Holy Ghost People is a 1967 film directed and narrated by Peter Adair. The film discusses the service of a Pentecostal community in West Virginia, United States. The services in the church include speaking in tongues, snake handling, singing, and faith healing.
The film starts by showing the night services of the church and its various images. The narrator of the film presents the activities that are performed by the church, such as singing, speaking in tongues, healing diseases and sicknesses, drinking poison, snake handling and spending frequent six hours at the church multiple times a week. According to the narrator, a snake always bites many people; unfortunately, they are always unwilling to seek medical help.
The people in the church are structured because of the following reasons: the church always require its members to kiss one another on the lips before they sit. After every one has seated, the people start clapping and singing together. After that, the church moves into a time of prayer. Those who have problems stand and announce their prayer concerns to the congregation. The pastor then tells the people that the Almighty God will answer their prayers if only they believe.
The church has different styles of prayer, including lying on the floor, standing still, and convulsing uncontrollably. After praying, a snake is brought to the snake handlers. As clapping and music continue, people start to get up and dance. Many people in the church are allowed to handle several snakes. The music stops for people to give their testimonies. After the testimonies, the church takes offerings before ending the service (Morris 25).
This group of people is the Holy Ghost people from a Pentecostal Christian church. They speak in tongues, convulse, and drink poison; handle live snakes and treat sickness and diseases through laying of hands instead of using medicine, as a testament of their faith. They are completely genuine in their actions and beliefs (Morris 28). The Christians from the church have a strong faith in the God whom they are serving. They belief that if one has faith in God, the problems will be solved. Therefore, God is the solution to everything that is being experienced on the surface of the Earth (Williams 22). The other element of this group is they refrain from the hypocritical nature of other spiritual groups. They are willing to serve their God; they attend frequent six-hour services. They practice this due to their firm beliefs. Personally, I have no problem with them as long as they are serving God. God is the same everywhere. God in the USA is the same as God in Europe and even in any other part of the world.
Even though these Christians have a strong faith, they exhibit fanatical elements. Handling deadly snakes and advocating poison drinking is irresponsibly dangerous when carried out in plain sight of children (Morris 35). Seeing the church convulse and shake in the presence of the kids is unsettling. The life of the believers in the church is unbearable of rural poverty that is characterized by illiteracy, joblessness and absolute disengagement from the rest of the world. Such a life may make people to do what they are doing. People should look for better ways of solving problems in life instead of risking their lives with such behaviors.
Morris, Gary. “Little Stabs of Happiness (And Horror)”. Bright Lights Film Journal (45) Pp. 23-55. 2014 Print
Williams, A. N. (2007). Faith, Reason, and the Existence of God. Philosophical Review Pp. 22-28