Should all Christians speak in tongues?

Brian Fulthorp, a Pentecostal pastor, has opened up discussion of speaking in tongues, with two reports on books, a review of the 40th anniversary edition of John Sherrill’s book They Speak with Other Tongues, and a brief notice of a new book Initial Evidence. Tim Chesterton also mentioned speaking in tongues in a great post which is in effect his testimony of how he became a Christian.

Like Tim, I first prayed in tongues here in Essex in the 1970s. In fact I can tell you the date, 11th April 1979, and the precise spot, 51°42’54.32″N 0°31’9.58″E (according to Google Earth). The evening before I had had a long talk with some older Christians about the gifts of the Holy Spirit, at the end of which I let them pray for me. Nothing happened at that moment, and I was left confused, but the next evening as I went for a walk to think and pray about what had happened, I suddenly started to speak in tongues. In fact the words came out in a flood. as if a dam had broken, and at the same time I felt a great release of previously dammed up joy and peace. I have been praying in tongues on and off since that day, so for nearly 30 years, and in general consider it helpful as part of my prayer life.

My initial reluctance to accept this gift was largely because of the teaching on the Baptism of the Holy Spirit which seemed to go with it. According to the kind of teaching I heard (although maybe they didn’t intend to put it quite like this), since before that day I didn’t speak in tongues, I must have been some kind of second class Christian, and what I needed to become first class was to experience something called the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. The way to know that I had received this would be if I spoke in tongues. This is more or less the classic Pentecostal doctrine of Initial Evidence which Brian refers to. And it was this teaching which was a stumbling block to me as a young Christian, a recent graduate, well schooled in UCCF‘s brand of evangelicalism. Nevertheless, I was hungry then as now for all the good things God had for me, and so I let these people pray for me to receive this Baptism of the Holy Spirit.

At that time, the late 1970s and the early 1980s, a lot of well known Christian authors were writing their books giving their different perspectives on this Baptism of the Holy Spirit. Some embraced the Pentecostal doctrine. Some rejected speaking in tongues as demonic, or at least as unhelpful emotionalism. But the most convincing, to me at least, were the ones which concluded that speaking in tongues is a genuine and good gift from God, one which Christians should seek, but not evidence of or a prerequisite for a full Christian life.

And that is basically the position I have come to over the years. I continue to speak in tongues, and to encourage and pray for others to do so if they want to. But I don’t condemn those who don’t speak in tongues or don’t want to as unspiritual or second class Christians. I am happy to work alongside Pentecostals as long as they don’t make too big a thing of this gift, and alongside those who don’t speak in tongues as long as they don’t reject me because of my experience and the way I pray.

So, what of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit? I know that this is the name often given to the very clear experience, accompanied by speaking in tongues, which I had. And I don’t reject the name as long as it is not associated too dogmatically with what John the Baptist prophesied about the ministry of Jesus:

I baptise you with [footnote: Or in] water, but he will baptise you with [footnote: Or in] the Holy Spirit.

Mark 1:8 (TNIV)

I believe that all Christians receive the Holy Spirit at conversion, and perhaps this is what John was referring to in this verse. Nevertheless, many who profess to be Christians have never had any experience of the Holy Spirit working in them. That is the position I was in as a student in a UCCF group. I knew my doctrine backwards, but only in my head, but I knew I was missing out on something, especially when I met Christians who had experienced the reality of the Holy Spirit at work in their lives.

In my church these days we don’t make a big thing about speaking in tongues. And I think this is wise. But in line with practice at for example Soul Survivor and Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship, we pray for people, whether already Christian or not, and expect them to have an experience of the reality of the Holy Spirit. For those not already Christians, this will be accompanied by repentance and faith; for those already Christians, this will be some kind of second experience. The evidence or manifestation of this experience is very varied – it may be shaking, or tears, or laughter, or even the infamous Toronto Blessing animal noises, or it may just be an inner sense of peace or joy. Such experiences can be repeated. But somehow having had one once is enough to change a person’s life, because they suddenly realise, not just in their heads but deep in their hearts, that God is real, alive, and working inside them.

When you have experienced all that, it somehow seems petty to try to insist that this experience is only fully valid if the evidence is speaking in tongues.

52 thoughts on “Should all Christians speak in tongues?

  1. You experience is very similar to mine. I was at church and one of the older influential ladies turned to me out of nowhere and said “have you prayed in (or received) tongues yet?” I said no. And she said “if you want we can pray for you right now to receive it.” A this point I had already had some negative experiences (and been prayed for before and just thought she was silly so I didn’t even want to go down that route.

    Later I was talking to a charismatic friend and I was kind of going back and forth with him on it and telling him why I mostly don’t believe in tongues but I think it probably does happen sometimes but all of what I see looks like flesh. Later on I went to work on the third shift and came home and as I laid in bed after reading my Bible and thinking about what I just read it happened to me out of nowhere. It completely freaked me out. It was such an emotional experience and my faith in the Bible shot through the roof because I suddenly believed what it said about tongues was true so the other stuff must be too. That was like 6 years ago but I still remember that moment like as if it were 9/11.

    As I’m mentioned on my blog in the past. I think those who are cessationists or not charismatics are primarily so because of a lack of experience because once you have that experience there is no turning back and whatever hermeneutic you were reading the bible with is suddenly dropped.

    Bryan

  2. Thanks for the plug Peter – I don’t mean to condemn or make other feel second class and hope I did not communicate that.

    How should we articulate why a person would even want the Baptism of the Holy Spirit without making them feel less spiritual or second class? I ask because it is a common problem, Spirit Baptism is not often explained well.

  3. Peter I’m in complete agreement with you about all this stuff. I’m glad your church prays with people to receive a baptism in the Holy Spirit. I’m far too shy about praying with others about it – I’m sure that’s a real weakness in my ministry. Thanks for the encouragement.

  4. Pingback: Dr. Platypus » Blog Archive » Speaking in Tongues

  5. Peter, thanks for the post. Your experience is different from and similar to mine. For me – about 35 years ago – and always there in the background – a permenant song. More than that, I think in line with our Lord’s teaching me how to use his death for me, I have begun to know things that I find unspeakable – so I have been made to know that I must find words to express them.

    You wrote: I believe that all Christians receive the Holy Spirit at conversion,

    I would like to suggest that the words ‘Christian’ and ‘conversion’ above are problematic. I believed in my infant baptism after my immersion in the Spirit, i.e. I gave thanks because of the faith of those who had believed on my behalf. Time had changed for me – and my time, their times, were redeemed because of my engagement with their faith for me. The love for me and for you and for all is from before the foundation of the world. That is how the dimension of Glory interacts with the dimension of time. So the four-dimensional world becomes encompassed by Glory – and the experience applies also to those who are not within Christendom – or called by others as ‘Christians’. In particular, the covenant dialogue of the Psalms gives words for the work of the Spirit in us.

    More than this, I am father to two children with severe brain damage and to two other totally high achievers. What is their salvation dependent on? Certainly not their own hermeneutical skills. My concern is that ‘conversion’ will be read as ‘intellectual’ or ‘cerebral’ and that ‘Christian’ will be read culturally or historically.

    Now with this having been shared – perhaps with our transformed hermeneutics, we could begin to read and reread some of those assumptions we bring to the text that the Spirit of Christ our Lord wants to deal with.

  6. Prideful charismatic Christians that somehow think they are “better” than those who don’t speak in tongues give all pentecostals/charismatics a bad name. I’m sorry if that was your experience. That has definitely not been mine with Christians who speak in tongues…mine has actually been quite the opposite. I’ve been told over and over and over again by charismatic Christians that there are not “second class Christians” and speaking in tongues does not somehow make someone a “better” Christian.

  7. Thank you for writing this, Peter. I was touched by your testimony and your experience.

    […] many who profess to be Christians have never had any experience of the Holy Spirit working in them. That is the position I was in as a student in a UCCF group. I knew my doctrine backwards, but only in my head, but I knew I was missing out on something…

    More or less, this is me. I can’t say that I don’t believe in tongues, since I have evidence of their power in my family, but I’ve never experienced that particular working of the Holy Spirit, so it’s hard to imagine and only makes me crawl deeper “in my head”.

  8. This is such an elusive topic that I find it hard to blog about it without sounding trite. The classic Pentecostal slogan in my tradition is, “A man with an experience is never at the mercy of a man with an argument.” Something like that. I’ve always laughed at that sentiment but I suppose it is in some way true. And hearing the experiences of many individuals does add up in a way to a collective “argument.”

  9. I must say it was no surprise to me that this topic provoked some interest, at least among my regular readers. I don’t have time to answer these comments in detail this morning, but I will deal quickly with some of them.

    Brian, I didn’t mean to suggest that you made anyone feel second class, just that the Pentecostal doctrine, if not explained sensitively, can do so. I think the problem comes when some people try to divide people up according to some test of whether they have the Baptism or not. I would suggest that it is better to accept them all equally but also to show and offer to everyone good experiences and gifts which some may be missing out on.

    Bob, I agree that “the words ‘Christian’ and ‘conversion’ above are problematic”. I used them as a kind of shorthand for the nuanced discussions in the books I mentioned. I certainly didn’t mean to imply that conversion should be something purely cerebral, just that many people have only experienced the cerebral side of conversion but in fact more than that is happening deep down. As for your brain damaged children, I believe you and others can pray for them to experience God’s power and love and they will do so, even if they can’t explain that cerebrally. Indeed on Sunday I was praying in just that way for a young man with learning difficulties.

    James, it did feel like the joy and peace were inside me and flooded out. In fact I would say that it felt like the Holy Spirit had been inside me for a long time but I had walled him up and not let him touch my emotions. Whether that is theologically accurate is another issue.

    Rhea, to be fair to the people who prayed for me, they were not prideful about their experiences. If they had been I would not have gone near them. The problem was more with me, and with some of the warnings I had heard, than with them.

    ElShaddai, would you be willing to be prayed for to receive whatever gifts or experiences the Holy Spirit has for you? It can be done at a distance, I’m sure, but only if you are willing.

    David, you always have a good point to make! And you are no longer obliged to toe the Assemblies of God line I presume. I am not trying to make an argument, just describe and offer an experience, take it or leave it.

  10. Interesting discussion. I haven’t had the experience of tongues, but a number of my friends have had it. Now days we don’t hear as much about this, but 30-35 years ago, people seemed to talk about it more, sometimes with the “better Christian” overtones that is mentioned above.

    A late friend, an elderly woman of great faith who prayed with the most amazing assurance that Her Father was always right beside her, had been at a charismatic meeting where somebody laid hands on her to receive the gift of tongues. She didn’t. Then they said, “Something must be wrong here.” That was hurtful to her. Maybe she didn’t need tongues because her prayers were so direct without that.

    I’ve been influenced by a book from 1975 by Richard A. Jensen called Touched by the Spirit. It is about the author and other missionaries in Africa whose background was not charismatic. Suddenly the gift of tongues came to them, which was quite a surprise and they, at first, didn’t know how to deal with it. But they accepted the gift and prayed that way for awhile. Then the gift of tongues gradually left them. The book is an attempt to explain this theologically. The author felt that the gift was given for a certain time and place, to lift up these people. They certainly were “good Christians” [I don’t like that phrase] before and after this happened.

  11. Pingback: Gentle Wisdom » Filled with the Spirit, not with emotionalism

  12. PS, thanks for your comment. I’m sure the gift of tongues can be more important or relevant at some times of one’s life than at others. I also think that if it is not used it may seem to be lost. And probably people like that old lady don’t need it because they already know God closely enough without it.

    ElShaddai, I’ll pray for you. I also suggest you watch a bit of Todd Bentley in Florida, the link in my new post. Either he will turn you off completely, which is OK, or you will experience the touch of the Holy Spirit through him.

  13. Please remind your readers of the tominthebox blogging in tongues post. That was a gem. I will post almost certainly on this topic (about not in tongues) soon.

  14. You mean this post, David? Readers, hereby consider yourselves reminded. (That’s a performative, for readers of the BBB discussion of them.) But I am waiting for someone like you, David, to put this interesting idea into practice. I might then try out the gift of interpreting tongues.

    But don’t try posting in Nyungwe and pretending it’s tongues. I know someone who once pretended to speak in tongues but was actually speaking a foreign language he knew. He managed to fool the person praying for him, but not the Holy Spirit, who mercifully did not treat him like Ananias but more like Cornelius, in that he soon found himself really speaking in tongues.

  15. Pingback: Gentle Wisdom » Two Anglican priests’ thoughts on charismatic experience

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  17. Should all Christians speak in tongues? Scripture itself answers this question:

    1 Corinthians 12:30 Not all have gifts of healing, do they? Not all speak in tongues, do they? Not all interpret, do they?

    Everyone with the gift of tongues should use it to the glory of God. Next question 🙂

  18. Helpful thoughts Peter. Just got through teaching some of this stuff to some of my team last week. A joy to help them wrestle with what scripture says and growing in experiencing the reality of grace.

  19. This is the first time I’ve read the post, even though I’m going to be comment 23!

    If all Christians should seek the gift of tongues, do you believe that God would tell someone that the gift is not for them?

    I believe that I have had such an experience. I was seeking this gift and I perceived very clearly (although I didn’t ‘hear’ in an auditory sense) that God was telling me ‘This gift is not for you. It’s fine for these other people, but it’s not for you. Just be who you are and trust me.’ My companion then turned to me and said ‘I feel that God is saying…..’ and she repeated the exact words I had ‘heard’.

    I am certain that this experience was an experience of the Spirit speaking to both of us. I would call it an experience where I heard the Lord and through my friend’s word of knowledge, my hearing was confirmed. Because of her confirmation, I’m in no doubt of what God said.

    Also, in terms of specifically praying for a person to be baptised in the Holy Spirit, such prayers are included in the traditional rites of baptism, confirmation and ordination. They are also often used in rites sending out people into mission. I wonder what is ‘wrong’ with the traditional rites – particularly baptism and confirmation – that charismatics seem to feel that the prayer needs to be done over ‘properly’?

  20. Pam, thanks for sharing your experience. I’m sure it was a valid one and so you are right not to seek this gift. When I said this gift is “one which Christians should seek”, I didn’t mean to imply that every individual Christian is obliged to seek it at all times. You sought it and were not given it. That is enough, although perhaps you should be open to receive it after all at a later time.

    As for baptism and confirmation, I agree that these, especially confirmation, should be times when people seek to be filled with the Holy Spirit. The problem is that in practice they have often become formalised liturgical rites with no opportunity to express the gifts. What would a typical bishop think if a confirmation candidate burst out into tongues loudly while being confirmed?

    Well, maybe we will see, because this Sunday morning, for the first time ever, we have a confirmation service at my church. It could be interesting, but at least the bishop already knows that we often don’t do things the typical Anglican way!

  21. PAm, if I may add a couple of things as a ‘semi-charismatic’?!

    First, if having already received a baptism in the holy Spirit of some sort meant you could never receive another one, why would the apostles’ experience of Acts 2 be more or less repeated in Acts 4?

    Second, I really resonate with the quote from Martyn Lloyd Jones that Peter gave us earlier (I quote from memory): ‘Got it all at your conversion, did you? Well, then, where is it?’ I don’t quote this in a judgemental sense. I certainly recognise the truth of what MLJ was saying in my own life – which is why I want to seek a deeper and deeper immersion in the Holy Spirit.

    And I guess this leads me to the third thing I want to say – that many church people who have been baptised and confirmed and (in some cases) ordained would admit to a deep sense of spiritual dryness and emptiness. It’s not an ct of love to people like that to tell them that there’s nothing more they can receive from the Holy Spirit since they already got it at their baptism, confirmation, and/or ordination.

    Jesus told his first disciples to ‘wait for the gift my Father promised’. I think that’s where we often fall down the liturgical churches. We pray the prayer, but we don’t wait. I sometimes think God wants to know how badly we want it. Are we willing to spend time waiting? Are we willing not to be satisfied with a substitute? Are we willing to fast? Or do we just want to get to the end of the liturgy?

  22. Tim, thanks especially for your last paragraph. That is the real problem I have with the kind of liturgical and/or cerebral approach to this I see people like Sam Norton advocating – it doesn’t leave time for God to act or speak, certainly not to do anything unexpected. Of course Holy Communion done well is not like that, but in practice in many churches it is like that.

  23. Pingback: My Take on Tongues « Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth

  24. Pingback: Posts about tongues « sunestauromai: living the crucified life

  25. Pingback: Pseudo-Polymath » Blog Archive » Glossalia

  26. Great post, Peter. I too am a tongue-speaker. I am not a charismatic and actually tend to shy away from that whole group (after a not-so-memoriable 4 years in a charismatic Bible college with some serious problems often covered up by “words from the Lord”). But I cannot deny that the gifts are for today. I notice that I often inadvertantly start speaking in tongues under my breath whenever I am stirred up (not necessarily emotionally—I would say “spiritually” would be more accurate) about God. IF the Scriptures are just particularly juicy, or if my thoughts wander to the goodness of God, etc, then I find that tongues just tend to happen.

    I rarely think about tongues or purposely speak in tongues, however. I’m not really sure what to think about the baptism of the Spirit—because I believe the Christian is indwelt by the Spirit at new birth (that’s what new birth is). However, I cannot deny that something different happened to me when I asked the FAther to baptise me in His Spirit. It was like a rushing wind came into the room and blew into me, and from that moment on, the Scriptures came alive and I had new giftings that I’d not previously had. *shrugs*

  27. Thanks, Molly. I think you are more or less where I was for a few years. In the last five years I have got much more back into charismatic things, but in circles which are not emphasising speaking in tongues.

    I sympathise with how you were hurt in that problem situation. I am aware that they exist, including the serious ones at Michael Reid’s church near my home which I have been reporting on. Even in my own church there have been problems, but fortunately our vicar takes a very sensible approach.

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  29. Peter, thanks for writing about your personal experience. It has been similar to mine. I can remember my experience with glossalia like it was yesterday. It would be interesting to learn how this charism can be practiced in liturgical churches such as Anglican and Lutheran.

  30. First, if having already received a baptism in the holy Spirit of some sort meant you could never receive another one, why would the apostles’ experience of Acts 2 be more or less repeated in Acts 4?

    I’m not sure what you mean by ‘can’t have another one’? I’m not sure I’m saying that. I’m saying that charismatics often seem to throw doubt on whether non-charismatics ‘have’ the Holy Spirit at all. Can you explain to me how someone commits their life to God in Christ without the Holy Spirit? We are supposed to believe in One God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

    Second, I really resonate with the quote from Martyn Lloyd Jones that Peter gave us earlier (I quote from memory): ‘Got it all at your conversion, did you? Well, then, where is it?’ I don’t quote this in a judgemental sense. I certainly recognise the truth of what MLJ was saying in my own life – which is why I want to seek a deeper and deeper immersion in the Holy Spirit.

    And it’s why I try to make time in my day for contemplative prayer. I really do think we’re doing the same thing in different ways. I genuinely don’t believe my ‘quieter way’ is inferior, but then I guess you’d say I *would* think that.

    I’ll take up the issue of ‘waiting on God’ first. As someone who practices contemplation and meditation, ‘waiting on God’ is absolutely core. Again, I don’t see why charismatics do it ‘better’ than I do. One of my big gripes with charismatics is that they don’t seem to want to wait.

    I accept that traditional public worship forms may not allow enough ‘waiting time’ and I try to allow these spaces in worship. On the other hand, I don’t think that Sunday worship is supposed to be a person’s one opportunity in the week to pray – which, unfortunately, it looks like becoming for a lot of church-goers. It’s supposed to be public worship not a public time to facilitate private prayer.

    And I guess this leads me to the third thing I want to say – that many church people who have been baptised and confirmed and (in some cases) ordained would admit to a deep sense of spiritual dryness and emptiness. It’s not an ct of love to people like that to tell them that there’s nothing more they can receive from the Holy Spirit since they already got it at their baptism, confirmation, and/or ordination.

    I would agree with you on that. But I still think that Christian tradition has many tools to help individuals facing these challenges. From where I sit – as a traditional Christian who is convinced that the Holy Spirit is at work in the traditional church – it’s not an act of love to ‘de-pneumatise’ (???) the rest of the Church either.

    I’m neither anti-charismatic nor am I a cessationist. I just think that traditional Christianity does offer a lot of tools for listening to and waiting on God.

  31. Can you explain to me how someone commits their life to God in Christ without the Holy Spirit?

    An interesting question, Pam. I can believe that some people are presented with the gospel as a largely intellectual matter, believe these truths, and a behavioural one, stop doing this sins. It is possible for people to commit their lives to this as a decision of the will, and I am sure that some people do that. They have repeated a formula like Romans 10:9. But they have never even heard of the Holy Spirit (compare Acts 19:2), except perhaps as part of a formula, and have never experienced his work. These people may believe that they are good Christians. They may even be the majority in some churches and church streams. But have they truly given their lives to Christ and believed? I suspect not. Would Calvinists agree with me that this is possible?

    As for your “contemplative prayer”, I entirely agree with you. This is something I am beginning to get into. Sometimes I do this silently, sometimes praying in tongues under my breath or out loud, sometimes with repetitive words I understand such as repeating “Jesus!” I agree that many charismatics don’t want to wait, but I have come to recognise the need to do so.

    Indeed in my church we have been learning and practising over the last few years “soaking prayer”, as promoted by Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship, which involves lying down quietly for contemplative prayer. You might like to consider introducing this in a small way in your churches, probably midweek. The UK and other international branches of Catch the Fire Ministries, linked to TACF, offer training in how to do this, although the training (rather than the actual doing) may be a bit too charismatic for your taste.

  32. Well, the bishop, Laurie Green of Bradwell, came to us on Sunday morning and confirmed ten candidates, praying for them to receive the Holy Spirit. As far as I could tell from the back, none of them spoke loudly in tongues or manifested the Spirit in any other way in front of him – although some friends of mine who were candidates, mature Christians from a non-Anglican background, had threatened to do so to see what the reaction was! But the power of the Holy Spirit was clearly in the service, in what the bishop said, and in healings and changed lives especially from the prayer ministry at the end of the service. I sensed that, although the bishop’s own high church style is very different from ours, he is very much with us (and apparently with the Archbishop of Canterbury) in wanting to see the church revived by the power of the Holy Spirit.

  33. Indeed in my church we have been learning and practising over the last few years “soaking prayer”, as promoted by Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship, which involves lying down quietly for contemplative prayer.

    I have been trying to introduce quiet to my church that sees itself as ‘charismatic’. I’ve done it by having a few minutes’ of quiet during bible studies, meetings and services. After two years, people are beginning to express the sentiment that they see some value in it. Maybe I should label it ‘Toronto’ because I’m up against being seen as ‘not a charismatic’ and also some people think I’m ‘too Catholic’.

    may be a bit too charismatic for your taste.

    Yeah, see, this is where I get frustrated. I haven’t got anything against charismatics, I really don’t. I just can’t be a charismatic any more than I can be a stand-up comedian. It’s not the way that God made me.

    I can sort of understand your ‘argument’ with cessationists, but having grown up in a cessationist denomination, I’m also not willing to say that all the people who taught me about God and about the scripture were not real Christians; that was not my experience either. I think it’s possible for the Holy Spirit to work even if we don’t seek signs and wonders.

  34. Thanks, Pam. Yes, tell your charismatics that this is a Toronto thing. Try sending them on a Catch the Fire weekend even if you don’t go yourself. They may come back enthusiastic for soaking.

    I certainly don’t want to say that all cessationists are not Christians. I know that the Holy Spirit works through many of them with prophetic etc gifts that they don’t actually believe in. I know other wonderful Christians who clearly display the fruit of the Spirit if not the gifts. But I also know people who claim to be Christians but show no evidence that this has penetrated beyond their brains and perhaps their wills. It is these people who I wonder may not be true Christians. But in the end this is something we cannot know, something between them and God, at least until we meet them, or not, in God’s kingdom.

  35. But I also know people who claim to be Christians but show no evidence that this has penetrated beyond their brains and perhaps their wills.

    Yes, of course. Don’t we all? I’d say my personal belief is that this phenomenon cuts across all ‘forms’ of Christianity. Charismatic or cessationist, egalitarian or complementarian, conservative or liberal, liturgical or Fresh Expressions.

    Being a charismatic or whatever isn’t any guarantee against it.

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  37. Thanks Brian, It was a wonderful article. I was baptized in the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in other tongues about 2 years ago, but I was saved about 25 years ago. A lot of people I think that are critical of the speaking in tongues have never themselves been baptized in the Holy Ghost, which seems kind of like complaining about the taste of some food item that you’ve never eaten. It has clearly changed my walk with Jesus in a very good way. I was prayed for by some Spirit filled people in our church, but nothing happened at that moment, but with the encouragement of my wife (who has been speaking in tongues for many years) I began speaking in tongues while praying quietly in our church with only my wife present many months later. I also believe it is for all Christians, but not as a weapon or trump card over other Christians, but as a weapon and trump card over the devil.

  38. Thanks, Jim. Indeed speaking in tongues should not be used as a trump card over other Christians, but is helpful in resisting the devil who generally flees from those speaking in tongues.

  39. Hey Peter, just wanted to say thanks a lot for this article. I am a missionary in Sweden and I grew up going to baptist churches, but have also in the past years been going to charismatic churches and met some wonderful spirit-filled followers of Jesus at each place. I have felt very troubled by the fact that the baptist church says these gifts don’t exist and also troubled that the charismatic churches I was at made people feel like they were second class Christians if they never had a tongues experience. I have never had any type of tongues experience, but man at times I have felt so filled with the Holy Spirit with boldness to preach His Word and also many times where i’ve had an overwhelming since of joy and peace that only filling from the Holy Spirit can bring. I am willing and open and tell God that i’m willing to receive any filling from the Holy Spirit that He might bring. To me your article was a very well balanced Biblical and loving approach to the Holy Spirit’s work in our lives. Thanks for your encouragement. God bless!

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  41. Pingback: Should all Christians speak in tongues? – Gentle Wisdom – speakingintonguesblogs

  42. sometimes i come outta no where and speak in tongues every now and then. when i’m deep in prayer it may happen. i dont do it a whole lot tho. but one time i was in my car on the way to listening to gospel music singing and worshiping and it just came out. it happens at odd times sometimes. and the closer i get to God the more it happens. idk. but i know i’m in love with jesus! be blessed ya’ll.

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