This piece by Mercy Survivor Chelsea was originally published on her personal blog, The Pink Propaganda, and can be viewed here.
At Mercy Ministries I came in contact a lot with speaking in tongues. Whether somebody was placing their hands on myself or another girl and talking in incomprehensible jibber jabber. There were even times when we were instructed to walk around the house to drive the spirits outs that often awaited us as the house was a place of complete spiritual warfare. I felt like Tombraider, knowing there could be a demon to bring you down around every corner. No, don’t talk to that person, they’re a landmine just waiting to breathe demons into you. Gear up and get ready for a battle. That was the motto.
At some point early on in my stay I also learned the fine finesse of speaking in tongues. It was an odd experience to say the least. I was naive and I was influential and we were given a choice. Stay and be baptized in the Holy Spirit or leave the classroom. Only those who had already learned and those two or three who wished not to, left. They turned on worship music in the background and two staff members walked around and told you that they would start speaking in tongues “eventually you’ll feel it in inside of you and you’ll start speaking in tongues too”.
So essentially just like the Apostle Paul did to the Church of Corinth, they would teach me to pray in tongues. They placed hands on each girls shoulders, back, head and started praying in a language I had never heard. I sat there for awhile not doing anything as their jibber jabber got louder and louder in my ear and I realized that if I didn’t start talking jibber jabber too, it would only get worse, and from then on I only used it when I had to. I was socially anxious, the last thing I wanted to do was talk out loud in my own language let alone a language I didn’t even understand.
Only they weren’t the apostle Paul and the only time that tongues is told to be used is when the Apostle Paul is teaching the church of Corinth in Corinthians, it’s part of a whole story, you can’t just take bits and pieces of the story. It’s also talked about in Acts when Jesus’s disciples are given the gift of tongues in order to speak to 16 different nations about Jesus’s resurrection. Again you can’t take bits and pieces.
Today’s modern day Pentecostal tongues cannot even be compared to the beauty of historical and Biblical tongues.
It seemed that up until about 100 years ago Christianity knew that tongues were only Biblical. So for 1,900 years we got that tongues were meant for only people in the Bible. But then came along Charles Parham, who preached that you could be baptized in the Holy Spirit by receiving these tongues and his message spread like wildfire and hence Pentecostalism was born.
“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.” ~ Matthew 7:15
Now let’s move on to the science of tongues
Linguists and anthropologists did a study on tongue speaking. They found that not only did pentecostal churches do it, but so did the occult, Voodoo worshipers, Native Americans, African tribes, and other Pagan religions. What linguists found was that what Pentecostals were speaking was no different then what the occult were speaking. This would be impossible, since Pentecostal Christians do not believe that non Christians can receive the gift of tongues.
“when all features of glossolalia (tongues) were taken into consideration—that is, the segmental structure (such as sounds, syllables, phrases) and its suprasegmental elements (namely, rhythm, accent, and especially overall intonation)— she concluded that there is no distinction in glossolalia between Christians and the followers of non-Christian (pagan) religions.” (1)
The closest to Christian tongues is Voodoo tongues.
Another linguist says that while speaking in tongues a person will use the same sounds and obey the same restrictions and their native language.
He believes that the act of speaking in tongues is equal to what babies do before they learn to speak. The incoherent, uncontrolled babbling that we learn early on as socially unacceptable. (2)
A study of five women’s brain images took while they spoke in tongues would support this, they found that their frontal lobes — the thinking, willful part of the brain through which people control what they do — were relatively quiet, along with the language centers. (3)