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  #51  
Old 12-30-2019, 02:31 PM
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Originally Posted by QuickSilver View Post
I took Riemann's post as an illustration of how we are more inclined to believe some unreliable sources more than others, when in fact, neither is necessarily more credible than the other. <shrug>
Pretty much. Although in this context my intention in the sarcastic enquiry about the details of Velocity's unsourced "account" was to emphasize that the details could not possibly matter. It's not as though any conceivable details about the source could validate such hearsay as meaningful evidence of a supernatural event.

Last edited by Riemann; 12-30-2019 at 02:33 PM.
  #52  
Old 12-30-2019, 02:41 PM
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To be certain, the story could be false. But even if it was true, figure that 5% of the country goes to church every Sunday, where that church speaks in tongues. They do this year in and year out, but let's say that we're only concerned with the last 20 years.

In a 20 year period, is It possible for one Chinese man to end up going to church with one person among 5% of the American population? Yeah, it probably happens occasionally.

Is it possible for 5% of the population who have lived in the last 20 years to have ever traveled to China, taken Chinese lessons, or memorized some lines from a Jackie Chan flick? Yeah, probably a fair number of them.

Is it possible in a 20 year period for those two paths to cross? Sure. But welcome to statistics. Magic not needed.
I think it's completely feasible that a dual tongue Chinese and English speaker would use Chinese when pretending to speak in tongues to an English speaking audience. It's also completely feasible that a Chinese speaker could be in attendance. However, Velocity's claim is that the person speaking in tongues didn't know Chinese. This leaves a few possibilities:

1. God was speaking through the non-Chinese speaker to the Chinese speaker
2. God's natural language is Cantonese and was speaking that through the non-Chinese speaker when a native Cantonese speaker happened by
3. It's an urban legend -- either it didn't happen, or the speaker actually spoke Chinese

Hmm, I wonder which is most likely.
  #53  
Old 12-30-2019, 02:54 PM
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3. It's an urban legend -- either it didn't happen, or the speaker actually spoke Chinese

Hmm, I wonder which is most likely.
One notes that, if we assume confirmation bias, if the person said some random nonsense like "Hello, how are you?" Or "I will catch you!" (E.g., a line from a Hong Kong movie.) That we would expect the part which didn't match the miracle to be dropped from the story.

We would also expect that a Chinese person might interpret a few syllables of nonsense as Chinese words, because his brain fills in the blanks.

One suspects that, just as ghosts seem to avoid cellphone cameras, and so do people who levitate while practicing yoga, that if the practice of filming your church sessions took off, events like these would somehow fade away.

Last edited by Sage Rat; 12-30-2019 at 02:54 PM.
  #54  
Old 12-30-2019, 05:02 PM
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The Bible describes some speaking in tongue events as being understood by everyone (in their own native language) and others as not being understood and requiring interpretation. The Bible makes it clear the purpose of speaking in tongues is for humans to communicate to God (praise & petition) and not the other way around. The idea is to communicate your heart & feelings to God even when you don't know what to say.

Unfortunately in some churches there are people who attempt to pass off speaking in tongues as delivering a message from God. These people may be sincere and may even have a message from God, but it doesn't work that way in the Bible.
  #55  
Old 12-31-2019, 07:03 AM
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To be certain, the story could be false. But ... In a 20 year period, is It possible for one Chinese man to end up going to church with one person among 5% of the American population? Yeah, it probably happens occasionally.
... Is it possible ...
Is it possible in a 20 year period for those two paths to cross? Sure. But welcome to statistics. Magic not needed.
In all this discussion, the likeliest explanation has been overlooked. The Cantonese man had a piece of tail on the side whom nobody was to know about, and he was under great stress from guilt feelings. His own brain rearranged nonsense syllables into an accusation in his native tongue. I'll guess the hairdresser may have been aware of all this, but omitted it to maintain the propriety of conversation in her salon.
  #56  
Old 12-31-2019, 07:48 PM
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One is filled to overflowing with the Holy Spirit. One's lungs explode, spewing syllables. These are holy syllables, beyond human hearing or understanding. Interpretation is optional. Speak, hear, and be transported. Be filled.
  #57  
Old 01-01-2020, 02:00 PM
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I'm simply stating what happened. A Chinese man, who knew Cantonese, went to a church and heard someone (who did not know Cantonese) speaking in tongues - in Cantonese. And those words, in tongues, were directed at this Chinese man.
We have an avid desire to make sense of everything. Could it be that the Chinese man thought he heard Chinese in the stream of, well, gibberish? Could that be possible? Well?
  #58  
Old 01-01-2020, 06:52 PM
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This is practically the definition of an urban legend. You hear from someone (who?) that someone (who?) somewhere (where?) did something miraculous (when?). I think that if there were really examples of people actually speaking in tongues (I guess God's language is Cantonese?), then, to answer the OP, the reason is to actually speak with God. Is that the point of your story?

Color me skeptical.
But yet it happened. There was an account after all.
  #59  
Old 01-01-2020, 06:58 PM
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I don't know the official justification, though I suspect it varies with context. But I imagine it has psychological benefits. It is basically a method for achieving a trance state, which is similar to deep meditation.
  #60  
Old 01-02-2020, 06:08 AM
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I think Michael Jackson was speaking in tongues at the tail end of "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'."
I'm pretty sure you're joking, but I do see this misconception a lot. Glossalia isn't skatting. Assuming the person isn't faking, they aren't consciously choosing to try and make sounds. The whole reason why religious significance is ascribed to the process is that the person doesn't feel like they are in conscious control of what they are saying.

Relating it to a trance or meditation is not a bad analogy. The brain activity for both aren't the same. But both tend to involve altered states of consciousness. Glossalia comes when people work themselves into a huge religious fervor.

At least, at first. It does seem to be something that comes easier when you've done it before. The same is true of trance and meditation--the more you practice, the easier it is to achieve.
  #61  
Old 01-02-2020, 07:24 AM
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(snip)

Such could easily be explained by audio pareidolia--your brain wants to make sense of things. I've personally thought I heard Hebrew words, particularly Shalom and Shaddai.
I.e., two of the Hebrew words most likely to be familiar to Evangelical Christians. I'd guess you probably did hear those words, maybe from an Amy Grant fan.
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  #62  
Old 01-02-2020, 08:10 AM
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Mostly because they have no idea what "speaking in tongues" actually meant in the biblical reference. It wasn't someone suddenly speaking aloud in a language no one knew, or he never knew. It meant he spoke in his own language, and everyone within earshot heard it in their own language. This is significantly harder to fake, of course. [...]
This. What the call speaking in tongues today is BS, makes no sense and does not even save the expenses for the interpreter. Speaking in tongues was the antique version of the Babel Fish, what they fake today is proof that they have not read the Bible. It is easy to fake, but only to an ignorant audience. This, I guess, is where Trump fits in.
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  #63  
Old 01-02-2020, 09:35 AM
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But yet it happened. There was an account after all.
I heard from someone that there was no account.
  #64  
Old 01-02-2020, 09:53 AM
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Essentially, there are two types of speaking in tongues. One is your private prayer language, for use in private, or in the general murmur of everyone praying. This is not for anyone else but you. It is letting your spirit pray without your mind. ...

the second form of speaking in tongues: the public prophesy. ...

So, given all of this, you have a private prayer language that is just the Spirit interceding for you when you don't know what to pray for. This is valuable because it gets our earthly minds out of the way when praying. However, when using it in public, it is 100% true that speaking in tongues is useless without interpretation.
I grew up in a Spirit-filled church. Not the actual Pentecostal denomination, but one with most of the same trappings (tongues, faith healing, etc.).

It never really took with me (I've never spoken in tongues, but have witnessed and been the recipient of seemingly miraculous healings). But BigT's experience is the same as mine. TWO types of speaking in tongues. The personal spirit prayer and the prophetic one. In my childhood church, the former was fairly ubiquitous. I mean, if you choose to join such a church, I guess it must be because you are "all in" for speaking in tongues. The prophetic style, requiring an interpretation, I might have seen once or twice a year.
  #65  
Old 01-02-2020, 07:33 PM
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You didn't see what you do now, with people up front praying in tongues as some sort of sign of holiness.
I saw plenty of it back when I used to hang out with pentecostal/charismatic Christians, back in the early to mid 1970s.

One fellowship group I spent a lot of time at for a year or so in the early 1970s not only had a metric ton of speaking in tongues (real? fake? who knows), but it was led by a woman who claimed to have the gift of prophecy. Nearly half a century later, I can still hear the voice of Sister Raylyn in my mind, saying "Oh my people, oh my people" which her prophecies almost invariably started off with.
  #66  
Old 01-02-2020, 07:45 PM
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I'm pretty sure you're joking, but I do see this misconception a lot. Glossalia isn't skatting. Assuming the person isn't faking, they aren't consciously choosing to try and make sounds. The whole reason why religious significance is ascribed to the process is that the person doesn't feel like they are in conscious control of what they are saying.

Relating it to a trance or meditation is not a bad analogy. The brain activity for both aren't the same. But both tend to involve altered states of consciousness. Glossalia comes when people work themselves into a huge religious fervor.
From what I saw of the videos on Youtube I looked up after reading this thread, the speaking in tongues reminds me of the section towards the end of the notorious Winnebago Man video (starts around 5:46) where he starts blabbering in nonsense words interspersed with cursing. He says stuff that sounds like "ragichadoba" and "satapachakaya" and "pakashipawoyawaka" - he has (I think) degenerated into a sort of Tourettes'-like compulsive vocalization.

For those unfamiliar with what I'm talking about, it's outtakes from a Winnebago promotional video from the 80s where the narrator starts losing his temper at forgetting his lines, which of course makes him just screw up more which makes him even more pissed off. What results is a hilarious cascade of extremely creative swearing, but at the time it was happening, there was nothing funny about it, the guy was extremely frustrated and pissed off.
  #67  
Old 01-02-2020, 09:58 PM
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I just want to throw in on this largely jokey thread that I, like BigT and others, grew up in "charismatic Pentecostal" church and experienced this on about a bi-weekly basis.

First of all, BigT really nails down the basics and we should all appreciate his input on the topic.

Second of all, I grew up (specifically southern Assembly of God) and my father was actually the pastor. Every other Sunday night or so, he'd give some lively (semi-angry) emotional sermon that went past normal time and typically, a few members of the congregation would start shouting in tongues.

Now, this was all back when I was probably 12 or younger, and I've not really bought in to religion from age 22 on (I'll be 40 this year. Jesus...FORTY?!).

Even back then I had severe doubts about the authenticity of what was happening. Particularly because it was *always* the same few congregants who shouted in tongues, and after a while, I realized they reused the same nonsense words (which I can easily recite in my head right now to this day but I won't take a stab at typing out). Adding to my doubts was the fact it was the same few people, every time--named an elderly woman named Irma Bean.

...that is tattooed on my brain. Irma Bean.

After a silent retrospection for minutes by the entire church, my father would recite some interpretation.

I have to admit, it was poignant and meaningful, and satisfying to those involved. This was usually a wrapping-up point of our more charismatic services, and as a kid I was like "Finally let's go eat pizza now."

This phenomenon was coupled with events such as running and screaming down the aisles/around the sanctuary by women "overcome by the spirit." I only ever looked on with saucer-shaped eyes wondering why they did this.

As an adult, the concept of glossolalia became a minor, temporary obsession: As I methodically debunked all of my beliefs, I came across the aspect of demonic possession. One attribute that "proved" possession was real was glossolalia--or rather xenoglossy--when a person spoke in a real language they couldn't possible know. In movies a person might blurt out in Latin. I tracked it through a few well documented cases and came to the conclusion it's literally never happened.

It's fascinating to me, but easily debunked.

Last edited by dontbesojumpy; 01-02-2020 at 10:00 PM.
  #68  
Old 01-03-2020, 05:50 AM
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This is kind of a related question. I have seen videos of people going up to the front of one of these churches, getting a touch by the minister, and kind of swooning. It's expected, there are people there to catch them and lay them down on the floor. Sometimes they twitch. Examples in the movie Marjoe this happened a lot.

What is going on here? Do these people actually pass out? Is this like handshake hypnosis? (And frankly, I have questions about that handshake hypnosis thing, too.)
LARP. Live Action Role Playing.
  #69  
Old 01-03-2020, 08:38 AM
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I saw plenty of it back when I used to hang out with pentecostal/charismatic Christians, back in the early to mid 1970s.

One fellowship group I spent a lot of time at for a year or so in the early 1970s not only had a metric ton of speaking in tongues (real? fake? who knows), but it was led by a woman who claimed to have the gift of prophecy. Nearly half a century later, I can still hear the voice of Sister Raylyn in my mind, saying "Oh my people, oh my people" which her prophecies almost invariably started off with.
Was "Sister Raylyn's" last name Terrell?
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Old 01-03-2020, 02:52 PM
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I've sent you a PM, divemaster.
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Old 01-03-2020, 04:23 PM
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I'm pretty sure you're joking, but I do see this misconception a lot. Glossalia isn't skatting. Assuming the person isn't faking, they aren't consciously choosing to try and make sounds. The whole reason why religious significance is ascribed to the process is that the person doesn't feel like they are in conscious control of what they are saying.

Relating it to a trance or meditation is not a bad analogy. The brain activity for both aren't the same. But both tend to involve altered states of consciousness. Glossalia comes when people work themselves into a huge religious fervor.

At least, at first. It does seem to be something that comes easier when you've done it before. The same is true of trance and meditation--the more you practice, the easier it is to achieve.
Agreed. I have spoken in tongues. I became a Christian in an Assemblies of God (Pentecostal) Church. I have always treated it as a way to pray without saying words. The first time I did it, it felt like a bubbling up inside of me. I was under no impression that I was speaking another language, but that the prayer was bubbling inside of me and manifested in gibberish. Kind of a trance like effect... and every time since calling on the same feeling.
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Old 01-07-2020, 06:40 PM
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My impression is that for many that believe in it, it is a tangible sign of their faith. It reassures them that their faith has some credence. Faith without any sort of evidence can be hard.
  #73  
Old 01-07-2020, 08:37 PM
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Here's the original source, Acts 2:1-13. The "they" in the first book are the apostles, who were all from Israel (except Peter, the Roman) and so spoke the same language. Those who heard them were from all over the place and heard their own languages.
This was also my understanding. Consistent with 1 Corinthians 22, true believers are supposed to hear true prophets as if the prophet spoke in the listener's native language.
"Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not: but prophesying serveth not for them that believe not, but for them which believe." (King James Version, 1 Cor 22)
For Pentecostals without an alternative interpretation, to admit you need an interpreter is to admit you are a non-believer. Reminds you of The Emperor's New Clothes, doesn't it?

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Last edited by Max S.; 01-07-2020 at 08:40 PM. Reason: without an alternative interpretation
  #74  
Old 01-07-2020, 10:53 PM
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Here's the original source, Acts 2:1-13. The "they" in the first book are the apostles, who were all from Israel (except Peter, the Roman) and so spoke the same language. Those who heard them were from all over the place and heard their own languages.
I'm not sure how this has gotten past everyone, so far.
Peter was not Roman, he was a fisherman from Israel.
Paul was from Tarsus (in what is now souther Turkey) although he was certainly a religious Jew, having studied under Gamaliel, he was a Roman citizen.
Paul was not with the other Apostles at Pentecost, being converted to Christianity quite a few years later.

As to the "tongues" discussion, the only example of speaking in one's own language and being understood by others who did not speak that language occurs at the beginning of Acts and is not repeated. The use of glossolalia (as "speaking in tongues") is mentioned by Paul and once, by Luke, later in Acts, and does not appear to refer to the same phenomenon. At a guess, the Greeks did not have separate words for universal understanding of speech and the phenomenon of glossolalia and two authors used the same word to speak of two events.
  #75  
Old 01-07-2020, 11:25 PM
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The use of glossolalia (as "speaking in tongues") is mentioned by Paul and once, by Luke, later in Acts, and does not appear to refer to the same phenomenon.
Is the mention by Paul that passage from in 1 Corinthians or something else?

~Max
  #76  
Old 01-08-2020, 08:56 AM
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... it felt like a bubbling up inside of me. I was under no impression that I was speaking another language, but that the prayer was bubbling inside of me and manifested in gibberish. Kind of a trance like effect...
I have a question, half-silly but also half-serious. Suppose George the tongue-speaker is feeling guilty about a recent secret sin. (His late-night rendezvous with the Widow Jones if you insist on lubricious details.) Wouldn't he be afraid that his entranced gibberish might suddenly morph into a confession, perhaps in English?
  #77  
Old 01-08-2020, 10:59 AM
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Inspired by this:

Trump picks Miami megachurch with pastor who speaks in tongues for evangelicals event

Let's accept for a moment that Evangelicals speak in real languages when they speak in tongues.

These languages are never existing earthly languages. We never hear Amharic or any other Semitic language. Or Greek. The words are without meaning to us mortals. (Coincidentally, they always sound like the kind of words an English speaker would make up.) It seems to me that the gift of speaking in tongues should always be accompanied by the gift of interpretation, just so everyone can be clued into the breaking news from the Holy Ghost Network. But this never happens.

So why does the Holy Ghost move people in this way? And why is this gift so common relative to the other ones?
I've been bouncing around this thread, wondering if I should attempt a answer as it seems more of a thing to discuss with those who understand it. But I will try to give some answers.

Also note there are 2 types of tongues, one the one you describe and the other the 'Star Trek' universal translator type where a person speaks in their native language and the hearer hears them perfectly in their different native language.

Starting from the bottom up:

1: First is it more common than the other gifts? Perhaps or not. God does things that He only allows some to see. Many people will not be privileged to witness a healing, they just tend not to remember the illness. Sounds amazing but I have been so privileged while others who where there have no memory of it. So I'm not sure it's more common.

But let's say it's more common or not, well speaking in tongues is part of prayer, it's part of us communicating with God, which is something God desires and desires we desire that too. That communication is part of the foundation of the relationship between the Father and child (us). The other gifts seem to be not foundational but something to do in service after the foundation is complete.

The Holy Spirit becomes our Spirit, and it is the Spirit that desires communication with the Father, even communicating things we are not ready to understand.

Quote:
It seems to me that the gift of speaking in tongues should always be accompanied by the gift of interpretation, just so everyone can be clued into the breaking news from the Holy Ghost Network. But this never happens.
It's fine to speak in tongues by oneself without interpretation but don't be so sure in a church setting that you don't get a interpretation. The recognition of the voice of God interpreting is a gift in itself and does happen. The interpretation may be instant, or later in the service, or even after. Thus Paul states: Tongues, then, are a sign, not for believers but for unbelievers (they can hear it); prophecy (understanding the message from God in Tongues), however, is not for unbelievers but for believers.
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