Slain In The Spirit

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More than 2 years ago, Mike Meyers asked me to write concerning what it means to be "slain in the Spirit."

They say the road to hell is paved with good intentions, but I’ve finally completed a draft!

I’d love to know what you think!  I plan to make this available in my local congregation as a companion piece to "What’s Up With Speaking In Tongues" and "The Baptism of the Holy Spirit."  I still need to proof it for grammatical and spelling errors, so feel free to point them out.  Mostly, though, I’d value your constructive responses and reactions.

Thanks!

61 thoughts on “Slain In The Spirit

  1. Lee

    PB, i enjoyed reading your post. i have been a follower of Jesus for a tad over 20 years. for about the first 18 years, i have only heard/seen on tv, anything concerning being overwhelmed by the spirit. (i have a hard time using the word slain) but, in the group of believers that i am a part of now, i have experienced it several times. i would have to say that each time the feeling would be different. also each time i went forward for prayer, i was not looking to go down. there were times that i did, times i didn’t…either way, i received the prayer that i needed.

  2. jeff

    PB – I saw that you [i]finally[/i] wrote this post. so, I hung around after work to read it and I am sure glad I did. I have some questions, but I am hungry. Let me head home and get some dinner and I’ll try to get back on tonight to ask them.

    Before I go, I do want to say thanks and that I am struck by your grace as I read the post.

    …Jeff

  3. graham

    Burt, I appreciate that work you put into this. However, before I respond with some of the questions it raises for me, I wanted to confirm what kind of comments you did/didn’t want.

  4. Cherry

    Everything I always wanted to know about being slain in the spirit but was afraid to ask. Thank you for the good read and I love your take on all of it. Wow you’re a good writer eh?

  5. Burt

    Lee: I am glad you have found those experiences beneficial, and I would concur that they each can tend to be different.

    Jeff: thanks for your kind words. I look forward to your interaction!

    Graham: I am certainly open to all interactions, not just agreements. Though I don’t want to get into long debates, I am interested in respectful counter viewpoints. Additionally, as this is a first draft, I would also value the opportunity to clarify things that may be unclear or under developed. Afterall, this is my first attempt at a written discussion of this phenomenon!

    Cherry: Glad you found it informative! Your kindness is humblings and appreciated!

  6. tuffy

    i have a lot of questions and thoughts, like graham. but i don’t feel like i need to get into them. all i can really say is that i love how much you shared of your own experience, and i would never argue with someone’s personal experience of God. thanks for sharing.

    much love,

    tuf

  7. Mike M

    Thanks PB for even doing this. Over the few years I’ve conversed with you, you’ve gained my trust and utmost respect. And d and g who I know well say you’re the real deal as well!

    There’s only one part of this post that we can engage concretely and that is the “WHAT DOES THE SCRIPTURE SAY?” section. All of the rest is personal experience… and as Tuffy already said, “i would never argue with someone’s personal experience of God.” (Well said, Tuffy!)

    I could take all of your proof texts and address them one by one, but I don’t even think there’s a need to do that for one simple reason… none of those instances even remotely resemble the modern day “slain in the Spirit” phenomena. The two aren’t even remotely related. Not one of the Scriptures describe anyone falling down uncontrollably in an altered stat of consciousness [b]except for the instances you mentioned of demon possession.[/b]

    The accounts of demon possession in the New Testament are the only thing that resemble our modern day being slain in the Spirit. And frankly, I feel that’s exactly what we’re seeing in our churches… demon activity in the name of God.

    You already know my personal background of being raised in an Assemblies of God church. I was literally born into that movement. It all seemed “normal” to me because I was raised to accept these sorts of activities. But when I became a follower of Christ at age 17, my home church became very uncomfortable to me. I was so grieved to see what was going on in the name of God. I just didn’t sit right with me all of a sudden.

    Bla bla bla, there I go rambling about personal experiences. Again, I think the only arena we can engage this topic is in a Biblical one.

    I did find [url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QhSxtTrNelA&feature=related]a video[/url] on YouTube of a gal that addresses your proof texts individually and in the same order you have them here. (ironic)

    I’m interested to follow this post in a respectful manner. Come now, let us reason together.

    Have a God day!
    Mike M

    BTW, this assignment is very late, so I’m afraid I can only give you partial credit. But better late than never! [img]http://lifewithchrist.org/js/fckeditor/editor/images/smiley/msn/wink_smile.gif[/img]

  8. Burt

    Mike, you’ll note that with the texts that I cite I am not using them as an absolute defense of this idea of people falling under the power of God. I am using them to demonstrate a connection between the presence of God and physical reactions in the body. I did review the youtube link you provided. The gal on the video easily dismisses various references as not being the exact same thing as what we more typically observe today. I have no problem completely conceding that point, for that is not how I am using the scripture (and for the record she does not deal with all of the same scriptures, she skipped Daniel but included others that I agree have no basis in our discussion). In your comment, you also summarily dismiss the references as not being even remotely related. I certainly don’t think that is fair to my point, which is that we have multiple examples of physical reactions in people to the comparably intangible presence of God. I don’t see how we can read these accounts and think otherwise!

    What about the scriptures that reference demons? I have two thoughts here: 1) These verses indicate that the falling of the people tended to be part of an on-going problem in their lives, connected with other damaging manifestations of demon activity…so I would agree that these passages don’t support the concept of being “slain in the Spirit” (which was my point originally!), except that…2) I believe it is quite probable that some of what we see with people falling down in ministry is the result of people being set free from demonization!

    I reject the idea, though, that the activity is some sort of mass delusion, demonically inspired, to lead people away from the Lordship of Jesus. Overall, that accusation simply doesn’t bear up over time. The vast majority of cases are centered in a context where people are calling on the name of Jesus, seeking Him first and foremost. Which of us fathers would give our kids a snake if they asked us for a fish, or a scorpion if they asked us for an egg? If we as earthly fathers know how to give good gifts to our children, how much more will the Heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask?

    Furthermore, I think we must ask ourselves what the fruit of the phenomena is over time. If people are being healthier, confronting and dealing with their personal issues, devoting themselves to Christ, etc., how can this be the result of demons or deception. If Satan is divided against himself, how can his kingdom stand?

  9. Burt

    I think it’s also important for us to consider whether God will only move exactly in ways previously recorded in scripture. I personally don’t hold to that view. That doesn’t mean that every so-called “supernatural” experience is automatically God. We should still test them to see if they are in opposition to scripture and by the fruit of those experiences. I do not generally see how the concept of being overcome by the Spirit is in opposition to the scripture!

    I would agree that people can get caught up in the phenomenon, and pursue only ecstatic experiences for experience sake, and I would certainly discourage that. That comes across to me as immaturity. But I also think it is foolish to label something “not of God” because it defies our understanding.

    Mike, I also think that it is a bit glib to automatically dismiss the references from history because they are merely someone’s personal experience. Can that history teach us nothing? Can it show us a pattern of how God may choose to work in people? I agree that we have to interpret our experiences through the lens of scripture, but if the scripture doesn’t fully comment on the experience, and the result of the experience is in keeping with the heart of scripture, then I don’t have a problem with choosing to trust in the goodness of God.

    Of course my intention here, Mike, is not to convince you that I’m absolutely right. My hope is to simply present an explanation and attitude that is intellectually honest and submissive to the scripture. There may be holes in my position, and I am open to hear them, but I do not think they are as easily found.

    As I read through the post, I would offer that one area that is lacking is any address of the power of suggestion as it relates to this phenomena. I had intended to pursue that a bit more when I started the piece, and should probably revise it to include that discussion!

  10. graham

    Burt, I appreciate [i]how[/i] you’ve approached this topic, as well as what you have and haven’t said. However, I have some pretty big concerns.

    I’m not sure how many of your scriptural passages are at all relevant. In fact, I’d say that most of them don’t actually even refer to extra-conscious physical reactions to the ‘presence of God’. What I think we can agree on is that Scripture and experience do seem to give some evidence that some people can on occasion sometimes have a ‘reaction’ to the presence of God.

    I would personally see these reactions as analogous to hairs on the back of your neck standing up as a reaction to a frightening scenario. There is a physical response to a perceived situation that is larger than oneself. Perhaps people’s legs giving way and them fainting into an altered state of consciousness is their bodies response to what they perceive to be a supernatural encounter. I find that kind of thinking helpful as it completely side-steps questions of ‘is it God, the Devil or someone faking it?’.

    However, one question that I think needs to be far more closely addressed is how we ‘manage’ (for want of another word) this phenomena. Even [i]if[/i] I agreed that there was biblical and historic precedent for what we are seeing, what do we do with it? Is it really appropriate to have people come to the front, where people lay hands on their head and someone stands behind them waiting to catch? Is that not introducing too many subtle suggestions into an already emotionally-charged scenario? I don’t think it’s enough to say that any manipulation that takes place is imagined or unintended.

    Whilst I’m mentioning ‘catchers’, here’s something I don’t quite get… if there’s enough expectation that they are going to fall, why don’t they sit down to be prayed for?

    [quote]I believe that responsible ministry will simply not make a big deal out of whether people fall over during times of prayer.[/quote]

    But doesn’t responsible ministry need to be mature enough to recognise that a big deal [i]will[/i] be made of it? If it is associated with the presence of God – and see as a (very visible) sign of his working – isn’t it going to be sought after?

    On one small note of history, it certainly [i]was[/i] unusual for such phenomena to occur amongst the anabaptists. There are records of similar kind of events, but they were far from the norm. With the wider historical picture, we have to acknowledge that there is a big difference between, e.g. someone preaching and someone else falling to the ground, and 1-on-1 prayer whilst standing up. Historically, such phenomena was normally ‘sovereign’, rather than encouraged, expected or induced.

    Finally, given the scant biblical support and the rarity of such experiences for most of Church history, shouldn’t we question why this phenomena has become so widespread and common? It’s not about needing to have an exact biblical counterpart, but why has this become [i]the[/i] phenomena?

  11. Burt

    Several typographical errors have now been corrected, and a few small additions have been made, including this bit: [i]”Again, some may argue that the mere presence of “catchers” and “covering cloths” creates a psychological climate that induces people to fall over. There may be some merit to this criticism, so I think the careful minister will take care to regularly explain that the goal of ministry is NOT to make people fall over and the fact that somebody might fall is not in itself absolute evidence of the supernatural work of God. At the same time, we should recognize that God seems to have often worked in this way and that we should not be surprised or put off if it occurs.”[/i]

  12. Mike M

    Pastor Burt first clarified:
    [quote]”Mike, you’ll note that with the texts that I cite I am not using them as an absolute defense of this idea of people falling under the power of God.”[/quote]

    OK, so you admit that the Biblical references you’ve giving don’t describe people being “slain in the Spirit.” You only use them to show that people bow or get close to the ground when God is near.

    Pastor Burt then said:
    [quote]”Furthermore, I think we must ask ourselves what the fruit of the phenomena is over time. If people are being healthier, confronting and dealing with their personal issues, devoting themselves to Christ, etc., how can this be the result of demons or deception. If Satan is divided against himself, how can his kingdom stand?”[/quote]

    So if we don’t have a Biblical basis for it but it seems to make some people feel good… what harm is there is it as long as the end result is desirable?

    In that case Robin Hood was justified for his theft from the rich. The “fruit” was that poor people were fed. The end justifies the means in other words. I don’t think fruit can be the basis by which we include or exclude certain activities in our churches.

    For instance, hiring a stripper to come to the men’s Bible study might bring more men to the study. But we would be violating Scripture to achieve the fruit we’re after.

    I use the above example only as a hyperbole. Food is a much better way to draw men to a Bible study and it’s Biblical! [img]http://lifewithchrist.org/js/fckeditor/editor/images/smiley/msn/wink_smile.gif[/img]

    So if we agree that there’s really no Biblical basis for being slain in the Spirit, then I guess all that’s left is the experiential. And there’s really no “ground rules” in that arena.

    Have a God day!
    Mike M

  13. Burt

    Graham: thanks for the thoughtful response!

    In regards to my use of the Scripture, you write: [i]”What I think we can agree on is that Scripture and experience do seem to give some evidence that some people can on occasion sometimes have a ‘reaction’ to the presence of God.”[/i] I don’t think I’m trying to make the Scripture say much more than this, only that the “reaction” is often both unanticipated and perceived as involuntary.

    Of course, as I write this, I am struck with the somewhat humorous observation that one could easily argue that in such charismatic gatherings such “ministry” is hardly unanticipated (with catchers in place and etc.)! So let me clarify, that although such activity might be seen as typical in the room, the individual can be often surprised that it happens in them!

    You wrote: [quote]Perhaps people’s legs giving way and them fainting into an altered state of consciousness is their bodies response to what they perceive to be a supernatural encounter. I find that kind of thinking helpful as it completely side-steps questions of ‘is it God, the Devil or someone faking it?’.[/quote] I think that is a completely valid position, and a strong likelihood in the majority of cases.

    As for how to manage this activity, that is the question, eh? You also ask [i]”if there’s enough expectation that they are going to fall, why don’t they sit down to be prayed for?”[/i] Well, what fun is that??? [img]http://lifewithchrist.org/js/fckeditor/editor/images/smiley/msn/wink_smile.gif[/img]

    I suppose that any pulpit directive could be argued as being somehow manipulative. Is it proper to have people come forward for prayer? Does that suggest that something might happen if they do so? I don’t see what the problem here is. I think it’s appropriate to suggest that we will encounter God every time we come to Him in faith. Whether that encounter will be associated with some kind of physical reaction is potentially (though not necessarily) immaterial to the work of God, but certainly relevant to how we engage the ministry. That’s why I tend to let people determine their own posture for prayer. Simply, many seem to be more comfortable standing (perhaps that is their own learned perception as well?), though I do encourage kneeling, sitting and even lying down as well. If they stand, I try to ensure that someone is carefully positioned behind them, but the choice of how they receive ministry is theirs.

    I also follow these guidelines in settings outside the church service, in secular locales as well. If it is just the two of us praying, and we begin to notice some sort of physical reaction, I will invite the recipient to sit. I would concur, though, that the acknowledgment and openness to these other postures is not as widespread as perhaps it should be. Why? Because ministers and churches get used to what they’ve seen and experienced previously, i.e. “this is how God does it.” [img]http://lifewithchrist.org/js/fckeditor/editor/images/smiley/msn/whatchutalkingabout_smile.gif[/img]

  14. Burt

    Mike, again you are being glib and unduly dismissive, changing my words to suit your purpose. Reread what I wrote. Carefully!

    It is a mis-characterization for you to describe the experiences of the priests in the temple, of Daniel, and of Saul on the road to Damascus as simple bowing before the Lord. Am I saying that these are exact examples of the typical “falling under the power” that we see today? No. I am saying that they are biblical precedent for powerful reactions in the body to encounters with God.

    This is also not simply a case of the end justifying the means. You start with the presupposition that the means is suspect. Why is that? What is the inherent evil? Your examples cite obvious sinful behavior. Help me understand the obvious sin of people loosing strength when they are receiving prayer.

  15. Mike M

    Q. You start with the presupposition that the means is suspect. Why is that?

    A. Simply because it’s not in the Bible.

    Q. What is the inherent evil? Your examples cite obvious sinful behavior. Help me understand the obvious sin of people loosing strength when they are receiving prayer.

    A. Because it’s giving the world a valid reason to [url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E2l309_46sE&eurl=http://amaninhealing2.blogspot.com/search?q=benny]mock us[/url] and marginalize us as whack jobs.

  16. Burt

    Mike wrote:[quote]Q. You start with the presupposition that the means is suspect. Why is that?
    A. Simply because it’s not in the Bible.[/quote]

    Then we simply disagree. There are lots of things in the church today (and in life today) that you might otherwise readily accept as normative and appropriate that are not exactly “in the Bible.” But are they in harmony with the scripture? Certainly. Do they contradict the direction and heart of scripture? Of course not.

    As for choosing to engage my faith according to what the world thinks, I’d rather pursue a different standard, thank you! And I’m not daunted by the “guilty by association” argument. I believe that Jesus is the only way to the Father. That doesn’t mean I hold to the same methodologies or understandings as [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fred_Phelps]Fred Phelps[/url], who also believes in Christ. Similarly, I personally believe that the Spirit of God can powerfully encounter people and that in reaction to that encounter, those people may lose physical strength. That doesn’t necessarily mean that I hold to the same methodologies or understandings as Benny Hinn, whom you point to with the youtube clip. If the world has a hard time seeing the difference in either case, then I will have to hope the pursuit of spiritual fruit (love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, etc.) in my life somehow sets me apart (Lord, help me!). But I cannot allow my walk with God to be primarily shaped by whether I will be ridiculed or not.

  17. Mike M

    PB, cell phone aren’t in the Bible either, yet I’m commenting with one now. That’s not what I meant. I meant the Bible doesnt encourage us to practice this activity.

    I use 3 standards to judge if something should be adopted as church practice…

    1 Did Jesus teach it?
    2 Do we see it done in Acts?
    3 Do the letters to the church address it?

    If not, there’s no NEED for it in the church.

  18. Burt

    Mike,
    Neither does the Bible discourage it.

    I read my Bible regularly; daily if possible. I’m not sure that Jesus instructs me to do that in the Gospels…I’m not sure that this is seen as standard conduct by the church in Acts…and I’m not sure, off hand, that it is specifically addressed in the letters in the church.

    Nevertheless, it seems to me to be in harmony with those teachings.

    Notice, that nowhere have I argued that there is a NEED for being “slain in the Spirit” in the church. But, I do think it can be beneficial. Moreover…it happens. So how are we to then respond and what are we then to think? This is the issue!

    By the way…is God constrained to the three standards you’ve outlined?

    Blessings…

    And may you be overwhelmed today by the presence of God in your life! [img]http://lifewithchrist.org/js/fckeditor/editor/images/smiley/msn/wink_smile.gif[/img] [img]http://lifewithchrist.org/js/fckeditor/editor/images/smiley/msn/angel_smile.gif[/img]

  19. Dave

    P.B. You sure don’t need my help here, but Mike’s three standards has so many holes, and so many what if and what about responses…. To even start would lead this thread far away from the info and intent of this great post… Be Blessed… [img]http://lifewithchrist.org/js/fckeditor/editor/images/smiley/msn/thumbs_up.gif[/img]

  20. Mike M

    Q. is God constrained to the three standards you’ve outlined?

    A. The standard I’m using is His Word. Notice that I keep referring back to His Word in all of my comments. And the 3 standards I used to judge church practice are once again…

    1. His Word
    2. His Word
    3. His Word

    Does the Word of God constrain God? No, because the Word is God.

  21. Mike M

    PB said:
    “Notice, that nowhere have I argued that there is a NEED for being “slain in the Spirit”

    Finally we agree on something. I don’t think the church needs it either.

  22. Burt

    Sorry Mike,

    But you’ve changed your answer here. Comment #23 and #26 do not communicate the same thing, though that may have been your intention. Regardless, I don’t see how your response engages my rationale.

  23. Mike M

    OK, then let me put it an other way.

    1. The Gospels
    2. The Acts of the Apostles
    3. The Epistles to the Churches

    If I can’t find it in those three, I don’t think it is needed in our church activities. T

    For instance, the gifts of the Spirit are mentioned in all three of those, so there for I do think the gifts are for the church today. Though you and I may differ on how those gifts should be used.

    I’m really not tying God’s hands with these 3 standards, I’m just saying let’s look to the Bible on how the NT church should operate.

  24. Burt

    Thanks for clarifying, Mike, but I’m not sure you really believe that. Maybe I’m wrong!

    Consider the following issues:
    – daily Bible reading
    – the translation of scripture into other languages
    – church ownership of buildings
    – congregational singing as a regular part of worship
    – the use of musical instruments by the church in worship

    I could go on, but I hope you get the point. These things are not mentioned in the Gospels, Acts or the Epistles. By your standard, then, they are not needed by the church and should be therefore avoided. Afterall, the NT church apparently didn’t need them to operate. But I would hope that we might understand that these things could be beneficial! Especially, if we are calling on the name of the Lord, endeavoring to submit to Him daily, and striving to stay yielded to His presence and direction in our lives.

    Moreover, what are we then to do if we are praying with someone for whatever reason, and in the process he suddenly feels overcome and loses strength. Tell him that he doesn’t need that? How do we know what he needs?

  25. Mike M

    Singing was part of the NT church. And we also see that they met under a roof. And the Septuagint was indeed a translation of God Word in Jesus’ day. And the use of instruments were also in use in the New Testament church. All of those things meet my 3 standards.

    [url=http://amaninhealing2.blogspot.com/2005/12/what-your-pastor-doesnt-want-you-to.html]Tithing[/url] on the other hand isn’t. But that’s a whole other can of worms.

    Have a God day!
    Mike M [img]http://lifewithchrist.org/js/fckeditor/editor/images/smiley/msn/teeth_smile.gif[/img]

  26. Mike M

    Oh and you’re right about daily Bible reading. That is an extrabiblical belief. I don’t read the Bible daily, because I was never told I should. I was however to obey what it says. And that I strive to do daily.

  27. In His Glorious Name Ministries

    Great post Pastor Burt. Excellent read, and excellent scripture references. Non offensive, and thought provoking.

  28. Claire

    hi pastor burt. i’m really encouraged and impressed with not only the initial post but by the way you’re dealing with the converstion from it. i love your heart and passion for God and his word and to know him and make him known.

    mike (as the biggest commenter here) i also love your passion and committment to God and his word and knowing him and making him known.

    i have been slain in the spirit – the first time it happened i was “what???” i had heard about it but never seen it so i was surprized. since becoming a chrsitian i have always felt God or had a physical reaction – when i became a chrsitian (went up rthe front at ayouth camp and got prayed for and prayed) i felt really hot and trembly and could feel SOMETHING and felt clean and new and loved and at peace. for me it was the same type fo thing when i got prayed for and slain. ps i hate that word, such a dumb phrase! i have fallen over when been prayed for with laying on hands and also when people have prayed for me and NOT touched me. i have not had an altered state on conciousness in teh way that i think of that phrase.

    i think history is a valid way to look at what is going on – was God moving then? how did he move? what was the fruit? was it some nutters jsut doing it for the fame of THEIR name or was it a group of people sincerely seeking God and his glory and spreading the Gospel??? aka was there other really good stuff going on that we would call revival? often there was. people got closer to God. people came to know God.

    i also think that looking at the whole bible is totally valid. sometimes it doesnt spell it out as clear as we would want. as in go into a totally black adn white description – like when the priests fell down in teh temple because of hte presence of God – it doesnt say how many, or how fast, or waht direction, and how long they stayed and what they were thinking at the time, and their states of conscousness, or anything like that. it says they fell over and couldnt minister.

    anyway, that is my 2 cents.

    keep up the good work Pastor Burt.

  29. Mike M

    PB, would you call [url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7qJlT–CpI0] this[/url] being slain in the Spirit? Or is it some other thrill the Spirit offers?

  30. In His Glorious Name Ministries

    Pastor Burt,

    I have been following this thread and have enjoyed it very much, including the comments.

    I’m wondering though if words like “slaying in the spirit, chrismatic, pentecostal” and many other labled names regarding such things don’t, well how should I say this.

    Wouldn’t you agree that such words classify and place such things into a arena of debate and are almost distasteful. It’s almost like there is a doubt created in the sence of how the words have been used and labled over the years.

    For example: I have experienced the love and power of God in ways that overwhelmed my entire being. One time I spend three days and three nights basically laying on the floor and could get up. When I finally did, I walked around for weeks trying to understand what had happened.

    I have also participated in the laying on of hands and seen the power of God touch people in ways that blew me away. One time praying over hundreds one at a time with Randy Clark. I also spend weeks walking around just recalling all that happened in that two hours of ministry time. While it was happening, I didn’t question it, but the next day I was in awe to what had taken place.

    But I do not consider myself Christmatic, Pentecostal, or one that slays people in the spirit. Personally, I feel the words are like words of division. But that’s my opinion. I’m curious to know your thoughts.

  31. In His Glorious Name Ministries

    Something else that comes to mind is the reaction of people on the day of Pentecost when the spirit was poured out. It seems that even today people react the same way.

    For example:

    Act 2:12 And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this?

    They were amazed.
    They were in doubt.
    They questioned it.

    Act 2:13 Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine.

    They mocked.
    They made accusations.
    They accused them of being drunk.

    Act 2:14 But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words:

    Act 2:15 For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day.

    Even in that day, the people thought they were drunk. Picture that. What do drunk people do and act like? Do they stagger, fall down, laugh, and carry on in strange ways compared to those who are not drunk?

    Why did the people think they were drunk, and even greater. How could the coming of the spirit make people appear to be drunk. Strange way to birth the church.

    Act 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

    What is this? Repent, be baptised, in the name of “Jesus Christ” and you shall receive the Holy Ghost. What happen to the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost?

    How is this possible that people that receive the Holy Ghost appeared to be drunken to those that did not receive.

    I believe the answer is in Acts 2:12 and 2:13.

    They were in doubt.
    They questioned it.
    They mocked.
    They made accusations.
    They accused them of being drunk.

    In otherwords, they debated it among themselves.

    Later in scripture it states that 3,000 were added unto the church. What did 3,000 people that many thought were drunk look like? Picture that.

    Act 2:41 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.

    If 3,000 gathered at a gathering and the Holy Spirit came in power, what would 3,000 people that appeared to be drunk look like today?

  32. Burt

    Mike: That clip is sure on the opposite end of the spectrum from [url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i3b2WdZq17M&feature=related]this one.[/url]

    Eugene: labels are descriptive, but that doesn’t mean the descriptions are always accurate. The early believers were soon called Christians, and it was meant as a derogatory slam. They, however, came to see it as a badge of honor. Today, there are many who feel it has returned to that negative connotation.
    For me, it’s who we are truly, that matters. I’m not hung up on the label!

  33. Mike M

    Opposite… so you would agree that it’s demonic? And you really didn’t answer my question. Even an “I don’t know” would suffice.

    Have a God day!
    Mike M

  34. Mike M

    Lisa, I’m sure there are hundreds of parity videos of this lunacy on YouTube. But [url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7qJlT–CpI0]the video[/url] I posted is not a parity… it’s footage of an actual Pentecostal church service! And why are people hesitant to decide that this bologna is not from God? Because of this misunderstood verse:

    “But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; he is guilty of an eternal sin.”
    Mark 3:29

    In other words, God is willing to forgive a lot of stuff, but don’t make fun of his kids when their frolicking around like nut jobs.

    If you read the passage in context, Jesus’ critics were making accusations that Jesus was using Satan’s powers to preform His miracles, in this instance, performing exorcisms. They were saying Jesus was using Satan to drive out Satan.[img]http://lifewithchrist.org/js/fckeditor/editor/images/smiley/msn/devil_smile.gif[/img] Jesus exposed their faulty logic and followed it with, “But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; he is guilty of an eternal sin.”

    You either believe Jesus is the Son of God and His power if from God, or you don’t. Jesus’ critics believed He was from the Devil, and Jesus said that was an eternal sin that wouldn’t be forgiven. Why? Because if you don’t believe Jesus is who He said He is, you won’t have salvation. And [b]that[/b] is blasphemy of the Holy Spirit.

    So PB, back to my unanswered question:

    PB, would you call [url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7qJlT–CpI0]this [/url] being slain in the Spirit? Or is it some other thrill the Spirit offers? Perhaps this is a new product He’s offering to His thrill seekers.

    Have a God day!
    Mike M

  35. Burt

    Mike, I thought your question was rhetorical, and didn’t think you were expecting an answer. Was I mistaken in detecting your sarcasm?

    I assume you are thinking this clip is showing anything but a work of God…why is that?

  36. Mike M

    I guess my question is just going to have to remain unanswered.

    You’re in a pickle of a jam, aren’t you, PB? To say the clip is a genuine work of God would put you in the same camp as the folks in the video. (I don’t think you’re comfortable with that notion) To say it isn’t of God would open a whole other can of worms that would lead to questions like, “What is the criteria we use to determine if something is from God, Satan, or our own flesh?” And if you’re anything like the Pentecostals I know, you’re not comfortable with those kinds of criteria because that would “put God in a box”. (You’re not like any of the Pentecostals I’ve known, BTW.)

    This goes back to Graham’s question which has also gone unaddressed:
    [quote]However, one question that I think needs to be far more closely addressed is how we ‘manage’ (for want of another word) this phenomena. Even if I agreed that there was biblical and historic precedent for what we are seeing, what do we do with it?[/quote]

    Are you at least comfortable with laying out ground rules for being slain in the Spirit just as Paul did for speaking in tongues? Or is that putting God in a box?

    See, that’s the Pentecostal movement’s greatest strength and weakness all at the same time. Bravo for not wanting to box God in, guys! But by not wanting to have boundaries, many of your church services have turned into “flesh fests”

    PB asked:
    “I assume you are thinking this clip is showing anything but a work of God…why is that?”

    I look at the video in question and all I see is people bringing attention to themselves. It’s more attention getting than a circus! Did you see the 20 foot tall pictures of the pastors above the stage? That video illustrates men wanting all of the attention… from the pastors all the way down to the congregation. That’s the biggest red flag. The demonic activity shown there is incidental to stealing God’s glory.

    Wasn’t Satan jealous of God’s glory. Didn’t Satan want all the attention? Well Satan is definitely getting the attention he desires over there in Korea!

    Does it have to be either or? Can’t God be free to “move” with some criteria because of the sinfulness of our flesh?

  37. Burt

    Mike,

    Generally, I’m not a fan of either pickles or jam! [img]http://lifewithchrist.org/js/fckeditor/editor/images/smiley/msn/wink_smile.gif[/img]

    As for the video clip, I simply find that it’s not my place to pass judgment on it. Are there parts of it that intrigue me? Yes. Are there parts that make me ask, “What the heck???” You bet! Are there aspects that I would frown upon? Certainly. But the fact is that I am only seeing a piece of the puzzle in that clip. I don’t have the opportunity to converse with any of these people, I am not in relationship with them, I don’t speak the language (so what is being said remains a complete mystery), I do not have the ability to view their lives over time and measure the fruit of anything that is taking place. So how can I offer anything truly accurate and meaningful by way of perspective?

    I would completely agree that the huge posters are distracting and seem out of place. Are they of the pastor? The special guest speaker? Someone who has experienced an incredible healing? I could guess, but I don’t really know. They do seem to draw undue attention to the person, and that certainly seems over the top and unfortunate to me.

    As for the…antics…who am I to pronounce that’s definitely God (or not). Questions I would ask include:
    1) Who are they calling on?
    2) Are they seeking this experience as the main end, or is it incidental to something else?
    3) Is such activity typical of the meetings that take place here?
    4) Is the Spirit of God making these things happen, or is it somehow their physical (or psychological) reaction to their perception of what God is doing?
    5) If we think this is deception, what is the deception being perpetrated? Is the Lordship of Jesus being denied? Is the Gospel being altered? Is some other way to God being articulated?
    6) What does this church teach about such events?
    7) What change has taken place in these people over time?

    Certainly, at the least, these questions should be addressed.

    This begs a bigger issue: is it ever alright to draw attention? I’m thinking that the day of Pentecost in Acts 2 drew attention and was greatly misunderstood by many. I think that the many people in scripture who experienced miraculous healing drew a great deal of attention. Paul’s preaching in Athens drew great attention and afforded him an audience on Mars Hill. The ministry in Ephesus caused riots.

    So just because events seem to draw unexpected attention doesn’t in and of itself make them suspect. As for the video clip, were those people simply trying to garner some kind of attention from others? We make determinations that they are all “in the flesh,” as if those who gather very stoically in Christ’s name, calmly and quietly reciting a ritual are any less “in the flesh.” How bizarre is it that we can be so quick with our own judgments and assumptions (either way), all knowing beings that we are? [img]http://lifewithchrist.org/js/fckeditor/editor/images/smiley/msn/wink_smile.gif[/img]

    Would some kind of criteria be helpful? I think so. Does it mean that God won’t be found in the midst of those without that criteria? That seems doubtful to me. And what criteria would we offer? No matter what you do, someone will have a contrary opinion!

    In our setting, we tend to allow for more of a free expression (for lack of better terminology). We try to utilize “catchers” for those who may fall for whatever reason during prayer. We also don’t attribute any necessarily greater work of God with those who fall than with those who don’t (though I could certainly see how some may say that thought becomes implied through observation, but I’m not sure what else to do about that), and we try to communicate that regularly.

    [i]continued…[/i]

  38. Burt

    Let me share another example from experience (Heaven help us, I know!)

    Many years ago, a small group of us were praying with a man in the context of a much larger “altar call” type setting. There were probably 40 to 50 other people who had also come forward for prayer for various issues in their lives who were being ministered to by others. This particular man was a former Baptist pastor, quite dispassionate in demeanor, dressed in suit and tie, and known for being quite prim and proper. He had recently returned to seminary for some advanced degree and was dealing with several inner hurts and disappointments…thus, he had come forward for prayer.

    As we prayed for Him, we asked quite calmly for the Holy Spirit to come and heal this man, renew his confidence, and restore his joy. As we gently prayed over the gentleman, he soon crumpled to the ground. We continued to pray for God to fully renew this pastor.

    What happen next surprised us all. The man began to cry out in long, sorrowful tones. He began to roll in place. Long ways. I don’t know if I can describe this properly in words. It was like if one had tried to roll a pencil across the table, but the spinning pencil only spun in one spot instead. He somehow picked up a great deal of force and then suddenly shot out across the floor, rolling 20-30 feet and then suddenly rolling back. It reminded me of those old STP toy cars where you would quickly pull out the lever, rotating the spinning wheel, and then set it on the floor to careen across the room. That’s what looked like happened to the man. It surprised us all. We had stopped praying, jaws open, and scrambled to get out of the way. The leather from the man’s shoes literally left dark skid marks in the carpet. It was crazy. We weren’t trying to make this happen, and the man certainly had no previous framework for it, and perhaps even a disposition against such displays, but nevertheless, it very demonstrably took place.

    But what was the result? The man was never the same after that. Before he had been a very judgmental, hardened man. Afterwards, he became very tender. His whole heart toward service and ministry changed. He became known for his kindness, his generosity, and his love. There is no question in my mind that what happened to that man was of God.

    What kind of criteria should we have imposed? How much attention did the man draw to himself? How did this whole scene look to the outside observer? If this had been captured on film and stuck up on youtube, I’m sure we would have all been written off as “nutters” (I love that NZ term!). But the change in the man was undeniable.

    So I have learned not to be too quick to judge by what I see in the moment. Better to step back and take a longer view.

  39. In His Glorious Name Ministries

    [url=http://cf.blueletterbible.org/search/translationResults.cfm?Criteria=boldness&t=KJV]The Coming Of The Spirit Produces Boldness [/url]

    And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.

    [url=http://cf.blueletterbible.org/search/translationResults.cfm?Criteria=fame&t=KJV&sf=5]The Power Of The Spirit Produces Fame [/url]

    And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee: and there went out a fame of him through all the region round about.

    [url=http://www.blueletterbible.org/kjv/Act/Act002.html?q=act%202#top]The Coming Of The Spirit Produces Fear, Wonders, and Signs [/url]

    And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles.

    The Coming Of The Spirit Produces Groanings

    Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.

  40. Mike M

    “As for the…antics…who am I to pronounce that’s definitely God (or not).”

    All through out the Bible [url=http://amaninhealing2.blogspot.com/2006/05/judge-not.html]we are called upon to judge.[/url]

    As for everything else you said and my questions you left unanswered, I go back to my first comment…

    “There’s only one part of this post that we can engage concretely and that is the “WHAT DOES THE SCRIPTURE SAY?” section. All of the rest is personal experience…”

    I don’t question your experiences, Burt. I only question if they’re biblical. And my [b]opinion[/b] thus far is that they’re not. But this is a non-essential issue and you and I still have unity in Christ. In fact this might be the only topic you and I have significant differences about. I appreciate your time invested into this discussion.

    Have a God day!
    Mike M

  41. In His Glorious Name Ministries

    Pastor Burt,

    I again want to thank you for this post, the time, effort and searching the scripture out, that you put into it.

    It is by far one of the best posts I have ever seen here at LwC around a very touchy subject.

  42. Waldo Larson

    My background is Calvary Assembly of God, Inglewood, Calif. I have seen many slain in the spirit there. As a child, I witnessed a woman dancing in the Spirit, beautifully, twirling among several slain bodies around the platform, and the altar in front of the first row where I was sitting. They were not faking it. Jesus Is Lord in my opinion.

  43. Christopher

    Pastor,
    I have experience this phenomena..I am really impressed by this article. Its honesty and openness regarding these manifestations.
    People like Derren Brown can make people slumpover…But when we encounter Our Lord Jesus..that the healing and transformation comes…
    Thank you for this article.

  44. Pamela Y

    I was saved in a full gospel holiness church 22 years ago. Coming from a Presbyterian background, I had no “prior knowledge” that being “slain in the Spirit” even existed! But I experienced it myself, about 2 months after I started attending the f/g/h church, prior to having even observed it happening to others, so it was definitely not a case of “monkey see, monkey do”. Additionally, I have a rather buttoned-down personality, and am unlikely to ever launch myself backwards of my own volition. And yet, I have experienced being “slain in the Spirit” maybe 40 times or so, over the course of my salvation. It definitely happens, and it’s definitely not “cooked up”.
    Thank you for your article, Pastor Burt.

  45. Rob

    This is an excellent article on a very touch subject. As a longtime practicing Christian that believes in the Gifts of the Holy Spirit I can say for a fact that I know in my heart and spirit that being overcome by the power of the Holy Spirit is indeed a real and powerful event in the life of a believer.

    That being said, without a doubt it’s faked by many in the church and thus is something that causes concern and doubt among those that don’t agree with this.

  46. Replica Watches

    I have some thoughts that I want to share here, but they will have to wait for a later date, when I have more time to write

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