The sober preacher trained in the dialectics of the seminary was rare west of the Appalachians. One found instead faith healers and circuit-rider evangelists, who stirred their audiences to paroxysms of religious frenzy. The Baptists boasted in 1817 that in New York State west of the Hudson there were only three preachers who had ever been to college. The settlers in the old Northwest Territory demanded personality rather than diplomas from the men who called them to God. No Man Knows My History, pages 13-14.

Evangelists had swarmed over the hill country, preaching in great open-air camp meetings where silent, lonely frontiersmen gathered to sing and shout. Revivalists knew their hell intimately - geography, climate, and vital statistics - and painted the sinner's fate so hideously that shuddering crowds surged forward to the bushel-box altars to be born again. Hundreds fell to the ground senseless, the most elegantly dressed women in Kentucky lying in the mud alongside ragged trappers. Some were seized with the "jerks," their head and limbs snapping back and forth and their bodies grotesquely distorted. Those who caught the "barks" would crawl on all fours, growling and snapping like the camp dogs fighting over garbage heaps behind the tents. The Kentucky Revival, page 26; No Man Knows My History, page 14.

Revival conversions were notoriously short lived. The great evangelist Charles G. Finney noted with dismay that where the excitement had been wildest it resulted in "a reaction so extensive and profound as to leave the impression on many minds that religion was a mere delusion." James Boyle wrote to Finney in 1834: "I have visited and revisited many of these fields, and groaned in spirit to see the sad, frigid, carnal and contentious state into which the churches had fallen ... within three months after we left them." Charles G. Finney: Memoirs, page 78; No Man Knows My History, pages 14-15.

Note: Out of the religious chaos of the early 19th century on the western frontier came a major "Christian" cult called Mormonism.


Many churches are reporting spontaneous, uncontrollable laughter erupting from their congregations, even during times of solemn ceremony or messages from the pulpit. some report uncontrollable weeping, falling to the floor in ecstatic trances, and animal noises such as barking like dogs and roaring like lions. Some stagger and reel like drunken people, unable to walk a straight line. For simplicity's sake, all these have come to be called "holy laughter," since laughter is the preeminent phenomenon displayed. In simple terms, it is physical manifestations in the form of virtually any expression attributed to absolute control by the Holy Spirit. Holy laughter has received the endorsements of Oral and Richard Roberts, Marilyn Hickey, Paul and Jan Crouch, Karl Strader, Larry Tomszak, Kenneth Copeland, Benny Hinn, John Wimber and many other media luminaries. Media Spotlight, by Albert James Dager, page 1.

Note: The evidence of the Holy Spirit does not include barking or laughter.

Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit (evidence) of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.

Note: Sound doctrine does not call for out-of-control barking or laughing.

2 Timothy 4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.

Note: When the Holy Spirit truly comes upon people, they will be witnesses for Jesus Christ.

Acts 1:8 "But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth."