Per Fidem Intrepidus means "Fearless Through Faith". My courage isn't my own, it comes from the Holy Spirit, it's my faith in God and my personal savior Christ Jesus that calms my fears and allows me to move forward in this fallen world. Personally I'm afraid of a lot of stuff, but having the faith that Jesus adopted me as his little, sin filled, brother keeps me going.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Emergent Monday: Holy Ghost Bartender

A while ago my bride and I were listening to a Christian fiction novel on audio book as we drove up to the Black Hills of South Dakota. The story wasn't too bad but the authors image of heaven was nonstop laughter, which to me is not heaven. I mean, I enjoy a good joke as much (if not more) than the next guy, but I don't see heaven, or God for that matter, as a joke. However when the book mentioned a vision of heaven the soundtrack was filled with laughter. It was maniacal laughter. It was unhinged laughter. It was totally unnerving. It was bizarre. It was the creepiest thing I ever heard. That is until I heard Todd Friel of Wretched Radio feature a bit of Rodney Howard-Browne.

Rodney Howard-Browne calls himself the "Holy Ghost Bartender" because he "serves the new wine and his goats followers get drunk with joy". RH-B was born in Port Elisabeth, South Africa and emigrated to the United States in 1987, the same year that Microsoft unleashed Windows on an unsuspecting world. (I'm not drawing any conclusions here, I'm just sayin'...) He claims to have committed his life to Christ at age 5, and also claims to have been filled with the Holy Spirit at age 8. At the age of 18 he claims that he was praying for hours seeking a deeper spiritual experience when he challenged God:
"'Either You come down here and touch me, or I will come up there and touch You,' he prayed in desperation. Suddenly, his whole body felt like it was on fire. He began to laugh uncontrollably. Then he wept and began to speak in tongues. 'I was plugged into heaven's electrical supply,' he later wrote in his book, The Touch of God. 'And since then my desire has been to go and plug other people in'" (Julia Dulin, "Praise the Lord and Pass the New Wine," 8/94, Charisma, p. 22).
I believe he was touched, but who was he touched by is the big question.

When preaching in Albany NY in 1989, the year that Al Gore claims to have invented the World Wide Web (I'm not drawing any conclusions here, I'm just sayin'...), Rodney Howard-Browne first noticed the unholy laughter begin. He claims that he felt a sensation like a heavy blanket coming over him then people began falling out of their seats, some laughing, some crying. (Ever notice that the truly nutcase religions come out of Upstate NY? (I'm not drawing any conclusions here, I'm just sayin'...)) After that he moved to Florida and began preaching out of Carpenter's Church in Lakeland FL, his services were being broadcast on the radio, and eventually he was being featured on Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) and before you know it, people were rolling in the aisles. 


"Holy Laughter" is described as a religious behavior in which individuals spontaneously laugh during church meetings. It's also known as the Toronto Blessing (which fits, we used to call strip clubs "The Canadian Ballet" (I'm not drawing any conclusions here, I'm just sayin'...)) That definition that makes it sound so clean. Holy Laughter is chaotic, ugly, and not very funny. Holy Laughter was first recorded back in the 1850's during the Cain Ridge Revival where it was eventually called “mass hysteria.” It was not seen again until the early 1900's in Pentecostal groups and was eventually cast out as a demonic influence. In the 1980′s, Jimmy Swaggart was in Argentina preaching to 80,000 people in a stadium when another outbreak occurred. The people who were affected by it were taken outside and delivered of unclean spirits after which time the phenomena disappeared.

In association with uncontrollable laughter (and/or crying, barking, howling, grunting, etc.) is the "gift" of Tongues. Biblically the gift of Tongues was a gift from the Holy Spirit that allowed people to speak in foreign languages and clearly spread the good news of Jesus' Resurrection to people of foreign origins. Tongues was one of several gifts of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:4-11, Romans 12:6-8) however in 1 Corinthians 13:8-10 Paul also said that the gift of tongues (along with the gifts of prophesy and knowledge) would be going away once Christianity got traction and started spreading across the ancient world. This modern speaking in tongues is called 'ecstatic tongues' or Glassolalia. Glossolalia is defined as the fluid vocalizing of speech-like syllables that lack any readily comprehended meaning, in other words, babbling. Actress Megan Fox, a devout Pentecostal describes the 'gift':

"It feels like a lot of energy coming through the top of your head--I'm going to sound like such a lunatic--and then your whole body is filled with this electric current. And you just start speaking, but you're not thinking because you have no idea what you're saying ... The idea is that it's a language that only God understands.'"
A lot of energy coming out through the top of your head - this does not sound like anything holy or clean, to be honest it sounds more like the experiences of people that were satanically inspired have shared. And what's that bit about a language that only God understands? The gift of tongues was given to us to communicate the Good News of Jesus, how can you do that if you're given a language that only God understands? He already knows the good news of Jesus Christ, He wants us to spread it to people that don't know. And we don't need a special language to speak to God, we have prayer, God will understand. And God already has a language that only He understands, He doesn't need our giggling and babbling to see what's in our hearts and minds:
12 For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. 13 And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do. (Hebrews 4:12-13)
Keep in mind that it's not just Christians that are being afflicted with ecstatic tongues, this is being seen in different religions, sects, and pagan beliefs. In our day and age ecstatic tongues are spoken by Animists (pagans), Buddhists, Catholics, Mormons, Moslems, Protestants, and occultists all over the world. It doesn't matter what religion you're a member of, it seems that someone there is babbling. How can a gift from the holy spirit be extended to pagans and occultists? It can't, the Holy Spirit can't communicate with someone that's turned their back on the Holy Spirit. Is ecstatic tongues from God? Is the holy laughter from God? 
"The proof that this is a move of God is that when I leave, it doesn't stop" (Julia Duin, "Praise the Lord and pass the New Wine," 8/94, Charisma, p.22)
Believers of this phenomenon that our Christians ancestors proved to be demonic believe that Holy Laughter is from God not because of anything biblical but because the experience lasted until after Rodney Howard-Browne's circus act service was over. Really? Seriously? There's only two sources of power like this, God or Satan. Nothing else. No horned moon-goddess, no reincarnated sixteen armed manifestation, only God or Satan. And there's only one way to determine if the power described in the giggling, laughing, babbling (along with grunting, barking, howling, and other critter noises) is from God or Satan:
1 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God; and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world. (1 John 4:1-3)
Are the laughers laughing the praises of Jesus Christ? Are the babblers babbling bible verses? When the afflicted grunt, moo, oink, bark or howl are they howling that Jesus was born sinless, lived a sinless life, died  a horrible painful death to atone for our sins, then rose again from the dead and will come again in glory? At these laugh-fests you're praying, right Rodney Howard-Browne? What do you say to your followers when they're laughing?
"I loose the touch, there it is , there it is, there it is, let that go right through you, fill that’s it fill that’s it, fill, that’s it, there it is let it bubble out your belly, let it bubble out your belly, there it is. that’s right lady, don't pray let the joy bubble, fill you can pray when you get home, let the joy bubble you too stop praying let the joy bubble out your bubble ... If your praying would have helped, it would have helped you. I said joy, stubborn people, people come all serious and pray, no its not time to pray its not a prayer meeting, get in the joy…" - Rodney Howard-Browne
Don't pray? "If your praying would have helped, it would have helped you" Have you ever heard of a pastor telling you your prayers will not help you?
"It's not a prayer meeting, You can pray at home... Don't analyze it, you can't understand what God is doing at these meetings with an analytical mind. The only way you're going to understand what God is doing is with your heart." - Rodney Howard-Browne
With your heart? Did he really say that? What does the bible say about using our heart as a gauge for what is truthful and holy
“The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; Who can understand it? (Jeremiah 17:9)
Didn't Jesus warn us about following our heart too?
For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders. (Matthew 15:19)
Is Holy Laughter a gift from God? To be honest I don't think that there has been any point in my life where I would have thought that possible. God gave the non-Christian world the right to judge us by our actions, and both you and I know that this is not Christianity but a perversion that claims to be Christian. The unbelieving world sees the actions of these people and thinks that Christians are laughing, barking, babbling, grunting, and rolling around the floor having fits and spasms. They don't notice that this is happening all over the world to all forms of beliefs, the vast majority is not Christian but God lets them see us this way and judge us for the actions of these charlitans. NOW I am drawing conclusions here

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