This Pentecostal Protestant gentleman insisted that if you’re a true Christian you will have the experience known as “speaking in tongues.” He said one main reason why Catholicism cannot be true is because Catholics don’t teach “tongues” are a required sign of true belief. The verse he quoted was Mark 16:17-18, which says: “These signs will accompany those who believe: by using my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes in their hands, and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.” The Pentecostal man also insisted that, according to this verse, any true believer could drink poison or play with a snake and not get hurt.
Even though this was Lee’s first time out evangelizing, he was eager to discuss the Catholic view of this passage and why this Pentecostal view was a misunderstanding. Lee pointed out that these ‘signs’ Jesus spoke about were to be understood as given to the Church as one Body, rather than to each individual believer. Lee explained that when the text says “those who believe,” the term “those” didn’t refer to “each individual who believes,” but rather “the collective body of believers.” To help support this, Lee showed the man 1 Corinthians 12-14, where Paul explains that within the Church the Holy Spirit has bestowed all these gifts Jesus spoke about, but Paul says the Holy Spirit doesn’t give everyone the same use of the gifts, only to certain people under certain circumstances. This is confirmed by the fact both Scripture and Church history show that not all believers exercised all these gifts, only certain ones at certain times. The gentleman didn’t like this explanation, but he remained cordial and he said he enjoyed the discussion.