A Response to Pentecostal Criticism

A two minute address to Pentecostals, Charismatics, Catholic Charismatics and the like who claim the Gift of Tongues Project and book series are a veiled attack against them.

Picture of Charles Sullivan smiling

Click on the picture or this link: Pentecostal Response, to view.

Here is the transcript:


There is a feeling that I am out to discredit Pentecostals and Charismatics with my study results and this is my response.

I am Charles Sullivan, blogger for the Gift of Tongues Project, the largest online repository on the subject, and co-author of the book series: Speaking in Tongues: a Critical Historical Examination.

I came into this study hoping to reinforce the Charismatic narrative of tongues. It was also where I could use my ancient language reading skills. Perhaps, maybe perhaps, I have the gift of tongues but in an odd way: reading and analyzing old and dead ones.

There is a deep appreciation and respect for the Spirit-led movement in this work. It is, along with labour unions, one of the few that supports the marginalized, disenfranchised, and working class. It is a place where a network of friendships abound and a resource for personal growth and support.

After reviewing the ancient texts, I found that history had a different story about tongues. There are no historical antecedents for tongues as a divine prayer language before the early 1900s. The miraculous ability to speak or hear a foreign language aligns with Church history and practice. You may ask, have I ever heard someone miraculously speak or hear a foreign language? My answer is no, but the possibility exists.

Speaking in tongues as a heavenly or private prayer language was a wrong turn over 100 years ago. The core message of love and acceptance will further increase if this correction occurs.


4 thoughts on “A Response to Pentecostal Criticism”

  1. I love the site and actually found it to be reaffirming of the “gibberish” of tongues and I’ll tell you why….the fact that the ancients didn’t practice glossalalia, takes it out of the pagan realm, for me….secondly….read this…

    ….while the Bible does mention tongues being actual human languages, I don’t believe it negates the so called “gibberish”….thx…The Lord lead me to your site… I’ve been trying to find answers forever concerning this and never “stumbled” across your site but the Lord connected me with your site Amen

  2. I just wanted to explain, this is what I believe, number 3 and 4 for lack of a better definition. But don’t want this to be a division between Christians and shouldn’t be….I’m not a crazy disorderly Christian,
    There must be order when it comes to the speaking of tongues, like the Bible says, I don’t know if you’ve heard of this church but I went to Melodyland Christian Center in Anaheim, California in the 70s and to me, they got it all right. …..thx…..

  3. These 2 verses support the speaking in tongues, there are others but you know the ones that are all discussed…but these 2 are clear cut for me as well as others….1 Cor. 13:8-10 and 1 Cor. 13:12….I know we use scripture to interpret scripture….thx so much for posting an opposite viewpoint…I won’t say “opposing viewpoint ” because we are, as Christians, one in the Lord…God bless…I don’t believe “the perfect” is when the Bible was finished being written or canonized, I believe, through reading the scriptures, “the perfect” is when we see Jesus face to face and then tongues will cease….Jesus said that He must leave so the Comforter will come and guide us into all truth, John 16:13…thx again

  4. One last thing….I only pray in tongues in private, I’m not weird about it and the Biblical rules must apply….It clears my mind and God gives me wisdom for my life from it, as well as God working directly through events in my life while studying about speaking in tongues…..I know the Holy Spirit has witnessed this to me because only good fruit has been produced by praying in tongues….thx again and God bless


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