After almost four decades as a Christian Pastor, I thought I had pretty much heard everything. As is often the case, I was wrong. I just heard of a practice called “grave sucking.” Yes, you read it correctly—grave sucking. It’s a thing!
Apparently, it’s also known by a couple less vulgar names like “grave soaking” and “mantle grabbing.” The practice, if I understand it correctly, is loosely based on Scripture such as the story of Elijah passing his mantle to Elisha. Passing the mantle was a symbol of the prophetic anointing of the Holy Spirit being passed on to the new generation of prophets. The general idea of grave sucking is to soak up the unused portion of the Holy Spirit that has been left in the bones of the deceased. I’ll pause here for a moment to allow you to soak up the entire idea.
Despite the fact that it’s supposedly based on the Scriptures, it’s decidedly unbiblical. If the Lord wants to fill you with His Holy Spirit, He will. He, in fact, urges us to ask Him for the Holy Spirit (Luke 11:13). We don’t have to usurp it from our deceased brethren. The Lord is more than happy to touch all believers with His Spirit.
Can we say, Heresy?
These sorts of things pop up every once in a while. Someone gets a “new” slant on a Bible story, formulates a new teaching, gets a new following, and a new Christian sensation is born. Can we say, “Heresy?”
Some of these new teachings sound good. If the proposed results seem like something God would want for us, they can be made to sound even better. Get a few testimonies as to how good it is, and you’ve got the makings of a new movement—one that has no grounding in Scripture but has a lot of excited participants trying to make it work.
Grave sucking seems to be another one of those extra-Biblical revelations that somebody believed with all their heart and mind. One determined individual can change a lot of other hearts and minds as well. This can be especially true of young Christians who only know enough Bible to be dangerous. Apparently, it’s happening again.
The Agent’s Answer
I had a friend who worked in a marina that was the victim of a counterfeiter who was passing twenty-dollar bills. The FBI showed up and could spot the fake twenties at a glance. My friend commented that they must study a lot of counterfeits to be able to spot them that easily. The agent’s answer was simple. “We don’t study the counterfeits. We study the real thing so much that we know at a glance when something isn’t right.”
It should be the same with us as Christians. We should know God’s Word so well that when a counterfeit comes along (like grave sucking), we should be able to tell that something isn’t right. When things don’t line up with Scripture, we should see them as questionable. False teachers are everywhere.
[Dave Zuchelli is a graduate of Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and currently resides in Aldie, VA.]