KANSAS CITY, MO—The young man was expected to begin speaking in heavenly languages as a verifiable seal of his salvation beginning around age six—but after much disappointment and many years of faith, prayer, perseverance, and practice mimicking the adults he observed at his charismatic church each Sunday, local teen Lewis Strahan, 16, has finally been blessed
I have good sense of humor and have always loved sites like The Onion, Clickhole and the fairly new Christian site The Babylon Bee. Some people are more apprehensive of the latter because they feel it can often times just be a mask to rant about things they differ with, but when is satire ever NOT a rant of some form?
That being the case, sometimes I read articles of theirs, which I know how to take in jest, and I think “gee, I wonder how they really feel about Benny Hinn“, or in this case, speaking in tongues?
A few times the satire writer links speaking in tongues with being a “verifiable sign of one’s salvation”. I wouldn’t nitpick or read too much into this since it’s meant to be humor, but often times their views are not far beneath the surface. The thing is, I don’t know any Pentecostals or charismatics personally who think this about speaking in tongues. But I do know a lot of evangelicals and cessationists who believe, and perpetuate the idea, that this is in fact how we feel about the gift of speaking in tongues.
I grew up in a Plymouth Brethren church in Canada before going to a charismatic Bible school in Florida, and I heard a lot of the misconceptions people have about the charismatic gifts — particularly speaking in tongues. I had lots of friends who were charismatics and if you read the first few chapters of my book, Nine Lies People Believe About Speaking in Tongues, you will hear some humorous and cringe worthy stories you might relate to if you’ve ever felt the pressure to ‘perform’ the gift so your Pentecostal friends will think you’ve received tongues. I totally get where this story is coming from. Believe me.
But I also know for myself and Scripturally that this gift is not fake. Can it be faked? Obviously the answer is yes. But if you’ve never received it yet, you’re still saved. In fact that particular misconception — that your Pentecostal friends look down their nose at you if you don’t speak in tongues — is the first lie I demolish in my book.