Speaking in Tongues

Despite the title, I’m not about to embark on a thorough account of the different theologies of spiritual gifts. I do not deny a more supernatural meaning, but I also believe that a spiritual gift can be when God chooses to use a seemingly simple personal skill to the benefit of his church.

In this understanding, I have come to see excelling in translation or understanding different human languages to be an aspect of “the gift of tongues”; the gift of languages. Calling this a gift is not trying to make myself sound better. It is saying that, while I would certainly call myself proficient in English, using it for the glory of God is only possible through his power. As is the case with any type of work for the kingdom.

So yesterday I preached in English for the first time in my life. I accepted the invitation to stand in for someone who wasn’t able to make it, and delivered a sermon in Fox Valley Community Church‘s “Opal Room service” (the more traditional-style worship service). From the ensuing remarks, I think it went pretty well – language was never an issue, and more importantly I believe the message was well received. If anybody is interested (which I’m doubting ;)) they do put recordings of all sermons on the website.


Author: Kenneth Mollerup Birch

Living north of Copenhagen, Denmark. MA in Information Science. Interests include communication, internet, sociology, language, politics, religion, theology, travel, music, and food.

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