Speaking in Tongues Being Left Unspoken.

I don’t have a clue what speaking in tongues is all about.  That, even though I’ve been around it for years.

According to the link below, speaking in tongues is becoming less popular in the Assembly of God church.  I wonder if it is still done in the large Catholic parish near here where my friend was the head priest several years ago.

As he told the story, there was conflict within the parish over speaking in tongues.  It had become popular among some members, but was very annoying to others.  Our friend, the preist, was under seige with complaints.

“I sat them all down in a room,” he told us, “and said, ‘Look, you tongue speakers come to the 10 AM Mass.  Stay away from the 9 AM and 11 AM.  Others, stay away from the 10 AM Mass.  On more thing, anyone who shows up at the wrong Mass gets whacked.’  It’s working fine now.”  He was proud of his solution.

When I was Mayor, we had regular theatrics at our city meetings of praying and scripture reading performed by devout Christians.  They would get on the agenda to discuss the abortion clinic or my advocacy for gay rights.  One of the men seemed to sense just the right moment of theater to shout a nonsensical phrase.

Whether its the heads-to-the ground of Muslims or hands-in-the air of evangelicals, religion has its performance requirements.  Some, like speaking in tongues, may have had its day in the sun.

http://www.christianitytoday.com/gleanings/2013/august/assemblies-of-god-speaking-in-tongues-spirit-baptisms.html

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About Jon Lindgren

I am a former President of the Red River Freethinkers in Fargo, ND, a retired NDSU economics professor and was Mayor of Fargo for 16 years. There is more about me at Wikipedia.com.
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20 Responses to Speaking in Tongues Being Left Unspoken.

  1. entech says:

    If you think about all the gubbins that is spoken you may as well be speaking in tongues, if the Bible were written in plain English (Ok; Greek, Hebrew, Aramaic and so on), comprehensible in any language, it would cut out a lot of argument and interpretation.

    It really should not be too much to ask that the creator of everything, with his divine plans and so on could make his instructions plain and simple. Didn’t get off to a good start, don’t eat that or you will die, without the concept of death that is as meaningless as much of what followed, The God of Justice and Benevolence who decides to punish everyone for this “crime” is hardly that God of love everyone speaks in tongues about. Cruel and savage dictator is more the way it reads.
    So please, if you can hear, spell it out for us dumb humans, created in your image.

  2. Avatar of realist realist says:

    I always have thought that speaking in tongues was a classic case of mass hysteria played out on the stage of religiosity. Way too out there to be attractive or compelling for most people, I would think.

    • Wolfy32 says:

      Its attraction is that it is one of the biblical signs that God is with us. It is the event of the Day of Pentecost. Something to do with some time after Christ’s Resurrection, Christ had told them that his spirit would be with them, and they would have a sign that God’s spirit is upon them. They gathered in a room to figure out what to do next, and they each had a fire appear on their heads. It didn’t burn their heads, but it appeared as a little flame. And as that happened, it was said that one of the signs of the holy spirit would be that they would speak in an incomprehensible language, and that the spirit would direct and interpretor also annointed with the spirit to interpret the words. This done, so that it would require at least two people to receive God’s messages.

      Otherwise, if only one person said “what God told them to say.” the message couldn’t be verified as authentic from God.

      There’s a flaw in that, one still can’t verify that what the person spoke in toungues, was interpretted correctly by the other person…

      That and it gives people that know other languages an edge on christianity… heh.

      • Avatar of realist realist says:

        Wow, that a great fairy tale. Thanks for the background.

        • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

          The story of Christianity, vague words, sometimes indecipherable, leaving the meaning wide open for all the interpret as fits their personal advancement or economic advancement. As they say, “The greatest story ever told.”

        • Wanna B Sure says:

          “Thanks for the background”. The story is in the book of Acts, and later referred to by Paul regarding the abuse of it. As usual, unbelief has much to say about what they know little about.

          • Wolfy32 says:

            “As usual, unbelief has much to say about what they know little about.”

            I’m not sure if this is a statement against me, or the others, or both.

            I do believe in the supernatural and I do believe God is fully capable of speaking to us. I believe thoughts can be transferred. I also believe that higher beings, way more advanced than us, would have the ability to communicate telepathicly. It’d be way more efficient.

            That said, I never fully understood the need for dancing little fires and speaking in toungues. Initially I thought it was cool to witness and experience something unexplainable and supernatural. When certain churches started having it every Sunday and it almost seemed scheduled / planned. I began to question the legitimacy. God conveniently was on Man’s schedule? The God of the universe, showing up at precisely the right time? Somehow talked into showing up by song worship and praise?

            I agree… The abuse of said signs now makes it really hard to decipher what’s real and fake, and puts into question if any of these types of experiences were real.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            Wolfy; Not about you. You are not in the unbelief (atheist/ antitheist ) category.
            Acts also says;”…tongues (((as))) of fire”. Not specifically “fire”. What that metaphor is, I/we don’t know, but much speculation is done around it, such as “Baptism of “fire”. “Tongues is generally understood to be languages, as in Acts 2:6. Paul’s comments are in 1 Cor:14.
            Peace

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            ” The current understanding of Baptism by/of fire” is a relatively modern invention.
            In my younger days, I was always “on fire to go fishing”.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            Green’s Hebrew/Greek/English interlinear also translates “tongues” as “Language”, as does Marshall’s “Parallel New Testament in Greek and English”, and Lenski, among others.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            As also does Strong. and Thayer.

          • Avatar of realist realist says:

            Wanna, I could have said “Thanks for the background, but I have know all of this my entire life”, but I chose to be polite but you chose to be your usual jerkish self.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            Thank you. Speaking your own language.(Tongues).

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            But you didn’t say that . So you were deceitful too. Your diatribe of 4:33 preceded your feigned ignorance of your 1:06.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            I’d like to stay around and observe another one of your name calling rants, but I have more important things to do. Like I said before, I don’t do cat fights.

          • Avatar of realist realist says:

            Classic passive/aggressive; you dish it out but can’t take it.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            No. Actually I was gone. Meow, hiss, howl. All noise, no substance.

  3. Bret Armstrong says:

    Perhaps the incomprehensible language is the voice of reason? The language that no matter how clear the speaker makes it, it makes no sense to the indoctrinated.

  4. Jinx says:

    Research from Sociology, Linguistics, Perception and Abnormal Psychology covered “the speaking in tongues” phenomena over 20 years ago. Sensors placed around the head and neck found the person was actually speaking, in english, nonsense syllables ran together (na, ng, ba, etc.). There is no such thing as speaking in tongues, except in that book of fairy tales.

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