Friday, February 19, 2010

Being "drunk in the Spirit"

I just came across a great article on "Being Drunk in the Spirit" by John Green:

Recently, I watched a videotape containing footage from churches participating in the "Toronto Blessing". I was sickened and disturbed by the occultic and animal-like manifestations which I witnessed. I would like to examine a behavior which I witnessed over and over on this video, in videos from the Brownsville Assembly of God and which I have also seen from time to time in Spirit-filled services in which I have participated. This behavior is commonly labeled 'being drunk in the Spirit'. Those in this state exhibit certain signs; staggering, falling down, slurred speech, impaired mental functioning, and bizarre behavior. People leaving 'renewal' meetings have been reportedly pulled over by police for drunk driving.(1)

Pastor Randy Clark shares that it was hard for him to enter into this experience because of his non-drinking background, and then says "…but my worship leader's a recovering alcoholic. Man, he can get right in there."(2) So being a recovering alcoholic enables you to enter more deeply into the power of the Holy Spirit? Hmmm…. Let us begin our examination by looking for examples of Scriptural precedent.

Acts chapter 2, of course, is the logical starting place. After all, the Spirit-empowered believers there were accused of being drunk. Read chapter 2, and then let us consider these points:

* No drunken behavior mentioned--only the works of God being praised in the varied languages of the crowd.
* Only a small minority--the mockers--accused them of being drunk. It was not a legitimate charge, and Peter flatly denies it.
* The prediction of Joel contains no reference to drunken behavior.
* Peter, under the power of the Spirit is not at a loss for words. He preaches a clear and powerful call to repentance.
* The crowd was orderly enough that thousands could hear Peter without the benefit of a PA system.

Our next stop is Ephesians 5:18, which tells us not to be drunk with wine, which leads to ruin, but to be filled with the Spirit. Again, let us observe:

* This is not comparing the effects of an alcoholic stupor with being drunk in the Spirit. It is a contrast of opposites! Drunkenness removes self-control. The Holy Spirit produces the fruit of self-control (Galatians 5:23).
* Verse 19 lists the results of being filled with the Spirit; praising lips, a praising heart, and a thankful attitude.

What an insult to a Holy God, to attribute drunken behavior to His Holy Spirit! While the Bible never refers to being 'drunk in the Spirit', it contains numerous condemnations of drunkenness, and it does refer to spiritual drunkenness as a judgment from God.

You can read the rest of John Greens's excellent article here.

Unfortunately, the stupidity doesn't end here. There are now people (who claim to be Christians) who promote "huffing" the Bible" (sniffing the Bible like someone would sniff cocaine) and having spiritual sex with Jesus!

It is difficult to determine whether these people are on drugs, starting some new cult, or are just secretly trying to demonstrate how unbelievably gullible and incredibly stupid some Christians can be.

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