Speaking in Tongues

Does anybody here speak in tongues?

Can you please share what happens physically, mentally and spiritually when you it happens?

What language are you speaking in?

How often does it happen?

Do you understand what you are saying?

Are you aware of your surroundings?

Thank you.

First thing to note is that speaking in tongues is not limited to Christianity. It’s an ecstatic phenomenon that is common to all cultures and religions.

Not every experience is the same but there are common features.

Physically people may fall into a sort of trance state, or an ecstatic state where they become unaware of what is going on around them. Some people fall on the ground and thrash about, or begin to move in a jerky ecstatic dance while standing up. Other times people maintain awareness of what is happening about them.

Eyes may remain open or closed.

Like most ecstatic states they can occur either spontaneously, induced suddenly by a particular experience or cue, or be worked into via a process of prayer, meditation or “seeding”, they can also occur by being triggered by similar states in the people around them, or via the power of suggestion.

The experience can feel terrifying, or extremely pleasurable and fulfilling, a huge release of powerful emotion. Perhaps akin to the swelling overpowering feeling one gets at a concert or exciting sports match. Or it can feel very sublime and emotionally moving in a quiet yet powerful way.

People can have this sort of ecstatic experience in their own language or in an unknown or gibberish language.

People may or may not be aware of what they are saying, and may only experience it as if overtaken by a spirit, others around them may tell them later what they said.

Sometimes the person does know what they are saying, but it babbles from them spontaneously and as if coming from another source, they do not plan what they say.

Others understand the gist of the message, praise, thanksgiving, etc, but not a word for word translation.

How often if happens varies greatly. Some people have the experience only once in their life. Others on a regular basis. As some people can learn how to get into a tongue speaking state, they can call it up whenever they choose. Others only respond to an outside stimulus or suggestion. Some people have it occur when overcome by a particularly moving prayer state or awe.

I have had it occur spontaneously as the result of a moment of awe, or during comtemplation. I have remained aware of my surroundings, it has happened while walking and I continue to walk. I understand the gist of what I am saying, and occasionally quite specific things, but they are in another “language” though I think it is only an ecstatic language and not something another person could translate.

I feel deeply moved and humbled by the experience. Sometimes I cry tears of great emotion. Afterwards I feel a bit light headed and tingly, and seek a quiet time to absorb what has taken place. I have never had this experience while around other people.

More than a decade ago I had a friend priest that was into the charismatic movement try to ‘teach’ me for lack of a better term.

Perhaps a more fair term is to allow the Holy Spirit to flow through me with the output being ‘speaking in tongues’.

It never seemed authentic to me in my effort or in watching him or others. It seemed forced.

I think God works for a purposeful end. For instance, to apply the Spirit on Pentecost so the Apostles could have clear knowledge and perfect understanding of what was taught to them by Jesus, and so others could understand the Apostles.

I just don’t see the purposeful end in the practice as I was ‘taught’ or have seen, whether in private or public.

Of course that doesn’t mean there isn’t one.

…speaking in tongues praying in the holty spirit- with interperation is easy-- once you go over the Human reasing aspect-- and are in a group of people that pratice it-- kinda like in

1 sam 19:20-24

…John Bevere - Don’t forbid speaking in tongues .

youtu.be/eKB0wjVrvFM

My experiences are similar to Schaeffer’s. In my mid-twenties, it happened several times while kneeling and praying audibly in church. Physically, I felt as if my throat was being opened and out of it a prayer in a language unknown to me was coming out. I understood it as praise and thanks to God.Afterwards, I was extremely joyful, as if God had touched me. I was aware of where I was and those around me.

After those first few experiences, I was told that was demonic and purposely sought to suppress speaking in tongues. I do not believe they were. What was demonic were the scoffers, who sought to destroy any sign of spirituality.

I speak in tongues.

It is important to note that speaking in tongues is something that can occur separately or at the same time as other experiences.

By itself, nothing physically happens. You are just a person praying in a language you happen not to understand.

There are times when it happens at the same time as other experiences (like being slain in the Spirit or resting in the Spirit-this can sometimes be described as a “trance-like state”). However, you should never assume that everyone who speaks in tongues is under a trance or is in an “ecstatic state.”

I have fallen under the power of God and spoken in tongues while remaining “out.” However, I was still aware of my surroundings; I just didn’t really care about what was happening around me at the moment. What mattered then was what the Lord was ministering to me through that experience.

Now, what I notice is that praying in tongues for me helps me to pray better in English. Words and concerns and issues come to me that I wasn’t thinking about before. Words just flow out of me easier, like the prayer in tongues has helped me get to root issues.

Don’t know. “For one who speaks in a tongue speaks not to men but to God; for no one understands him, but he utters mysteries in the Spirit” (1 Corinthians 14:2).

Often. I don’t pray in tongues every time I pray. It’s usually when I’m facing an issue that I feel out of my depth. Sometimes, I feel like singing in tongues and so I sing in tongues. It just depends.

I choose when and where I speak in tongues. It never just spontaneously happens. If it happens, its because the individual wanted it to happen. See 1 Corinthians 14:32.

No.Sometimes I know why I am praying (and while I pray in tongues I’m also thinking about what is prompting me to pray).

There are times though that I feel a burden to pray in tongues but don’t know why. I just know that I feel a need within me to pray.By a “burden” I mean just an urgent sense that something somewhere is wrong and I need to pray. Sometimes later on I will find out that something was happening around the same time I felt the need to pray in tongues and I’ll understand why the Lord led me to pray.

Very much so. I sometimes pray and sing in tongues while I drive. You are perfectly in control of your senses. It’s no different than when you pray in a language you understand.

You are welcome.

I have never spoken in tongues but i believe that it can happen but I’ve been to churches (a few times) that had people who did…I did not see the benefit of it in the service as there was no one to interpret what she was saying so, in essence, that was not “helpful” for the other worshipers in that they did not understand what she was saying and it interrupted the worship of the others.

I have some family members who say that you must do it in order to be truly saved as what happened on Pentecost…we don’t discuss it often because it’s just a divisive topic.

One other personal experience was attending the funeral of one of my aunts. My two brothers and I sat toward the back and there was at one point where the whole sanctuary was filled with worshipers all emitting garbled “tongues.” Ummmm, that was a really weird experience and, tho, I was completely taken aback (and felt it was very suspect) throughout it all I cannot totally dismiss it without knowing and researching more about the church teaching.

Very interesting topic…

God bless!

It’s just corporate prayer and/or praise in tongues (or it might have been the less common practice of corporately singing in the spirit).

Pentecostal emphasis is on praying in tongues “in concert.” Charismatics tend to prefer to offer praise in tongues all at once, sometimes this is called “high praise.”

I had a deacon pray over me in tongues recently and it was a very powerful experience. The words did not matter, the Spirit fills our hearts and minds as he wills.

The sense and images that I had as he prayed over me were of ancient groanings from saints, and a sense of the ties that bind the whole Church over the ages back to Christ. The sense that the Church is all one through all the ages, that it is living breathing and praying in the present. It’s hard to explain. It was a very primieval or primordial, elemental prayer that transcended time.

It gave me a sense that the difficulties I am enduring are as nothing before the power of Christ and his Church. Nothing.

It is a very fascinating topic as until about 1830 tongues was generally thought to be speaking in a foreign language previously unknown.

I believe one of the first Christians of the 20th century to speak in tongues was Agnes Ozman,a member of a bible study group. She had the group pray over her and she began speaking in another language,Chinese it has been claimed.

Ecstatic tongues is something entirely different as it is an experience that even non religious have. It is often a key manifestation of the Hindu kundalini phenomena. It was also practiced by the gnostics.

Ecstatic tongues seems to be the culmination of a Christian baptism of the Spirit seminar where hands are laid on the pupil and prayers for the gift of tongues is requested .

I am also studying this with great interest.There is a youtube video attempting to show scientifically that people in ecstatic prayer are not using the speech area of the brain.I believe they were put in an MRI machine or something to see what was happening in the brain and t showed that when they were manifesting the speech area did not show activity.

I’ve met someone who believes you “must” have spoken in tongues to have been saved; else you do not have the Holy Spirit within you… This is a strong belief of the AoG Church, so I guess thats where it came from

I think “tongues” is a highly ambiguous term if applied to more than spoken word. I’m sure it can happen, when and where the Spirit chooses it to. But expecting it of others is completely out of the question. Each person has their own faith, and lives according to it. I’m not aware of any Church teaching saying that it is stricly necessary for one’s salvation. (catholic.com/video/speaking-in-tongues)

I would call it a miracle, not something that is necessary.

I agree,as there is no current teaching in the catechism regarding ecstatic tongues.
One entry talks about the fruits of the spirit and special charisms given to build up the Church.These charisms include tongues and interpretation of tongues which seems to be something rare and not the same thing as ecstatic tongues. In any case the catechism states that all charisms should be subject to authority in order not to quench the Spirit but to identify false spirits which will lead people away from the Holy Church.

Thank you all for sharing your personal experiences and thoughts with me. :slight_smile:

This is not a teaching of the Assemblies of God. The Assemblies of God teaches that salvation is received by faith in Jesus Christ and repentance. AG teaching is that the baptism in/with the Holy Spirit is an experience separate from and subsequent to the new birth and is to be accompanied by speaking in tongues. Therefore, the AG teaches that one can be saved without speaking in tongues but it is a gift that is available to all believers who ask for it.

Please read the AG’s Statement of Fundamental Truths for more information about what they actually believe, specifically sections 5, 7, and 6.

I’m sorry; but the Church I went to was AoG and most certainly taught this, like it or lump it.

The Australian AoG may be different; and I would probably believe that. Its like our local Anglican Church - every Church is its own and practically no one agrees on anything, except the very basic “core statements of faith” they have.

This is not Assemblies of God teaching–like it or lump it. I don’t know what kind of AG church you attended, but if what you say is accurate they were not teaching you AG theology but some sort of fringe theology.The AG does not and never has taught or believed in “salvific tongues.”

The US Assemblies of God’s Statement of Fundamental Truths section 5 states quite clearly:

Conditions to Salvation

Salvation is received through repentance toward God and faith toward the Lord Jesus Christ. By the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, being justified by grace through faith, man becomes an heir of God, according to the hope of eternal life.

There is nothing about tongues in there. Sorry to disappoint you.

If you read on, you’ll see the following passage:

The Evidence of Salvation

The inward evidence of salvation is the direct witness of the Spirit. (Romans 8:16)
The outward evidence to all men is a life of righteousness and true holiness. (Ephesians 4:24,Titus 2:12)

Nothing here about speaking in tongues being the evidence of salvation.

The only place speaking in tongues is taught in the statement is in reference to the baptism in the Holy Spirit, which the Assemblies of God defines as **“distinct from and subsequent to the experience of the new birth” **(section 7). In other words, baptism in the Holy Spirit is something that occurs to those who have already received salvation by faith.

In section 8, speaking in tongues is defined as the initial evidence of the baptism in the Holy Spirit–which again is not the same thing as salvation:

The baptism of believers in the Holy Spirit is witnessed by the initial physical sign of speaking with other tongues as the Spirit of God gives them utterance.

Are you in Australia? They don’t believe in “savlific tongues” either. The Doctrinal Basis of the Assemblies of God in Australia (since 2007 known as Australian Christian Churches) states the following:

4.8 SALVATION OF MAN

**We believe that salvation is received through repentance toward God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. This experience is also known as the new birth and is an instantaneous and complete operation of the Holy Spirit **whereby the believing sinner is regenerated, justified, and adopted into the family of God and becomes a new creation in Christ Jesus and heir of eternal life (Titus 2:11; 3:5-7; 1 Peter 1:23; 1 John 5:1).

4.13 THE BAPTISM IN THE HOLY SPIRIT

We believe that the baptism in the Holy Spirit is the bestowing of the believer with power to be an effective witness for Christ. This experience is distinct from, and subsequent to, the new birth; is received by faith, and is accompanied by the manifestation of speaking in tongues as the Spirit gives utterance, as the initial evidence (Luke 24:49; Acts 1:4-5, 8; 2:1-4; 8:15-19; 11:14-17; 19:1-7).

The same language about distinctiveness and subsequence is used in both the American and Australian statements. Whoever taught you that tongues were required to be saved was teaching you their own theology–not that of the AG of either the States or in Australia.

Thanks for clarifying that. Now I at least know what they are supposed to believe, as opposed to what is being taught. I suppose it doesn’t help they haven’t had any permanent pastor for about 10 years now, only visitors with differing beliefs.
That Church seems to cater for anyone who doesn’t align towards Anglicanism or Catholicism, and with the seniors in the Church taking turns at preaching, its hard to tell whether you could be receiving a Baptist, Methodist, Calvin (etc) attitude towards Christianity.

All this is partly why I left, never-mind absolutely no senior member of the Church approached me and asked the serious questions that needed asking, aside from one lady, who I have befriended, although don’t agree with her on many things, given my Catholic faith.
I also felt a strong pull towards Catholicism. You cannot just shake that off as a wandering mind, and I was welcomed into the Catholic Church with open arms, from parishioners and the Priests alike.

Well, anyone whose been to one or two typical Assemblies of God congregations will readily realize that half or more of the members have never spoken in tongues. If the AG really believed that non-tongue speakers go to hell then they are doing a poor job of letting even their members know. In 2003, the American AG’s own statisticians reported that only 50% of adherents had been baptized in the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues. :shrug:

I don’t have statistics or experience in the Australian AG, but I can’t imagine it’s any different. I mean, this is the AG as lead by Hillsong’s Brian Houston and other similar megachurch pastors. Hipster-Pentecostalism ala Hillsong prefers its tongue-speaking to be an aesthetic to worship not a requirement for salvation.

Why doesn’t the church just hire a pastor?

When I was in college I was “interested” in a young lady who was a member of an evangelical type church. One evening she invited me to attend a Bible study with her. Hoping to get in her good graces, I agreed. Towards the end of the meeting the leader asked her to speak in tongues. Although I heard about it before, I had never been exposed to anything like that. I found it to be fascinating. I also found it to be gibberish, and my “interest” in this young lady quickly evaporated.

I did once a looong time ago

I remember being in church and than in a room alone saying what I heard a voice say.

Have not the slightest idea

No I thought I was talking normal and the youth pastor interpreted and I remember telling my mom that was what I just said than she told me I spoke in tongues

Your Welcome :slight_smile:
[/quote]

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.