Is it Biblical to be "slain in the spirit" (when a pastor prays and pushes you down)?

(Lorna Abwonji) #22

Thank you @trish53787 for this discussion. i have learnt alot form the responses.
I did not grow up in a family that went to church but being in a country that is predominantly Christian [mostly in religious practices] I observed a lot of these kind of things even on Television and i never really knew what to think of it all. But what i eventually concluded when I received Christ is that God knows me and he knows how to reach me in His own unique way so I was not convinced that it has to be how someone else said it should be.

I have noted that in many Africans like to chase after the miraculous. We already traditionally have a very spiritual culture and love the supernatural. I have noted that even as i do discipleship that sometimes people are not convinced an answer has come from God unless something supernatural. Thankfully at least in churches like mine we engage more people to have that personal engagement with God and really search scripture to support teachings.
@SeanO gave me alot to look up and think on.

Thanks guys

(SeanO) #23

@Lorna_Abwonji That is a great point that we are not to chase after signs or miracles, but rather to trust in God based on His faithfulness in our lives and the faith given by the indwelling of God’s Spirit, as well as based upon His work throughout history (truly His story) and through the Word of God.

(David Vermaak) #24

Sean, I think your theology is rock solid brother, very refreshing to see in an age where the Church is being carried away by sensationalism and the ‘entertainment’ factor.

Bless you brother.

Love in Christ,


(SeanO) #25

@David_Vermaak Thanks for the encouragement! Truly Jesus is faithful to help us learn and grow in wisdom when we seek and ask. The Lord bless you with joy and peace in the Spirit!

(C Rhodes) #26

This practice is largely seen in Fundamental or Pentecostal assemblies. At least that is what seems to be the accepted thought. But I got to say, I grew up in the Pentecostal Church, and not once did I see people being pushed to the floor and labeled “slain in the spirit.” However, we had other peculiarities. Every denomination and every ministry does. Sometimes every church has its own set of “scratch the head” practices.

It is something we do. Humans have a natural tendency to classify and beam the spotlight upon our actions. Ever hear the adage, “GOD has no hands except our hands, no feet except our feet, no lips except our lips!” Or the declaration that “GOD is doing a new thing!” To lend an air of wonder to what we are saying or doing. Despite Ecclesiastes 1:9.

One of my favorites is when people declare they are doing a work for the Lord. I always think, “no you’re not, you’re just living right!” What we want to lay claim to, is really for our individual benefit. As if GOD can be performed for or ‘done a favor’.

In our desire and determination, we ultimately put our spin on things. It certainly makes it more attractive to us. Remember Peter on the Mount of Transfiguration. Hey Lord, we should build three tabernacles, one for you, one for Elias, and one for Moses! To which GOD replied, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him. And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their face, and were sore afraid.” Matthew chapter 17. In our home that’s code for shut-up and listen!

Is GOD, GOD if He is dependent upon us? This practice possibly establishes the greatest argument of why we need the Lord so very much. Even after the redemptive work.

Is the practice of laying hands and slaying in the Spirit legitimate? Scripturally there are many examples of people being slain by GOD’s Spirit. (Revelation 1:17, Matthew 28:4, John 18:4-6, Daniel 8:16-18, Daniel 10:5-10 to name a few.) Laying of hands in a prayer line is never mentioned. But, does the practice meet the litany test that indicates Hell’s damnation? Not even close.

There is far more we all agree on than we disagree in. It is more a lack of wisdom, and we all share that malady, until, the Lord teaches us differently. HE does, and HE will.

(Sarah Abigail Kuriakos) #27

Hi @trish53787 and Everyone:

Thank you for asking this most interesting question.

As far as I’m concerned, anyone who is pushed down by a pastor while he’s praying for them isn’t slain in the spirit at all, because, by definition, the terminology “slain in the spirit” is an action of the Holy Spirit without human intervention. And if a pastor pushes someone down as he’s praying for them, that has nothing to do with the Holy Spirit, and everything to do with that pastor’s manipulation of the prayee so that the pastor looks super-spiritual because that person fell down as the pastor prayed for them.

I would want to say to that pastor, “Sorry, Mr. Pastor! That person did NOT get slain in the spirit as a result of your prayers! The person fell down because you pushed them over!!”

There are places in Scripture where it talks about people not being able to remain standing because they’re in the presence of God, and the power of God is especially strong. THAT is an example of being slain in the spirit.

One example in the ministry Jesus Christ that occurred as He was being arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane can be found in John 18:5-6,

They answered him, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus said to them, “I am he.” Judas, who betrayed him, was standing with them. When Jesus said to them, “I am He,” they drew back and fell to the ground. ~ John 18:5-6, ESV.

Now, I could be completely off base about this. I’m wrong about a lot of things, but what I’ve written about here is my understanding of this experience. I’ve never experienced it myself, and I don’t think someone has to be slain in the spirit in order to experience God’s blessings and/or healing. I have had people pray for me, and try to push me down, but I could sense that that’s what they were doing, so I resisted. I always wondered if I was resisting God by doing that, but, in thinking about it now, I don’t think so. God doesn’t need man’s help if He’s going to minister to someone, and when God ministers to a person, He will do it decently and in order, and He will do it gently and with kindness.

Also, I think you’re correct, @SeanO, that all things should be done decently and in order in church, as Paul the Apostle said in the Scripture verses you quoted.

I have seen a person being prayed for, and the person praying for them push them down. Everytime I see that happening, it makes me angry, because I know God isn’t in it. I’ve also had a friend tell me of a time where a pastor prayed for her, and he pushed her down ~ and she suffered a neck and back injury as a result. That also is not being slain in the spirit.

So those are my thoughts on the issue, for what they’re worth. As I said, I could be wrong, but I think the real answer to this question may lie somewhere in the middle.

(Sven Janssens) #28

There is a spiritual world and we have to be very careful not to manipulate that.
A great question asked about being slain in the spirit and a pastor pushing you … If he pushed you in any way than you have been slain by the pastor and not the spirit, or hey maybe an evil one. Those thing do happen in alternative spiritual gatherings.

For myself I made it a rule not to touch someone when praying. If they fall, it wasn’t me for sure. I might put my hand on someone’s back, but at the same time I will hold one in the front for support.

Reason for that?
A couple of months ago I demonstrated something at our youth group.
I asked one of the guys to come and stand in front of me and reach out his hands so I could hold them as it might be done by some people when they want you to experience the “Holy Spirit”.
The moment this boy closed his eyes he was out of balance and could with ease be manipulated to fall without his knowledge.
I did this exercise to teach them to focus on God and be aware of distraction.

A couple of years I stopped someone actually manipulating a person into falling like that. He knew exactly why I stopped him without words.

I believe people may fall and have some kind of experiences, but what is it of use when there is no fruit. Why slay someone in the spirit, deliver him or her and send that person home without any foundation? That house is going to crumble.

Build a relationship with God. Build it on His word. If things happen, well, you will know why they happen.
But I am positive a lot of “spiritual” tools are used to manipulate people. To make people feel important, vulnerable, wanted, … almost like a spiritual drug addict going for the next meeting getting another “spiritual” shot.

The fruit of the spirit is a lot more important than the “slain” … :slight_smile:

Bless you with that question and hope I have not been to harsh or insulting or anything.

(CarolAndrews) #29

I went to a church where this happened most services and of course I wanted what was offered - to be touched by the Holy Spirit I look back and am amazed at what I can now see as manipulation and I am grieving for my friends. Calling people up to receive prayer was normal practice, but in such a way that if you did not go, you were left amongst the minority in the congregation. I guess I went more so as not to feel left out. It is easy to get caught up in the moment - almost like a hysteria as my friends fell in a wave beside me. Once I stood firm but was given “double portion” and caught off balance and felling backwards (there was always a catcher fortunately. Now it is worse there. I see people who I know are hard working people, not wealthy but handing over money for the promise of high returns. $1000 will bring in a hundred fold blessing, promises of mortgages paid, promises of houses and now promises of long life with no sickness, no cancer, no heart problems. What do I say to my friends who are going through health issues who think they need to buy more faith?. Trish, I think I may have gone too far with my reply on your post. Maybe I should have started my own post?

(Trishka ) #30

Thanks for your input Sven. Isn’t it refreshing that we have a platform to ask questions and receive feedback that is understandable as well as Biblical. I find that a lot of the time I meet people and they don’t want to seek GOD but rather just sit in their churches not knowing if they are being “brainwashed”.

You know for the past week I’ve been reading the book of Exodus and what really stands out for me is the way that GOD tells Moses, “I am the Lord” numerous times. And I just feel like sometimes we forget who GOD is and forget his power and majesty. And when I speak to people and they say to me “last Sunday in church they were slain in the spirit” and this that and the other… I ask GOD for help because as you said there is no fruits. No repentance. I feel sad for them that they just accept all kinds of acts and teachings but they never check if it’s Biblical. And we go to church to be fed by our pastors and not to be brainwashed.

Thank you again and may GODs strength be with you.


(Trishka ) #31

Oh Carol, you sound like just an amazing and bubbly person! And your replies can be as long as you like.

I know exactly where you coming from. I also see this. I visited a church for a baby’s dedication about a month ago and this pastor knew that many of our family was visitors, there for this baby’s dedication. He had a prophetic word for my husband and I. But I will not lie to you I was nervous and so was my husband because we thought he was going to call us to the front of the church and pray over us and ultimately we would fall. But my GOD is great and I was praying in my spirit and he did not call us to the front (sigh of relief!).

May GOD bless you Carol and I pray that you also find answers to your questions so that you can go into the world and be a disciple of Christ.

(CarolAndrews) #32

Trishka, thanks for your encouragement. Just to add that obviously I do not attend that church now. I have another that feeds me better. This former church was not always so “dramatic” and some beautiful God loving people still attend there. Apparently was destined to “great things” and I guess because of my influence in the community (I was head of a community based training organisation) I was favoured amongst them. I still remain connected with my friends but feel they perceive me as fallen away. I have just completed RZIM core module and I do feel better equipped to defend what I believe. I am not ready to give up on them yet and am seeking answers to give from Holy Scripture. Blessings :blush:

(Trishka ) #33


(Sven Janssens) #34

It is very refreshing and challenging at the same time. Although their might be disagreement, it still gives you place that will challenge you to think for yourself and do a little research.

Bless bless

(Peter David McNaught) #35

What are the traditional proof texts for someone speaking in support of being ‘slain in the Spirit’

(SeanO) #36

@Pete I am uncertain - you may consider reading this book by Hank Hanegraaff to learn more.

(C Rhodes) #37

@Carol. I grew up in Pentecost but attended a church that would have considered much of what you talked about as theatrics. However, in my Grandmother’s church was a woman who would often halt the service while she spoke in tongues which she would later interrupt in King James English. So often I would hear that GOD loved using the term “thus.” Thus said the Lord, or the Lord said thusly. I always wondered why GOD seemed incapable of everyday English.

In addition, her tongues would always be emitted in the same way. “I tee tee tee tee.” You know that was too tempting to the humor of a tween-teen. Often such theatrics were used to manipulate members into behavior that had been recommended by the Leaders.

She must have sensed my determination to resist because in all the years I attended that church; she never once “Ha tee dee maha” over me. Did I love this woman, oh yes? But, it would have been a waste of time for her to lay hands on me.

Be encouraged to continue loving and praying for your friends, despite their judgements about your walk. Anyone with a prayer life will eventually be admonished and matured by GOD. We can trust the workings of GOD’s heart for each of His children.

(Andilina) #38

What a wonderful discussion!! Further proof that much of the so-called “religious” community has taken out the very thing they are worshipping, namely God who doesn’t need our help for someone to have an encounter with Him. We believers simply get to participate in what God is doing. Anyone who “prays and PUSHES you down” has likely forgotten God entirely.