“Holy Spirit, I want you to touch my friend. Show him that you are really real and break him free from all the haunting spirits that have been assigned to his life.”
These are the words of Jamie Galloway, a senior leader from East Gate Church. He has just encountered a 21-year-old man from in front of the Mormon Tabernacle in Salt Lake City, Utah, who claims dark spirits have haunted him and his friends ever since they spent the night in a graveyard.
The young man has just agreed to see how Galloway can cure him from his demons, and he stands across from Galloway waiting. His hands are outstretched and his palms are face up. Galloway stands across from him, hands also outstretched, but palms down. For a moment all is quiet, and then Galloway says: “Do you feel that? Watch!”
Galloway continues to call on the Holy Spirit for healing.
Galloway hasn’t always had this power to help people. When he was a young child he was hospitalized with severe night terrors. Since then, he says Christ has freed him from those experiences and has given him the power to help others.
“Double it!” He exclaims aloud, asking — if not commanding — the Holy Spirit to double its forces on the young man. Galloway wants the young man to really feel the power of the Holy Spirit. He asks the Holy Spirit to send power up the man’s arm and to the soles of his feet “as a sign of Your love.” He then continues to repeat: “Double it. Double it. More!”
They’re a spectacle on the street.
After prompting, the young man admits that he feels something in his hands and body, but the explanation is vague. The scene shifts, and it is unclear whether the young man had any more demonic encounters after this Holy Spirit intervention.
This is one of the opening scenes of Wanderlust Productions’ newest religious documentaries, Holy Ghost, a film about the power of the Holy Spirit, which premiered September 6.
This film comes on the heels of Wanderlust Productions’ hit trilogy Finger of God, Furious Love, and Father of Lights and is potentially its most controversial film to date.
The documentary is 113 minutes long and follows a film and religious team who are excited to get out into the world and “make God famous.”
Director and writer Darren Wilson pushes traditional filming boundaries with his movie. In an effort to make an entirely Holy Ghost-inspired film, Wilson shot this movie with no plan and no script — his only goal was to capture evidence of God’s presence on Earth.
From filming to editing Wilson claims he was led by the Holy Spirit. He prayed often and listened to hear where the Holy Spirit wanted him to go. According to the Holy Ghost website: “Sometimes he [Wilson] heard a still, small voice in his head; sometimes he and those around him had dreams directing them where to go; sometimes he would get a familiar feeling in his stomach that, in the past, always told him that God was on something.”
Upon the Holy Spirit’s alleged instruction, the film documents the crew’s trips to Salt Lake City, Monte Carlo, India, and a Korn concert. Filmmakers arrive on location, wonder around, and soon realize the purpose of their destination. In each of these cities they perform miracles of healing, moments of prayer with strangers, and offer testimonies.
Salt Lake City was just the first stop on this raw and unusual journey to prove and teach the power of the Holy Spirit; it was also the first scene of many to make me ask: Wait, what? Did they really just do that?
Wilson said that this film would be captivating, and indeed it was. After the alleged spiritual encounter in front of the Mormon Tabernacle, the scene shifts to another healing. This time, a young man is suffering from restricted wrist movement.
Minister Will Hart is the one to step up, praying multiple times with increased fervor for the complete healing of this young man, saying, “More Lord, double it!” with each attempt.
After several minutes of “more Lord! Double it, Lord!” the boy says he thinks the movement in his hand is a little better, but it doesn’t seem to be a full recovery.
I paused the documentary on my laptop from where I was streaming the film live during its 48-hour premier special. I felt extremely uncomfortable with what I was watching. It seemed as if these men were ordering God how to heal. The entire process seemed to be a loud performance. “Double it! Double it!”
I asked myself, Doesn’t the Lord know how to heal and in what way? Why do we need to tell Him? I also found myself remembering the healings in the Bible. Often Jesus said things like “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk” (John 5:8 NIV) or “‘Your faith has healed you.’ And the woman was healed at that moment” (Matthew 9:22 NIV). There weren’t commands for currents to run through the body to convince anyone or loud exclamations for the Lord to “double” His power.
Despite my reservations, I continued the film. I wanted to see where it would go. Maybe everything would be further explained?
Unfortunately, the filming crew heads to Monte Carlo and there is more of the same behavior. I was about to give up completely when the movie shifts to an interview with Welch and “Fieldy” from the nu metal band, Korn. They share the stories of their conversions from a life of drugs and alcohol to a life with Christ. I appreciated their stories and really felt they were a high point in the film… but I was still left with my questions.
I don’t like making statements saying elements in someone’s religion are right and wrong because I am a human with a limited and imperfect understanding of my God. I will say, though, that this film is unconventional, at times uncomfortable, and definitely made me think.
Holy Ghost is part one of the two-part series. Holy Ghost: Reborn will be released next year. If you are open minded and curious, the film’s first installment will be available on DVD September 16. You can also check out the tour dates of the live showings to see if Holy Ghost is coming to a city near you.
Rachel Logan is an intern for Spectrum.
This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/6259