When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2 Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting.3 They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues[a] as the Spirit enabled them. ~ ACTS 2, NIV
One of the most identifying marks of my faith is the ability to speak in tongues. I posted the video above so that you can see what I’m talking about. We called it receiving the Holy Ghost (Acts 2, KJV). It was the most important thing in church when a person received this gift. We call it being born again. (Reference: John 3, KJV)
I was 6 years old. It was chapel morning. I remember them asking me if I wanted to receive the Holy Ghost. I was instructed to close my eyes, raise my hands and ask God to give me the gift. To tell Him I received this gift. I was told that the pastor would lay his hand on me, I’d take a deep breathe and then speak. Not to think…but to speak.
One second later, I knew that I was loved by this being called God. I could speak in a heavenly language and my soul could speak with Him.
I still remember this event.
In my darkest hours I have quietly gone to my room and cried out in tongues. Peace that I cannot explain has overwhelmed me. I know what David spoke of in Psalms:
Psalm 42:6-8, New International Version (NIV)
6 My soul is downcast within me;
therefore I will remember you
from the land of the Jordan,
the heights of Hermon—from Mount Mizar.
7 Deep calls to deep
in the roar of your waterfalls;
all your waves and breakers
have swept over me.
8 By day the Lord directs his love,
at night his song is with me—
a prayer to the God of my life.
Deep calls to Deep. From the very depth of my soul, I cry out to my Creator and he hears me. Talks to me. I do not doubt his existence.
This was the beginning of my faith.
I know several Protestant and Catholic pastors decry that tongues are from the devil. One radio commentator called it an “altered state of consciousness”. I don’t believe that and never will. I have thrown away many beliefs in the last 5 years. This special gift, that allows me to communicate in the spirit, will stay with me until I take my last breathe.
I am going to slowly share some of the “tenets” of my childhood faith and how it shaped me. It’s not my intention to engage in a theological debate. I’m simply sharing what I believe…because it’s such a vital part of my story.