I have a big problem and if you could answer this, I would greatly appreciate it. My girlfriend thinks she can speak in tongues and she claims her whole church was doing so today, but I know this is not so and I told her it wasn't true. I feel that unless I straighten this out, I will have to break up with her because she feels very strongly, and she knows I feel the opposite about it. She said, "If you were there you could see the Spirit moving, so I just don't understand how you can believe what you believe." Can you explain to me what she was really feeling? I think that is what she needs to understand, that it wasn't the Spirit. I know it was not speaking in tongues because of 1 Corinthians 13:8, but everybody keeps trying to tell the that means when he comes back to the world when it says, "Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away."
They try to say that when the perfect has come means when he comes back to the earth for us, but I know that is not so. Please, I need your help so bad. If there is anyway I could maybe get you to talk to her about it I would appreciate that. I think the whole problem stems from her not being able to understand that you do not follow things in the Old Testament now that we follow the new covenant. I know this is hard one to answer, but I need help bad. Thank you so much. By the way, thanks for the last answer. I just don't want to lose my girlfriend. I love her so much, but I love the Lord and I'm not sure what to do.
Thanks with Christian love
Explaining that speaking in tongues has ceased and that what goes for tongue speaking today is not what is mentioned in the Bible is easy to do, but I can't guarantee that your girlfriend will listen to the Scriptures. You see, charismatic religions are based on feelings, not knowledge. You can see this in her argument that if you were just there you would see the Spirit moving. This is an emotional appeal. But when you or I direct her back to what God actually said, well, she doesn't find that emotionally exciting. In a sense, it is not "real" to her without the high emotions. She is like the Jews whom Paul said are always seeking for more "signs" before they would believe. "For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men" (I Corinthians 1:21-25).
God warned that when people desire things without a love for truth, they will easily be persuaded into falsehoods. "The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness" (II Thessalonians 2:9-12). One of the sad facts that I have seen is that those caught up in emotional based religions are rarely living godly lives. Oh, they claim it very loudly, but just chatting with them I am shocked how many use profane language, are having sex outside of marriage, will tell lies without thought, and other things like this. I guess I shouldn't be shocked because Satan's means for getting people to sin is to appeal to their desires and emotions and let those sweep them right into sin. That is why God's warning regarding false teachers says, "For when they speak great swelling words of emptiness, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through lewdness, the ones who have actually escaped from those who live in error" (II Peter 2:18).
The argument that "that which is perfect has come" refers to Christ's second coming has been answered several times on this site (see "Are tongues still in existence today?" and "What does the word "perfect" mean in I Corinthians 13:10?"). But let me point out another flaw in this contention. What difference would it make to Christians to be told that speaking in tongues would cease when Christ comes? When Jesus comes, the whole world will be destroyed (II Peter 3:10-12). Those who are alive will be taken up to heaven (I Corinthians 15:51-54). There won't be multiple languages, so who cares if a miraculous gift to be able to speak in other languages continues? In other words, if Paul was referring to the second coming, then his warning would have been purposeless. The only way it makes sense is if he is referring to a time before the end of the Christian age.
Another point that many tongue speakers refuse to understand is in the purpose of those tongues. "But now, brethren, if I come to you speaking with tongues, what shall I profit you unless I speak to you either by revelation, by knowledge, by prophesying, or by teaching? Even things without life, whether flute or harp, when they make a sound, unless they make a distinction in the sounds, how will it be known what is piped or played? For if the trumpet makes an uncertain sound, who will prepare himself for battle? So likewise you, unless you utter by the tongue words easy to understand, how will it be known what is spoken? For you will be speaking into the air. There are, it may be, so many kinds of languages in the world, and none of them is without significance. Therefore, if I do not know the meaning of the language, I shall be a foreigner to him who speaks, and he who speaks will be a foreigner to me" (I Corinthians 14:6-11). Tongues were not done simply for the ability to speak in another language. It was to facilitate the communication of the gospel. So, here is a simple question to ask your girlfriend, what was taught by those speaking in tongues?
Before I let you go, we need to have a more important talk. You are falling in love with a woman with whom you do not agree concerning religion and the worship of God. How is this going to be a firm foundation for a godly marriage? If you don't agree now, marriage will not change the matter. Thus, without resolution before you marry, you are putting yourself in a position where the two of you will be in constant disagreement. It is hard enough becoming one without such a major division separating you.
Worse, what will happen when you have children? In whose religion will they be raised? Sure while you have few responsibilities, you might work an arrangement where she goes her way and you yours each Lord's day, but children put a huge wrench in the works. Sadly, children raised in an environment where their parents disagree over religion often grow up being irreligious They don't know who to believe, so they decide to believe no one, wrongly assuming that it is religion that is the cause of arguments.