GUEST EDITORIAL THE "TORONTO BLESSING’: NO LAUGHING MATTER Frank D. Macchia* Southeastern College, 1000 Longfellow Blvd Lakeland, FL 33801, USA Waves of holy laughter are sweeping revival services in the Vineyard Fellowship of Toronto, in the Holy Trinity Anglican Church in London, and in the Carpenter’s Home Church in Lakeland, Florida. These are not the only places of worship that are experiencing outbreaks of laughter, but they seem to function as centers from which other groups are inspired. Neither is laughter the only manifestation of praise occur- ring in such places. This laughter is usually accompanied by falling in the Spirit, weeping and ’drunken’ stupors that can last for hours, even days. Witnesses testify of going to such services as skeptics, only to be drawn into the contagious laughter that can sweep across the congregation at any moment in the service. Pastors have testified of granting a significant part of worship, even the entire service, for this activity. This holy laughter has so dominated Pentecostal, charismatic and ’third wave’ (charismatic evangelical) fellowships, that articles have appeared on the subject in Time (August 15, 1994), Christian Centurv (November 16, 1994) and Charisma (August 1994) magazines. What are we to
Journal of Pentecostal Theology – Wolters Kluwer Health
Published: Jan 1, 1996
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