Slain in the Spirit?

Benny Hinn Extreme

Some of the questions I’m commonly asked by some of our students have to do with some of the charismatic practices we see embraced by certain churches or Christians around the world; specifically concerning being “Slain in the Spirit.”  Is this a practice that is supported by Scripture?

Honestly, I don’t think it is.  In fact, not only is this term not even mentioned in the Bible, the practice itself isn’t mentioned either.  True, there are many instances in the bible where human beings fall to their knees as they stand before the presence of angels or the glory of God (i.e.- the Apostle John, Rev. 1).  But the idea of being touched by another human being who is “anointed” by the Spirit and then being knocked out cold is not a biblical phenomenon. 

So how do you explain what you just saw in the video? It’s interesting; we actually studied this same phenomenon- not just at seminary- but in one of my sociology classes at UNT, called “Collective Behavior.”  In this class, we studied everything from rock concerts to city riots to Benny Hinn! And often times what you see taking place in these mass gatherings, isn’t so much the result of “the anointing of the Spirit,” but more to do with a psychological or emotional phenomena.  Someone may so strongly expect to be knocked out cold by the Spirit, thought to be present in the anointed preacher, that when the preacher touches him or her, down they go! (Sociologists have noted that this type of experience is actually common to many religions).  Not that we allow “sociology” to determine what it is God is or isn’t allowed to do, but the fact is, this a practice that is best mirrored by what takes place at a Justin Timberlake concert than it is by a passage of scripture.

Of course, there’s also the possibility that the powers of darkness may be involved in this experience as well (2 Thess. 2:9; 2 Cor. 11:14-15).  If there’s one thing Satan’s been doing from the very beginning with God’s people, it’s distracting and deceiving them from the central mission of God.

Many who believe in this phenomenon are likely to cite such passages as Gen. 15:12-21, Numbers 24:4, 1 Samuel 19:20, or Matt. 17:6… but in every case, they are reading their own interpretation into the text instead of drawing the true meaning out of the text. 

Bottom line, this is a psychological phenomenon that finds no support whatsoever in the Bible. 

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~ by Shea Sumlin on January 4, 2007.

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