“Slaying in the spirit” is hypnotic suggestion

Have you ever wondered about this phenomenon of “slaying in the spirit” that you might have seen in some Pentecostal churches? It usually occurs where a “faith healer” lays his hands on a person, gets them to pray or repeat some words, gently pushes them backwards and they fall to the floor. The phenomenon is not confined to the evangelical churches either. It is practiced by some Roman Catholic priests. See below, for example.

People slain in the spirit after receiving prayer from faith healer and Catholic priest Fernando Suarez Credit: Wikipedia

The phenomenon does not appear anywhere in the Scriptures. In fact, the Scriptures tell us that  “the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets.” 1 Corinthian 14:32 The same applies to all saved servants of the Living God. The Holy Spirit indwells them and they do not yield to another spirit.

Chapter 14 of 1 Corinthians is all about maintaining order in the church in relation to the gifts of the Spirit. But I do not believe that the Apostolic gifts are continuing now because we have the written Scriptures and there is no longer any Apostles writing new Scripture. However I do believe the Holy Spirit speaks to His servants, heals some at His discretion and gives gifts like tongues, but that tongues is not essential to salvation.

On that basis I have always believed that this so-called “slaying in the spirit” is not from the Holy Spirit, and therefore it must be demonic in nature. It was first brought to my attention decades ago with those spreading the false teaching of the Vineyard church, often referred to as the Toronto Blessing and involved “holy laughter”. Well, it was a lot more than just laughter, they would bark like dogs and behave in very uncontrolled ways. People like Rodney Howard Brown was very popular in the 1990’s spreading that in the Pentecostal churches in Australia.  Today we see the same stuff coming from Torben Søndergaard–leader of the so-called Last Reformation cult.

What I have learned from the following YouTube video is that Søndergaard and all these other practitioners are using well-known hypnotist techniques. Through prayer they get their subjects to yield their will to them and the rest follows. Please watch!

So this is not just about “slaying in the spirit” but about these so-called faith healers who “heal” people, which turns out to be either only temporary, due to an adrenaline rush or completely faked, like in the example shown with Søndergaard moving a person’s shoe, while faking the lengthening of the person’s leg. Where are those who grow new limbs? Torben Søndergaard is a total charlatan — deceiving gullible people and being deceived.

But evil men and seducers [impostors] shall wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. 2 Timothy 3:13

I know God can miraculously heal but He heals at His discretion. God is not flipped on like a light switch. He cannot be turned on at a moment by a “healer” or by the prayers of the one who wants to be healed.  That is a works religion.

You can pray for healing and if it is within His will He can and does heal. But if there is anything that Paul’s 2nd letter to Timothy should teach us is that in the last days there will be deceivers among the church, leading the sinful astray. We are told to resist them and to expect persecutions and afflictions. God’s way is not generally one of health and wealth. But He will eventually deliver us all in the end. Read the whole chapter yourself.

About John Gideon Hartnett

Dr John G. Hartnett is an Australian physicist and cosmologist, and a Christian with a biblical creationist worldview. He received a B.Sc. (Hons) and Ph.D. (with distinction) in Physics from The University of Western Australia, W.A., Australia. He was an Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Outstanding Researcher Award (DORA) fellow at the University of Adelaide, with rank of Associate Professor. Now he is retired. He has published more than 200 papers in scientific journals, book chapters and conference proceedings.
This entry was posted in Biblical doctrines and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to “Slaying in the spirit” is hypnotic suggestion

  1. Tony Lee says:

    I agree and keep clear of such things but I believe that sometimes it is a human reaction and that demons are not always involved.

    Like

Comments are closed.