Do you believe in speaking in tongues? Robert
I believe in tongues in three forms: sign of judgment, sign of dismissed priests and of pagan charismatic madness, but not as a sign of spirituality.
The Greek words for charismatic are connected directly to the pagan worship where sodomy (real or pretend) or pederasty the proven choice of all priesthoods. Part of the screaming and shouting was part of the ACT and music was used to hide the tortured pain.
First, I believe that tongues would be a sign that God was pouring out His Spirit (1) in the sense of judgment against those who had already rejected what they knew about God. This would be the Jews who rejected God's word and turned to celebrate their own human natures. To those who had by their own effort had predestined their minds to rejected the Word Jesus spoke in parables which, if not interpreted, was like speaking in tongues (Matthew 13). Jesus reserved this method for the massed crowds or multitudes.
Many Gentiles had also made a decision about God by denying His creative power in the universe and worshiping His creatures.
In the second sense, tongues would be a sign that God would teach His Word directly without a priestly class. As Lord Jesus Christ, God taught the apostles who did not belong to the clergy class. They, in turn, taught others and revealed Christ's words in a written form now available to anyone who can read or listen. Here is why I believe that Jesus as Holy Spirit (John 14:16-18) is still our One and only Teacher:
Even what we call "singing" was commanded to be the "words of Christ" or "Spirit." Modern, self-composed sentimental poetry which has to be learned in order to understand is a form of speaking in tongues. It says, in effect, that Jesus is no longer speaking to our through us.
Furthermore, we know that:
No man ever spoke in tongues without the touch or immediate presence of an apostle. Peter had even raised up Cornelius before he spoke in tongues.
No woman at any time or place is every recorded to have spoken in tongues. They were not usually the cause of the problem nor were they ever apostle-prophets directly chosen by Jesus to be His witness after His resurrection and to be guided into all truth.
No one connected with the early church of Christ (or church of God in Christ) ever spoke in the modern gibberish. The tongues at Pentecost are called "dialects." There were five major languagues and most in the commercial areas could speak Koine.
However, many carried around the little magical books or scrolls written in their native dialect. By reciting these songs or prayers they believed that they performed magic with the gods or God. They were performing the role of sorcerer as rhetorician, sOPHISts (serpents in Revelation), singers or musicians. You remember that the Pharisees could make you long prayers in exchange for the widow's houses or living.
Others simply believed that their prayers, songs or sermons could not have any effect in a strange land unless they used their "enchantments" or "charms" proven, like holy water or a blessed scarf.
At the second level: the Apostles had power to speak other languages as a tool of evangelism. Most tongue speakers today refuse to go out into the cold of the world and preach to those who have not heard even once -- much less inflicted with modern revival devices.. In addition, only the Apostles had power to cause others to speak in tongues as a sign of judgment and also the sign that the "gift of the Holy Spirit" would live in their hearts and be available through the words of Jesus which He pronounced to be Spirit and Life (John 6:63). 2 Corinthians 3 indicates that only by turning to the Lord can His Word be fully understood.
At the third level: speaking in tongues or prophesying without the power of God's Spirit was defined as the pretend power of false prophets in Judaism. For instance, when Israel "fired" God and demanded a human king to lead them like the other nations and permit them to worship like the nations, God sent the musical "prophets from the Philistine high places" to induce a fit of prophesying into Saul. This prophesying was falling into the madness Paul condemned in Corinth. It was almost always induced by loud singing and musical instruments to break down the walls or disassociate the mind. Another sign was the later rain came in the form to destroy their grain crop.
Among the pagans, Paul warned the Romans, Corinthians and Ephesians against the practices of women like the Pythian Oracle of Delphi who sniffed gas from a crack in the rocks, fell into a mad spell while her male "handlers" translated the message or interpreted it. Both musical ecstasy and musical prophesying was the exclusive domain of virgin women or effeminate men. Because the "virgin" prophetess at the oracles were prone to getting sexually molested, they substituted older -- probably ugly -- women.
Because the Corinthian tongues were associated with the musical instruments (Chapter 13) in terms quite identical to the booms and clangs of pagan "god manipulators" who panicked the enemy or "sold watered wine" to the fools, they are defined as mad or "enthused." Paul used terms familiar to the Orphic or Dioniac manipulators who had to drive themselves into getting drunk on passionate madness or wine. In this state of insanity they saw vomiting or even sexual perversion as proof that the gods were "binding the spirit and flesh together."
They spoke out of their own spirit or mind and were speaking to a generic "god" who is defined when Paul said that they "were speaking into the air." Remember that Peter said that Paul spoke in difficult terms which the "unstable" would wrest to their own destruction. The unstable, then and now, really loved to get in crowds and be stimulated with the charismatic speaking or singing. This induced the "spirit" of fight, flight or sex.
Speaking to god or speaking into the air was a common practice of those who "worshiped the principalities of the air." The following article gives some background to the nature of these gods. You may read those views by clicking here:
My views about tongues are explained much better on the following pages. My original answer about tongues:
This is the long answer as to why people didn't speak in tongues out of the immediate presence of an apostle and why only the apostles delivered the "Spirit Word" or gift at the first level.
You will never have to worry about speaking in tongues if you obey Jesus and do not go out and follow the crowds because "the kingdom of God is within you."
Thanks for the question. I hope this helps.