Perry Stone recently defended himself after a viral video circulated that showed Stone checking his phone and taking a phone call while praying in tongues. The video was taken from a live stream of Stone’s weekly Thursday night prayer meeting at Omega Center International (the original video has since been removed). The video prompted news stories and lots of jokes online—jokes that Stone says he did not appreciate, as it verges on the unforgivable sin of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit.
“A Baptist pastor, African-American guy, got a hold of a video clip and somebody else, and it went viral where I am looking at my phone, I have a microphone, I’m praying in the Spirit and travailing and I’m looking at my phone,” Stone says in his response video. “And they see me doing this, and so they made a big joke out of this. In fact, some of them made a horrible joke out it and they even mocked speaking in tongues, which I regret that, because you can’t blaspheme the Holy Spirit and get forgiveness if you blaspheme. I’m not saying they did; I think some of them are doing it ignorantly.”
Stone says he was praying for a friend’s wife who had cancer.
“Do you know why I was looking at my phone and praying?” Stone says. “Because there is a pastor friend of mine from Ohio whose wife has cancer, and that pastor had called me earlier in the day crying and saying, ‘Tonight at prayer, would you call me with my wife, put her on speaker on your phone, and pray for this cancer that she has that God will help her?’ And I’m picking up my phone because it’s getting a quarter ’til seven and I’m picking up my phone to text him while I’m praying. I didn’t quit praying [to] put my phone down. And I’m praying in the spirit and I’m travailing because this woman has been very sick and I’m texting the pastor, ‘We are now praying. Can you get her on the phone? Is she ready?’ He’s texted me back: ‘We’re going to go to the room right now.’ … So the critics, skeptics and comedians saw me praying in the Holy Spirit, travailing, groaning, holding my phone, and mocked me for being on my phone. Made all kinds of jokes. … So you made fun of me for making a call to a pastor whose wife had cancer, who wanted prayer. That’s what you were mocking.”
Stone also explains in the video that his own gift of speaking in tongues is very real.
“In Israel, my Muslim driver heard me pray in tongues in 3 or 4 different languages and could tell me everything I said, and his name was Joseph,” Stone says. “My driver, Mike, who drives from me in Israel, has heard me pray in the Holy Spirit. My guy, Gideon, who’s Jewish, has heard me praying in the Holy Spirit and he even heard me one time praying a Samaritan dialect that 600 people in the West Bank, the Samaritans, speak. So this gift is very real.”
Stone says in the video he hopes the comedian who originally posted the clip sees his response—though he doubts it will change anything. He then says his mockers were motivated by money and fame, and briefly muses that he could take legal action against the comedian, though he will not.
“I hope maybe somebody that’s connected to this comedian will get him the message,” Stone says. “It’s not going to change what he did. He’s not going to apologize. I know that. I hope those ministers will hear me and say instead of taking a clip that one guy took—took one clip—made a big page of it on a website, basically just to get money and just to get followers, mocking the Holy Spirit and mocking me for having the phone, not knowing somebody had cancer at a prayer meeting. … If they slander someone by … making a clip and it becoming slanderous, they’re liable to a lawsuit. Now I’m not saying I’m suing anybody for this. I’m not planning on doing that. But I am saying you better be careful because you might get a hold of someone one day that would do that.”
Stone’s full response has been embedded above.