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Charles Sulka



John MacArtur has a number of videos on this subject. This is the first in a series of three. MacArthur has other videos on this and other doctrinal issues.

Some generic comments on the subject (also used in various other critiques) . . .

The video primarily addresses the mindless babbling known as ‘speaking in tongues’ advocated by those who think of themselves as ‘charismatics’ endowed with the Holy Spirit. This video shows us that the modern-day phenomenon of glossalalia — speaking in tongues — is not the ‘speaking in tongues’ referred to in the book of Acts and elsewhere in the Bible. What it is, is … well, demonic in nature. At best it could be regarded as a form of bizarre mass hysteria. More likely, however, it has a darker meaning. If there is any actual spiritual basis for the practice, it is not the Spirit of God that is effecting these poor deluded fools.

Other examples of counterfeit spirituality are touched upon: spiritual ecstasies, bizarre bodily movements, shaking, shouting, screaming, uncontrolled laughter, undignified lolling about (the original source of the term ‘holy rollers.’) Although not specifically addressed in this video, snake-handling and poison-drinking must be included in the list of misguided practices of the Pentacostals. As the video shows, such practices are not limited to American Pentacostalism. Deviant behavior, delusions, hysteria, and bizarre physical animations are common in witchcraft, voodoo, and the primitive heathen religions of the world.

Religious ecstasies are primordial and do not emanate from God. One need think only of the Israelites’ bacchanalian orgies that so enraged Moses that he destroyed their idol, the golden calf. Religious ecstasies in worship service clearly predates Christianity and thus cannot be Christian in nature. (Jesus said the Holy Spirit would not be in the world until He sent it at Pentacost.) In the video it is pointed out that, ecstatic language was a common form of worship in pagan temples and that Plato (429-347 BC) mentions it as a phenomenon of his time. Plato tells us that a person under divine possession received utterances and visions that he receiver did not understand.

The number of Pentacostals in America does seem to be growing, and the danger is real. Religious ecstasies provide no Christian spirituality nor doctrinal understanding to participants. And some bogus religious practices can be quite dangerous. It is not unusual to hear reports of snake handlers being bitten by poisonous serpents, many of them fatally. Fortunately, it is usually the Pentacostal preachers who are bitten, and not the congregants … probably because it is the preachers who stick their hands in a bag of rattlesnakes to pull out the serpents, then, looking to heaven, wild-eyed, pray to the Lord for protection before passing the slithering creatures around the circle of believers. (It is little consolation, but it does get some of the stupidest ones out of the gene pool.)

The author states that he believes the charismatic movement could inspire and unite Protestants and Catholics, ushering in the one-world religion of the dreaded one-world government. To allay concerned viewers’ fears … I doubt if speaking in tongues and religious ecstacies will lead to the much-feared one world religion of the New World Order. I just can’t see Buddhists, or Hindus, or Mohammedans making a spectacle of themselves speaking in tongues. (Or ‘taking up serpents’ for that matter. If you want to clear a room filled with Islamic jihadists, just pull out a common black snake. You’ll have the room to yourself faster than you can say, “Allah akbar.”) They’ll probably never know what it means to be ‘baptized in the spirit’ as the Pentacostals call it. (Or bitten by a pit viper.) Let us pray that it be so. Amen.

People of all religious persuasions should watch this video, as a warning.

Parts 2 and 3 are not reviewed.

(chs 08-17-2015 1617 -0500)