I admit it. I’ve been entertained on YouTube by the antics of those who believe they’ve been moved by the Holy Spirit. I’ve watched folks climbing over pews, falling out on the floor, racing around waving a sport coat, and even doing flips into baptistry. I’ve seen people in my own hometown taking off their socks and twirling them over their heads, all under the guise of “standing on holy ground.” I heard one of the local preachers there refer to this as “normal” religious practice. What utter foolishness!
I also know a lot of good and sincere people who are simply misguided on the matter of the present work of the Holy Spirit. While these folks are embarrassed by the way those mentioned above conduct themselves, they believe in the present exercise of spiritual gifts like tongue-speaking.
A casual reading of 1 Corinthians 14 reveals a stark contrast of the practice of tongue-speaking in the first century and what is claimed today. Consider:
Tongues were languages which could be understood by those present and listening (vv 6-11). This is not the practice we see today. Also, when tongues were spoken, someone was to be present to interpret what was said that the church might be edified (vv 12-19). Is this the present practice of our sincere friends?
Tongues are not a sign to believers, but to unbelievers (vv 22-25). Paul warned, “If the whole church comes together in one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in those who are uninformed or unbelievers, will they not say that you are out of your mind? (v 23). Answer? Yes, they will… and DO!
In the first century, people came into the assembly speaking in tongues. But today there must first be the warm-up: soft music leading to a crescendo, the preacher getting everyone all worked up, and then it all breaks loose. So, the practice fails on this count as well.
Tongues were to be spoken one at a time, but only then if someone interpreted (vv 27-28). Today we see multiple people babbling some unintelligible nonsense.
Just by walking through the text, we find the title of this article to be true – they do the very opposite of what is in the Bible.