Speaking gibberish vs Speaking in different languages.
There is a long history of gibberish-speaking cults. It is a common practice in the occult. But let’s not even go there right now.
Let’s go straight back to God’s Word. God’s Word is truth, so it comes first.
The gifts are for the church, not the individual.
1 Corinthians 12:7 A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other.
1 Corinthians 12:31 So you should earnestly desire the most helpful gifts.
If you read the bible you will see a pattern. We are to think of others first. Love one another. Give up our desires so we can help others.
Philippians 2:3 Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves.
Romans 2:8 But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow wickedness, there will be wrath and anger.
Whenever someone says we are to think of ourselves first, watch out! When the Charismatic church starts elaborating on the act of speaking in tongues, they try to claim that Paul wants you to learn how to do it for the edification of yourself. That idea or doctrine is antithetical to the way the rest of scripture instructs us believers. Paul actually states that love is the most important because it is. Love is about the other. You are not supposed to be concerned with yourself, you should be seeking the gifts so that you can build up the church!
1 Corinthians 14:4 A person who speaks in tongues is strengthened personally, but one who speaks a word of prophecy strengthens the entire church.
“Prophecy” doesn’t necessarily mean foretelling the future in this context. It also means revealing a fact about God. In other words, revelations of God pronounced for all to hear.
Some websites/churches tell you that the bible wants you to speak in tongues because it builds you up.
“He also encouraged them to speaking [SIC] tongues in their individual prayer life as a means of spiritual edification or building up.”
But, Paul was not saying this was a good thing. In fact, the letters to the church in Corinth were to correct/admonish the church because it had let in pagan worship practices. The letter was to admonish and instruct them on the proper use of the Spiritual gifts. Spiritual gifts aren’t about self-edification. They are only used for the building up of the church. Think about it. Since when do we get instructions from the bible to build ourselves up? Love isn’t about building yourself up. We are to die to ourselves, not focus on our powers and abilities and increase them for ourselves. It just sounds silly to say otherwise. You are not the god in this world. So, why are you trying to build yourself up? Shouldn’t you be trusting God to be doing that?
Spiritual Gifts are NOT taught.
2 Peter 1:20,21 Above all, you must realize that no prophecy in Scripture ever came from the prophet’s own understanding, or from human initiative. No, those prophets were moved by the Holy Spirit, and they spoke from God.
Acts 2:4 And everyone present was filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking in other languages, as the Holy Spirit gave them this ability.
So let’s get this straight, right from the beginning. Spiritual gifts are not taught. You can no more be taught a Spiritual gift than you can paint in a color you have never seen before.
But that doesn’t seem to stop some “churches” from stating the opposite is true.
Google “How to speak in tongues” and you will find tons of material teaching people how to do it.
“Some people believe that speaking in tongues is a powerful way to pray and allow God to flow through your spirit. However, if you’re like most people, you probably don’t entirely know how to perform this particular prayer method. Fortunately, once you know how to create the right mindset and speak the right words, you’ll be well on your way to speaking in tongues.”
This is contrary to what the bible teaches. In fact, ask yourself this question, who taught Peter how to do it?? The bible clearly states that the Holy Spirit gave them this ability. Not man.
It amazes me how they will twist scripture to suit their agendas. They tell you that it is learned. They tell you that it builds yourself up. They tell you to disengage your mind. And they tell you that speaking in tongues is gibberish.
Spiritual gifts are not learned, nor would you learn them by disengaging thought.
Many times the instructions on how to speak in tongues is to stop thinking and just let it happen. This is exactly what they told me to do when they tried teaching me how to do it at Casey Treat’s church in the Seattle area.
This too is completely unscriptural. We are not told to lose control in order to be closer to God. Jesus never said to pray by disengaging your mind and just letting your heart do whatever. In fact, one of the fruits of the Spirit is self-control. To suggest otherwise is heresy.
Another example from the internet on how to speak in tongues:
“Make the first sounds that pop into your head and allow yourself to babble a bit. Try to do this as “unintentionally” as possible.”
Try to do it unintentionally?? Again this is not how the bible tells us to do things. For instance, we are to hold our thoughts captive. We are to be engaged. Removing thought is contrary to the way God does things.
Speaking in tongues was a language, not gibberish.
Acts 2:6 When they heard the loud noise, everyone came running, and they were bewildered to hear their own languages being spoken by the believers.
They heard it in their own languages. This is so important. I honestly get frustrated by those that want to claim that speaking in tongues is no longer a real language, but just a bunch of nonsense sounds and therefore this is what God wants. Huh?
They use two verses to try to make this idea work.
1 Romans 8:26 And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words.
Not only is this taken out of context, but it states clearly right there “….that cannot be expressed in words.” The groaning being spoken of is not some self-serving gibberish speech. It is the weight of sin on this broken world.
Romans 8:22-25 For we know that all creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. And we believers also groan, even though we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, for we long for our bodies to be released from sin and suffering. We, too, wait with eager hope for the day when God will give us our full rights as his adopted children,] including the new bodies he has promised us. We were given this hope when we were saved. (If we already have something, we don’t need to hope for it. But if we look forward to something we don’t yet have, we must wait patiently and confidently.)
The groaning mentioned here has nothing to do with speech or language. Not at all.
1 Corinthians 14:21 points out that speaking in tongues was indeed a language and it was meant for a sign.
“I will speak to my own people
through strange languages
and through the lips of foreigners.
But even then, they will not listen to me,”
says the Lord.
Honestly, do you think speaking gibberish is a sign to non-believers?? Gibberish is not a sign at all. It’s nonsense. If you want to impress nonbelievers, start by speaking Korean, German, or Russian. Speak an actual language, one you have never learned, and see what nonbelievers say then!!
1 Corinthians 14:22 So you see that speaking in tongues is a sign, not for believers, but for unbelievers.
Gibberish is no sign. It is chaotic. It goes in the opposite direction from organized, to chaos. Paul said that if you speak in an unknown tongue and don’t translate it, it is useless. Much the same way lifeless instruments like the flute or the harp must play the notes clearly, or no one will recognize the melody. So even IF you could speak in another language altogether, doing so by yourself, or without translation is again POINTLESS!!
Also, consider this: when you speak gibberish and have someone “translate” it, how does anyone know whether or not that translation is legit or not? See how this breeds confusion? God is NOT about confusion.
God was so clear that HE didn’t want chaos in the church that He made it clear that even if you are speaking in tongues you need to do it a certain way.
1 Corinthians 14:27,28 No more than two or three should speak in tongues. They must speak one at a time, and someone must interpret what they say. But if no one is present who can interpret, they must be silent in your church meeting and speak in tongues to God privately.
So to recap:
- Speaking in tongues is an actual language. One that can be interpreted. One that requires that it be interpreted.
- Speaking in tongues is not chaos, or gibberish.
- Speaking in tongues is a sign.
- Speaking in tongues, like all gifts of the Spirit are to build up the church.
- Gifts of the Holy Spirit are not taught.