What is is speaking in tongues and being slain in the spirit?

Asked by Cameron

Is speaking in tongues and Being slain in the spirit demonic. I speak in tongues and go to a pentecostal church. I\‘m on fire for God and Belive the true word of God and don\‘t base my faith on experiences, signs and wonders and feelings. But I\‘m so confused with the wide range of views from different denominations of churches. I don\‘t always know what is from God and what is from the devil. Theirs so much deception and lies. Please help me before I go crazy!


Hi Cameron

The Bible is pretty clear that speaking in tongues is a gift of the Spirit. 1 Corinthians 12 & 14 unpacks this in some detail. What we know from these chapters is that speaking in tongues is one of many gifts of the Spirit [1 Cor 12:8-10]; it’s to be used for speaking to / praising God [1 Cor 14:2] but that it should be exercised in private unless it can be interpreted for others. This is because tongues without interpretation will only edify the speaker and not the congregation [1 Cor 14:2-6, 9, 13, 23].

So feel free to use your gift of tongues to speak to / praise God. It’s a good gift of the Spirit to be used by God’s people. You can read more on this by clicking on these links
http://www.christianity.net.au/questions/why_do_some_christians_speak_in_tongues_and_others_dont/
http://www.christianity.net.au/questions/do_christians_need_to_speak_in_tongues/

The issue of ‘being slain in the Spirit’ is a much trickier topic. It’s difficult to be definitive on this without knowing what is happening when you talk about ‘being slain in the Spirit’.

I think this is an area where you need to proceed with caution. When churches or ministers ‘slay people with the Spirit’, it tends to be done towards the end of a long meeting, where long periods of singing is used to build intensified emotion or euphoria and an expectation of ‘slaying’ is stated / created. Critics of ‘slaying in the Spirit’ label it as a form of hypnosis and psychiatrists cite the experiences of those ‘slain’ matching those of people who are hypnotised.

A few points are worth noting:

1. 1 Cor 14:40 says our meetings should be ‘ordered’. Does the practice of slaying people in the Spirit observe this?

2. The gathering of Christians in the NT is characterised by the teaching of scripture, prayers & fellowship [Acts 2:42]; music & singing [Col 3:16], and sharing the Lords Supper [1 Cor 11:23-26]. Slaying people in the Spirit isn’t typical of the gathering of NT Christians

3. The Bible makes it clear that Christians are filled with the Spirit when they are ‘born again’ or converted [John 3:5-8; Acts 9:17]. Being ‘slain in the Spirit’ implies a deficiency or a topping up of the Spirit is required. While there are times in the Old & New Testament when God’s people are ‘filled with the Spirit’, it is normally to empower them for a special task such as bold preaching [Acts 2:4ff, Acts 4:8, 31; 13:9]

4. In addition, being ‘slain in the Spirit’ tends to be self-focused, where people look for some physical manifestation or experience God. However the work of the Spirit is to enable, equip and edify believers in serving and honouring God. In particular, the role of the Spirit is to glorify and bring honour to Jesus [John 16:7-15]. Is the practice of ‘slaying in the Spirit’ within your meetings doing this?

5. And finally, the Devil is the master of deception and the father of lies [John 8:44]. He tricked Adam & Eve and he continues to prowl ‘around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour’ [1 Pet 5:8]. Jesus says in Matt 12:30 “He who is not with me is against me”. So we should be on our guard against those things which are not biblical because they are not ‘of God’.

My suggestion therefore is weigh this up and test it against scripture. If you are still unsure, speak to a pastor or contact us again at Christianity.net.au

Yours in Christ

Stuart

Answers are kindly provided by our friends at Christianity.net.au

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