I was born into religion. I don’t remember getting saved, because I just always was. It was a belief system that I never questioned.
When I was about 14, I remember going to a youth camp of sorts. I say “of sorts” because it was thrown together (by that I mean poorly organized) by several churches who “fellowshipped” with one another. It lasted a week.
At the camp, there was the push to speak in tongues. The pressure was intense. I remember standing there, arms outstretched like I was Jesus on a cross. I think someone was holding each arm. My eyes were closed, as I stood there like a scarecrow waiting for a bird to land on me. I remember a lady saying, “You can see the words, just say them!” But I couldn’t see any words. So I just muttered a few things. Nothing I saw in my head, nothing that was from another realm, just . . . . . mumbles. You would have thought Jesus made a special appearance by their reactions. “Hallelujah! You did it!” Literally folks, I probably said three or four syllables. But they were as tired of praying as I was of being prayed for. And that was my entire tongue speaking history.
Which reminds me--I was layed in the spirit one time. I say that, because I was never slain, just lain. The pastoral staff of my church had gone to the east coast for some harvest movement where everyone was slain in the spirit or laughed like a hyena. By experiencing it, they were able to “bring it back” to Tulsa. How God was confined to human experiences to spread his blessings was something I never thought to question back then. But every service turned into a slayfest. I finally became a target. I had known people who were honestly slain in the spirit, so I believed in it, but I found this “group slaying” to be a bit hokey. I let them pray for me, and again, everyone got tired of the ordeal. I was sick of standing and praying, and they were tired of praying for me. So I rocked a little, and I purposely leaned back. That was all they needed to start yelling and spitting, and I was layed down by fellow churchgoers. I laid there with my eyes closed, thinking about lunch, and wondering how long I had to lie on the floor.
I do believe that both things I mentioned can happen. But I think the pressure to perform is ridiculous. Surely God is powerful enough to make something happen when He’s ready for it too!