What Christian Denominations Believe In Speaking In Tongues?

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Some Christians consider speaking in tongues an integral part of their spiritual lives. It helps them to pray and worship more effectively. Some denominations support the practice. Others discourage it. Others emphasize that everyone has the right to choose if they want to practice and continue speaking in tongues.

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All Pentecostal denominations speak in tongues, even the Church of God, Foursquare, Apostolic, and Vineyard churches. You can also find individuals who speak in tongues in denominations such as Baptist, Methodist, or Nazarene.

Many Christians have never heard anyone speak in tongues. Some have seen videos of others doing it online or on TV, but these clips often show extreme or uncommon examples. What does it mean to speak in tongues? Is it a language you know or a mythical one? Continue reading to find out more. 

Scroll down to view a list of over 25 denominations that speak in tongues.

speaking in tongues

Which churches can speak in tongues, and what kind?

Pentecostal churches speak in tongues as a spiritual gift and prayer language. Pentecostalism is a movement within Protestant Christianity. It was founded in the early 20th Century though you can find instances of speaking in tongues earlier than that.

While there isn’t a “Pentecostal” denomination, many people subscribe to Pentecostal Theology. These core beliefs are the foundation of Pentecostal Theology.

  • After conversion, baptism in Holy Spirit is the second act of the grace of God. Baptism in the Holy Spirit is not a Pentecostal tradition. It occurs immediately after conversion.
  • Speaking in tongues is a sign of baptism in the Holy Spirit. According to Pentecostal Theology, speaking in tongues signifies Spirit-baptism after conversion. A person who has not spoken in tongues is not baptized in Holy Spirit. Non-Pentecostal traditions teach baptism in the Holy Spirit requires other evidence.
  • Christians have all spiritual gifts available today. All the gifts listed in the New Testament are available today, including words of wisdom, knowledge, healing, speaking in tongues, and interpreting tongues. Certain gifts, such as speaking tongues in non-Pentecostal teaching, were reserved for the first-century church.

List Of Denominations That Encourage Its Members To Speak In Tongues

  • Apostolic Faith Church
  • Apostolic Faith Mission Church of God
  • Apostolic Overcoming Holy Church of God
  • Assemblies of God
  • Assemblies of the Lord Jesus Christ
  • Bible Way Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ
  • Church of God (Cleveland, Tennessee)
  • Church of God in Christ
  • Church of God, Mountain Assembly
  • Church of God of Prophecy
  • Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ of the Apostolic Faith
  • Church of the Living God
  • Congregational Holiness Church
  • Elim Fellowship
  • Fellowship of Christian Assemblies
  • Fire Baptized Holiness Church of God
  • Full Gospel Fellowship of Churches and Ministers
  • Independent Assemblies of God
  • International Church of the Foursquare Gospel
  • International Fellowship of Christian Assemblies
  • International Pentecostal Holiness Church
  • Open Bible Churches
  • Pentecostal Assemblies of the World
  • Pentecostal Church of God
  • Pentecostal Free Will Baptist Church
  • United Holy Church of America
  • United Pentecostal Church International
  • Association Of Vineyard Churches

Pentecostal Theology is a common belief in some non-denominational churches. Traditional denominations such as Baptist, Lutheran, Presbyterian, Methodist, Methodist, Episcopalian, etc., may also allow individuals to speak in tongues.

What does it mean to “speak in tongues”?

Speaking in tongues is a term used in the New Testament to refer to speaking in real languages or in a language that is not understandable to the speaker. This can sound like gibberish to listeners.

To speak in tongues is to communicate in a real or heavenly language. People spoke in tongues on the Day of Pentecost due to being baptized by the Holy Spirit. Acts 2:8-11 explains.

8 And how is it that we hear, each in our own language in which we were born? 9 Parthians and Medes and Elamites, those dwelling in Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya adjoining Cyrene, visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, 11 Cretans and [b]Arabs—we hear them speaking in our own tongues the wonderful works of God.

Acts 2:8-11

This is an example of how speaking in tongues made it possible for people from all parts of the globe to understand God’s work.

Wayne Grudem, a Baptist theologian, believes that speaking in tongues can be a gift that Christians have today. He suggests that the New Testament text might be more accurately translated to avoid confusion.

“English translations have continued to use the phrase ‘speaking in tongues,’ which is an expression not otherwise used in ordinary English and which gives the impression of a strange experience, something completely foreign to ordinary human life.

But if English translations were to use the expression ‘speaking in languages,’ it would not seem nearly as strange, and would give the reader a sense much closer to what first century Greek speaking readers would have heard in the phrase when they read it in Acts or 1 Corinthians.”emphasis added

Wayne Grudem

Talking in tongues meant speaking in unintelligible sounds and syllables. This form of speaking in tongues is not consistent with any conventions. There’s a lot of mystery about it. Apostle Paul described this kind of unintelligible speech in 1 Corinthians 14, 2, and 9.

For he who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God, for no one understands him; however, in the spirit he speaks mysteries.

So likewise you, unless you utter by the tongue words easy to understand, how will it be known what is spoken? For you will be speaking into the air.

1 Corinthians 14:2,9

This is the speaking in tongues that comes to mind often when someone hears the phrase.

Is it possible to speak in tongues?

speaking in tongues

People who speak in tongues think it’s real, even though it’s not always an actual language but a “heavenly language.”

The New Testament teaches that not all people receive the gift of interpreting tongues at any given moment. However, since they received the gift of the Holy Spirit and He is the one who owns the gift of interpretation, He can use any believer. Paul, the Apostle, taught that certain people are gifted at interpreting tongues. He writes in 1 Corinthians 14:27 that he states,

27 If anyone speaks in a tongue, let there be two or at the most three, each in turn, and let one interpret.

Some Christians are still astonished at speaking in tongues, but others find it a common practice.

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