Friday, March 16, 2012

Speaking in Tongues? No thanks.

        Ever heard one of those Pentecostal types say that speaking in tongues is the evidence of having been given the Holy Spirit and that you aren't saved if you've never done it?

        I've never spoken in tongues and I know I have the Holy Spirit (or else that still, small voice wouldn't convict me of my sins so much.) The Ethiopian eunuch did not speak in tongues after being saved (Acts 8:27-39), neither did the Philippian jailor (Acts 16:27-31), nor did Lydia (Acts 16:14-15).

        The reason I don't worry about it is because nowhere in the Bible is it said that speaking in tongues is the proof of salvation. Plus, it says that tongues were for a SIGN, and it also says that signs were for the JEWS: 

1st Corinthians 14:22
Wherefore tongues are for a SIGN, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not: but prophesying serveth not for them that believe not, but for them which believe.

1st Corinthians 1:22
For the Jews require a SIGN, and the Greeks seek after wisdom:

        Speaking in tongues, (along with prophecy, knowledge and healing others), was one of the apostolic sign gifts given to the apostles in the earliest days of the church when the gospel was first being given to the Jews. The gift of tongues was a sign gift to convince the JEWS of the gospel.Someone who had the gift of tongues would speak in a verifiable foreign language that they had not know previously, and they would spread the gospel in this way to people who spoke that particular language. The Jews would see this and were supposed to see it as a sign that Jesus Christ was their messiah and that the gospel and dispensation of grace had come.

1st Corinthians 14:21
In the law it is writtten, With men of other tongues and other lips will I speak unto this people [the Jews]; and yet for all that will they not hear me, saith the Lord.

        When Paul's ministry was nearing its end, the gospel had been given thoroughly to both the Jews and the Gentiles, and the apostolic sign gifts began fading, and Paul said this would happen:

1st Corinthians 13:8
Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.

        This was why Paul eventually could no longer heal himself or others (2nd Timothy 4:20, Philippians 2:25-30) as he had so easily been able to do just a few years before (Acts 28:9).

        The thing to note about the sign gift of tongues from the Holy Spirit is that it was always understood or able to be interpreted. It was a known tongue that was already in the world at the time. Otherwise, it was simply an *unknown* tongue, which Paul condemned:

1st Corinthians 14:19
Yet in the church I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue.

1st Corinthians 14:9
So, likewise ye, except ye utter by the tongue words easy to be understood, how shall it be known what is spoken? for ye shall speak into the air. 

        Acts 2:4 demonstrates the sign gift of tongues, yes, but Acts 2:6-8 need to be read, as well, because those verses demonstrate that the gift of tongues which came from the Holy Spirit was always UNDERSTOOD:

Acts 2:6-8
6. Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his OWN LANGUAGE.
7. And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans?
8. And how hear we every man in our OWN TONGUE, wherein we were born?

        And right after this it actually lists the tongues (languages) that were being spoken:

Acts 2:9-11
9. Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia,
10. Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes,
11. Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God.

        See, there were no unknown utterances being spoken there. Every word they spoke was being said in a known language. Some tongues speakers try to cite Romans 8:26 to warrant speaking in incomprehensible utterances, but not only would this contradict what Paul said about making sure tongues can be interpreted and understood, Romans 8:26 is referring to those times when we don't understand the TERMINOLOGY needed to request something specific, such as when someone is wounded or sick and we don't know what to medically ask for. Obviously, it also applies to other situations than just medical ones, as well:

Romans 8:26
Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.

        It's simply saying that we don't always know the details that need to be asked for. We say, "Please, Lord, let my car start," when we don't know to say, "Please, Lord, repair the teeth on my flywheel so my ignition can connect to the engine." Some people don't even know what a flywheel is. The Holy Spirit does.

        Even after pointing all of this out to someone who speaks with that "Shudda boughta Honda butta boughta Hyundai" jibberish, they will try to override the authority of scripture with their own personal experiences. They'll say that one night at church they got a message in "tongues" from the "Holy Spirit" and started babbling and then, afterwards, started "translating" what they said into English for everyone. Absolute hogwash. Someone who says that is either outright lying and was making it all up as they went, or they were in an emotional tizzy and blurting out syllables that they've been practicing (they actually TEACH people how to speak this jibberish and how to come up with the syllables on the spot), or they are demon possessed. The Holy Spirit wouldn't waste the time going through some middle phase of language; he would just cut straight to inspiring the words in English, or whatever language was known by the congregation. Again, Paul said that tongues were KNOWN languages and that means the syllables being pronounced are in known languages. And, again, the apostolic sign gifts were for the Jews when the gospel was first being given to them. It is not for Christians today. And I don't mean for this to sound harsh, but it is ~especially~ not for women. It doesn't surprise me at all that the majority of the people I see speaking this jibberish in churches are women, swept up in a tizzy of deceptive emotion and trying to sound more holy than everyone beside them:

1st Corinthians 14:34
Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law.

        And for those that cite 1st Corinthians 13:1 and try to use the "tongues of angels" argument to defend their jibberish, the tongue of angels is HEBREW, not that "shudda boughta honda budda boughta hyundai" non-sense that pentecostals improvise on the spot to "out-holy" each other. When Jesus appeared to Paul on the way to Damsacus, he spoke to him in Hebrew.

Acts 26:14
And when we were all fallen to the earth, I heard a voice speaking unto me, and saying in the Hebrew tongue, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.

        In Zephaniah 3:9 we see that God is going to bring everyone back to the original language so we can worship him with one consent:

Zephaniah 3:9
For then will I turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the Lord, to serve him with one consent.

        And in the book of Revelation we see that that language will be. In Revelation 14 we see the people in heaven singing Alleluia, or Hallelujah. Hallelujah is a Hebrew word. (Halal lu Yah) or "Praise to God." In other words, the original tongue of man and angels was Hebrew:

Revelation 19:6
And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.

        Don't let someone override scripture with personal experience, emotion, and what they think is their "authority" within the church. In fact, a lot of times "authority" figures within apostate churches use "tongues" as a way of sounding more holy and prestigious than those standing beside them. For example, click this link to watch a cringe-worthy video of two pentecostals trying to out jibber-jabber each other:

Speaking in "Tongues" to sound holier than thou 

        Also, here is a great article that describes many times when someone claimed to be speaking in tongues, but was actually demon possessed:

The False Gift of Tongues