1 Corinthians 14:1-5, “1Follow the way of love and eagerly desire spiritual gifts, especially the gift of prophecy. 2For anyone who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God. Indeed, no one understands him; he utters mysteries with his spirit. 3But everyone who prophesies speaks to men for their strengthening, encouragement and comfort. 4He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself, but he who prophesies edifies the church. 5I would like every one of you to speak in tongues, but I would rather have you prophesy. He who prophesies is greater than one who speaks in tongues, unless he interprets, so that the church may be edified.”
One advantage of church shopping is that you get to see how all kinds of believers fellowship and worship on Sunday mornings. I’ve never attended a full-out Pentacostal speaking-in-tongues sort of church, but the people I know who have tend to say the same sorts of things in that it’s barely contained chaos – which is exactly what the scripture didn’t order. I was wondering though, if people had really wanted the ability to speak in tongues (but not neccessarily translation), then if people really wanted the gift of prophecy could they have it?
1 Corinthians 14:6-12, “6Now, 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? 7Even in the case of lifeless things that make sounds, such as the flute or harp, how will anyone know what tune is being played unless there is a distinction in the notes? 8Again, if the trumpet does not sound a clear call, who will get ready for battle? 9So it is with you. Unless you speak intelligible words with your tongue, how will anyone know what you are saying? You will just be speaking into the air. 10Undoubtedly there are all sorts of languages in the world, yet none of them is without meaning. 11If then I do not grasp the meaning of what someone is saying, I am a foreigner to the speaker, and he is a foreigner to me. 12So it is with you. Since you are eager to have spiritual gifts, try to excel in gifts that build up the church.”
I wonder if speaking in tongues fills a person up with a sense of pride. I would think that such a gift would tend to. The scripture tells that mutual edification should be our goal one-on-one, but overall, it’s wise to build up the church, too. We’re told that when it comes to tongues, there must be a translator to build up the body of believers. No chaos, no confusion – what good would it do for me to type this in a language the vast majority of you can’t understand? What good is it to speak in tongues in church if there’s no way to know what’s being said?