Our Pentecostal Friends Acknowledge That Their Form Of “Tongues” Is Rooted In Ancient Paganism

It is written:

Isaiah 5:20-Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!

When the Prophet wrote these words, some of the Hebrew people were attempting to combine Judaism with paganism. This was a terrible thing to do, and Isaiah soundly rebuked the people.

Sadly, the trend continues in our world today, and a prominent example of this is found in the Pentecostal religion in the practice known as “tongues.”

The New Testament gift of tongues was the miraculous ability of a person to speak fluently in the language of another nation which he had not previously studied (see Acts 2:4-12; 1 Corinthians 14:21; Revelation 5:9; 13:7; 14:6). This miraculous gift was given (along with the other miraculous gifts of the first century church) to confirm God’s Word (Mark 16:17-20; John 3:2; 2 Corinthians 12:12; Hebrews 2:1-4; Revelation 2:2). These miraculous gifts were part of the church’s foundation (Ephesians 2:20-22) and eventually ceased when the written Word of God was completed (1 Corinthians 13:8-13).

The pagans of the first century (and long before) had a counterfeit “tongue” wherein a person (motivated by wicked spirits) would speak a type of gibberish in worship to “the gods.” It is this same type of gibberish speaking which is practiced today in the Pentecostal religions around the world.

“The 1972 study by John P. Kildahl “The Psychology of Speaking in Tongues” concludes that: “… from a linguistic point of view, religiously inspired glossolalic utterances have the same general characteristics as those that are not religiously inspired.” In fact, glossolalia is a “human phenomenon, not limited to Christianity nor even to religious behavior.” (Dictionary of Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements by Spittler, P. 340). George Jennings in an article in the Journal of the American Scientific Affiliation expands upon the universality of the experience: “… glossolalia is practiced among the following non-Christian religions of the world; the Peyote cult among the North American Indians, the Haida Indians of the Pacific Northwest, Shamans in the Sudan, the Shango cult of the West Coast of Africa, the Shago cult in Trinidad, the Voodoo cult in Haiti, the Aborigines of South American and Australia, the aboriginal peoples of the subarctic regions of North America and Asia, the Shamans in Greenland, the Dyaks of Borneo, the Zor cult of Ethiopia, the Siberian shamans, the Chaco Indians of South America, the Curanderos of the Andes, the Kinka in the African Sudan, the Thonga shamans of Africa, and the Tibetan monks. An article in the Journal of the American Scientific Affiliation entitled “An Ethnological Study of Glossolalia” by George J. Jennings, March 1968. Other studies and sources reach the same conclusions: “Summary of Behavioral Science Research Data on Glossolalia: 1. Glossolalia is an ancient and widespread phenomenon of most societies, occurring most usually in connection with religion.” “Behavioral Science Research on the Nature of Glossolalia”, Journal of the American Scientific Affiliation; September, 1968 “There are records of ecstatic speech and the like in Egypt in the eleventh century B.C. In the Hellenistic [Greek] world the prophetess of Delphi and the Sibylline priestess spoke in unknown or unintelligible speech. Moreover, the Dionysianrites contained a trancelike state as well as glossolalia. Many of the magicians and sorcerers of the first century world exhibit similar phenomena.” G.R.Osborne, in the Evangelical Dictionary of Theology, 1984, page 1100. “Descriptions of ecstatic speech are common in the study of comparative religions…. The Delphic and Pythian religions of Greece understood ecstatic behavior and speech to be evidence of divine inspiration by Apollos.” C.M. Robeck, Jr., in The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, 1988, page 872. “… Glossolalia is a very ancient practice it is still practiced nowadays in many religions, especially those where one seeks contact with the spirit world (witchcraft/ shamanism, voodoo) or a union mystical with the “All”. Mohamed, the founder of Islam, is probably the most famous of those who have practiced glossolalia.” “Glossolalia (Tongues) and 1 Corinthians 14” Bruno D. Granger http:// http://www.apologetique.org/ en/ rticles/ neomontanism/ BDG_glossolalia_en.htm “Enthusiastic, ecstatic, mystic, possession, trance and other kindred phenomena have long been of interest to anthropologists. Cross-cultural reviews of ethnographic data on glossolalia in particular have been published by L.C. May, Jennings, M. Eliade, among others. The practice was known in ancient India and China, and ethnographies describe glossolalia in almost every area of the world… speaking-in-tongues is widespread and very ancient.” E. Mansell Pattison Behavioral Science Research On The Nature Of Glossolalia Journal of the American Scientific Affiliation, September 1968 Research conducted by Al Carlson at the University of California and Werner Cohn at the University of British Columbia indicate that anyone can produce glossolalic speech which sounded genuine even to believers. Jimmy Jividen, “Glossolalia: from God or man?” p 163. “This survey has shown that speaking-in-tongues is widespread and very ancient. Indeed, it is probably that as long as man has had divination, curing, sorcery, and propitiation of spirits, he has had glossolalia … Whatever the explanation, it is clear that pagans as well as Christians have their glossolalia experiences.” Jimmy Jividen, “Glossolalia: from God or man?” p 74,75….The Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, Abridged in One Volume. Kittel, Gerhard, and Friedrich, Gerhard, Editors (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1985) Johannes Behm. Unabridged edition of the TDNT, Volume I, page 722. “Glossolalia is an ancient and widespread phenomenon of most societies, occurring most usually in connection with religion.” Behavioral Science Research on the Nature of Glossolalia Journal of the American Scientific Affiliation, September, 1968 The Term “tongues” predates Christianity and the New Testament and in fact was common in the Greek, Roman, and other cultures. “… the significance of the term ‘glossolalia’, or ‘speaking in tongues’, comes to the fore. ‘The gift of tongues and of their interpretation was not peculiar to the Christian Church, but was a repetition in it of a phrase common in ancient religions. The very phrase glossais lalein, ‘to speak with tongues,’ was not invented by the New Testament writers, but borrowed from ordinary speech.” Encyclopedia Britannica (1911), s.v, “Gift of Tongues,” by Fredrick C. Conybeare, 27: 10. “Once they began to commune with that deity, they would begin to speak the language of the gods. This was a very common practice in their culture. In fact, the term used in 1 Corinthians to refer to speaking in tongues (glossais lalein) was not invented by Bible writers. It was a term used commonly in the Greco-Roman culture to speak of the pagan language of the gods which occurred while the speaker was in an ecstatic trance. By the way, this language of the gods was always gibberish.” “The Truth about Tongues–Part 1” John MacArthur Tape GC 1871”. (C. Alan Martin, Scientific Observations of Speaking in Tongues, 437-516 (Kindle Edition))

This is powerful testimony which shows-from an adherent of the Pentecostal religion interestingly enough-that the gibberish speaking of the modern world has its roots in ancient paganism.

This is NOT the Bible gift of speaking in tongues.

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit, be with you all. Amen.

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