In the primary reading by Brown, one of the people he interviewed told him that nobody would believe her in her church that she was truly a Christian until she “had one shouting spell.” Furthermore, she finally faked it to get them off her backs. This was part of a bigger narrative of what I believe was entirely performative religion to get money and status, but it reminded me that this weird branch of performative-ness is still alive and kicking in the church. Specifically, people really like speaking in tongues (and various other “gifts of the Spirit”) to prove that they’re holy. I had a youth minister at one point who told me she had the gift of prophecy, and that she knew every little thing in my life because Jesus told her so. Not gonna lie, I was never happier than the day I moved away from that church.
But like, a lot of people fake speaking in tongues, and it’s…. really obvious. I can’t remember what sect it is of Christianity that likes all their members to have a really obvious (by which I mean weird) fruit of the spirit, but those people very much enjoy speaking in tongues, and it’s…. pretty fake.
This is the kind of thing I mean. I’ve seen it on mission trips and at church, and every time I’m amazed by how forced it seems and how little it seems to do for anyone. On the flip side, though, it means you’re definitely holy, so people will stop getting on you for why you’re not going to heaven.