"Do Not Forbid Speaking in Tongues": How Denominations Intentionally Rebelled Against God and Implemented Their Doctrines.

“Do Not Forbid Speaking in Tongues”: How Denominations

Allow Speaking in Tongues: A Critical Examination of Contemporary Christian Denominations

Speaking in tongues should not be prohibited, as it holds significant spiritual importance for true Christians. However, denominations have chosen to depart from conventional teachings and have implemented their doctrines, potentially at odds with God’s guidance.

The Christian church, with its diverse denominations, each proclaiming a unique interpretation of Scripture, often finds itself embroiled in theological debates.

Among these debates, one issue stands out: the practice and emphasis on speaking in tongues. 1 Corinthians 14:39–40 clearly states, “Therefore, brethren, desire earnestly to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking with tongues; let all things be done decently and in order.”

Despite this directive, many traditional denominations—Baptists, Presbyterians, Lutherans, Methodists, and others—neglect and outright forbid this practice. This essay contends that this neglect is a significant sin of rebellion against God, depriving believers of a vital means of accessing divine knowledge and wisdom.

The Biblical Basis for Speaking in Tongues

Speaking in tongues, or glossolalia, is rooted in several New Testament passages. The most notable instances are in the Book of Acts, where the Apostles received the Holy Spirit and spoke in tongues (Acts 2:1–4). Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians also addresses spiritual gifts, emphasizing the importance and proper use of tongues (1 Corinthians 12–14).

In these passages, Paul acknowledges the value of speaking in tongues for personal edification and spiritual growth. He also provides guidelines for their use in public worship to ensure order and understanding, highlighting the need for interpretation when church members pray in tongues publicly.

The Sin of Neglect and Rejection

Despite the scriptural endorsement, many denominations have distanced themselves from the practice.

According to Baptists, the supernatural gifts of the Spirit, such as speaking in tongues or praying, ceased after the apostles’ time. Likewise, many Presbyterians and Reformed theologians hold a cessationist perspective.

Lutherans, though historically open to the work of the Holy Spirit, generally do not emphasize or encourage the practice of speaking in tongues.

This widespread neglect is a rebellious act against God, sinful to its core for several reasons:

  1. Disobedience to Scriptural Command: By forbidding or not encouraging speaking in tongues, denominations disobey the clear directive of 1 Corinthians 14:39–40. This disobedience represents a form of rebellion against God’s explicit instructions.
  2. Impediment to Spiritual Growth: Speaking in tongues is described as a means of personal enlightenment and a way to pray in the Spirit (1 Corinthians 14:4, 14–15). Those who ignore this practice miss out on a deep spiritual connection with God through Jesus Christ and methods for growth.
  3. Lukewarm Faith: The absence of speaking in tongues contributes to a lukewarm faith, which lacks the hunger and intimacy with God to engage in all forms of spiritual expression. This lukewarmness is condemned in Revelation 3:16, where God expresses a desire to “vomit” the lukewarm out of His mouth.

The Necessity of Repentance

Denominations need to address this issue by repenting and fully embracing the practice of spiritual gifts, such as speaking in tongues. There are multiple steps involved in this repentance process:

  1. Re-Evaluation of Theological Stances: Denominations should re-examine their theological positions on the gifts of the Spirit in light of Scripture, acknowledging their ongoing relevance and importance for contemporary Christian life.
  2. Education and Training: 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 devotion, ensuring believers can access this form of spiritual communication.
  3. Encouragement and Support: Churches should foster an environment that encourages using all spiritual gifts, including tongues, while adhering to Paul’s principles of order and decency. One option is to allocate time for corporate prayer and hold teaching sessions on the gifts of the Spirit.


The failure of modern denominations to embrace and encourage the practice of speaking in tongues represents a significant sin against God and His Word. By neglecting this practice, denominations hinder their members’ spiritual growth and foster a lukewarm faith.

Repentance and a renewed commitment to fully expressing spiritual gifts are essential for the church to align with biblical teaching and experience the fullness of God’s wisdom and knowledge. It is time for denominations to heed Paul’s warning: “Do not forbid speaking in tongues,” and to do so in an orderly and informative manner.

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