THE LAUGHING PHENOMENA
Its History and Possible Effects
on the Church
PART 1: From South Africa to St. Louis to Toronto to Your Church
By Ed Tarkowski
Sooner or later, every Evangelical, Fundamentalist, Catholic, Charismatic/
Pentecostal, Reconstructionist, Restorationist, and mainline Protestant
will be faced with a decision to follow either Jesus Christ or the new
breed of prophets in the Church. For the hundreds of thousands from every
segment of Christianity who've already observed the so-called 'fire of
God' manifesting in every conceivable way during 'Holy Laughing' services,
that point has already been reached.
Prepare your hearts, people of God, in the valley of decision.
UP CLOSE N' PERSONAL
"You want to know how strong the 'force' of it is, Ed? Even WE came away
from it wondering if perhaps we had missed something. To be the only two
adults not caught up in this in a crowd of roughly 300 other adults makes
you wonder if your own ears have become dull of hearing! At least for a
moment or two. You kind of do a double-take."
My friend Debra, a mature Christian apologist of long-standing, well-experienced
in debating cult devotees and members of non-christian religions, was describing
her encounter with the laughing phenomena now racing across the world.
A friend had asked her to see this "new anointing" at her church, and they'd
both been taken aback by its power: "Have WE gone utterly mad," they wondered,
"or is it them? Is something wrong with US, or is there something wrong
This phenomena, variously referred to as "a time of refreshing," "another
Pentecost," "Holy Laughter," and the "Toronto Blessing," is described as
manifestations of "the Spirit" uncommon to orthodox Christianity. Hundreds
of thousands of people have already been affected by this spirit, some
paralyzed in place in various positions, some frozen to the floor for hours
on end, and some, unable to walk, having to be carried to their cars following
the service. Many feel the "fire of God" within, becoming so hot they are
forced to remove some of their clothes. In one report, a person saw an
angel pouring hot oil over him as he lay "nailed to the floor," and in
another, a man acting as a roaring lion pawed at the chest of the pastor's
wife. Even the four living creatures before the throne of the Lamb, as
seen in Revelation 4, have supposedly been manifested during a service.
In that incident, one man acted like an eagle flying around the room; another
roared like a lion; a third pawed the ground and snorted like an ox. The
person manifesting as "the man" took the stance of the mighty warrior,
Always accompanying these other manifestations is the hysterical laughter
from which the phenomena derives its name. This laughter often pervades
the audience to such a degree that it disrupts the traditional portions
of the service. It is not uncommon to hear that the hysteria made it impossible
for preachers to continue sharing the word of God on serious subjects,
such as the death of Stephen or the reality of hell. Another serious consequence,
as universal as the phenomena itself, is the division it is causing within
denominations, congregations, families and friendships. Many are experiencing
deep separation from those they once knew in close fellowship with the
In spite of these and other grave problems with the laughing phenomena,
many church leaders and opinion-makers have jumped onto the bandwagon to
help toot its horn. In their new book, well-known authors Charles and Frances
Hunter praise the movement:
"The Spirit of God is swiftly moving in breathtaking and sometimes startling
new ways, and people of every tongue and every nation are letting out what
is on the inside of them. . . . they are running at a fast pace to 'Joel's
Bar' where the drinks are free and there is no hangover! . . . one of today's
signs 'in the earth beneath' is the 'holy laughter' which is supernaturally
overcoming people in services all over the world!"(1).
Apparently the Hunters see the laughing phenomena as one fulfillment
of Acts 2:17-21, in which Peter quotes the prophet Joel: "In the last days,
God says, . . . I will show wonders in the heavens above and signs on the
earth below." But is it? Does it matter where this movement originated
and who started it? Is the divison it's causing really so serious that
there will be permanent ramifications?(2) Is it possible that the force
behind these manifestations is intent on leading the Church in a new direction?
Many Christians think so. One of these, my friend Debra, wrote me:
"This 'thing' is unlike anything else I've ever seen, Ed, and it's not
like I've never attended charismatically-oriented churches with friends
before. . . . After what I saw 'up close 'n personal' last night, where
DO we, that is, the 'church universal' GO from wherever it is we are NOW?"
RODNEY HOWARD-BROWNE: The Falling Evangelist
"THERE ARE MANY PEOPLE THAT JUST THINK THESE ARE LAUGHING MEETINGS, WHEN
REALLY, IN REALITY, WE HAVE MORE PEOPLE FALLING DOWN THAN LAUGHING. THEY
WANT TO CALL ME THE LAUGHING EVANGELIST. WHY DON'T THEY CALL ME THE FALLING
EVANGELIST?" - (RHB)(3).
The person most responsible for the global laughing phenomena is 33
year-old South African evangelist Rodney Howard-Browne. In 1979, the man
who would become known as the Holy Ghost Bartender "spent hours praying
for a deeper experience with God"(4). Browne describes his resulting experience
with "God's fire" in his book, The Touch of God:
"Suddenly the fire of God fell on me. It started on my head and went right
down to my feet. His power burned in my body and stayed like that for three
whole days. . . .
"My whole body was on fire from the top of my head to the soles of my feet.
Out of my belly began to flow a river of living water. I began to laugh
uncontrollably and then I began to weep and then speak with other tongues.
"I was so intoxicated on the wine of the Holy Ghost that I was literally
beside myself. The fire of God was coursing through my whole being and
it didn't quit. . . . Because of that encounter with the Lord, my life
was radically changed from that day on"(5).
Two years after this encounter, Browne helped pioneer a RHEMA church
(Hagin/Word of Faith) in Johannesburg, and in 1987, he made two trips to
the United States. While speaking at an Assemblies of God church in April,
he prophesied that God would send missionaries to America for revival,
which he has defined as manifestations of "supernatural signs and wonders."(6)
He announced that the Lord told him to return to America to stay, and in
December of that year Browne began his evangelistic ministry in Orlando,
Bill Randles, author of Making War in the Heavenlies, describes the
first signs of the manifestations now seen during all of Browne's services:
"In April of 1989, Browne's traveling ministry had him in Albany, New York,
when an unusual manifestation occurred. As he was preaching, he and others
in the service felt a 'sensation like a heavy blanket coming over him.
. . .' People began falling out of their seats; some were laughing and
others were crying. The noise got so loud that Browne had to interrupt
his sermon. 'Lord, you're ruining my meeting,' the evangelist complained.
He says God replied, 'The way your meetings have been lately, they deserve
to be ruined. I will move all the time if you will allow me to move.'
"From that time on, Browne increased in demand as a speaker. The greatest
turning point occurred in the Spring of 1993. Browne held a four week meeting
in Lakeland, Florida at Carpenter's Home Church. The 10,000 seat auditorium
was filled almost every night. People were reported to have been drawn
from as far away as Africa, Great Britain, and Argentina. What were they
drawn to? The unusual phenomena of laughter. As Charisma Magazine reports,
'No matter what Howard-Browne did or said, hundreds who attended the daily
sessions always ended up on the sanctuary floor in helpless laughter. When
the services were broadcast on the radio, more curious seekers showed up
to join the fun'(7). Curious? Fun? The article goes on to report that the
church added 800 new members, and its income went up 30%. They baptized
2,200, according to the Pastor Karl Strader"(8).
Browne now holds over 500 meetings per year in the United States, and
has scheduled numerous meetings in other countries. Furthermore, some of
his videotaped services are run on Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN),
reaching a potential 60,000,000 viewers. Those who attend his meetings
or tune into the broadcasts encounter a ministry like they've never seen
before. Rodney Howard-Browne paces heavily around the sanctuary, sometimes
mumbling in tongues. He waves his arms at a section of seats and all the
occupants fall down. Sometimes he stands in place, chuckling to himself.
He makes his way between rows of fallen bodies, and on at least one occasion
stopped to have a conversation in tongues with a woman flat on her back
beating her arms frantically on the floor. He deliberately asks questions
of people struck by the spirit, holding the microphone to their mouths
for agonizing minutes while they stutter and stare glassy-eyed into space.
Invariably, the audience is convulsed by hysterical laughter at the sight,
and Rodney Howard-Browne chuckles. Pointing to a group of people, he announces
that the "fire of God" is on them, and they obediently go forward into
the sanctuary where most fall down. Sometimes Howard-Browne has to work
at opening people up to the power. During a videotaped service in England,
when the congregation hadn't yet responded in the usual manner, Browne
resumed his pacing and commanded them to "look at me!" Eventually, the
spirit had its way and the meeting proceeded according to the pattern.
From BROWNE to ST. LOUIS to TORONTO VINEYARD
1994 was a very good year for the spirit promoted by Browne. It managed
to emigrate into Canada and from there, to skip over oceans. The catalyst
for this movement was a man named John Wimber, currently Pastor of Vineyard
Christian Fellowship (VCF) in Anaheim, California. Wimber also heads Vineyard
Ministries International (VMI), and The Association of Vineyard Churches
In a recent newsletter, Wimber reported that on 27 occasions God confirmed
to him that he should go to the nations in what would be "a season of new
beginnings." He believes God was saying, "I'm going to start it all over
again. I'm going to pour out my Spirit in your midst like I did in the
beginning"(9). He writes,
"But I looked at myself (suffering from cancer), and I'm out of energy.
In my spirit I was just murmuring "Oh God, oh God." And at that point (mid
January) the Lord gave me a word. I heard myself say: Shall I have this
pleasure in my old age? The very words that Sarah laughingly said to herself
when she overheard the LORD say she was going to have a son from her 90-year-old
womb by her 100-year-old husband. (Gen. 18:10). This was a word of life
from the Lord, and it touched me deeply.
"I had brought this message of new beginnings to our AVC National Board
and Council meeting in November of 1993 at Palm Springs. Then the Lord
confirmed this word in the hearts and minds of our national leadership.
They laid hands on Bob Fulton and me and they blessed us to go, and stir
up the church.
". . . the Holy Spirit had recently powerfully renewed and refreshed Randy
Clark (VCF St. Louis) in a meeting conducted by evangelist Rodney Howard-Browne
in Tulsa, Oklahoma. . . . Randy began seeing similar outpourings of the
Spirit [laughter/manifestations] in his home church and elsewhere as he
had occasion to minister. It was as if the 'times of refreshing' had begun.
"So John Arnott [Toronto Vineyard Fellowship], knowing that a season of
new beginnings in the Vineyard was near at hand, and hearing about Randy
Clark's transformed ministry, invited Randy to come to Toronto to minister
in his church, as well as those folks from the surrounding area that would
like to attend. This occurred on January 20, 1994. Four days of meetings
turned into five months of almost nightly meetings in numerous locations
in Ontario. It has since poured out through those who have visited there
into similar renewal meetings all over the United States, Canada, the United
Kingdom, and even Europe"(10).
From South Africa to Florida to St. Louis to Toronto, the spirit was
on the move - one just had to go to the Toronto Vineyard church to "get
IT" and take "IT" back to one's own congregation. As of this writing, so
many have come to get "IT" that it's obvious the phenomena isn't something
that will rise and then fade away into the pages of Church history. It
is now a global experience, with manifestations being reported in churches
in Canada, Britain, Ireland, Argentina, Cambodia, Germany, Sweden, New
Zealand, Australia, Switzerland, and China. With new countries being touched
every month, it seems that Vineyard's John Wimber is finally seeing his
promised "new beginnings."
LAUGHING PASTORS: It's Not Just For Pew Sitters
Unlike traditional services in which the pastor conducts the liturgy and
preaches and the congregation partakes in an orderly manner, there is little
order in these meetings, and pastors are as susceptible to the spirit as
those in the pews. Rodney Howard-Browne attributes the disorder in his
services to God taking control of the service, bypassing the minister assigned:
"Order for some is control. [Some say,] 'The meeting is out of order,'
meaning, 'I cannot control the meeting anymore. I'm not the head honcho
in this service anymore. Someone bigger than me has come into the service
and caused a disruption, taken away the attention from me, and I don't
like it and I want order back in the service so that people will look at
me rather than what God is doing.'
"I remember one service where I just went and sat down for an hour and
a half. I just went and sat down. Well, there was nothing else I could
do. Total pandemonium - people falling off of their chairs, people crying,
people laughing and some were wailing - some were shaking. So, I just said
to the people, I said, 'Look, just come up when you're ready and lift your
hands and God will touch you.' I was sitting on the platform - just sat
there and watched them for about an hour and a half. People came right
up, got to the front, lifted their hands - BAM! - on the floor. I just
sat there. I didn't even pray. You say, 'What'd you do?' I just sat there
and twiddled my thumbs. I thought, 'Lord, I wish every meeting was as easy
as this.' Now I had preached the word already and taught the word of God,
and then I went and sat down. And they came walking up, got to the front,
lifted their hands - BAM! - under the power of God"(11).
The idea that God would take control away from the minister whom He
Himself put in charge of maintaining proper Biblical order in a meeting
seems in itself to be out of order(12). In this case especially, Browne
admits the meeting ended in "total pandemonium" with "people falling off
of their chairs, people crying, people laughing and some were wailing -
some were shaking"(13).
This becomes even more perturbing when we consider a recent report in
The 700 Club Fact Sheet that in some areas, pastors from just about every
denomination are allowing the phenomena into their church:
"Since January 20, 1994, Airport Christian Fellowship, a small Vineyard
church in Toronto, has had services six nights a week for the last 10 months
that have sometimes lasted until 2:00 a.m. Over 100,000 people have attended,
and nearly 40,000 of those have been visitors from all over the world who
come for what is being called the 'Toronto Blessing.'
"This Spring, the 'Toronto Blessing' hit the Holy Trinity Church in London,
one of the largest Anglican churches in England, and England's Stoneleigh
Bible Camp, an annual event sponsored by 'New Frontiers' ministry which
oversees 100 churches in England and around the world.
"'It's not confined to any one denomination or any one person,' says Sandy
Miller, Vicar of Holy Trinity. 'Quite the reverse. It's happening across
the board - free churches, house churches, Church of England, established
churches, all over the place'"(14).
During an October 1994 pastor's meeting in Toronto, it was reported
that 6,000 of the foreign visitors were pastors from all over the world,
who had most likely taken the phenomena back to their own churches. Also
reported during the same meeting was that 2,000 churches in the United
Kingdom, and the same number in the United States, have been affected.
The Hunters describe a typical Rodney Howard-Browne meeting during which
the church's pastor and an internationally known ministry leader were affected:
"Pastor Karl Strader of the Carpenter's Home Church in Lakeland, Florida,
started excitedly calling us and telling us about this most unusual sign
and wonder which was occurring in his church. . . . He . . . said that
he had spent six weeks on the floor of his church laughing. . . . Marilyn
Hickey had been there and he said that Marilyn had spent the entire time
on the floor laughing. Then he shared with us how Rodney had called Marilyn
to the microphone and she just laughed and laughed and then fell under
the power of God without saying anything! . . . We saw demonstrations of
power with Rodney just pointing at people who would then fall under the
power of God. We saw people trying to crawl away from the power, but they
couldn't get up off the floor" (15).
In an article in the Spiritual Counterfeits Project newsletter, Warren
Smith relates how the "revival" came to Oral Roberts University. Richard
Roberts, son of Oral Roberts and President of ORU,
". . . explained how he had canceled classes for two days so that his four
thousand students could personally experience the 'joy of the Lord' and
receive the 'gift' of 'Holy' laughter. I was not surprised to learn that
the 'revival' Roberts was describing had come through the person of Rodney
Roberts also shared his testimony in The Word of Faith magazine:
"[I] went to preach in a church where revival had broken out in laughter
and the joy of the Lord. Ever since that service, I have also been laughing,
engulfed in the joy of the Lord." Well-known teacher and writer Kenneth
Hagin (RHEMA) preaches this "joy of the Lord" too, and writes that "the
Spirit" brings about similar manifestations at his meetings(17).
Frances Hunter describes her own encounter with the power:
"We went to a Full Gospel Businessmen's Fellowship banquet in Houston.
. . . The man [the speaker] said, 'Well, Jesus, bless Frances!' Down I
went faster than you could blink an eye, followed one second later by my
precious husband! ... I tried to get my hands off of the floor, but nothing
happened. I couldn't believe what had happened to me, because it was physically
impossible for me to move. ... I felt as though someone had given me a
divine alka seltzer because way down deep in the very center of my being
I began to feel a most peculiar type of `bubbling.' ... then it abruptly
came out of my mouth in the form of the loudest laugh I have ever heard.
... no pressure on my mouth could keep the laughing back. I laughed, laughed,
laughed and laughed. ... I stopped laughing just as quickly as I started,
and suddenly I was released from the bed of Holy Ghost glue in which I
had been resting!"(18).
Obviously, influential ministries are being overtaken by this spirit.
Other supporters of the Laughing Revival are Paul and Jan Crouch (TBN),
and Pat Robertson and Ben Kinchlow of The 700 Club, who we will discuss
Newsletter publisher Tricia Tillin of Great Britain reports that Kenneth
Copeland has also spoken out in favor of the "great move of God" occurring
today. But instead of focusing only on "the Lord's joy," Copeland predicts
ominous future ramifications for the Church. Tillin writes,
"Toronto is rapidly becoming a test of loyalty and doctrinal orthodoxy.
Kenneth Copeland, for instance, has suggested that those who resist God's
move could fall over and die! 'One of these days, you may just be talking
to someone, asking them how things went at church last Sunday, and they
may say, Oh it was great! The glory of God was so strong it healed ten
cripples, opened the ears of thirty deaf people, cured seven cases of cancer
and killed Brother Bigmouth and Sister Strife'(19). A Christian will have
a vital choice to make, Copeland says:
"'When the fire of God begins to burn and the rivers of the Spirit start
to flow, he'll have to do one of two things: he'll either have to yield
to the Spirit and let go of that sin by repenting, or he'll have to resist
the flood of God's Spirit and be swept away.'
"What is this sin that puts Christians in danger of death? It is resisting
the move of God! Those who unite one with another in revival power can
'have a wonderful time' Copeland tells us. After telling the story of Ananias
and Sapphira, Copeland says that the Christians in that meeting 'were having
such a glorious time that even when Ananias dropped dead right there in
front of the preacher, they just went right on worshipping.' The sin of
Ananias, in fact, was not lack of submission to his elders or quenching
the Spirit, but 'lying to the Holy Spirit' - see Acts 5:2-6 'And he kept
back part of the proceeds, his wife also being aware of it, and brought
a certain part and laid it at the apostles' feet. But Peter said, "Ananias,
why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back
part of the price of the land for yourself? . . . You have not lied to
men but to God." Then Ananias, hearing these words, fell down and breathed
his last. So great fear came upon all those who heard these things. And
the young men arose and wrapped him up, carried him out, and buried him.'
Not much sign of a Toronto-style meeting in progress there! However, Copeland
nonetheless teaches from this passage that those who resist the last-days
outpouring are in mortal danger. The message seems plain. Yield or die!
"This sort of teaching about judgement upon opponents has been building
up for some time. It was prominent in the prophecies and teachings of the
Kansas City Prophets, probably because of their connection to the Manifest
Sons doctrines which taught that denominational Christianity was Babylon,
and that only the perfected saints of the New Order would emerge in the
endtimes as the Chosen of God, while Babylon suffered defeat and death
during the Tribulation to come. However, any doctrine that brings a certain
elite group into prominence as World Saviours, will inevitably have to
tackle the problem of dissenters"(20).
Kansas City Prophets? Manifest Sons of God? Christians being swept away
by the judgement of God? Babylonian denominations? All this may seem strange
to you, but these ideas have been aorund since the 1940s and are not new
to some of the leaders in the laughing movement. Tillin recently stated
that, "Very little is being said about the doctrine, origins, purpose and
goal of the 'new move. It is my belief that most churches and leaders do
not know those things. Some leaders, however, are promising an escalation
into world revival, but are cagey about how the transition will take place.
Others hint at 'something being birthed in the Church' and 'God is raising
up an Army.' The truth is, the present events and the way they are being
handled by leaders points unerringly in the direction of the Latter Rain
Never heard of Latter Rain, either? Then most likely are not familiar
with the Passion & Fire Conferences now being held internationally.
But all of these various and sundry beliefs and factions within the universal
Church are beginning to coalesce. We will discuss this aspect next month.
SUGGESTED RESOURCES FOR FURTHER READING OR VIEWING:
Pastor Bill Randles, "Making War in the Heavenlies: A Different Look at
Spiritual Warfare." Available by writing Bill Randles, 3336 Prairie Dr.
NE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52402, or calling 319-366-0884 or 319-366-7208.
Albert James Dager, "Vengeance Is Ours: The Church in Dominion." Available
by writing Sword Publishers, P.O. Box 290, Redmond, WA 98073--0290, or
calling (206) 391-7315. Good reference on Manifest Sons, Latter Rain, etc.
The Good Life, 2-hour videotaped interview with Rodney and Adonica Howard-Browne
with excerpts from various Browne services. Ask for videotape GL93-0420.
Available for a gift of $20 or more by writing The Good Life, P.O. Box
6922, Clearwater, FL 34618.
(1) David W. Cloud, "Happy Hunters Ministering Holy Laughter," O Timothy
magazine Volume 11, Issue 9-10, 1994 citing Charles and Frances Hunter,
["Holy Laughter"], (pp. 5-7).
(2) See 1 Corinthians 1:10-12 and 11:17-19 on Paul's viewpoint on divisions
in the Church.
(3) TBN video-taped service, broadcast May 1994.
(4) Warren Smith, "Holy Laughter or Strong Delusion?," Spiritual Counterfeits
Project newsletter (SCP), Fall 1994, p. 5 citing Charisma magazine, August
(5) Pastor Bill Randles, "Making War in the Heavenlies: A Different Look
At Spiritual Warfare," Appendix One, "Rodney Howard-Browne: An Analysis
of the Laughing Revival," p. 91 citing Rodney Howard-Browne, "The Touch
of God," RHBEA Publications, pp. 73-74.
(6) Christian Television Network (CTN - Clearwater, FL), "The Good Life"
program. Hosted by Bob and Molly DeAnrea. Guests: Rodney and Adonica Browne,
2 hour video, broadcast April 20, 1994.
(7) Randles, p. 92-93 citing Charisma, p. 24.
(8) Randles, pp. 92-93.
(9) Because this "move of God" is so vast, it's important to note that
Jesus called the Holy Spirit's coming at Pentecost "the promise of the
Father" (Acts 1:4), and "another Counselor [Comforter] to be with you forever"
(John 14:16). The central purposes of His coming were to guide us into
all truth, glorify Christ Jesus (John 16:12-14), and "convict the world
of sin, and righteousness and judgement" (vv. 8-11). These necessitate
the Holy Spirit being active in a consistent manner in the world and in
the Church throughout the entire Church age, and negates the promise of
another outpouring of the Spirit.
(10) John Wimber, "Seasons of New Beginnings," File NEWBEG.TXT, 23879 Bytes,
Compuserve, CIN-4, Lib 2. Originally published in the May/June 1994 edition
of Vineyard Reflections newsletter published by Association of Vineyard
Churches. John Wimber, Publisher; Bill Henderson, editor.
(11) TBN video-taped service, broadcast May 1994.
(12) Such action by the Holy Spirit would nullify the purpose of Christ
establishing ministries (Ephesians 4:9-14), and the responsibilities of
overseers in the Church (1 Timothy 3).
(13) We must judge, not the minister, but whether such manifestations fit
the criteria of Scripture. Paul told the Corinthians that "God is not a
God of disorder, but of peace" and to "Let ALL things be done decently
and in order" during meetings (1 Corinthians 14:33, 40). In discerning
the source of such manifestations, we must consider God's wisdom (James
(14) The 700 Club Fact Sheet, "HOLY LAUGHTER: Bringing Revival To The Church?"
as featured on the 700 Club Newswatch, October 27, 1994.
(15) O Timothy, Cloud, citing ["Holy Laughter"], pp. 35, 38.
(16) Smith, p. 4 citing videotaped local TV program.
(17) The Word of Faith magazine, October 1994, p. 11.
(18) O Timothy, Cloud, citing ["Holy Laughter"], pp. 21-23.
(19) Tricia Tillin, Mainstream newsletter (Banner Ministries - U.K.) citing
The Voice Of Victory magazine, October 1994.
(20) Tillin, Mainstream.
IS HOLY LAUGHTER A DELUSION?
DELUSION Defined: The word DELUSION is used only once in each Testament:
* NEW TESTAMENT (used once): 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12:
9 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and
signs and wonders,
10 and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish;
because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
11 And for this reason God shall send them a STRONG DELUSION, that they
should believe a lie;
12 that they might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure
DELUSION Defined: 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12: Strong's Greek 4106: fem[inine]
of 4108 (as abstrac[tly]; obj[jectively] "fraudulence;" subj[ectively]
a "straying" from orthodoxy or piety:-deceit, to deceive, delusion, error
(quotes originally in italics).
Comments regarding Holy Laughter: all the manifestations of Holy Laughter
have certainly strayed from orthodoxy and piety.
* OLD TESTAMENT (used once): Isaiah 66:3-4:
3 He that killeth an ox is as if he slew a man; he that sacrificeth a lamb,
as if he cut off a dog's neck; he that offereth an oblation, as if he offered
swine's blood; he that burneth incense, as if he blessed an idol. Yes,
they have chosen their own ways, and their soul delighteth in their abominations.
4 I ALSO WILL CHOOSE THEIR DELUSIONS (compare with 2 Thess. 2:11), and
will bring their fears upon them; because when I called, none did answer;
when I spake, they did not hear; but they did evil before mine eyes, and
chose that in which I delighted not.
DELUSION Defined: Isaiah 66:3-4: Strong's Hebrew 8586: from 5927; "caprice"
(as a fit "coming on"), i.e., "vexation;" concr[etely] a "tyrant":-babe,
delusion (quotes originally in italics).
"Caprice": "a sudden change of mind without apparent or adequate motive;
a whim; also, mere fancy; susceptibility to various or freakish impulses;
freakeshness; also, a fantastic production (New Century Dictionary).
Comments regarding Holy Laughter: many experience the laughter on a
whim, going to the meeting "just to check it out." No need to even comment
on the freakish impulses that hit people while they are doing so. Many
of the manifestations could easily be labeled "'caprice,' as a fit 'coming
In both usages, God had a hand in either sending or choosing delusion
for those who would not hear and walk by His word.
Go To Part II