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Southern Baptists Debate Over Tongues

A debate is heating up within the Southern Baptist Convention over the issue of Tongues.  The Chicago Tribune reported today that the convention is struggling with whether or not speaking in tongues is an expression of religious devotion.

Dwight McKissic, a trustee at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, said in an August 26th sermon during chapel services that he experienced a "private prayer language" while he was a student at the seminary.  McKissic, also stated that he disagreed with a decision by a Southern Baptist Convention panel to ban missionaries from speaking in tongues in private, as well as in public.  Missionaries were previously discouraged from speaking in tongues publicly, but their private prayer was not monitored.

Christianity Today reported that Jerry Rankin, the president of the International Mission Board for the Southern Baptist Convention admitted to speaking in tongues.  Rankin said, "I acknowledged even in the discussions that [tongues] has been a continuing practice [of mine] for 30 years". The trustees who elected Rankin president in 1993 apparently knew he prays in tongues.