Friday, July 11, 2008

A question for some of my readers

I had this thought while I was pondering why I thought that the comment below from one of the "Keeping the Home" blog readers was so silly and why I have such a problem with the attack on the Catholic Church for previously using Latin at Masses before the language was switched to the vernacular.

Here is the comment:
"I remember going over to a high school friend's house one time. Her mother was getting together mementoes for their 20th Anniversary party, and one of them was the bible she carried as a RC bride. My own mother carried her bible, too, and I thought it was sweet. This lady opened it to show her wedding inscription, and I was shocked to find that her bible was in Latin! I asked if she read Latin, and she said no, but their services were performed in Latin so the bible she carried was, as well. I remember that being one of the first times I noticed something wasn't OK with that church.

It's hard to imagine having a holy book you can't read."

And here is my question: Why is it wrong for Catholics to use Latin because "no one can understand it" but is it ok for some Christians to speak in tongues without a translator present? I just do not understand this contradiction. Candy has mentioned speaking in tongues before as being biblical. I quote from her blog post on Tuesday July 1, 2008: "Speaking in tongues is not speaking repetitive gibberish, it is simply one's speaking a different language, which they never learned. That different language is not necessarily limited to currently spoken languages - dead languages have been resurrected and spoken by tongues, as well as languages that have not been identified. " (Emphasis my own) I guess I just don't understand why it is ok for some Christians to use unknown languages in worship but wrong for Catholics to use a "dead language" for which the translation is still available. Am I missing something here? Any thoughts from my readers??

Updated July 15, 2008
** I updated this post to include the phrase "Christians" instead of Evangelicals like I originally used. I don't want to lump all Protestant Christians together because I know that not all branches practice speaking in tongues during either public or private worship, but I am really blown away by all of the different branches of Christianity and I can't seem to find the right word to use here. Please excuse my ignorance on the subject. I guess that's why I need to ask my readers for some insight. :) **

13 comments:

Ellen said...

There are plenty of Protestants who don't speak in tongues and/or think that it's not Biblical.

There seem to be two "versions" of Christians speaking in tongues: glossolalia (gibberish) and xenoglossy (supernaturally speaking in a language that one has not learned.) The second is what I believe Scripture speaks of.

Frankly, when there are so many other religions (or not) that have their own version of glossolalia it's hard to say that Christians have a corner on it.

(that seem to be good topic for a post...perhaps I'll go there this afternoon)

KitKat said...

Thanks Ellen! I can't wait to read what you have to say on your blog. In my Lutheran Church Missouri Synod upbringing, I would have to say that I was taught that it is the xenoglossy that we considered scriptural. (Thanks for the term, BTW. I didn't know that one!) We never spoke in tongues at LCMS, and honestly when I did attend a service from a different branch of Protestantism (Pentecostal, I believe) where they were speaking in tongues it was not a very positive experience for me. Maybe I am just jaded....

Anyway, thanks for the comment. I always enjoy your insight!

Unashamed said...

That is a VERY good point KitKat.

I've only personally seen the phenomenon once, and like you, it was not a positive experience for me. I also have a hard time understanding why it manifests in some churches and not others. I've never seen it in my own Lutheran church.

KitKat said...

Hi Anita! Do you mind me asking if you remember the exact Lutheran doctrine (is that the word that I am loooking for) on speaking in tongues? My Mom couldn't remember but I remember a Pastor speaking to us about it at a youth gathering in my early twenties. He said that it was not something that Lutherans view as a common occurance today, but if it did occur it was only considered valid if someone was able to translate. Since speaking in tongues was not something that was not discussed much in my Lutheran Church (except on Pentecost Sunday in refence to the Apostles), I in no way consider myself an expert on the subject. I am more of a curious seeker. :) Thanks!!

Ellen said...

KitKat, my boyfriend was baptized in an Assemblies of God church. He knows the ins and outs pretty well and I have a post on just the definitions ready to go as soon as he looks it over. It should be up tomorrow and I'll put a link here then. If you have other readers who want to know more about it, I'll have Phil help me with a short series and you can post it at Visits to Candy Land.

(He is not Pentecostal any more)

KitKat said...

Thanks Ellen!! I'll be sure to do a link to you tomorrow.

Oh, and I hope that your boyfriend doesn't think that I was pointing a finger at Pentecostals or anything like that I really wasn't singling them out. It was just the only experience that I had and I am not really sure if it was a Pentecostal or non-denominational. I wasn't passing judgement on any faith in particular. I was just pondering that question myself and looking for other points of view, thoughts, etc......

a soldier's wife said...

Great Post! I've learned something new by reading and looking at the comments :)

Ellen said...


Oh, and I hope that your boyfriend doesn't think that I was pointing a finger at Pentecostals or anything like that I really wasn't singling them out.


That's okay...he does it all the time.

Pentecostal (vs. charismatic) influences is why I left Sunshine church.

Ellen said...

Just a funny note: Steve Camp (very Reformed) puts speaking in tongues as "boughtahondashouldhaveboughtayamaha". If you get to where you can say it quickly it sounds remarkably accurate.

Ellen said...

Around midnight I have a post ready to go on the text of Acts 2...Monday (very early AM), a post about Lisa Gerrard singing in tongues.

Saved Sinner said...

I'm a bit confused by the different titles you are using. It may be that the usage is different in the US to the UK but my understanding is that Evangelicals as a rule do not do speaking in tongues etc but that Charismatic or Pentecostal would describe people churches that did. Whilst Charismatics/Pentacostals may be Evangelical, they are not necessarily.

KitKat said...

Hi Saved Sinner! Thanks for stopping by. My terminolgy may not be correct on this one, and I will double check and correct it if I have made a mistake. I by no means claim to be experienced in anything other than some mainline Protestant(esp. Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, although I consider Anita from the "Ask a Lutheran" blog on my blogroll to be much more knowledgable in LCMS) and Roman Catholic doctrines. I have noticed that some Christians fall into a category that I, with my lack of knowledge, cannot seem to describe correctly. They claim no denomination, worship at an Evangelical type church, seem to hold to some Evangelical theology, but also desire to have some of the charismatic gifts of the Holy Spirit.

So, long story short, the fault is probably mine and not any misunderstanding on your part. :) This post is actually in reference to Candy over at Keeping the Home blog. Her theology is baffling to me at times, so I am sure that I didn't use the right term. Sorry for the confusion!!

Again, thanks for stopping by!

Saved Sinner said...

Her theology baffles me too. When I first started reading her blog, I thought she had pretty similar theological views to me but the more I read the more I found I disagreed with her.