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But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. -- Galatians 5: 22-23 (ESV)
You have to laugh sometimes at the lengths Charismaniacs will go to "prove" their extra-biblical doctrines are still somehow correct. Often while trying to accomplish this they actually prove the opposite. Such is the case in the article linked above from Charisma News this week. The author is Mark Virkler who has a Ph.D. and has authored over 50 books, many regarding hearing God's voice and spiritual growth. He operates two ministries, one school and established over 250 churches. Yet somehow, he still believes in being slain in the spirit. For those who may be unaware, slain in the spirit is a Pentecostal experience when someone is being prayed for they fall back uncontrollably and someone graciously catches them and lies them down so the "spirit" can "minister" to them. I place these terms in quotes because there is no such manifestation. It is an emotional reaction disguised as a spiritual one. Now, can God use it? Sure, He is God. Can He minister to you in this state? Sure again, He is God. He does not however need you to collapse in public to do so. This is all part of the "look at me" Charismaniacal church experience. Shouting out a prophecy draws attention to the one prophesying. Speaking in tongues also draws attention away from Christ and onto the speaker. The same can be said for being slain as the dramatic effect cannot be overstated as people just start collapsing across the sanctuary. Let us reason together beloved as we sort through the latest inane defense of this unbiblical practice:
"When talking to the leadership team at Catch the Fire in Toronto, they confirmed that when they pray for people, not everyone is slain in the Spirit. My questions was: "Is it the left-brainers who don't get slain in the Spirit?" They paused and thought for a moment and then said, "Yes, it is the left-brainers who don't fall down." Well, that makes sense to me. I'm a left-brainer and I don't fall down. By the way, left-brainers are the thinkers and right-brainers are the intuitive visionaries and feelers. Hmmm, so if I did want to be slain in the Spirit and rest on the floor under the Spirit's power, what might I need to do differently? When right-brainers are being prayed for, how do they posture themselves internally that is different than the way left-brainers posture themselves?" -- Mark Virkler
Really. You're trying to reduce the power of Almighty God, through the Holy Spirit, to a humanistic theory that is actually unproven itself. What is fascinating here is we begin to see the shift Virkler will engage in and that is to take something that God allegedly wants to do and put it under the power of man. What are you saying preacher? Glad you asked. The entire concept of being slain is that the Holy Spirit wishes to overpower you, knock you down and the minister you. Yet Virkler believes he can figure out how to help the Holy Spirit, who has been unable to knock him down apparently because of a theory that has been around for about 50 years and most neuroscientists dismiss outright. Ok, let's see where he goes with this.
"As a left-brainer, I tend to be thinking all the time, analyzing, judging, fretting. In this case, I am thinking, Will anything happen to me? Probably not. It never does. I will be the only one left standing. I hate that. Get me out of here! Right-brainers, on the other hand, live in pictures, feelings and flow, and anticipate with excitement the upcoming experience. So I decide to picture what is going on as I am being prayed for. I see true spiritual reality even as King David did (Ps. 16:8). Jesus is standing there in front of me, laying His hands on me and releasing the Holy Spirit to me. I see the Holy Spirit's light, power and energy invading my body. My emotions become involved, since emotions are byproducts of the pictures I am gazing upon. So yes, now in this posture, I do feel a weakness in my legs as the Spirit hovers over me. I do feel like falling over backward. I don't resist. Why would I ever choose to resist the Holy Spirit? I fall over backward, and thankfully, someone is there to catch me and lay me softly on the ground. I lie there in His presence, tuned to flowing thoughts, flowing pictures and flowing emotions (God's thoughts, pictures and emotions). I receive whatever He desires to speak to me. I honor what He is revealing, and enjoy the peace, power and love I am feeling. It is an enlightening, healing, soothing, empowering experience, and when it is over, I am refreshed in the Lord." -- Mark Virkler
In the effort to be transparent, I spent 10 years in the Pentecostal church I was saved in. Slain in the spirit was a regular occurrence and I never went down. I wanted to. My flesh wanted to. But year after year nothing. One night I was at a different church after losing someone close to me and the pastor was praying over me and I was as usual not going down. He whispered in my ear assuring me someone was behind me to catch me and down I went. It seemed very real and powerful at the time. I felt God deal with me regarding the loss. All this and I was able to add that notch to my charismatic belt. As the years wore on and I studied more of the Bible I had to conclude that slain in the spirit was not biblical at all. What then to do with my very real experience? I was very emotional beloved and I convinced myself an overwhelming emotional experience was a spiritual one when it was not. Now, did God use it? Absolutely but He did not cause it.
Forget the right and left brain carnal theories. In my experience those who tended to be more emotional, such as women, were more susceptible to being slain and those that were more analytical were harder to slay. What Virkler is describing here is most decidedly non-Christian. It is a carnal technique used in Eastern Mystical religions called visualization. It is used in yoga and transcendental meditation. By using your mind to generate pictures you also open yourself to demonic attack. Kim Walker-Smith from Jesus Culture speaks about a waking visitation from Jesus who whisks her away to the throne room of God! She meets the Father face to face and asks Him what He was thinking about when He made her. God, who apparently does not speak English, responds by ripping out a piece of His heart and molding a miniature Kim Walker Smith to dance and worship for Him. Now we know the Bible says that no man can see the Father and live so we must conclude that Kim was visited by a demon who disguised himself as an angel of light.