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Featured Cessationists: how do you explain the following videos?

Discussion in 'Denomination Specific Theology' started by TruthSeek3r, Aug 11, 2020.

  1. TruthSeek3r

    TruthSeek3r Member

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    The following are example videos of people experiencing shaking and trembling in religious settings, mainly in Pentecostal and Charismatic groups:
    Many people claim these manifestations have a supernatural cause. For example here are some quotes from first-hand experiencers of the phenomenon:
    • Testimony 1: this is by far the best testimony I know of. The context is the Brownsville Revival. In the video a lady testifies about her experience of body shaking and trembling allegedly as a manifestation of the Holy Spirit acting upon her. In fact she begins to shake and tremble on camera as she is narrating her testimony. At 6:46 the lady and the preacher begin to talk specifically about the causes of her tremors. At 7:12 she says "[...]like right now, I think the Glory of God is so strong up here, my body can't really take it and that's why I'm doing this [...]"
    • Testimony 2: The testimony as a whole is powerful, but regarding body shaking and trembling at 4:54 the guy describes his experience. Here a quote: "[...] my body started doing things that defied metaphysics, my body started doing things that I couldn't explain. I started levitating and bouncing off of the chair I was sitting in like a jack hammer [...]"
    • Testimony 3: "[...]I felt an electricity, a fire[...]" followed by the girl trembling and fainting in reaction to the command of the preacher. Then the preacher says "The power of God is the kingdom of God manifesting in our midst[...]".
    • Testimony 4: "[...]I felt an electricity all through my body, in all of my joints[...]", followed by the woman trembling and fainting in reaction to the command of the preacher (just like in the previous testimony).
    • Testimony 5: "[...]I felt a heat, and I felt a peace[...]", followed by the woman trembling and fainting in reaction to the command of the preacher (again).
    • Testimony 6: "[...]I felt a vibrating that I'm feeling right now[...]", followed by the guy fainting and feeling a sort of ecstasy based on his facial expression, in response to the preacher's command.
    • Testimony 7: "[...]I was burning all over, and I felt so free, He just embraces you and makes you feel so loved[...]", followed by the guy losing the equilibrium and fainting, in response to the preacher's command.
    Many of these videos pertain to Andres Bisonni's ministry, who has run dozens of "miracle crusades" around the world. In this video he claims that his ministry is about "signs, wonders and miracles" and in this video he claims that his ministry started with a supernatural encounter with the Holy Spirit that changed his life. Andres Bissoni has a YouTube Channel with more than 375K subscribers, from which I borrowed most of the example videos above. Most of these videos are highlight video clips from "miracle crusades" and "Holy Spirit revival meetings" and are intended to showcase "the power of God". In particular, most of those highlight clips show instances of dramatic body shaking and trembling, so the claim that they are supernatural is obvious.

    Likewise, Example 7 took place in an evangelistic campaign in Mexico led by the Hispanic pastor and evangelist Juan Carlos Harrigan, who also has a YouTube Channel with over 1 million subscribers. In the video the preacher says in Spanish "[...] está muy fuerte la unción sobre ella, agárrenla, está muy fuerte [...]" which in English translates to "[...] the anointing over her is very strong, hold her, it's very strong [...]", meaning that the dramatic body shaking and trembling the girl experienced is allegedly the result of God's anointing being poured over her.

    So we have live recordings of people dramatically shaking and trembling, multiple first-hand testimonies and at least two very influential preachers claiming these manifestations are supernaturally caused.

    So, how do cessationists explain these videos? What is really going on with these manifestations?
    ___________________

    Update: if you disregard all these manifestations claiming that they are just psychological, then I challenge you to post an answer here: Is there a scientific explanation for dramatic body shaking and trembling in religious settings? (see videos for illustrative examples). Let's see if your "explanation" can survive Psychology & Neuroscience StackExchange's peer review process.
    ___________________

    Update 2: super interesting discussion on the subject with a reputable member of Psychology & Neuroscience StackExchange: Discussion between Tony Mobbs and Spirit Realm Investigator | chat.stackexchange.com
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2020
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  2. SoldierOfTheKing

    SoldierOfTheKing Christian Spenglerian

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    Can we rule out demonic possession?
     
  3. The Righterzpen

    The Righterzpen Jesus is my Shield in any Desert or Storm

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    We also see this same behavior in pagan religions. There are videos on YouTube of Hindus being "slain in the spirit" and "speaking in tongues". Same with Muslims, Jews and satanists.

    So.....????

    Also, all the people in Scripture who fell over backwards were all under the condemnation of God.
     
  4. Aussie Pete

    Aussie Pete Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I am absolutely NOT a cessationist. However, the supernatural is NOT the spiritual. Satan can and does counterfeit signs, wonders, tongues and other not-natural manifestations.

    Our fellowship examined the Toronto Blessing when it was launched in the 1990's. The Bible warns us that such false manifestations will occur - 1 Thessalonians 2:9 and Mark 13:22 refer to such false signs and wonders.

    How do you discern the real from the false? This is what we concluded:
    1. Who gets the glory? If it is not the Lord Jesus, it is not the Holy Spirit. (John 13:14)
    2. Is the meeting orderly? (1 Corinthians 14:40). I've been to meetings that were a freak show, not at all edifying or glorifying the Lord Jesus
    3. Are people hearing the gospel preached? At Pensacola, people were getting out of their cars, falling over and then declared to be saved. I've met people who claimed the same thing. Absolute rubbish.
    4. Are people aware and alert to what is going on? God never violates the will of man. One of the main proponents of the TB told people not to pray but just to drink it in. He called himself a "Holy Ghost bartender." That is certainly not God's way
    5. Is there any fruit? I've been observing the results of the TB for 25 years. It's not pretty. People I knew well became hostile to me because I rejected the TB. There was a good deal of religious pride as well, which has always been a problem with Pentecostalism.

    Certainly seek the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. He has already been poured out. There is no need to go through any spiritual gymnastics. Never forget that Lord Jesus is the Baptiser. Too many obsess about the gift and forget the Giver. It is a gift - all we have to do is ask and receive. Then be thankful.
     
  5. TruthSeek3r

    TruthSeek3r Member

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    Can you share some examples from other religions (honest request)? Also, are you implying that all these manifestations are demonic? If demons are producing counterfeit manifestations today, can the Holy Spirit produce genuine manifestations today also?
     
  6. TruthSeek3r

    TruthSeek3r Member

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    No, but that would still be a supernatural cause though.
     
  7. TruthSeek3r

    TruthSeek3r Member

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    If Satan performs counterfeit manifestations today, does that mean there are genuine manifestations of the Holy Spirit today too?
     
  8. Aussie Pete

    Aussie Pete Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Sure. Speaking in tongues is genuine. So are words of prophecy, words of wisdom, healing (I've had a gift of healing myself), discerning of spirits - all the gifts are valid. The anointing can be so strong that people are unable to stand. However, being thrown backwards, rolling around on the floor, falling backwards (one lady suffered a fractured skull), stumbling around like a drunk, cackling like a lunatic and crowing like a rooster are not of God. I saw two videos of the meeting that launched the Toronto Blessing in the USA. The instigators were Rodney Howard-Brown and Kenneth Copeland. Since the meeting was public and recorded, I will name names.

    Before I was saved, I attended a show put on by a hypnotist. He put people in a trance and proceeded to humiliate them in front of hundreds of people. I saw the same thing at the TB meeting. Mr Howard-Brown emulated Darth Vader and stopped a preacher from speaking. He made the same preacher run around the stage like a chicken.

    Just after I was first saved, I felt a great force pressing on me while I was trying to sleep. I was freaked out. I knew nothing, but I said the name "Jesus!" and the pressure came off instantly. A pastor I knew had the same experience but attributed it to God. I was not bold enough to tell him he was wrong. God can do anything He pleases, but He has His own principles that govern His ways. He will not violate His principles.
     
  9. The Righterzpen

    The Righterzpen Jesus is my Shield in any Desert or Storm

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    Here are discussions about glossolalia (speaking in tongues) that talk about it happening in other religions. Some of these sources are secular, some of them aren't. So unless you want to say the Holy Ghost will (and does) indwell non-Christians; you got some issues with the practice of glossolalia.

    Which of course presents the question of whether glossolalia itself is "demonic" or not? (Define demonic?) Evidence seems to point to "it depends on the circumstance". Yet "depends on the circumstance" carries a lot of factors too. Is it actually a "natural phenomena"? While apparently in some cases it's the medically measurable manifestation of an epileptic seizure.

    Also you have to compare what is happening to Scripture. What constituted "speaking in tongues" in the Scripture? It's very clear in Acts that people were hearing the gospel in their own native tongue. Now did the people who were speaking understand what they were saying? Did John speaking in Aramaic be heard in Arabic by someone else? That's a little unclear; but it is certainly clear that the receiver heard Arabic. One of the articles speaks of the difference between the speaker's "edification" and the receiver's "edification". The gift of tongues in the Scripture was specifically for preaching the gospel. That is clear in Scripture.

    Now some of the comments; (in especially the research site) speak of glossolalia actually showing up on an EEG as a form of epileptic discharge in the temporal lobe of the brain.

    Now that comment I find fascinating because my son has temporal lobe epilepsy and though I've never heard him speak gibberish during a seizure; he has described seeing (usually grey humanoid forms) that aren't there. Yet that too is a known phenomena in epilepsy. That can also happen to someone who's had an encounter with a strong electromagnetic field.

    So some of these experiences people think are "spiritual / supernatural" are actually natural phenomena. Another paper speaks of that. Glossolalia being a natural phenomena of "ecstatic worship" and this is why it's seen in multiple religious contexts.

    Is speaking in tongues present in other religions besides...

    Speaking In Tongues Isn’t What It Used To Be

    pent03 Kundalini and Tongues - Christian Literature
     
  10. Albion

    Albion Facilitator

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    Since you ask, how about this answer--it's expected in those churches, the people who go there know this, and some of those churches even teach them how to do it?
     
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  11. TruthSeek3r

    TruthSeek3r Member

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    Any references to back this up? Any evidence of people practicing "shaking and trembling" dramatically as in the top 6 example videos?

    Your explanation is basically claiming that they are all faking it, then how do you explain that children (like here, here, here, here), elderly (like here, here) and even prison inmates are experiencing this stuff?
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2020
  12. tdidymas

    tdidymas Newbie

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    Can you pls give examples other than Eli?
    TD:)
     
  13. tdidymas

    tdidymas Newbie

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    It could be complex human phenomena. Charismatic leaders acting like cheer leaders among those with high expectations and large crowds who build up happy chemicals in their brains by way of pep rallys can and do exhibit the same behavior. Not to say it is wrong or ungodly. But just because something gives people pleasure, just because it appears to boost their faith (at least temporarily), just because it has an "electric" atmosphere, just because it has religious significance - does that automatically mean it is godly or Biblical?

    One thing problematic among believers of this persuasion is attributing human actions or phenomena to the supernatural. For example, modern day tongues is so obviously not the same thing depicted in Acts 2, that most tongue talkers I've conversed with spend lots of time trying to justify the difference, because they have an agenda to call it a "gift of the Spirit" as if it was the same thing described in the scripture. In my many hours of research on the subject (because I used to be one of them), I became convinced that modern day tongues is a human phenomenon and not miraculous at all.

    On the other hand, many cessationists I've talked to attribute it to demonic activity which is also supernatural. I think it's just a misunderstanding, though, in my research and experience. I think that people experience something in their feelings, or do something they didn't think they could do, and then assume that it's God doing it, when it could simply be a psychological phenomenon that is related to their expectations and desires.

    Don't get me wrong here, I've also experienced what appeared to be some powerful things that made me do and say things I would never have done or said according to my "natural personality." But if God really is doing a healing work by means such human phenomenon, then it can help people to cope with what they consider is their bad circumstances, and help their faith in Him. However, it introduces the problem of addiction to those feelings and activities which hinder spiritual growth. Many times people become addicted to the feelings of those events and seek that, rather than seeking what God wants for them, which is character growth and maturity.

    I have no doubt that God can and does perform supernatural acts of healing today, as I have heard many testimonies and read about them. However, I have also heard and read about people who felt as if they were healed, and testified that they were healed, but weren't in fact healed. I have also heard and read about many so-called miracles that were so obviously not miracles it was embarrassing. So then, with my belief, some call me a cessationist, but others call me charismatic, and it depends on their opinion, view point, and agenda about how they judge me.

    So then, is God doing His work in all those examples? Well, that would be a controversial and very complex discussion in my opinion. God can use anything to draw people to Himself, and if people need miracles in order to believe, He'll do it (John 4:48), even if those "miracles" are not really miracles. I define "miracle" as something that is contrary to the physical laws of creation. Something that happens in consort with those laws but draws attention to God is not a miracle, but it could be a work of the Spirit or a Providential event. The tongues of Acts 2 was miraculous, since the languages spoken by the apostles were not learned. People being instantly healed (and permanently) are miraculous events. People being healed of cancer through chemotherapy is not miraculous. People falling down smiling with closed eyes is not miraculous, even if it appears so.
    TD:)
     
  14. TruthSeek3r

    TruthSeek3r Member

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    Is this just an "educated guess" or are you basing your claims on psychology / neuroscience studies? Remember I'm talking about the experience of shaking/trembling dramatically in religious settings, watch the first six/seven examples to get a good idea of what I'm talking about.


    But what about the dramatic cases of shaking/trembling observed in the example videos? Is there any known scientific explanation for that?
     
  15. TruthSeek3r

    TruthSeek3r Member

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    Thanks for sharing all this, but you are talking about glossolalia, which is not the common topic of the example videos I shared in the OP. I'm talking specifically about the experience of dramatic shaking or trembling in religious settings (watch the top six/seven videos to understand what I'm talking about, they are very illustrative of the phenomenon).
     
  16. The Righterzpen

    The Righterzpen Jesus is my Shield in any Desert or Storm

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    To go backwards in Scripture is to incur God's wrath. To fall over backwards is a "sign" of that.

    Two incidence where people fell over backwards. One (as you've already indicated) was Eli the priest. He fell over backwards when the ark of the covenant was captured.

    The second were those who came to arrest Jesus.

    Psalm 40
    13 Be pleased, O Lord, to deliver me: O Lord, make haste to help me.
    14 Let them be ashamed and confounded together that seek after my soul to destroy it; let them be driven backward and put to shame that wish me evil.
    15 Let them be desolate for a reward of their shame that say unto me, Aha, aha.

    This is a Messianic psalm and what he says here actually happened. Psalm 70 is the same language.

    1 Make haste, o God, to deliver me; make haste to help me, O Lord.
    2 Let them be ashamed and confounded that seek after my soul: let them be turned backward, and put to confusion, that desire my hurt.
    3 Let them be turned back for a reward of their shame that say, Aha, aha.

    This finds it's fulfillment in John

    John 18
    5 They answered him, Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus saith unto them, I am he. And Judas also, which betrayed him, stood with them.
    6 As soon then as he had said unto them, I am he, they went backward, and fell to the ground.
    7 Then asked he them again, Whom seek ye? And they said, Jesus of Nazareth.

    Isaiah speaks of Israel's disobedience causing them to go backwards.

    Isaiah 1
    3 The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master's crib: but Israel doth not know, my people doth not consider.
    4 Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the Lord, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward.
    5 Why should ye be stricken any more? ye will revolt more and more: the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint.

    They received instruction that they did not heed.

    Isaiah 28
    12 To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear.
    13 But the word of the Lord was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken.
    14 Wherefore hear the word of the Lord, ye scornful men, that rule this people which is in Jerusalem.

    Isaiah 44
    24 Thus saith the Lord, thy redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb, I am the Lord that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself;
    25 That frustrateth the tokens of the liars, and maketh diviners mad; that turneth wise men backward, and maketh their knowledge foolish;
    26 That confirmeth the word of his servant, and performeth the counsel of his messengers; that saith to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be inhabited; and to the cities of Judah, Ye shall be built, and I will raise up the decayed places thereof:

    Isaiah 59
    13 In transgressing and lying against the Lord, and departing away from our God, speaking oppression and revolt, conceiving and uttering from the heart words of falsehood.
    14 And judgment is turned away backward, and justice standeth afar off: for truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter.
    15 Yea, truth faileth; and he that departeth from evil maketh himself a prey: and the Lordsaw it, and it displeased him that there was no judgment.

    Jeremiah 7
    23 But this thing commanded I them, saying, Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be my people: and walk ye in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well unto you.
    24 But they hearkened not, nor inclined their ear, but walked in the counsels and in the imagination of their evil heart, and went backward, and not forward.
    25 Since the day that your fathers came forth out of the land of Egypt unto this day I have even sent unto you all my servants the prophets, daily rising up early and sending them:

    Jeremiah 15
    5 For who shall have pity upon thee, O Jerusalem? or who shall bemoan thee? or who shall go aside to ask how thou doest?
    6 Thou hast forsaken me, saith the Lord, thou art gone backward: therefore will I stretch out my hand against thee, and destroy thee; I am weary with repenting.
    7 And I will fan them with a fan in the gates of the land; I will bereave them of children, I will destroy my people since they return not from their ways.

    Lamentations 1
    7 Jerusalem remembered in the days of her affliction and of her miseries all her pleasant things that she had in the days of old, when her people fell into the hand of the enemy, and none did help her: the adversaries saw her, and did mock at her sabbaths.
    8 Jerusalem hath grievously sinned; therefore she is removed: all that honoured her despise her, because they have seen her nakedness: yea, she sigheth, and turneth backward.
    9 Her filthiness is in her skirts; she remembereth not her last end; therefore she came down wonderfully: she had no comforter. O Lord, behold my affliction: for the enemy hath magnified himself.
     
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  17. The Righterzpen

    The Righterzpen Jesus is my Shield in any Desert or Storm

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    All the people in the Scriptures who had convulsions were either epileptic, insane, possessed by demons; or both ill and possessed.

    No where in Scripture does it say that to be possessed by the Holy Ghost causes people to shake.

    Mark 9
    17 And one of the multitude answered and said, Master, I have brought unto thee my son, which hath a dumb spirit;
    18 And wheresoever he taketh him, he teareth him: and he foameth, and gnasheth with his teeth, and pineth away: and I spake to thy disciples that they should cast him out; and they could not.
    19 He answereth him, and saith, O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him unto me.
    20 And they brought him unto him: and when he saw him, straightway the spirit tare him; and he fell on the ground, and wallowed foaming.
    21 And he asked his father, How long is it ago since this came unto him? And he said, Of a child.

    Matthew 17
    14 And when they were come to the multitude, there came to him a certain man, kneeling down to him, and saying,
    15 Lord, have mercy on my son: for he is lunatick, and sore vexed: for ofttimes he falleth into the fire, and oft into the water.
    16 And I brought him to thy disciples, and they could not cure him.
    17 Then Jesus answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him hither to me.
    18 And Jesus rebuked the devil; and he departed out of him: and the child was cured from that very hour.

    Mark 1
    23 And there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit; and he cried out,
    24 Saying, Let us alone; what have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth? art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art, the Holy One of God.
    25 And Jesus rebuked him, saying, Hold thy peace, and come out of him.
    26 And when the unclean spirit had torn him, and cried with a loud voice, he came out of him.

    Luke 9
    38 And, behold, a man of the company cried out, saying, Master, I beseech thee, look upon my son: for he is mine only child.
    39 And, lo, a spirit taketh him, and he suddenly crieth out; and it teareth him that he foameth again, and bruising him hardly departeth from him.
    40 And I besought thy disciples to cast him out; and they could not.
    41 And Jesus answering said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you, and suffer you? Bring thy son hither.
    42 And as he was yet a coming, the devil threw him down, and tare him. And Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit, and healed the child, and delivered him again to his father.

    The only other reference to trembling is to tremble in fear. And that's connected to judgement.

    The nations shall tremble.
    Deuteronomy 2:25
    Jeremiah 33:8-10
    Danile 6:26

    Those who fear judgement tremble.
    Psalm 119:120
    Jeremiah 5:21-23
    (even before earthly rulers) Daniel 5:18-20

    Those operating out of God's power are told not to (and do not) tremble.
    Deuteronomy 20:3

    In multiple passages people are told not to fear. In 170 places some context of "fear not" is instructed to believers God comes to.
     
  18. tdidymas

    tdidymas Newbie

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    Like I said, my experience. It doesn't take a rocket scientist or Harvard graduate to see (eventually) that there is something wrong with the picture, especially with some knowledge of scripture. Here is what some psychologists say about it:
    Religious ecstasy
    https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/hide-and-seek/201501/the-psychology-ecstasy
    https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/ambigamy/201411/fanaticism-is-disease-alcoholism

    I think I know what I'm talking about, because I have experienced the same kinds of things. Shaking and falling has been an expectation in this camp for many decades. When I was young and immature, I did the same because it was an expected activity. Coupled with ecstatic feelings, the shaking can seem out of control, especially when the expectation is strong and the person doesn't want that feeling to dissipate, and especially when the person is deceived into thinking it is Holy Spirit activity. This kind of fanaticism is fuel for the fires of cults and false religions in which they do these things.

    I'm not saying that those in this camp are cultists, although some of the doctrines taught among them are right on the edge. As far as those examples, I don't need to go very far to say it's all very typical. #3 looks very fake at first, and when people get psyched up for emotional outburst, the outcome can appear genuine because of the emotional expression. Yet good actors can control their emotional expression, some very well, in which it appears genuine on the big screen, and we see it all the time. As far as I'm concerned, these are mainly expressions of fleshly emotions, and not supernatural events.

    Whenever someone gets emotional about their situation with tears and trembling voice, we consider that as inspiration. Yes, I experience inspiration sometimes when the words and music of a song increase my awareness of God. That is worship from the heart, and certain kinds of activity (like trembling voice) is typical. It doesn't mean there is supernatural activity in that case. In groups where shaking and falling are expected as a manifestation of the Spirit, then such activity will be practiced, especially when people are using it as a springboard for worship in order to get those feelings of ecstasy. People do that because they think it makes them closer to God, or that they have had an encounter with God. And this is how such activity can be addictive.
    TD:)
     
  19. Daniel Marsh

    Daniel Marsh Well-Known Member

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  20. Daniel Marsh

    Daniel Marsh Well-Known Member

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    Example 1 is either poor editing or simply an Small Van de Graaff Generator. I did that trick in the 1950's for a School Talent Show.
     
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