The topic of speaking in tongues in church is hotly debated. Some believe that speaking in tongues should only be practiced in secret but others argue that it is okay to speak in tongues in church.
The main argument point is usually the interpretation of tongues. Those who say speaking in tongues should be done exclusively in private believe that speaking in tongues needs interpretation when spoken in public.
The other side believes that it is okay to speak in tongues in church even when there is no interpreter. Who among these two is right?
I am trusting God to apply the wisdom of King Solomon to settle this matter.
Speaking in Tongues in Church: The Advantage
Speaking in tongues in church popularizes the gift and many people can receive it. I know so many people who first spoke in tongues because they attended a church where people spoke in tongues.
I am one of the people who received the gift of speaking in tongues after attending a church that spoke in tongues.
Because of this experience, I can never claim that speaking in tongues in church during a service is wrong. Saying that will invalidate all the tongues I have ever spoken.
But I am a free man and I won’t conclude that speaking in tongues in church is the best route to take just because I am a beneficiary.
I am only saying this to validate the advantage of speaking in tongues in church.
From my experience, speaking in tongues in church is greatly beneficial for those who desire the gift and those who are in the early stages of the gift.
Speaking in tongues is weird in nature. It is not the most comfortable topic to discuss. In a church where people speak in tongues, the stigma around speaking in tongues is usually low.
The low stigma means that more people get to explore the gift without condemnation. During the early days, it was easy for me to speak in tongues when in church because everyone else was speaking in tongues but I would struggle on my own.
Having other people speaking in tongues around you is reassuring when you are a beginner. For this reason, I would recommend speaking in tongues in church to continue.
Speaking in Tongues in Church: The Disadvantage
The mighty disadvantage of speaking in tongues in church is the division the gift causes. I have to admit that some people leave churches primarily because people speak in tongues during services.
The church where I received the gift of speaking in tongues had a fair share of division when it came to speaking in tongues and people left.
I once served as a prayer coordinator in a Christian club in Campus and we used to speak in tongues. So many times people would leave just because we spoke in tongues during prayer sessions.
It is not a good thing when believers leave because of differences in opinion about speaking in tongues in church.
The other disadvantage of speaking in tongues in church is the chaos associated with the gift. The nature of the gift cannot be denied; it makes people look like drunkards.
It takes great humility to survive in a church where people speak in tongues. There will always be drama.
Believers who don’t like drama will be offended and they are likely to quit church.
Surprisingly, I distanced myself from the church where I received the gift of speaking in tongues with drama being one of the reasons.
The drama I used to engage in got old too quick even though I never really enjoyed it.
Should we speak in tongues in Church?
We should speak in tongues. That is the answer. Every addition to this answer will attract division which is unnecessary.
If you don’t have the gift of speaking in tongues and you need it, go to a church that speaks in tongues. Get the gift and practice it.
If you already have the gift, practice it. Each one of us has preferences. God created us unique and we need to respect that.
I was honest with myself when I felt uncomfortable attending a church that speaks in tongues even though I had the gift. The maturity I have developed in speaking in tongues over the years made me resent the drama that beginners often have.
Their speaking in tongues was noise to me the same way the games of children are noise to adults.
Though I advocate for believers to speak in tongues, I do not set laws whether they should speak in tongues in church or not.
Those who argue that speaking in tongues should be completely banned from churches because there is no interpreter, I am an interpreter of tongues and there is a time to interpret tongues and a time to remain silent.
I will equate speaking in tongues in church to going to a market; expect noise and pay attention to what took you there.
When you are done, pack your things and leave. What is the point of arguing about something that won’t change?
I knew I had grown and that is why I preferred to speak in tongues on my own. Out of the wisdom God gave me, I quietly distanced myself. Some still need the drama to help them develop. Some never develop so they will always need that drama.
Because each one of us will stand individually before the great white throne for judgment, engage in actions knowing you will have to defend your choices one day.
Speaking in Tongues in Church: Conclusion
The church we are talking about here is a building made by human hands. With that in mind, rules about speaking in tongues in that building will be made by the person who built it.
In the eyes of God, the person who started the church has the right to dictate whether people can speak in tongues there or not.
Jesus, who began the church (His body), sent the Holy Spirit to be our helper. The Spirit of God came with the gift of speaking in tongues. In the church of Christ, we are allowed to speak in tongues and that is the most important thing to know as a believer of Jesus.