of upbringing and the
fallacies taught. In some cases, it is better for that person to
leave and find a place where God would have them serve. This, in
my opinion, is especially true if a denomination is crossing
Biblical lines of separation. I personally feel uncomfortable
with any denominational organization but I'm not about to say God
hasn't used them to bring millions into His kingdom. I likewise,
as my Brother, will not fellowship with those who are not
doctrinally sound and I have never believed that tongues proves
salvation or confirms one is Spirit filled.
Finally, let me give you some advice. If you've never been
filled with the Holy Spirit, don't seek it. Walking by faith is
difficult because you've always got to sense the leading of the
Spirit and He often doesn't do the same things twice the same
way. I'm referring, of course, to His manifestations; not His
personage. It is easier to be a Baptist because you always know
where you stand with God. If you ever have any doubts, simply
get out your list of things you do for God or, the list of things
you don't, and you'll feel better. If you want power, however,
you will have to be filled with the Holy Spirit. If, on the
other hand, in spite of everything you've heard, you still want
to be filled with the Holy Spirit of God, you simply ask God to
fill you. Will you have to speak in tongues? No...I didn't.
Now, if you wish the gift of tongues for personal edification,
that's another matter. It is also something you request of God
in faith believing. Will you have to leave your church? It
depends on the church. Don't second guessed the Holy Spirit.
Stand upon the authority of God's Word no matter what and never
give up. Christ is King and Lord and he loves each one of us.
Walk with God through the power of the Holy Spirit and don't
forget to do the work of an evangelist; winning souls for Christ.
One more thing. Brother Storms closed his writing with the
Gospel and so shall I. If somehow you got a hold of this booklet
and have never even received Christ as your Lord and Saviour, and
wish to do so, simply confess Jesus Christ as Lord over your
life, admit you are a sinner, and believe He was raised from the
dead for you. Romans 10:9 confirms you will then be born again.
It's that simple. So is, for that matter, the infilling of the
Complete In Him,
End Of Document
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