Can charismatic spiritual experiences be like a drug?

I found a fascinating testimony from Tony Miano about his time in a charismatic church. I think he does a good job expressing real concerns about the subject without condemning people who have been caught up in those experiences.

He likens the fervor for spiritual experiences to drug addiction, which might sound odd, but if you read it you’ll understand what he means.

Over time, I noticed changes in her (and others) personality. She would go and “get filled” and return home on a spiritual high. Over the next few days or so she would talk about reading the Bible, deep times of prayer, an overall sense of closeness to the Lord, and happiness. Then she would crash. Her mood would change. What seemed like spiritual depression would set in. And she would begin to talk about needing to get “refilled.” So off to Anaheim or Pasadena she would go to get her next spiritual fix.

Her next spiritual fix.

As I watched my friend’s (and others) spiritual condition erode, I couldn’t help but see the similarities between her and the heroin addicts I took off the streets. The alleged “filling of the Holy Spirit” was like a dirty needle being driven into the vein of her arm. It made her feel good for a moment, but the crash after the high left her wanting more, needing more. What started as a search for a deeper relationship with the Holy Spirit, turned into an unbiblical habit. It was heartbreaking to watch.

I really encourage you to read Miano’s entire article at Cross Encounters.

This entry was posted in Church Movements, Discernment and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Can charismatic spiritual experiences be like a drug?

  1. Pingback: Extra Measures | Six Measures

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s