Assemblies of God reaffirm tongues-speaking and advocate compassion
At the biennial General Council
Sep 08, 2009
The Assemblies of God reaffirmed its doctrine of speaking in tongues during its biennial General Council meeting and declared—on a second try—that showing God’s compassion for the world is their “fourth reason for being.”
Speaking in tongues is the sole doctrine that separates members of the largest predominantly white Pentecostal denomination from other evangelicals, said Juleen Turnage, the longtime spokes person for the church body, whose meeting in Orlando, Florida, ended August 7.
The resolution notes that the validity of speaking in tongues, or glossolalia, has “come under certain scrutiny” and asks that members continue to require that credentialed ministers have experienced glossolalia and that they “actively preach and teach this doctrine as well.” Assem blies leaders have been concerned that the practice of tongues-speaking is in decline and that some clergy had not experienced the “baptism of the Holy Spirit.”
A. M. Stroud III, a former prosecutor in Louisiana, expresses regret for the role he played in sending Glenn Ford to death row in 1984. “I was 33 years old. I was arrogant, judgmental, narcissistic and very full of myself. I was not as interested in justice as I was in winning.” Stroud says he presented dubious evidence from a forensic pathologist, precluded black jurors from the trial (Ford, since exonerated, is black), and ignored the fact that the appointed defense attorney had never before tried a criminal or capital case. “I . . . hope that providence will have more mercy for me than I showed Glenn Ford,” Stroud said in a letter to the editor of the Times of Shreveport. “But, I’m also sobered by the realization that I certainly am not deserving of it” (ABA Journal, March 25).