I was a preacher in a black denominational church for 25 years. I preached an average of one sermon a week, with 12 of those years preaching 3 sermons a week. On one occasion in the pulpit in 1983, I felt a strange power come upon me where it seemed I was “not myself.” I was in a rather strong altered state of consciousness. I thought it was simply an extra powerful anointing of the Holy Ghost. I now know that IT WAS NOT!!! I had reservations about it because of the struggle I was having with a particular sin at that time. I wondered “how and why would God anoint me like this at such a challenging time in my spiritual walk? I said to myself “hmmmm.”
I knew nothing about sermonizing. When I went to church for the first in 1979, I had never even heard a sermon before and so when I was informed in 1981 that upon entering ministry, I would be required to preach a trial sermon on October 25, 1981, I had no idea what a sermon was. So in the summer of ’81, I began to preach in my sleep, in preparation for the October day of trial. I also walked around all day for about 30 days, muttering sermons. The muttered sermons were supernatural. Nevertheless, I thought that I was under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. It took about 25 years for me to find out that in those early and strange days, I was under the “anointing” of a religious spirit or demon who the enemy had assigned to me. I thank God that when I DID enter the pulpit to preach and pastor, it was less than a handful of times out of at least 2 thousand sermons that this noticeably strange power came upon me. I have since discovered that it is a demonic power, in no way, the Holy Ghost.
Oh yes! Demons enjoy preaching. I came out of a denomination where men who were adulterers, fornicators, perverts, closet homosexuals could preach so hard, that they could affect even me, in spite of what I personally knew about the intimate, sometimes secret details of each preacher’s life. At least 10 times a year, 50-100 ministers gathered at various regional church functions and a different handful were selected to preach at these gatherings. When those ministers whom I personally knew were corrupt were assigned to preach, I harnessed down my soul to protect myself from being overpowered, but there were times when I would lose control. Their power was too strong. I often wondered about it over the years. How could these corrupt men overtake my soul with one of their sermons in spite of my pre-planned resistance to it? Could this be God? Would God use such sinful men to preach HIS WORD???!!!
It took two decades or more to find out the answer to that question. The answer is NO!!!! The Holy Spirit does not anoint such preachers but the devil DOES!!!. It is called communal intoxication as studied and named by the founder of sociology, Max Weber.
Communal intoxication is defined by Weber as the supernormal ability of magicians, wizards, witches and charismatic religious leaders. With the god concept at its center, they induce an altered state of consciousness in their followers as demonstrated by the congregation’s manifestation of convulsions, trembling, and intense effusions of excitement and ecstasy. (Come Out of Her God’s People, pg 190) Weber points out that that communal intoxication has a contagious effect where it can spread throughout an audience or congregation of people, infecting those assembled with sensations of enhanced emotionalism and vitality. This definition explains the so called holy dance, holy rollers, holy laughter, running around the church building, perhaps even tongues and slain in the spirit phenomena.
This power was manifested in my presence for 25 years among denominational African American preachers. Keep in mind that Weber’s studies were predominately tribal communities on other continents, including Africa and Asia. Webers findings suggest that the altered state appeal has a significant connection to today’s charismatic leaders’ ability to cause large numbers of people to believe that they have been released from bondages and that they have “heard from God.”
One thing Weber pointed out is that none of what we see today in the churches is a new phenomena. Paganism has used hypnotic or altered states of consciousness in their various forms of worship with the use of drums and instruments to arouse the soul for decades. In the churches, similar techniques and strategies use emotional songs and lyrics to work congregants into a spiritual frenzy that is not the anointing of God. Those most vulnerable are usually emotionally struggling and in some cases, they relish an opportunity to have a fit.
African American denominational preachers learn from each other. When they emulate the preaching styles of others, like whooping for example, they are often unaware that what they have acquired are hypnotic skills. I suspect that most Charismatic preachers know exactly what they are doing. Either way, be the preacher uninformed and innocent or deliberate and guilty, you are still sitting in a congregation that is actually being manipulated and led by unseen forces known as religious spirits aka demons and fallen angels. So be warned. Evil spirits are looking for opportunities to enter their subjects who have been mesmerized or hypnotized into an altered state. A church service is very conducive to demonic manipulation. The altered state of consciousness enables them to take control of their human targets.
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