The issue: "Should we be speaking in tongues today?" is one I have wrestled with. Your friend is very persistent [see parts two through five]. While I have dear friends who disagree with me on this, most of the arguments I hear come from emotion rather than good biblical exposition. If the common teaching that "Spirit indwelling = tongues" is followed through to its logical conclusion, no one can claim to be saved if they do not speak in tongues (because they do not have the Holy Spirit and, hence, do not belong to God, Romans 8:9). This can easily become a cross diminishing, performance-based righteousness if you are not really accepted in the group unless you make the cut. To some Pentecostals, speaking in tongues is what circumcision was to the Judaizers in Galatia.
Spiritual gifts are for building others up. Instead what we hear is “I need to build myself up.” Why place so much emphasis on a gift that is placed at the bottom of the biblical lists of endowments? I would welcome a tongues speaker in our church (here I make fundamentalists uneasy) if I saw the “gift” being used to edify the church under the guidelines of 1 Corinthians 14:
- one at a time
- no more than three in a service
- always with an interpreter and—Paul argued...
- men only (here I make female Charismatics and Pentecostals uneasy).
We should never interpret the Bible based on what we have or have not experienced.
I will comment on the specific arguments your friend raises.