Sunday, June 08, 2008

Man slain in spirit, falls, and sues

From thesmokinggun.com:

JUNE 5--Last June, Matthew Lincoln was attending an evening service at his nondenominational Tennessee church when he approached the altar where a visiting minister was offering individual prayers for parishioners. Assigned "catchers" were present on the altar in case congregants fainted, fell, or otherwise lost control. When the minister, Robert Lavala, slightly touched his forehead, the Knoxville-area man "received the spirit and fell backwards." Except nobody was there to catch him, Lincoln charges in a $2.5 million lawsuit filed yesterday against Lakewind Church and its pastors. Lincoln, 58, claims that he fell backwards, striking his head against the "carpet-covered cement floor," according to the Circuit Court complaint, which was first reported by Courthouse News Service. A copy of Lincoln's lawsuit can be found below. Since he already suffered from a "degenerative disc disease of his neck and back," Lincoln, a former church board member, contends the fall exacerbated the pre-existing condition and has caused him "severe and permanent" injuries. As a result of the fall, Lincoln, a recording engineer, claims that he is no longer able to care for his disabled daughter. Lincoln alleges that Lakewind and its pastors were "negligent in not supervising the catchers to be sure that they stood behind the person being prayed for...should they have a dizzying, fainting, or falling in the spirit as had occurred on many occasions before." Lincoln's lawyer, J.D. Lee, told TSG that the church's insurer, Zurich of North America, rejected an insurance claim, asserting that Lincoln should have realized that no catchers were situated behind him. (5 pages).

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Believe it or not, I've actually wondered what would happen in situations like this. I suppose that churches should start offering legal representation for healing services...


2 comments:

J. R. Miller said...

A close friend of mine was at a Benny Hinn healing crusade held on the Oral Roberts' Campus when a person "slain in the Spirit" fell on his foot and broke it. My friend asked the University to help him with the medical bills (no lawsuit, he just asked if they could help out). The University response was that if he told anyone about this incident or pursued it any further, they would fire him (my friend was also a teacher at ORU).

People getting injured at "healing" services is not new, the lawsuit I must admit is new to me.

Personally, I think he should sue the Father who sends the Holy Spirit. And I would also claim Jesus as a co-defendant since had he not died and raised from the dead, the Spirit would not have come. Indirectly, it seems Jesus is at fault too and should at least cover half the cost.

Edward T. Babinski said...

BROKEN RIBS AND LAWSUIT
Loresa Goodly filed a lawsuit in Lafayette Parish, Louisiana, in November for injuries she incurred just after she had received the Holy Spirit at a tent revival meeting and passed out on the floor. Moments later, another woman received the Holy Spirit and fell on top of Goodly before ushers could catch her, breaking three of Goodly’s ribs.
[Baton Rouge Morning Advocate, Nov. 18, 1995]

PLANE CRASH KILLS DAUGHTER OF FAMOUS PENTECOSTAL
Rev. Oral Roberts claimed he had a dream in which God told him that his daughter-in-law, Patti, would be killed in a place crash if she ever left his ministry. Patti did leave the ministry, distressed at the way her husband, Richard Roberts, was being turned into a clone of Oral, and the way they rationalized their expensive lifestyles. But the year Patti left his ministry, she did not die in a plane crash, while Rebecca, Oral’s own daughter, did. See Patti Roberts' book, from Ashes to Gold

PLANE CRASH KILLS EVANGELIST
On November 2, 1982, Rev. Lester Roloff (who had appeared a year earlier on “60 Minutes” stating his defiance of the what he called “Texas’s Godless juvenile home system”), along with a female staff member and a ladies singing trio, were killed when their plane crashed near Normangee, Texas on their way to a preaching and singing service they were scheduled to conduct.

LOOSE WIRE KILLS PASTOR WHILE 800 WATCH
Kyle Lake, 33, pastor of University Baptist Church in Waco, Texas, died after being electrocuted while standing in the church baptismal during a morning service. Lake received a shock while adjusting a microphone before baptizing a woman… About 800people were attending the service, which was more than usual due to Baylor University’s homecoming weekend, reports the Associated Press. Lake was a rising leader in new church movements such as Emergent. Lake is survived by his wife and three children.
[CT Staff, “Pastor Electrocuted in Baptismal: Pastor of University Baptist Church in Waco Dies After Adjusting Microphone.” Christianity Today, posted 10/31/2005
http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2005/144/14.0.html#related ]

So far as I know Lake's wife and children never sued the church.

It was Darwin's nephew, Galton, who studied statistics and discovered that ships carrying missionaries sank at the same statistical rate as those not carrying missionaries.

MISSIONARIES KILLED IN 2004 IN IRAQ
Five Southern Baptist aid workers were in Mosul, Iraq, to provide clean water to the city. While driving on the east side of the city the Baptists' car came under attack. One couple was new to the mission field. The husband had just graduated from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in 2002, and his wife was still officially a student there. Another couple were longtime missionary veterans, having worked most of the last 25 years in Honduras. They were scheduled to leave Iraq later this month to close their Honduran headquarters and permanently relocate to Iraq. Also killed in the attack was a single woman who converted to Christianity in 1997 and had recently quit her job... to work full-time in missions... In February, a taxi carrying several Independent Baptist church planters (not Southern Baptists) was attacked as it returned from Babylon to Baghdad. John Kelley, pastor of Curtis Corner Baptist Church in Wakefield, Rhode Island, was killed in the shooting. Three others were injured.
http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2004/marchweb-only/3-15-21.0.html

FIVE CHILDREN GATHERED AROUND A CROSS ARE KILLED BY LIGHTNING DURING RELIGIOUS CEREMONY
Five children between 9 and 16 years old died and several others suffered burns when lightning struck a white-painted metal cross set on a hill in the town of Santa Maria del Rio, Mexico, early on Sunday. “The lightning went straight into them and killed them instantly,” local Red Cross chief Eduardo Suarez said. Several families had been participating in a midnight ceremony as part of a local religious festival that centers around the cross.

“Lightning kills 5 Mexican children in prayer: Youths between 9 and 16 die praying at metal cross in central Mexico,” Reuters, April 24, 2006
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/12467604/from/ET/
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ELEVEN CHURCHGOERS KILLED BY LIGHTNING
About 40 people had gathered in the Church of Central African Presbytery in Mzimba, South Africa, when lightning struck on Saturday afternoon, said Fletcher Ndhlovu, an elder of the church. “Strong lightning struck the church building, sending everybody into shock,” Ndhlovu told AFP. The victims were taken to the district hospital “where 11 people were pronounced dead on arrival,” said Mzimba hospital physician Barton Jere. “The persons arrived here when they were already dead but we admitted eight people and 10 others were treated as out patients,” Jere told AFP. “They were all in a state of shock.”

“Lightning Kills 11 In Church,” Dec. 18, 2005
http://www.news24.com/News24/Africa/News/0,,2-11-1447_1852587,00.html
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MAN HOLDING CROSS IS KILLED BY LIGHTNING
A man died after lightning struck a metal cross he was holding during a funeral in a village near Ljubljana, the Slovenian news agency STA reported Thursday. It said the 62-year-old man died in hospital Wednesday evening, several hours after the incident in the village of Brezovica. Another person at the funeral was slightly injured.

Reuters, “Man Dies After Lightning Strikes Metal Cross,” June 23, 2005
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BOY SCOUTS KILLED BY LIGHTNING
A 15-year old Boy Scout (the Boy Scouts of America do not tolerate people who are openly atheist, agnostic, or unwilling to say in the Scout Oath they they will serve God) was killed and three others were injured last night when a bolt of lightning hit the log shelter they were sleeping in. Last Thursday, a 13-year-old Scout was killed by lightning in California. Four Scout leaders were electrocuted in Virginia earlier that week.

“Utah Boy Scout Killed By Lightning: Another Tragedy Hits Organization,” August 3, 2005 http://www.wftv.com/news/4805402/detail.html?treets=orlc&tml=orlc_4pm&ts=T&tmi=orlc_4pm_1_03000208032005
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WOMAN STRUCK DOWN BY LIGHTNING WHILE PRAYING
Worried about the safety of her family during a stormy Memorial Day trip to the beach, Clara Jean Brown, 65, stood in her kitchen and prayed for their safe return as a strong thunderstorm rumbled through Baldwin County, Alabama. She said “Amen” and… lightning suddenly exploded in her house, blowing through the linoleum and leaving a blackened area on the concrete. Brown wound up on the floor, dazed and disoriented by the blast but otherwise uninjured. Fire officials think the lightning likely struck across the street from the couple’s home and traveled into the house through a water line. The lightning continued into the couple’s backyard and ripped open a small trench.

“Woman Hit By Lightning While Praying,” Associated Press, May 30, 2006 www.WSBTV.com
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CHURCH OF CHRIST STRUCK BY LIGHTNING
A pile of rubble now sits where The Candlelight Church of Christ once stood in northwest Houston. Firefighters think lightning started the fire late Sunday night. Members of the congregation stopped by to see it for themselves and were a bit taken back.

ABC13 Eyewitness News, “Lightning May Be to Blame for Church Fire,” 5/31/05
http://abclocal.go.com/ktrk/news/060105_local_churchfire.html
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CATHOLIC CHURCHES STRUCK BY LIGHTNING
Lightning struck the bell tower of St. Mary’s Catholic Church, sparking a fire. Battling the fire became complicated when firefighters couldn’t get a nearby hydrant to work… The building had been a landmark in Pawnee, Illinois.
- Associated Press, “Pawnee Church Fire”
http://www.wqad.com/Global/story.asp?S=3334485

While some had talked about lowering the spire on the steeple of St. Valentine’s Catholic Church in Peru after Monday’s lightning strike, it now appears the steeple will be rebuilt as it was. The strike blew apart much of the spire, sending debris in all directions.
- Steve Depies, “Church Rebuilding After Lightning Strike,” perureporter@newstrib.com http://www.newstrib.com/main.asp?SectionID=1&ArticleID=18171&SubSectionID=207
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BAPTIST CHURCH STRUCK BY LIGHTNING
A lightning strike is being blamed for a fire that heavily damaged the Cold Point Baptist Church in Whitemarsh Township in Whitemarsh, Pennsylvania… Fire officials believe a lightning bolt struck a nearby pole that fell onto the church roof, starting the fire about one o’clock this morning.

Associated Press, “Mont. Co. Church Fire Blamed on Lightning,” August 15, 2005 http://abclocal.go.com/wpvi/story?section=local&id=3351786
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EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN CHURCH STRUCK BY LIGHTNING
Lightning has struck twice at St. James Evangelical Lutheran Church in Vandalia, Illinois--but the bolts came more than 112 years apart. Fire officials say lightning was the apparent cause of a fire that collapsed the roof of the church’s sanctuary late Monday. In July of 1893, another bolt ignited a fire that destroyed the previous church building… This week’s fire destroyed the church, which was built in 1895.

Associated Press, “Lightning Strikes Twice for Vandalia Church,” 2005
http://www.kwqc.com/Global/story.asp?S=3878230&nav=7k7NJ1IJ
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INDEPENDENT FUNDAMENTALIST CHURCH STRUCK BY LIGHTNING
Lightning caused a fire that destroyed a century-old church in Churubusco, Indiana… Charter Oak had completed a new addition within the last year and had plans for further expansion. It is part of the Independent Fundamentalist Churches of America, an association of independent churches.

Associated Press, “Lightning Destroys Century-Old Church,” November 17, 2005
http://www.indystar.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20051117/NEWS01/511170529/1006