Southern Baptist Convention’s International Mission Board (IMB) dropped its ban on those who spoke in tongues along with several other rule changes at a recent meeting. Nevertheless, missionaries are expected to faithfully represent Southern Baptist churches and Southern Baptist teaching which does not include any kind of an emphasis on charismatic gifts.
This has been a long time in coming and considering the large number of cessationists in the SBC it is still surprising. However, years ago (2007) we discovered some research that showed over 50% of head pastors in the SBA believed in tongues so maybe the change is not so odd after all.
It does go along with what is happening overseas in the mission fields. I have heard that an increasing number of SBA missionaries had to hide their involvement in the ‘gifts’ from their board and their sponsoring churches just to continue. Healing and giftedness were not something they ever expected or sought out or even theologically believed in for that matter. It just happened in the midst of their ministry. *Top