Church Sued by Woman Injured by Members "Slain in the Spirit"
ABC News’ Lyneka Little reports: “A parishioner at the Disciple Fellowship Christian Church in East St. Louis, Ill., claims the spirit moved another worshiper so much during service that she caused others to tumble over backwards into her, causing injuries. Now she’s suing the church for damages.”
Cheryl Jones alleges in a complaint filed in December that she was visiting the church when member of the congregation received the “spirit” during praise and worship and with no ushers or members to assist, the parishioner fell backwards knocking several members into the plaintiff, who was injured falling to the floor.
“One of the interesting questions of this case is what standard to apply: someone engaged by the Holy Spirit and not fully accountable or someone that should be treated objectively as assuming the risk of this activity,” said Jonathan Turley, a tort law professor at George Washington University.
When filled with what is often called the Holy Spirit, “participants are worked up into such a frenzy that they may no longer appreciate or respond to risk. The question is how much is the church responsible in anticipating people will be acting without concern for danger or injury,” said Turley.
“The whole idea of being touched by the Holy Spirit is to surrender yourself. In doing so, these are people that surrendering themselves to collapsing involuntary. These churches tend to treat this response as the Holy Ghost has taken away the power of the individuals to even stand,” Turley continued.
There is a fad going on in Christendom called “slaying in the spirit,” in which the members fall to the floor. The only Bible teaching on this subject is the story of Ananias and his wife Sapphira, who “tempted the Spirit of the Lord.” They both fell down, dead and were buried (Acts 5:1-10). “Slay” means kill and when people are slayed by the Spirit they are dead and must be buried.