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Is Holy Laughter & Slain in The Spirit; Christian?


We were perusing your literature because the ladies of our church are talking about taking a trip together and your church was mentioned.

I saw something mentioned about holy laughter and being slain in the spirit, if that is the right way to say it. What is your church’s standing on them and please enlighten us as to why.

You have a very informative and wonderful Website.

Thank you,


Thank you for the encouragement regarding our web page!

This will be very brief (since this is an e-mail), as I could also direct you to a lot of books regarding the subject…

“Slain in the Spirit” is the experience-based event usually encountered when someone places their hand on you and your body becomes overcome with some foreign power. This overwhelming generally causes you to lose consciousness, fall backwards, enter an altered-state of consciousness, etc.

“Holy Laughter” has been ascribed to the Toronto Vineyard Church and Rodney Howard-Browne. Holy Laughter is another experience-based event where a person begins having uncontrollable spasms of giggling, cackling, laughing, etc. during church services. This also accompanies bizarre behavior which
in many cases is improper and out of order. From this has come what we refer to as the “Shaking Jesus” where people shake uncontrollably supposedly induced by the Lord. There’s the “Holy Roaring,” “Holy Barking,” and many other variations.

You can find both these types of behavior and practices in many Word Faith churches, Assembly of God, and Pentacostal Churches. Usually any church that will align themselves with the “Toronto Blessing” or the “Pensacola/Brownsville Florida Revival” will be advocating, if not even encouraging these types of practices.

At Hegewisch Baptist Church, we tend to be sticklers for the Scriptures. If a practice doesn’t line up with the Bible, we throw it out as being unbiblical. In the beginning of something that is “sweeping the Body of
Christ,” we’ll examine it, we’ll study it. We’ll even try it out. But if the fruit produced by this practice is not of the Holy Spirit. If the glory is not all given to Jesus Christ, we call it what it is, heresy. And we believe that both of the two practices indicated above are nothing more than demonic manifestations of demons, masquerading as religious and holy spirits.

Many people who have come to our church have had demons of Holy Laughter, demons of Slain in the Spirit cast out of them. Demons come only to steal, kill, and destroy, and these two above mentioned wicked religious spirits do just that.

If you’ll search the scriptures regarding the “Slain in the Spirit,” you’ll find a few references pertaining to it. Here are some I found:

Acts 9:3-4
3 And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven:
4 And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? (KJV)

Acts 5:3-6
3 But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land?
4 Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God.
5 And Ananias hearing these words fell down, and gave up the ghost: and great fear came on all them that heard these things.
6 And the young men arose, wound him up, and carried him out, and buried him. (KJV)

John 18:4-6
4 Jesus therefore, knowing all things that should come upon him, went forth, and said unto them, Whom seek ye?
5 They answered him, Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus saith unto them, I am he. And Judas also, which betrayed him, stood with them.
6 As soon then as he had said unto them, I am he, they went backward, and fell to the ground. (KJV)

It would appear from these scriptures that to be slain in the spirit is not a “pat on the back” but an open rebuke by the Lord. Yet people seek to be “slain in the spirit.” The Bible gives no indication that this is a
positive, or edifying thing to seek for, yet people want the experience.

And that is why I refer to “slain in the spirit” as an experience-based event, because there is no scripture to back it. “If it feels good…it must be from God” the saying now goes. Unfortunately, if it does not line
up with scripture, it really doesn’t matter how good it feels, and God condemns it.

There is no good fruit that comes from it. People think they’re surrendering themselves to the Lord and He’s filling them with His power, but the Bible never teaches us to be passive, or to let our guards down and just accept whatever supernatural power hits us up side the head. We are supposed to search the scriptures to see if what is being said is true (Acts 17:11). We are supposed to try the spirits to see if they are from God (1 John 4:1). The devil will deceive many in the end-times with signs and wonders, we are warned (Matthew 24:24). Yet people think that because they feel something, that makes it of God. But they fail to keep the mandate of the scriptures to test the spirits, try the words of man against the scriptures and beware.

So we oppose being “slain in the spirit” on the basis of the brief examples I’ve listed so far.

“Holy Laughter” is not found in the Bible either. Many times, the advocators use this scripture:

Acts 2:14-16
14 But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words:
15 For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day.
16 But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; (KJV)

As if the “drunken” appearance of the Apostles, in one single verse alone, gives precedence for an entire theology on Holy Laughter. Before John Wimber passed away, the founder of the Vineyard Movement had this to say, “We have no scripture for this supernatural phenomenon, but we believe it be of the Lord.” People falling on the floor, laughing hysterically. People rolling on top of one another without regard to men touching women, and women, men. It’s very immodest and if Jesus were standing there, I think He
would be very displeased with the whole situation.

The advocators of Holy Laughter say, “Laugh! The Lord says Laugh. Don’t question it. Just receive it. Open yourselves up to it.” And 2 million souls die every year without the Lord Jesus Christ in the United States alone. “Laugh!” they proclaim, and the Body of Christ continues to slip into heresy and lack of power in the Lord. “Laugh!” they say and thousands of babies are aborted every year. As our pastor put it, if the Lord were saying anything to the church as a whole at this time, He would be saying, “REPENT!”

It’s sad that people in the Holy Laughter movement overlook the following scriptures:

Eccl 7:3
3 Sorrow is better than laughter: for by the sadness of the countenance the heart is made better. (KJV)

Eccl 7:6
6 For as the crackling of thorns under a pot, so is the laughter of the fool: this also is vanity. (KJV)

James 4:8-10
8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.
9 Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness.
10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up. (KJV)

We occasionally laugh at our church when something is funny (when someone cracks a joke), but we don’t make a religion out of it, we don’t approve of Holy Laughter. We don’t go on crusades to bring in millions of dollars making people laugh. It’s ok to laugh at times, but anything taken to extremes is not a good thing, especially when an entire service is nothing more than cackling, and lack of order (1 Cor 14:40).

These two things, Slain in the Spirit and Holy Laughter, are what we believe to be heresies mainly in the Charismatic Circles of the Body of Christ. The hard line Fundamentalists have their battle with other heresies, like Psychology in the Church among other things.

We at Hegewisch Baptist Church, just like to stick with the Scriptures. We are fundamental in our beliefs, but we are also Charismatic. We believe what’s written in the Bible, and we are very solid in Grace.

There are many books and booklets that have been written by Pastor Win Worley concerning our church and the deliverance ministry of our church for the past 25+ years. What we practice has been time tested and thoroughly scrutinized. We believe in the gifts of the Spirit, we believe in healing, and we believe foremost in the salvation of sinners.

We also have a good sized bookroom filled with material on Spiritual Warfare, books, tapes, and videos against Holy Laughter and Slain in the Spirit. Our pastor often states that there’s something in that bookroom to offend everyone. That we’re an “equal opportunity offender.” We believe in exposing error, and speaking the truth in Love.

If the Lord sends you and your friends to our church for a visit, we’d love to have you. We cast out evil spirits after every regular service. The bookroom will be open. We have many first time visitors every
year by word of mouth alone. We don’t advertise, and we don’t solicit membership. If you can make it, I’m sure you’ll be blessed for it.

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