Let’s see here. Today I went to church, then came home and had lunch. I read more of Huckleberry Finn for homework, then read my Bible. Although I’m doing an inductive Bible study on Philippians right now, I decided to read up on 1 Corinthians 14 today as well. Last Tuesday, I was over at Jake’s house after youth, and basically out of nowhere, the topic of speaking in tongues came up. They were all looking to me for answers, though, since I’m Pentecostal, but I really didn’t have many answers for them. I haven’t studied up on it enough to really form an educated opinion on it. So I read 1 Cor. 14 today, in both the New Living Translation – so I can get a rough understanding of what Paul is trying to say – and the New American Standard Bible – since it’s one of the most accurately translated versions – to get a clearer understanding.
I’m not going to get into a lot of detail, just because I’m no theologian, but Paul definitely marks it as a spiritual gift. He desired that the Corinthian church speak in tongues, but moreso he wanted them to prophesy – give a message from God to the church. In fact, he demotes speaking in tongues as one of the less important spiritual gifts. This puts the question in my mind as to why the Pentecostal church seems to place such a high emphasis on it, but I’m not even going to try to answer that. Paul goes on to explain how tongues mainly edify the speaker, whereas prophecy edifies the entire church – that is, therefore, the basis as to he downplays tongues. He states that the gift of speaking in tongues is a sign to unbelievers as a display of the spiritual element of the world, while prophecy is a sign to believers – after all, it’s a message from God to His church, so it’s meant for them. Tongues are explained as one’s spirit worshipping or praying to God; however, Paul also states that we should pray for the interpretation of these tongues so that we can understand what we’re saying. All in all, Paul says that he’d rather speak five intelligible words that will help someone else rather than ten thousand words in an unknown language.
So there you have it. I’m not even going to deal with the habit of the Pentecostal church to place a high emphasis on speaking in tongues as making you “more spiritual” or some other such idea; however, I definitely don’t see any place in the Bible where it states speaking in tongues as a sign of spirituality. Definitely it shows the presence of the Holy Spirit; however, so do prophecy and miracles and other spiritual gifts. As for its use as a sign to unbelievers, it would likely be effective, but as Paul states, not when everyone is all speaking in tongues at once. Then people will start to just think you’re crazy rather than thinking that there might be something powerful going on here. After all, in Acts when the apostles received the Holy Spirit, people were drawn to the place just to see what was going on. Paul stressed order, though, and that seems to be the important balance – when done in order, and with interpretations, the gift of tongues can be used to edify others and to show unbelievers God’s power.
But anyways, that is what I found on the issue. I’ll try share that with the group if the topic comes up again, because none of them seemed too knowledgeable on the issue either. But enough of that. I’ve been thinking too much. A while ago, I mentioned that I was wanting to write another story, but that I couldn’t think of any ideas. So I decided to try a nifty approach I just thought up today. I’ve decided to try and find pictures and then write short stories about them. After all, a picture’s worth a thousand words, right? So anyways, if you want to catch the action, you can do so right here: Short Stories. I may come up with a more creative title yet, but I’m not in a creative mood right now. That’s why, as of right now, I haven’t made any stories for it yet, either. I’ll do that when I’m in a strange mood. After all, there are some pretty strange pictures out there. I’m going to have a fun time thinking up insane stories to go along with them.
That’s all for now. Have a great day, and try not to eat too much. You really wouldn’t want to end up looking like that host off of Family Feud now, would you? (That’s my helpful tip for the day; take it to heart, you might not get another one for a while.)