This is something that has really been on my heart lately. Being young, its hard to tell whats right and wrong in worship. I absolutely love Jesus Culture, and Kim Walker-Smith is a huge role model for me (I even sing a lot like her), but I've been told that they are a cult (or apart of one). I'm really not sure if its true or not... I feel like they are so genuine with their worship. I was just wondering if someone could help me figure this out? Another thing is speaking in tongues. Growing up Baptist, i feel like its been shoved down my throat that it doesn't really exist. Kim Walker-Smith sings in tongues and its so beautiful. I'm really not sure what to think about all of this...
I've been a pastor for most of my life in Assemblies of God, which generally make a distinction between speaking randomly as a congregation in praise (the "forbid-not" kind), versus a proclamation by one speaker (which demands interpretation). As a musician, I would become sensitive to when someone was about to deliver a 'message in tongues', and would drop the level of music, and stop when it was clear the person wasn't just being loud (that happens, and would be an important topic of discussion at the next staff meeting, for we want all things to be done decently and in order). Once my wife felt she had the interpretation, but hesitated, and the gap was filled by another, who later told her, 'Honey, you had the interpretation, didn't you?
Perhaps this custom is a harmonization of the Scriptures which emphasize freedom or emphasize restraint and caution. My Methodist church does not forbid speaking in tongues, nor does the Calvary Chapel my Dad went to for many years; but they don't speak during services, or cultivate the possibility.
I would have to agree about singing in tongues on a recording. The first book I read on the subject, They Speak in Other Tongues by (David?) Sherrill, a study by an skeptic-turned-Pentecostal, notes that while some have heard their own language being spoken (in the modern era as well as in the book of Acts), recordings were curiously resistant to translation - a team of linguists would respond, 'that's language, for sure, but what language, we don't know.' My sole verifiable experience with interpretation was at a meeting long ago when a young man began dancing in the Spirit and gesturing with his hands (not in this guy's normal profile). A lady present was part-deaf and knew ASL, sign language, and translated (in a sense, interpreted), pleasant and joyful words of praise. I've also been present when a mean-spirited man gave mean-spirited interpretations to tongues on occasion, always full of judgment and 'you'd better shape up, folks' sentiments. His children 'interpreted' their dad's life in the form of their own cursing and lack of self-control or respect towards anyone.
Yes - test everything in the light of Scripture (and when you test, just as one tests equipment with a series of tests, test thoroughly).