Link Hudson | PentecostalTheology.com
Do you believe tongues must be interpreted in church?
From my time in the A/G, I came away with the general impression that the A/G teaches that if there is speaking in tongues out loud in the congregation, that it should be interpreted. If not, the speaker is to be quiet. Some people may think he got out of step with the Spirit or something like that (not their words, just my way of explaining it.)
But it seems like some of the churches from the more Holiness side of the movement, especially those that were three steppers (saved, sanctified, and filled with the Holy Ghost as three distinct steps) are more open to everyone praying in tongues at the same time.
It also seems like these Holiness Pentecostal denominations are more inclined to think you can only speak in tongues when the Spirit comes on you, and therefore if you can, you should. While A/G folks seem more inclined to believe in a prayer language that you can exercise more or less at will.
Belief and experience of a prayer language seem more common these days among some of these historically Holiness churches, and belief in sanctification as a one-time thing is less entrenched as well, it seems.
It seems like churches who think of tongues as something you can only do at certain times are more into the idea that it doesn’t have to be interpreted. Would other posters agree with me on that?
Am I right that A/G folks generally aren’t for praying in tongues en masse like a lot of Charismatics and some of the other Pentecostal denominations? Is that generally the case or just my experience?
Here are some relevant verses from I Corinthians 14.
27 If any man speak in an unknown tongue, let it be by two, or at the most by three, and that by course; and let one interpret.
28 But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God.
Teri Shenk [10/05/2015 4:57 AM]
My spouse looked this up in the Bible & it says that it should be interpreted. If I’m remembering right, it was in 1Corinthians. If he were awake, I would ask him. We attend a Pentecostal Church & only once have I heard tongues interpreted & it was by the person who spoke in tongues.
Link Hudson [10/05/2015 5:08 AM]
Teri Shenk, Growing up, I often heard tongues and interpretation in church, but I don’t remember hearing people speaking in tongues without interpretation in church in the A/G, except once in a school chapel associated with a Christian school, a 15 or 16-year-old spoke in tongues and there was no interpretation. The principal, a pastor, said he believed that was for personal edification and continued right along.
Then I grew up and went to a Charismatic COG overseas where they tell everyone to speak in tongues like at a Benny Hinn Crusade, and it was a bit of culture shock. I’ve also been in Pentecostal churches of the more Holiness variety in the southeast where everyone prays at the same time, and they could pray in tongues when they do that.
Teri Shenk [10/05/2015 5:15 AM]
Until this time in my life, I have never attended a Pentecostal Church, although I remember, as a child, attending a Pentecostal revival with a babysitter. In the Church that I attend, there is no interpretation & that really bothers my spouse b/c the Scripture says there should be interpretation. IMHO, we cannot pick & choose which of the scriptures that we will abide by. The Holy Bible is God’s word & he is the FINAL authority.
Link Hudson [10/05/2015 5:48 AM]
Teri Shenk, well, if there is no interpreter, the speaker in tongues is to be silent in the church. Churches that don’t allow for tongues and interpretation aren’t obeying those verses either.
Donald George [10/05/2015 6:55 AM]
That’s sort of correct. When a “message” is given in tongues, it may or may not be interpreted, but sometimes it’s interpreted by the message giver. There’s a big difference in one’s prayer language & the gift of tongues & interpretations. In the A/G all are prodded to receive the “Baptism in the Holy Ghost” with the evidence of speaking in tongues (a prayer language). In fact to be ordained with the A/G you must be filled with the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues.
Teri Shenk [10/05/2015 6:58 AM]
Link Hudson, Your point is valid! I have attended many different churches in my life…….. Some with friends, some by choice & some by family choice. I have never heard anyone speak in tongues in any Church but the Pentecostal Church. I find that to be interesting. How about you?
Teri Shenk [10/05/2015 7:01 AM]
What is A/G? This is a term that I’m not familiar with……
Donald George [10/05/2015 7:02 AM]
Assemblies of God Church.
Donald George [10/05/2015 7:12 AM]
I was first licensed by the A/G Fellowship to preach the Gospel in 1972.
Link Hudson [10/05/2015 7:12 AM]
I added an explanation.
Link Hudson [10/05/2015 7:13 AM]
Donald George, is my experience with the A/G and interpretation of tongues fairly typical of the denomination?
David John Maxfield [10/05/2015 5:48 PM]
If preaching in tongues to the congregation it’s needs to be interpreted, but if you’re on your own with God and you speak to him alone in tongues it is for the building up of yourself in the spirit and doesn’t need interpretation.
Link Hudson [10/05/2015 5:49 PM]
I don’t take ‘let him keep silent in the church and let him speak to himself and to God’ to mean to murmur in tongues under your breath. If other people can hear, you aren’t keeping silent.
I dont’ remember any kind of group speaking in tongues in the A/Gs I attended in the 1980’s, but I realize there is some variety within the denomination.
Windell House [10/06/2015 9:08 AM]
There are many times when spirit of The Lord is moving over a service and his presents is really moving. There can be many different people praying a load in tongues. Be when spirit is moving and a single person gives out a message in tongues, the church will know and there’s nearly always be a interpretation.
John Kissinger [10/19/2015 2:48 PM]
Link Hudson are you now baptist?
Link Hudson [10/19/2015 3:22 PM]
John Kissinger, I’ve baptized a few people, but my beliefs that tongues need to be interpreted are a Pentecostal belief. It was held to in the A/G churches or at least practiced. I was at Family Worship Center in Baton Rogue before the Swaggart scandal, back when a lot of ‘big names’ in the A/G were either there or visited from time to time. The Bible college professors and the congregation in general certainly expected tongues spoken out in the congregation to be interpreted, and there wasn’t a practice of people praying out loud in tongues or doing so under their breath for the most part. Maybe you’d hear it at an altar call. The other A/G’s I visited or spent a lot of time in were the same way, expect maybe one way out in a small town.
Yoido, which probably wasn’t A/G when I went there, had the feel of a Presbyerian church, except for everyone praying in tongues for 30 seconds or a minute during the service.
I used to think of speaking in tongues en masse as a Charismatic, neo-Pentecostal practice, a bit of disorderly charismania. But I think there have been plenty of Pentecostal groups that do it. Some of the Pentecostal churches in the southeast have a practice of everyone praying at the same time, and some people may speak in tongues during that time.
There is some variety in Pentecostalism. I remember Seymour’s newsletter, where he said that after a while, they learned that there needed to be some order when it came to tongues. I wonder if some of those Pentecostals who were a bit more disorderly with the tongues were likely to have been influenced by folks who visited Azusa Street earlier in the revival rather than later. It could be that the A/Gs from the west with their CMA and other backgrounds were a bit ‘tamer’ when it comes to emotionalism and order than the folks from the revivalist Holiness background of the southeast.
There are also some of the Pentecostals from the Holiness heritage in the Southeast whose denominations were historically against the ‘prayer language’ idea, and thought of speaking in tongues as something that you can only do when the Spirit comes on you to do it, rather than as something to be stewarded. If you think that way, then it may not be a far leap to think that if you CAN speak in tongues at a particular moment, that you are supposed to. I Corinthians 14 makes it clear that speaking in tongues is to be stewarded.
Why would Paul have written in I Corinthians 14:27 for speakers in tongues to take turns if he weren’t against en masse speaking in tongues as an ongoing thing in the church meeting? I wonder how many Pentecostals bother to actually study the passage in depth. A lot of folks use their church experience and what they’ve heard in sermons as a standard of what to do in church.
But every generation of believers has a responsibilities to examine the scriptures to see if what they are doing lines up.
John Kissinger [10/19/2015 3:23 PM]
Did not answer my question about your theological roots?
Charles Page [10/19/2015 3:39 PM]
tongues are stewarded…never heard that but it makes sense to me! most Pentecostals have to “work it up” and then they say it is God speaking!!! go figure!!
Link Hudson [10/19/2015 4:19 PM]
I grew up in Pentecostal churches, teen years in the A/G. My parents were Baptists until I was about 2. I had a couple of uncles who were Baptist pastors, one of whom past away and lots of Baptist relatives. But I rarely visited Baptist churches when going to see relatives or when I went to relatives. My parents are both more Arminian in their view of things as far as soteriology is concerned.
My parents got involved in the A/G after going to a Charismatic meeting up at a fire hall in some town somewhere in Pennsyvania. We moved a lot, and I spent several years in NC in an independent Full Gospel church that was Pentecostal in style and doctrine, then spent middle and high school in A/G, with a brief stint in a COG (Cleveland) when we moved. I did got a Charismatic church when I was 7 and 8 when we lived in KY and there wasn’t a Pentecostal church in town.
John Ruffle [10/19/2015 4:23 PM]
I think we can get hung up on doctrinal interpretations and all of us misdvwgat the Holy Spirit wants to do in and through us. Legalism spells death to the Holy Spirit’s ascendancy.
Link Hudson [10/19/2015 4:25 PM]
I’m going to an independent bi-lingual Chinese church. I’ve heard beliefs there described as ‘Pentecostal.’
Link Hudson [10/19/2015 4:26 PM]
John Ruffle I see ignoring what the Lord has commanded for stewarding gifts as one of the main historical causes for the diminishing of the role of spiritual gifts in church meetings and in the life of the believer.
John Kissinger [10/19/2015 4:30 PM]
Link, so you’re basically a baptist who has visited Pentecostal churches on occasion. That explains a lot. Thanks Timothy Carter
Link Hudson [10/19/2015 4:58 PM]
John Kissinger I’ve only visited a Baptist churches on several occasions. I grew up in Pentecostalism, the A/G in particular. What is your background? Are you a neo-Pentecostal?
The word of God is a lot more important to me than denominational background.
Link Hudson [10/19/2015 5:00 PM]
Btw, I don’t know what anything I’ve written on this thread has to do with Baptists, except that they have Baptists like other Christians and may point out to you if your church deviates on something obvious. But most Baptist churches don’t seem to allow for orderly operation of gifts of the Spirit, or at least don’t have anyone trying to do it.
Link Hudson [10/19/2015 5:00 PM]
gifts like prophecy and tongues, I mean.
Timothy Carter [10/19/2015 6:50 PM]
Link Hudson you are correct the Apostle Paul does tell us that when we are gathered in church service and someone is giving out tongues without an interpretation for the third time then the speaker should remain silent.
Please notice it is the 3rd time when the speaker should remain silent.
Now let me ask you if John Doe is going to speak in tongues how is he going to know if Link Hudson is going to refuse to interpret the first time then the second time and then the third time?
How is sister better than everyone who is speaking in tongues going to know when she speaks in tongues for the first time in the church service going to know that link Hudson is going to refuse to interpret the first time the second time and the third time?
If this interpretation is so important to you why aren’t you interpreting?
I would like for you to answer all of these questions please I have a point.
A very good point which will be shown by the answer to these questions.
When the Apostle Paul talked about interpretation of tongues in the assembly of the saints he was only talking about one method of tongue use.
The interpretation of tongues is not the only method in which tongues are to be used. We also have the method of what some people or like to call “private prayer language”
Please don’t say that this private prayer language does not belong in the church. Because this is Holy Spirit talking through the individual. The Bible plainly says that Holy Spirit came up on them then they spoke in tongues. Earlier we hear Jesus run people out of the church with a whip and say my father’s house is a house of what? That’s right my father’s house of the house of prayer.
The church is a house of prayer. So how can we possibly stand back and claim that Holy Spirit is not allowed to pray in the house of prayer? This is a true question please answer.
John Kissinger [10/19/2015 6:52 PM]
basic baptist is NOT the same as primitive baptist Charles