The archbishop of Canterbury recently admitted to something that I, personally, find pretty ridiculous.
And that is coming from an atheist who finds religion in general ridiculous, so you know he really must have said something outrageous.
The archbishop of Canterbury is the leader of the Anglican church. Justin Welby, the current archbishop, was interviewed on the London-based Christian multi-media platform, Premier.
In the interview, Welby admits that, "In my own prayer life, and as part of my daily discipline, I pray in tongues every day – not as an occasional thing, but as part of daily prayer.”
Uhhh... OK. Totally sane. If you are not familiar with this phenomenon, it is called "glossolalia." Also known as "speaking in tongues" (essentially what the Greek of glossolalia translates to) it is seen in many modern sects. Check out an example in this clip (from the film Jesus Camp).
Welby, perhaps trying to save some face, said, “It’s not something to make a great song and dance about. Given it’s usually extremely early in the morning it’s not usually an immensely ecstatic moment.”
Well, most who do it actually do make a big "song and dance" about it, Welby. That is kind of the point.
Glossolalia is actually a well-documented phenomenon. Ancient Jews, Greeks, and the Christians indulged in the practice. The Book of Acts mythologizes this phenomenon to make it seem like the Christians could speak in any language (although Acts 2:13 gives away the game when it says, "Some, however, made fun of them and said, 'They have had too much wine.'")
The "truth" can be found in Paul's epistles (written before the Book of Acts). In 1 Corinthians 12:7-11, Paul lays out the various gifts given to Christians by the Holy Spirit. Among them he lists the speaking in tongues, and a separate gift, is the interpretation of those tongues. If these people were speaking every language known to man, they would not need divinely endowed interpreters. He makes it pretty clear that they were not speaking in every language known to man as Acts tries to spin it.
Ignoring the mythology of ancient Christian tradition, modern examples, and every other ancient example we have record of, confirm that the practice is just speaking gibberish.
Again, modern examples of the phenomenon confirm this.
If Welby wants to pray in this manner, then hey, go for it. But I reserve the right to point out the ridiculousness of it all.