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Switch to Forum Live View What is speaking in tongues and is it required to be in Assemblies of God Church?
10 years ago  ::  Oct 13, 2008 - 7:21PM #1
Posts: 74
What is speaking in tongues and is it required to be in a Assemblies of God Church?
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10 years ago  ::  Oct 29, 2008 - 4:29PM #2
Posts: 61
[QUOTE=Ilovethelord;823277]What is speaking in tongues and is it required to be in a Assemblies of God Church?[/QUOTE]

Speaking in tongues is basically someone going into a trance & speaking gibberish. That's all it is.
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10 years ago  ::  Nov 28, 2008 - 1:08AM #3
Posts: 28
Well, there are a lot of different perspectives about speaking in tongues. Most churches have a specific opinion about it. Some practice it, some tolerate it with an interpreter, some are completely (and quite vocally) against it. Honestly, it depends on who you ask.

Here are a few links that might help:

Assemblies of God is the largest branch of the Pentecostal denomination, which is the branch that is know for the practice of speaking in tongues. However, it honestly depends on the church you go to whether or not this actually takes place during the service itself. Some churches practice it quite frequently, others do not. I won't go as far as to say that it is a "requirement" because not all AoG churches focus on tongues. The parishoners may believe in it, but they may not necessarily do it while in church. For example, I have been attending an AoG church on and off for the last year, and I have yet to hear anyone speak in tongues during the service.  I know that several of the people there do it-- just not in church.

Hope this helps...
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9 years ago  ::  Oct 05, 2009 - 4:19PM #4
Posts: 2

I have been attending an AoG church for almost two months, and I have only seen it once with an interpretor. When I attended the UPC, everyone did it. It was like a speaking in tongues party. I think it depends on the church you go to.

The pastor at my AoG said that they believe if a person speaks in tongues at church, there should be an interpretor.

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9 years ago  ::  Oct 06, 2009 - 4:44PM #5
Posts: 561

Here's a somewhat lengthy email I sent to our pastor (Methodist) on my doing a teaching on the subject of tongues:

"Now go do that voodoo that you do so well!"  Hedley Lammar (Blazing Saddles)

That's the title to a class (or two) I'm looking to teach at Sunday school if and when you and the class leadership should approve.  I think it will be a fun and informative class.  The topic is tongues.  A-H-H-H-H-H-H!!!!!!!!!

There exists so much misunderstanding, confusion, fear, anxiety and basically a bunch of bad theology on this topic.  The scriptures this study would be based on are:  Acts 2: 3-4, Acts 8: 14-17, Acts 10: 44-48, Romans 8: 26, I Corinthians 12: 4-11, and I Corinthians 14: 15-19

In the modern history of Pentecostalism, beginning at the Azusa Street revival in 1906 to the present, there have been three basic waves of Pentecostalism.  The first wave of Pentecostalism went from around 1906 to the mid 1960's, and included the Pentecostal churches, Assembly of God churches and the Four Square churches.  Their theology was very legalistic and fundamentalist in nature.  "Baptism in the Holy Spirit," evidenced by speaking in tongues, was viewed as a second act of grace, separate from being baptized in the name of Jesus (see Acts 8: 14 and Acts 10: 44-48).  Along with the "baptism in the Spirit," they held to a very dim view of the material world, so that dancing, women wearing slacks or women cutting their hair (in Pentecostalism) were strictly prohibited.  In these early traditions, a person's salvation was contingent upon their being baptized in the Holy Spirit as evidenced by speaking in tongues.

The second wave of Pentecostalism began with the Jesus and charismatic movements of the 60's and the emergence of Non-Denominational churches.  This movement distanced themselves from the legalism and fundamentalism of the first wave, yet very much retained much of the "baptism in the Spirit" theology held by the first wave.  Tongues were the primary evidence of one being baptized in the Spirit, and tongues with interpretations were very much in evidence at worship services.  AOG churches held on to the belief that a person's salvation was contingent on one being baptized in the Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues.  Most Non-Denominational churches did not, but again, persons speaking in tongues and interpretations given were the common expectation at worship services.

The third wave of Pentecostalism began around 1980, with the Calvary church and Vineyard Movement.  They are commonly referred to as "Radical Middle" or "Third Wave" churches.  These churches believed in and practiced "all the stuff" in the Bible, including speaking or praying in tongues, but came to the conclusion that tongues was best exercised during times of private worship or worship within small groups, rather than corporate worship (see I Corinthians 14: 15-19).  Secondly, these churches distanced themselves from much of the hype and pretense that had so characterized first and second wave Pentecostal/Charismatic churches.  Consequently, worship was very orderly (as opposed to "charismatic chaos"), no person spoke aloud to the entire body in tongues, and the more orthodox triune God was taught (rather than receiving the Spirit through baptism in the Spirit).

Today, a significant number of Pentecostal/Charismatic churches are third wave churches.  While some fundamentalist Pentecostal/Charismatic churches and AOG churches retain much of their historical "baggage," most have seen the error of their ways and become much more orthodox.  Speaking in tongues aloud to the entire congregation followed by an interpretation is pretty much a thing of the distant past.  Certainly not in all Pentecostal/Charismatic churches, but in significant number.

Sorry to be so long winded, but I'll use this email as my teaching notes.  I recall being in church during the 70's, often times at an AOG or non-denominational church, and we'd start singing.  And we sang, and we sang, and we sang, and we sang, until at long last, someone would stand and give an utterance in tongues, and then some other person would stand and give an interpretation.  The interpretations were almost always very much alike and almost always included the phrase "And I say to you my people..." And for some strange reason, the interpretation was most often spoken in the King James language.  Thankfully, many Pentecostal/Charismatic churches have moved away from that sort of practice.

In terms of tongues, I wanted to distinguish between the tongues spoken of in Acts 2 and tongues spoken of in the balance of the New Testament.  In Acts 2, tongues has the meaning of an actual language, while in the balance of the New Testament, tongues has the meaning of "an unknown language" or glossolalia.  I also wanted to emphasize what Paul says in I Corinthians 14: 15-19, because I believe it summarizes in a nutshell the proper exercise of tongues (in private worship).  And lastly, I wanted to look at Romans 8: 26.  Now, while Romans 8: 26 does not make direct reference to tongues (rather, it speaks of the Spirit praying for us "with sighs too deep for words") I believe it certainly points towards how we might pray "in the Spirit" (or tongues, or sighs too deep for words).  In other words, it removes a large measure of fear we might have over the issue of tongues.  You know, we probably have all had those moments when we've been confronted with situations or circumstances where about the only words we can pray are "Oh God."  I believe that is what Romans 8: 26 points towards.  And yes, there are times when I pray "with sighs too deep for words," okay?  It's not voodoo.  It's more like you're simply holding a picture of a person or circumstance in your mind, and the prayers of the Spirit are washing over them, "with sighs too deep for words."

I spent ten years with the Vineyard, and probably 95% of the folks there had either prayed or spoken in tongues at some point in their lives.  Pastors would often comment on the gift of tongues in a positive way.  Yet, there was only one time I heard a person speaking in tongues the whole time I was there, and that was at a Sunday evening worship service at the Houston Vineyard.  After the teaching, an invitation was given for folks to come forward for prayer, and I went up for prayer.  Two men met me there and asked how they could pray for me.  Then one of the men, in a very quiet whisper I could basically not even hear, began praying very softly in tongues.  Sometimes by praying in tongues, the Holy Spirit will reveal to a person more "core" issues that God wishes to minister to and perhaps bring healing. 

If you or others in leadership would rather skip this topic of teaching (A-H-H-H-H-H-H!!!!!!!!!), then I certainly have no quarrel nor will be offended in the least.  However, I believe that in its proper context, the gift of tongues, or at least a more proper understanding of the gift of tongues, may serve persons in their Christian walk, and in particular, in their prayer life.


While I may very briefly bring up the topic of cessationism (the doctrine that the miraculous gifts of the Spirit, including tongues, ceased upon the death of the last Apostle, and a belief held to today by Bible churches, Churches of Christ and most Baptist churches), I don't wish to spend much time on this topic.  Jack Deere, a former professor at Dallas Theological Seminary, wrote a great book, Surprised by the Power of the Spirit on the subject.  I say "former" because any student or teacher at Dallas Theological Seminary that believes in or practices any of the miraculous gifts of the Spirit is subject to immediate expulsion.  

Follow up on I Corinthians 14: 15-19

Reading from Gordon Fee's Commentary (God's Empowering Presence-The Holy Spirit in the Letters of Paul), I came upon some good commentary on I Corinthians 14: 15-19.  It's also interesting commentary in view of the fact that Fee comes from the AOG tradition, but it nevertheless supports what I said in my original email--that is, Paul's basic argument is that tongues are for times of private worship rather than corporate worship.

A few excerpts from Fee: 

"His (Paul's) concern throughout has been the uninterrupted tongues in the assembly, because they cannot edify the church...He (Paul) herewith affirms their gift in the strongest of terms; but he does so in order to reorder their thinking about what was going on in the assembly...Thus this sentence corresponds to the first clause in v. 17.  "When praising in tongues, you are thanking God well enough.  Indeed, I do this more than all of you.  But what goes on in the church is another story altogether."...The crucial question is not whether one speaks in tongues or not, but what is appropriate in the assembly.  Heretofore one may only have suspected that Paul was making distinctions between private devotion and public worship; this sentence (v. 19) makes it explicit...The contrasts, which return in part to the language of v. 15, are stark.  In church "five words with my mind" are to be preferred to "ten thousand words in a tongue...The obvious implication is that they (the Corinthians) should wish to do the same."

(note:  Ten thousand is the largest number in the Greek language.  A more modern interpretation might read "a billion trillion.") 




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8 years ago  ::  May 09, 2010 - 11:25PM #6
Posts: 2

I grew up in the AoG Church and my mom always spoke in tongues and I would always be a little embarrassed because I didn't understand it.  Now I am 33 and I received the gift of speaking in tongues about 2 yrs. ago!!! I have read the scriptures in the bible on speaking in tongues and I am still a little confused on when to speak it.  We spoke it all the time in the church I was attending a couple yrs. ago which was a non denominational church but we did it while we were praying in a group or praying ourselves.  Not once have I ever heard a person speak it out loud and then have someone interpret it.  At the Aog I grew up at that is the only time they spoke it.  All I know is that God isn't going to send us to hell if we don't know when the accurate time is to speak it!  Speaking in tongues is very real and it is the perfect prayer between you and God that satan cannot hear!  You can also speak in tongues to edify yourself amongst other things!!!  God Bless everybody!

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8 years ago  ::  May 09, 2010 - 11:50PM #7
Posts: 1,500

Oct 13, 2008 -- 7:21PM, Ilovethelord wrote:

What is speaking in tongues and is it required to be in a Assemblies of God Church?

 Speaking in tongues required that the person who is speaking it to able to understand what been said. Speaking in tongues is the ability to communicate from the heart to another being. Like poetry, it's speaking of something else by ear but able to visualized by interpretating from the heart without using the eyes, ears, hands, and sometimes the mouth. The Book of Proverbs are speaking in tongues. Without understanding is called babbling.

1 Corinthians 14:6
Now, brothers, if I come to you and speak in tongues, what good will I be to you, unless I bring you some revelation or knowledge or prophecy or word of instruction?

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7 years ago  ::  Jan 16, 2011 - 11:19PM #8
Posts: 1

Assemblies of God denomination are fixated on the doctrinal construct of "Evidence" of the infilling of the Holy Spirit.

Not all individual churches of AG openly practice nor require Tongues.


I have written some very unusuasl observations about the Tongues phenominon.



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