Does the 'holy laughter' movement have any support in Scripture?

Scripture: Acts 1:8, Ephesians 5:4
Does the 'holy laughter' movement have any support in Scripture?
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Pastor Doug:  Hi, welcome to the program.

Caller:  Yes.  I enjoy listening to you folks out there.  My question is there is a move going on, supposedly around the world they use the Scriptures 'the joy of the Lord is my strength' and then when Jesus said I'll come, I'll baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.  A lot of churches are getting into the holy laughter and falling down and things.  What's your perspective on this currently?  It's especially happening amongst the Pentecostal churches throughout the United States.

Pastor Doug:  Right.  I know it's a movement that seems to be spreading in some degree among my charismatic brothers and sisters.  Whenever I'm asked a question like this, I always like to say show me the precedent in the Bible.  You're always safe if you stick with the Bible.

The Bible has 3,500 years of stories and all kinds of experiences are there.  When the Holy Spirit comes on people - and there are hundreds of examples in the Old and New Testament when the Holy Spirit came on people - I don't really see a precedent where somebody just started laughing and falling down and loosing their composure because they were baptized in the Holy Spirit.  The Bible says the Holy Spirit comes upon you, not for the purpose of making you giggle.  The Holy Spirit comes upon you, Acts 1:8, that you might be my witnesses.  God gives us His Spirit that we might proclaim His Word and that's Acts chapter 4.

Caller:  Because I know the Scripture where they were in the Holy Place with Moses and the crowd came down and they all fell down, what is the original writer saying about that?  I know a lot of people have that going in their mind.

Pastor Doug:  Well, now you're asking two questions.  You're asking about when the Holy Spirit came down in the time of Moses?

Caller:  Right because some of my friends say well you know when they were in the Temple and Moses was there, the Glory of God fell and they couldn't stand up, they all fell forward.  And I'm saying what is the original writer saying because it sounds like you're using this to instigate your philosophy.

Pastor Doug:  Well I like to be as gracious as I possibly can on this broadcast.  Some subjects get me stirred up a little bit, and this is one of them.  The idea of mis-matching Scripture and ripping it from its context and pasting it together until you've got a collage of nonsense is what turns people away from the genuine article.

Caller:  That's right.

Pastor Doug:  When the Bible says Jesus said 'I am He' and the crowd fell back, they didn't start laughing!  When the Spirit of the Lord was manifested and other people fell down, they didn't start giggling!  The presence of God is an awful thing.  When Isaiah was in the presence of God he said, 'Woe is me! I am undone!'

Now from what I know about some of these movements, the way they get the 'holy spirit' to come on people is by telling a list of jokes.  Now that's sacrilegious.  Jesus never did that for a person to receive the Spirit.  In Ephesians 5:4, Paul said '...neither filthiness nor foolish talking or jesting which are not convenient, but rather giving thanks....'

We don't want the world to be attracted to Christ by virtue of us acting like imbeciles and we ought to appeal to people's reason.  The Lord says, 'Come, let us reason together....'  He's not talking about exchanging jokes.

Caller:  That's true.

Pastor Doug:  So I think that there's a holy, noble dignity that God would have Christians have this bearing, a majestic bearing.  We shouldn't act like stand-up comedians.

Caller:  I agree.

Pastor Doug:  Now that doesn't mean you shouldn't have a sense of humor.  Anyone that knows me knows that I have a chronic case.  But when it comes to sacred things, you need to know how to separate the sacred from the common.

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