In unhealthy churches, people are often told things and given no biblical support to back them up. For instance, I recall being told by a United Pentecostal Church pastor about either having non-confessed sin in my life or a lack of faith as to the reason I hadn’t spoken in tongues while ‘tarrying’ during a visit to his church for a special service. He shared nothing from the Bible to support his claims.
Let’s lay aside the basic question of speaking in tongues and instead simply examine whether the Bible gives support to things many of us have seen or heard taught. The same could be applied to other church practices and teachings.
Do we read where Peter or Paul, or anyone else, admonishing people that they didn’t speak in tongues because they had non-confessed sin in their life or anything else which gets stated in Pentecostal/Apostolic churches? Do we see people ‘tarrying’ for God’s Spirit- day after day, week after week, month after month- like happens at some churches today?
Do we see other believers crowding around new believers, trying to ‘help’ them receive God’s Spirit? Do we see believers grabbing people’s mouths or chins, trying to shake their tongues loose? Do we see them telling people to “hang on” or “let go?” Do we see believers being forced to hold their hands up in the air for long periods of time? Do we see anyone being told to keep saying “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus” or “Hallelujah”? The list could go on…
Here is where many do not stop to fully look into these matters. We didn’t check the practices we were introduced to with scripture, to see if we found them or anything similar there. Instead, we went by what we saw and were taught and thought it must be the way it should be. Many of us simply repeated what we witnessed others do in services because it was all new to us.
Take some time to really think about this. Why are people being taught and encouraged to do such things when we can find no similar practices in scripture?