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Speaking In Tongues


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Although my family background is strict Baptist, for youth camps, youth groups and some time in University I attended Pentecostal services. I had one unexplainable experience of 'holy laughter'. As he was coming round laying hands I was thinking 'it's not going to work on me' but it did, and I laughed for about 6 hours straight, went to sleep and woke up still laughing. I can't explain it - it may have been some form of hypnosis, but I did not think that worked if you were not willing to suspend disbelief.

 

 

When praying people would be 'slain in the spirit' , speak in tongues or have 'a word from the Lord '. None of that ever worked on me and I felt bad I was not 'holy enough' and I believe had some loss of status as a result.

 

My question is to the people who spoke in tongues etc- did you feel your body was being taken over, were you conscious of what you were doing and directing it or were you actively faking it to some extent?

 

The holy laughter felt genuine to me and kept me convinced for a long time that all of that was real.

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I attended a Pentecostal church for a few weeks.  Speaking in tongues is very much on the wackier fringe of Christianity. Looks crazy to me now, but at the time when I was looking at the Pentecostal church it seemed normal. Bizarre..

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I was a Pentecostal/charismatic for many years, and have recovered only in the past decade. I'm still puzzling over various aspects of the experience. I think the short answer to your question is that these folks engage in some forms of hypnosis that they don't understand, nor do they realize that's what they are doing. In fact, it may be such a nuanced version of hypnosis that it isn't yet really understood scientifically.

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I was in Assembly of God for awhile.  Where you are a sub-christian, a baby christian, and undeveloped christian if you aren't "baptized in the spirit as evidenced by praying in tongues"

 

And so, you seek it in order to be like the rest and see if you will be empowered by the spirit of God.  And so I sought it, repeatedly.

 

And wanted it so badly I ended up faking it and fooled everyone, even myself to an extent.  My trip to babbleopolis ended up being another excursion to nowhereville. It never felt like hypnosis or something taking over my body or empowering my so I could be a "more effective witness for Christ" .  woohoo.gif  

 

I had to go back to getting "a word from the Lord" by other members in the congregation, since God didn't speak to me directly.

 

I am aware of the holy laughter thing.  Sometimes it affects an entire group.  I never experienced it.  I imagine there is a whole branch of psychology devoted to group hysteria / group delusions. 

 

But it seems like the creator of the universe, if he wants us to believe shouldn't resort to parlor tricks like making people laugh or sprinkling gold dust from taiwan. 

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And wanted it so badly I ended up faking it and fooled everyone, even myself to an extent.  My trip to babbleopolis ended up being another excursion to nowhereville. It never felt like hypnosis or something taking over my body or empowering my so I could be a "more effective witness for Christ" .  woohoo.gif  

 

One day in the Pente church I attended, a few people were huddled around me trying to get me to speak in tongues. One of them was saying " Just let it out of your mouth, whatever it is. It may sound totally strange or weird and make no sense, but that's ok." lol. Whatever 'it' was never did come out of my mouth. I guess I couldnt understand why Jesus would want me to babble like an idiot. lol

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I was a Pentecostal/charismatic for many years, and have recovered only in the past decade. I'm still puzzling over various aspects of the experience. I think the short answer to your question is that these folks engage in some forms of hypnosis that they don't understand, nor do they realize that's what they are doing. In fact, it may be such a nuanced version of hypnosis that it isn't yet really understood scientifically.

So were you 'slain in the spirit' or did you speak in tongues? What was your experience of this?

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All of the above - spoke in tongues, had various other manifestations of "gifts of the spirit", was slain in the spirit, was healed of various problems. I was a true believer for several decades.

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All of the above - spoke in tongues, had various other manifestations of "gifts of the spirit", was slain in the spirit, was healed of various problems. I was a true believer for several decades.

Do you feel you were 'putting it on' or is it all something you can not explain - like something took over your body?

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I attended pentecostal/charismatic churches for about a decade and it royally fucked with my head.

 

I have experienced speaking in tongues, being slain in the spirit, holy laughter, prophecy/words from God, casting out demons and all that kind of thing.

 

It got to the point where I believed that demons were around me all the time.

 

I don't have mental health issues that would explain this, but I did wonder during my deconversion if this all pushed me close to insanity at points. I wasn't sure if I'd neen hallucinating, suffering from serious paranoia or just interpreting normal rational happenings with my pentecostal world view. I am inclined to think the latter but I can't be certain.

 

I definitely wasn't faking it, at times I was the only person who wasnt slain in the spirit or similar because I wouldn't put it on, but I also had genuine experiences.

 

I don't think it is hypnotism, more likely mass hype or hysteria. People can get crazy and carried away with all sorts in the right circumstances, they bounce off each other and don't really need a reason.

 

Prophecy/words from God however I believe are just examples of Good old cold reading. I've realised I'm just very aware of others and would probably make a good fortune teller lol

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I spoke in tongues, still can. It didn't feel like something taking over me because after the very first experience of it, I was able to start whenever (still am). I only felt a pleasant warmth within me when I did it and usually smiled like an idiot, but completely conscious, believing that the Spirit was genuinely leading me. If I do it now just for the heck of it, it's just...like flipping a little switch in my head into gibberish mode, sort of like when you decide to dance like no one's looking. I know the basics of several languages (and had a speech problem as a kid) and I find myself using many syllables that are not in my native tongue, which doesn't surprise me.

I was/am also able to make my hands so hot that even other people feel it, and remove physical pain with the heat. During that too I felt "loved" by something other than myself and that the "energy" came from outside of me.

I've been slain in the spirit several times too. 

 

Well, later I learned a thing or two about hypnosis. Turns out that trance can become very pleasant, and during it, you may feel aware in an extraordinary way and lots of things  "make sense" that normally don't (a common misconception is that trance makes you sleepy, feel "out of this world" or something - it doesn't have to). A person can even be naturally great at self-hypnosis without consciously knowing and understanding it, and go in and out of trance very easily. I am one of those people, actually. Knowing that makes me much more careful with myself because now I know I can get myself carried away into some strange things and emotions that I used to think meant God was with me or whatever.

 

Once I was healed of chronic leg pain, it stayed away for seven whole years. After that it came back worse than ever, because for all those years I'd been unaware that I was walking, sitting and standing completely wrong and harming my joints and muscles, because I felt no pain in the areas. The mind can be very good at removing pain, very surprisingly good indeed - but the second time round I had to work very hard to get my legs functioning again.

 

It also turned out I was great material for this hypnosis trick that makes people fall over. Heh.

 

Personal prophecies on the other hand, I got lots but later understood that people just paid a bit of attention to me beforehand and said what I wanted to hear. For example, I would show up to church in cheap clothes that didn't fit me right and my hair done badly (I had pretty bad Asperger-like problems when younger, still have some) and I'd get someone telling me "God knows where you're coming from, all the pain and trouble, so many rocks in the field...and God is telling you, "I'll make you my weapon" and you will find yourself very, very blessed." Thinking back on it, that's not so hard to do. 

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All of the above - spoke in tongues, had various other manifestations of "gifts of the spirit", was slain in the spirit, was healed of various problems. I was a true believer for several decades.

Do you feel you were 'putting it on' or is it all something you can not explain - like something took over your body?

I wasn't putting it on, exactly, but I believed that what I was doing or saying was being used (or influenced) by the Holy Spirit.

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Lol I faked the whole fainting thing once when I was like 8 or 9. There was a traveling kook peddling the holy spirit that came to our church, and they had us all stand in a line at the front to be "anointed". There was even two people standing behind each person as he did it to catch them in case they fell over lmao. I feel simultaneously disgusted and entertained upon remembering this. How can multiple people play such bizarre mental games?. sometimes it is innocuous and silly, sometimes it's truly terrifying. I saw this many many times. Then there was another time when we were at a young teen's retreat with the pastors daughter, it was a small church, and all the teens were encouraged to "let the holy spirit in and let him speak through you" there were like 15 of us. It was a mass hysteria type deal, all of them speaking in tongues and crying, being encouraged that this was a good thing. I went along because these kids had always really teased me and I wanted to fit in really bad. I'm sure it seemed real from the outside but it felt very very fake and pathetic. We were even expected to talk about our individual experiences in front of the whole congregation the next week at church. We all stood in front of the mic, some of us cried again, gave a stuttered rendition of events and how spiritual it was. It was a circus.  My dad knew a lady that supposedly saw angels everywhere she went. A lot of people gravitated toward her because of this. I think she was not crazy, she seemed very quiet and reserved. I think she was faking it to fuck with people. 

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I've never spoken in tongues, but I've tried to before. I tried to ask God to help me do it, and I would spend time in devotional prayer and try to speak in tongues. It was just me making up a bunch of random words though and I felt kind of stupid when I was doing that. i've also never been slain in the spirit. 

 

I was pretty devoted to God but yet god never revealed himself to me in that way. i told myself "well i guess it's just not my spiritual gift, to speak in tongues. my gift is moreso prophetic dreams." 

 

I don't even believe that I had prophetic dreams. When I had those dreams, it was when I converted to Christianity (again), and I felt convicted of the lifestyle I was living. So I kept having dreams of the "sinful" things I was doing, and then I'd wake up and I'd hear a voice telling me "Do not do this anymore." And I thought for sure it was prophetic dreams sent to me by God, proving his existence. However, as soon as I quit going to church and whatnot, those dreams stopped happening. Sometimes I was like "God can you please help me, I'm losing my faith and I need to know you're still there. Send me another dream." And he never did.

 

There was also a time I thought I saw Jesus. I got done reading some of my bible in the library and I was on my way home. For a split second, I thought I saw a man in a white robe with long hair. I turned my head, and saw it, and then turned my head again and he was gone. I convinced myself that I saw Jesus...but in all reality, I was just seeing what I wanted to see. I left the library thinking heavily about Jesus and I felt like his prescence was near, and during my walk, bam, I saw him. The mind is a powerful tool. If you believe something is real heavily enough, and focus your mind on it, it will be a part of the reality you perceive. Trust me, I dabbled in different religions and had experiences with other deities. 

 

I always thought the idea of speaking in tongues was weird, anyways. Like, why does god want me to talk nonsense language? I don't understand what I'm saying but God probably does, but what's the point in this? lol

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When I was in grade 4, my teacher had just returned from some huge fundy conference in the States, and decided it was time we all learn to speak in tongues. We had a week to receive this gift of the holy spirit, or a letter would be sent home to parents with a diagnosis of demonic oppression. I was open, but felt no divine intervention. I was fully conscious and faked it entirely. Speaking in tongues felt very strange to me, and this made me feel like a lesser christian. In the years that followed I tried to improve my relationship with god hoping that my gift of tongues would improve. It never did. 

 

Anointing and being slain in the spirit didn't work for me either. The pastors would go around and grab people's heads and everybody would fall down and writhe violently on the ground. My parents would send me to the altar hoping I would be moved by the holy ghost too, but I never felt anything.

 

I actively sought a genuine encounter with the holy spirit for many, many years, but it wasn't to be. 

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Like Yunea above, when I was a christian, I used to speak in tongues, and I can still do it.  It's something that I think I basically trained myself to do, albeit the training came subconsciously.  I remember spending some times feeling particularly "close to god" and just repeating these random words which gradually evolved as I continued.  It seems the ones that stayed were the ones that sounded most "realistic" (i.e., like a language).  Somehow the self-delusion continued until the point where I realised that I no longer believed.

 

The fact that I now think these beliefs are a pile of nonsense, can state that there is no holy spirit, but can still do the speaking in tongues thing if I want all indicates to me that this is not a real thing.  It's something humans can create if they want to.

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I highly recommend you read some books on cognitive psychology and how the brain works to create models of reality that we then follow and believe as "truth". Will Storr's 'The Unpersuadables' is a good place to start.

 

Speaking in tongues is no different than the many folks who are utterly convinced they have been abducted by aliens. Once you are assigned a group (I.e. A speaking-in-tongues Pentecostal), you will manifest whatever it takes to fit in with that model. This includes feelings of the Holy Spirit coming over you and all the weird shit that follows. :)

 

It's fascinating stuff, but tough to learn how deceptive we all are with ourselves. Without realizing it.

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I am aware of the holy laughter thing.  Sometimes it affects an entire group.  I never experienced it.  

 I can still speak in tongues very fluently. Of course, I don't even try it anymore but once in a while, I  do and I even impress myself!! Lol Sounds like accents from all over the world. The holy laughter was the funnest thing I have ever experienced in my life. We had a guest minister from ''The Toronto Blessing'' church visit ours and before the service was over the whole place was keeling over in laughter. It was just a contagious thing. The more someone laughed, the more you keeled over laughing. You can do this at any party!! yellow.gif

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Laughter and tongues are child's play compared to Bethel Church in Redding Ca.

 

They have gold dust, diamonds and angel feathers that fall from the sky.  They heal cancer and tumors and all kinds of shit.  So far no amputees have grown new limbs, but they're working on it.  They even raise the dead.  It's quite a show there.  

 

If you go, bring your checkbook.

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Even though I spent over fifteen years in Pentecostal churches, I never spoke in tongues. I was so afraid of doing it "in the flesh" and not "in the spirit," and therefore pissing off God, that I could never let myself do it.

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When I was in high school, I visited charismatic churches with some friends. I got all caught up in the emotionality of the worship, falling on the floor, and tried to speak in tongues. I got a "word of knowledge" from the youth pastor. From what I can tell, it's an altered state of consciousness that people try to tap into.

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