Friday, June 6, 2008

Slain in Suing the Spirit

Today's discussion on Pentecostal church services comes to you via a lawsuit in Tennessee...

Man Falls After Receiving Spirit, Sues

    Last June, Matthew Lincoln was attending an evening service at his nondenominational Tennessee church when he approached the altar where a visiting minister was offering individual prayers for parishioners. Assigned "catchers" were present on the altar in case congregants fainted, fell, or otherwise lost control. When the minister, Robert Lavala, slightly touched his forehead, the Knoxville-area man "received the spirit and fell backwards." Except nobody was there to catch him, Lincoln charges in a $2.5 million lawsuit filed yesterday against Lakewind Church and its pastors. Lincoln, 58, claims that he fell backwards, striking his head against the "carpet-covered cement floor," according to the Circuit Court complaint, which was first reported by Courthouse News Service. A copy of Lincoln's lawsuit can be found below. Since he already suffered from a "degenerative disc disease of his neck and back," Lincoln, a former church board member, contends the fall exacerbated the pre-existing condition and has caused him "severe and permanent" injuries. As a result of the fall, Lincoln, a recording engineer, claims that he is no longer able to care for his disabled daughter. Lincoln alleges that Lakewind and its pastors were "negligent in not supervising the catchers to be sure that they stood behind the person being prayed for...should they have a dizzying, fainting, or falling in the spirit as had occurred on many occasions before." Lincoln's lawyer, J.D. Lee, told TSG that the church's insurer, Zurich of North America, rejected an insurance claim, asserting that Lincoln should have realized that no catchers were situated behind him. [from The Smoking Gun]
Is it really the "power of the Spirit" when it gives you severe and permanent injuries?


Macca said...

First rule of Pentecostal prayer lines:

1. Have catchers handy.

And the second is like unto the first:

2. If you're praying for a lady, have a modesty cloth ready.

Macca said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Macca said...

And again, this is the sort of story that gives Christians everywhere a bad name. Mocking those whacky charismatics may make we who are a little more "normal," feel a bit better about ourselves, but this is the sort of thing that makes it harder for us to reach the world.

scott said...

Agreed. I don't mean to mock, mostly I just thought it was a funny story.

Although I was thinking it might provoke another discussion on gifts and the spirit.

Mr. E said...

Maybe the Holy Spirit wanted to use an injured man to do something great for God? Never question the Spirit.

I have often questioned the "coming upon of the Spirit" in that particular religion. I realize the Spirit can move in whatever way He chooses, but it just dosn't seem to make sense when their is no logic or method to why the "Spirit" makes people speak in tounges that no one can interpret, roll on the floor, play with snakes or other things.

Besides I thought once the Holy Spirit entered you through salvation, baptism, or whatever, it was with you forever. You don't fill up on Sunday and have it drain out of you like gasoline, just to be filled up again.