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Christianity: It is Okay If A Believer Doesn't Speak In Tongues

I once went to a church where the preacher said that Christians who can't speak in tongues are not "real" Christians. I was shocked! He later said that those who couldn't speak in tongues should meet him later to be "taught". This is a true story. 

Such doctrines claims that this experience (speaking in tongues) is the necessary evidence of being filled with the Spirit or baptized by the Holy Spirit.

I have also read a devotional that called Christians who speak in tongues superior and mature than those who don't. I want to say emphatically that there is no verse in the Bible that supports these claims.

I know that the spiritual gift of speaking in tongues is a controversial topic amongst Christians and church denominations. But I want to ask, which should we believe our denomination's doctrines or the Holy Bible?

For the sake of clarity, I am not here to discourage anyone from speaking in tongues but rather to correct some misconceptions using facts from the Bible.

Let's begin by looking at what spiritual gifts are.

Spiritual gifts are meant to edify the body of Christ according to verses in Corinthians 12, Paul spoke about the church as the Body of Christ with many different members or parts, who have been given different spiritual gifts to serve the rest of the body:

"...But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all; for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit...to another the interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills." (1 Corinthians 12:7-11)

As seen above, all the spiritual gifts are equally important. 

To further buttress this point, Paul goes on to ask: Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of miracles? Do all have gifts of healings? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? (1 Corinthians 12:29-30). The answer is no.

Some people will often quote 1 Corinthians 14:2 "Those who speak in tongues do not speak to others but to God...". While this is true but it does not fulfill the intended purpose of the spiritual gift which is to edify the entire body of Christ and not just you. For further insight read up till verses 4.

In fact in verses 5 of chapter 14 Paul wrote that "...I would like all of you to speak I tongues; but I would rather that you had the gift of proclaiming God's message. For the person that proclaims God's message is of greater value than the one who speaks in tongues- unless there is someone present who can can explain what is said..."

So in summary, not every Christian should necessarily speak in tongues, but as Christians we should aspire to have at least on spiritual gift so as the help the growth of the Church.

For those who want to verify these explanations of mine read 1 Corinthians Chapters 12 and 14.

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