23Therefore if the whole church comes together in one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in those who are uninformed or unbelievers, will they not say that you are out of your mind?
Paul floated a scenario that sums up 14:1-25 with the word “therefore.” “Therefore” makes a return to the main thought.
if the whole church comes together in one place,
This is the assembly of the church into one location. Assembly worship is at the heart of Christianity.
1 Co 11: 17Now in giving these instructions I do not praise you, since you come together not for the better but for the worse. 18For first of all, when you come together as a church, I hear that there are divisions among you, and in part I believe it. 19For there must also be factions among you, that those who are approved may be recognized among you. 20Therefore when you come together in one place, it is not to eat the Lord’s Supper.
He 10: 25 …not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.
and all speak with tongues,
If tongues speakers all spoke with tongues at once in frenzied enthusiasm, then bedlam would be the result. God intended that the congregation at Corinth understand tongues (languages), so each was to speak his language in turn. If all spoke at once, then no one would understand them. Tongues only benefited a congregation if someone translated them.
and there come in those who are uninformed or unbelievers, will they not say that you are out of your mind?
“Out of your mind” carries the idea of out of control frenzy or raving. There is a double idea of emotional lack of control (raving) and loss of sanity. Unbelievers will look on all this as subjective hype. However, God is not the author of confusion (14:33), so all things should be done decently and in order (14:40).
The purpose of worship is to change lives.
Some congregations present themselves as a group of lunatics. Exposition of God’s Word countervails that perception. The Word of God lays bare the heart.
He 4: 12For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. 13And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.