1 Corinthians 14:39 So, my friends, be eager to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues; 40 but all things should be done decently and in order.
Paul spent quite a bit of time in this letter discussing the use of the gift of tongues and prophesy in the church body. I’m a Lutheran pastor and I can tell you that tongues and prophecy aren’t typically part of our tradition. It’s rare to encounter a Lutheran who is well versed in the application of these gifts – at least the supernatural dimensions of them. For instance many in our tradition speak out against injustice in the world, which is a function of the prophetic. However, few people willingly share prophetic visions and dreams or words of knowledge from the lord. And tongues? Um, I don’t think so.
That said these are important gifts for the church and, as Paul says in v.39, we should “be eager to prophesy and do not forbid speaking in tongues”. I’ve been fortunate to lead a church that was quite free with these gifts and used them well. I realize there are places where spiritual gifts are abused or used improperly, but that doesn’t mean the gifts themselves aren’t useful, legitimate, and entrusted to the church for God’s purposes. My hope is that the church I now lead in suburban Dallas will grow in our openness to the supernatural gifts of God. That we will be a people eager to claim and use them “decently and in order”.
Lord, give us grace to be open to receive and use ALL of the gifts of the spirit, even the weird ones. Amen.