Yesterday I was caught off guard by two non-denominational Christians who made very surprising remarks. The first of these two grew up in a Baptist tradition and remains (as far as I know) completely unopposed to Baptist doctrine. He is around early 40s with 4 children. The other, a 27-year old, has been in the non-denominational tradition from childhood but borrows a lot of material from evangelical preachers (Billy Graham et al.)
The first one was teaching a youth group for 18-30 year olds about marriage, and had invited a married couple for a Q&A session in one of the youth group meetings. He said his reasoning for doing this was that he “believed it would be beneficial for young adults to see Biblical teachings about marriage put into practice.” He then gave an example of this: “Just as someone who is raised in a Baptist background might not understand what the Bible means about speaking in tongues until they meet someone from a Pentecostal church who can do it.”
I was shocked. I asked my 27-year old friend who goes to the youth group if he could clarify for me - as far as I always knew, non-denominationals and evangelicals did not support speaking in tongues. But apparently that’s not the case: he answered me, “I speak in tongues.” He then continued to say that, although both sides (Evangelical and Pentecostal) realize that there are “wackos” in all camps, many non-denominational churches support the idea of speaking in tongues.
Is this generally the case in your experiences too? If so, this is a far jump from a decade or two ago when non-denominational Christians more resembled Ned Flanders and regarded Pentecostalism as almost demonic. It seems the fashion is changing though: now we might expect Ned to speak in tongues too. What does this mean for non-denominational / Protestant / evangelical Christianity? Is it all becoming sloshed together, where one gets “saved” through saying the “Sinner’s prayer,” goes to church, gets “slain in the spirit” and “speaks in tongues,” etc. etc. etc.?