14 September, 2007

Pastors's Supposed "Speaking in Tounges" Actually Quenya

Calvert, Maryland - Scandal broke this past weekend at First Pentecostal Holiness Church in Calvert. The incident centered around the churches pastor, Rev. Art Lofton, and his supposed tremendous gift of "speaking in tongues." Lofton, who has been the pastor of the church for over five years, often amazed and charmed his congregation with what many called "a truly spectacular gift."

"Brother Lofton had the most amazing gift of tongues I had ever heard, so I thought" said member Emma Harris. "So often I have heard people speaking in tongues and, while I don't want to be critical, it just sounds like they're saying the same thing over and over again off the top of their heads. But when brother Lofton spoke it really sounded so real! It sounded like he was speaking real sentences with a smooth flow to them. And the words sounded smooth, beautiful and truly angelic. We all thought he truly had the gift."

But what many considered a "beautiful gift" was discovered this past weekend to not be as "miraculous" as many people thought. As it turns out now, for the past five years Lofton has been charming his congregation with the language Quenya. Quenya is an artificial or "constructed" language invented by famed British author J.R.R. Tolkien. The language is one of the tongues spoken by the fictitious people of Middle Earth in his series, The Lord of the Rings.

In Lofton's case, his "secret" was discovered during a morning worship service in which a number of new college students visited the church. The discovery was made by Brent Perkins, a freshman at Calvert Community College.

"I'm a pretty die-hard Tolkien fan" said Perkins. "A couple of years ago I started to learn the Elvish tongue. So, the service was going well and all that. Then during the pastor's sermon he started getting really emotional and started speaking in tongues. Everyone around me just got so overwhelmed. I thought it was some kind of joke though. I leaned over to my friend Tricia who was with me and I said 'Hey, he's speaking in Elvish.' She didn't believe me at first, but then my friend Chris realized the same thing."

After the service the kids talked with Lofton.

"I went up to the pastor and asked him 'Did you know you were speaking in Quenya?' " said Perkins. "Like all of the blood just drained from his face, but some of the other people around us heard us and asked us what Quenya was. So we told about The Lord of the Rings and stuff and they seemed to get really upset. By the time we turned around the pastor was gone."

"As word begin to spread around about what was going on everyone was getting pretty upset" stated Harris. "We felt deceived, cheated and swindled. Here we were thinking that our pastor had this magnificent gift of tongues and all he had done was learn this fake language."

TBNN received notice that the congregation has since caught up with Lofton and that he has confessed to his "sin." At the writing of this article the church has not decided what they are going to do in regards to his status as pastor.

"We just don't know what we're going to do yet" said Reynold Farris, one of the church's deacons. "How could we ever trust him? Since no one ever knows what anyone else is saying when people speak in tongues, how could we know for certain he wasn't speaking Klingon or something up there. Speaking in tongues is the most genuine and real only when it is spontaneous and makes no sense to anyone else."

TBNN will continue to monitor this situation.

13 comments:

Corey Reynolds said...

One of my friends (now a Baptist minister) once went to a Pentecostal church before he became a Christian. He was working for the mob at a Greek restaurant at the time. He said that after the service, they divided everyone up into small groups and everyone was encouraged to "let the Spirit take control of them" and they would start speaking in tongues.

When it was my friend's turn, he started swearing in Greek, and the minister that was assigned to his group reported to the rest, "He's praising Jesus! He's praising Jesus!" My friend still laments to this day that he did not call the guy out on his obvious lie.

Richard Boyce said...

Hey, at least this guy put a little variety in his diet. Most the time it's something like "Tee-la, shalla bosha, shalla bosha, talla boash. Tee sa lah halla shalla bosha, shalla bosha, etc...."


Nice one, Tom.


Hey, how are the emer-gents doing these days?

Darrin said...

Think you need a "no" in the last line: "makes no sense to anyone else".

I tend to speak in an angelic tongue - I just haven't found the right angels who can interpret it yet. I realize interpretation is a scriptural mandate, and so will keep searching ...

Jason said...

I have a friend as well that went to a church where the began speaking in tongues and he recited the first chapter of John in greek. One person stood up saying they had the interpretation. They began saying that he was talking about women's rights and all other social political garbage. The group then let the congregation know that he simply recited Scripture in greek and they quickly escorted the men out. So much for even the truth stopping the nonsense.

Jacob Douvier said...

There was a charismatic church (that also ran a private school) that my family visited once after moving to a new area. We found out rather quickly that in that church, you weren't filled with the Holy Spirit (and thus not a Christian) unless you could do this special "Holy Spirit Dance" which, in hindsight, looks a lot like a double-step in swing, only to a really fast beat.

We didn't even stay for the whole service.

Brother Slawson said...

Tom,

FYI... There's also a typo on the 4th line of the picture with the Quenya writing. The third word has an extra "czcha" in it (sorry, had to sound it out since I don't have the font on this computer to make that letter).

caleb said...

he should have gone with Klingon

Joel.osteen said...

I don't get what all the commotion is about. Isn't this "Quenya" stuff an actual language? I mean, just because nobody actually speaks it except college nerds doesn't mean it isn't a language. BTW, I've tried Googling the church and pastor in question and can't find anything about either one.

Richard Boyce said...

Um, Joel...please tell me you're kidding?

Jim Pemberton said...

Ok, I had planned to offer up something like that you could have written that the congregation figured out that he didn't actually speak English and had been trying to preach in his native tongue. However, that doesn't hold a candle to true stories of biblical scholars walking in and speaking Greek. I don't know whether to laugh or be embarrassed.

terriergal said...

btw it's TONGUES not TOUNGES

:-)

Is this really satire? Are you sure this didn't REALLY happen somewhere? It's getting harder and harder to tell what's satire and what's real anymore!

Joe said...

Every week at church, I just hope and pray that no new person comes in who knows Klingon. I got a really good thing going here. I usually refrain from "prophesying" when I see someone I don't know in a dark trenchcoat (you know the type-- the Rocky Horror demographic). So far, so good.
<!if satireSniffer=NOT_PRESENT ---->
</satire>
<!endif ---->

sdCorinne said...

As a high-schooler I went to my friend's church and they asked the congregation if anyone needed prayer. I, being curious about the Lord and going through a lot of family difficulties mustered up the courage to raise my hand. Instead of being prayed for I was practically molested (not really, but you get what I mean) by two of the female leaders who laid hands on me and prayed in tongues over me. They kept telling me to, "Let the Spirit out." Of course, not yet being converted I had no Spirit in to "let out." No wonder it was two more years til I got saved!