A Benny Hinn Satire

I am in a bit of a weird mood today. A reader sent this on to me and it made me laugh. We have written at length on the ministry of Benny Hinn. Our main beef: there has never been one claimed miracle objectively verified here and here. Until they do so, this video will remain posted.


A Benny Hinn Satire — 54 Comments

  1. Too appropriate!

    A Christian friend of mine was unemployed for a long time and desperate for a job. Among many other places, this person applied for a job at a ‘Christian ministry” and went through an interview process and was offered a very good-paying job. Dissatisfied with how vague the interviewer had been, my friend pressed for more details about the ministry. When finding out the job would mean working for Benny Hinn ministry, my friend turned it down and walked away. He just couldn’t bring himself to do it.

  2. I’m in two minds about this. Benny Hinn is a dreadful man, a predator who exploits the vulnerable for his own financial gain. I once read something which said that his meetings are carefully designed to hypnotise the audience so he can do all the strange things he is known for. He needs to be called out for what he is. However, I do wonder if this particular parody video (funny though it is) is appropriate. We need to examine things rationally, not poke fun at people.

  3. I’ve examined Benny Hinn rationally. The way he does things is sick and perverse. Sometimes you have to laugh at the insanity of it all. I had to keep laughing a lot during my lawsuit to protect my sanity. I laughed loudly when watching the video, so loudly that my kids came in the room to see what all the commotion was all about. They laughed, too 🙂

  4. Ian

    Sometimes parody is a light hearted way to poke at the problem. I also wonder if people who “get slain in the spirit” by encountering Benny’s white jacket have ever seen what they look like. I think it might cause them to rethink their paradigm.

  5. Dee, I don’t know. I reckon the people who get slain in the spirit will have a genuine spiritual experience. The way the brain creates religious experiences means that they seem totally genuine to the person concerned. So I don’t think they’ll be worried by their appearance.

  6. Ian

    Actually, we have proof that some do. Deb posted a video a couple of years ago in which women who were purpotedly slain in the Spirit would fall and, if their skirt slid up, would “come out of it”  to straighten their skirt so they would be slain “modestly” then go back to being “slain.”


  7. It is a combination stunt man operation and choreographed dance, and there is no real wrestling, unless you are talking about HS and college, when it is a real sport. The TV stuff is totally ridiculous, like getting your news from Sat Nite Live.

  8. Pam
    It all started with Mark Driscoll who believes that church needs to be more manly. He is quite enamored of cage fighting. Suddenly, everyone who admires Driscoll MUST do wrestling.I swear the church is getting whackier by the minute.

  9. Hmmm…. I have debated whether to comment. Frankly, I’m afraid – this feels very unsafe. Okay.

    First, expose and talk about Benny Hinn all you want. The man frustrates me no end. But here’s the thing; it is one thing to expose and talk about a man and his ministry and how he operates. It is another to mock something that is a deeply spiritual experience for some.

    I grew up in the pentecostal tradition. Being ‘slain in the spirit’ is something I grew up with. Any honest pentecostal will tell you that many people who fall are faking it. It is politely called ‘taking a courtesy fall.’ But that doesn’t mean the experience is all fake.

    I love what you guys do and support and read daily. But this one hurt. Growing up, I was often mocked by kids of other faith traditions – ‘holy roller’ was one of the nicer terms. I was even told that what we did was of the devil. Whether it was meant to or not (and I do NOT believe it was meant to by you, Dee), this felt like that.

    Again, expose hypocrisy and bad theology. Benny Hinn has plenty. But I don’t know…. this felt like more than that…and for me, made this site feel unsafe for the first time.

  10. @ brad futurist ~ Loved the Erasmus quote! There have been instances where I thought Erasmus carried the day when contending with Luther in his diatribe against Luther’s “Bondage of the Will”.

    @ Jeannette Altes ~ I can assure you that our good blog queens meant no disrespect whatsoever to your faith tradition. I too salute your right practice your faith as your conscience sees fit. All are welcome here at TWW so long as it’s civil and within the bounds of good taste. That a hell-bound-liberal-humanist-heretic such as myself is allowed to comment is proof enough.

  11. I believe people have genuine experiences at Benny Hinn crusades. I also believe he’s not terribly genuine. 🙂 (By the way, I attend pentecostal churches.) I agree that being “slain in the spirit” is a really experienced in pentecostal churches and I’ve had the experience myself. It did not appear to me that anyone was taking a poke at us “holy rollers.” I understand the sensitivity though. I experience it when people poke at pentecostal healing services, laying on of hands, etc. I love my tradition because it accepts the Holy Spirit as so very close to us.

  12. Although not from a pentecostal church myself, I have attended pentacostal rallies. Once, I let a preacher at one of those rallies pray for me to be slain in the spirit.

    Everyone before me and after me was falling. I did not. At the time, I was hurt and angry with God: Why the discrimination? Why would exactly everyone except me, all who asked him, have that spiritual experience, but not me?

    You see, I would have done anything to experience God. Except I would not lose my balance on purpose and say it was God who did it. Hypocrisy is not from God.

    Jeanette, this ‘taking a courtesy fall’ – to whom is it courteous? It is not ‘courteous’ towards God or the people around, as far as I can see, to pretend to have an experience you are not having. It is quite simply false testimony. Why do no charismatic preacher preach against this kind of hypocrisy?

  13. “Why do no charismatic preacher preach against this kind of hypocrisy?”

    Retha, I very much appreciate your comment.

    If the hypocrisy of “courtesy” falls was denounced by charismatic/pentecostal preachers, it would bring glory to God and then there could be a genuine sense of anticipation that the Holy Spirit might move in an unexpected and mighty way.

    Wherever it is practiced, deceit is always from Satan – the father of all lies!

  14. I used to go to a church where people got slain in the spirit, and one day these Korean preachers came to visit. They preached and then prayed for lots of people and laid their hands on their heads. If people didn’t fall, they actually pushed them really hard until they went down. I’m not sure but I think they even sort of hit people – one girl complained to the pastor that being ‘slain’ had hurt her head. The pastor asked them not to do it in the future, they took offence, left and refused to return. One of my friends never returned to the church after that, either.

  15. Re: the Benny Hinn satire

    My husband became a Christian through a charismatic group in college and I attended a charismatic prayer meeting for 3 years. There is a difference between authenticity and mind control. Benny Hinn has a gift of the latter and that is very sad. He is a charlatan and there is plenty of documentation to prove it, starting with our links.

    Here is where I want to meddle a bit. I listened to two accounts of people who died after going to a Benny Hinn crusade. One was a pastor’s wife who had a brain tumor and was on her last legs. She begged her husband to bring her and he did. Benny has people who filter those who get an encounter with him. He will not allow people on stage that are clearly sick-respirators, etc. Why? Because he his “healings”are really merely hyping a person up to believe they are healed. Clearly he cannot hype up a person on a ventilator. He would fail and this would be bad for business.

    Therefore, really sick people, on their last legs, are not allowed to participate in the show. The pastor’s wife was not chosen because she was so sick. She was depressed and died shortly after this . The husband is furious at the deception and at Hinn for falsely raising hopes of his “healing prowess.”

    A family of a woman who had died of breast cancer was also interviewed. This one made me cry because she left behind small children. Benny had her on stage and convinced her she was healed. She went home and refused further treatment because she believed him, even though her family begged her to continue with her therapy.  She died a couple of months later.

    There are reams of documented incidents like this. Oh yeah, Hinn has also said that if people die after being healed they did not have enough faith to continue to believe so it is their fault! That is disgusting.

    Now for my hard question. How does one reconcile the fact that this is a healing service and all that is going on is people hitting the ground? It would seem to me that God would be cruel if people came for healing and all they got was a swish of Hinn’s jacket and a place on the floor. People leave these crusades despondent because their prayers for healing were not answered. 

    I believe that Hinn is despicable. He preys on the weak and dying. He makes a big deal that he can get peopel to drop to the floor. Watch him very carefully. This is not godly and worshipful. It is a sideshow. I do not believe that this is of God. And I have no problems whatsoever with charismatic manifestations. I do not believe that Hinn constitutes a Godly example of this. 

    I think the Christian community needs to point out wolves in their midst, be they spiritual abusers, pedophiles or snake oil peddlars like Hinn. We must be courageous to call out such people while holding onto that which is precious. So, to conclude, Hinn is a jerk but just because he is a jerk does not mean that charismatic gifts are always faked. It just means that, in this instance, we are looking at a lie.

  16. Jeanette

    Never, ever feel unsafe here, even if you vehemently disagree with us. I believe that the Holy Spirit works through the words of our commenters. It jolts me from self-complacency and makes me more senstive. Thank you for your comment. I would never want to offend anyone inadvertently although i have been know to offend some deserving people on purpose and they know who they are!

  17. “Our main beef: there has never been one claimed miracle objectively verified”
    Reminds me of John G Lake. Around 20 years ago our pastor was thinking about our Spokane-area church taking up Lake’s healing mantle in some fashion. It was common knowledge, after all, that there’d been 100 thousand documented healings in Spokane through his ministry back in the 19-teens.
    Being Bereans, my wife and I read Lake’s book. Ringing endorsement on back cover by Mahatma Ghandi himself! Hmm… Didn’t know he was a Christian. Lake reports such things as leaving power-handprints on people he touched, levitating, and transporting star-trek style from Africa to England and back. Getting suspicious now.
    But what about the 100k documented healings? Since Spokane then had around 105k residents, some of whom must have been healthy…. We went to the library archives to check out the documentation. Found a newspaper article from the time. Not one hospital closed. No doctor was forced into another occupation for want of patients. The reporter couldn’t find a doctor’s report on a single healing. Then the reporter went to a meeting, where a boy stood up and shouted, I Can Hear! I Can Hear! He found the lad’s mother. Is this true? Can he really hear? Sure is, she replied. Just as well as he could yesterday!
    Our church didn’t take up the mantle after we shared these things, but other folks have since done so, and Lake’s “healing rooms” have made a comeback.

  18. Jeanette,

    You are a good example of why this video concerned me. Things need to be examined rationally, not turned into comedy.

    Sometimes it’s hard to look objectively at the traditions that have been part of our faith from an early age. From personal experience, it took me over 20 years before I was able to think clearly about these practices.

    It is a fact that being “slain in the spirit” has no biblical basis whatsoever. You won’t find any examples of someone being prayed for and falling over. Falling backwards in the Bible is always associated with death. In the presence of God people fall on their faces in worship. If falling backwards was something from God, do you not think He would have mentioned it in the Bible?

    I don’t want to be disrespectful, but I have come to the conclusion that “slain in the spirit” is totally false and has nothing to do with God or the Holy Spirit. This wasn’t easy and as I said, it’s taken me years.

    I think the reasons why people fall over are varied.

    In many cases it is because they are pushed and don’t resist. Some preachers are just a bit enthusiastic; I’m sure that many do it deliberately. The laws of physics are such that it doesn’t take much movement of your upper body backwards to take you off-balance.

    People do fake falls as you say.

    But for the rest, we have to think about psychology. Few Christians are aware of this and it was a learning experience for me.

    We all have a natural tendency to follow the crowd. We don’t want to be the odd one out, the weirdo who is different. When a preacher prays for people and they fall over, that puts peer pressure on us to do the same.

    Falling over is also seen as a sign of an encounter with God or the work of the Holy Spirit in someone. Who doesn’t want that? That again encourages people to fall. If you’re standing with your eyes closed and you suddenly find yourself moving backwards, could that be the Holy Spirit coming on you?

    Pentecostals do become conditioned or programmed to believe that preachers have an “anointing” to “impart” the Holy Spirit to people. The brain can easily produce a Pavlovian reflex in these circumstances. And the more famous the preacher, the bigger anointing they have.

    All these can be deliberate acts, like the “courtesy fall”, but in many cases the subconscious mind is at work and people don’t realise it.

    Pentecostal preachers often tell stories about how God has supposedly used them. Some sermons are exclusively anecdotal. They might give reports of people who they prayed for, fell over, and were healed. This again is “priming the pump” – the technical term is implanting suggestions.

    Finally, and this is probably most controversial, there is hypnosis. Pentecostal services include a lot of singing, clapping, dancing even, to songs that are often simple and repetitive. This does induce a trance state in many people. Starting with fast songs and then gradually slowing down really enhances the effect. People can also be hypnotised by listening to a sermon. Some pentecostal preachers use a monotonous and rhythmic voice, which is a known hypnotic technique.

    Sometimes, when people are being prayed for, there is gentle music playing in the background. Again, this can have a hypnotic effect.

    Every hypnotist will tell you that the first and most important ingredient for hypnotism is the expectation that something is going to happen. An example of this in the church is special services and conferences which are often hyped up with big name speakers and promises of miracles.

    And when you are in a trance or altered state of consciousness, you are far more susceptible to suggestions. In other words, you will believe what the preacher says, do what he tells you to do (including give lots of money), suspend your critical faculties, and follow the crowd.

    In trance states, the body releases endorphins, powerful natural painkillers which make people believe that they’ve been healed. Sounds familiar?

    The really interesting bit is that a mind-body dissociation occurs in a trance state, which produces deeply spiritual feelings. The brain interprets this through the framework of its belief system and you end up having what to you is a genuine divine encounter. So the experiences that people have in Pentecostal churches, including when slain in the spirit, will seem to them to be totally authentic.

    But they’re not. They’re just man-made and artificial, the result of hypnotic mind control. And this is found throughout Pentecostal and charismatic Christianity – in fact I see it as being central to these movements.

    Anyway, I’ve written a lot and I may have ruffled a few feathers. Feel free to disagree or ask questions.

  19. @Ian: “I do wonder if this particular parody video (funny though it is) is appropriate. We need to examine things rationally, not poke fun at people.”

    That video is hilarious.
    These charlatans should have been made a laughingstock years ago.
    Instead, well-meaning Christians, insecure in their own faith, give these Elmer Gantrys a free pass to make a laughingstock of the name of Christ among the unsaved. If the unsaved are going to take offense at Jesus, let it be because of the gospel of the Cross, not because of the antics of these Bozos.

  20. Wow. Okay…..

    Dee – as to Benny Hinn, as I said in my previous comment, he is fair game – his behavior and theology deserve examining. It was the sense of mocking the ‘charismatic experience’ itself that hurt….

    And that brings me to Ian….

    I disagree. I understand what you are saying and I know that all of it can be true. But I have been in situations where people (myself) were actively skeptical and resistant. I even planted my feet to counter any pushing that might happen (yes, I have experienced that, sigh). And I still fell – and not backward, I crumpled – and God was there or I have never known him. So…..

    Retha – the ‘courtesy fall’ is not a good thing and I apologize if I implied it was. I think at best it is stupid. It is out of ‘courtesy’ for the guest minister so he won’t ‘feel bad’ that you didn’t ‘receive’. Again – stupid. Still others fall, like Ian said, because they don’t want to be left out. I’m with you. I don’t want to ‘fall’ unless it is truly God. And I have not ‘fallen’ often. Sometimes, I have been the only one who didn’t and it made the minister frustrated. But I won’t fake it. I guess that is part of why the feeling that this experience was being mocked as a whole that it hurt. I understand (from experience) that it is often faked. Sometimes simply because people so desperately want to try and recreate something they’ve heard about or experienced in the past.

  21. I remember reading about Mark Haville a few years ago. I bet most of you have seen this-but I do think it is an amazing confession.


    I do not wish to offend anyone, so please see this comment as just me relating my experience. I have many wof/charismatic relatives on my husband’s side. (Our family is not of those beliefs-husband grew up in it–Copeland, Hinn, Hagen, you name it–although he never really desired it and did not make waves for his family’s sake.) It is hard to converse with them about their experiences. They say if they experience something like shaking, or the non-stop drunken type laughing, or barking, or being slain, or seeing angels on the ceiling, then it is always definitely an experience from God. Why is it definitely from God? Because they felt it was. The end.

    I was informed a year ago by a relative that I do not have the “complete” Holy Spirit because I do not believe in these experiences or speak in tongues.

    I find it sad that I do not want to separate from those that label me as such and am really trying to understand their beliefs; yet, I am deemed Holy Spirit-less (and a lesser Christian?). We are looked down upon. That is hurtful…coming from one’s own in-laws.

    I have not seen much good fruit (Christian love) coming from the charismatic relatives I have…that is just my experience obviously. I have seen separation and a sort of elitism. Just my 2 cents, FWIW.

  22. Diane, converning the elitism and wolfish behavior, absolutely. It is as rampant in the charismatic/pentecostal flavor as any other. And they are DEAD WRONG to equate the ‘experience’ with whether the Holy Spirit is present and active in someone’s life. That ‘experience’ does NOT determine how ‘good a Christian’ you are. Period. (Grrr…) I did grow up in this tradition and I hate it. The hypocrisy and elitism and abuse make me so angry. I am sorry you are on the receiving end of that BS.

    I have had to sort through a lot of the BS I grew up in – and what I am left with is: a good majority of the stuff that goes on is not good – is, in fact, abusive bulls***, but that does not mean I have t abandon those handful of personal experiences that were (for me) very real. But I will NEVER say that you MUST experience x, y or z in order to be a ‘real’ Christian. That is cultish abuse.

  23. That’s ok, Jeanette…I am getting used to it. I just want to converse—something they are not interested in and are suspicious of me for all of my questions. lol Oh well- it is what it is. Oh–I asked my mil how she was absolutely sure all of her children were saved at the age of 6 (some magic number evidently) and she said because she woke them up at midnight, each one of them, and they all told her they were seeing angels on the ceiling when she asked them. No repentance, no gospel message, but angels on the ceiling. This is what grieves me and keeps me trying to converse with them when I am able. 🙂

  24. I remember going to a Pentecostal service featuring an evangelist who had the ability to lay everyone out on the floor. And I do mean everyone. Of the 300 people in attendance at the meeting, everyone was laid out on the floor. Except the evangelist–and me. He looked at me funny, as if I wasn’t quite human. Very odd experience.

  25. Southwestern Discomfort, I once had the opposite experience. Out of a congregation of about 300, I was the only one slain in the spirit and no one was even near me. I heard the pastor say, “I didn’t touch her; I wasn’t even near her.” LOL All we were doing at the time was gathering at the front to sing a worship song.

  26. SWD and Victorious,
    My wife and I had an opposite experience in a different way. The around 300 people were standing and leaping and shouting and dancing– dedicating a new “Christian Center”. We were sitting in the back row weeping. This likely had something to do with the preacher’s SIL, who was back leading worship only a couple months after returning from a year-long “music-ministry” trip with my wife’s teen-aged friend, passing her off as his wife. He’d repented and gone back to the preacher’s daughter, so he was again qualified to be up on stage….
    BTW , I did know a couple great charismatic preachers who consistently spoke against Hinn-style charismania and never knocked a soul (or body) over. They taught that falling at someone’s feet as dead should be reserved for The First and The Last (Rev 1:17). True angels (messengers) of Christ will say “See thou do it not, for I am thy fellowservant”. (Rev 22:9)

  27. Pingback: A Benny Hinn Satire | The Wartburg Watch 2012 – Charismatic Feeds

  28. SWD – I laughed out loud.

    Dee, your quote “Therefore, really sick people, on their last legs, are not allowed to participate in the show.” That summed it up so well – it’s a SHOW. No quiet visits to sick people’s homes, let’s put it up on stage and turn it into a show. I would so love to do an anthropology study of Benny Hinn’s fruit.

    And happy to admit I faked being ‘slayed’ (backwards, not face forwards of course) when I was in my teens as I was fairly unassertive (then) and just got sick of being pushed, I wanted it over. I feel absolutely no shame to admit this now. I think I’m still trying to unwind (?rewind) some of the really damaging aspects of my short exposure at that pentecostal church.

  29. This comment is just me thinking these things through for myself, from my own personal perspective. It isn’t intended to invalidate other people’s experience (especially Jeanette) and there aren’t any solid conclusions in here from me. Sorry for how long this is inevitably going to be. I don’t have any stake in charismatic/pentecostal stuff anymore.

    I would happily believe that all the stuff – slaying in the spirit, laughing, speaking in tongues – was all hokum. And there is evidence that could be contrued as confirming that it’s hokum, too: I remember Derren Brown, the atheist showman (do you get his shows in the USA?) showing participants in his show how strong the power of suggestion can be by making them shout ‘fall!’ at each other and the other person would fall over as if they were at a Benny Hinn rally. It was all expectation and suggestibility. And I know that people have been hit on the head and woken up speaking fluently in languages they didn’t know, or barely knew, before, with apparently no divine intervention. And I know that also the contagious laughing thing could easily be human in origin – they say laughter is infectious after all! At my old church they used to always have music playing softly in the background when people were prayed for, which heightens the atmosphere.

    When I’ve fallen over backwards I’ve never felt it was a particularly divine or spiritual experience. I always just kind of thought ‘that was cool!’. I could easily write off being slain in the spirit. The only thing that bothers me is that one of the preachers who prayed for people at our church and saw them fall over often was a woman who was the most godly person I have ever known, not a charlatan and not a hypnotist(sometimes she walked around sometimes she sat on the steps and talked quietly)and not attempting to create hype. And the first time she preached nobody had heard of her, there was no hype at all but it was an incredible night. Everybody felt the Presence of God with her, whether she was on stage or having lunch in the pub with the students. I don’t believe that out of a church of 300, nobody could recognise what was and wasn’t God’s Presence.

    Whe I’ve prayed in a language I didn’t know (Spanish), it was a boost to my faith. I don’t think I can write that experience off as nothing to do with God. I think that God made the communication centres of the brain for communication with each other but also for communication with Him. I don’t see many things from a dualistic, either/or perspective, so I accept that it could be entirely natural and entirely of God at the same time.

    When I laughed ‘in the spirit’, everyone around me was laughing and actively resisted it, in fact I got angry with the pastor because I became convinced he was a charlatan. Then suddenly it happened, I started laughing twice as hard as everyone else. In itself that could have been entirely natural, but while I was laughing I felt this huge burden lifted off me. Then the pastor said something to me that was very strange (and rather shocking to everyone else who was listening), it’s not something a pastor would ever normally say, but it was exactly and precisely what I needed to know, it was about something that had been bothering me for a while but I hadn’t told anyone. I am sure it was from God.

    On Rachel Held Evans’ website there is a great ‘Ask a Pentecostal’ interview. I think it has helped me understand the things I experienced a bit better.

  30. @ TedS

    The problem with your approach is that people such as Jeannette who are pentecostals find videos like this offensive. I accept that humor can help us to see things for what they really are, but I think it should be avoided if it risks upsetting people.

    @ Jeannette

    I know that you are sincere and seek only God and His truth. It’s great that, as a pentecostal, you are speaking out against deception. I wish there was more like you.

    However the time when you “crumpled” is no different to falling backwards. You are expecting something to happen when you are prayed for, and you are conditioned to believe that it will happen. Just the lightest of touches could easily have triggered your experience, both physically and mentally. Remember that physical contact, let alone pushing, is not always necessary. Benny Hinn is able to manipulate people into falling over when he so much as waves at them. It’s the power of suggestion, not the specifics of a situation.

    You said you grew up in the pentecostal tradition and that is probably the greatest form of conditioning that anyone could receive. Children absorb the values and beliefs of the community they grow up in, and to have been exposed to pentecostalism from an early age will have deeply affected you. Whilst you are fortunately able to question some of it, I think your brain is still programmed with the pentecostal worldview. Even though your conscious mind was “skeptical and resistant”, your subconscious mind dominated in that situation.

    I forgot to include something in my previous comment, which I think might be relevant to you. I mentioned that pentecostal meetings are often hypnotic, just as Mark Haville said in the link Diane supplied. I should have added that our ability to enter a trance state is something that develops with experience. It becomes easier with practice and with repeated exposure to trance-inducing material, such as music. If you’ve been going to Pentecostal services for years, with 30 mins or more of repetitive singing each time, that will also have conditioned your mind. And there’s a reinforcement mechanism – you feel good from the endorphins and have a spiritual experience due to the trance, so you participate more enthusiastically next time, and the experience is even better. It’s therefore likely that you are someone who easily enters into a trance during pentecostal worship. You won’t realise that’s what’s happening – to you it will be “feeling the presence of the Lord” or something similar. So I am not at all surprised that you crumpled and had a spiritual experience when being prayed for.

    There’s also the question of the experiences. In your first post, you described being slain in the spirit as a “deeply spiritual experience for some”. Unfortunately, this type of experience means nothing. People of all faiths and none have deeply spiritual experiences in all sorts of circumstances. The people who fall over at a Benny Hinn meeting have deeply spiritual experiences. African natives who drum themselves into a trance will have deeply spiritual experiences. For them, it will be a powerful encounter with whatever gods they believe in, and it will be totally real and not open to question. It will validate their belief system, just as your experience when you crumpled validated yours. Your exact words were “God was there or I have never known him”. That’s a perfect description of a religious or spiritual experience – the brain interpreting an altered state of consciousness (trance) through the lens of what it already believes and the setting in which the experience occurred. You also said (to Diane) “personal experiences that were (for me) very real”. These experiences appear as real as the room you’re in, but the reality is that they are all a product of the mind that can easily be created.

    I’m sorry that I’ve deconstructed things that are precious to you. You probably won’t be able to accept what I say. The ideas I’ve presented are both unfamiliar and highly challenging to the majority of Christians, particularly those with pentecostal or charismatic beliefs. It was a long and difficult journey for me, and I pray that perhaps something I’ve said will encourage you to start along this road. I hope I’ve been respectful and presented my case with logic and reason.

    @ Diane

    I loosely know Mark Haville. As well as his testimony, he has produced a DVD set called “The Signs and WOnders Movement Exposed”, which is very highly recommended. It may be available online, but I’d encourage you to buy it and support his ministry.

    What I said above about experiences also applies to your relatives. People who have experiences in a Christian context will see them as coming from God, and it is very difficult to break through this barrier.

    I find it really interesting that the experiences which pentecostals and charismatics have do make them amongst the most passionate and committed christians. But to me, that’s building your faith on a false foundation. We’re called to build our faith on the Word of God and experiences don’t enter into it.

  31. Ian –

    You said, “We’re called to build our faith on the Word of God and experiences don’t enter into it.”

    Where does scripture say this?

    Did Jesus’ disciples and the Apostles have NO experiences while following Jesus? Did Paul not get knocked down?

    I’m no follower of Benny Boy or any similar men, but you are not speaking truth brother. The “Word of God” as you call it should not be used as you are using it.

    Some people have Holy Spirit experiences that are completely real . . . some of what we see is manufactured.

    BUT you don’t get to decide for everyone by pulling out the “Word of God” card. People can decide for themselves (because they are made in the image of God and are indwelled with the Holy Spirit) what is real and what is contrived.

    Im not sorry if this seemed like a rant – it was 🙂

  32. Southwestern Discomfort, I just had to tell you this….

    Six days ago you said, “To quote Herman’s Hermits (Henry the 8th), “Second verse, same as the first.”

    Ever this then, I have been singing Henry the 8th at random times and can’t get it off my mind! I showed my daughter a clip of it then she got hooked and passed it on to others on Facebook 🙂 It has lifted quite a few spirits – thank you!

  33. Well said Bridget!!

    I came to faith in Christ when I was into Buddhism. The Lord brought words into my mind that I knew weren’t from me. When I found out that they were words spoken by the Lord Jesus Christ in the scriptures, I responded by trusting in Him and was soundly converted without ever having been in a church or knowing anything about the bible. In the years that followed, I was in reformed baptist circles where a number of people unsuccessfully tried to convince me that what I had experienced couldn’t have come from God because the words hadn’t been preached to me!

  34. MM

    Now you have gone and done it. It is replaying in my head. I’m (pronounced Oim) Henry (pronounced Henery)the Eight I am….

  35. Ian said,

    “I find it really interesting that the experiences which pentecostals and charismatics have do make them amongst the most passionate and committed christians.”

    Committed and passionate about what specifically?

    Because that is most definitely not the experience I am having with my wof/charismatic relatives…not at all.

  36. Okay, I have had time to process what Ian said….

    Ian, I am going to begin by saying that I neither want nor need your pity. I really can’t speak to your intent because I don’t know you, but everything you wrote, especially the second long post – aimed specifically at me by name – felt very much like a intellectualized version of ‘pity the poor pentecostal’. Let me say that you do not know me nor my experiences – and it is the height of arrogance, in my opinion, to categorically dismiss my experience because it does not fit your paradigm.

    Another thing that struck me, as I thought about what you wrote, is that it sounds almost verbatim like the arguments made to me by atheists (I have some friends and family that are). The only difference is that they follow the reasoning a bit further down the line to a place where they think that it applies to the Bible and all other holy books – that they are simply a collection of recorded, subjective experiences that hold no Truth.

    I do not think we are going to change each other’s minds. And for my part, I have no desire to do so. Based on your last comment, it seems you do. Sigh. I hope you did not realize that what you wrote came across as condescending and patronizing. Please understand that your experience and personal convictions will not invalidate mine – please don’t try.

  37. MM, Thu 4:50 PM

    Loved your conversion story. The Holy Spirit is not obligated to wait for a human to preach to a person in order to change their heart.

  38. Dee, that is exactly what I was thinking of as I wrote that comment. 🙂 He can use anything he wants to use! And I love how he meets us where we are and uses what we know and understand to reach us. Cornelius Van Til would not approve (Reformed theologian famous for presuppositional apologetics).

  39. I have to admit, I read the title as “A Benny Hill Satire”. I was impressed that someone could take a British comic and do a satire on him. Then I re-read the title. Never mind.

  40. DebD. 🙂 🙂
    I did something similar with the Connolly post, reading it “Here is how Connolly began his EXcommunication”.

  41. ‘I have to admit, I read the title as “A Benny Hill Satire”.’

    DebD,so did I! Haha, great minds think alike! Maybe someone could make a Benny Hinn/Benny Hill mash up by speeding up some Benny Hinn rally footage and adding some Benny Hill music over the top or something.