Reversing a 10-year old policy, the International Missions Board of the Southern Baptist Convention will receive applications from missionary applicants who admit to speaking in tongues.
The Board will still end employment for any missionary who places “persistent emphasis on any specific gift of the Spirit as normative for all or to the extent such emphasis becomes disruptive.”
I can’t be sure how much of change in theology this is. Clearly the Southern Baptists are not going full Pentecostal, but the acknowledgment that there even is such a thing as a private, devotional use of tongues would seem to be a big step. (This was something we wrote about at length during the “Strange Fire” controversy in 2013.) Because so many Baptists of different stripes are cessationists, meaning they believe the gifts of the Spirit have passed away, it will be interesting to see the reaction to this decision within the wider Baptist family.