God’s Spirit or Human Hysteria? My Time Among the Charismatics

Jeff Robinson | October 7, 2016


See also: How I Learned to Separate Meat from Bone in the Charismatic Tradition” (Jason Cook)


I’ve been a Southern Baptist all my life, and my Pentecostal/charismatic friends in high school good-naturedly referred to my congregation as “the frozen chosen.” I never fully understood what they meant by that phrase until I attended, at the invitation of a friend, a charismatic revival service.

At First Baptist Church, we sang from the hymnal and quietly listened to the preached Word. The closest thing to disorder was an occasional “amen” or “preach it, brother” during the sermon.

It’s a vast understatement, then, to say the charismatic experience was brand new for me.

On the first night, I heard numerous messages in tongues. I witnessed seemingly uncontrollable laughter (“Holy Ghost laughter,” they called it), fainting spells, intense weeping and wailing, prophecies ranging from predictions of deliverance from headaches and cancer to forecasts of God’s wrath on select American cities. I watched a man and woman run laps around the sanctuary. In the corner, a younger man bounced up and down, convulsing as if he’d grabbed hold of a live electrical wire. In a pew behind me, a woman was engaged in what appeared to be jumping jacks…


To read the rest of this article, visit https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/gods-spirit-or-human-hysteria-my-time-among-charismatics.