Wednesday, July 16, 2014
Demystifying Speaking in Tongues
DISCLAIMER: Before I get into this topic I want you to understand about my attempt to explain speaking in tongues. This is my belief as I perceive it from God. You may disagree, agree or think about it. If you'd like to express your opinion or ask a question, simply reply to this email. I, in no way, want to take anything away or add anything to the Holy Scriptures.
I've read commentaries and opinions on speaking in tongues. I'm not sure exactly what happened in Acts when people spoke in tongues. I do know when I need an answer , I seek God for wisdom. Speaking in tongues tends to be made too mysterious by us. Things we don't understand becomes taboo or only for the highly spiritual. Hold on! You are about to read how God explained tongues to me.
Let's talk about music, golf and computers. Can you identify an 8th note or play a B flat scale? Do you know what penalty to take if you hit your golf ball out of bounds or how to calculate your handicap? Do you know how to ping a device or format a hard drive? You may be asking yourself what is an 8th note or, kind of laughing under your breath thinking I don't want a handicap, or wondering what kind of hammer you need to ping a device. If you're asking yourself these questions, you don't speak these languages. If you can do all these things, you know their tongues. I know all three of these languages better than most and not nearly as well as others. Every person, tribe, country, subject, job, denomination, etc. have their own language or tongue.
The Bible says in I Corinthians 14:6-7 "Now, brethren, if I come unto you speaking with tongues, what shall I profit you, except I shall speak to you either by revelation, or by knowledge, or by prophesying, or by doctrine? And even things without life giving sound, whether pipe or harp, except they give a distinction in the sounds, how shall it be known what is piped or harped?" I love that last sentence because it's easily understood. If a pipe and harp want to communicate to be understood they must be speaking the same tongue or the same "key" as it is referred to by musicians. Two or more instruments that aren't in key or synchronized with one another makes an awful noise. Oftentimes the song being played cannot be recognized.
How does this relate to you and me as a Christian? We have to be careful distinguishing our "tongue" so people understand. Think about this. A visitor comes to your church who knows nothing of your service or your religion. Think about all the things they might hear during your service that may confuse them. Hymnal. Drink this, it is my blood of the New Testament. Sunday School. Gifts of the Spirit. Get the idea? Additionally, we, as Christians, have God's Spirit to guide us to understanding. An unbeliever does not have his indwelling enlightenment. They struggle to understand what we mean when we say "I was saved yesterday." Saved from what? "My friend was baptized." Why? "We took communion." Where did you take him? Christians have their own tongue.
I Corinthians 14:5 says "I would that ye all spake with tongues but rather that ye prophesied: for greater is he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues, except he interpret, that the church may receive edifying." God wants us to proclaim his love, his forgiveness and future coming simply. Prophesy means to tell of future events. We should tell people of Christ's love and forgiveness in a way they can understand. Folks can understand if they commit sin they are responsible for it. People feel the guilt of their sins they just don't know The Remedy for them. We also need to be aware when we are talking around unbelievers. Our best topics to proclaim Jesus are probably not The Great White Throne Judgment, speaking in tongues or The Holy Ghost. These subjects would be an unknown tongue to most people.
Does this make sense? I don't think there is anything in God's storehouse that is unavailable to us, even speaking in tongues, if, we can comprehend the meaning. In short, if you don't have specific knowledge, you can't speak the tongue. You can certainly speak the Christian tongue with fellow Christians. They should know the language.
Sorting it out,
The Happy Handicap