Southern Baptist Seminary leader rebukes trustee and pastor for admitting glossalia

Special to the Star-Telegram

FORT WORTH -- Southwestern Seminary President Paige Patterson has issued an unusual rebuke to the Rev. Dwight McKissic, a seminary trustee and prominent Arlington pastor, for acknowledging during a chapel service that he sometimes speaks in tongues when he prays.

After Tuesday's chapel service, Patterson issued a statement that the video of McKissic's sermon will not be posted online or saved in the archives of the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, as are the sermons of all other chapel speakers.

Patterson withheld McKissic's chapel message from the school's Web site, the statement said, "lest uninformed people believe that Pastor McKissic's view on the gift of tongues and 'ecstatic utterance' is the view of the majority of the people at Southwestern."

McKissic said he understands and respects Patterson's view -- and insisted that the incident won't affect their friendship -- but he didn't back down on his support of private prayer language, or speaking in tongues.

In an e-mail response to phone and e-mail requests for an interview, Patterson declined to comment beyond the earlier statement.

In his sermon, McKissic, pastor of Cornerstone Baptist Church, also criticized the convention's International Mission Board for adopting a policy excluding missionary candidates who admit to a private prayer language.

"I think it's tragic in Baptist life when we take a valid, vital gift that the Bible talks about and come up with a policy that says people who pray in tongues in their private lives cannot work in certain positions," he told the students. "That to me is contrary to what many of our foremost Baptist thinkers and leaders think."

a local news station adds the race dimension... "

Watching a copy of the sermon Wednesday, Rev. McKissic said he was surprised by the controversy his words caused and said he's afraid the controversy could alienate African American Christians

"The vast majority of black believers have no problem with what people do in their private prayer time," he said."


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