Like Buying a Gun?!
I understand a little of this persons background because I attended the church he grew up in for almost a decade. I simply told him, my definition of this gift and his were most likely different. I was a little floored by his answer. He said, "I don't know, doesn't the Bible talk about tongues a whole lot.. isn't it in Acts or something, I just know it is in there more than once?"
Why was this shocking/concerning/saddening?
1) I was not trying to discredit or saying I didn't believe in this gift.
2) He initiated the conversation knowing I have a Christian Ministries degree and am a youth pastor. Not that this makes me smart or wise but you can assume some knowledge of the Bible itself (well hopefully).
3) Why are we talking about this topic when there is so much more you need to start with (The reason for this post)?
4) This is most likely the same response most other "Christians" would give me. I know this from the Barna polls that say only 39% or Americans in his age group strongly agree that the Bible is totally accurate in all it teaches and an even lower percentage actually read it.
So in my mind I picture that scene from Indiana Jones where the ninja sword guy jumps out and flails around his steel and Indy simply reaches in his coat pulls out a revolver and shoots him dead. Then there is the old adage, "never bring a knife to a gun fight." Then I had to check myself at the door because the difference here is I don't want to shoot anyone dead but my hope is that I could simply encourage people to buy a gun. My response to him was simply this. Here is a list of places in the Bible that refer to tongues and/or other languages. Read them and compare them to your experiences.
With that advice, will he come to the same conclusion as me? I hope but I don't really know for sure.. and it really isn't important. What is important is simply taking time with God's word. Reading your Bible not because you have to but because you want to!
Back before guns, I assume the saying was, "never bring a fist to a sword fight." How do I know this: "For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires" (Hebrews 4: 12).
What can I do to help you read Bible? This is important. You let me know.