If you have attended any number of small churches, you have in no doubt encountered this situation. Most often occurring during the “prayer line” portion of the service, there is shouting…..and then the speaking in tongues. Its a routine situation to the point that I had memorize the words spoken. It never made any sense to me. After giving my heart to the Lord in 2012, I have been “encouraged” to speak in tongues. I often wondered why I could not do this….until I read my bible.
“Once saved, you will speak in tongues like everyone else.” Even months after I had been “saved”, this still had not happened to me. I was starting to believe that there was something wrong with me spiritually. So, I started asking questions. I was told things such as “It happens when you are filled with the Holy Spirit.” You have to ask the Holy Spirit to come to you and to allow you to speak in tongues.” When I researched this subject in the bible, I found something quite different.
In 1 Corinthians 14, the answer to this can be easily found. Let’s look at the criteria involved for speaking in tongues. Verses 27 and 28 state “If any man speak in an unknown tongue, let it be by two, or at the most by three, and that by course; and let one interpret.” ” But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God. Verse 5 states ” 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” Verse 19 states ” 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.” ” Verse 22 states “Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not” Verse 23 states “If therefore the whole church be come together into one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in those that are unlearned, or unbelievers, will they not say that we are mad?” I believe that Verse 4 sums it up by stating “He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church”
Notice that the only time that speaking in tongues seems to be permitted in church is when an interpreter is present as indicated by verses 5, 27, and 28. Prophesying is favored above speaking in tongues according to verse 5. Edifying the church is a stressed importance as indicated by verses 4, 5, and 19. Based on the above scriptures, I have some to the conclusion that speaking in tongues is not a requirement of giving your life to God. The “idea” that one HAS to speak in tongues, and that it is such a highly favored thing, is clearly a false doctrine.