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, August 12, 2013

Emergent Monday: Slaying In The Charismatic Movement

Like "Speaking In Tongues" and "Faith Healing" the spectacle of being "Slain In The Spirit" is a farce, a ruse to amuse the rubes. It's an "ear tickle" designed to entertain the goats, an act of extreme silliness born in greed, ignorance, and occult practices.

According to the practitioners of spiritual slaying this is a phenomena that occurs when a Christian is so overcome by the Holy Spirit that they fall down incapacitated for a while. Normally when a Christian is overcome by the Holy Spirit it's not in the presence of 10,000 laughing, babbling, fainting people, it's generally in quiet prayer with the Lord and quite often while studying the bible. In a Charismatic circus service it's a safe bet that there's not a lot of bibles getting the dust blown off of them. Instead there's a highly animated "pastor" who stands before the rube parishioner, he waives his hands and shouts into the wireless microphone and down goes the parishioner. Benny Hinn can knock out an entire auditorium of tithe bearing goats.

To be fair the Bible does have many accounts of people falling down when confronted with the Lord. In Genesis 15:12-18 God puts Abram to sleep in order to give Abram a vision. In Joshua 5:13-15 Joshua met Jesus outside of Jericho and fell face down in reverence. In Ezekiel 1:28, Ezekiel saw the glory of God and fell face down in reverence. In fact as you go through the bible and see the different instances of people falling down you'll see that they're falling face down in humility and reverence when faced by God or Jesus, they're not dazed and confused, they're not barking, laughing, howling or babbling but worshiping the Lord in humility. And they fell voluntarily, not forced by God. 

Also in Scripture many fall on to their back, and this is not a sign of blessing; in 1 Samuel 4:18 Eli fell off his seat backwards on hearing of the death of his sons and the capture of the Ark and he died. Isaiah 28:13 Isaiah speaks of God's word sent to refresh but if not heard it becomes a judgement "they will fall backward; they will be injured and snared and captured" Now look at the spectacle of being slain in the spirit as performed by modern day Ringmasters Charismatics, these folks are falling backwards, many being caught by strategically placed associate pastors. Others are falling back into their seats then chatting with their neighbors.

The true fruit of the Holy Spirit is self-control, not a three ring circus full of emotionalism. The Bible tells us to yield control to Jesus and give Him control of our lives, He wants us clear headed and doing His work, not laying on the ground, twitching, laughing, or barking. The duped say that this is the joy of the Lord, but the joy of the Lord is our strength, not our amusement. It is the joy of the Lord that spreads the Gospel to the remote corners of the world, it was the joy of the Lord that allowed our spiritual brothers and sisters in the Middle East and North Korea and our spiritual ancestors to face their executioners with a prayer in their heart and forgiveness on their lips. 

So is it the Holy Spirit that's knocking people down? Biblically no. In the bible people that were knocked down were cursed, but most people fell down of their own in supplication. In a Charismatic circus service there's an expectation of this happening, emotionally susceptible people are going to be wide open to the autosuggestion of going down. They accept the experience because they already have the idea in their head that one falls when the Spirit comes upon them. They believe this is from God so if someone touches them or points to them then they're going to go down. There is also a lot of peer pressure, if a person thinks they're expected to fall down when everyone around them does, they'll fall down to avoid embarrassment.

We also need to consider a darker possibility, that the slain in the spirit jazz is not from God, is not from man, but from demonic forces. Slain in the spirit is not a new phenomenon, it's been a part of pagan ritual for centuries. In Hinduism Kali, the wife of Shiva The Destroyer, is also known as Shakti the force. When a follower is touched by the Guru on the forehead they are knocked to the ground, they also can laugh, shake or be caught up in some ecstatic experience . There are many pagan religious practices, such as “shakti-pat”, which when observed looks exactly like being “slain in the Spirit.” The only difference is that their practices precede the modern Pentecostal sideshows by centuries .

So how do we know if this slain by the spirit thing is real or not? By testing. The bible commands us to test it. Mature Christians test the spirits, they use discernment and the word of God to tell them if a spirit is true or not. They fact check their pastor, and cross reference scripture. Immature and carnal Christians avoid testing because of naivete or insecurity, or just not wanting to know the truth when they're comfortable with something. 
20 Do not treat prophecies with contempt 21 but test them all; hold on to what is good, 22 reject every kind of evil. (1 Thessalonians 5:21)
Because of the abuses of the Charismatic movement, Grace To You Ministries recently announced the gathering of evangelical speakers on October 16-18 2013 to point out and turn the tide against the damage done for many decades in the church by those who have shamefully usurped the message of the Holy Spirit. Charismatics have used the name of the Holy Spirit to turn the church into a circus filled with strange dreams, bizarre visions, false prophecy, fake healings, being slain in the spirit, holy laughter, meaningless babble labeled as "tongues", unbiblical practices, and music that worships nothing but the performer. Dr. John MacArthur is trying to undo the damage caused by these charlatans. The gathering is called Strange Fire and is sold out, but needs to be supported whole heartly by all bible believing Christians.
My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being My priest. Since you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children. (Hosea 4:6)

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