Modern Chaos: The Charismatic and Pentecostal Movements (5:35)

  • Christian Chat is a moderated online Christian community allowing Christians around the world to fellowship with each other in real time chat via webcam, voice, and text, with the Christian Chat app. You can also start or participate in a Bible-based discussion here in the Christian Chat Forums, where members can also share with each other their own videos, pictures, or favorite Christian music.

    If you are a Christian and need encouragement and fellowship, we're here for you! If you are not a Christian but interested in knowing more about Jesus our Lord, you're also welcome! Want to know what the Bible says, and how you can apply it to your life? Join us!

    To make new Christian friends now around the world, click here to join Christian Chat.

TDidymas

Active member
Oct 27, 2021
239
51
28
#22
Modern Chaos: The Charismatic and Pentecostal Movements
5 min 35 secs

Segment taken from the Film 'Of Chaos and Confusion: The Modern Church':
-> Of Chaos and Confusion: The Modern Church (Full Film) - YouTube (2 hours, 29 mins)


[video=youtube;nezpNOBDOwM]

A Megiddo Films Production
Produced, Written and Directed by Paul Flynn
Running Time: 2.5 hours
Copyright 2012 Paul Flynn.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
link -> http://megiddofilms.org/
First of all, my stand (so far): I believe that modern Charismatic tongues is a human ability, not languages, and therefore contain no message. Therefore, it cannot be a gift of the Holy Spirit, since it's not miraculous. Further, any attempt at interpreting tongues is a feeble attempt at mimicking what is seen in scripture. I'm basing this on my experience in Pentecostal and Charismatic circles for 25 years, and on my reading and research for the past 20 years.

One of the objections to my stand is the growth of Pentecostalism and the Charismatic movement, which is cited as evidence against what I'm saying. But popularity and sincerity are not the criteria for evaluating a movement. In fact, popularity of a movement is evidence that the movement has a carnal element. One of the radical proofs that early Christianity was of God was the prolific miraculous nature of their deeds. Modern P/Cs (Pentecostals/Charismatics) claim miracles, but provide little to no evidence of them. Such hype is described by 2 Pet. 2:18 and Jude 1:16 as "great swelling words." And the result is described as "clouds without water."

Don't get me wrong, I received much benefit when I was in the movement, and grew a lot spiritually. There is something to be said about psychological and emotional healing, as well as spiritual. I met many godly people among them, and expect that most of them I will see glorified in heaven with me. Just because there is error in a movement or in a denomination, doesn't make it unchristian.

IMO the debate between cessationism and continuationism doesn't get anywhere because it doesn't address the heart of the issue. The real issue is the nature of tongues, and the fact that modern tongues is not the same thing as NT tongues. Every time I try to get some P/C to submit their tongues for evaluation, the response is always evasion and hostility. This tells me that I'm poking the heart of the issue. Because all modern P/C tongues that have been evaluated have been found to be a pseudo-language. It sounds like a language, but has no structure or sufficient vocabulary to convey meaning, therefore it is called a false language.

However, I do not categorize it as non-Christian or of the devil. Most denominations (if not all of them) have some element of flesh in their practices, so to claim that "tongues is of the devil," or something of that nature would be airing a double standard. So the video cited has things in it that I disagree with, and deem those things as exaggerative. Therefore, it doesn't offer a solution.

IMO the solution to the problem is to expose modern tongues for what they really are - a counterfeit. I get that some have already done that with evaluation, but the word needs to be spread. I think if the nature of modern tongues is exposed, people will begin to see that it's not miraculous, and not of the Holy Spirit. As long as it remains mysterious, people are in the dark about it, and people will be deceived about it (as many are today). However, I realize this is a tall order.

There are books that have a very thorough and scholarly evaluation of tongues, like:
https://www.amazon.com/Tongues-men-...eywords=samarin&qid=1561690737&s=books&sr=1-1
And don't get me wrong about this, because the guy who wrote it is very sympathetic of tongues as providing some social and religious benefit to the groups who practice it. However, he states very clearly that it is not miraculous, and it is not language. It was proven that anyone can do it if they try hard enough, and it can't convey any message because it doesn't have language structure.

IMO tongues is the heart of the issue, because it's largely how the P/C movements got started, and it is the main practice that distinguishes P/Cs from orthodox Christianity. If modern tongues is shown to be counterfeit, and not the miraculous tongues of Acts 2, then the P/C movements (as distinct from universal Christianity) will die out, and the end result will look more like a unified universal church (of course, I am surmising here).

My understanding from 25 years of experience and talking to many P/Cs, that most believe modern tongues to be the same thing as Acts 2. Therefore, I think the examination and comparison of language vs. pseudo-language will reveal the true nature of it. Unfortunately, P/Cs (IMO) have a vested interest in staying in the dark about it (and keeping others in the dark). Yet, those who acknowledge that P/C tongues is "gibberish" try to invent many interpretive workarounds for the contradiction they see in the scriptural text compared to their practice.

I'm willing to discuss this and the scripture with anyone who is open minded and wants more information.
 

presidente

Senior Member
May 29, 2013
7,368
1,171
113
#23
First of all, my stand (so far): I believe that modern Charismatic tongues is a human ability, not languages, and therefore contain no message. Therefore, it cannot be a gift of the Holy Spirit, since it's not miraculous. Further, any attempt at interpreting tongues is a feeble attempt at mimicking what is seen in scripture. I'm basing this on my experience in Pentecostal and Charismatic circles for 25 years, and on my reading and research for the past 20 years.
What about basing some aspect of what you believe about this on scripture? Is there any reason, Bibilically, why you think that none of the expressions of speaking in tongues or claims of other people understanding it can be genuine? That's the issue here.

I certainly would not rule out the idea that some percentage of cases of speaking in tongues are not the real thing. It is another thing to decree that the Holy Spirit never works in this way which scripture shows him working.

One of the objections to my stand is the growth of Pentecostalism and the Charismatic movement, which is cited as evidence against what I'm saying. But popularity and sincerity are not the criteria for evaluating a movement. In fact, popularity of a movement is evidence that the movement has a carnal element.
The church in Jerusalem grew, we might guess to 10,000 or so in the accounts we read in the book of Acts. That alone was not evidence of a lack of spirituality. Acts does not present it that way. I can see some carnal elements, btw. But growth is not the evidence.

If someone is using growth as evidence against what you are saying, that is not a very good argument, btw.

One of the radical proofs that early Christianity was of God was the prolific miraculous nature of their deeds. Modern P/Cs (Pentecostals/Charismatics) claim miracles, but provide little to no evidence of them. Such hype is described by 2 Pet. 2:18 and Jude 1:16 as "great swelling words." And the result is described as "clouds without water."
In my experience, the vast majority of Pentecostals, and Charismatics also, are not braggadocious about having performed miracles. There are some who talk quite a bit about them, but you don't actually see any when they lay hands on the sick. I have seen that also. That does not mean that God does not perform miracles. I went to a church that had a Christian school associated it with it and attended that school for one year. A student a year ahead of me had very visibly crossed eyes and wore glasses that magnified the size of her eyes many times. She obviously had a visual problem. She was healed after an evangelist laid hands on her. I even 'interviewed' her informally about it... as in had a conversation with her. I've known a number of other people to be healed. There are people healed in crusade evangelism. The cases that are healed are evidence that healing continues. The cases where people make claims but there are no miracles proves nothing about whether there is miraculous healing today.

[quote[
IMO the debate between cessationism and continuationism doesn't get anywhere because it doesn't address the heart of the issue. The real issue is the nature of tongues, and the fact that modern tongues is not the same thing as NT tongues. Every time I try to get some P/C to submit their tongues for evaluation, the response is always evasion and hostility. This tells me that I'm poking the heart of the issue. Because all modern P/C tongues that have been evaluated have been found to be a pseudo-language. It sounds like a language, but has no structure or sufficient vocabulary to convey meaning, therefore it is called a false language.[/quote]

If someone asked me to submit a sample of speaking in tongues for research, my mind goes to the fact that if there is no interpreter... let him speak to himself and to God. Is it for public consumption... of unbelievers? Paul presents negative effects. Would it be respectful to the Spirit to do so. Those would be my concerns.

I did once hear an audio of Perry Stone preaching at a church where he said this is for someone listening by the Internet and it was not to be interpreted and spoke in tongues. There may be some issues as to how that fits with Biblical church order. I played the clip for a PhD who taught Arabic and knew Farsi without telling him the background. He thought it might be Kurdish, but did not know. I did not pursue it further. In this case, it was presented, presumably, as a human language, unless the listener online was expected to interpret it.

I am writing as someone with an undergraduate degree in Linguistics with advanced degrees in another field. My PhD training did include social science research methodology, so I was trained to deal with threats to validity, natural experiments and various other issues related to experimentation that might be tangentially related to the issue.

Linguistics is not the only valid form of study. Pentecostal studies might approach topics using a theological approach or from the perspective of a historian. If you look at the issue from a historical perspective, there are numerous people who claimed to hear real languages around the time of the Azusa Street Revival, including in the meetings there, and have their 'speaking in tongues' identified as real languages. Vinson Synan was a historian who started the field of Pentecostal studies as an academic discipline. He was also a pastor and a part of a Pentecostal denomination. I asked him about the claim I had read about Agnes Ozman that she had spoken in Chinese in 1901. I asked him who in the town of Topeka would even know Chinese back then. He said he read it in some of their papers and it had been identified by someone at a Chinese laundry. I also read about Bohemian immigrants recognizing her speaking in tongues in English. Val Dez wrote about Russian being spoken 'in tongues' at the Azusa Street Revival and someone recognizing it, and understanding the interpretation if I recall correctly. Synan has an interview with elderly saints who were children at Azusa Street and one of them responded to his question that they spoke actual languages in tongues and part of what drew the crowds were people hearing their own languages in tongues. Testimonies along these lines from other locations made their way into The Apostolic Faith, the newsletter of the revival.

I posted somewhere in the forum an Assemblies of God article that dealt with numerous accounts of speaking in tongues in real languages, many of them more recent. The A/G has had a huge missionary effort, and there have been many such experiences over the years. I have also spoken face to face with individuals who claim to have had a tongue they spoke in identified as a real language or else heard their language spoken 'in tongues.' I can think of two individuals I have corresponded with, one of them a doctor in a theological field with whom I have had conference calls for prayer who I can say I know, even though it is virtual.

Historical analysis and eye-witness testimony of events are forms of evidence also. Let's say someone does speak in a fake tongue and a linguist spends hours and finds there is no pattern that he can identify as being a real language. Does that prove that these cases I mentioned did not take place? You cannot falsify another sample by looking at the evidence of another sample.

Also, even if you start from the assumption that linguistics is advanced enough to identify patterns in human language well enough to exclude a sample as being human language, then tongues are still falsifiable. Acts 2 deals with human language. I Corinthians 13 suggest speaking in tongues in men and of angels. If take that passage without an agenda, both are possible. Other things in Paul's list, like giving all to the poor, are possible actions. We might know enough about the ways in which human languages are inflected for meaning-- consonants, vowels, in some cases morii, tones, and intonation. But we cannot say this about angelic languages. Tongues is therefore unfalsifiable using Linguistic.

I have not read Samarin's book, but I believe a documentary-type film I saw may have included a bit of his research. I also skimmed a bit of one of his papers in a Sociology journal. He, or the researcher, ruled out an utterance in tongues from being a real language due to the lack of intonation. It was spoken in a high pitched monotone. I knew a Canadian who used to pray in English and in tongues using that same high pitched monotone. I could understand her English, but if I were to use the criteria presented in that video, I would have to exclude her English from being a real language due to the lack of tone.

IMO the solution to the problem is to expose modern tongues for what they really are - a counterfeit. I get that some have already done that with evaluation, but the word needs to be spread. I think if the nature of modern tongues is exposed, people will begin to see that it's not miraculous, and not of the Holy Spirit. As long as it remains mysterious, people are in the dark about it, and people will be deceived about it (as many are today). However, I realize this is a tall order.
Your interest and efforts might better be spent spreading another message-- the Gospel.

If some cases of speaking in tongues are genuine, couldn't it potentially be harmful for you to spread this message? Couldn't you find yourself bearing false witness against God?
 

TDidymas

Active member
Oct 27, 2021
239
51
28
#24
What about basing some aspect of what you believe about this on scripture? Is there any reason, Bibilically, why you think that none of the expressions of speaking in tongues or claims of other people understanding it can be genuine? That's the issue here.
Because Biblical tongues were languages that people understood. It means what the apostles spoke actually had structure and vocabulary that conveyed meaning. It is the meaning conveyed that proved the miraculous nature of it, and so Peter could say that the house of Cornelius had received the Spirit in the same way they did. In all cases it says they spoke in tongues and prophesied. There might be different ways to surmise what that means, but I think the best idea is that they all spoke in tongues, and their tongues were prophecies that were understood by the apostles. Therefore, the pattern follows the Biblical precedent, that all mentions of tongues in the NT are the same kind that was manifested in Acts 2. If you study it carefully, I think you'll see that this fits all cases, including 1 Cor. 14. And to claim that the gibberish spoken today is described in 1 Cor. 14 is to wrongly apply the text.

I certainly would not rule out the idea that some percentage of cases of speaking in tongues are not the real thing. It is another thing to decree that the Holy Spirit never works in this way which scripture shows him working.
I never decreed that. What I'm saying is that all cases of glossolalia analyzed up to now has been pseudo-language. So, if any cases at all are the real thing, it's hidden under a mountain of counterfeit.

The church in Jerusalem grew, we might guess to 10,000 or so in the accounts we read in the book of Acts. That alone was not evidence of a lack of spirituality. Acts does not present it that way. I can see some carnal elements, btw. But growth is not the evidence.

If someone is using growth as evidence against what you are saying, that is not a very good argument, btw.
Precisely what I said, tks.

In my experience, the vast majority of Pentecostals, and Charismatics also, are not braggadocious about having performed miracles. There are some who talk quite a bit about them, but you don't actually see any when they lay hands on the sick. I have seen that also. That does not mean that God does not perform miracles. I went to a church that had a Christian school associated it with it and attended that school for one year. A student a year ahead of me had very visibly crossed eyes and wore glasses that magnified the size of her eyes many times. She obviously had a visual problem. She was healed after an evangelist laid hands on her. I even 'interviewed' her informally about it... as in had a conversation with her. I've known a number of other people to be healed. There are people healed in crusade evangelism. The cases that are healed are evidence that healing continues. The cases where people make claims but there are no miracles proves nothing about whether there is miraculous healing today.
I never claimed miracles didn't happen. God does His thing no matter what error people are in. What I said is that P/Cs have exaggerated and convoluted and hyped up so many facts in the past, how can anyone believe anything they say? If there is any truth spoken by anyone in the movement concerning this issue, it's hidden under a mountain of drivel.

If someone asked me to submit a sample of speaking in tongues for research, my mind goes to the fact that if there is no interpreter... let him speak to himself and to God. Is it for public consumption... of unbelievers? Paul presents negative effects. Would it be respectful to the Spirit to do so. Those would be my concerns.
What negative effects are you talking about? Why can't someone do what is requested? If the tongues is an actual language, it can be figured out, and the churches could be edified from it, just as described in 1 Cor. 14. How could this possibly be disrespectful?

I did once hear an audio of Perry Stone preaching at a church where he said this is for someone listening by the Internet and it was not to be interpreted and spoke in tongues. There may be some issues as to how that fits with Biblical church order. I played the clip for a PhD who taught Arabic and knew Farsi without telling him the background. He thought it might be Kurdish, but did not know. I did not pursue it further. In this case, it was presented, presumably, as a human language, unless the listener online was expected to interpret it.
I'd say it was a clear violation of Paul's command. It's easy to say "for someone out there" since it can't be evaluated, and he can't be held accountable. But if what he spoke was an actual language, then how much more powerful would it have been, to be translated for all who heard, so that all could benefit from it? At least this is Paul's argument. But the fact that the professor couldn't tell what language it was, is further evidence that it was pseudo-language. I don't take guesses as evidence of anything. Guessing is typical of P/Cs from the very beginning of the movement, and in every case documented of languages claimed, it was wrong.

I am writing as someone with an undergraduate degree in Linguistics with advanced degrees in another field. My PhD training did include social science research methodology, so I was trained to deal with threats to validity, natural experiments and various other issues related to experimentation that might be tangentially related to the issue.
I commend you for your studies.

Linguistics is not the only valid form of study. Pentecostal studies might approach topics using a theological approach or from the perspective of a historian. If you look at the issue from a historical perspective, there are numerous people who claimed to hear real languages around the time of the Azusa Street Revival, including in the meetings there, and have their 'speaking in tongues' identified as real languages. Vinson Synan was a historian who started the field of Pentecostal studies as an academic discipline. He was also a pastor and a part of a Pentecostal denomination. I asked him about the claim I had read about Agnes Ozman that she had spoken in Chinese in 1901. I asked him who in the town of Topeka would even know Chinese back then. He said he read it in some of their papers and it had been identified by someone at a Chinese laundry. I also read about Bohemian immigrants recognizing her speaking in tongues in English. Val Dez wrote about Russian being spoken 'in tongues' at the Azusa Street Revival and someone recognizing it, and understanding the interpretation if I recall correctly. Synan has an interview with elderly saints who were children at Azusa Street and one of them responded to his question that they spoke actual languages in tongues and part of what drew the crowds were people hearing their own languages in tongues. Testimonies along these lines from other locations made their way into The Apostolic Faith, the newsletter of the revival.
My reading told a different story. It appears to me that the claims of languages spoken and other understood them are suspect. Newspapers back then had conflicting accounts. Parham's newspaper was obviously biased according to his own doctrine, and he was guessing about the languages. All of them were proven wrong after many missionaries spoke in tongues in the field and no one understood them. But instead of questioning the practice, they proceeded to reinterpret the scripture after their experiential bias.

(Cont'd on next page)
 

TDidymas

Active member
Oct 27, 2021
239
51
28
#25
(Cont'd from previous page)

I posted somewhere in the forum an Assemblies of God article that dealt with numerous accounts of speaking in tongues in real languages, many of them more recent. The A/G has had a huge missionary effort, and there have been many such experiences over the years. I have also spoken face to face with individuals who claim to have had a tongue they spoke in identified as a real language or else heard their language spoken 'in tongues.' I can think of two individuals I have corresponded with, one of them a doctor in a theological field with whom I have had conference calls for prayer who I can say I know, even though it is virtual.
I'm a realist, and skeptical of testimonies from individuals involved in the movement. It's a conflict of interest, and whoever wants it to be languages will be biased in their evaluation. What is needed is objectivity and solid (forensic) evidence that can be evaluated by several parties.

Historical analysis and eye-witness testimony of events are forms of evidence also. Let's say someone does speak in a fake tongue and a linguist spends hours and finds there is no pattern that he can identify as being a real language. Does that prove that these cases I mentioned did not take place? You cannot falsify another sample by looking at the evidence of another sample.
Testimonies are not enough. Most of the time, it comes from one person. The Bible says that truth is established by two or three witnesses. But even this assumes that people will be truthful and unbiased, and there has to be more than one witness to make sure someone isn't making a mistake. But in this day and age when urban legends are common, there hasn't been near enough objectivity. But in regard to linguistic analysis, every case evaluated was a pseudo-language. I'm asking for even one documented case of a real language.

Also, even if you start from the assumption that linguistics is advanced enough to identify patterns in human language well enough to exclude a sample as being human language, then tongues are still falsifiable. Acts 2 deals with human language. I Corinthians 13 suggest speaking in tongues in men and of angels. If take that passage without an agenda, both are possible. Other things in Paul's list, like giving all to the poor, are possible actions. We might know enough about the ways in which human languages are inflected for meaning-- consonants, vowels, in some cases morii, tones, and intonation. But we cannot say this about angelic languages. Tongues is therefore unfalsifiable using Linguistic.
I don't agree. Firstly, Paul never suggested anyone spoke a tongue of angels, as that was an exaggerative expression to make a point. Secondly, an angelic language would have structure and vocabulary probably greater than human languages, so it could still be decoded; unlike modern glossolalia which is merely random syllables.

I have not read Samarin's book, but I believe a documentary-type film I saw may have included a bit of his research. I also skimmed a bit of one of his papers in a Sociology journal. He, or the researcher, ruled out an utterance in tongues from being a real language due to the lack of intonation. It was spoken in a high pitched monotone. I knew a Canadian who used to pray in English and in tongues using that same high pitched monotone. I could understand her English, but if I were to use the criteria presented in that video, I would have to exclude her English from being a real language due to the lack of tone.
So they should have done more evaluation. This doesn't negate a linguist's ability to decode an unknown language to find structure and vocabulary.

Your interest and efforts might better be spent spreading another message-- the Gospel.
The gospel includes all truth taught in the NT. If many people are putting their faith in the wrong thing, they need correction.

If some cases of speaking in tongues are genuine, couldn't it potentially be harmful for you to spread this message? Couldn't you find yourself bearing false witness against God?
No, not at all. If some cases of tongues-speak are genuine, then it should be made known. Don't you think that could lend support for unifying the churches? But instead, what I've seen from P/Cs is hostility and evasion. It simply makes me think that they have a sacred cow to hide. Can you see my POV?
 

presidente

Senior Member
May 29, 2013
7,368
1,171
113
#26
I'm a realist, and skeptical of testimonies from individuals involved in the movement. It's a conflict of interest, and whoever wants it to be languages will be biased in their evaluation. What is needed is objectivity and solid (forensic) evidence that can be evaluated by several parties.
You seem rather biased. In your previous post, you seemed to convey the idea that Pentecostals were Christians. Why would you think people would lie about hearing tongues in their own languages? How many parties heard Samarin's recordings? Wouldn't you think social science researchers are biased if they aren't believers and don't allow for the supernatural? If you assume something is fake from the get-go, it might affect your linguistic analysis. A double blind study could keep the researcher in the dark as to which recordings are natural language. Testing the linguists with a recording of a rather obscure natural language, spoken without much intonation or a few other curve balls to test their methodology would also be interesting.

Testimonies are not enough. Most of the time, it comes from one person. The Bible says that truth is established by two or three witnesses. But even this assumes that people will be truthful and unbiased, and there has to be more than one witness to make sure someone isn't making a mistake.
There were numerous witnesses that testify to real languages in the Azusa Street revival.

I don't agree. Firstly, Paul never suggested anyone spoke a tongue of angels, as that was an exaggerative expression to make a point.
And we know this how? Because you say so? Look at the line of argument. It is possible to give one's body to be burned. Decades later Nero would burn Christians as 'human candles.' Plenty of people were burned and executed in other ways for refusing to deny their faith. It is possible to give all to the poor. If moving mountains in Jesus' teaching is a metaphor, then it is possible to move mountains. If it is literal, then it is possible to remove mountains.

Secondly, an angelic language would have structure and vocabulary probably greater than human languages, so it could still be decoded; unlike modern glossolalia which is merely random syllables.
Silly argument. Quote me some text or a recording of angelic, non-human language. Explain to me the morphemes and point out how it is inflected for meaning and then we will talk. There are certain things our ears and minds can pick up on that are inflected for meaning, and apparently a certain set of things we can detect that can be inflected for meaning. But we only can hear certain frequencies for example. Show me a diagram of the inner ear of an angel based on your medical analysis of an angel as evidence that they can only hear human frequencies. Show me a brain scan of an angel that demonstrates what they can perceive to be inflected for meaning. Your brain scan will have to be more advanced than the equipment used on humans, especially if it analyses spiritual beings. This is argument et adsurdum, of course.

So they should have done more evaluation. This doesn't negate a linguist's ability to decode an unknown language to find structure and vocabulary.
Linguists can only do that if they have context. If you take a text or recording of a language the linguist has no context for, he is not going to be able to figure out what vocabulary means. There would have to be some context or a translation into another language. Without that, it is possible that a linguist might be able to find some possible morphemes, maybe even a guess phonemic patterns, and of course some analysis of phonetics. Phonetics may be the only level a linguists could analyze that is not mixed with guesswork.

The gospel includes all truth taught in the NT. If many people are putting their faith in the wrong thing, they need correction.
Speaking in tongues is part of the New Testament. It is mentioned in five chapters of the New Testament. Paul lists 'divers tongues' among the gifts the Spirit gives to members of the body of Christ as He wills.

No, not at all. If some cases of tongues-speak are genuine, then it should be made known. Don't you think that could lend support for unifying the churches? But instead, what I've seen from P/Cs is hostility and evasion. It simply makes me think that they have a sacred cow to hide. Can you see my POV?
Maybe. There is obviously some supernatural things going on, with people hearing their own languages when they speak in tongues, two people getting the same interpretation, prophecies that tell details the speaker could not know, people getting the same 'personal prophecy' in one location and hearing the same thing elsewhere, etc.

You could also consider the fact that there are dozens or hundreds of accounts of people hearing languages they know in tongues or other people understanding things spoken in tongues, but the few linguists who have researched the topic and published in a social science journal have not identified a spoken language. Have you considered that God may not have wanted to jump through researchers hoops? I do not know the mind of the Almighty on this issue, but we should not be presumptuous either way.

I have read about a documented case where the records were kept in a Lutheran seminary. I was able to find this discussion about it: https://christianity.stackexchange....enoglossy-i-e-acts-21-13-type-tongues-u/84481
 

presidente

Senior Member
May 29, 2013
7,368
1,171
113
#27
Because Biblical tongues were languages that people understood.
In Acts 2 this appears to be the case. The other interpretation is the 'miracle in the ear' view. IMO, that is more convoluted. Two St. Gregories in the 4th century held opposite opinions on this, so the interpretation goes back a long way.

But in I Corinthians 14, we are talking about languages that other people do NOT understand and hence have to be interpreted, and there is a gift of interpretation.

In all cases it says they spoke in tongues and prophesied.
What do you mean? In Acts 10, it says they spoke in tongues and magnified God. In Acts 19, they spoke in tongues and prophesied.

There might be different ways to surmise what that means, but I think the best idea is that they all spoke in tongues, and their tongues were prophecies that were understood by the apostles.
This is guesswork. It does not say whether Peter understood the languages those in Cornelius's house spoke. It is not inconceivable that soldiers station in the region could have picked up Aramaic or even Hebrew, and already known Greek. How many languages would Peter have known?

Therefore, the pattern follows the Biblical precedent, that all mentions of tongues in the NT are the same kind that was manifested in Acts 2. If you study it carefully, I think you'll see that this fits all cases, including 1 Cor. 14. And to claim that the gibberish spoken today is described in 1 Cor. 14 is to wrongly apply the text.
The idea of tongues as 'gibberish' is certainly not the historical Pentecostal view of speaking in tongues. Many Pentecostals allow for the idea of tongues of angels because Paul suggests the idea, and there are some who hold to some kind of 'heavenly language' view-- usually from churches, I think, that don't really teach in depth on the topic. The word 'barbarian' may come, etymologically, from the idea that foreigners who did not spoke Greek said 'bar bar bar.' If you don't know a language, then that is what it sounds like, gibberish, like Paul says in I Corinthians 14, you will be a barbarian to him. Foreign languages sound like gibberish.

Just about any foreign language except Spanish, Indonesian, and Malaysian sound like gibberish. Creoles that use English as a base are words mixed with part gibberish. Some Malay dialects are part gibberish, part Malaysian. It's all a matter of perspective. Arabic, Hebrew, Chinese, Korean, sound like gibberish except for some bits I am familiar with. If I don't know a language, it sounds like gibberish. It's all a matter of perspective.

I never decreed that. What I'm saying is that all cases of glossolalia analyzed up to now has been pseudo-language. So, if any cases at all are the real thing, it's hidden under a mountain of counterfeit.
My understanding is that there has not been that much linguistic analysis done.

What negative effects are you talking about? Why can't someone do what is requested? If the tongues is an actual language, it can be figured out, and the churches could be edified from it, just as described in 1 Cor. 14. How could this possibly be disrespectful?
I Corinthians 14 is about tongues and interpretation, gifts of the Spirit, for edifying the church. It does not talk about speaking in tongues in a laboratory for secular scientists so they can get interesting publications in social science journals (or paranormal journals) to get tenure, get a full professorship or get some interesting grants. Unless someone already knows or can recognize a language or something extremely similar, without translation, they aren't going to be able to figure out what the words in a language mean.

The negative effects of speaking in tongues is scoffing and saying the speakers are drunk, or saying, 'ye are mad.' Like Paul quotes, "With men of other tongues and other lips will I speak unto this people; and yet for all that will they not hear me, saith the Lord. "

I'd say it was a clear violation of Paul's command. It's easy to say "for someone out there" since it can't be evaluated, and he can't be held accountable. But if what he spoke was an actual language, then how much more powerful would it have been, to be translated for all who heard, so that all could benefit from it? At least this is Paul's argument.
Those were my concerns as well. The Acts 2 situation did not fit Paul's instructions either, but that appears to have been more of an evangelistic situation than what we think of as a church meeting.

But the fact that the professor couldn't tell what language it was, is further evidence that it was pseudo-language. I don't take guesses as evidence of anything.
This statement has such poor logic that I chuckled a bit at it. I could have had a Kurdish speaker record something and he would have responded the same way. The recording sounded to my ears like it could be a real language. I did not tell the professor it was speaking in tongues, and he thought it was a real language.

At least at that level, a lot of speaking in tongues does not fit the criteria that some linguist critics level at speaking in tongues. Some of it does not only use the phonemes of the speakers language. Some if it is not just repetitive sounds. Some of it does sound like real languages, to my ears as someone with linguistic training and in this case also to this academic who studied and taught Arabic and knew Farsi.

Guessing is typical of P/Cs from the very beginning of the movement, and in every case documented of languages claimed, it was wrong.
Read up on this and look up the Synan interview I mentioned on YouTube. Apparently, at Azusa Street, there were numerous experiences of people recognizing tongues in their own languages. There was also a theory that does not really hold water Biblically, an assumption that speaking in tongues was for evangelizing the world and that missionaries that went out who could speak in tongues in the language of the place they were trying to evangelize. This was Parham's idea. But Acts 2 does not even say that the Gospel was preached in tongues. The disciples spoke of the wonderful works of God in tongues, then Peter stood up and preached.

So AG Garr's speaking in tongues--- which was different from what he spoke on previous occasions-- was identified as Bengali. But when he went to India, he couldn't reproduce it or make whatever tongue he spoke be Bangla or an Indian dialect. And there was not any Biblical basis for the assumption anyway.

My reading told a different story. It appears to me that the claims of languages spoken and other understood them are suspect. Newspapers back then had conflicting accounts.
The LA Times was obviously a biased rag at the time, at least on this topic.
Parham's newspaper was obviously biased according to his own doctrine, and he was guessing about the languages.
What Parham newspaper are you talking about? Seymour had a newsletter. He printed testimonies sent to him from various locations. Some of the testimonies are rather detailed. There was a Canadian missions director who wrote of a woman he knew speaking in tongues in an Indian dialect he knew, but she was from the other side of Canada and did not know the language. There are other sources. The Comforter Has Come has an account. Val Dez was at Azusa Street and wrote about speaking in tongues in Russian.

There have been other such experiences since throughout recent history. A woman who grew up in China as a missionaries kid that sang at a church I used to go to when her husband came to speak had heard a little grandma in a village in China speaking in tongues in English. She said what she said was like sounded like a Psalm.
 

Jackson123

Senior Member
Feb 6, 2014
10,885
1,217
113
#28
I personally believe miracle still happen but the greates gift is love 1 cor 13
In my experience deal with charismatic people, too me they don't have love, they love to the rich and act like rich, the preacher drive expensive car to demonstrate God bless them.
If they love the poor why drive $100000 car why not regular car and have enough to help to the poor
 

Omegatime

Active member
Jul 13, 2021
537
177
43
#29
You can look up Irenaus, known as bishop of Lyons, who died in the early 200s.
Irenaeus is one of my favorite reading outside the bible. He was taught by Polycarp who was a hearer and disciple of apostle John.
 

presidente

Senior Member
May 29, 2013
7,368
1,171
113
#30
I personally believe miracle still happen but the greates gift is love 1 cor 13
In my experience deal with charismatic people, too me they don't have love, they love to the rich and act like rich, the preacher drive expensive car to demonstrate God bless them.
If they love the poor why drive $100000 car why not regular car and have enough to help to the poor
I would not say the Word of Faith movement has no love in it. But the Charismatic movement is much broader than that. The prosperity Gospel gets a lot of airtime on Tv but I would not say it is representative of Charismatics and certainly not of Pentecostals in terms of styles, attitudes, or beliefs about money.
 

lamad

Well-known member
Apr 14, 2021
1,293
107
63
#31
Modern Chaos: The Charismatic and Pentecostal Movements
5 min 35 secs

Segment taken from the Film 'Of Chaos and Confusion: The Modern Church':
-> Of Chaos and Confusion: The Modern Church (Full Film) - YouTube (2 hours, 29 mins)


[video=youtube;nezpNOBDOwM]

A Megiddo Films Production
Produced, Written and Directed by Paul Flynn
Running Time: 2.5 hours
Copyright 2012 Paul Flynn.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
link -> http://megiddofilms.org/
Praus, it seems you really don't believe Paul in 1 Cor. 14. He makes it very clear that speaking in tongues is gibberish to the listener because NO MAN UNDERSTANDS: he or she is speaking unto God. Do you believe Paul?

How do you fit this verse with what happened in Acts 2? It is very simple, we just have to read carefully and BELIEVE what we read.

6...because that every man heard them speak in his own language.

It does not say that they spoke in these languages, it says people HEARD in their language.

God the Holy Spirit creates sounds = monosyllables - attaches meaning to each sound - then passes the sound to the voice of the one speaking in tongues, and that person can either speak out what the Holy Spirit has sent, or not. If he or she speaks, the Father hears and understands the meaning the Holy Spirit attached.

In short, it is God - the Holy Spirit - using the authority of the believer on earth to praying the perfect prayer for that moment, and using the authority God has given us to accomplish what He, the Holy Spirit, wants done.

A prayer in tongues is ALWAYS the perfect prayer from that moment in time.

Also, anyone filled with the Holy Spirit (having received the mighty baptism in the Spirit) can choose to pray in tongues anytime and anywhere. The moment he or she opens their mouth to speak in tongues, the Holy Spirit provides the utterance.

Always, and every time someone speaks in tongues, NO MAN UNDERSTANDS...unless God adds another supernatural event and allows someone to hear in their own language. This is scripture.
 

ResidentAlien

Well-known member
Apr 21, 2021
2,421
886
113
#32
There's nothing miraculous about modern gibberish; anyone can do it. It doesn't require a miracle, just open your mouth and start speaking nonsense.
 

CS1

Well-known member
May 23, 2012
10,234
3,266
113
#33
"Always, and every time someone speaks in tongues, NO MAN UNDERSTANDS...unless God adds another supernatural event and allows someone to hear in their own language. This is scripture."


Really? that is not what scripture says. Nothing says that there is a supernatural event and allows someone to hear in their own language. Acts chapter 2 says which is the only recorded scripture of those who did not know the language they were speaking in was Head by those who did because it was their own native language meaning what they currently speaking in or their language of culture.

Acts 2:4-6


. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

5 And there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation under heaven. 6 And when this sound occurred, the multitude came together, and were confused, because everyone heard them speak in his own language.
 

TDidymas

Active member
Oct 27, 2021
239
51
28
#34
You seem rather biased. In your previous post, you seemed to convey the idea that Pentecostals were Christians. Why would you think people would lie about hearing tongues in their own languages? How many parties heard Samarin's recordings? Wouldn't you think social science researchers are biased if they aren't believers and don't allow for the supernatural? If you assume something is fake from the get-go, it might affect your linguistic analysis. A double blind study could keep the researcher in the dark as to which recordings are natural language. Testing the linguists with a recording of a rather obscure natural language, spoken without much intonation or a few other curve balls to test their methodology would also be interesting.
Someone propagating an untruth is lying, regardless of how sincere they are and how bold their belief. It's not that they intentionally lied. Urban legends are started by people who poke guesses at something, then they eventually all agree and believe it to be true. This is how I read the historical accounts of how Parham started the movement. Therefore, if 99% of all tongues today is meaningless glossolalia, then it's an urban legend. And we all have bias, so to say I do, as if you don't, is a double standard. After 46 years of study and experience, I'm biased to the conservative side (as a result).

There were numerous witnesses that testify to real languages in the Azusa Street revival.
Those numerous witnesses are those who started the urban legend, the way I read the accounts.

And we know this how? Because you say so? Look at the line of argument. It is possible to give one's body to be burned. Decades later Nero would burn Christians as 'human candles.' Plenty of people were burned and executed in other ways for refusing to deny their faith. It is possible to give all to the poor. If moving mountains in Jesus' teaching is a metaphor, then it is possible to move mountains. If it is literal, then it is possible to remove mountains.
I read the text carefully and exegeted it according to the context. The meaning of scripture is found in the context of a statement, not in a phrase. Words and phrases are taken out of context all the time, and people misrepresent what the scripture actually means by the original writer. It's the reason we have so many denominations, because people are unwilling to say "I could be wrong."

Jesus said "if your right eye offends you, gouge it out..." Since we don't see any one-eyed Christians around, it's obvious no one believes Jesus meant that literally. Yet, peoples' eye offends them quite often (it's called lust, and it's in the brain, not the eye). So the statement is called a hyperbole. It's an exaggeration for making a point.

In the same way, Jesus said "if you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you could say to this mountain..." And since no one in the history of mankind has moved a literal mountain (not even Jesus did that), that statement is a hyperbole. In the same way, Paul meant "tongues of angels" as a hyperbole. It's an exaggerative statement to make the point he was making, just as "if I have faith so as to move mountains." The point is: even if I become a wizard and can wield the power of God Himself, but don't have love, it's meaningless." The subject is love and edifying the body. It's not tongues and performing miracles. And to claim that Paul is teaching that speaking "tongues of angels" is not only possible, that it ought to be the norm, is to grossly misrepresent what he is teaching.

Silly argument. Quote me some text or a recording of angelic, non-human language. Explain to me the morphemes and point out how it is inflected for meaning and then we will talk. There are certain things our ears and minds can pick up on that are inflected for meaning, and apparently a certain set of things we can detect that can be inflected for meaning. But we only can hear certain frequencies for example. Show me a diagram of the inner ear of an angel based on your medical analysis of an angel as evidence that they can only hear human frequencies. Show me a brain scan of an angel that demonstrates what they can perceive to be inflected for meaning. Your brain scan will have to be more advanced than the equipment used on humans, especially if it analyses spiritual beings. This is argument et adsurdum, of course.
Here is where our paths diverge, because your argument is equally as absurd, even more so. My speculation is reasonable, since languages everywhere convey meaning, and is essentially a code for meaning. But your speculation is wild, and includes things you couldn't possibly know. It's a straw man argument.

Linguists can only do that if they have context. If you take a text or recording of a language the linguist has no context for, he is not going to be able to figure out what vocabulary means. There would have to be some context or a translation into another language. Without that, it is possible that a linguist might be able to find some possible morphemes, maybe even a guess phonemic patterns, and of course some analysis of phonetics. Phonetics may be the only level a linguists could analyze that is not mixed with guesswork.
Don't linguists look for patterns? If there is meaning, there is a pattern. Of course, there has to be enough stated to figure out patterns and vocabulary.

Speaking in tongues is part of the New Testament. It is mentioned in five chapters of the New Testament. Paul lists 'divers tongues' among the gifts the Spirit gives to members of the body of Christ as He wills.
'Divers tongues' means "different languages." To suggest otherwise is a misrepresentation.

Maybe. There is obviously some supernatural things going on, with people hearing their own languages when they speak in tongues, two people getting the same interpretation, prophecies that tell details the speaker could not know, people getting the same 'personal prophecy' in one location and hearing the same thing elsewhere, etc.
All I'm asking for is documentation beyond peoples' claims.

You could also consider the fact that there are dozens or hundreds of accounts of people hearing languages they know in tongues or other people understanding things spoken in tongues, but the few linguists who have researched the topic and published in a social science journal have not identified a spoken language. Have you considered that God may not have wanted to jump through researchers hoops? I do not know the mind of the Almighty on this issue, but we should not be presumptuous either way.
Yet, 100% of all tongues analyzed points to pseudo-language. Why would God allow some authentic tongues to be buried in a mountain of counterfeit? I think your argument is not convincing.

I have read about a documented case where the records were kept in a Lutheran seminary. I was able to find this discussion about it: https://christianity.stackexchange....enoglossy-i-e-acts-21-13-type-tongues-u/84481
Larry Christenson was a Lutheran pastor who was a pioneer in the Charismatic movement, so I think he is biased to that. Besides, is he well known for his integrity, and where is the evidence of that? Further, how could he be a Lutheran pastor and not have studied Hebrew and Aramaic? However, assuming this account is accurate, why doesn't it go all the way? Where is the translation of what was said? And if God is doing this sometimes, then why does He allow so much counterfeit, which we don't see in the NT?

Even if that anecdote is true as written, I'm saying there still isn't enough evidence to convince a cessationist or a skeptic. As long as there are questions not answered as to leave the event mysterious or vague, it won't hold up. Think of it as a court case needing forensic evidence. If I were a defense attorney (or apologist) defending the validity of tongues, would it hold up? No.
 

TDidymas

Active member
Oct 27, 2021
239
51
28
#35
In Acts 2 this appears to be the case. The other interpretation is the 'miracle in the ear' view. IMO, that is more convoluted. Two St. Gregories in the 4th century held opposite opinions on this, so the interpretation goes back a long way.

But in I Corinthians 14, we are talking about languages that other people do NOT understand and hence have to be interpreted, and there is a gift of interpretation.
I don't go for alternate interpretations. They are a feeble attempt at legitimizing errors.

In 1 Cor. 14, "unknown" means that it was unknown in that congregation, not unknown to anyone. So, he is not talking about pseudo-language there, but rather about real languages.

What do you mean? In Acts 10, it says they spoke in tongues and magnified God. In Acts 19, they spoke in tongues and prophesied.
What's your point? My point stands as is.

This is guesswork. It does not say whether Peter understood the languages those in Cornelius's house spoke. It is not inconceivable that soldiers station in the region could have picked up Aramaic or even Hebrew, and already known Greek. How many languages would Peter have known?
To claim that they spoke gibberish, and that Peter assumed it was languages is one of those alternate interpretations I don't go for, because it's a feeble attempt to justify today's error. No, Peter said it was the same thing they received, so it was languages. Do you question the inspiration and truth of written scripture?

The idea of tongues as 'gibberish' is certainly not the historical Pentecostal view of speaking in tongues. Many Pentecostals allow for the idea of tongues of angels because Paul suggests the idea, and there are some who hold to some kind of 'heavenly language' view-- usually from churches, I think, that don't really teach in depth on the topic. The word 'barbarian' may come, etymologically, from the idea that foreigners who did not spoke Greek said 'bar bar bar.' If you don't know a language, then that is what it sounds like, gibberish, like Paul says in I Corinthians 14, you will be a barbarian to him. Foreign languages sound like gibberish.
Of course not. No Pentecostal would admit his tongue is mere gibberish. I use the term to distinguish between real language and pseudo-language. I'm trying to make the distinction because in the Pentecostal mind that distinction doesn't exist. They think they have the same gift as what the apostles received, even though the contrary has been proven. But they claim tongues of angels because they are grasping at straws trying to justify their practice. They desperately want it to be miraculous, even though it isn't in reality.

Furthermore, your argument is weak because anyone who listens to it carefully can distinguish between a language and gibberish. That is, if they aren't trying to make it into a language, calling it Chinese or something when it's not. Either it conveys a message or it doesn't. If it doesn't, then it's just gibberish.

Just about any foreign language except Spanish, Indonesian, and Malaysian sound like gibberish. Creoles that use English as a base are words mixed with part gibberish. Some Malay dialects are part gibberish, part Malaysian. It's all a matter of perspective. Arabic, Hebrew, Chinese, Korean, sound like gibberish except for some bits I am familiar with. If I don't know a language, it sounds like gibberish. It's all a matter of perspective.
I disagree. Either it conveys an actual message, or it doesn't. If not, then it's just "speaking into the air." The reason why people do it is because they are desperate to feel close to God, so it becomes all about their feelings.

My understanding is that there has not been that much linguistic analysis done.
You should read the book I cited, it's very extensive. He studied the phenomenon for 30 years.

I Corinthians 14 is about tongues and interpretation, gifts of the Spirit, for edifying the church. It does not talk about speaking in tongues in a laboratory for secular scientists so they can get interesting publications in social science journals (or paranormal journals) to get tenure, get a full professorship or get some interesting grants. Unless someone already knows or can recognize a language or something extremely similar, without translation, they aren't going to be able to figure out what the words in a language mean.
So why not provide the translation? What's the big deal? But what has been analyzed so far shows pseudo-language. All people can go on is that a sample of 100's of tongues recorded are all pseudo-language, so it can be reasonably assumed that it's a valid sample showing that all tongues are pseudo-language. I'm just saying that statistically it's the only conclusion that people can come to, and that's all we have to go on.

The negative effects of speaking in tongues is scoffing and saying the speakers are drunk, or saying, 'ye are mad.' Like Paul quotes, "With men of other tongues and other lips will I speak unto this people; and yet for all that will they not hear me, saith the Lord. "
Out of context. The scripture is talking about real languages, not pseudo-language.

Those were my concerns as well. The Acts 2 situation did not fit Paul's instructions either, but that appears to have been more of an evangelistic situation than what we think of as a church meeting.
I don't agree. Everyone heard and understood what was said.

This statement has such poor logic that I chuckled a bit at it. I could have had a Kurdish speaker record something and he would have responded the same way. The recording sounded to my ears like it could be a real language. I did not tell the professor it was speaking in tongues, and he thought it was a real language.
At least at that level, a lot of speaking in tongues does not fit the criteria that some linguist critics level at speaking in tongues. Some of it does not only use the phonemes of the speakers language. Some if it is not just repetitive sounds. Some of it does sound like real languages, to my ears as someone with linguistic training and in this case also to this academic who studied and taught Arabic and knew Farsi.[/quote]
Our paths diverge here, because your argument is not convincing. Putting some professor on the spot and asking what language it is, is going to cause him a bias of looking for a language and poking a guess at it, just like anyone would.

Read up on this and look up the Synan interview I mentioned on YouTube. Apparently, at Azusa Street, there were numerous experiences of people recognizing tongues in their own languages. There was also a theory that does not really hold water Biblically, an assumption that speaking in tongues was for evangelizing the world and that missionaries that went out who could speak in tongues in the language of the place they were trying to evangelize. This was Parham's idea. But Acts 2 does not even say that the Gospel was preached in tongues. The disciples spoke of the wonderful works of God in tongues, then Peter stood up and preached.
Right, that was one of Parham's errors. Another was guessing that what they heard was real languages, which as far as I can tell from the accounts, was pseudo-languages as it still manifests today.

So AG Garr's speaking in tongues--- which was different from what he spoke on previous occasions-- was identified as Bengali. But when he went to India, he couldn't reproduce it or make whatever tongue he spoke be Bangla or an Indian dialect. And there was not any Biblical basis for the assumption anyway.
So how was it identified? Where is the detail? Was it just guessing, or was it actually understood and translated? If you don't provide the detail, how can this be taken as something other than urban legend?

The LA Times was obviously a biased rag at the time, at least on this topic.

What Parham newspaper are you talking about? Seymour had a newsletter. He printed testimonies sent to him from various locations. Some of the testimonies are rather detailed. There was a Canadian missions director who wrote of a woman he knew speaking in tongues in an Indian dialect he knew, but she was from the other side of Canada and did not know the language. There are other sources. The Comforter Has Come has an account. Val Dez was at Azusa Street and wrote about speaking in tongues in Russian.
You cited The Apostolic Faith, it was Parham's publication.

There have been other such experiences since throughout recent history. A woman who grew up in China as a missionaries kid that sang at a church I used to go to when her husband came to speak had heard a little grandma in a village in China speaking in tongues in English. She said what she said was like sounded like a Psalm.
Unless you can provide hard evidence, this sounds like hearsay stories that could be construed as urban legends.
 

TDidymas

Active member
Oct 27, 2021
239
51
28
#36
Praus, it seems you really don't believe Paul in 1 Cor. 14. He makes it very clear that speaking in tongues is gibberish to the listener because NO MAN UNDERSTANDS: he or she is speaking unto God. Do you believe Paul?

How do you fit this verse with what happened in Acts 2? It is very simple, we just have to read carefully and BELIEVE what we read.

6...because that every man heard them speak in his own language.

It does not say that they spoke in these languages, it says people HEARD in their language.

God the Holy Spirit creates sounds = monosyllables - attaches meaning to each sound - then passes the sound to the voice of the one speaking in tongues, and that person can either speak out what the Holy Spirit has sent, or not. If he or she speaks, the Father hears and understands the meaning the Holy Spirit attached.

In short, it is God - the Holy Spirit - using the authority of the believer on earth to praying the perfect prayer for that moment, and using the authority God has given us to accomplish what He, the Holy Spirit, wants done.

A prayer in tongues is ALWAYS the perfect prayer from that moment in time.

Also, anyone filled with the Holy Spirit (having received the mighty baptism in the Spirit) can choose to pray in tongues anytime and anywhere. The moment he or she opens their mouth to speak in tongues, the Holy Spirit provides the utterance.

Always, and every time someone speaks in tongues, NO MAN UNDERSTANDS...unless God adds another supernatural event and allows someone to hear in their own language. This is scripture.
No, look at v. 4. It says the apostles SPOKE those languages. The reason why the crowd heard their languages is because the apostles SPOKE them. It was a speaking miracle, not a hearing miracle.
 

presidente

Senior Member
May 29, 2013
7,368
1,171
113
#37
Praus, it seems you really don't believe Paul in 1 Cor. 14. He makes it very clear that speaking in tongues is gibberish to the listener because NO MAN UNDERSTANDS: he or she is speaking unto God. Do you believe Paul?

How do you fit this verse with what happened in Acts 2? It is very simple, we just have to read carefully and BELIEVE what we read.

6...because that every man heard them speak in his own language.

It does not say that they spoke in these languages, it says people HEARD in their language.
Look what the verse you quote says,

It says every man heard them SPEAK in his own language.

What did they hear? Each heard them speaking. It doesn't say they heard something the men weren't actually speaking. It doesn't say that their moves moved, but they heard words that did not match their mouths, like a dubbed Kung Fu movie.

The word translated 'tongue' also means 'language.' 'Speaking in tongues' could also be rendered as 'speaking in languages.' Paul already gave us a clue as to what he was talking about in 13:1 where he says, "Though I speak in the tongues of men and of angels..."

My understanding is that 'No man understandeth him' describes what was happening in church and was not Paul trying to describe the nature of the language. No one present knew the language, so no one present understood what was said. Paul writes of speaking 'mysteries with his spirit.' Elsewhere, Paul uses 'mystery' to refer to doctrinal truths that previously were not widely known, like the Gentiles being fellow heirs.

The idea of tongues as a spiritual code language is found among some in the Charismatic movement. I recently saw a poll on this on a Pentecostal forum and posters who responded were split down the middle with about half of the posters thinking tongues was a heavenly language understood by God and half thinking it was the tongues of men and of angels or something else else. That surprised me because historically Pentecostals emphasized human languages, and many in the early Pentecostal movement spoke in tongues and their tongues were recognized by those who spoke the languages. There have been numerous instances since. I know there are many accounts within the assemblies of God, specific individuals who experienced this.

God the Holy Spirit creates sounds = monosyllables - attaches meaning to each sound - then passes the sound to the voice of the one speaking in tongues, and that person can either speak out what the Holy Spirit has sent, or not. If he or she speaks, the Father hears and understands the meaning the Holy Spirit attached.

Also, anyone filled with the Holy Spirit (having received the mighty baptism in the Spirit) can choose to pray in tongues anytime and anywhere. The moment he or she opens their mouth to speak in tongues, the Holy Spirit provides the utterance.
Some experience that. Some experience it as a one-off or occasional thing. God's grace is manifold, and not the same for everyone.
 

presidente

Senior Member
May 29, 2013
7,368
1,171
113
#38
No, look at v. 4. It says the apostles SPOKE those languages. The reason why the crowd heard their languages is because the apostles SPOKE them. It was a speaking miracle, not a hearing miracle.
This is clearly the less convoluted interpretation.
 

presidente

Senior Member
May 29, 2013
7,368
1,171
113
#39
Someone propagating an untruth is lying, regardless of how sincere they are and how bold their belief. It's not that they intentionally lied. Urban legends are started by people who poke guesses at something, then they eventually all agree and believe it to be true. This is how I read the historical accounts of how Parham started the movement. Therefore, if 99% of all tongues today is meaningless glossolalia, then it's an urban legend.
If 99% of modern tongues is 'meaningless glossalalia' and the rest is genuine xenoglossic glossa lalien, then based on your won description above, aren't you lying? You have made some rather broad blanket statements.

Considering that, according to the Bible, 'divers tongues' is a genuine gift of the Spirit distributed as He wills, you need to leave some room in your belief system for the Spirit actually giving this gift to some individuals. Urban legends generally cannot be traced back to an individual source and verified as accurate. There are specific accounts of individuals speaking in tongues in known languages. I mentioned a documented at Concordia Seminary. I haven't gone to their library to check it out. But there are things to check out out there. If you were so inclined and had whatever time, effort and resources necessary, you could research the cases described in this article, which might be excerpts from a book:
https://enrichmentjournal.ag.org/Is...q2fPu-lz1aXUEnBdznUW468xu4Z36axSUg0qabw_ug0hE

I have met one of individuals in that article. I heard him preaching on the radio in the 1980's. I went to a Bible study led by a pastor who had gone to Asbury with Rutland. My dad knows him, probably not well, but has spoken to him a number of times.

And we all have bias, so to say I do, as if you don't, is a double standard. After 46 years of study and experience, I'm biased to the conservative side (as a result).
How is not making room in your worldview for the Spirit doing something the scripture teach the Spirit does 'conservative'? Do you mean theologically conservative.

Those numerous witnesses are those who started the urban legend, the way I read the accounts.
If eyewitness testimony does not fit your worldview, then it is just an 'urban legend'?
Jesus said "if your right eye offends you, gouge it out..." Since we don't see any one-eyed Christians around, it's obvious no one believes Jesus meant that literally. Yet, peoples' eye offends them quite often (it's called lust, and it's in the brain, not the eye). So the statement is called a hyperbole. It's an exaggeration for making a point.

In the same way, Jesus said "if you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you could say to this mountain..." And since no one in the history of mankind has moved a literal mountain (not even Jesus did that), that statement is a hyperbole.
First of all, if Jesus meant moving mountains as some kind of metaphor, what he said was quit possible. And talking about 'the history of mankind', look up the Egyptian Orthodox tradition of St. Simon the Shoemaker, who, according to their tradition, performed a miracle of moving the Mokkatam Mountain after the Calif threatened to wipe them out if they didn't move a mountain. There is at least a historical claim it happened.

As far as interpretation of the passage goes, it is very possible to give all to the poor and to give ones body to be burned. So insisting that just 'tongues of men and of angels'... or just the angels part is hyperbole gets no support from the context. It rests on the fact that the interpreter insists it must be hyperbole. This shows up in a list of mostly, if not all, possible 'extremes' that believer might do. Hand I think we would agree that speaking in tongues of men is possible. If you do not agree, just read this out loud.

The concept of angelic languages also shows up in intertestamental literature, the Testament of Job. It might have another occurrence in the Dead Sea Scrolls but my memory is fuzzy on that point.

Do you think it is impossible to give all to the poor? Is it possible to allow oneself to be burned to death for sake of the gospel? I am thinking of the Christians Nero called 'human candles', and also of John Huss.
 

presidente

Senior Member
May 29, 2013
7,368
1,171
113
#40
@TDidymas


Here is where our paths diverge, because your argument is equally as absurd, even more so. My speculation is reasonable, since languages everywhere convey meaning, and is essentially a code for meaning. But your speculation is wild, and includes things you couldn't possibly know. It's a straw man argument.
Huh? How so?

You are the one making the broad assumptions and assertions about what God is not doing. We do not

Don't linguists look for patterns? If there is meaning, there is a pattern. Of course, there has to be enough stated to figure out patterns and vocabulary.
A linguist might find some patterns, but there is no way to get vocabulary without some kind of context, for example someone speaking and pointing to something, some events going on to go with the spoken word, some translate text, some recognizable cognates? An Arabic speaker might get some context from a Hebrew speaker using a triliteral root that has a cognate in Arabic.

The Ancient Egyptian language in hieroglyphics was undecipherable without some context. The Rossetta Stone was discovered and this combined with the study of Coptic which had evolved from Ancient Egyptian. The hieroglyphics on the wall would have remained a mystery apart from some context to give meaning to the symbols. Sounds are similar in this regard.

'Divers tongues' means "different languages." To suggest otherwise is a misrepresentation.
I am not sure what your concern is. I used familiar KJV language to refer to a specific verse. In the overall context of the epistle, speaking in these languages was a supernatural gift, not mere mundane speech.

All I'm asking for is documentation beyond peoples' claims.
The Assemblies of God article has names of individuals who can be looked up and interviewed. I believe there may be a recent book containing these testimonies also. There was the 1971 book 'Spoken by the Spirit' but it has been so long, looking this up may be difficult. You could see if you could look up the case at the Concordia Seminary. You could also look at academic writing in the Pentecostal theology journals.

I would like to see some work done in social science journals. The irony would be with secular editors, the better your evidence, my guess is the less likely you would be to get published in a non-Christian peer reviewed situation. It can be hard enough to get published if a non-supernatural theory upsets the status quo to much.

Yet, 100% of all tongues analyzed points to pseudo-language.
How do you know that? Isn't that a claim to near omniscience? As far as I know, there are just a few articles in academic journals that analyze speaking in tongues in this way. There might be some I am not aware of. There are also articles that are more along the lines of occult activity that deal with the topic of xenoglossy. This is not my area, but I have poked around Google scholar in the past.

Why would God allow some authentic tongues to be buried in a mountain of counterfeit? I think your argument is not convincing.
Would you therefore conclude that speaking in tongues in Acts 2 was fake, because Samarin did not find evidence using his criteria that speaking in tongues in the sample set he used was not a genuine language?

Larry Christenson was a Lutheran pastor who was a pioneer in the Charismatic movement, so I think he is biased to that.
Your epistomological approach is similar to that of a New Atheist when it comes to evidence. If he had rejected spiritual gifts, he would be biased. If you have a worldview that allows for the Spirit to operate in these ways, then you do not reject the evidence. If someone speaks a language you do not recognize, that does not create a problem. The issue is whether he could hear and understand the language. If they let nonstudents and nonfaculty use the library, you could see if you can examine the information for yourself. Do you know Hebrew and Aramaic?

Besides, is he well known for his integrity, and where is the evidence of that? Further, how could he be a Lutheran pastor and not have studied Hebrew and Aramaic?
I would not know enough about their curriculum to know if it is required. And I would be extremely surprised if they had all actually studied Aramaic enough to speak the language. In a university context, Aramaic might be offered to students who have had the full regular course of Hebrew classes. I could ask one of my in-laws, but hers was a five-year undergraduate program. I suspect there are plenty of seminary students who do not really know the Biblical languages, even after having had classes.
However, assuming this account is accurate, why doesn't it go all the way? Where is the translation of what was said? And if God is doing this sometimes, then why does He allow so much counterfeit, which we don't see in the NT?
If you assume human languages only.... though Paul suggests angelic languages as a possibility... and trust the Linguists methodology and assume they have the specifics of 'universal grammar' all worked out, then that is a valid assumption. But I see a problem with at least one of those assumptions.

But either way, you still have the same question. If some tongues are genuine... if indeed the Spirit gifts some members with 'divers tongues' as He wills as scripture teaches... and if some are fake, then you can still ask why God allows counterfeits.

You could also ask why God doesn't answer everyone's prayers the way they want or why there is false prophecy or why there is evil. There are many questions we could ask.

Even if that anecdote is true as written, I'm saying there still isn't enough evidence to convince a cessationist or a skeptic. As long as there are questions not answered as to leave the event mysterious or vague, it won't hold up.
So what? It might convince one skeptic but not another. I saw a clip on Facebook where a guy says if God is real, he'll make it thunder in 3, 2, 1, thunder cracks. Atheists who saw that didn't believe in God. An atheist's grandmother could be miraculously healed in the name of Jesus, and if he is so inclined, he might still reject the gospel. There is a created world all around us testifying to the existence of the Creator, and skeptics are still skepticism.

And some people are extremely skeptical of spiritual gifts. Just our having the Bible and what it teaches should at least make us all open to the idea that God works in these ways, because it is Biblical.