Speaking in Tongues Controversy; Who is Right?

The controversy surrounding the gift of speaking in tongues is as old as the gift itself. From the very first time the disciples of Jesus got baptized with the gift of speaking in tongues, controversy began.

Outside the upper room where the disciples of Jesus had gathered on the day of Pentecost, people accused the disciples of being drunk yet it was early in the morning.

This incident started a controversy that has only grown bigger with time.

There are many aspects about speaking in tongues that both believers and non-believers don’t agree on.

Since I am a believer who speaks in tongues, I had interest in this controversy and I wanted to find out the truth. I went to the one place no one seems to have gone to find answers; God.

I desired and got baptized with the gift of speaking in tongues but I wasn’t satisfied. Time and again I asked questions about the gift I had received.

As the answers kept coming, everything about this gift became clearer. This article is a report on some of the answers I found.

Speaking in Tongues as a Spiritual and Physical Activity

Controversy about speaking in tongues begins here. Some perceive speaking in tongues as a physical act while others perceive it as a spiritual act.

The truth is that speaking in tongues has both spiritual and physical aspects. Unless someone accepts that speaking in tongues is both spiritual and physical, a controversy is guaranteed.

On the physical extreme, we have scientists who claim that speaking in tongues is nothing but workings of the brain that anyone can do.

On the spiritual extreme, we have believers who claim that speaking in tongues is a complete mystery that no man can understand.

Speaking in tongues is a gift of the Holy Spirit which makes it spiritual but it is acted out by physical human beings which makes it physical.

The result is an activity that is carried out when the will of God and man merge.

If a non-believer copies believers who speak in tongues, he will only get the physical benefits of speaking in tongues. This also happens to believers who speak in tongues as a duty rather than as a leading of the Holy Spirit.

Your friend can buy you a mug as a gift but you can also buy the same mug for yourself. What is the difference? You’ll still have a mug anyway…

The relationship!

The gift of speaking in tongues is no different. The stronger your relationship with the Holy Spirit is, the greater the benefits you will get from speaking in tongues.

Since each individual has their own personal relationship with the Holy Spirit, different perspectives arise and so does the controversy.

Speaking in Tongues as a Present Age Gift from the Past Age

Speaking in tongues is no doubt an act that originated during Biblical times. But just because it originated during biblical times doesn’t mean it is obsolete in the present age.

People in the biblical times used to put on clothes, why not claim that clothes are also ancient and that people should be walking naked or something?

If something happened in the past, it remains relevant for as long as there is someone who wants to carry on its legacy. Speaking in tongues is no exception.

If there are believers who want to use the gift in the present age, God will grant them their desires. In fact, the Bible is very clear that the gifts of the Holy Spirit are given as God decides and we are encouraged to desire them.

The same power that speaking in tongues carried during biblical times is the same power it carries today if not more.

Why do we even have a controversy about whether speaking in tongues is for the present age or it is outdated?

Speaking in Tongues as a Voluntary and Involuntary Act

I have explained this point in depth before in a previous article. Speaking in tongues has voluntary aspects to it and involuntary aspects.

Just as the first point stated that speaking in tongues is both a physical and spiritual act, it is also voluntary and involuntary.

The physical side of speaking in tongues is voluntary while the spiritual side is involuntary. The two must merge for speaking in tongues to happen.

What is the controversy about speaking in tongues being voluntary or involuntary all about?

Speaking in Tongues Controversy Conclusion

From my own observation, I have realized that the problem is not really the controversy surrounding speaking in tongues but rather the hearts of some people.

There are people who are open to God and accept many things that come from God. Others have hardened hearts that reject gifts that come from God.

The controversy that arises is only a way for each person to justify the standing of his heart towards the gifts that God gives.

This is not anything new as there are people who hate the gift of salvation that God has given us while others love it.

In the end, I see the speaking in tongues as a personal decision that you make. If you think it is a good gift worth pursuing and you want to go for it, no one stops you.

How you handle the gift also is up to you to decide. If you choose to speak in tongues in public, you will get the reward of speaking in tongues in public.

God, who is the giver of the gift, is also the judge.

In my own words, I would urge you to embrace the gift of speaking in tongues. It comes with great benefits that I don’t think anyone should ignore.

But then test the gift by your own standards. It is foolish to have a gift that you barely have faith in. The more you study and test the gift, the greater your faith shall be in using the gift. And with greater faith when speaking in tongues comes greater benefits.

God bless you!

1 thought on “Speaking in Tongues Controversy; Who is Right?”

  1. Some claim that the gift of tongues (speaking in an unknown tongue to the speaker but that is an existing language in the earth). Is a gift of the Spirit (I agree). But some also claim that praying in tongues is not a gift given to all believers since the Spirit gives gifts severally so not everyone will be gifted to pray in tongues. What are your thoughts with scriptural references, please.


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