I've always wanted to post something on speaking in tongues but haven't prioritize it. So when I found out that Tony has written on it, I'm so glad. Seldom we have a NT professor to comment on such prevalent and confusing phenomenon.
I was converted through a charismatic church. Was told that glossolalia is the 'special' gift of the Holy Spirit. Was told that it is the second and spiritual baptism. Was told that it is edifying. But I never experienced that before.
There was once I was surrounded by church leaders, elders, bro & sis who prayed for me to speak in tongue. They laid their hands on me and went "ku raba raba raba... shi kala kala la la la... koro shi ta ta ta ta... "
If you know the Malay language like me, your balls dropped when there are dozens of hand laying on you and hearing these people chanting "ku raba raba raba... " (In Malay: I caress, caress, caress...)
That's the first time I was consciously being peer-pressured. All of them were raba raba-ing around me. So I simply blurted out some gibberish just to please them and to join in the crowd. And when the church leaders, elders, bro & sis heard that I have manifested the gift of tongue, they moved over to the next tongue-less dude to raba-raba him.
When I turned to my friend Steven Sim, he was already lying on the floor in trance. I think he was slain by the Holy Spirit. I have 2 close friends who experienced the slain. Steven is one of them. The other one is a friend from college. I always wonder why am I deprived of such experience.
What the Bible says concerning glossolalia and how it should be practiced? Tony illuminates it well,
"Pentecostals pride themselves being open to the gifts and anointing of the Spirit. Well and good! We like to think that we believe in all God has for us in 1 Cor 11-14. But in the very place that Apostle Paul says that we should be not be children in understanding but be mature, we show we are still infants by overthrowing what Paul says in 1 Cor 14:1-28. All of 28 verses are used by Paul to explain what the church should be doing in terms of speaking in tongues. Yet, most Pentecostals get it wrong when they think they can speak in tongues over the microphone when the church is assembled. The misunderstanding comes by taking a verse from 1 Cor 14:15 on its own without reading carefully the surrounding verses (28 in all!) for a true understanding of what actually Paul is getting at...
...How terrible it is when one speaks in tongues without interpretation over the microphone amplified by loud-speakers against what Paul states so clearly in vs. 28."
Read all here.