"Typing in Tongues"

Televangelist Juanita Bynum is on the cutting edge of religulousness:

Some of the visitors to Bynum’s Facebook page took this seriously enough that they asked her for translations of what she typed.  Others noted that typing in tongues is not biblical, which makes me wonder whether Christians should consider themselves allowed to type at all since there is no mention of any kind of typing in the Bible. Deep theological quandaries.

But in the comments section to the article, the commenters have all sorts of impressive evidence that Bynum is a false prophet. All sorts of not-at-all-arbitrary tests like—there was no interpreter for what she said, so obviously it’s not real. And the text seems to give the impression that the tongues-typing happened beyond Bynum’s control whereas true speaking in tongues is supposed to be done on purpose. That exposes that Bynum is a false prophet. She gives the impression that typing in tongues happens as a sudden uncontrollable event but that’s impossible, so she actually is doing it on purpose. Which means, she is in control which I guess means she is a true prophet after all.
Theology is just too complex for me.
Your Thoughts?

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About Daniel Fincke

Dr. Daniel Fincke  has his PhD in philosophy from Fordham University and spent 11 years teaching in college classrooms. He wrote his dissertation on Ethics and the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche. On Camels With Hammers, the careful philosophy blog he writes for a popular audience, Dan argues for atheism and develops a humanistic ethical theory he calls “Empowerment Ethics”. Dan also teaches affordable, non-matriculated, video-conferencing philosophy classes on ethics, Nietzsche, historical philosophy, and philosophy for atheists that anyone around the world can sign up for. (You can learn more about Dan’s online classes here.) Dan is an APPA  (American Philosophical Practitioners Association) certified philosophical counselor who offers philosophical advice services to help people work through the philosophical aspects of their practical problems or to work out their views on philosophical issues. (You can read examples of Dan’s advice here.) Through his blogging, his online teaching, and his philosophical advice services each, Dan specializes in helping people who have recently left a religious tradition work out their constructive answers to questions of ethics, metaphysics, the meaning of life, etc. as part of their process of radical worldview change.

  • Rob

    Hysteria in my opinion. I preached this stuff for 13 years, and finally saw the light. It definitely wasn’t what I had been told it was.

    • http://freethoughtblogs.com/camelswithhammers Camels With Hammers

      Did you actually do it yourself, Rob? What was it like? What do you think was going on at the time and in retrospect?

  • cag

    A rough estimate of practitioners of “speaking in tongues” faking it would be 100%. More thorough analysis would yield a faking rate of 100/100.

  • lordshipmayhem

    Translation of her typing in tongues: “I am in desperate need of a remedial keyboarding course.”

  • GenghisFaun

    Inasmuch as all prophets have been a.) full of shit, b.) nutters or c.) fictional characters, I’d say she’s as “true” a prophet as any.

  • F

    I can attest to the validity of the keying-in tongues, because that is actually an ancient Sumerian equivalent of “Chinchilla furring-gig-forgiving volksgang“.

    • peterh

      Aren’t chinchillas from the New World?

    • F

      You are suffering from Forgotten Knowledge of the Ancients™. There was massive communication between the Old and New Worlds back in the day, and this was especially well-enabled between the Middle East and Mediterranean, and the New World, via Atlantis.


  • Mike K.

    Here’s the thing. If you read the bible on what it says about talking in tongues, it wasn’t babbling, it wasn’t even supposed to sound like babbling to those around. It was a linguistic gift given to those proselytising to people so that they could manage to communicate with people who didn’t speak their language.

    Nowadays we’re told it’s speaking in an angelic tongue but this is nonsense.

    I am convinced that this tradition of babbling in the hight of spiritual ecstasy is a handed down tradition that originates from people who were spiritual and mentally ill. Epilepsy was known in the ancient world as the Holy disease and is known today to be associated with high religiosity. An epileptic brain is much more vulnerable to these religious experiences and I’m positive that in those moments of climax, they’ll just start blurting out incomprehensible utterances in seizure-like episode. To the devout this might look like they’re communicating with something on high so they start imitating it and before long you have a tradition that is handed down and taught by example – the belief that it will happen when talking to angels no doubt has a self-fulfilling placebo like aspect to it.

    Paul himself appears to have been Epileptic, hence the vision on the road, so maybe one of the first church fathers back in the 1st century started this whole hysterical thing.

    • http://freethoughtblogs.com/camelswithhammers Camels With Hammers

      Good points, Mike. I wonder if the “angelic tongue” thing comes from when Paul says in 1 Cor. 13 “If I speak in the tongues of angels, and yet have not love”. It seems he is listing talking in the tongues of angels as something a pious person might actually do but that it would not be a good enough thing to compensate for lack of love, etc.

    • Mike K.

      If you’ve ever seen a proper exorcism, too, that’s got epileptic fit written all over it.

    • peterh

      I’ve long been of the opinion that Paul was possibly bi-polar – but epileptic? Could beeeeeee . . . .

    • Mike K.

      He has the same symptoms as Moses and Muhammad, putting aside Moses’ historicity of course. Paul was blinded during his episode which is the tip off I think.

    • jackd

      It was a linguistic gift given to those proselytising to people so that they could manage to communicate with people who didn’t speak their language.

      @Mike, Two different but easily confused phenomena. The one you’re referring to, I think, was what the disciples did at Pentecost – all the preaching was heard in the listeners’ own languages. What was supposed to have happened in worship services was speaking in *unknown* tongues.

      All sorts of not-at-all-arbitrary tests like—there was no interpreter for what she said, so obviously it’s not real.

      Don’t have the cite handy, but there’s a passage in the epistles that more-or-less says speaking in unknown tongues during worship is fine if there’s someone there who can translate. Otherwise you should keep it to yourself. This has nothing to do with “prophecy”, but part of how Paul was telling one of the early churches how to manage themselves.

    • ktnevl

      That is exactly how I was taught and taught others when I was involved with he Assemblies of God.

  • Mike K.

    By the way, Daniel, has anyone ever told you that your blogpicture looks like one of the playable skins in the multiplayer mode of the original Goldeneye? I think it was one of the programmers who put his own face in the game or something, anyway you’re the spitting.

    • http://freethoughtblogs.com/camelswithhammers Camels With Hammers

      Ha, no I’m not a gamer at all. I just looked that way the last time a decent picture of me was taken!

    • ktnevl

      Today is my first time to read the blog and I kept looking at his picture. I thought it looked familiar! Good catch!

    • http://freethoughtblogs.com/camelswithhammers Camels With Hammers

      maybe someone is using my image??

    • Mike K.

      Maybe you’ve stolen the face of one of the GoldenEye developers. Just to point out, GE came out in 97 or 98 on the N64 with really lo resolution. I have no doubt that you and whoever that was don’t look that much alike but the stretching of his low resolution face onto a several polygon block has made the distinction more difficult.

      Seriously though, even if you’ve not played it, you’re missing out on one of the most historic games in the history of gaming. That shooter set the standard for what all shooters would be judged against in the future.