Objections to Speaking in Tongues
There are a variety of objections to the speaking in tongues. Almost all of these objections are not based upon Scripture. Instead they are based upon man’s opinions, negative experiences, and religious upbringing. How do we know this? Because in the Bible there are only a couple of ‘objections to tongues’. We will first look at the ‘negative statements’ about tongues in the Bible and then discuss the other objections to tongues.
When are Tongues Wrong in the Bible?
The first thing we should state is that there are no passages that are against tongues. There are only passages that are against the mishandling of tongues.
- When speaking to a person in tongues.
(Not when praying for a person in tongues. The Bible teaches that praying in tongues is praying in the spirit and speaking to God. There are certainly times when we are praying for somebody and we when to speak to God for insight and intervention.)
1 Cor 14:6-11 clearly forbids speaking to someone in tongues. It is saying that this would be of no value.
- In a church setting when a message in tongues is given and there is no interpretation.
If a person is speaking in tongues during church and the tongues are directed to the church, there must be an interpretation.
1 Cor 14:5; 1 Cor 14:13; 1 Cor 14:27, 28
- When tongues is used in a haughty, prideful way.
There is no specific verse that says this, but it only makes sense that this is wrong.
Other Objections to Tongues, but not Biblically based
Tongues have been done away with
There is absolutely no Bible verse that says tongues have been done away with. Some say there is no need for tongues since we have the Bible. Again there are no verses in the Bible to defend this position. Some will argue that 1 Cor 13:8 say that tongeus have been done away with. Let’s look at this verse in context.
1 Corinthians 13:8-12
8 Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away.
9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part;
10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away.
11 When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things.
12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known.
It becomes obvious when looking at the entire passage, that when it is speaking about prophesy and tongues, it is saying they will be done away with when the perfect comes-the perfect has not come. They will be done away when we know fully and are fully known-that does not happen until our glorified bodies.
- The last time tongues was talked about in the Bible was in 1 Corinthians.
One must understand that 1 Corinthians was written to the church in Corinth because of the mishandling of tongues. There are other topics in 1 Corinthians and other books of the Bible that are not covered in other passages of Scripture.
Some who speak in tongues walk in sin, teach false doctrine, or are prideful
There certainly some who speak in tongues, walk in sin, teach false doctrines and have pride, but there are also those who do not speak in tongues that do the same. The tongues or lack of tongues are not the cause of sin, false doctrine, and pride.
Churches that allow tongues are not in order-there is chaos
This is certainly true of some churches, but again, not all-so cannot judge all because of some. There also is a danger of judging what is chaos by ones own upbringing, culture, preferences, etc. There are non tongue speaking churches in various parts of the world that would appear to be out of order and chaotic because of their culture, traditions, and style of worship compared to the U.S.A. There are things in the physical/natural realm that may seem chaotic if you do not understand how they operate-don’t have experience in the field of study.
Tongues are for preaching the Gospel only-no other purpose
Not biblical, not a single example in the Bible of tongues being used for this purpose. Some use Acts 2 as an example. But it does not say they were sharing the Gospel, only that they were magnifying God. There was no need for tongues to preach the Gospel, because all the people there would understand Aramaic or common Greek. They were there for the Passover Feast and day of Pentecost. How would they have been able to particpate in these ceremonies for years before there were tongues?
Tongues are for the purpose of judgment-not for any other purpose other than maybe to preach the Gospel.
Those who hold this position based it upon two passages of Scripture: 1 Cor 14:21 which is referencing Isaiah 28:11. They are basing an entire doctrine off of two passages of Scripture when there are many more passages that show tongues are for the evidence of being baptized in the Holy Spirit, to pray in the spirit, to be edified or to edify the church, to praise God.
Jesus did not speak in tongues.
How do we know this? John states that they are many things that Jesus did that are not written down in Scripture. Also, the Bible teaches that Jesus received the fullness of God while on earth so there may not have been the need for Him to have tongues.
Tongues is of the devil.
There is not a single reference of tongues every being from the devil. That is not to say that tongues can never be of the devil. The devil loves to counterfeit so there certainly can be counterfeit tongues. But if a born again, sold out for Jesus, Christian who is not walking in willful sin seeks God for the baptism of the Holy Spirit, gets tongues, it would not be from the devil. That would be saying that God is purposely letting them be deceived. Also, Jesus said the following in regards to asking for the Holy Spirit.
Luke 11:9-13 (KJV)
9 And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.
10 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.
11 If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent?
12 Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion?
13 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?
I have asked for tongues and God has not given it to me, so it cannot be for today.
There could be a variety of reasons why a person has not received tongues. There are plenty of things that each of us may ask God for, but not receive it.
If God wanted me to have it, He would give it to me and every believer
Not if there is willful sin, unbelief, critical of those who have it, etc. Also, all of God’s gifts are according to His timing, not ours.
Only some can have tongues.
This belief is based upon 1 Cor 12:11
1 Corinthians 12:11 (KJV)
11 But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.
It needs to be noted that this verse is in the context of a specifically type of tongues. Tongues as a supernatural gift which would normally be used with the gift of interpretation.
If tongues is an evidence of the baptism of the Holy Spirit and if tongues is for the purpose to pray in the spirit, to worship God, and edify the one with tongues, would God want only certain Christians to have tongues. That would be an unjust God.
There is no biblical reason to take a stand against the proper use of tongues.
In the next study we will take a look at common questions about the baptism of the Holy Spirit and tongues. We will end our study soon with how to be baptized in the Holy Spirit and to receive tongues.