Moses saw that Aaron had let the people get completely out of control, much to the amusement of their enemies.So he stood at the entrance to the camp and shouted, “All of you who are on the Lord’s side, come here and join me.” And all the Levites gathered around him. - Exodus 32: 25-26 (NLT) There is perhaps no greater group of stubborn people than Christians. The Pentecostal experience is such that we are taught certain things that may fly in the face of Scripture but that will not stop us from believing. There is danger in that beloved. There is always danger in engaging in non-biblical behaviors, especially in the house of God and in the name of Jesus. I have written extensively about Paul's charge to Timothy to guard only two things - his life and his doctrine. Despite the attempts by the seeker friendly community to turn doctrine into a dirty word, it remains crucial in the lives of believers. With this as a backdrop I think it is time to take a look at one of the golden calves of the Pentecostal movement - slain in the Spirit. For the uninformed, this phenomena is where the pastor/preacher lays hands on people, usually around the forehead, and the person is supposed to be so overwhelmed by the power of the Holy Spirit that they fall backwards to the ground - slain in the Spirit. The argument usually offered in defense of slain in the Spirit is to ask me why I don't believe that God is so powerful as to cause this effect. Let me say unequivocally, God is powerful. He is so powerful that He certainly could cause someone to fall backwards in awe of who He is. Let me even go as far as to say that there may very well have been plenty of examples of people who genuinely were overwhelmed by the Spirit. My fear however is that the experience has become what we pursue instead of God Himself. There is a clear "showiness" running through modern Pentecostalism that has only grown worse under the theories of modern church growth. We get the best musicians and voices, regardless of their own state of salvation. Worship becomes entertainment, where we go to clap our hands and dance around. Less and less are we seeking God during our corporate worship time. Dancing and flagging with fluorescent clothes further distracting people from God are added to many a mix. We hear feel good messages about how much God wants to bless us and then we get to the altar call segment. Quick and dirty sinner's prayers offered up as salvations are counted like inventory. People routinely shouting out in "tongues." The showiness aspect is hardly deniable. Then we have people being slain all over the church. Preachers hitting people with their jackets claiming the "anointing" is on their jacket. Preachers punching and kicking people to "slay" them. Preachers pushing people to the ground shouting out things like "fresh!" Well preacher...what's the big deal? “I am the Lord; that is my name!I will not give my glory to anyone else,nor share my praise with carved idols. - Isaiah 42: 8 (NLT) Beloved - God will not share His glory. Now, one person being overwhelmed by the Spirit and collapsing in reverent awe may bring glory to God but that is not what is going on in churches today. Instead you have waves of people falling down, often in dangerous manners and in the end for whose glory? Who gets the attention from these acts? Usually it is the preacher who gets all of the attention. Or in many cases the person who is slain makes sure they get the attention by rolling around, laughing uncontrollably, or in extreme cases even making animal noises. When asked about it they will insist that they could not control what the "Spirit" wanted to do. That is unscriptural nonsense: Let two or three people prophesy, and let the others evaluate what is said. But if someone is prophesying and another person receives a revelation from the Lord, the one who is speaking must stop. In this way, all who prophesy will have a turn to speak, one after the other, so that everyone will learn and be encouraged. Remember that people who prophesy are in control of their spirit and can take turns. For God is not a God of disorder but of peace, as in all the meetings of God’s holy people. - 1Corinthians 14: 29-33 (NLT) Paul is very clear here when it comes to orderly church service. Do you think that what goes on in Pentecostal churches today is what Paul had in mind when he wrote, under divine inspiration from God, about orderly church service? Bodies littered all over the altar, convulsing, screaming? Did we learn nothing from the Toronto Blessings heresy? Did we learn nothing from the Apostate Todd Bentley? Are we doomed to just repeat this madness over and over again? God will not share His glory! The service in church is supposed to have some order! How do you think it appears to unsaved newcomers to the church when they see people collapsing and writhing on the ground? Do you think they want to know that God? Besides the obvious damage that could be done to truly seeking unsaved people there are even more concerns. The next concern deals with pride. This exercise often develops deep seeded pride within the preacher who claims to have some form of special anointing. I watched one time as the preacher made the people chase her around the sanctuary to receive their "blessing." They are considered somehow as being more spiritual than other preachers who may only concentrate on what is actually in the Bible. The pride factor however also seeps down to the slain individual. Whenever someone admits to not having this experience the reason offered up often is that they are simply not as "Spiritual" or that they are resistant to the Holy Spirit. Neither of those accusations are supported in Scripture and neither are fair. Yet they can do damage to believers who now start chasing the Pentecostal experience instead of pursuing God! Lastly, where is the fruit? What is the purpose for the slaying? More often than not it is the same people going up every week for the same experience. You would think at some point the Spirit would impart to them what they needed to do! The truth is that more often than not unfortunately this is an emotional experience. It is in fact a carnal experience. It is not a Spiritual experience. Is it possible that it is the power of God? Absolutely but that is not a Biblical argument. A telephone pole could fall down tomorrow and I could say that it was the power of God. That does not make it so. I understand that we grew up in this teaching. I understand it is hard to let go or even consider that maybe what it has evolved into is not of God. If people want to fall down in reverent awe and weep over the goodness of God - more power to them! I am all for it! But if people want the experience and roll around barking like a dog or laughing uncontrollably and then seek to blame the Spirit for it; well I guess I have a biblical problem with that. Beloved there are more spirits in this world besides the Spirit of God. The Bible teaches us so. It is disturbing that you cannot touch the golden calves of religion without being labeled as legalistic or somehow overly-critical. We are supposed to be children of God. We are supposed to be led by the Bible, not tradition. We need more Christians pursuing personal holiness on Thursdays than being slain on Sundays. You say it is harmless? Take a good look at this video: The world sees this beloved. It causes real damage to the cause of Christ. It brings no glory to God whatsoever. The day of the golden calf was a day of infamy in the journey of the Israelites as we can see from the key verses. It seems sometimes that we have allowed ourselves to get completely out of control dancing around our golden calves too. The enemy must be very amused. As the time grows shorter for this world it is coming time once again to decide what side we are on. Listen, if you have had a genuine experience with being slain and the Holy Spirit ministered to you during that time and your walk has grown because of it - I am not speaking against that. God can use anything and any scenario for a person truly seeking Him. But take a good honest look around the church and ask the Spirit to illuminate for you what is really going on. God help us all. Rev. Anthony.