Who would have thought that we’d have a meaningful discussion on the controversial and fascinating topic of speaking in tongues on The Lasting Supper? Not me. But because it is a part of many of our members’ experience, including mine, of course the issue should be raised!
One of my favorite renegade Christian authors, a prophet on this inside, William Stringfellow, actually writes about this issue in his excellent little book, “An Ethic For Christians & Other Aliens in a Strange Land”:
“If free from fantastic views of glossolalia, we are able to focus upon the emphatic political character of this gift. At Pentecost, it will be recalled, the phenomenon of tongues is related concretely to evangelization and to the radically ecumenical scope of the Church in its outreach to all sorts and conditions of human beings, as they are, where they are. At Pentecost, glossolalia manifests the universal efficacy of the Word of God for human life in community… At Pentecost, ecstatic utterance means the emancipation of human beings from the bonds of nation, culture, race, language, ethnicity… It is a response to the yearning of professed church people for integrity in liturgy and public worship, a need frustrated for so long by divisiveness and sham, vaingloriousness and dissipation, facetiousness and religiosity, joylessness and blasphemy… Speaking in tongues is a sign of human beings set free by the Word of God from the captivation of official babel and is an encouragement to all persons still oppressed by babel. Within the surveillance of the Antichrist, this spontaneous, unpredictable, uncomformable, liberated witness can only be heard as the sound of revolution…”
Stringfellow asserts that tongues, essentially, is a way for human beings to express their freedom from all that would attempt to control them, from the official State to the official Church.
Share your story if you have one. There is no ridicule here.