When I was in Portland, I was scouting out churches and found a fairly nice church. The pastor approached me after the service and started asking me questions, one of which dealt with my church background. I mentioned I had attended an Assemblies of God church in college. I quickly followed noting it was not a “speaking in tongues” Assemblies of God church to clarify. He paused for a second and countered that sometimes his church spoke in tongues.
I engaged him for a bit as to Paul’s actual meaning of “speaking in tongues”, but when I noticed I was not gaining any progress I fell back to asking him about interpretation. I asked him if he followed Paul’s mandate to interpret. He said his church does interpret tongues when used.
To my amusement, the very next week one parishioner decided to start speaking in tongues. He stood up and started speaking in what seemed like an oddly Russian language. This lasted a good five minutes before he said Amen. The congregation echoed this “Amen” and the man then sat down.
The preacher, most likely inspired by the last week’s conversation, quickly said “Brother Dave, would you like to interpret that for the congregation?”
The parishioner was taken aback. He had not expected to actually have to formulate a meaning for his babbling. It never entered his mind that he would be asked to explain. He seemed to have slightly panicked. He stood up and stated that his five minute long speech was interpreted as “God be with us.” Then he quickly sat down.