Inspired by this post and the lively dialog it created.

There doesn’t seem to be a lot of middle ground when it comes to speaking in tongues. Some denominations feel you can’t have a real walk with God, until you’ve spoken His language, and others feel that it is a silly waste of time, a sin, or worse.

Of course, we should first see what God says.

Mark 16:17 “And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;”

Ignoring that many scholars believe this was not part of the original text, it does say that those who believe will speak with new tongues.

Now I have never been faced with a devil to cast out, (Thank God!) nor have I ever spoken in tongues, but based on this scripture I think it would be foolhardy to discount the possibility of either.

Acts 2:4 “And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.”

This verse speaks of Pentecost, and the tongues they were speaking were actual languages, understandable to those who heard them and needing no interpretation.

1 Corinthians 13:1 “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.”

That’s pretty straightforward. Tongues (and everything else for that matter) – love = pointless.

1 Corinthians 14:6 “Now, brethren, if I come unto you speaking with tongues, what shall I profit you, except I shall speak to you either by revelation, or by knowledge, or by prophesying, or by doctrine?”

1 Corinthians 14:18 “I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all:”

1 Corinthians 14:23 “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 ye are mad?”

Seems Paul would like everyone to experience speaking in tongues, and feels it’s an important gift, but feels it’s more important to do things which build up the Body of Christ, while in church. He also seems to worry that the chaos, which could result, might be a stumbling block to non-believers.

I do have a small amount of experience in the matter.

I have had the privilege of being present when the Holy Spirit spoke “groanings which cannot be uttered” (Romans 8:26) for a grandmother praying for her new-born grandson, who was deathly ill. There were several denominations represented in that little hospital chapel, and two people were able to interpret.

I have also experienced the miracle of tongues personally, but in reverse of what one might expect.

My husband and I had just started attending church when The Passion of The Christ came out in theaters. My Christian journey had taken many detours and several dead end roads, and I was finding the road back to Jesus a difficult one. Say what you will about the Catholic leanings of the movie, (and brother, there were plenty) it broke my heart, and sent me running back into my Lord and Savior’s merciful arms.

At the part in the movie where the Roman soldier takes the mallet to drive a nail into Jesus’ hand and says, “Here, let me do it.” I realized that I had heard that in English and had been hearing English for quite some time. I became frightened and it stopped. But of course, at that time the Spirit’s work had been done.

So yes, I believe the miracle of tongues still happens. I also believe that gift should be used with careful consideration of the instructions of the Apostle Paul.

1 Corinthians 14:5 “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.”

1 Corinthians 14:39 “Wherefore, brethren, covet to prophesy, and forbid not to speak with tongues.”