|The Apostles Baptized with the Holy Spirit|
Taken from the Treasures of the Bible
By Henry Davenport Northrop, D.D.
International Publishing Company, 1894
I can't say I know a lot about the modern-day tongues movement. I have never been to a service or in a church where this takes place. I've heard stories. I've met people who claimed they have this gift. I've never seen or heard it happen. That being said, what is the point? Now in inner-city Chicago, you might be able to make a case for it, since it is very possible you could actually have a person who spoke that language in a church service. But a church that does not have the diversity of people we have here, a church in a more rural area would not seem to need access to a plurality of languages.
Even if I am completely wrong, and tongues are a gift for today, I still don't see how the churches that claim they have this gift use it properly. Paul is very plain that if this gift is used, an interpreter should be present. I never hear of that in these churches. Paul says that those that have this gift, if there is nobody to interpret for them, than they ought to keep it in. Why? Verse 23 explains. "If therefore the whole church be come together into one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in those that are unlearned, or unbelievers, will they not say that ye are mad?" I don't know how the charismatic groups explain away this chapter, but it seems to me that there must be a lot of misinterpretation going on. Here is my question also. Maybe the claim is that they don't know what language they are speaking, but someone in their service might understand. Okay. Let's take that scenario for a second. Perhaps I speak German. If I heard my language in a service, wouldn't I go to the speaker and tell them I understood everything they said? If nobody ever comes to a person with the gift of tongues and says, "Hey, I understood that!" What is the point? Furthermore, if those with this gift is unable to identify the tongue they are speaking, doesn't that seem a little convenient? I mean, if you discovered you could speak Swahili, wouldn't your gift be better used in Africa, rather than an American city where the likelihood you will meet someone who speaks that language is slim? I'm not trying to sound snarky or belittling. Really, I am not. I know that those who still believe this gift for today, also believe in the same plan of salvation I do, and are my brothers and sisters in Christ. I know that we will worship in Heaven together. And maybe then, we will actually sing and speak in different tongues.