No offense to any Pentecostals on here but I have a friend who is Pentecostal and I was curious as to what they believe and I was very confused and somewhat scared by what she told me. My friend said that Pentecostals can ask God for the “gift” of speaking in tongues or glossolalia? And she said only certain people have it and that God can take it away as fast as he gave it to you? Is this biblical? I know they believe in the feast of Pentecost but I thought by speaking in tongues, they spoke in their own language and that everyone listening, could understand it in their own language? Why would speaking in tongues be necessary now? My friend also said that only her mom and aunts have this special gift? Babbling? I don’t understand? And she said that some times they need to be careful because if they aren’t careful with their words, that they eventually start babbling random things…she also said that once she caught her mom speaking another language perfectly, like she was in a “trance” while praying and that her mom didn’t even remember what she was saying while in this “trance”. Can someone please explain all of this?
There are Charismatic Catholics who do the same thing.
One element of all of this is that speaking in tongues is seen as evidence that one has been Baptized in the Holy Spirit, and thus that they are actually a Christian. Being Baptized in the Holy Spirit, in turn, is a sort of mystical experience in which one begins manifesting certain spiritual signs, such as the one which you bring up. All of this is ultimately rooted in answering the question,* if we are saved by faith alone, and if once saved always saved is true, then how do I know whether or not I was ever saved in the first place, and how do I know whether or not my faith is truly salvific?*
One response is speaking in tongues.
As a “Charismatic Catholic” I assure you that there are things mentioned in post 1. which are not a part of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal which was approved shortly after its founding. The approval came because the Bishops studied it in depth, including objections and serious concerns.
Out of respect for the Pentecostal Christians on CAF, I will hold my Catholic comments until they have a chance to read post 1.
The human person is worthy of profound respect.
i went thru the "life in the spirit class in 1968 and found that
most charismatic Catholics dont progress as well Pentecostal christians,
and each denomination has it’s stumbling blocks-- i have talked to catholics that attended stubenburn school in ohio at that (1965)time and as they said there was not much in the education and training in the operation of the spiritual ministy of the 9 gifts of the spirit that saint paul speaks of in 1 cor 12 or chapter 14-- and keep in mind that the cornth church assemby did no find it confusing – they knew what saint paul was writing about–
but it seems that each new “generation” has to find it’s understanding - of the spiritual relm-
and it’s appliction-
john bevere – is one teacher in this area --John Bevere - Don’t forbid speaking in tongues
as is Dave robrson - with his free book download of walking in the spirit
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The Pentecostal plan of salvation is contained in Acts 2:38 – repent, be baptized, and receive the Holy Ghost. The evidence for the presence of the Holy Ghost is speaking in tongues. I’ve heard commentary that the tongue was chosen because it is the mightiest member of the body.
Note that this speaking in tongues is different from the tongues of prophecy. There, one person speaks in tongues, but does so with a message from God; another person will give the interpretation. I have seen this happen countless times growing up in revivals. It’s one of the few times in a Pentecostal church where awe-filled silence takes precedence: after one person stands up and delivers tongues in a particular spirit, other people somehow cue in to the fact that these tongues are different, and fall silent until someone else gives the interpretation.
The glossolalia or “babbling” that I have witnessed, practiced by Charismatic Catholics, fits the OP’s description pretty closely. I have no idea whether what they do has been approved by any bishops. I don’t even know whether they themselves know the answer to that one.
The two points of doctrine have nothing to with one another. Pentacostalism hails from the Holliness revivals of early 20th century and the “Azusa St* revivals. Faith alone 7 small misnomer, we are saved by grace, thru faith. The OSAS comes from Calvin isms perseverance of the saints, predestination and being One of the elect”. Most Baptist bodies are Calvinist, most Pentaho stallion groups ARE NOT and thus have a standard of personal holiness “without which no one shall see the Lord”. Calvin’s belief of “the elect” being a chosen number of those elected to salvation…IF one is “elected” to salvation, there is nothing one can do to be un elected…similar to Catholicism beef once one is baptism validly, even if illicit, makes one a Catholic forever.
Why saved by grace thru faith is confounded with election is not clear to me at all:shrug:
I am a life-long Pentecostal, and someone who speaks in tongues. I have a master’s degree in history, and my thesis was on Pentecostalism and Popular Culture. I also briefly considered going into the ministry, applied and was accepted to the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary, but alas chose a career in public education instead.
I will try to answer your questions as best I can.
We do not ask God for the gift of tongues. We ask for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit as it occurred in the early church, the promised baptism in the Holy Spirit of which speaking in tongues is one sign. Pentecostals teach that the baptism in the Holy Spirit is available to all Christians who ask for it. Acts 2 states that all in the upper room were “filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.”
As for whether the gift of tongues can be taken away . . . I have never heard of anyone “losing” it per se. However, someone’s effectiveness in the things of the Spirit will always be hindered if they are living in such a way that grieves the Holy Spirit. Spiritual gifts are not abilities found within ourselves; they are graces given to us by the power of the Spirit and we must be willing vessels for Him to work through.
Pentecostal doctrine on tongues comes from both Acts and 1 Corinthians 14. In Paul’s letter to the Corinthian church, he instructs them that “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” (verse 2).
He goes on to say that speaking in tongues serves several purposes for the individual Christians and for the larger church. The content of tongues can be “revelation or knowledge or prophecy or teaching” (verse 6) or what Paul refers to as prayer in the spirit (“if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays” verse 14).
Paul also says that because no one can understand what another says in tongues, the person who speaks in a tongue “should pray that he may interpret” (verse 13). In one of his lists of spiritual gifts, Paul mentions “the interpretation of tongues” as a spiritual gift.
The gift of tongues and the gift of interpretation are closely linked. In Pentecostal churches, people with both gifts work together to make messages in tongues understandable to the wider church. In this way, we are taught how all the members of the body of Christ are linked together in the work of the ministry. It is no accident that Paul discusses how all the members are one body in the same place he discusses the many spiritual gifts that have been placed within the church. The diversities of gifts mirrors the diversities of the members of Christ’s body.
Any Christian can control what comes out of their mouths. The Fruit of the Spirit is self-control. Furthermore, Paul teaches us that in regards to the gift of tongues and the gift of prophecy that “the spirits of prophets are subject to prophets. For God is not a God of confusion but of peace” (1 Corinthians 14:32-33).
I suspect that the mom and aunts speak in tongues at random times because they want to speak in tongues at random times. Why they do this is something you would need to ask them.
I know a Christian lady who is diagnosed as being bipolar. She wears her emotions on her sleeves. Once she was baptized in the Holy Spirit, she could speak in tongues. Now, it is very common for her to slip into tongues-speech during prayer or if she gets excited or aroused in any way that makes her resort to prayer.
It is just her personality. She fears many things, and prayer gives her comfort. For Pentecostals, prayer in tongues (or prayer in the spirit, as we call it) is a more effective method of prayer because it bypasses the limits of human speech and gets to the unspeakable heart cry.
Nevertheless, she is always in control of when and how she speaks. If or when she speaks in tongues, it is because she has willed it to happen. We are not in control of what we say once we began to speak in tongues, but it is always our decision whether we are going to pray in tongues or pray in English.
This is not entirely accurate. There are some Pentecostals who make tongues a test of salvation, but the vast majority of us do not.
Pentecostalism rejects Once Saved Always Saved. We believe it is possible to forfeit salvation through repeated, unrepented sin and hardness of heart.
No educated Pentecostal would dare claim that tongues “proves” one is saved. This goes against the teaching of Paul in 1 Corinthian 13, “If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.” Elsewhere, Scripture warns us that “On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness’” (Matthew 7: 22-23).
Spiritual capacities, as I said above, are graces. They are unearned and prove nothing beyond the fact that God gives good gifts. Much more important are the Fruit of the Spirit in peoples lives. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control are greater indicators of the Spirit’s sanctifying work than tongues any day.
In reply to post 1, Catholic comments would emphasize that praying to God in Tongues is part of the total spirituality of the individual. The word Renewal in the Catholic Charismatic Renewal is primary. At the top of the list, regular participation in the Sunday Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is a must. The Eucharist is the source and summit of our Faith. The Sacrament of Confession and Reconciliation not only absolves Mortal Sins, it gives us the grace of strength to live in the State of Sanctifying Grace. (CCC Glossary, Sanctifying Grace, page 898) Most all of us will admit to committing annoying venial sins. These can be brought to the Sacrament of Confession and Reconciliation for forgiveness and for future strength to get rid of them.
And she said only certain people have it and that God can take it away as fast as he gave it to you? Is this biblical?
The Biblical approach is found in St. Paul’s first letter to his beloved Corinthians, chapters 12 and 14. Again and again. One must distinguish the definitive difference between the two separate gifts of the Holy Spirit which employ Tongues. The common gift of praying in Tongues is for everyone.
I know they believe in the feast of Pentecost but I thought by speaking in tongues, they spoke in their own language and that everyone listening, could understand it in their own language?
That is known as the Miracle of Hearing in a person’s own language.
Why would speaking in tongues be necessary now?
The common gift of praying to God in Tongues is a personal choice.
My friend also said that only her mom and aunts have this special gift? Babbling? I don’t understand? And she said that some times they need to be careful because if they aren’t careful with their words, that they eventually start babbling random things…
That is not what is taught in the Catholic Charismatic Renewal.
she also said that once she caught her mom speaking another language perfectly, like she was in a “trance” while praying and that her mom didn’t even remember what she was saying while in this “trance”. Can someone please explain all of this?
I have no clue as to what was happening.
The common Holy Spirit gift of praying to God in Tongues is actually very simple and very private. It is possible to abuse the simplicity; however, since we cannot automatically learn what is in a person’s heart, it is best for me not to declare this or that happening.
Links to the *CCC, *universal Catechism of the Cathoic Church, Second Edition
Link to an excellent source about the Catholic Charismatic Renewal