How's this for controversy? And how's this for trying not to offend, while yet potentially doing so to some of you at the same time? That's not my intention, to be sure – to be certain. I enjoy controversy, but don't search for it. It finds me. I swear.
My background is one steeped in conservative religion. I make no claim one way or another, nor will I write or list what I actually believe. Not in this case, at least. A conversation found me three days ago that involved the topic of glossolalia. It's always confounded me. Both religiously and psychologically.
Conjoin the intricacies of "tongues" with the beliefs of all the varying denominations of evangelical Christianity, and conversations regarding such can go on not for hours, but for generations. I'm writing this, mainly, because it's going to be posted online and reader responses can be immediate through the power of social networking. You'll find this on both boonvilledailynews.com and our facebook page. I'm curious to see responses from proponents and those opposed, from agnostics and atheists – even those who simply don't care.
I've noticed, growing up in an Assemblies of God household, that upon hearing tongues, which was fairly frequent, the syllables that sputter uncontrollably out of the speaker's mouth are Hebrew-like. It sounds like some ancient form of the language. And, believe me, I'm more than familiar with the vowels and consonants of its modern version - I grew up over there.
Tongues works like this, for those unaware. God, through the Holy Spirit, indwells within a person. This said person will then begin, according to proponents, to speak in a "Heavenly" language. It's quite amazing to witness. That language, obviously, is not interpretable by your average John Doe. Immediately following the display, traditionally at least, the Holy Spirit then moves over to another person in the audience and enables them to interpret the uninterpretable into English – or whatever language may be prevalent within a particular setting.
One thing is common amongst these displays. The language of tongues sounds identical no matter where I've been in the world. Egypt sounds the same as Boonville, no doubt.
An area of concern I stumbled upon as a much younger person was a once-false interpretation. I listened as an African prayed in broken English during a stateside pentecostal service. A member of the congregation then followed his normal prayer with an interpretation of his tongues – only because he didn't speak the King's as she did.
Anyhow. It is what it is. I'm curious. I've been raised with the stuff and I'm not coming close to attempting to offend.
What say all of you?
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