In 2004 my mother was healed of fibromyalgia at a healing service one Friday night in the summertime at a local fellowship outside of Peterborough, Ont. I remember being worried what my mom might think of some of the “crazier” stuff going on since we weren’t accustomed to it in our Brethren home church.
She received prayer, but didn’t fall, shake, or laugh uncontrollably. If you’ve read the introduction to my book on healing, you may remember I mentioned she later told everybody she was healed and knew the pain was gone when she walked in the building and not when someone laid hands on her.
I remember she told me how disappointed she was that she didn’t fall down when someone prayed for her because, in her words, “they looked like they were having so much fun and like they had a lot of peace.”
After that she went to every service (about once every month or two) that the Selwyn Outreach Centre held with this traveling minister, and would bring anybody she could convince to come to receive their healing.
You Can’t Make Yourself Fall Backward?
One night I remember getting either an email or a blog comment from her where she asked me if I knew that you can’t just make yourself fall backwards. I thought that was odd but interesting. She went on to tell me she had recently learned somewhere that we are only comfortable falling backward when we have absolute peace that someone will catch us or that there’s something to break our fall, but we instinctively struggle to allow ourselves to fall backward.
I don’t know if this is true or not, but I’ve noticed that you have to be pushed by someone in order to fall backward and if the minister is laying hands on you isn’t pushing you or forcefully causing you to fall down (backward), then it probably is another force outside of yourself.
This has never happened to me personally, but I’ve heard people say they felt like their knees just got week, or that a rushing wave came over them and like they “had no choice” but to fall backward and they didn’t feel a thing.
I’ve also told ‘catchers’ I didn’t need them because nobody falls when I pray for them, only to then have 100% of the people I’m praying for fall to the ground like a sack of potatoes when I barely touch their heads while praying for them.
Christianity Today is running a cover on Bethel Church in Redding, CA this week for their latest issue. Whether or not that is why Kris Vallatton has been posting on his site about the things Bethel Church believes and practices may or may not be the reason, but I’ve been enjoying Kris’s posts as of late.
Like this one on his post Falling Down and Holy Laughter:
One of the manifestations that has been most offensive to people is something we call “holy laughter.” This condition occurs when, for no obvious reason, people just begin to laugh hysterically as if they are drunk. Some laugh so hard that they literally fall on the ground. These people report being overcome by intense joy that can’t be expressed with words. I have watched thousands of people all at once, overcome by this manifestation. It’s fun to witness someone who is really serious encounter this experience. Again, I have never experienced this condition myself, but I have carried my wife out of several meetings when she was so “spiritually drunk” that she couldn’t walk.
Weird you say? Yeah, I agree, it looks that way to me too. I love what Angela Monet said: “Those who danced look quite insane to those who didn’t hear the music.” I think this quote applies here. Again, it’s very hard to attribute this to satan when the fruit of this manifestation is always positive in the people having the experience. I must admit that some who watch people having this type of encounter are offended.
Read the rest here Falling Down and Holy Laughter – Kris Vallotton.
How Sad Do You Have To Be To Think LAUGHTER is Demonic?
But to get to my title. This is the one that confuses me the most. From time to time I get new followers on Facebook and Twitter, and my e-mail list and I have concerned readers and listeners reach out to me of their concerns with movements like Bethel or Catch the Fire and the whole “holy laughing” thing.
Usually they like the podcast or my blog or a book they’ve read, and they are concerned about one guest I’ve interviewed and in telling me their issues, the laughing stuff comes up as a real concern. Like a “kundalini spirit” is basically invading the Church, and not the Holy Spirit or whatever the exact point of view is.
I totally get wanting to be careful what we are allowing to influence us.
But. . . that bathwater and, you know, babies. . .
I personally don’t know what exactly the problem is if the Holy Spirit is giving you peace and joy and you can’t contain it in any way other than to let it out through laughter. You fall (or don’t) and you laugh (or maybe again, you don’t) and you go back to your normal life set free from something. I remember when I lived in the Netherlands and we were putting on what we called Summer School for two weeks, there was one girl who went nuts and was rolling around on the floor laughing hysterically.
After a long time when she was able to compose herself, she told everybody that she hadn’t had a good night’s sleep in 6 years or so, and that the night before someone had prayed for her and she slept peacefully for the first time in 6 years.
How do we know what God is doing or removing from someone in those “weird” moments?
Aren’t Christians supposed to be known for our joy?
If so, why do people prefer to act like they’ve been baptized in pickle juice as opposed to seeing the good God may be up to in ways that simply seem strange to us?
Like Kris said, I don’t understand how come we so easily attribute positive fruit to the devil, but that’s just me.