Holy Spirit and God

Jesus, in His teachings, provided clear instructions for His followers, emphasizing the importance of spiritual gifts, including the practice of speaking in tongues. In Mark 16:17, He stated, “And these signs shall follow them that believe: In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues.” Furthermore, in John 4:24, Jesus highlighted the necessity of worshiping God “in spirit and truth.” Speaking in tongues is an expression of this spiritual worship, identifying believers as children of God. However, many traditional denominations, such as Baptists, Presbyterians, Anglicans, Methodists, Lutherans, and others, have chosen to forbid, oppose, and discourage speaking in tongues. This decision goes against Christ’s commands and leads to spiritual disobedience.

The Biblical Mandate for Speaking in Tongues

The New Testament provides a robust foundation for speaking in tongues. The day of Pentecost, described in Acts 2:1–4, marks when the Apostles were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in various tongues. This event signaled the birth of the Christian Church and showcased the power of the Holy Spirit working through believers. Paul’s letters to the Corinthians extensively discuss spiritual gifts, emphasizing that speaking in tongues is a significant aspect of personal edification and direct communication with God (1 Corinthians 14:2, 4, 14–15).

Paul’s directives in 1 Corinthians 14:39–40 are explicit: “Therefore, brethren, desire earnestly to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking with tongues. Let all things be done decently and in order.” This command underscores the importance of maintaining order while allowing the free expression of spiritual gifts, including tongues. The instruction is unequivocal, leaving no room for forbidding the practice.

The Importance of Speaking in Tongues

Speaking in tongues serves several vital purposes in the life of a believer. Firstly, it is a sign that follows those who believe, as Jesus mentioned in Mark 16:17. This sign confirms the presence of the Holy Spirit and signifies that the believer is genuinely born again. Secondly, speaking in tongues allows for direct communication with God. Paul explains in 1 Corinthians 14:2, “For he who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God, for no one understands him; however, in the spirit, he speaks mysteries.” This prayer is an intimate conversation with God, transcending human language and understanding.

Furthermore, speaking in tongues is a means of spiritual edification. As Paul states in 1 Corinthians 14:4, “He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself.” This personal edification strengthens the believer’s Spirit, enabling a deeper connection with God. In this sense, speaking in tongues is a gift and a vital practice for spiritual growth and maturity.

Denominational Opposition: A Path to Spiritual Disobedience

Despite the clear biblical mandate, many traditional denominations have chosen to forbid or discourage the practice of speaking in tongues. This opposition is not merely a theological disagreement but a direct violation of Christ’s commands. By forbidding speaking in tongues, these denominations are leading their congregations down a path of disobedience and spiritual stagnation.

Fear of Ex-Communication and Suppression of Spiritual Gifts

In some denominations, the opposition to speaking in tongues is so severe that members who practice it face threats of ex-communication. This fear of exclusion suppresses the free expression of spiritual gifts and creates an environment where believers cannot fully engage in the practices Jesus and the Apostles endorsed. Such measures are contrary to biblical teachings and detrimental to the congregation’s spiritual health.

The Consequences of Disobedience

Choosing to walk the path of forbidding speaking in tongues leads to significant spiritual consequences. Jesus warned in Matthew 7:13–14 about the broad road that leads to destruction and the narrow path that leads to life. By disobeying Christ’s commands regarding speaking in tongues, these denominations are on the broad road of spiritual disobedience, which ultimately leads to destruction. This disobedience manifests in several ways:

  1. Spiritual Stagnation: Without the practice of speaking in tongues, believers miss out on the personal edification and direct communication with God that this gift provides. In Revelation 3:16, Jesus criticizes this as the source of a lukewarm and stagnant faith.
  2. Division within the Body of Christ: Forbidding speaking in tongues creates division within the church, as some members feel compelled to suppress their spiritual gifts. This division weakens the unity and spiritual vitality of the congregation.
  3. Lack of Spiritual Power: The absence of speaking in tongues often correlates with a lack of other spiritual gifts and manifestations of the Holy Spirit. Thus, the church’s ability to exercise the authority and power that Jesus intended for His disciples is compromised.

Worshiping in Spirit and Truth

Jesus’ conversation with the Samaritan woman at the well in John 4:24 emphasizes the importance of worshiping God “in spirit and truth.” This form of worship goes beyond external rituals and ceremonies, requiring an intimate and authentic connection with God. Speaking in tongues is a profound expression of this spiritual worship, allowing believers to commune with God on a deep, personal level.

The Role of the Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit enables believers to worship in Spirit and truth. Paul explains in Romans 8:26–27 that the Spirit helps us in our weakness and intercedes with groanings too deep for words. Speaking in tongues manifests this intercession, where the Spirit prays through us in a language that transcends human understanding. This spiritual communication aligns the believer’s heart with God’s will and purposes.

The Call to Repentance and Restoration

For denominations that forbid or discourage speaking in tongues, there is an urgent need for repentance and restoration. Returning to biblical fidelity requires several key steps:

  1. Re-Evaluating Theological Positions: Denominations must re-examine their doctrinal stances on spiritual gifts, mainly speaking in tongues. This re-evaluation should be grounded in a thorough study of Scripture, recognizing these gifts’ ongoing relevance and importance for today’s believers.
  2. Educating and Empowering Believers: Church leaders should educate their congregations about the biblical basis and benefits of speaking in tongues. This education should include practical training on practicing this gift in private and corporate worship, ensuring believers can fully engage in this spiritual communication.
  3. Encouragement of Spiritual Gifts: Following Paul’s instructions in 1 Corinthians 14:40, churches should foster an atmosphere that encourages using all spiritual gifts, including tongues, while upholding decorum and order. This can involve setting aside specific times for corporate prayer and teaching sessions on the gifts of the Spirit.


Forbidding the speaking in tongues and opposing this practice is a direct violation of Christ’s commands. Jesus emphasized the importance of spiritual gifts, including speaking in tongues, as signs that follow believers and as essential components of worshiping God in Spirit and truth. Denominations that forbid or discourage speaking in tongues disobey Christ’s instructions and lead their congregations toward spiritual stagnation and disobedience.

Reverting to fully embracing all spiritual gifts, including speaking in tongues, is necessary for denominations to be in harmony with God’s will.

By doing so, they can ensure that they follow Christ, the head of the church, and not succumb to the deceptive influence of tradition and fear. In aligning with Scripture, believers can experience the fullness of God’s presence and power in their lives, fulfilling the call to “let all things be done decently and in order” (1 Corinthians 14:40). This return to scriptural obedience will foster a more vibrant, intimate, and spiritually powerful Christian community, truly worshiping God in Spirit and truth.

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By Global Media Express

The Global Media Express mission is clear: to use the power of media and technology to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with the world.