Four Truths About Speaking in Tongues - Charisma Magazine

Four Truths About Speaking in Tongues

by | May 2, 2023 | Spirit-Led Living, Spiritual Gifts

Most Christians know the church was founded on the Day of Pentecost and many liturgical churches celebrate the day. But many ignore or overlook what happened that day—the Baptism in the Holy Spirit was given, including speaking in tongues.

There were many foreign visitors in Jerusalem that day and they heard their own languages. But this practice died down over the centuries until the modern Pentecostal movement that began with the Azusa Street revival of 1906 and which has swept the world.

Nevertheless, speaking in tongues has continued to be misunderstood and even controversial in many circles.

There are some genuine misconceptions about what speaking in tongues looks like and what purpose it serves the believers. No doubt Christians are divided about whether this gift has ceased or not, and there are even debates about when the proper time is to speak in a prayer language. Instead of debating with one another about tongues, I think it is best if we look at the four truths that are pertinent to this gift that I write about in my new book Spirit-Led Living in an Upside-Down World, which releases May 16.

1. Speaking in tongues is neither unbiblical nor outdated. Although not all Christians believe the same thing about the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and its accompanying evidence of speaking in “other tongues,” nothing in New Testament Scripture restricts or confines speaking in tongues to being only a first-century exercise.

The benefits of receiving a supernatural prayer language are profound. When we do not have the words to express our need, we can use our prayer language—a language understood by the Spirit, who speaks through us to the Father, and understood by the Father, who empowers the Spirit to work in our lives to give us victory.

2. Speaking in tongues is not a transcendental experience. There is really nothing weird about praying in a language we have never learned. As Jack Hayford puts it: “The ways of God in dealing with His redeemed children may be supernatural in the source of His operations, but they are not weird in their ways of working. To speak in tongues is not to resign the control of one’s mind or indulge one’s emotions to a point of extraction. The exercise of spiritual language does involve a conscious choice to allow God’s assistance to transcend our own linguistic limits, but it does not surrender to any order of a mystical, trance-like trip beyond oneself.”

3. Speaking in tongues is not a status symbol. There have been some abuses of tongues, including those who act is if they are spiritually superior to those who have never spoken in tongues.

The Bible doesn’t tell us tongues are to be used to impress other believers with the spiritual maturity of the one who speaks. The Bible tells us, “Now, brothers, if I come to you speaking in tongues, what shall I profit you, unless I speak to you by some revelation or knowledge or prophesying or doctrine?” In another place, the apostle Paul says, “So tongues are for a sign, not to believers, but to unbelievers.”

4. Speaking in tongues is not a substitute for spiritual growth. Using our prayer language and speaking in tongues will not cause us to grow spiritually even if we do it seven days a week and 24 hours a day.

The baptism of the Holy Spirit is available to all believers, not a select few. Just as we receive new life in the Son of God by a definite act of personal faith, so we receive supernatural power in the Spirit of God by an act of conscious faith.

Stephen E. Strang is the bestselling author of God and Donald Trump. The founder and CEO of Charisma Media, Strang was voted by Time magazine as one of the 25 most influential evangelicals in America. He has interviewed four U.S. presidents and has been featured on Fox News, CNN, MSNBC, CBN, Dr. James Dobson’s Family Talk, and in many Christian outlets.

Spirit Led Living in an Upside Down WorldFor more information on my new book, Spirit-Led Living in an Upside-Down World, visit


Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


Overcoming the 3 Reasons You Are not Prospering

Overcoming the 3 Reasons You Are not Prospering

Finances are often a touchy subject for people. The topic itself conjures images of preachers putting money before God and using their congregations to enrich only themselves. While the Bible warns against the love of money many times, throughout the Old and New...

Morning Rundown: What Was the Real Jesus Like?

Morning Rundown: What Was the Real Jesus Like?

Here's a quick rundown of the top stories on What Was the Real Jesus Like? There are many inaccurate portrayals of Jesus in the world today, especially among false religions and their leaders. They will tell people that Jesus eagerly condemned people...

No, Cell Phones Are Not the Problem

No, Cell Phones Are Not the Problem

Recently, while at a conference, I listened to a discussion about the spiritual crisis that cell phones were causing, especially among our youth. I listened as a group of people, mostly parents, sincerely spoke about the vast amount of problems that hand held devices,...


‘The Cross and the Switchblade’ Author Elizabeth Sherrill Dies at 95

Elizabeth Sherrill, who authored one of the most famous books in Christian literature history, "The Cross and the Switchblade" about evangelist David Wilkerson, died Saturday, May 20. She was 95....
God Brings Your Miracle in the Tensions

God Brings Your Miracle in the Tensions

We are in a tense time right now, it’s obvious. Finances, war activities, racism, politics, Christian intolerance, medical issues, and yet when we allow God to use times of tension in our lives, we see miracles that would have never been possible if it was a season of...

Christian Media Accused As Path to White Supremacy

Christian Media Accused As Path to White Supremacy

The Media Research Center recently released a bombshell report on findings that the Biden administration has revamped the anti-terrorist program "Targeted Violence & Terrorism Prevention Grant Program" and how it is actively used to fund anti-Christian activists...

Pin It on Pinterest