|Mass trance afflicts Indonesian women|
|Written by Chris Perver|
|Wednesday, 27 February 2008 06:01|
I thought this article was very interesting. Although not specifically related to prophecy, it sheds some light on the modern 'signs and wonders movement' now making inroads into many churches. The article gives an account of one girl who claims to have experienced something similar to what many Christians are now claiming to have experienced, supposedly under the power of the Holy Spirit. Lina says she was 17 years old when she was first possessed by an evil spirit. She lives in Indonesia, where reports of mass trances and speaking in tongues seem to be relatively common. She recounts an experience she had while working in a cigarette factory. "My older sister went down first. She was screaming and her body went rigid and she couldn't move. Then the spirit came into my body too", Lina said. She believes she has been possessed many times over the past six years, always by the same spirit. "Its face is exactly the same face as my older sister but the body is hard to make out. It calls my name but if I follow it, it disappears", she said. Lina says that mass trances were common in the factory were she worked. There have been many other reports of mass trances in Indonesia. Last June around 50 female workers in a garment factory near Jakarta went into a mass trance, weeping and jerking their bodies around. Similar occurrences have also been reported in several high schools.
Quote: ""Every society has some kind of culturally appropriate place for trance experiences, usually in religious settings," said Tanya Luhrmann, a Stamford University anthropologist who studies witchcraft and evangelical Christianity, where such group faintings are common. "There appears to be a contagion element to trance, but it really requires some kind of willingness on the part of the individual," she said in an emailed reply to questions, adding that this was the case even if it seemed unconscious or unwilled.
If you happen to watch some of the Christian satellite television channels, you may be familiar with such phenomenon. You would be forgiven for thinking that this movement is a work of God, for that is how it is portrayed. It has become known as being 'drunk' or 'slain' in the spirit, and the practice is being promoted by several prominent teachers and preachers on Christian television networks, including but not limited to Benny Hinn, Rodney Howard-Browne, Kenneth Hagin and Kenneth Copeland. I downloaded a video from the internet of one particular episode of Kenneth Hagin's, in which he had his whole audience in hysteria, rolling about on the floor in fits of laughter. Hagin himself was deeply affected by the phenomenon, and was hissing like a snake and laughing uncontrollably. Copeland was also present at the meeting. It is very disturbing viewing. As we can see, this phenomenon is not limited to so-called evangelical Christianity. Those that follow the movement will claim that for every work of God, Satan has his counterfeit. But where is the true manifestation of this phenomenon then?
There is no mention of it in the Scriptures. Some will then claim that God is doing a 'new thing'. But the Lord will never go against His written Word, and this movement finds no support in Scripture. People claim to fall down under the power of God. In Benny Hinn's shows you will always see them falling backwards, and being laid out on the floor. But in the Bible, whenever people fall down under the power of God, they always fall on their faces (Genesis 17:3) and never on their backs. The only occasion when people fell backwards under the power of God is when the soldiers came to arrest Jesus Christ (John 18:6). If you watch Benny Hinn's show very closely, you will also notice that those who seem to be praying or concentrating do not fall down as easily when prompted to do so by Benny Hinn. And that may tie in with the above quotation, that there needs to be a willingness on the part of the individual to be induced into a trance. I think I remember one occasion on which Rodney Howard-Browne actually told people not to pray so that they could fall out under this power. Clearly God is not the source of this power.
The Bible states that God is not the author of confusion (1st Corinthians 14:33). Speaking in 'tongues' is also not limited to Christianity. It is closely associated with the occult and Shamanism. I personally believe that the tongues mentioned in the Bible were real languages (Acts 2:7-11), and not the mumbo-jumbo that is often passed off as a heavenly language today. For instance, one video of Kenneth Copeland and Rodney Howard-Browne on the internet shows both men telling each other a joke in 'tongues'. But the Bible states that the miracle of tongues was a sign to the unbelieving Jewish nation (Isaiah 28:11, 1st Corinthians 14:21-22), and that once the complete revelation of the Scriptures had come to us, this gift would pass away (1st Corinthians 13:8-10). Interesting to note that Paul also states the gift of prophecy would pass away, so where does that leave many of these so-called 'prophets' today?
As we can see, the time is ripe for the appearance of the False Prophet. The world, and especially Christendom through the medium of television, is being conditioned into accepting that some Christian leaders have the 'gift' of miracles. While I believe miracles still do happen today, and I have witnessed one, there is a big difference between a real miracle and what these men are passing off as miracles. For a start, a real miracle is glorifying to God, while the miracles these men perform only serve to bring glory to themselves. And when the False Prophet appears on the scene, his miracles will serve only to glorify the Antichrist and Satan himself.
Just like Israel in the Old Testament, Christendom is now being led by a few self-proclaimed prophets who are not speaking on the behalf of God. If they were they would be preaching the truth of Scripture and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Do not blindly accept what men tell you, search the Scriptures to see whether those things are so (Acts 17:11).