Vasovagal Syncope: Slain in the Spirit

Cool word Huh? It is the physiological phenomenon of a person passing out from a blood draw, a traumatic event or standing to long, like I saw when standing in formation while in the Air Force. After quite a while men would fall to the ground. Even President Obama had some swoon in his presence…I think some of them believed it to be a spiritual experience.Image

Vasovagal syncope is simply as follows: When heart rate slows, blood pressure drops, and the resulting lack of blood to the brain causes fainting.

Many of us have seen or been involved in a church service where there was “Slaying in the Spirit.” This is were people proportedly fall to the ground limp by the power of the “Spirit.” We have wondered “Is this from God?” We have wondered “Are they making it up?” “Is there a Biblical example of God moving in this way?”

I’ve been around this for quite a few years, as my first experiences in the Church were with people who embraced this.

Once, I tested this with an individual. I was a catcher, which means, I was to hold their weight as they fell to the ground under the “Power of the Spirit.” When he went to fall and I immediately pulled away my hands of support from under his arms. I presumed if they were truly under the Spirit the would fall limply but if fooling around would lurch forward in fear of falling. As I suspected he jerked forward thinking I wouldn’t catch him.

Almost everyone I have interviewed on their experience with “Slaying in the Spirit” have said they went down to satisfy the person who was praying for them. This relieved the pressure they were feeling under the crowd and the prayers expectation. They simply went down. Laying on the floor they looked at others just like them, but not all were there simply to please.

I was once at a church that was heavy into this sort of thing. I was the special guest speaker. After the sermon it was time to lay-on-hands (pray for people while laying your hands on them) and I was eager to oblige. People were falling down, they began speaking in tongues, others began shaking and moaning.

The pastor’s wife had me lay hands on her four year old. As he approached me his eyes rolled back, he closed his eyes and began to fall back.

A few days later, I went to the pastor and told him that he had trained the people of his church and used auto suggestion to get them to perform the way they had. I told him at my church it never happens when I pray for people. I challenged him to come to our church and insured him it wouldn’t happen. A matter of fact some of my congregation were there. Some tried to push them down. But with no compulsion of the Holy Spirit they resisted their pushes. The pastor was disgruntled and he did not invite me back.

A friend of mine that was working with a big name pastor who came to town had an interesting experience. He was excited to see the Spirit move and joined to help them in their crusade. While at one of the meetings they tried to slay him which he was eager to accept but nothing was happening. They began to push him down but he resisted. After the meeting they rebuked him saying he needed to go down next time because he was embarrassing and discrediting their ministry.

Under the pressure of the crowd and the expectations of the Prayer many go down. It is easier to just go along with it. Some through auto suggestion (power of suggestion or placebo effect) go down. Auto suggestion is when someone tells the person what the person will experience so the person is more inclined to respond accordingly. It works! This is used for inducing recipients to manifest togues also.

Now others really passout I believe. I am not afraid to surmise that in these rare occasions they experienced vasovagal syncope. They actually passout because of the build-up, the expectation of a “Touch from God”, the pressure of being in front of a crowd of heavily expectant worshippers, standing for a time with knees locked, a deep desire to see God move and auto suggestion, shazam on the ground they go, believing the Holy Spirit put them there.

Now once this happens, where one really passes out, this inflames the unwitting and desirous of God so more go up front to the alter to have the same experience. Under the influence of auto suggestion and all the previous pressure they fall down-I might add with endorphins pumping-regularly claiming a brush with the Holy Spirit thus encouraging others to “let loose and let God.” The cascade has begun and will never stop.  Many become true believers in the experience never to question it or turn aside. They become real evangelists of the experience, the best kind of salesman.

All this becomes a strange spiritual circus that hypnotists and charlatans are envious.

Yes, it becomes enviable to the rest of us seekers who wish to have an experience but are not moved by the schemes of men. We hope for a real touch from God.


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