John Bloom's picture
06.19.2008 | Comments(9)

Those Slain in the Spirit Must Be Borne Up By the Beefy

You know those beefy guys who stand on the stage at healing services and catch people who fall backwards after Benny Hinn blows on them or they get caught up in a paroxysm of Holy Spirit Fever and lapse into a coma? At Mike Sexton’s Lakewind Fellowship Church in Knoxville, they’re called “assigned catchers,” and they have periodic meetings to discuss catching strategy.

slain in the spirit

Alas, this wasn’t enough to help the luckless Matthew Lincoln, who was seized by the spirit on June 6, 2007, after being lightly touched on the forehead by visiting minister Robert Lavala, causing him to fall backward sans catcher, striking his head and back on a “carpet-covered cement floor.” Lincoln, age 57, was well known to church elders, having regularly received the spirit and fallen backwards since 1995, but since he had a pre-existing degenerative disc disease caused by a 1994 fall resulting in surgical fusion of two vertebrae, his 2007 tumble proved permanently disabling and disastrous for his music production company and recording studio, which had, among other things, been previously struck by lightning. Lincoln is asking the church for $2.5 million to make up for its catcher negligence, and yet his wife Shirley Lincoln wants only $75,000 for “loss of consortium” with her husband, indicating that the recording studio was not the only thing previously struck by lightning.

Balance It Out With an “I Don’t Give a Flip” License Plate

license plate

South Carolina went where Florida feared to tread and approved an “I Believe” personalized Christian license plate that looks exactly like the design that died in committee in Florida. What, they can’t do their own self-righteous plate in South Carolina? They have to call up Florida and ask them to email the PDF file? Anyway, the ACLU is experiencing the usual paroxysms of anti-clerical rage, and this augurs to be one of the top ten time-wasters of the next year. While they were at it, the legislators authorized some Ten Commandments monuments in the public square, just to make sure the litigation goes on into the next century.

Noggins Askew

Turkey seems hellbent on ripping apart the entire society over the issue of whether adult women are allowed to wrap a scarf around their heads while attending university classes. And they say we have culture wars.

The Anemic Commish

Apropos of the hand-wringing at the recent Southern Baptist Convention in Indianapolis, am I a bad person if I don’t particularly care how many Southern Baptists there are (16.3 million), how many of them go to church every week (6.15 million), and whose fault it is that the numbers are declining every year? As we’ve pointed out many times, it only takes 12. When the numbers go below 12, call me, okay?

No Demons Allowed in D.C.

Bobby Jindal, the governor of Louisiana, is once again being raked over the coals for the story he told 14 years ago about participating in the casting out of a demon from a girl he knew in college, and this time the rationale is that, since he’s being considered as John McCain’s running mate, the public has a Right To Know whether he’s an exorcist or not. Obviously he’s not an exorcist. He witnessed an event that can be seen routinely at pentecostal churches everywhere.


He considers it an authentic event, part of “spiritual warfare” that has touched his own life. Unfortunately, to read his 1994 account of the group exorcism, you have to pay $1.50, so I’ll just sum it up: a girl he met through University Christian Fellowship at either Brown University or Oxford (he’s not clear on where it happened, perhaps to protect her identity) started sobbing uncontrollably, partly because she’d been diagnosed with skin cancer and a friend of hers had recently committed suicide. She then collapsed, having an apparent seizure, and was surrounded by her fellow Christians who started trying to cast out what they naturally assumed to be a demon. (If you’ve ever seen one of these prayer circles, then you’re so not amazed that they didn’t call for medical help.)

The hours-long group exorcism was full of ups and downs, profanity and prayer, commands to Satan, intercessory appeals to God, and it eventually was deemed a success when the girl smiled, said “Jesus is Lord,” and then professed not to remember anything that had happened. She was also apparently cured of her cancer. Jindal wrote the article for New Oxford Review, the conservative Catholic journal, although it reads like the sort of evangelical story you tell right before an altar call. It wouldn’t seem to be at all out of place in Louisiana, where there are far stranger wars among principalities and powers along the bayous than Jindal ever witnessed in the ecstatic churches of the Ivy League. Once again, what happened to the Mitt Romney Rule of leaving this stuff out of politics entirely? Were you guys just kidding?


Anonymous | 10:32 pm on 6/19/2008

If they need more "catchers" they could recruit retired baseball catchers, like Mike Piazza, Mike Leiberthal, etc. Call their agents and make an offer.

Anonymous | 02:37 am on 6/20/2008

Justin Peters holds seminars on the Word of Faith movement and spoke at my church and comes highly recommended by my Pastor, Dr. John MacArthur.

On his site he has a link to his "demo" given at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Its a brief overview of his seminar of the roots of the WoF movement. See:

This is a radio interview he just did on Way of the Master radio...

Justin Peters ( was on Way of the Master Radio with Todd Friel on this:

filesfromtoni -

Anonymous | 09:55 am on 6/20/2008

Sounds like the AC's (assigned catchers)need add'l training; need to expand the "Catcher's Catechism"

SRebbe | 12:54 pm on 6/20/2008
  1. 'catching strategies'? your tax-exempt dollars at work, ladies and gentlemen. remember to buy the extra-thick carpet padding with that benevolence fund.
  2. 'I believe' in 'Thou Shalt Not Steal' and 'Freedom of Religion'. heck, design a Druidic plate just for fun and see what the ACLU does.
  3. just plain spooky. and we whine about [sometimes] not being able to display a religious Christmas card in a cubicle.
  4. so many denominations everywhere are fretting over declining numbers but fail to look at the heart of the matter... has it always been about just numbers and not true discipleship? maybe that's what it's getting back to, not just another warm body in the pew.
  5. grand mal seizures are apparently the work of the Devil.
Droslovinia | 12:18 pm on 6/24/2008

Doesn't it just make you shiver to think that somewhere there are 10 million Southern Baptists running around loose outside their churches on Sunday mornings?

Grand mal and football are the debil!

Lilly | 01:40 pm on 6/24/2008

I think the Southern Baptist numbers are way off.
I know that I am still carried on the membership list at my childhood church. (I guess they think it would sentence me to hell if my name was not on their roll.)
Second Church, during College, also still has me on their roll.
Third Church, where I am now, has me on their roll.
If all Southern Baptist Churches do their membership rolls this way, that means that their are only about 6 to 8 million Southern Baptist members.
Trim off the dead wood and clean up the membership rolls.
If I transfer my Letter, take me off your roll.
The SBC local Clerks are not keeping books for Saint Peter. Wake Up

Anonymous | 12:17 am on 6/25/2008

In my opinion some exorcisms are legit. I didn't feel like paying $1.50 to find out if this one was. Thanks John.

Anonymous | 02:25 pm on 8/05/2008

I LOVE John Bloom's astute perspective, acerbic wit and candid writing style. The guy has discernment out the ears. As a born-again Christian through faith in Christ, I too have discernment and am not blown about by every wind of doctrine.

Peter Monroe | 04:32 pm on 9/12/2008

these are some very interesting issues. I would be upset if I was let to smash into the church floor. I know that for sure.

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