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Micael Grenholm, a Swedish charismactivist, apologist and author.

Micael Grenholm, a Swedish charismactivist, apologist and author.

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What is Holy Laughter?

holy laughter

The church is often accused of being a boring place. Not for those who have experienced holy laughter.

The phenomenon caught widespread attention in the 90’s, as it was a sign mark to charismatic meetings associated with Rodney Howard Browne and the Toronto Blessing. Holy laughter was described as a “manifestation” of the Holy Spirit, along with shaking, crying and falling down. The practice received lots of criticism though, as some pointed out that holy laughter isn’t mentioned in the Bible and to a large extent seems plain weird – why would the Spirit want you to laugh?

One of my Youtube subscribers, Justus Tams, asked me for a video on this topic, so here it is:

My take on the phenomenon is that it isn’t a manifestation of the Spirit but rather a human reaction to the Spirit filling the person with joy, which He is fully capable of (Rom 14:17, Gal 5:6). Alternatively, it is just a person laughing at a church meeting, no Holy Spirit involved. Sometimes someone laughs because a demon freaks out in the presence of the Lord. It all depends on the person’s history and character and on the context and focus of the meeting.