“And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name(Jesus) shall they cast out devils, they shall SPEAK WITH NEW TONGUES; they shall take up serpents and if they drink any deadly thing it shall not harm them; they shall lay hands on the sick and they shall recover.” - (MARK -18)
‘And they were amazed and were in doubt, saying one to another what meaneth this? Others mocking said these men are full of wine.” - (ACTS 2: 12-13)
This idea that they are full of wine, is this because they are also speaking utterances of otherly prayer language in praise of God? We know, of course, that the gift of tongues was also the gift of diverse languages so that those near to them could hear the gospel message and understand it.
“The multitude came together and were confounded because that every man heard them speak in his own language. And they were all amazed and marvelled saying one to another; Behold ate not all these which speak Galileans? and now hear we every man in our own tongue wherein we were born.” - (ACTS 2: 6-8)
It is scriptural, yes, that we lay hands on members of the Christian community and ask for God to fill them with the Holy Spirit, after the pattern of scripture:
“Prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Ghost: for as yet he was fallen on none of them: only they were baptised in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then laid their hands on them and they received the Holy Ghost.” - (ACTS 8: 15-16)
And here the Holy Spirit empowers these believers and then they are baptised afterwards.
“While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them that heard the word, and they of the circumcision were astonished as many as came with Peter that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. For they heard them speak with tongues and magnify God. Then answered Peter. Can any man forbid water that these should not be baptised which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?” - (ACTS 10: 44-47)
“When they heard this they were baptised in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them and they spake in tongues and prophesied and all the men were about twelve.” - (ACTS 19: 5-7)
I am realising the extent to which I might have damaged my own acceptance of the Holy Spirit. I seem to have stepped up the act of discernment to such an extent, in the face of the suspicion that is out there (I have read too much cessationist stuff on the net), that I am constantly asking myself whether I am not being emotional or living out of too experientialist a theology.
Anyway, I continue to wrestle with these things, seeking earnestly to worship in Spirit and truth, to have the Word and the Spirit govern my life.
Paul explains how “I thank my God I speak with tongues ...” - (I CORINTHIANS )
There is such a range of diversity on the issue of tongues. I have been quite captured by the discussion over at New Leaven on this topic. In my formation group this morning, we reflected on the teaching that the year group above us had received on the issue. At my placement church there is a wide-acceptance of the charismatic gifts. I am free to pray this way in ministry with people. We must always be discerning, think always of our brothers and sisters and grow in that most important fruit: love, for one another. If people are not comfortable with it, we need to listen to them. However, surely there must also be lavish exaltation of our beautiful Lord and spontaneity in praise and worship. Having said that, speaking in tongues is more often than not, not emotional and excessive. It seems to be a place where human language runs out and another language begins as the Spirit intercedes. When that runs out too, I find my place of deep silence where there is no language at all.