Do Nazarene's believe in speaking in tongues?
This is a question that is asked all the time and it's probably one of the most misunderstood topics in all of Christianity. I'll explain briefly what the Church of the Nazarene and most other non-Pentecostal churches believe about speaking in tongues.
There are two major differing viewpoints about speaking in tongues. The traditional view held by virtually all of Christianity from the time of the Apostles is that "speaking in tongues" is where a person is supernaturally empowered by the Holy Spirit to speak the foreign language of another people (such as Arabic, Chinese, French, etc). The Pentecostal view is that "speaking in tongues" refers to a heavenly language designed primarily for private prayer and God is the only one who can understand it. Within each group there are minor differing viewpoints but those are the two major distinctions. The church of the Nazarene and most denominations that existed before the early 1900's does not agree with the Pentecostal view of speaking in an unknown tongue as a private prayer language and believes it is nothing more than an counterfeit and/or distraction of the true Gift.
We can learn a lot about this topic by reading what has been written by Christians throughout history. When we look at the writing of people like Augustine we see they too disagreed with the modern Pentecostal view. It's incorrect to say that Nazarene's don't believe in Speaking in Tongues because we do, we just don't believe in the Pentecostal view of speaking in an unknown tongue. Nazarene's and many non-Pentecostals are not dogmatic on whether or not Speaking in Tongues as it relates to the traditional view is in existence for today. We are very firm on the belief that the Pentecostal view is completely false.
To see a complete explanation of my personal view so speaking in tongues with quotes from Augustine please check out Is Speaking In Tongues Biblical
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