I couldn’t think of anything else, so the title stuck. Hopefully the quality of this post will live up to it.
Last week I mentioned the rapture and millennialism and the need for further exploration of these concepts. However, it’s pretty easy to get bogged down into ideas about these events, of which many people have differing opinions… and there’s not that much in The Bible to say on these events, so there is a lot of speculation. There’s also a lot of fiction and film connected to it, all with, I’m sure, limited amounts of Biblical accuracy, if any…
Instead, for now…
In later high school, a group of students in my year who were Christians who would often meet on a Friday afternoon at someone’s house, have a Bible Study for half an hour…. and then get in the pool. It was a pretty open group and we did have friends who weren’t Christians come along. They made it pretty clear they were just there to observe and didn’t want to be joining in with the discussion, which was fine.
We also had some Pentecostals in the group and I can recall that they would speak in tongues when we prayed. If you opened your eyes when you were praying (which you did, ’cause you could hear someone whispering while someone else was praying) you’d see that they were standing up. Their arms were slightly raised and they were whispering… something…
This is how The Bible says you’re actually supposed to do it: (It’s a long one…)
Now, brothers and sisters, if I come to you and speak in tongues, what good will I be to you, unless I bring you some revelation or knowledge or prophecy or word of instruction?…
Unless you speak intelligible words with your tongue, how will anyone know what you are saying? You will just be speaking into the air. Undoubtedly there are all sorts of languages in the world, yet none of them is without meaning.If then I do not grasp the meaning of what someone is saying, I am a foreigner to the speaker, and the speaker is a foreigner to me.So it is with you. Since you are eager for gifts of the Spirit, try to excel in those that build up the church.
For this reason the one who speaks in a tongue should pray that they may interpret what they say…Otherwise when you are praising God in the Spirit, how can someone else, who is now put in the position of an inquirer, say “Amen” to your thanksgiving, since they do not know what you are saying? You are giving thanks well enough, but no one else is edified.
I thank God that I speak in tongues more than all of you. But in the church I would rather speak five intelligible words to instruct others than ten thousand words in a tongue.
If you’re going to speak in tongues, people need to understand what you’re saying.
Otherwise, you should just sit down and be quiet. Or be at risk of other people telling you to sit down and be quiet… or perhaps, even suggesting that you’re not speaking in tongues at all… just whispering babble to yourself…
I’m not saying I don’t believe in the ability to speak in tongues. The Bible is pretty clear that it’s a spiritual gift and I believe the Holy Spirit can do anything. I’m just yet to see anyone do it in a way that is in accordance with The Bible.
I’m just saying that unless you’re going to explain yourself, you should stick with “5 intelligible words to instruct others”. This is often called prophecy.
There are denominations and people within the Christian Church who believe that prophecy no longer exists. However, when it comes to prophecy, the Pentecostal Church and myself hold a very firm affinity.
So I’m going to take it to a third blessing next week 🙂
Yours in speaking intelligibly (I hope),