Religion & Spirituality

Catching the Spirit: Is It a Sign of Legitimate Religious Worship, or Should Onlookers Be More Worried?

I received a phone call from a family member who regularly attends church. This person was calling to tell me about a recent event that had taken place in a church service he attended. Apparently, one of the pastors of the church has become so full of “the Spirit” that he fall out in church and appeared to be in the throes of a seizure. My family member became worried, rushed to the side of the man on the floor and attempted to rouse him from his febrile state. Some other members of the congregation told my family member to leave the pastor alone on the floor–just let him lie there; he would get up when he was ready.

My family friend said the incident deeply disturbed him; fervent religious worship is one thing, falling out on the floor with the appearance of being in a catatonic or seizure-like state is quite another.

Luckily, the pastor who had fallen out on the floor was eventually able to get up without any assistance.

Certain denominations of churches are known for their spirited worship services, where congregants are not only allowed but encouraged to run around the church, speak in tongues, shout and be as disruptive as possible. But if someone is truly having a mental breakdown or a seizure, how you would be able to differentiate if the person is experiencing an acute-onset medical problem that requires medical attention from a sign of religious fervor that is sure to abate once the choir stops singing?

Several Bible quotes refer to making sure that worship and other activities done in church take place in a ‘decent and orderly’ fashion.

In light of the recent coronation of Bishop Eddie Long of New Birth Missionary Baptist church as a ‘king’, is it possible that too many predominately black churches have lost their way when it comes to not only worshiping God in church, but practicing the faith in ‘Spirit’ and truth?

If you are Christian, give me you thoughts on the state of predominately black churches today. If you are NOT a Christian, tell us what you think too; was there something about the way you saw Christianity being practiced that caused you to leave the church but not leave Christ?

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