Sunday, March 9, 2008

Word of the Day: Glossolalia





From Wikipedia:

Glossolalia (from Greek glossa γλῶσσα "tongue, language" and λαλεῖν "to talk") is the vocalizing of fluent speech-like but unintelligible utterances, often as part of religious practice. Its use (including use in this article) sometimes also embraces Xenoglossy - speaking in a natural language that was previously unknown to and that is not understood by the speaker.

Look up Glossolalia in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.

While occurrences of glossolalia are widespread and well documented, there is considerable discussion within religious communities (principally Christian) and elsewhere as to both its status (the extent to which glossolalic utterances can be considered to form language), and its source (whether glossolalia is a natural, supernatural, or spiritual phenomenon).



And guess who practices it:

Again from Wikipedia: Pentecostals

Beliefs

The majority of Pentecostals believe in order to be saved, one must repent of sin, believe in Jesus as Savior, and accept His Lordship. Pentecostals also typically believe, like most other evangelicals, that the Bible has definitive authority in matters of faith. There are two large streams into which the majority of Pentecostal churches fall.

To the first group, speaking in tongues is the sign of the baptism of the Holy Spirit, but is not necessary for salvation. In these churches, the baptism of the Holy Spirit is viewed as a second work of grace in the believer's life, which occurs subsequent to the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, which occurs at the moment of salvation. This is reported to create a 'spiritual hierarchy' in the church which often resembles early forms of Gnosticism which the Apostle Paul described extensively in his epistles.

The second group emphasizes a salvation message based on Acts 2:38 which says that a person needs to repent and be baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus, and then receive the Holy Spirit. To these Pentecostals, receiving the Holy Spirit is necessary for salvation and is accompanied by speaking in tongues. In these denominations, it is widely assumed that a person who has not spoken in tongues (emphasis mine) is unsaved. Also, this group of churches teaches that the Trinitarian baptismal formula is invalid. Because these groups hold firmly to the doctrine of baptismal regeneration, a person who has been baptized with the Trinitarian formula according to Matthew 28:19 (in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit) is unsaved.

Pentecostals have different views on the idea of what "tongues" actually means. Some believe tongues is a prayer language in which they themselves do not understand what they are saying. Others believe tongues is an actual language and the ability to speak the mysteries of God unto the unsaved using their language. In both views the ability to speak and the ability to interpret are separate gifts. One may be able to speak in a certain language but will lack the ability to interpret any other language they have not been gifted with the understanding to speak. Both generally believe there must be an interpreter present so the listeners will understand when a different language, or tongue, is spoken unto them.

...

Pentecostal services are usually very lively. They are characterized by spontaneous expressions of praise, either in the vernacular or in tongues. Pentecostal worshipers are also known for raising their hands in the orant style common in the early church. Some Pentecostal services have been known to run for hours in cases of particular excitement, which is viewed as the Holy Spirit "moving." Pentecostals have sometimes been labeled as "holy rollers" because of their lively worship style.


And we are to seriously consider such people for public office?

1 comment:

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