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Author Topic: Is Charismatic "speaking in tongues" demonic?  (Read 14887 times) Average Rating: 0
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MichaelArchangelos
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« on: July 11, 2007, 08:28:25 AM »

Today I was at lunch with my Catholic godmother, a friend and another guy. We discussed various issues about Christianity, and then, I can't remember how we got onto it, my Catholic godmother started speaking a whole load of gibberish. It sounded a bit like the Maori language, which she speaks, however what she said had the 'sh' sound which doesn't exist in Maori. She later told me that sometimes she speaks in Aramaic when this happens. I managed to record some of her babbling, and after playing it back, I heard the world "Yeshu" which sounds like "Jesus" in Aramaic. After she had finished, she said, "Many people need prayer. There are many that are in need. Many need peace in their hearts but don't have it."

Is what just happened here a demonic manifestation? I know it's not of God - God has "thousands of archangels and ten thousands of angels" ready to do His bidding, and if He wanted to send a message, he would send one of them. So do you think that this manifestation would be demonic or could she just be making the whole thing up (she doesn't seem like that sort of person, though).

What would also be interesting would be to get the recording translated. Does anyone here speak Aramaic?
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« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2007, 10:12:41 AM »

Oh wow.  Shocked You've asked a doozy of a question.

Here's as much as I know: All signs that are of God can be counterfeited by the devil and his angels. That is why we must pray for discernment, that we may know which are of God and which are not.

I was in a charismatic Pentecostal church for about seven years, and I heard people speaking in tongues quite frequently. Never did what they say directly contradict Christ's life or teachings, but it was always so vague that it never really instructed us either. Usually they were of the "psychic" variety--just specific enough to make people think they are applicable, vague enough to make sure they are.

I think the only really harmful thing about the charismatic speaking in tongues is that it confuses people about real glossolalia. Glossolalia that is from God always serves to communicate His message. You are right in that angels are God's messengers, but humans can be too. Were not the gospels written by men? Communication is always the end result of the divine gifts.

So that brings me back to the origin of this manifestation. There are really three possible origins for any manifestation: divine, demonic, and human. Therefore, even if something is not divine, it is not necessarily demonic. It could be just something your godmother made up--and this could be the case even if your godmother is convinced she didn't. The mind can do strange things, especially when it wants something to be true.

Sorry for being so indirect, but I can't really say, not having been there; and even if I were, I'm not sure I would know. Hope this helps.
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« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2007, 10:47:33 AM »

Is what just happened here a demonic manifestation? I know it's not of God - God has "thousands of archangels and ten thousands of angels" ready to do His bidding, and if He wanted to send a message, he would send one of them.

A bit presumptuous of God, don't you think?

It may very well be from God, or it may not. I went through a brief charismatic phase after my final conversion a few years ago---I hung around with charismatics, even went for some "deliverances." I spoke in tongues and had other "manifestations of the spirit." I remember going to a retreat where people lined up in two parallel rows, creating a human tunnel, laying their hands on people as they passed through the tunnel. You know, passing the holy spirit to them. I got so into it, speaking in tongues, dripping with sweat, my body shaking. People's knees frequently buckled or they fell to the floor as I laid my hands on them as they passed by.

I'm not sure what to think of it today. I do feel somewhat embarrassed about it, because I'm a very reserved, shy, soft-spoken guy. I don't speak in tongues anymore (if that was what I was doing) or do any of the other stuff. The thing is, I don't think it was from the Devil, because the fruits of it were very good. At the same time, I cannot with certainty whether it came from God or from my mind. Ultimately I tend to think it may have come from both. God provided the cake, and I added the frosting.

With your godmother, it's hard to say where it comes from. If what see says is the truth, it is good to heed (though her particular "prophecy" seems a bit vague and obvious, though certainly worth saying).
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« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2007, 11:09:23 AM »

yes
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« Reply #4 on: July 11, 2007, 11:30:06 AM »

^

WooHoo! *confetti falls from ceiling amid streamers and balloons* Cheesy  Cool  Wink Way to respond to the title without reading the post or paying attention to the actual person! Yeah, you go fatman! That's the way, uh huh, we like it!  Wink
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« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2007, 12:01:20 PM »

The scriptures tell us that speaking in tongues was practiced in the apostolic times.  I am of the opinion that, since similar practices were used by the pagan religions at that time, the founders of the Church thought it would be better to let the practice die out to avoid confusion.  Seems they were right when you take a look at the modern charismatics. 
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« Reply #6 on: July 11, 2007, 12:46:19 PM »

The scriptures tell us that speaking in tongues was practiced in the apostolic times.  I am of the opinion that, since similar practices were used by the pagan religions at that time, the founders of the Church thought it would be better to let the practice die out to avoid confusion.  Seems they were right when you take a look at the modern charismatics. 

Except that it never died out, not in the Orthodox sense. Even in this decade, I know of a priest who has been able to hear and understand confessions in Russian, though he himself knows none of the language. He even is able to give advice, and he says that though he thinks in English and intends to speak in English, his mouth makes different sounds, and he is able to give absolution in Russian. Such occurrences are not rare. This is an example of glossolalia, the "gift of tongues" spoken of in Scripture.
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« Reply #7 on: July 11, 2007, 12:52:50 PM »

Thanks for bringing this up, I have a very good friend whose father speaks in toungues, and the only reason his kids don't go to the grandad's church is some argument over what exactly constitutes "tongues" and "interpret"  Made no sense to me, I've never been to a charismatic type church. It's all very weird and strange to me.
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« Reply #8 on: July 11, 2007, 06:11:40 PM »

Some other threads that have spoken on this issue:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,4765.0.html

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,6848.0.html

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,2660.0.html

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,7340.0.html
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TinaG
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« Reply #9 on: July 11, 2007, 06:22:20 PM »

It's all very weird and strange to me.

I know what you mean.  Way way back in college I went through a bubba dating phase (Texas, 1980's yata yata) and visited this guys folks for the weekend.  Real far, real rural East Texas.  Went to this small pentecostal church with his family on Sunday and when everyone started speaking in tongues and rolling on the floor, I realized this German Lutheran girl was way out of her league and this relationship was definitely a walk on the weird side.  You think Muslims have strange and repressive attitudes towards women, good 'ol boys ain't fer behind.

The scriptures tell us that speaking in tongues was practiced in the apostolic times.  I am of the opinion that, since similar practices were used by the pagan religions at that time, the founders of the Church thought it would be better to let the practice die out to avoid confusion.  Seems they were right when you take a look at the modern charismatics. 

Can you explain please?  How can the Church (Orthodox that is) let a practice that is governed by the Holy Spirit "die out"?  I am not comfortable at all with glossolalia but if the Holy Spirit has certain uses for it, I don't see how the Church can discourage that.

  
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« Reply #10 on: July 11, 2007, 07:15:24 PM »

Can you explain please?  How can the Church (Orthodox that is) let a practice that is governed by the Holy Spirit "die out"?  I am not comfortable at all with glossolalia but if the Holy Spirit has certain uses for it, I don't see how the Church can discourage that.

I'm not so sure if it's a case of the Church letting it die out so much as a case of the Lord not having as widespread need of it.  If you look at the account that ybitteriumanalyst pointed out, I believe that fits the description of the gift that we find in Acts.  As the Gospel was gradually brought to more and more people who spoke more and more tongues, the need for people to be given the gift of speaking a tongue they've never learned gradually diminishes.

The "speaking in tongues" practiced by charismatics is by and large nothing more than a modern day set of the Emperor's New Clothess.  They all know they're speaking gibberish, but they're all so afraid of being labelled as not having the Holy Spirit that they fake it.  It's a system based on mutually reinforcing fraud.
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« Reply #11 on: July 11, 2007, 07:31:36 PM »


The "speaking in tongues" practiced by charismatics is by and large nothing more than a modern day set of the Emperor's New Clothess.  They all know they're speaking gibberish, but they're all so afraid of being labelled as not having the Holy Spirit that they fake it.  It's a system based on mutually reinforcing fraud.

I guess some fake it or for many it's a sort of mass emotional hyperhysteria.  Everyone has an expectation that this must happen at a church service or you don't have spirit-filling annointing.  You aren't "normal" if you aren't speaking in tongues.  It's a frenzied experience that sets everyone off.  Does anyone remember the slumber party game "Light As A Feather"?  It seemed very real to be lying on the floor with six psyched out 13 year old girls reciting "you're light as a feather, you're light as a feather", then being lifted up with only one finger under each of your arms and legs.  All suggestion, emotional hysteria.
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« Reply #12 on: July 12, 2007, 03:21:32 AM »

Yes.....see "Orthodoxy and the Religion of the Future" Fr. Seraphim Rose.
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« Reply #13 on: July 12, 2007, 11:11:35 PM »

Yes.....see "Orthodoxy and the Religion of the Future" Fr. Seraphim Rose.
Can you give us a summary of Fr. Seraphim's take on the Charismatic Movement and why you proclaim his conclusions to be true?  The above statement strikes me as rather blunt and dogmatic, and I'd like you to defend your position.
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« Reply #14 on: July 12, 2007, 11:11:42 PM »

It is too rash to accuse people who "speak in tounges" of being possessed, or the devil talking through them. Sure there are demons who probably do that to some of the people;however, I think that for most who think they are speaking in tounges, it is all just really in their heads. The gift of tounges is very rare, but I would not completely dismiss it, just like I wouldn't dismiss any of the various experiences we read about the saints and monastics having on a daily basis.
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« Reply #15 on: July 12, 2007, 11:19:45 PM »

In what ways has anything quasi-prophetic that Fr. Seraphim Rose wrote in that book came to pass? UFO stuff is not nearly as popular as it was ten or fifteen years ago; the charismatic movement has made no further inroads into Catholicism, Orthodoxy, etc. than it had decades ago, and is still largely stuck in the same niche it's been in for a generation or two; ecumenism is no worse today than fifteen years ago. I can think of very little that Fr. Seraphim got right in his "the sky is falling" rhetoric. In the late 80's or early 90's, I can see someone buying into that hysteria. They'd be wrong, but I could understand it, if they already bought into all the other stuff Fr. Seraphim believed. But today? Come on, quit kidding yourself.
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« Reply #16 on: July 12, 2007, 11:21:35 PM »

It is too rash to accuse people who "speak in tounges" of being possessed, or the devil talking through them. Sure there are demons who probably do that to some of the people;however, I think that for most who think they are speaking in tounges, it is all just really in their heads. The gift of tounges is very rare, but I would not completely dismiss it, just like I wouldn't dismiss any of the various experiences we read about the saints and monastics having on a daily basis.
Postolowka has recommended for our reading Orthodoxy and the Religion of the Future, by Fr. Seraphim Rose.  I've read this, so I'm familiar with Fr. Seraphim's opinions of the Charismatic Movement.  I do find his recounting of others' experiences of Charismatic glossolalia somewhat convincing that much of what happens in the Charismatic experience is quite probably demonic.  But this is in no way a denigration of the genuinely Divine gift of tongues I'm sure God blesses some persons to exercise.

You shall know them by their fruits.  If the fruit of one's charismatic experience is Pharisaical self-righteousness, liturgical disorder, and pride, then the experience is very likely demonic, for it cannot be of God.  If the fruit of one's experience is contrite repentance and that fruit of the Spirit described in Galatians 5:22-23, then the experience is most likely Divine.  You shall know them by their fruits.
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« Reply #17 on: July 12, 2007, 11:30:36 PM »

In what ways has anything quasi-prophetic that Fr. Seraphim Rose wrote in that book came to pass? UFO stuff is not nearly as popular as it was ten or fifteen years ago; the charismatic movement has made no further inroads into Catholicism, Orthodoxy, etc. than it had decades ago, and is still largely stuck in the same niche it's been in for a generation or two; ecumenism is no worse today than fifteen years ago. I can think of very little that Fr. Seraphim got right in his "the sky is falling" rhetoric. In the late 80's or early 90's, I can see someone buying into that hysteria. They'd be wrong, but I could understand it, if they already bought into all the other stuff Fr. Seraphim believed. But today? Come on, quit kidding yourself.
What you seem to be criticizing is Fr. Seraphim's vision of where the world's religious streams were headed 25-35 years ago.  IMO, one can accept his criticism of what happens within the Charismatic churches without accepting his judgment of where the Charismatic Movement is headed.  Maybe the movement has stagnated.  But regardless of where the Charismatic Movement stands right now, how can we describe worship in today's Charismatic churches?  I think that is what the OP has asked us.
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« Reply #18 on: July 13, 2007, 08:09:02 AM »

In the church I went to, it was very polished. They had a Branson theatre in mind when they built the place, and that is how it functioned. For those who have, praise be to God, never been to a Branson theatre, they are slick moneymakers. They do two shows a day, a matinee and an evening performance. They are all built on some inane premise, mostly either "hillbillies are dumb and have no teeth" or "the decade in which you grew up is SO much better than this decade." So hillbilly clowns grace the stage for far too long, while others tell bad jokes designed to make the audience feel superior to the fine people who live in the Ozarks (BTW, we've produced some fine minds--Edwin Hubble, astronomer and inventor of the Hubble Telescope, was an Ozarks hillbilly). Else the show is full of nostalgia, and Elvis and Beatles impersonators are ubiquitous. One thing that doesn't change, though, is the pandering to veterans (and I mean no disrespect toward veterans, only to the people who coddle them for money: the latter disgust me). During every show it seems, there comes some time when the veterans are instructed to stand up and everyone applauds them. They all do this because the average age of a visitor to Branson places them at just the right age to have fought in WW2 or Korea, and they want these people to feel special so they see the show again and thus spend more money. It's sick.

This is what this church had in mind when they designed their current building, and the service follows the idea pretty closely. They sing some feel-good songs for a few minutes, never spending more than about two minutes on each song. The lyrics are short and repetitive so everyone can learn them easily. Next the pastor gets up and addresses the crowd and shows commercials on the Jumbotrons for the "ministries" the church offers. Then the musicians resume with soft, innocuous "I could sing of your love forever"-type worship music that may or may not say anything about God. Most of them sound like easy listening love songs--Sting, James Taylor, etc. After this, the pastor gives his sermon, which is long and (what do you expect?) is accompanied by PowerPoint. It's only on a handful of topics--usually sex or money. The former is easy to talk about; just give the Republicans' current position, and churchgoers will agree with you and think you've set a hard line against those sinners. The latter is often talked about because that's mainly what these churches are about: attracting the greatest number of people they can, and to do that, they need to provide every luxury imaginable, so they ask for money. A lot.

The two things you will never find in this service are communion and baptism. Those are always done on Sunday or Wednesday night so as not to make seekers feel uncomfortable (yes, that was the actual answer I got from a pastor at this church).

This was my experience. I'm absolutely certain it varies greatly from other Pentecostal churches, and is probably more representative of a nondenom megachurch than it is a typical Pentecostal church (this church has nearly 10,000 members, and the building sits on 40 acres). Still, this is the church where most of the administration of the Assemblies of God attend, and though I'm not sure if the Pentecostal Pope attends there, I have seen a remarkable increase in the number of similar Pentecostal churches in this area.
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« Reply #19 on: July 13, 2007, 01:37:09 PM »

Question:  Has anyone belonging to this Forum ever personally spoken in "tongues"?  If so, share your experiences please.
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« Reply #20 on: July 13, 2007, 02:52:51 PM »

You can find my experiences discussed above.
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« Reply #21 on: July 13, 2007, 03:00:44 PM »

I've read that book. Thought it was good.

First one must define terms. There's speaking in tongues like in Acts where the Apostles spoke real languages they didn't grow up with or study, and then there's glossolalia, ecstatically speaking nonsense sounds, which seems to have sprung up in 1906 in a Los Angeles church and until the mid-1900s was just about exclusive to some eccentric Protestant sects which were/are also big on faith healing.

[Pentecostalism/charismatism = Methodism + enthusiasm in the Ronald Knox sense (what Fr Seraphim and his teachers called prelest', here meaning 'delusion')?

The Church of the Nazarene is one of the oldest and most conservative Pentecostal churches and is an offshoot of Methodism.

Oral Roberts was born a Methodist and grew up in the Pentecostal Holiness Church which may be an offshoot; he is a Methodist today.]

I've done neither but have heard the second live.

I wouldn't go as far as saying it's always demonic but think it can be.

To give authentic Pentecostals/charismatics credit they say this sign must always have someone who can prove it's good by interpreting what's allegedly being said.

Sidebar: Immigrants from Latin cultures (including Filipinos) often go to these churches as well as Mass as it fits their emotional, devotional folk Catholicism nicely. (Which also partly explains the 40-year-old charismatic movement in the Roman Church.) Lots of Hispanics do it now but it's nothing new. Had a high-school teacher whose Italian family did that back in the 1950s: went to Mass on Sunday and had their folk devotions to saints at home but on Wednesday nights went to the Pentecostal church in town to hear the preaching, wail, swoon and pray for healing, etc. Near here, in South Philadelphia, there's an Assemblies of God church with an ethnic-Italian pastor (nice, nice man - his grandparents left the Roman Church) who speaks italiano and has some services in it, and there is a whole Pentecostal denomination in the US that began as Italian. It also parallels, frighteningly, the 'possessed by spirits' ecstatic experience of some Hispanics and black-French creoles in voodoo and santeria (really transplanted Yoruba religion from Africa).

P.S. I've been to Branson once, long before it got big. The Silver Dollar City amusement park was charming and Marvel Cave was cool. Now? I understand 'it's like Las Vegas would be if Ned Flanders ran it' as 'The Simpsons' said.
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« Reply #22 on: July 13, 2007, 03:07:39 PM »

I've been to Branson once, long before it got big. The Silver Dollar City amusement park was charming and Marvel Cave was cool. Now? I understand 'it's like Las Vegas would be if Ned Flanders ran it' as 'The Simpsons' said.

That's absolutely correct.
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« Reply #23 on: July 13, 2007, 03:24:38 PM »

Another thought. Got this line from 'Law & Order': 'People would respect voodoo if white people practised it.'

You can say Pentecostalism is more or less that.

But because of its dangers - especially people dying after alleged faith healings - it has been looked down upon by people in more mainstream churches.

Miracles can and do happen of course. These people's mistake - like with their theological neighbours the snake-handlers - is to PRESUME God will give them. Like Jesus said to the devil in the desert: don't tempt God!

That and people like Oral Roberts - just like corrupt friars in the Middle Ages with fake relics and selling indulgences - reckoned there's lots of cash to be harvested from making these claims.

And like with race there is a class connexion: it's identified with poorer people in the American South.
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« Reply #24 on: July 13, 2007, 03:37:53 PM »

The Church of the Nazarene is one of the oldest and most conservative Pentecostal churches and is an offshoot of Methodism.
I grew up in the Church of the Nazarene, so I can tell you that they are definitely NOT a Pentecostal church.  You are correct in saying that the Church of the Nazarene is conservative and an offshoot of Methodism; to be more specific, this sect can be described as a solidification of a particularly revivalist form of frontier Methodism. As such, they have shared with Pentecostal Wesleyanism their commitment to temperance-movement holiness.  But the Church of the Nazarene has historically been very skeptical of the Pentecostal experience.
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« Reply #25 on: July 13, 2007, 03:57:37 PM »

Right, they're not rolling in the aisles foaming at the mouth and glossolaling and are very suspicious of that IIRC. That's what I meant by 'conservative'.
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« Reply #26 on: July 13, 2007, 06:19:07 PM »

The picture that has been painted is fairly accurate but especially in relation to "seeker-sensitive" type Pentecostals.

Here are a few interesting links on Tongues:

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/07/health/07brain.html?ei=5090&en=68361191b569c568&ex=1320555600&adxnnl=1&partner=rssuserland&emc=rss&adxnnlx=1184364614-48S3Qf03yu05n7u3Chy2sA

http://www.religioustolerance.org/tongues5.htm

http://www.frame-poythress.org/poythress_articles/1980Linguistic.htm

A discussion of Pentecostals and such can be found at a thread I started:  http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,9819.0.html
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« Reply #27 on: July 13, 2007, 08:18:48 PM »

Okay, first off, my original comment was misleading as to how I perceived the issue at hand. Although I highly recommend Fr. Seraphim's work, I do not believe every sentence is totally set in stone and prophetic, I do believe it is a guidepoint for things to be wary of. I like to think of it as a generalization of how to look at things......when in doubt, doubt. I especially liked the conclusion with how it describes the Protestant perception of 'revival'. I tend to watch alot of the televangelists (because I'm nuts) in my free time, the parallels are there!

I do not neccessarily beleive all instances of 'tongues' to be demonic. But I do believe the onus is on the subjects to provide justifiable evidence against demonic presence, not vice versa. I can not think of an instance where 'tongues' would occur at for example my parish, but I may be shortsighted.

I think the danger in the gift would be how it is used. Blatant ecumenism with the heterodox believer is a dicy proposition. I will come under fire for saying this....but when some random catechumen, layperson, clergy, hierarch etc. can exhibit the use of tongues and the only justification needed is for them to produce an interpretation.....come on! That is an open door for all sorts of abuse, demon inspired or otherwise.

I would like to produce as semiunrelated examples the following. I recently received two accounts from a friend of mine (who attends a Protestant Bible College, we went to high school together). The accounts were details of two exorcisms performed at the Bible College, one on my friend, the other on his friend. Now present at both times were teenage students, in one account involving the prayer of several dozen maybe even hundreds of fellow students, and faculty at the College.

Besides the obvious unorthodox viewpoint on the theology used etc (I can provide both accounts if interested parties send me a pm) I think it raises an obvious point. Whether they were actual demonic manifestations and exorcisms is debatable, the fact that the people involved believed they were is not. Now it is possible for the external Grace of God to exorcise those demons, but yet they would still remain acts of Grace outside of the Church. I would consider that occurences of "tongues" may occur to members of the Church, but may not be acts of the Church itself. Am I making sense??

As another example, I was recently approached at work (I am a cashier at Canadian Tire) with the offer to attend a "healing service" of the Evangelical Protestant variety. Now you would have to meet me to understand that my disability is rather obvious (and a very sensitive topic, he is lucky I didn't sock him one haha). I declined the offer. Now I could have gone, and maybe this "man of God" could have healed me. But that doesn't mean that his gift is of the Church. It could mean that God in His infinite wisdom, decided to heal me by the hands of a heterodox Christian. Or it could be that maybe that day a Dark presence wished to prey on a weak point of mine...when in doubt, doubt...

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« Reply #28 on: July 14, 2007, 09:17:53 AM »

Thanks for the replies.

I would like to actually have the recording that I made of the "tongues" translated to see what she was actually saying. I heard a story about a Roman Catholic priest who went to a charismatic gathering. A man was "speaking in tongues", however this priest had been a missionary in Africa and had learned the local language. The man who was speaking in tongues was speaking the very same language, and the priest could understand what he was saying: he was cursing God!

Does anyone here know Aramaic and could translate the recording?
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« Reply #29 on: July 14, 2007, 09:29:13 AM »

MichaelArchangelos,

A similar event to what you reported has happened near my parish recently. This is why I am very cautious regarding this type of glossolalia. I have also recently heard of a similar event to the priest hearing the confession in a language he did not commonly speak. Perhaps this is because the Spirit seeks to comfort and redeem, not be confusing.

Anyway, if/when you get the tape translated, please remember to pray at least before and after you hear the tape (and preferably during as well, if you can concentrate on the prayer).

It'd be interesting to hear how Jesus Christ is pronounced, if at all, on those tapes...
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« Reply #30 on: July 14, 2007, 09:35:16 AM »

We were told a story of someone in Egypt attending a Charismatic meeting and then speaking in Coptic (the ancient liturgical language of the native Orthodox Christians). A member of the church then began to supposedly translate what the person appeared to be saying in tongues only to be attacked and confounded as a liar and deceiver since the translation was completely incorrect. Pretty sly huh  Grin
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« Reply #31 on: July 23, 2007, 09:22:26 AM »

That sort of brings me back to what I always thought/wondered.  Speaking in tongues..interpreter...I keep going back to the idea that it was meant in the delivering the word of God to whatever locals there were in their language, and/or having a speaker of said language interpret.  That makes the most sense to me.  But if someone is in a religious ecstasy, or whatever you want to call it, how do we know what they are saying if anything and whether it is real or not...and how can anyone interpret that anyway?  I guess it's just very confusing.  I suppose I could ask my neighbor about it, but you know what a touchy subject that can be.  Especially as I wouldn't want to unintentionally insult anyones father!

oh, reading through some of these posts, can someone clue me in on the Methodist/pentacostal relation? Links are fine.  My family was Methodist, and my Grandpa's Baptist (though he refused to ever set foot in a church after he left home) and no mention was EVER made of speaking in tongues, in fact it was considered just plain strange.
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« Reply #32 on: July 23, 2007, 10:29:35 AM »

Especially as I wouldn't want to unintentionally insult anyones father!
So you would do it intentionally?  Wink Cheesy

oh, reading through some of these posts, can someone clue me in on the Methodist/pentacostal relation? Links are fine.  My family was Methodist, and my Grandpa's Baptist (though he refused to ever set foot in a church after he left home) and no mention was EVER made of speaking in tongues, in fact it was considered just plain strange.
What I heard in the AoG church was that they were not at all related. In fact, the AoG trace their history to the Azusa Street Revival (as they call it) in Los Angeles, 1904. Here's the story from the horse's mouth: http://ag.org/top/about/history.cfm To them, this event was a resuscitation of the Church spoken about in the Acts of the Apostles, which had not existed since Constantine. A huge gap, I know, but the AoG's lack of interest in history prodded me to learn it, and thus find Orthodoxy.
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« Reply #33 on: July 23, 2007, 02:07:42 PM »

Sounds to me like the Religion of the Future.    Perhaps Tane Mahuta was speaking through granny - no disrespect to her, but Maori religion ain't dead.   And yes, the disciples of the Great Problem-Solver tell us that he will speak through our minds, not on TV.
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« Reply #34 on: July 23, 2007, 02:13:16 PM »

<You shall know them by their fruits.>  that assumes that we can recognize fruit when we see it.  I would not be too sure. With all the PC kopros masquarading as Christainity, it's hard to know what is the truth.
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« Reply #35 on: July 23, 2007, 02:14:34 PM »

I believe the "relation" between Pentecostals and Methodism is one of beliefs.  The story I have been told (from the Pentecostal side) is that Martin Luther restored salvation by grace to the church, John Wesley restored sanctification and a life of holiness, and the Pentecostals of the Early 20th Century restored the baptism in the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues.  (Please bear in mind this is what many Pentes believe--it is not what I believe--so there is little need to argue with me about these points).
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« Reply #36 on: July 27, 2007, 12:17:42 AM »

oh, reading through some of these posts, can someone clue me in on the Methodist/pentacostal relation? Links are fine.  My family was Methodist, and my Grandpa's Baptist (though he refused to ever set foot in a church after he left home) and no mention was EVER made of speaking in tongues, in fact it was considered just plain strange.

What I heard in the AoG church was that they were not at all related. In fact, the AoG trace their history to the Azusa Street Revival (as they call it) in Los Angeles, 1904. Here's the story from the horse's mouth: http://ag.org/top/about/history.cfm To them, this event was a resuscitation of the Church spoken about in the Acts of the Apostles, which had not existed since Constantine. A huge gap, I know, but the AoG's lack of interest in history prodded me to learn it, and thus find Orthodoxy.

I thought this web page from Oral Roberts University a good exposition of the Methodist/Holiness/Pentecostal connection:
The Origins of the Pentecostal Movement, by Vinson Synan, Ph.D.
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« Reply #37 on: July 27, 2007, 09:11:13 AM »

If one visits ORU, there is a center for studies of the Charismatic/Pentecostal movement. Being descended from some of the original AoG, however, I can say that Azusa had nothing directly to do with the Assemblies of God. The core of the AoG was in the Southern states, and before the organization in Arkansas, what would become the Districts already existed as smaller denominations. These denominations were mostly made up from Holiness Wesleyans who had been ejected from their congregations for speaking in tongues. Some (such as the Alabama district - which Greenaways were there at the founding, if anyone remembers Charles Greenaway) were called 'Church of God'. At ORU, they did place an emphasis on the Azusa Revival, but those involved in the creation of the Assemblies of God (as a missionary association, not a denomination) had not participated at Azusa, or had influence from it. My Grandfather (Dr. David Wakefield) was pretty annoyed at ORU's pushing of Azusa as an 'origin event' - the congregations that would become the AoG already existed before Azusa. Rather, the movement sprang up without Azusa in the Carolinas, the Deep South, the Appalachians, Ozarks, and Southern Great Plains. The Christian Missionary Alliance was the pattern after which the AoG wanted to be organized. The AoG's theology is called 'Classical Pentecostal'.

The groups that did come out of the Azusa Revival tended to be more 'Holiness Pentecostal', and influenced more by Calvinism. Back at ORU there is a large unpublished in-depth history of the Assemblies of God that was put together by an AoG historian. In it, some interesting facts included the major presence of Hebrew Christians, many clergy who were MEC-South, that there was some influence from Evan Roberts in Wales, and that besides the Wesleyan Methodist origins and CMA associations, many other AoG (especially in Northern states) had formerly been American Baptist congregations (which tends, I think, to cause regional differences in the AoG. When my mother was a teenager back on furlough, she would attend camp. AoG Youth Camp in Wisconsin, the were forbidden to wear makeup but boys and girls swam together, but in Oklahoma they could wear all the makeup they wanted, but boys and girls had separate times to swim. And, if you know anything about Pentecostals, they have 'theological reasons' for all those policies.)

The Topeka event also had nothing directly to do with the AoG. The man responsible for that movement (a rascist in fact), moved to Houston, TX and founded what are called the 'Apostolic churches' (again, Holiness Penecostal rather than Classical Pentecostal.) His refusal to let a black preacher sit in on his classes is what prompted the Azusa movement - which birthed the Church of God, COGIC, and similar 'Pentecostal Holiness' churches that differ heavily from the AoG theology and practice.
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« Reply #38 on: July 27, 2007, 12:29:14 PM »

Good points. My great-grandfather (an AoG pastor in Garden City, KS) was also not present at Azusa, nor did he have any influence from it. He was, however, at the first General Council of the AoG (somewhere around 1910, if memory serves me right).

I merely pointed to Azusa as being the current official beginning of the AoG--its origins are apparently mutable.
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« Reply #39 on: July 27, 2007, 04:54:11 PM »

Good points. My great-grandfather (an AoG pastor in Garden City, KS) was also not present at Azusa, nor did he have any influence from it. He was, however, at the first General Council of the AoG (somewhere around 1910, if memory serves me right).

I probably know some of your folk then - spent years going to Wheat State Camp in SE Kansas (my father pastored for 16 years near Wichita.) My grandfather started many of the AoG churches there in So. MO up in the Ozarks - and my Bro-in-Law's father still pastors one near Springfield. All of my family is still heavily involved, though mostly in North Texas District and Oklahoma District (some in-laws work for Pentecostal Evangel, and my uncle has taught at SAGU, CBC, Evangel, and was Dean of CTS in Brussels, Belgium back in the early 90s.) Any chance you could invite some of them over for the Divine liturgy? Smiley

Quote
I merely pointed to Azusa as being the current official beginning of the AoG--its origins are apparently mutable.

It is part of the backwash from the Televangelists and the Charismatic movement. There were changes happening constantly that made myself and other members of my family unhappy back in the 70s, 80s, and 90s. One was the introduction of Calvinist theology in some circles. The stressing of Azusa (part of it one can blame on ORU) was another. Now, the AoG did have an indirect influence from Azusa. Parham, being a racist, wouldn't let Seymour sit in on classes or services in Houston. So, Seymour sat outside and learned - then went and started Azusa. After Azusa, apparently many of Parham's coreligionists would not let Black people in to worship with them. The groups that formed the AoG then came up with resistance from Black congregations that refused to have White pastors. Thus the Black congregations tended to migrate towards COGIC - which was, of course, Holiness (believing in a Second Work of Grace - ie, Instant Sanctification rather than Sanctification as a life-long process.) Other things I was unhappy about, as my grandparents were - politicization of the AoG (the 'Reagan revolution'), loss of modesty and a new laxity in Christian life amongst the youth, and the worst: the infiltration of Latter Rain ideas back into the AoG (which had been kicked out of AoG as a heresy a generation before), such as laying on of hands for just about anything. We always had that tension then, from the late 80s on - where we almost left for Vineyard (Dad being friends with Wimber), or for Foursquare (Roy Hicks being a mentor, before he went to Toronto), or to some other denoms. (Strangely enough, in 1989 my father had told me if he could ever leave the AoG, he'd become Armenian Orthodox - as they were the first Christian church. I don't think he'd admit to it now, my conversion has made him more a 'Party man' than ever.)

But - the Azusa thing has been a sore spot with my folks (including my grandfather, who passed away in '93.)
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« Reply #40 on: July 27, 2007, 05:33:08 PM »

I probably know some of your folk then - spent years going to Wheat State Camp in SE Kansas (my father pastored for 16 years near Wichita.) My grandfather started many of the AoG churches there in So. MO up in the Ozarks - and my Bro-in-Law's father still pastors one near Springfield. All of my family is still heavily involved, though mostly in North Texas District and Oklahoma District (some in-laws work for Pentecostal Evangel, and my uncle has taught at SAGU, CBC, Evangel, and was Dean of CTS in Brussels, Belgium back in the early 90s.) Any chance you could invite some of them over for the Divine liturgy? Smiley
Possibly. I know my great-grandfather became sorely disillusioned with the AoG church and left sometime around 1930. As a result, his last four children (my grandmother was the last of eight) despised it and never became involved in any church. However, his first four were still involved in the AoG, although they all lived in either St. Louis or Chicago. When my mother decided to go to church, they picked a Church of Christ, but eventually came to an AoG church near Springfield. That's the one I grew up in. So I know the Pentecostal Evangel, and all those colleges. Even got myself a degree from Evangel. Your uncle teach there between 2001 and 2006? Also, what church does your brother-in-law's father pastor? Pretty likely I know the place if it's not too far from Springfield.

I camped at Eagle Rock, though--never went to Wheat State. I liked the SoMo youth director--Darin something or another. Really nice guy.
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« Reply #41 on: August 02, 2007, 07:10:03 PM »

There are really three possible origins for any manifestation: divine, demonic, and human. Therefore, even if something is not divine, it is not necessarily demonic. It could be just something your godmother made up--and this could be the case even if your godmother is convinced she didn't. The mind can do strange things, especially when it wants something to be true.

In my college "church-hopping" days, I attended a few non-denom charismatic churches, some AoG churches, Baptist, and others and it seemed that the majority of congregations who spoke in tongues did so from their own initiative.  I went to one church where, like clockwork, someone would break into tongues around 9:30 am, someone else would interpret (usually some vague though well-meaning message), then someone else would follow suit.  This took about 15 minutes and then services would resume.  In all of those churches I attended, I would estimate the congregation as 99% native English speakers.  Maybe I'm being narrow-minded, but it seems superfluous to me for God to communicate in a foreign or "unknown" language to a group of people who speak one language anyway.  From the things I've read in scripture, it seems that tongues are used as a vehicle of communication when there are no other means. 

As far as demonic manifestation, I do believe that is possible.  I've heard other mention, besides in this topic, of a tongue, once interpreted, containing blasphemies.  Granted, that could come from the individual but of the people I've witnessed, they would be horrified to know what they said.
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« Reply #42 on: August 03, 2007, 08:57:10 AM »

I went to one church where, like clockwork, someone would break into tongues around 9:30 am, someone else would interpret (usually some vague though well-meaning message), then someone else would follow suit.  This took about 15 minutes and then services would resume.

I think you are absolutely right. But to explain the above - that is true in the congregations that hold to a view that "Biblical speaking in tongues" demands the gift of interpretation also be present. This is something that tends to separate Pentecostal congregations more from Charismatic (where it can be a 'prayer language', speak in tongues anytime, etc.) St. John Chrysostom said tongues had ceased for the reason you noted - yet, show that to a Pentecostal and he'll just likely take it as evidence that St. John Chrysostom's faith was 'dead'. It is also popular in those circles to call him anti-Semitic.

Quote
As far as demonic manifestation, I do believe that is possible. 

Quite possible, as all of the charismatic phenomenon seen in Pentecostal/Charismatic churches can also be found in Hoodoo/Voodoo and other similar New World religions of West African origins. There are 19th c. American engravings of African slaves in Lousiania holding a Voodoo service - it looks like a Pentecostal service. Towards the end of my stay in COGIC (early in my college years), I took a copy of the engraving to church. Everything present in the picture was present in the service, and all my friends thought it was an engraving of a Pentecostal service. There are, of course, religious historians who believe that Pentecostalism is a syncretism of Revivalist Christianity (Anabaptist, Wesleyan, or Restorationist) with Voodoo religion from the South. I happen to agree with them. The origins of the phenomena are vague, but existed in the 19th c. prior to the formation of the Pentecostal churches themselves - and the phenomena are all recorded in areas that had large slave populations of African origins. Linguists know that due to nannies and house servants, characteristics of the West African languages carried over into the English spoken in the South, and thence to the Lowland South population - religious folklore did as well. So why not religious behaviors?
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« Reply #43 on: August 03, 2007, 06:00:14 PM »

But to explain the above - that is true in the congregations that hold to a view that "Biblical speaking in tongues" demands the gift of interpretation also be present. This is something that tends to separate Pentecostal congregations more from Charismatic (where it can be a 'prayer language', speak in tongues anytime, etc.)

This is very true.  I've been to a couple of Charismatic churches where "prayer languages" were highly encouraged and, naturally, the service was near chaos.

Quote
There are 19th c. American engravings of African slaves in Lousiania holding a Voodoo service - it looks like a Pentecostal service. Towards the end of my stay in COGIC (early in my college years), I took a copy of the engraving to church. Everything present in the picture was present in the service, and all my friends thought it was an engraving of a Pentecostal service. There are, of course, religious historians who believe that Pentecostalism is a syncretism of Revivalist Christianity (Anabaptist, Wesleyan, or Restorationist) with Voodoo religion from the South. I happen to agree with them. The origins of the phenomena are vague, but existed in the 19th c. prior to the formation of the Pentecostal churches themselves - and the phenomena are all recorded in areas that had large slave populations of African origins. Linguists know that due to nannies and house servants, characteristics of the West African languages carried over into the English spoken in the South, and thence to the Lowland South population - religious folklore did as well. So why not religious behaviors?

That's really interesting; I'd never made a connection there. Thanks for sharing!
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« Reply #44 on: August 03, 2007, 08:27:07 PM »

Quite possible, as all of the charismatic phenomenon seen in Pentecostal/Charismatic churches can also be found in Hoodoo/Voodoo and other similar New World religions of West African origins. There are 19th c. American engravings of African slaves in Lousiania holding a Voodoo service - it looks like a Pentecostal service. Towards the end of my stay in COGIC (early in my college years), I took a copy of the engraving to church. Everything present in the picture was present in the service, and all my friends thought it was an engraving of a Pentecostal service. There are, of course, religious historians who believe that Pentecostalism is a syncretism of Revivalist Christianity (Anabaptist, Wesleyan, or Restorationist) with Voodoo religion from the South. I happen to agree with them. The origins of the phenomena are vague, but existed in the 19th c. prior to the formation of the Pentecostal churches themselves - and the phenomena are all recorded in areas that had large slave populations of African origins. Linguists know that due to nannies and house servants, characteristics of the West African languages carried over into the English spoken in the South, and thence to the Lowland South population - religious folklore did as well. So why not religious behaviors?
This is really interesting. It would explain why Pentecostalism sprang up so quickly throughout the South. I wonder if this connexion is the reason the Pentecostals tend to use phrases like "the power of the anointing of the Holy Spirit"--power and control of/by spirits is certainly a key component of Voodoo religion.
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