Fake speaking in tongues is unfortunately present in modern day churches. There are ‘pastors’ who for some reason fake the gift of speaking in tongues.
In my understanding, they do it to look spiritually deep and of course to deserve a bigger offering. I don’t think pastors who fake speaking in tongues would do it if it didn’t have some financial gain somewhere down the road.
How Fake Speaking in Tongues Happens
While I know there are genuine beginners to the gift of speaking in tongues, some of them take the faking trajectory.
Fake speaking in tongues usually starts with a motive. In some cases, the motive is to fit in the church. There are some churches where if you don’t speak in tongues you are seen as a spiritual baby.
While speaking in tongues is a gift that I would advocate for any believer to get, I know not every believer is interested in having the gift.
But when churches make it mandatory for their members to speak in tongues, it becomes a recipe for fake speaking in tongues.
I have attended fellowships where seemingly everyone was speaking in tongues. While it is possible for everyone in a fellowship to be speaking in tongues, it is unlikely that a fellowship that has many new believers will have everyone speaking in tongues.
At the time I attended the fellowship, I had just received the gift of speaking in tongues. Many of the members of the fellowship were speaking in tongues.
Praying in tongues in that fellowship was mandatory. The leaders of the fellowship would sometimes make jokes that they will call the police for those who didn’t have the gift of speaking in tongues.
Everything seemed great until a few months passed. All of a sudden, some members left the fellowship. Those close to them reported that their friends had left because they were tired of faking speaking in tongues.
At first it was surprising but then it dawned on us that chances of people in the fellowship speaking in fake tongues was high based on the stigma those who didn’t were subjected to.
Demanding members of a fellowship to speak in tongues is one of the ways that leads people to fake speaking in tongues.
Pastors Faking Speaking in Tongues
Apart from naïve believers who fake praying in tongues to fit in a fellowship, there are pastors who fake speaking in tongues primarily to fool their members that they are spiritually deep.
I don’t know who said that praying in tongues is a measure of spiritual depth. I suspect he is the same guy who said English is a measure of intelligence.
While majority of believers who are spiritually deep speak in tongues, it is not always the case. With the assumption that you are more spiritual if you pray in tongues, many believers including pastors have chosen to fake speaking in tongues.
Receiving the gift of speaking in tongues has requirements to it. The requirements are not anywhere close to impossible but there are pastors who see them as too hard to meet.
As a result, they choose to fake praying in tongues.
It is foolish to fake speaking in tongues but some pastors don’t care. They do it for selfish ambitions.
It may not be easy to prove that a given pastor is faking praying in tongues but you can easily tell when the speaking in tongues of a pastor has no impact.
I have outlined in a previous article indicators of genuine speaking in tongues and how you can use them to verify if tongues being spoken are real.
In my experience, I have come across pastors who spoke in tongues and I highly doubted their authenticity. I have the gift of speaking in tongues and I have much respect for pastors but I can’t deny it when I meet a pastor who is faking praying in tongues.
Why fake speaking in tongues? Just get the gift. I don’t know what’s wrong with some people.
From my observation, the motive behind pastors faking praying in tongues is usually to appear more spiritual. Some feel the pressure to speak in tongues when they learn that some of their members speak in tongues yet they don’t and they are pastors.
I have been in such a position before; I was the Christian Union leader in high school and some members in the Christian union spoke in tongues but I didn’t.
Honestly speaking, I felt threatened. But I thank God because I never faked praying in tongues nor did I have any thoughts of doing it.
What to do about Fake Speaking in Tongues
It bothers me as a believer that there are believers who fake speaking in tongues. I feel something needs to be done about it.
There is certainly no ‘one size fits all’ solution to fake praying in tongues but here are a few things you can do about it if you care.
One, you can help believers in a fellowship or if it is you, understand that speaking in tongues is a gift that God gives as He wills. Not having the gift should not make anyone feel lesser spiritually.
If you ask for the gift and don’t receive it, that is between you and God. If other members of the fellowship look down upon you for not having the gift, God will judge them. But if you fake speaking in tongues, God will judge you.
Two, let believers understand that the fruit of the Spirit matters more than the gifts. There is no point of stressing to speak in tongues when your walk with God is not pure.
A pure heart will get you to God’s presence faster than praying in tongues. Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God.
Three, ask for self-control from the Holy Spirit. You may be a genuine believer but you are in a position that tempts you to fake speaking in tongues. In such a case, self-control is what you need.
A friend of mine once came to me to report that he was in a fellowship where he asked them to pray for him to speak in tongues.
They laid their hands on him and prayed but he said he didn’t feel anything. He said he had the desire but just couldn’t speak in tongues.
He wanted to fake speaking in tongues so that they would leave him alone but chose to be honest with them. At that point, they sent him to consult me.
When he came, I began by letting him know that it was okay if he didn’t feel anything when they prayed for him to speak in tongues.
Then I told him that it requires faith to exercise the gift. I forbid him from going for another prayer to receive the gift but only ask for faith to exercise it.
Two days later, he came back very excited and narrated to me how he was in the prayer room and all of a sudden he began speaking in tongues.
I was glad that he had built his faith and received the gift.
Fake Speaking in Tongues Conclusion
Fake speaking in tongues exists. In some cases it is done by genuine believers who get carried away by circumstances while in some cases it is done by pastors who intentionally pervert the real gift.
However, this should not discourage anyone from seeking the gift of praying in tongues. The genuine gift is available to anyone who desires it with a pure heart.
Those who fake speaking in tongues will be judged by the giver of the gift. We can warn and rebuke them if we come across them but it is more important that we watch ourselves so that we don’t fall into the same trap.