Speaking in tongues
When we first discussed speaking in tongues with our Anglican friends we were advised to steer clear as they could be inspired by the devil. This was to raise an interesting problem for me.
My wife was having difficulty conceiving and was invited to attend a meeting in London led by Jean Darnell. When she went forward for prayer at the end of the meeting Jean said to her that ‘her emotions needed releasing’ and, when prayed for, Janita started speaking in tongues. That represented a problem for me: I now had a wife who some would say was behaving in a way that was ‘from the devil’! Shortly after that she conceived and our first child was born in October 1970. Life was busy and we put the matter of the baptism of the Holy Spirit on the back-burner.
But the issue would not go away in our minds. We were ourselves relatively young Christians and were faced with a significant doctrinal dilemma about which people we respected held very different views. After discussion we reflected that there seemed to be something different about Terry when he had spoken to our group and so I went to spend time with him.
Terry graciously opened up the Scriptures in an authoritative way, a value in him I quickly came to love, and convinced me of the rightness of the doctrine that the Baptism of the Spirit (audio link) is for every generation of believers. But, ever cautious, I did not ask him to pray for me then and was not, in fact, baptised in the Spirit until the following year. But then, a few weeks after being prayed for, I spoke in tongues. So my problems were compounded – I too was thought to be practising the devil’s arts!
Shortly after that Janita queried why we did not see people being healed in the church; the Bible seemed to indicate that this should be part of normal Christianity. Once again we contacted Terry who was becoming our problem solver! He graciously agreed to come up to our home in April 1973 to share what he knew from scripture. It was timely as David Mansell had recently visited his church and there had been some remarkable healings. At the end of the evening Terry told us that he had faith to pray for people with back-ache which, he had observed, often arose from an apparent difference in the lengths of people’s legs. He then prayed for three people, including Janita, and one, in particular, a man of about 6ft 4ins, saw his leg ‘grow’ by about 1½ inches! My eyes were out on stalks! Here, in my own home, was an apparent miracle taking place – mind-blowing.
This was to be the beginning of an understanding in experience of the gifts of the Spirit, as we shall see next time.