I stumbled upon the following video earlier this afternoon. I’ve posted it below starting at the point where Kenneth Copeland enters into a tongues conversation with another preacher.
The video was uploaded in 2012, but the footage itself looks older than that to me. I frequently attended meetings similar to this one … although I don’t think ever saw Copeland in person.
I found this footage very hard to watch. An odd flood of emotion hit me in a rush. And that surprised me. For the portion I’m referring to, watch from the beginning – you can stop it at 2:26 to get the gist.
My first response to this video was a feeling of being swept back in time. Church services like this one weren’t unusual for me. A large group of people, singing, praying, mumbling in tongues. Then, as I continued to watch the video, I felt a whoosh of feelings I felt when in that environment:
That feeling of being caught up in the craziness …
That feeling of pressure to be used of god, of wanting him to pick me for the next show of his power …
That feeling of never quite measuring up …
Then I felt a flood of disgust. Disgust is a strong word … and it’s hard to explain why that word fits exactly. Perhaps it’s as simple as the foolishness that’s displayed in the video. Two grown men … babbling at each other as if in conversation. Who were they fooling? Was there no one in the crowd who thought, “Really?!”
I find myself wondering … did Copeland have that deep down nagging feeling that I had about tongues? Did he entertain the same reservations that I’d had? Did he suppress his doubts, deny his gut feelings and do what the crowd expected instead?
Maybe none of that applies. Maybe it’s worse. Maybe he knew full well that the spectacle was bogus and after the meeting, he went to the dressing room and laughed his ass off at all the poor schmucks who wrote a check that day.
Or maybe he was convinced to his core that all of that was real. That the seeming back-and-forth exchange of gibberish was somehow understandable in the spirit. That the jokes from one tongue to the other were bone fide supernatural occurrences.
Was god telling himself a joke through two men speaking in tongues that day? All in all, today I felt sad as I watched it. And the feeling of sadness is one I’m not sure I understand yet. I’ll think on it.
******* And I have thought on it******
Here’s the thing about that video:
At first, I couldn’t watch more than 3 or 4 seconds of the Copeland / preacher exchange in tongues before I had to turn it off. Then, when I went back an hour later to watch it all the way through, I winced. When the video was over, I wondered about my response for a full day. Why’d I have a physical reaction?
Then this afternoon, I went back and watched it again thinking surely I’d be somewhat desensitized to it on the third go ’round. But no. Involuntarily, I grimaced again. Another physical reaction when they started their “conversation” in tongues.
Earlier in this post I used the word, “disgust” to describe my feelings. Then the word “sad”. Now I think that I feel revulsion. I’m repulsed by their behavior and I’m still sorting out that strong reaction. Why so strong? I usually only wince when I see one of those fail blog videos where someone wipes out on their skateboard. Here I am watching the tongues exchange with one eye closed and the other squinted just enough to see the blur. What the frack?