Holy Ghost Smackdown!

by | Mar 21, 2012 | Charisma Archive, Uncategorized

When a pushy preacher shoved me to the floor, I got a sore neck—and an education

We see obvious evidence of the Holy Spirit’s work whenever sinners are converted, backsliders repent, bodies are healed or self-centered believers are broken by God. I love it when the Lord shows up in church gatherings. But I don’t appreciate it when people fabricate spiritual manifestations to prove God is using them. 

A few years ago a popular charismatic preacher spoke at a meeting I attended at a church in Orlando, Fla. After his message he asked all ordained ministers to run to the platform so he could lay hands on them. Immediately this man’s beefy bodyguards began grabbing people, dragging them onto the stage and holding them in place until the evangelist could pray for everyone. 

I felt queasy about this spectacle. It resembled a charismatic version of World Wrestling Entertainment: Lots of smacking noises, falling bodies and cheers from the excited crowd. (We Christians seem to love a good show, even if it is staged!)

 

I cringed as I watched the bizarre theatrics. But before I could move to the side of the auditorium, one of the evangelist’s 220-pound goons strong-armed me onto the platform. When I looked up, the preacher was heading toward me with his arms flailing. I tried to duck, but when he got close enough he shouted “In the name of Jesus!” and slapped me across the face. I tumbled to the floor.

My face and neck were stinging with pain. I had not been slain in the Spirit, as some observers assumed. I had been assaulted. This man used his own strength to make people think he had imparted a special anointing to me. All he did was give me a headache.

I made up my mind at that point I would never push people during prayer, not even gently, or do anything to manipulate the Holy Spirit’s power. I want the real thing. I don’t want to grieve the Holy Spirit by pretending. 

So why do some Christians insist on pushing people when they pray for them? Some do it out of ignorance or because they’ve seen famous evangelists doing it. Others push to force spiritual results. They think if enough bodies end up on the floor, God showed up.

I know there are times when people can be so overcome by the Holy Spirit’s presence that they become weak in the knees. King David trembled in God’s presence, and the priests in Solomon’s day could not stand in the temple because of the heaviness of God’s glory (see 1 Kings 8:10-11). But there is no biblical precedent for forcing people to fall. 

In Exodus 30:22-29, God gave Moses the recipe for the holy anointing oil that was to be used in the tabernacle. God warned him about cheapening the oil, mixing foreign substances into it or diluting it. The Holy Spirit is holy! People in the Bible who tampered with the holy recipe (such as Aaron’s sons, Nadab and Abihu, who offered “strange fire” on the altar in Lev. 10:1-2) suffered serious consequences. We should never be flippant about God’s power.

Today I fear we have blended the anointing with strange ingredients. Some preachers dangle God’s promises over people’s heads and offer elusive promises of prosperity “if people will call this number now and give a donation.” Others fake certain body movements to make people think they are super-charged by God.  

Still others mix exotic anointing oils (“on sale now for only $12.99!”) or they hawk “anointed” candles, suggesting that certain scents can trigger the Spirit’s power. That’s witchcraft.

Please search your heart. Have you lied to the Holy Ghost by faking the anointing? Have you pushed people to the floor when you pray for them, rather than trusting the Lord to do His work? Have you become addicted to sensational experiences, always craving a sign yet never satisfied with Jesus alone?

How sad that a movement that began in the Spirit has wandered so far from the holiness of God. He sees through our charade. Let’s repent of our childishness, throw out the fake oils, stop making false claims, and quit abusing and manipulating people so we will look spiritual.


J. Lee Grady was editor of Charisma for 11 years. He now serves as contributing editor while devoting more time to ministry. You can find him on the Web at themordecaiproject.org. His newest book is 10 Lies Men Believe (Charisma House).

CHARISMA NEWSLETTERS

Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


MORE FROM CHARISMA

Spirit-Filled Pastor: Can I Ask God for Confirmation?

Spirit-Filled Pastor: Can I Ask God for Confirmation?

There are many incidents of God giving people a sign throughout the Bible. Although I believe God still does this, I also believe that we must be careful. Asking for a sign can be misleading if other factors are not taken into consideration. In Genesis, we find an...

Man Who Spent 23 Minutes in Hell: Are You Ready To Meet Jesus?

Man Who Spent 23 Minutes in Hell: Are You Ready To Meet Jesus?

The last words Jesus spoke to me in my 23 Minutes In Hell vision were, “Tell them I am coming very, very soon.” Then He repeated Himself and said again, “Tell them I am coming very, very soon.” The Bible is clear that Jesus is coming back to rapture His believers,...

The Best Way to Love Others and Yourself

The Best Way to Love Others and Yourself

I believe that other than the gospel regarding salvation through faith in Christ, learning to walk in love is the most important lesson in God’s Word. Jesus says that love is the most important commandment (Mark 12:28–31). The apostle Paul writes that love is the...

Prophecy: The Breach in Our Nation Will Be Repaired

Prophecy: The Breach in Our Nation Will Be Repaired

Praise be to Almighty God, righteous judge, holy of holies, the King of kings and the Lord of lords. The earth is His footstool, and to His kingdom there is no end! Breached Births The Spirit of the Lord says this day: “There has been a breach—breached births, My...

10 Reasons the Apostolic Movement Is Essential to Gospel Expansion

10 Reasons the Apostolic Movement Is Essential to Gospel Expansion

The global apostolic movement is the most significant expression of Christianity today. This is the view expressed by historian Philip Jenkins. He talks about the rapid expansion of the church in the global south, much of which is reminiscent of the first-century...

Experience a Better Kind of Love in Your Relationships

Experience a Better Kind of Love in Your Relationships

Do you have any relationship struggles? Perhaps you want to learn how to love, for real. Too often today, people search for a fairytale love and are disappointed when the fairytale fizzles, which it will. Michael Gibson, author of Real Life Love, challenges folks to...

The Power of Godly Words Over Another Life—and Yours

The Power of Godly Words Over Another Life—and Yours

Have the words that others have spoken over you ever significantly impacted you? Words can birth destinies on the inside of us and bring hope to our hearts for the future. They have the power to ignite our dreams and give life to our souls. At the same time, negative...

RECENT ARTICLES

How You Can Foil the Plot Against Your Life

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” Jesus warned us that we have an enemy, and he is a thief. He steals our joy, purpose,...
Activating Introverts in Evangelism

Activating Introverts in Evangelism

 Many believers mistakenly think that evangelism is only for charismatic, extroverted personality types. If they aren’t called to be evangelists, they shrink back from sharing the gospel with the lost entirely. The scriptural reality is that fivefold ministers, and...

Pin It on Pinterest

[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]