By Pamela Sheppard
I was a pastor and a preacher for almost 3 decades. I preached an average of one sermon a week for 20 years, with 8 of those years preaching 3 sermons a week. On one occasion in the pulpit, I felt a strange power come upon me where it seemed I was “not myself.” I was in a rather strong altered state of consciousness. I thought is was an extra powerful anointing of the Holy Ghost. IT WAS NOT!!!
When I was sent to church for the first time in 1979, I had never heard a sermon and so when I was informed in 1981 that upon entering ministry, I would be required to preach a trial sermon on October 25, 1981, I had no idea what a sermon was. In the summer of ’81, I began to preach in my sleep, in preparation for the October day of trial. I also walked around all day for about 30 days, muttering “sermons.”
I thought that I was under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost. It took about 25 years for me to find out that in those early and strange days, I was under the “anointing” of the religious demon assigned to me. I thank God that when DID enter the pulpit to preach and pastor, it was only ONE time in at least 2 thousand sermons that that same power came upon me. I have since discovered that it is a demonic power, in no way, the Holy Ghost.
Oh yes! Demons enjoy preaching. I came out of a denomination where men who were adulterers, fornicators, perverts, closet homosexuals could preach so hard, that they could affect even me, in spite of what I knew about the intimate, sometimes secret details of their lives .At least 10 times a year, 50 ministers gathered at various regional church functions and a handful would preach at these gatherings.
When they were preaching, I harnessed down my soul from being overpowered, but there were times when I could not. Their power was too strong. I often wondered about it over the years. How could these corrupt men overtake my soul with one of their sermons in spite of my resistance to it? Could this be God? Would God use such sinful creatures to preach HIS WORD???!!!
It took two decades or more to find out the answer to that question. The answer is NO!!!! The Holy Ghost does not anoint such preachers but the devil DOES!!!. It is called communal intoxication by the founder of sociology, Max Weber.
Communal intoxication is defined by Weber as the supernormal ability of magicians, wizards, witches and charismatic religious leaders.With the god concept at its center, they induce an altered state of consciousness in their followers as demonstrated by the congregation’s manifestation of convulsions, trembling, and intense effusions of excitement and ecstasy. (Come Out of Her God’s People, pg 190)
Weber points out that that communal intoxication has a contagious effect where it can spread throughout an audience or congregation of people, infecting those assembled with sensations of enhanced emotionalism and vitality. This definition explains the so called holy dance, holy rollers, holy laughter, running around the church building, perhaps even tongues and slain in the spirit phenomena.
This power was manifested in my presence for 25 years among denominational African American preachers. Keep in mind that Weber’s studies were predominately tribal communities on other continents, including Africa and Asia. Weber’s findings suggest that the altered state appeal has a significant connection to today’s charismatic leaders’ ability to cause large numbers of people to believe that they have been released from bondages and that they have “heard from God.”
As a result, what has been happening in church is that demons have been using corrupt ministers to preach. I would say that that is reason enough to “COME OUT OF HER, GOD’S PEOPLE.”
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