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Contradicting? wrote:

Hi, guys —

Most Protestants believe speaking in tongues is compulsory, necessary, evidence of Baptism by the Holy Spirit, primarily because of a verse in the Bible that says:

"these are the signs which the believers have, they shall speak in tongues, heal the sick, drink poison, etc." (Mark 16:9-20)

  • I am paraphrasing this verse, but what about 1 Corinthians 12:7?
  • Does this mean it's up to each individual to ask for this gift? (Matthew 7:7)
  • Are the people who lack it less in some way?


  { Do I have a correct understanding of what Charismatic Protestants believe about tongues? }

John replied:

Dear Contradicting?,

One of my back-up helpers John sent me the following answer to your question.

This is not the case. Most Protestants don't believe in speaking in tongues!

Pentecostals believe that speaking in tongues is the sign that you've been Baptized in the Holy Spirit. This is a term which refers to a secondary grace which follows from being Born Again (which they believe happens when they accept Christ by faith as Lord and Savior). We, as Catholics, understand that being Born Again happens when we are baptized, be it as infants, or adults.

Charismatic Catholics also use the term baptism in the Holy Spirit. It's an easy term to use even if it's theologically sloppy, however Catholics don't believe that it is the first evidence of having received this grace.

Rather it is a release of the graces and gifts of the Holy Spirit that we received in Confirmation or Chrismation. Along with these gifts, we all receive certain phenomenal gifts such as prophecy, tongues, and healing, etc.

Tongues, because it's a form of prayer (at least in one use), is a gift available to all believers but is not necessarily released or used. Most of the other gifts are also available to all believers but used on a as need basis as the Holy Spirit leads us.

Now there a very few Pentecostals that do believe speaking in tongues is a sign of being saved but those are few and far between.

So whomever sent in this question is either not explaining what they mean by baptism as in the meaning of:

  • baptism, or
  • baptism in the Holy Spirit, or
  • they are part of a very small sect.


I hope this helps,


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