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Speaking in tongues

Q: How does the gift of speaking in tongues affect our praise and worship?

A: Speaking in tongues, i.e., speaking in a language that is foreign to us as a supposed result of Spirit inspiration, is not something that is taught as a reality in The Urantia Book. This "gift" was supposedly given at the time of Pentecost, and is imagined in sacred art sometimes as a tongue of fire above the heads of the apostles, but it is not related as part of that event in the revelation. We have this sobering passage about such subsequent interpretations of Pentecost:

194:3.1 Many queer and strange teachings became associated with the early narratives of the day of Pentecost. In subsequent times the events of this day, on which the Spirit of Truth, the new teacher, came to dwell with mankind, have become confused with the foolish outbreaks of rampant emotionalism. The chief mission of this outpoured spirit of the Father and the Son is to teach men about the truths of the Father’s love and the Son’s mercy. These are the truths of divinity which men can comprehend more fully than all the other divine traits of character. The Spirit of Truth is concerned primarily with the revelation of the Father’s spirit nature and the Son’s moral character. The Creator Son, in the flesh, revealed God to men; the Spirit of Truth, in the heart, reveals the Creator Son to men. When man yields the "fruits of the spirit" in his life, he is simply showing forth the traits which the Master manifested in his own earthly life. When Jesus was on earth, he lived his life as one personality —Jesus of Nazareth. As the indwelling spirit of the “new teacher,” the Master has, since Pentecost, been able to live his life anew in the experience of every truth-taught believer.

You might want to read through the whole of Paper 194, Bestowal of the Spirit of Truth in order to more fully understand the broader implications of Pentecost for the apostles, and for all subsequent generations of believers and followers of Jesus.

The following quote from The Urantia Book may also be helpful with this question:

However favorable may have been the conditions for mystic phenomena, it should be clearly understood that Jesus of Nazareth never resorted to such methods for communion with the Paradise Father. Jesus had no subconscious delusions or superconscious illusions." (100:5.10)

For the most help in improving your own methods of praise and worship, you could do no better than to read this passage of teachings on this subject by Jesus himself:

Teachings about Prayer and Worship

Thanks so much for this question. I cannot explain why some people seem to display this gift of speaking in tongues—and I have seen it several times and in several different churches—but I do know that it appears to be a dissociation from normal reality, and of course, since the speaker is talking in a foreign language which sounds very much like gibberish, it appears to me that no one really benefits from this "gift." That's only my opinion, and you are, of course, free to decide this for yourself.

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Author: Staff