Why I Will Not Sing In Tongues In Church2 min read

tongues worship
Tola’s Thoughts On Faith & Life

Recently, I had to travel to another city for work. My time ran into the weekend and I had to spend Sunday there.

I still like to find a church I could fellowship in. And I found a church not too far from where I was staying.

I really enjoyed my time of worship in the church and it’s definitely a church I could see myself coming often to.

At some time during the service, the worship leader came to lead us in on a worship set.

Well, he was doing great until he started singing something I didn’t know. And he expected that I should stand up and sing with him.

Actually, he wanted the church to stand up and sing.

Some stood up – I didn’t and I wasn’t going to do that.

How could I stand up and sing something I didn’t know the meaning?

According to him, we were singing in tongues.

Singing in tongues? Not bad if you were doing it all alone.

But I am not going to sing in any tongue with any congregation if I don’t know what we are singing.

Even some songs that I know their lyrics, I don’t sing because I don’t agree with the theology it is affirming. And I keep quiet when those songs are sung in church.

So I sat down and kept quiet as he and some of the church sang in tongues. I noticed some of the congregation didn’t also stand up. I’m not sure if they were also taking a “not singing what I don’t understand” stand like me. 

Then he started singing something I could understand – immediately I got up and joined the worship.

tongues worship

One of the advice we were given when I used to lead worship was to minimize the number of new songs per worship set. So, we could make the learning experience easier on the congregation. It’s difficult to learn new things while at the same time trying to passionately worship God.

I can now imagine worshiping as a congregation using words we don’t all understand. 

I guess this is probably why Paul recommended that if there is no interpretation, prayers in tongues should not be done loudly during congregational worship (1 Cor 14:19)

I love to sing in a congregation but I prefer to do it in a language we can all understand  

That way, I know the truth I affirming. And worship in Spirit and Truth.

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Tola Akinsulire

A married guy with a precocious son who works his (I mean me, not my son - I bet you know, right?) day job as a financial guy trying to make real estate projects have some sense to the investor. I like to talk about what I learn along the way as I live my faith in life (family, work, friendships, fellowship, community and anything else you can put here).