Many modern churches stress on speaking in tongues. This is an issue bigger than what the Apostle Paul would have imagined! This gift is turned into a mandatory aspect of being a believer; Christians judge other Christians according to their speaking in tongues and the level of it.
This is a large topic, books have been written on it. However there is one thing that needs addressing, desperately: what exactly is laughing in the Spirit? Or crying in the Spirit? Slaying in the Spirit? Making absurd noises in the Spirit? Would the Holy Spirit distract the children of God from listening and understanding His Word? Many church services are wasted because it’s members are laughing in the Spirit or are slain in the same. Would God allow such distraction when in actuality His children are supposed to be fearfully listening to His holy Word? The Lord will never allow such ungodly thing! Who alone will try to distract God’s people if not the devil himself? The church is awed by and accepts that which is demonic manifestations, claiming it to be a godly manifestation!
I once sat through a YWAM DTS class on spiritual gifts taught by a pastor. In the middle of the lecture he suddenly tells us teenagers to start speaking in tongues! There were about 15 of us, and we somehow began babbling (I feel so ashamed now!). None of us had ever spoken in tongues, and here was this pastor forcing us to speak in tongues. One student was babbling alphabets of the local language and the pastor starts laughing! As ridiculous as it sounds, he went on to laugh and expected us to laugh – his version of “laughing in the Spirit”! This was labelled as a ‘spiritual’ manifestation and was a spiritual moment. It sure was spiritual, but of the counterfeit spirit. Apparently, the previous batch which he had taught the year before had the very same experience of “laughing in the Spirit” and so he was trying to mimic it with a different group of teens.
Another drama done in the name of the Spirit is ‘slaying’. Pastors place their hands on your head and… push, push, push until you know you must fall! And then you are considered being filled with the Spirit. I confess, shamefacedly, that I have pretended to be ‘slain’ when pushed by a pastor. (I’ve made up my mind never to fall, if God wanted me to then His power is enough rather than acting along with the pastor.) However, there are slayings in the Spirit which happen without a touch (like the heretic Benny Hinn), but these can be just as demonic! It involves hypnotism at some level. We must ask God for discernment to know the real from the fake. Test the spirits, ask God to give you wisdom to escape the deception.
Speaking gibberish is out of the question. You can go ahead and speak gibberish during your personal prayer times, but please avoid doing so in public – St. Paul’s admonishing. I am not against speaking in tongues, but I am against the manipulation of the gifting. God knows the hearts of those who speak in tongues and He is far more interested in your lifestyle than your speaking in unknown languages. If you are assured that you hold the gift of tongues from God, praise God! Use it, but always bring an interpreter along if in public. But those of you who are unsure and/or pretend to use tongues, quit trying to mock the Holy Spirit. It does not make you any more spiritual but you simply distracted from that which truly matters.