Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States
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What is the Orthodox view on the "Baptism of the Spirit"? Is it always accompanied with "the speaking in tongues"? St. Paul talks about it a lot and confirms it, especially in Corinthians. Also, Holy Book of Acts 19 shows that the Baptism of Water and the Baptism of the Spirit are not one. When St. Paul asked a baptized group if they knew the Holy Spirit, they said they didn't....and when they received it they spoke in tongues...

The "baptism of the Spirit" is what our Coptic Orthodox Church calls the Sacrament of Chrismation. In the Sacrament of Chrismation we receive "the seal of the gift of the Holy Spirit" (Rom 8; 1 Cor 6; 2 Cor 1:21-22). While Baptism is participating in the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, Chrismation is participating in the coming of the Holy Spirit upon us.

They spoke in the many languages of the various peoples who had come to Jerusalem. These clearly understood the languages and were converted by this miracle and the testimony of the Apostles. The phenomenon of speaking in tongues, as practiced today in the Pentecostal denominations, is something that is not encouraged or approved in Orthodoxy. The "speaking in tongues" phenomenon occured only three times in the Holy Book of Acts. It only happened on those three occasions (Acts 2; 10; 19). Later, we encounter it only in the Corinthian church, where there was a great trouble - some of it associated with speaking in tongues. In the Letter of Clement of Rome to Corinth and in the homily that is called "the Second Letter of Clement to Corinth" (towards the end of the first century), there is no mention of tongues. In addition, it is not found in the other biblical letters of St. Paul, St. Peter, St. John, St. James, St. Jude, the Revelation of St. John, nor in the other Christian literature of the first and second century. In the Holy Book of Acts 10, and in the Holy Book of Acts 19, God granted this unusual visitation so that none would doubt the salvation of these Gentiles and so withhold baptism from them. St Paul himself says that it is better to say five words with understanding than a thousand without. He insists that this is one of the less important spiritual gifts (1 Cor 14:5) and that speaking in tongues and prophecies will come to an end (1 Cor 13:8).

Speaking in tongues has fallen out of use, because it has served its purpose for the time of the New Testament and is no longer needed. The Orthodox Church differs from those Pentecostal and Charismatic groups, who regard speaking  in tongues as a pre requisite to being a Christian and to having received the Holy Spirit.

Discernment is necessary in the case of tongues in the Pentecostal movement. Today it is not the Spirit of God that is speaking through tongues, but the all-too-human spirit of auto-suggestion and mass hysteria. There are even occasions when "speaking with tongues" is a form of demonic possession. "Beloved, trust not every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God" (1 John 4.1).
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