So then tongues are for a sign, not to those who believe but to unbelievers; but prophecy is for a sign, not to unbelievers but to those who believe. 23 Therefore if the whole church assembles together and all speak in tongues, and [k]ungifted men or unbelievers enter, will they not say that you are mad? 24 But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or an [l]ungifted man enters, he is convicted by all, he is called to account by all; 25 the secrets of his heart are disclosed; and so he will fall on his face and worship God, declaring that God is certainly among you.
Why is this passage sounding contradictory?
First, a declaration, Pentecostals and the Assemblies of God Church, turn First Corinthians upside down. Paul is arguing against the use of unknown tongues. At no point in this chapter does Paul support speaking to God in a language no man understands (the opinions of those with reading comprehension problems not withstanding).
Understand, Paul is not arguing against tongues, but against unknown tongues. If someone speaks in tongues, there should be someone there who understands what's being said. And, even then, it should be limited to no more than two or three people speaking in tongues, v27.
Now, look at verse 23a, "If the whole church
assembles together and all
speak in tongues." See there, it's not tongues per se, it's everyone is speaking in tongues. It's charismatic chaos
that Paul rightly and understandably says 23b "unbelievers enter, will they not say that you are mad?" DUH!!!! This is an objection to lots of people speaking in tongues, especially, presumably, if those tongues go untranslated.
If the service is orderly and an unbeliever sees someone really speaking in tongues (not gibberish) and that is interpreted, then the unbeliever will be impressed and see that God is at work. Christians know God is at work and don't need signs to know it. So then, tongues is a sign for unbelievers, not for believers.