Tongues and Interpretation of Tongues. Part 4: Regulation of Tongues in a meeting

Regulation focuses on the usage and the control which scriptures give those that are running a meeting. Scripture clearly forbids us to forbid people to speak in tongues (1 Corinthians 14:39). But it does not forbid us to regulate the usage of this powerful gift of the Holy Spirit. The main reasons for regulating the usage of this gift is to stop confusion in 1) Unbelievers and 2) the uninformed (1 Corinthians 14:23) and 3) to maximise the positive effects of tongues and the meeting(1 Corinthians 14:26).  The ability to regulate these gifts of the Holy Spirit is made possible through the fact that “spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets” (1 Corinthians 14:32)

This author believes that regulation takes place through the acting authority, keeping the above principles in mind. We see that Paul regulates:

  1. The amount of people speaking (1 Corinthians 14:27)
  2. Speaking prohibited when there is none to interpret (1 Corinthians 14:28)

Great care should be taken when a tongue is disallowed in a public meeting. A tongue can safely be disallowed if it is not practice to forbid tongues and if the amount of tongues as prescribed by the authorities has been reached. Please note that a tongue must be judged after the interpretation has been given if it does not doctrinally comply to the bounds of Scripture.