Review: Holy Ghost


(system) #1

“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

(Randy Givens) #2

Sounds like these movie makers are preying on the weak in faith. The Bible tells us to be aware of sorcerers .I can’t believe the Holy Spirit would allow it’s self to be used commercially. I see spiritualism as one of the biggest evils in the world today. I pray the Holy Spirit gives me the ability to discern truth in such matters.

edit for spelling 9/17/14


(Robert Sonter) #3

Thank you Rachel, for this excellent review.

While I haven’t seen any of the Wanderlust Productions, the healing/ministry style you describe is very familiar to me on account of having spent approx a year worshiping with an Assemblies of God congregation. Ultimately my own conclusions about the phenomena, have been along similar lines to the reservations you describe above.

It is not for me to judge the validity of someone else’s experience, nor for me to dictate how God does and does not work (even when some of the reputed ways are rather strange.) But I’ve found that over time, these supposed “demonstrations” of God’s power seem to fall fairly flat.

The pastors and many of the members in the AOG church I attended were tongue-speakers. I often joined them in a prayer circle before our worship services, were we’d commit the service to God and invite His presence. During these prayer times, most of the group would start to quietly pray in tongues while others were praying aloud in plain/tangible language. I had no real discomfort with this, but I found that whenever particular people started to pray in tongues, their “tongues” speech followed familiar and predictable patterns. It was as if they were repeating “memorized phrases of gibberish”.

I also observed some “healings” and slaying in the Spirit, and found these ultimately to be just as unremarkable. The slaying in the Spirit is done quite deliberately by the pastors who are praying over an individual. At a point in the prayer where they feel the recipient is really engaged in the prayer, they give a gentle tap or push on their forehead, and there’s always another person behind the recipient ready to catch them and help ease them onto the floor.

I received prayer on a couple of occasions over some back problems, and interestingly on one occasion the prayer really seemed to make a difference. But I doubt it was miraculous as such - I think more related to the fact the prayer took me to a place of peace, and a lot of my pain was tension/stress related.

Eventually I became a bit uncomfortable with the whole worship style, and it also became apparent that I would never really be embraced as a member unless I “received the Holy Spirit” (ie., started to speak in tongues.)


(jeremy) #4

robert, i seriously doubt you’ll ever be able to take any non-adventist fellowship seriously…your inner adventist is always going to be there to make comparisons for you…


(Robert Sonter) #5

Interesting observation, Jeremy. There’s probably an element of truth in what you say. But ironically, the Assemblies of God are actually quite a lot like Adventists, and in the ways that I don’t like. Both are essentially fundamentalist. Both are very bound to the “truths” proclaimed by their founding father/prophet, and both are ultimately rather intolerant of other points of view.


(Colin MacLaurin) #6

In Australia at least, the prominent Assemblies of God (AoG) churches are certainly not fundamentalist. Take Hillsong for instance, which is very ecumenical, and doesn’t practice tongues or “falling under the power” in their mainstream services. They have an increasing passion for social justice, and have modified the 12 traditional AoG beliefs, to a form I personally 100% agreed with, last I checked.

As for the movie I’m seeing it tonight. I attend a Pentecostal church which is radical in its pursuit of the spiritual gifts and its evangelism (via approaching strangers on the street, telling them God loves them, or praying for healings). Yet it’s a very loving community, and open minded - not fundamentalist. Bill Johnson and Bethel church are their main (human) inspiration. While I experience some of the gifts and signs/experiences, I haven’t experienced others, guess I’m still reserved. And still theologically a progressive Adventist.


(Rohan Charlton) #7

Thanks for sharing Colin.experiencing fellowship with other streams of the Body if Christ is a wonderful thing.


(Robert Sonter) #8

Thanks for your comments, Colin. It’s interesting that the individual AoG churches vary quite significantly from one another. The church I was involved in was a very small start-up church in Wahroonga, Sydney, called “The Hive” (it was a church plant sponsored by one of the Newcastle churches). I wasn’t aware the individual churches had the freedom to modify the 16 core beliefs, but maybe it comes down to emphasis, and how the beliefs are packaged.


(Robert Sonter) #9

Randy, I think you probably mean “preying” on the weak in faith. Praying on (or over) the weak in fatih might actually be beneficial :smile:


#10

I too am skeptical about this. I believe what where seeing today, from such movements, putting too much emphasis on the Holy Spirit, is a fulfillment of Revelation 13

“Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth, and he had two horns like a lamb and spoke like a dragon. And he exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence, and causes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men” (Revelation 13:11-13)

What is this fire which comes from the beast out of the earth (Revelation 19:20 also calls it the false prophet, are one in the same). If we go to the book of Acts, we are told:

“When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” (Acts 2:1-4)

What we see in Revelation 13 from the false prophet, seems to be a copy of what happened at the day of Pentecost. One is from God, the other from Satan. Both a spirit lead movements. This movement also speaks in tongues like those at Pentecost, but!..its not the same speaking in tongues, its a false version. I believe this massive movement, and be not fooled, it is massive, is the fulfillment of Revelation 13:11-13. Interestingly to note is, this beast which comes up out of the earth, we all know as the United States of America. This movement where seeing also began in America. To me, it seems to fit.

Review, Holy Spirit: “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.

Ellen White in The Signs of the Times, February 26, 1885 said:

Miracles Wrought Under Supervision of the Enemy—[Matthew 7:21-23 quoted.] These may profess to be followers of Christ, but they have lost sight of their Leader. They may say, “Lord, Lord”; they may point to the sick who are healed through them, and to other marvelous works, and claim that they have more of the Spirit and power of God than is manifested by those who keep His law. But their works are done under the supervision of the enemy of righteousness, whose aim it is to deceive souls, and are designed to lead away from obedience, truth, and duty. In the near future there will be still more marked manifestations of this miracle-working power; for it is said of him, “And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh FIRE come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men” (The Signs of the Times, February 26, 1885).

Unless someone can show me otherwise, I say, stay away, as far as you can from this false movement. Will God not pour out His Spirit on those who humble themselves and “keep the commandments of God and faith of Jesus”?


(Randy Givens) #11

Thanks Robert , Should have paid more attention in school . Mom always said you’ll wish you put more in to it some day. After over 30 years driving truck I buy a computer and find out mom was right. :blush:

:truck:< this will be my mark only because I’m tired of making X’s :laughing:


(Bille) #12

In the 1980’s or around that time… when what was called the “Toronto Blessing” (or Holy Laughter) was sweeping all around the world, the AoG church split… at least both in the USA and in Australia. Robert Steed would be your most authoritative source for detailed information on this, since he held conferences and for some years maintained a website which had probably the best assemblage of materials against the movement that was ever assembled in one place. At that time it had also infiltrated the SDA church and at least one SDA minister was caught up in the maze of strange “outpourings of the Spirit”, healings, miracles, etc.

I did not follow the AoG church after the initial split. But my guess would be that it sort of “splintered” as well as split. With the main denomination remaining fairly straight line Pentecostal and the “signs and miracles” groups perhaps going in several different direction. So I would not be surprised at all to find a variety in the current AoG church in Australia.


(Elmer Cupino) #13

“***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.***” Me too.

So I grew up in a conservative environment, third generation sda family. Completed educational requirements in sda schools. All through this time, studied the bible and developed a God complex, sda version, and believed in the soul.

Then went to medical school, completed a residency in psychiatry and a fellowship in child and adolescent psychiatry. Now I know how potent the brain can be. And everything I believed about the “soul” can now be explained by understanding the brain/mind phenomenon.

So when topics like this crop up, my initial reaction is to rule out the influence of brain/mind phenomenon. I’m just a skeptic but honestly believe that God has to be bigger than our definition of “Him,” in every imaginable way.


(Lance) #14

I found the movie to be pretty powerful. God’s love is so much more vast and open-for-all than the Church acknowledges. “You will know them by their fruit.” I saw good fruit: People who may have never really heard of Jesus were drawn in for an encounter. What the movie failed to do, in my opinion, is show more of the fruit - more of the follow-up. I think the skeptics would have a harder time if the results were clearer. The Church (In the US, anyway) is pretty frightened and ineffective when it comes to spiritual gifts. Many, if not a large majority, of those who utilize the gifts are immature in their styles and approaches, but I think it’s better to have faith and fail than bury what God has given in the sand. How long will we hold up our intimate knowledge of the Bible as a measure of our effectiveness? The Pharisees knew scripture but completely missed Jesus. I didn’t agree with everything I saw in the film, but I also saw God’s love touching people that it wouldn’t have otherwise.


(George Tichy) #15

Colin, next time you attend a GNU meeting, make sure to tell Des that I sent him a big hug.


#17

I’m somewhat surprised that Adventists don’t promote this type of “Holy Ghost experience.” Shouting “double it,” is really quite mild compared to the activity of the church’s “founder,” Mrs. W… She was quite often “slain by the Spirit” and “falling to the floor:”

“She [Ellen Harmon/White] was strangely exercised in body and mind, usually talking in assemblies until nature was exhausted and then falling to the floor, unless caught by someone sitting near (we remember catching her twice to save her from falling upon the floor), remaining a considerable time in the mesmeric state, and afterwards, perhaps not until another meeting, she would relate the wonders which she claimed had been shown her in spirit…” Issacc Wellcome, History of the Second Advent Message, p. 397.

“Sister Durben knew what the power of the Lord was, for she had felt it many times; and a short time after I fell she was struck down, and fell to the floor, crying to God to have mercy on her. When I came out of vision, my ears were saluted with Sister Durben’s singing and shouting with a loud voice. Most of them received the vision, and were settled upon the shut door.” Letter, Ellen White to Joseph Bates, 13 July 1847.

Encouraging members to “greet each other with a holy kiss:”
“Then it was that the synagogue of Satan [“fallen Adventists,” who had given up 1844 as a mistake, and “the nominal churches”] knew that God loved us who could…salute the brethren with a holy kiss, and they worshipped at our feet.” (highlighted words omitted from the sixth edition of Spiritual Gifts vol. 2.)

“crawling on all fours” (sign of humility – “like a child”)
“They seldom sit in any other position than on the bare floor…A women, at the meeting he attended, got on her hands and knees, and crept over the floor like a child. A man, in the same position, followed her, butting her occasionally with his head. Another man threw himself at full length upon his back on the bed, and presently three women crossed him with their bodies.” Norway Advertiser, 28 March 1845 (see The Trial of Israel Dammon)

Promoting “holy laughter” for healing:
"Sister Harris and Clarissa were set entirely free and they prayed God with a loud voice. The spirit caused Clarissa to laugh aloud. James was healed every whit,…” Letter, Ellen White to Bro. and Sis. Howland, 15 August 1850.

Being noisy was a good thing:
“They would at times all be talking at once, hallowing at the top of their voices… A woman on the floor lay on her back with a pillow under her head [Ellen Harmon/White]; she would occasionally arouse up and tell a vision which she said was revealed to her… By spells it was the most noisy assembly I ever attended - there was no order or regularity, nor anything that resembled any other meeting I ever attended…” Pitcataquis Farmer, 7 March 1845.

And last but not least, “singing and shouting out loud” to chase away the devil:
“Singing, I saw, often drove away the enemy and shouting would beat him back. I saw that pride had crept in among you, and there was not childlike simplicity among you.” EGW, Manuscript 5a, July 1850

So, this “double it” thing is nothing…


(Elias Rowlandson) #18

I m not an expert about these churches but have been around a couple of places and a neighbour was a conservative one. “modest dress” home school etc.

there are a couple of books biographies that note parts of the main denomination, AOG

A Life of Unlearning (going to be re released) Anthony Venn Brown a former Minister Evangelist

a book about Hillsong; People in Glass Houses, Tanya Levin writes about her experience in that church.
depending on your area she is in youtube the only question is if the videos work.


(Thomas J Zwemer) #19

remember The Television evangelist who would drive into New Orgeans and hook up with a $25.oo hooker and come back, get on the tube and speaking tongues? he even spoke in tongues after he was “exposed” Peter didn’t speak in tongues. the Holy zspirit gave the hearers ears to hear in their oun tongue. Tom Z


(George Tichy) #20

Maybe he was speaking in (confusing, unintelligible) tongues out of frustration because he got some bad deal for those $25… :slight_smile:


#21

Interestingly enough, I was watching a sermon last night, not sure which denomination this chap was from. But he was going through, at one point, some of the figures these Televangelists make. He mentioned good ol Pat (no freedom of religion) Robertson :angel: , and how he managed to sell his Christian network to Rupert Murdoch for 1.8 billion! yeah, thats right, with a B. He explained the way he went about it, how he started his network by getting donations of regular folks (fair enough), then commercializing it and changing the name (which was a kick in the guts to those he got money from), and finally selling it. But amazingly, this is never mentioned by Pat lol…I know, shock of all horrors! :scream:

And I was thinking, no wonder why the world see us as a joke and not to be taken seriously.