Quite often we hear about a concept known as “slain in the spirit” as an experience that many more charismatic Christians will claim to have either witnessed or experienced.
Here is what I found when I looked up the definition of the term:
Slain in the Spirit or slaying in the Spirit are terms used by Pentecostal and charismatic Christians to describe a form of prostration in which an individual falls to the floor while experiencing religious ecstasy. Believers attribute this behavior to the power of the Holy Spirit.
As a Christian, we need to anchor everything we do behind scripture. If an experience that we are claiming to be a movement of God, then we should see an example of it in the Bible. Now, I understand that NOT EVERY experience we have will be explicitly in the Bible, like experiences with electricity, modern technology and many other things. But, it is important to still try and find anything you are experiencing in the Bible.
Because, “Slain in the Spirit” is not in the Bible as we are seeing it presented today. Examples of such an experience in the Bible can be found in the Gospels and in Acts, but they do not coincide with the experiences we see today. In the Gospels when Judas, the soldiers and priests came to take Jesus away they fell backwards to the ground when Jesus said “I Am” (see burning bush).
John 18:4-6 (KJV)
4 Jesus therefore, knowing all things that should come upon him, went forth, and said to them, Whom seek you?
5 They answered him, Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus said to 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.
This was not a pleasant experience and neither were these people really “entitled” to some form of blessing at this point. So this example would generally not be a good thing happening to people.
Here is another example when Annanias and Saphaira
Acts 5:1-9 (KJV)
1 But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession,
2 And kept back part of the price, his wife also being privy to it, and brought a certain part, and laid it at the apostles' feet.
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.
7 And it was about the space of three hours after, when his wife, not knowing what was done, came in.
8 And Peter answered unto her, Tell me whether ye sold the land for so much? And she said, Yea, for so much.
9 Then Peter said unto her, How is it that ye have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord? behold, the feet of them which have buried thy husband are at the door, and shall carry thee out.
This may be the best example of a true “slain in the spirit” example. These 2 people DIED. and in the context of the scripture, it was God that killed them because of their lying. (Imagine if that were to happen today?)
There is so much more information on this topic and there are several Biblical discussions out there, but what I want to get at here is:
“WHAT IS REALLY GOING ON HERE?”
Hypnosis tricks are being performed here. There is a lot of mind trickery going on. And here are the tools they are using.
Music: Music has a very strong influence on the mind and can quite often invoke emotional responses. It is used all the time in movies and television. We don’t quite notice it when it is going on. Have you ever noticed that while watching a move and after a character has died they play this soft music and its so sad and it ties in so perfectly with the mourning of the characters that are crying on screen? Imagine what would happen if they mixed the sound tracks up.
Here, let me illustrate. Notice the music in these clips and Imagine how you would react if the music were heavy metal music. What reaction would you have to it?
In many of these exhibitions of “slain in the spirit” you will see that music plays a vital role in the experience. They play fast songs, then slow songs, then fast songs, and it prepares your subconscious for what is coming next.
Expectation: People come to these events expecting to see something happen. The mind has an interesting way of forming the reality of things based on an expectation. Take a look at the picture to the right. Your mind is expecting to see something different than what is actually in the picture. Why does it look differently than what you are expecting? Because your mind; your subconsciousness mind is expecting to see a completed picture differently than you conscious mind is. It is a mental “bait and switch”.
Hypnotic Suggestion: I will attempt to discuss more on this topic, but this plays a vital role in creating and developing the experience. Hypnosis is a tool that people use to speak commands into the subconscious mind which ultimately controls your identity in many ways.
For example: the preacher will often say things like: “I feel the presence of God here tonight” and “there will be a slaying tonight” These are all forms of suggestive language to get your mind thinking and saying to yourself on a subconscious level: “I am going to be slain in the spirit tonight”. Which adds to your exception of experience.
Preaching Methods: Have you ever noticed how often preachers will preach in a sing/song method(ah). go on… you know you have heard that? Have you noticed that the patterns of a preacher will consist of talking softly, and then abruptly changing to a shouting method. Have you also noticed that you just don’t see a CEO or a keynote speaker using the same methods? These are tools to catch you off guard and alert your subconscious to a change.
Another indicator is to notice how sleepy or drowsy people get. Invoking trance states is how to open the door into the subconscious mind.
Also notice that sometimes the soft talking is accompanied with soft background music, especially right before prayer time, or an alter one of the musicians secretly sneaks up on stage and starts playing music over the speaker. If you have ever spent regular time in church sessions or prayer sessions, this is also a subconscious clue to expect what is coming next. You identify that the sermon is over and now is the time for prayer/miracle time?
As I have pointed out before, it is clear that some of these people out there are knowingly performing these acts. These performances are three fold opportunity for them.
- It gives them a sense of power of the human psyche. Look what powers I have over people. It feeds their already inflated narcissistic ego.
- Validates to the audience that they are God’s “special anointed one”
- And gives them credibility for people to send more money in the guise of “spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ”
Now, here is where I struggle. Because not all churches are bad. Not all preachers that talk like that are out to GET YOU. Not all experiences are false. But some are and the result is that it drives a “wedge” between me, the individual, and the church. Which in turn further empowers the devil to take souls away from Christ.
- He has separated the preacher from God as a false prophet.
- He has separated the follower from God because they don’t feel they can trust God anymore.
- He has stripped the believer of the power of God by possibly denying any form of true charismatic experiences.