I wish you all spoke in tongues, but even more that you would prophesy. The one who prophesies is greater than the one who speaks in tongues, unless he interprets so that the church may be strengthened. – 1 Cor 14:5

For my first year in college, I was studying to go into ministry at a denominational college. There were some students on campus who prayed in tongues, and I did not want to do that. I had heard that it was wrong. So I went to my pastor to see if he could help me to understand more about this bad thing called tongues. He pulled a book off his shelf and I read it. The author pointed to passages like this and tried to tell me that Paul was actually being sarcastic.

I couldn’t see what the author was saying. In fact, as much as I wanted to know what was wrong with this thing called tongues, as I read all the passages about tongues, I became convinced that I wanted this gift. Right there in my college dorm room I began to pray in a language that I did not know.

When someone twists scripture as badly as the author of that book did, we must learn to trust the Bible more than the “experts” who write the commentaries. We must let scripture stand on its own. We need to let the Holy Spirit help us with hard passages, and let other scriptures support or correct our understanding, rather than putting our faith in some book that was put out by our denomination, or by some agenda driven “expert”.