Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Speaking in Tongues
It can be difficult to explain something if it is not your gift. I have more then once told God if He wanted me to speak in tongues I was willing, but I wanted what He wanted. Every time, I felt He clapped my jaw shut. I therefore conclude tongues is not my gift. Holding that everyone should speak in tongues can encourage those who do not have the gift to somehow drum it up. Based on my own gift of discernment of spirits, which is, of course, itself questionable, I am convinced that tongues today can be from divine, demonic, and human sources. Whether you accept this or not, you need to be careful about regarding every instance of tongues as valid (1 Thessalonians 5:21,22). But rejecting them all out of hand also does not have any basis in Scripture. (1 Corinthians 13:8-12 clearly refers to the Second Coming.)
Scripture does give rules for speaking in tongues (1 Corinthians 14:26-33), though there may be questions of how to apply these in various circumstances. If someone says they cannot obey the rules because they cannot help themselves, I have to question whether what they are speaking in Biblical tongues. Those whose tongues I have found most convincing seem to be able to control them. Therefore, I do not buy that tongues are simply a hysterical response to pent-up emotion. There may be cases of this, but I have known several people who can speak in tongues in a perfectly calm state of mind. While I do not speak in tongues myself, I am not opposed to speaking in tongues. But I think it should be carefully tested and done in a Biblical manner.