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Author Topic: Holy Spirit, Devil or none of the above?  (Read 1839 times) Average Rating: 0
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Victoria
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« on: December 06, 2010, 06:46:08 PM »

I’m planning on converting to Orthodoxy(before I’ve attended Evangelical Chuch). My mother in law, while Evangelical, is also involved in Charismatic movement, which frankly I always found hard to swallow. Sometime last year, I went with her to what I assumed was going to be a regular service but it turned out to be one of these events where people roll around on the floor, mumble gibberish, shake uncontrollably and act as if they were possessed by demons. One of the pastors kept walking around and covering the ones who were laying on the floor and stopped going “crazy” with blankets. After a while everyone got up and acted as usual. While my mom-in-law didn’t do any of these things, she noticed that I was shocked and kept lecturing me on how this was the “Holy Spirit working” through these people. My thought was “are you kidding me?! Cause I felt like I need some holy water and exorcism performed on some of these people”. I guess I was wondering what is OC position on something like that? Is that possible that Holy Spirit did enter some of these people or its it total rubbish like I thought? I just had a feeling that some of these people were doing it even though they weren't feeling Holy Spirit or anything and just did it because everyone else was doing it.
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« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2010, 07:13:07 PM »

On a related note,

As I debate between the Truth of Orthodoxy and Catholicism. I have a problem with accepting "go where the Holy Spirit leads". To me this is akin to the Mormon 'burning bosom' experience. Not to mention, either side will claim that being lead to the other is the work of demons.
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« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2010, 08:41:41 PM »

I'd say none of the above, at least in the general case.
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« Reply #3 on: December 06, 2010, 09:28:12 PM »

Sometime last year, I went with her to what I assumed was going to be a regular service but it turned out to be one of these events where people roll around on the floor, mumble gibberish, shake uncontrollably and act as if they were possessed by demons. One of the pastors kept walking around and covering the ones who were laying on the floor and stopped going “crazy” with blankets.

Victoria, I have just left this type of church and am now beginning the journey to Orthodoxy. Oddly enough, what you experienced is a "regular service" in a charismatic church. I will refrain from saying how I feel about this behavior now, but I will invite you to read 1 Corinthians Chapter 12-15. This is what showed me the error of this practice as it is done in these churches. Especially Chapter 14, which tells us precisely how a "proper and decent" worship service is to be conducted. I do not speak for Orthodoxy, of course, as I am just beginning the journey. However, as one who was in this "chaos" for approximately 5 years and survived, I feel as though I can comment on it. May God continue to guide you to the True Church and the True Faith of Jesus Christ which is only fully found in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Orthodox Church.
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« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2010, 09:37:02 PM »

Sometime last year, I went with her to what I assumed was going to be a regular service but it turned out to be one of these events where people roll around on the floor, mumble gibberish, shake uncontrollably and act as if they were possessed by demons. One of the pastors kept walking around and covering the ones who were laying on the floor and stopped going “crazy” with blankets.

Victoria, I have just left this type of church and am now beginning the journey to Orthodoxy. Oddly enough, what you experienced is a "regular service" in a charismatic church. I will refrain from saying how I feel about this behavior now, but I will invite you to read 1 Corinthians Chapter 12-15. This is what showed me the error of this practice as it is done in these churches. Especially Chapter 14, which tells us precisely how a "proper and decent" worship service is to be conducted. I do not speak for Orthodoxy, of course, as I am just beginning the journey. However, as one who was in this "chaos" for approximately 5 years and survived, I feel as though I can comment on it. May God continue to guide you to the True Church and the True Faith of Jesus Christ which is only fully found in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Orthodox Church.
Thank you for understanding my feelings in the matter. I feel very blessed that I have found One True Church, thanks be to God, and I hope your journey will be a smooth one as well.

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« Reply #5 on: December 08, 2010, 04:53:58 AM »

I would recommend reading Fr. Seraphim Rose's book Orthodoxy and the Religion of the Future. It is a relatively short read, but very informative. Whilst the book in its entirety is not dedicated to the Charismatic Revival (and indeed ranges on a plethora of topics), he devotes a sizable chapter to the truth behind the spirits within the movement.
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« Reply #6 on: December 08, 2010, 11:27:59 AM »

I tend to say demonic . If not possesion, then inspired by them.
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« Reply #7 on: December 08, 2010, 01:44:22 PM »

I would tend to say none of the above. I have been to a few churches like the one you described and it seemed to me that everybody was rolling on the floor or mumbling gibberish because that is expected of them. It was such a distraction that I can not even recall if there was a sermon that took place. One of those churches even had people who would wave those little flag/streamer things, what importance that had in a church I have no idea. It seemed to me to be one big show of "Oh, look at all this chaos going on, this shows that the Holy Spirit is alive in our church!" Rubbish.
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« Reply #8 on: December 08, 2010, 02:08:42 PM »

d.) It's the Holy GHOST!
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« Reply #9 on: December 08, 2010, 02:20:13 PM »

d.) It's the Holy GHOST!

I had a good chuckle at that one...  Cool
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« Reply #10 on: December 08, 2010, 02:52:23 PM »

It is totally demonic. I have attended "churches" like that before. It is impossible to equate the demonic activities that go on there with the Holy Spirit. Period.
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« Reply #11 on: December 08, 2010, 03:31:23 PM »

Seriously, I'm not Orthodox, but why do you care or concern yourself with these things? I doubt anyone here can truly give an definitive account of the workings of the Holy Spirit. If you are not part of that church, I don't see the reason for concern.

If it's of the Holy Spirit, OK.

If it ain't, OK.

As far as doing stuff because other people do it or whether they "feel it" or not, it seems to me that is called learning and within the Orthodox Church it is even commended. This goes back to the "personal conversion" issue. The Church is a corporate entity, literally, and going through the motions that others have for many centuries when you feel like it and more importantly when you don't seems to be the order of the day.

As far as battling and consorting with demons, right now I am pretty much wooing Acedia. It's a nooner.
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« Reply #12 on: December 08, 2010, 03:56:37 PM »

I would recommend reading Fr. Seraphim Rose's book Orthodoxy and the Religion of the Future. It is a relatively short read, but very informative. Whilst the book in its entirety is not dedicated to the Charismatic Revival (and indeed ranges on a plethora of topics), he devotes a sizable chapter to the truth behind the spirits within the movement.

I have to agree totally with Ioannis here. The book in reference here has an amazing section on the subject. Victoria, you can read the whole of the section here: http://www.fatheralexander.org/booklets/english/charismatic_revival_s_rose_e.htm Coming from an ex-pentecostal, I can tell you that it opened my eyes to quite a lot of my experience for the past several years.

@Orthonorm I mean no offense by my posts here, but to answer why I care and concern myself about this so-called "movement" is because it is not the Truth. It is a false doctrine created by man, and fueled by spirits that have very little to do with Christianity. We concern ourselves because we would rather see others come to the fullness of Faith found within Orthodoxy, and not be led astray by these things. I have come out of this psuedo-Christianity, and I hate to see others I love following a lie. So we must present the Truth, and live the Truth....that others may see the errors of their ways and come to Christ and His Church.

In Christ,
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« Reply #13 on: December 08, 2010, 04:02:31 PM »

Seriously, I'm not Orthodox, but why do you care or concern yourself with these things? I doubt anyone here can truly give an definitive account of the workings of the Holy Spirit. If you are not part of that church, I don't see the reason for concern.

If it's of the Holy Spirit, OK.

If it ain't, OK.

As far as doing stuff because other people do it or whether they "feel it" or not, it seems to me that is called learning and within the Orthodox Church it is even commended. This goes back to the "personal conversion" issue. The Church is a corporate entity, literally, and going through the motions that others have for many centuries when you feel like it and more importantly when you don't seems to be the order of the day.

As far as battling and consorting with demons, right now I am pretty much wooing Acedia. It's a nooner.
I couldn’t agree with what you said-its clear by your statements that you support “do whatever feels right to you” attitude which is not what Jesus and apostles taught at all. Furthermore, I don’t see how rolling on the floor and convulsing means that you are learning something.
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« Reply #14 on: December 08, 2010, 04:20:45 PM »

Blessed beggar, i agree with you 100% for this is a false doctrine. While i have not experienced this in my old church, there is a "prayer group" there that follows simular teachings which are questionable at best and heretical at worst. I was present while one of the ladies told the other that she saw "aura of different colors" around her and then she said that she saw trouble in her life regarding a family member(this person claims to have a "gift of prophecy"). Of course, she claimed that "Holy Spirit" was speaking through her. This smacks of divination/physic teachings as opposed to true Christianity and while these people are nice and their intentions are good, they don't realize that they are following the devil instead of God so how can i keep quiet and not be concerned about that, right?
P.S. Thanks for the link, BlessedBeggar, i'll be sure to read it:)
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« Reply #15 on: December 08, 2010, 04:30:17 PM »

Seriously, I'm not Orthodox, but why do you care or concern yourself with these things? I doubt anyone here can truly give an definitive account of the workings of the Holy Spirit. If you are not part of that church, I don't see the reason for concern.

If it's of the Holy Spirit, OK.

If it ain't, OK.

As far as doing stuff because other people do it or whether they "feel it" or not, it seems to me that is called learning and within the Orthodox Church it is even commended. This goes back to the "personal conversion" issue. The Church is a corporate entity, literally, and going through the motions that others have for many centuries when you feel like it and more importantly when you don't seems to be the order of the day.

As far as battling and consorting with demons, right now I am pretty much wooing Acedia. It's a nooner.
I couldn’t agree with what you said-its clear by your statements that you support “do whatever feels right to you” attitude which is not what Jesus and apostles taught at all. Furthermore, I don’t see how rolling on the floor and convulsing means that you are learning something.

Here we go again. Please point out specifically where this is "clear".

In fact I clearly, said the opposite.
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« Reply #16 on: December 08, 2010, 04:32:25 PM »

Victoria, the two greatest gifts I believe you can give these others are 1) Sincere prayer that the Lord God opens their eyes to the Truth, and 2) Lead a True life before them. Being a humble, faithful, silent witness showing the love and compassion of our Lord Jesus can be the greatest gift to those who are either unbelievers, or these trapped in spiritual deception/Prelest. I say this because speaking directly to them about their incorrect interpretations and false doctrines will only drive them further into it, and likely to vilify you. This has already happened to my family since leaving the pentecostal church we attended...God bless you...I pray you continue steadfastly into this journey into Orthodoxy as I myself continue. Pray for me a sinner.

In Christ,
Blessed Beggar
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« Reply #17 on: December 08, 2010, 04:42:43 PM »

I would recommend reading Fr. Seraphim Rose's book Orthodoxy and the Religion of the Future. It is a relatively short read, but very informative. Whilst the book in its entirety is not dedicated to the Charismatic Revival (and indeed ranges on a plethora of topics), he devotes a sizable chapter to the truth behind the spirits within the movement.

I have to agree totally with Ioannis here. The book in reference here has an amazing section on the subject. Victoria, you can read the whole of the section here: http://www.fatheralexander.org/booklets/english/charismatic_revival_s_rose_e.htm Coming from an ex-pentecostal, I can tell you that it opened my eyes to quite a lot of my experience for the past several years.

@Orthonorm I mean no offense by my posts here, but to answer why I care and concern myself about this so-called "movement" is because it is not the Truth. It is a false doctrine created by man, and fueled by spirits that have very little to do with Christianity. We concern ourselves because we would rather see others come to the fullness of Faith found within Orthodoxy, and not be led astray by these things. I have come out of this psuedo-Christianity, and I hate to see others I love following a lie. So we must present the Truth, and live the Truth....that others may see the errors of their ways and come to Christ and His Church.

In Christ,
Blessed Beggar

Beggar,

No offense taken, in fact I am not sure any offense could have been taken! It's pretty hard to offend me, so never apologize for that.

As far as to the Truth, I was suggesting that calling the behavior of some folks "demonic" or wondering if it is filled with the Holy Spirit is probably beyond the discernment of most here, especially via an internet post. Then again, there maybe a clairvoyant Elder or two who post here. I dunno.

I did grow up for a while in an area where this sorta worship was common. And to be frank, whether their "charismatic gifts" came from the Holy Spirit or not really should have not to high on anyone's list of concern. Hope, Faith, and, Charity, those who aren't against us and all that. In that neck of the woods, they might have burned you a demonic heretic on the spot if they saw a Great Vespers service. And that is just shy of understatement.

No doubt I would've thought it Satanic myself.

Stones and sin.

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« Reply #18 on: December 08, 2010, 04:43:46 PM »

Victoria, the two greatest gifts I believe you can give these others are 1) Sincere prayer that the Lord God opens their eyes to the Truth, and 2) Lead a True life before them. Being a humble, faithful, silent witness showing the love and compassion of our Lord Jesus can be the greatest gift to those who are either unbelievers, or these trapped in spiritual deception/Prelest. I say this because speaking directly to them about their incorrect interpretations and false doctrines will only drive them further into it, and likely to vilify you. This has already happened to my family since leaving the pentecostal church we attended...God bless you...I pray you continue steadfastly into this journey into Orthodoxy as I myself continue. Pray for me a sinner.

In Christ,
Blessed Beggar

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« Reply #19 on: December 08, 2010, 04:47:21 PM »

Victoria, the two greatest gifts I believe you can give these others are 1) Sincere prayer that the Lord God opens their eyes to the Truth, and 2) Lead a True life before them. Being a humble, faithful, silent witness showing the love and compassion of our Lord Jesus can be the greatest gift to those who are either unbelievers, or these trapped in spiritual deception/Prelest. I say this because speaking directly to them about their incorrect interpretations and false doctrines will only drive them further into it, and likely to vilify you. This has already happened to my family since leaving the pentecostal church we attended...God bless you...I pray you continue steadfastly into this journey into Orthodoxy as I myself continue. Pray for me a sinner.

In Christ,
Blessed Beggar

I've yet to hear of a true backwater Pentecostal convert directly to Orthodoxy. I'v heard of some going the Mainline Protestant -> High Protestant -> RC -> OC  and the like route. If you went from Holy Rollin' to Holy Theotokos in one leap, that is a story I would like to hear.
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« Reply #20 on: December 08, 2010, 05:26:05 PM »

Victoria, the two greatest gifts I believe you can give these others are 1) Sincere prayer that the Lord God opens their eyes to the Truth, and 2) Lead a True life before them. Being a humble, faithful, silent witness showing the love and compassion of our Lord Jesus can be the greatest gift to those who are either unbelievers, or these trapped in spiritual deception/Prelest. I say this because speaking directly to them about their incorrect interpretations and false doctrines will only drive them further into it, and likely to vilify you. This has already happened to my family since leaving the pentecostal church we attended...God bless you...I pray you continue steadfastly into this journey into Orthodoxy as I myself continue. Pray for me a sinner.

In Christ,
Blessed Beggar

I've yet to hear of a true backwater Pentecostal convert directly to Orthodoxy. I'v heard of some going the Mainline Protestant -> High Protestant -> RC -> OC  and the like route. If you went from Holy Rollin' to Holy Theotokos in one leap, that is a story I would like to hear.

Orthonorm...that's my story! Though I wouldn't consider myself as "backwater," nor could you consider it in one leap. I was raised Southern Baptist...found charismatic churches after getting away from my parents wings...then went into the Occult for nearly a decade. In all that mess I was drawn to Catholicism and nearly converted once...but never followed through. I was 26 or so, divorced and remarried when my wife and I began attending a local Church of God, where I have been a teacher and preacher for the last 4 years. That was just over 5 and a half years ago. Just over a month or so ago, we laid down our responsibilities as lay ministers and got in contact with an Orthodox priest. We are now determined to convert and hopefully bring a Mission one day to our area. First, though...we plan on taking our time in the process to becoming fully Orthodox as we peel the remnants of heterodox teachings and such away from ourselves. Pray for us sinners.

In Christ,
Blessed Beggar
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« Reply #21 on: December 08, 2010, 09:22:50 PM »

Orthonorm, here is your quote
"If it's of the Holy Spirit, OK.

If it ain't, OK.

As far as doing stuff because other people do it or whether they "feel it" or not, it seems to me that is called learning and within the Orthodox Church it is even commended. This goes back to the "personal conversion" issue. The Church is a corporate entity, literally, and going through the motions that others have for many centuries when you feel like it and more importantly when you don't seems to be the order of the day."
So if its HS, its ok but if it isn't its ok too? that's why i said you have "do whatever you feel" outlook. how is that the "opposite"?
Orthodox Church does encourage learning but as i stated, learning is not having fits or rolling on the floor, convinced that you have the HS when its anything but that.
i suggest that you read S Rose article that was posted-it adresses the charismatic issue very well
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« Reply #22 on: December 08, 2010, 11:08:06 PM »

Orthonorm, here is your quote
"If it's of the Holy Spirit, OK.

If it ain't, OK.

As far as doing stuff because other people do it or whether they "feel it" or not, it seems to me that is called learning and within the Orthodox Church it is even commended. This goes back to the "personal conversion" issue. The Church is a corporate entity, literally, and going through the motions that others have for many centuries when you feel like it and more importantly when you don't seems to be the order of the day."
So if its HS, its ok but if it isn't its ok too? that's why i said you have "do whatever you feel" outlook. how is that the "opposite"?
Orthodox Church does encourage learning but as i stated, learning is not having fits or rolling on the floor, convinced that you have the HS when its anything but that.
i suggest that you read S Rose article that was posted-it adresses the charismatic issue very well

My point about it being OK, is what does it have to do with you? And why are you spending your time attempting to discern the movement of the Holy Spirit in others' lives?

To answer you question about being the opposite, look at my bolded and enlarged part of my quote. Really, this is just lazy reading.
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« Reply #23 on: December 09, 2010, 12:32:17 AM »



My point about it being OK, is what does it have to do with you? And why are you spending your time attempting to discern the movement of the Holy Spirit in others' lives?

To answer you question about being the opposite, look at my bolded and enlarged part of my quote. Really, this is just lazy reading.

Orthonorm - Truly, there are two ways I want to answer this. 1)As it exists outside of the Church, it does not directly relate to those of us who have either escaped it, or never were ensnared by it. However, it is a movement that presents itself as a viable alternative to the True Church of Jesus Christ, and deludes it's members into Prelest of various degrees. If we are to love as Christ, we must care for these people enough to see them brought to the Light. 2)We must recognize these heretical teachings, and guard ourselves, and those we love, from falling into the temptation of this "feel-good", self-serving movement.

Therefore, in the end, this is not about pointing fingers and feeling superior, but about feeling compassion for these people who have truly been led astray by heretical doctrine. I am reminded of Proverbs 14:12 "There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death." These people's souls could be in danger...and if by our words or actions we can bring even one of them into the True Church...than this time spent has not been in vain.
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« Reply #24 on: December 09, 2010, 02:52:10 PM »

Orthonorm, i read ALL of your reply several times and if you are refering to the part in bold print-your response shows your lack of understanding what church is about.  I'm not trying to feel superior or point fingers, just making a statement of a fact(not trying to start some kind of war here-you don't agree with what i said, that's fine, i'm not going to respond to you further). You essentially saying "what business is it of mine to see what happens with other people?". These are the people I love and care about and i don't want them to be lead astray by false and heretical teachings.
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« Reply #25 on: December 09, 2010, 03:14:59 PM »

Orthonorm, i read ALL of your reply several times and if you are refering to the part in bold print-your response shows your lack of understanding what church is about.  I'm not trying to feel superior or point fingers, just making a statement of a fact(not trying to start some kind of war here-you don't agree with what i said, that's fine, i'm not going to respond to you further). You essentially saying "what business is it of mine to see what happens with other people?". These are the people I love and care about and i don't want them to be lead astray by false and heretical teachings.

So as an inquirer, I should wait to do anything until I feel like it? I am truly perplexed here. How does that bolded part of my response show my lack of understanding about what the Church is all about?

Again my point in other words:

All people do things because they "feel" like it and also when they don't. It is called learning and living.

So does the OC teach you should only go to confession, Divine Liturgy, fast, etc. only when you "feel" like it? Did you not learn how to become Orthodox by imitating others who already were?

I really don't see your point. And I guess I won't because you are not responding any further. But that is OK.

 
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« Reply #26 on: December 09, 2010, 04:39:35 PM »

I have to respond to this-"So does the OC teach you should only go to confession, Divine Liturgy, fast, etc. only when you "feel" like it?"
I said no such thing, i'm sorry, but  you completely misunderstood everything i said so far(and it appears that i misunderstood everything you said) This is one of these things when i think i'm speaking English but you think i'm speaking Chinese. So never mind.
Blessed beggar, thank you for your responses, i thought they were very insightful. God Bless
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« Reply #27 on: December 09, 2010, 05:25:36 PM »

Blessed beggar, thank you for your responses, i thought they were very insightful. God Bless


We can both agree on that.
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Jurisdiction: Orthodox Tewahedo / Non-Chalcedonian
Posts: 7,817


"Lord Have Mercy on Me a Sinner!"


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« Reply #28 on: December 09, 2010, 08:14:06 PM »

In addressing the Charismatic movement, I think it is important to focus on critiquing the heretical theology rather than condemning the "experiences" we witness. I say this because we cannot say for sure whether these experiences are brought on by the devil or by the Holy Spirit. What we do know is that the theology of the Charismatic movement is from the devil, and therefore it must be thoroughly refuted with Orthodox doctrine.

I once witnessed a woman at my Ethiopian Orthodox Church who exhibited "charismatic" actions as the Priests passed by carrying the "Tabots" (the replicas of the Tablets of the Ten Commandments that are kept in every EOTC Church.) This woman was overcome with emotion and fell to the ground groaning and weeping uncontrollably. She rolled around shouting in an incoherent manner. The Priests poured holy water on her, and a man who appeared to be her husband kept assuring them that she was OK. She was obviously overcome with emotion. Her actions were very similar to what I had seen many times in various Charismatic churches I used to attend. I certainly don’t think she was so deeply moved by the influence of the devil.

The experience of God is beyond human reason and logic, as we all know. The problem with the Charismatic movement is that it equates emotional experiences with the experience of God. Charismatic theology teaches that those who truly have the Holy Spirit will have charismatic experiences. This is contrary to Orthodox theology, which emphasizes that the experience of God involves ascetic struggle and spiritual discipline. The woman at the Ethiopian Orthodox Church had been standing and praying reverently for almost five hours (and had probably been fasting for close to 24 hours) before she had her emotional “experience.” Perhaps her prayerful struggle and spiritual discipline had brought her into the ineffable presence of God, in Whose presence she could no longer contain her emotional exuberance. Only God knows.

So I think we should be cautious in immediately ascribing these individual charismatic experiences either to the devil or to the divine. If the actions are sinful then we know that they are not of God; but if they are merely emotional outbursts that do not disrupt the Divine Liturgy or interfere with the prayers of others, then who is to say that it is not of the Holy Spirit?

Again, IMHO, we should critique and condemn the false Charismatic theology rather than being quick to condemn the charismatic “experiences.”


Selam
« Last Edit: December 09, 2010, 08:16:18 PM by Gebre Menfes Kidus » Logged

“Lord, I say too many uncharitable things about people every day. I say them because they make me look clever. Help me to realize how cheap this is. I am stupid, quite as stupid as the people I ridicule. Help me to stop this selfishness, because I love You dear God." ~ FLANNERY O'CONNOR ~
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