Speaking in Tongues, Part I: A Matter of Faith

Speaking in tongues is an infilling of the holy spirit practiced by tens of millions of religious believers throughout the world dating back to the early church.

"The Bible says we'll speak to God with groanings and utterings that cannot be understood."

Christian Heritage Church is just one of many congregations that encourage its members to exercise the heavenly language also know as Glossolalia.

Pastor Richard Ledford says, "When Jesus left this earth he said, ‘I'm going away, but I'm going to send one, a comforter that will come, that will guide you and lead you, protect you, give you the council that you need, the holy spirit, the spirit of God.’ "

Pastor Richard Ledford says everyone has the ability to speak in tongues, but first you must acknowledge that Jesus Christ is the son of God and be saved; secondly, have a longing for an infilling of the holy spirit.

"There's nothing spooky about it, there's nothing strange about it because it becomes a way of life in yielding ourselves to God."

Since speaking in tongues is a phenomenon that's not practiced in all denominations, it's not uncommon for skeptics, non-believers and even sometimes Christians to ridicule and even denounce it as demonic.

Calvin McFadden, pastor of a non-denominational church called Community of Faith, attributes that false belief to fear of the unknown.

Pastor Calvin McFadden says, "If they're not sure what it is, then we begin to have all kinds of rumors and false beliefs that someone is demon possessed or ungodly."

McFadden has pastored for more than 12 years. He has never spoken in tongues, but like Pastor Ledford, they share the belief of its existence and encourage it.

"I certainly would not deny the fact that I am filled with the holy spirit. God uses one daily and I am not ashamed that I have not spoken in tongues, that's not my gift."

Unlike Pastor Ledford, McFadden teaches only certain believers are given the gift of speaking in tongues. Ledford describes the experience as communicating with God on a direct hotline that allows him to be encouraged and his faith strengthened.

"If there's ever been a time where people needed to have that infilling of the spirit of God and to communicate with God, to bring peace and comfort, the time is now."