Is the holy laughter experience Biblical?

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Holy laughter describes a person who laughs uncontrollably, presumably as a result of being filled with the Holy Spirit‘s joy. The Bible has many examples of people being filled with the Holy Spirit but there is no mention of anyone losing their composure because they were baptized with the Holy Spirit.

In fact, there is a holy, noble dignity that God bestows upon His Spirit filled children. In Ephesians 5:4, Paul said “…neither filthiness nor foolish talking or jesting which are not convenient, but rather giving thanks….” And in Galatians 5:22-23 he says, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” If self-control is a fruit of the Spirit of God, how can uncontrollable laughter also be a fruit of His Spirit?

The idea that we lose control when we receive the Spirit is not consistent with Scripture “The spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets” (1 Corinthians 14:32). True prophets had control over their own minds and could speak or remain silent at will. Inspiration does not take away individuality and free choice. The human agent expresses in his own way and thought the truths that have been revealed to him.

The pagan prophets of Baal on mount Carmel jumped, moaned and cut themselves. By contrast, Elijah quietly knelt and prayed reverently (1 Kings 18:17-46). When Jesus healed the berserk, demon-possessed man by the sea, the man was seen later “sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed, and in his right mind” (Luke 8:35).

The Bible says the Holy Spirit comes upon God’s children, not for the purpose of giving them holy laughter but for the purpose of making them witnesses (Acts 1:8). The Spirit is given that we might proclaim His Word to the world (Acts chapter 4).

God give us the spirit of sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7). That is, good sense that keeps faithful Christians from the sins of fanaticism and erratic practices. Uncontrollable emotions that are seen in the holy laughter experience are contrary to the nature of the Holy Spirit.

In His service,
BibleAsk Team


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