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If interpreted, is it still Biblical to speak in tongues today?

Caller:  Ok.  This is what I want to know.  I know we’re not suppose to mention a denomination, so I won’t, but I went to a church where there was a lot of speaking in tongues.  And I believe it wasn’t just random, like people were going blibber-blabber; it was always interpreted.  And now I go to church where they don’t speak in tongues and all; and I was wondering is it Scriptural? Is it in the Bible?  I know I read in Corinthians that you can speak in tongues, but do you believe that it’s still happening today?

Pastor Doug:  You know it’s very interesting that you would call and ask this question, because we don’t get this question every broadcast.

I was writing a lesson today on tongues.  And I’ve already written one lesson in one book.  Matter of fact, there’s a lot more information that I can give you in the book that I can’t fit into five minutes on the radio program.

Caller:  Ok.

Pastor Doug:  So get the resource number from Pastor Dick.  He’ll give it several times during the broadcast and ask for a new booklet, and we’ll give it to you for free.  It’s called “Captured by Tongues.”  I just wrote it.  It’s just off the press; and you’ll find it’s very Biblical.  It has all these Scriptures on tongues.  It covers the subject completely.

Caller:  Ok.  Perfect.

Pastor Doug:  Now I used to attend a charismatic church when I first became a Christian.  A lot of dear, spiritual people in these persuasions – but I became convinced, from my study of God’s word – I believe in the gifts of the Spirit including tongues; but the way I see tongues being used in the Bible, God gives people the supernatural ability to speak languages of the world that they had not formerly known…

Caller:  Right – to preach the Gospel to other people.

Pastor Doug:  …for the purpose of spreading the Gospel.  Exactly!  The Gospel.  That’s what happens in all three examples of tongues that you find in Acts.  Acts chapter 2, chapter 10, chapter 19.  Those are the only examples of tongues in the whole Bible.  Paul only mentions tongues in one part of one book, even though he wrote 14 books of the New Testament.  Matthew never mentions it.  Mark mentions it one time where Jesus says you will speak with other tongues.  Luke never mentions it in his Gospel, though he does in Acts of course.  John never mentions it at all in any of his writings, neither does Peter.  And so churches that make tongues their gospel I believe that’s not Biblical priority.

Caller:  Ok.  Do you believe that it can’t – like I heard a lady speak in like, it was definitely a language of some kind of Asian descent, and then it was interpreted.

Pastor Doug:  Well I can’t speak of what you personally encounter because I don’t know.  There are a lot of counterfeit examples of tongues going on out there.

Caller:  And is that bad?

Pastor Doug:  Well let me tell you what Paul says.  One word of God is worth a thousand of mine.  If you turn to 1st Corinthians, chapter 14 is where the bulk of the information on tongues is found.  Paul is dealing specifically here with a church that was making tongues the priority and neglecting the real gift, which was Prophecy.  That’s why he says in 1st Corinthians 14 verse 1, ‘Pursue love and desire Spiritual gifts, but especially that you might prophecy.’

Now he contrasts Prophecy – the greatest gift – (Prophecy doesn’t just mean foretelling the future, it means preaching) with tongues; because he says in the next verse, ‘for he who speaks in a tongue doesn’t speak to men but to God, no one understands; however, he speaks mysteries.  But he who prophesies…’ see what he’s saying?

Caller:  Right.

Pastor Doug:  and then he says to seek those gifts that build up the church in verse 5, that the church might receive edification.  Well then he tells us edification comes from prophecy, you read in verse 12.

Caller:  From the preaching…

Pastor Doug:  Yeah.  So he says all through the book that the real emphasis ought to be on speaking so people understand…

Caller:  …and getting a hold of the Gospel.

Pastor Doug:  Yeah!

Caller:  I see.  That’s what – my best friend – she’s a new Christian, and I try to read the Bible a lot; and I know I try to help her.  I don’t know everything, but I try to help her out as much as I can.  And the church she goes to, they speak in tongues; and she says I want to speak in tongues.  And I said it doesn’t make you any more of a Christian to speak in tongues.

Co-Host:  Amen

Pastor Doug:  Keep in mind Carrie, the Bible does not say that we are known by the gifts of the Spirit.  Jesus said you’ll know them by the fruits.  The fruit of the Spirit is not tongues.  A lot of my charismatic friends have made it seem like the proof you have the Spirit is tongues, and it’s not true.

Caller:  That’s what she says, ‘I’m suppose to be baptized in the Holy Spirit’ and I go, “You can be baptized in the Holy Spirit and not speak in tongues.”

Pastor Doug:  No.  The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace…. Tongues is not even in the list!

Caller:  Right.

Pastor Doug:  And so people who get that mixed up their doctrine is flawed.

Caller:  Yeah that’s why I worry for her because she thinks that’s so important.  And I don’t believe that has very much to do with (cross talk) as being a Christian.

Pastor Doug:  Paul says in 1st Corinthians 14:19, ‘Yet in the church I’d rather speak five words with my understanding that I might teach others, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue.’

Caller:  Where nobody understands it.  It doesn’t help.

Pastor Doug:  Yes – when you speak, make sure others can understand. Now what I don’t agree with, I’ve been in other countries where people speak in tongues and then translate because there are different language groups present.

Caller:  Right.

Pastor Doug:  I was just in Brazil last week where people were translating as those up front were speaking.  That’s the gift of tongues.  But for people who all speak English and understand each other, and one of them decides to start babbling and let someone else translate, why would God use that technique?

Caller:  Right!  It doesn’t really make any sense.



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