Spiritual Slip and Fall: Knoxville Man Sues for Evangelical Injury After Being Touched By God

In Knoxville Tenn., Matt Lincoln wanted to be touched by God when he went to the Lakewind Church. It was the contact with the floor that he did not plan for when he was consumed by the holy spirit. He is not suing the church for negligence in failing to take preparations for those who lose their balance or consciousness when visited by the spirit during services. He is seeking $2.5 million of a more earthly reward.

Lincoln, 57, required two surgeries after a 2007 fall — caused when the force of the spirit knocked him off his feet. He said that he had been knocked down before but that someone had always caught him. The church is crying foul –saying that Lincoln was laughing on the ground after the fall.

It is actually an interesting torts cases. These churches expect (and indeed invite) people to be struck by the spirit. It is, therefore, a foreseeable component of their activities. The question is what a reasonable evangelical church would do, particularly given the large number of older individuals.

Of course, it was the holy spirit that did it, but long-arm jurisdiction would probably not reach that culprit. That leaves the church.

Lakewind is arguing contributory or comparative negligence on Lincoln’s part. However, since individuals are struck by the spirit, it is common to see the faithful thrown backward or violently lurch after the touching. Indeed, such sudden impact is viewed as an article of faith by some.

This could make for some interesting motions practice, though I expect a jury would be fairly hostile to the evangelical injury theory.

For the full story, click here.

14 thoughts on “Spiritual Slip and Fall: Knoxville Man Sues for Evangelical Injury After Being Touched By God”

  1. Mr. Lincoln,

    I am truly saddened by the system failing you. Taking you at your word, it seems you have indeed been wronged, not just by the church and the legal system, but by those who should support you the most when you are injured: your family and friends. That saddens me the most. But if you haven’t run into a statutory limit on re-filing, I urge you to reconsider. All one has is one’s health. To be damaged and not made whole (as you claim to seek, not a reward but to be made whole) is a great injustice. I sincerely wish you the best of luck.

  2. I’m Matt Lincoln and after reading over 300 comments on some of these blogs I felt that I had to say a few things. First, the report that I was on the floor laughing that night is false. On several previous occasions I had laughed with the joy of the Lord. Sometimes I would weep under the power of the Lord. Sometimes I would lie quietly. But on this night in question I laid on the floor unable to move for over 20 minutes. Next, this case was never intended to be a lawsuit. When I found out from the Neurosurgeon the approximate costs, I made a claim on the church’s insurance for $200,000, the minimum amount of the surgeries. To date the cost for the first two has exceeded $175,000. The claim I entered was only for the medical costs. I wanted no extra money nor did I ask for any. But the insurance company refused to award me anything so I retained an attorney to negotiate with the insurance company on my behalf, which he did and they refused him also. He told me that we would have to sue to get the money. I agreed and he wrote up the papers and called me when they were ready to sign. We never discussed the amount, nor did we ask that my wife be included. These matters he decided. When I went to his office to sign the papers I was surprised at the figure and also that it included my wife. But being that we were 35 hours from the one-year deadline to file suit, I agreed to the terms that he had drawn up. There was no time to change everything; I just agreed. Now that I have read so many condemning, negative and hateful comments I have dropped the lawsuit. I told my attorney that out of over 300 comments there was only one that agreed with me and the rest of the comments claimed that I was everything from a liar, a charlatan, a thief, under the influence of Satan, was going to go to Hell, needed to repent, didn’t have faith, got what I asked for, and on and on. I have never experienced such hatred towards me, and my wife. And such judgment. I have been tried and convicted in so many people’s minds. So I told my attorney that I didn’t see how he could find an impartial jury because 99.7% of the comments I read were against me, and from people who don’t even know me. They judged me by a semi-correct account of the incident that started on The Smoking Gun. My attorney agreed that it was a complicated case and there were obstacles to overcome. So I dropped it. By the way, the surgeries that I’ve had so far are one on my left wrist for the carpal tunnel syndrome that started after the injury. That was minor and ineffective. The major surgery was putting two titanium steel rods, their holders, a “cage”, and bolting it all to my tailbone and to the next several vertebrae. The injury caused by my fall was a fractured vertebra at my waist (not my neck), and this vertebra was also knocked out of the spinal column, and 4 discs were ruined. I am now in constant, intense, horrible pain and can’t work much at all. After an hour or two of any activity, even just sitting, I close down in pain spasms. Where I used to be a very active person, now my favorite activity is lying on a heating pad. My life, as well as my family’s life, has been completely ruined. And now, because of all of these horrible comments on the Internet, my reputation is all but ruined. Anybody who knows me personally knows that I am truthful, generous, and willing to help anybody in my business. I would go the extra mile for anybody who needed me to. I’m nothing like what these comments have portrayed me as. And as for those “Christians” who have judged me and told me to repent of my sin, read Matthew 7:1. As for those who told me that if I had “ought against a brother take it up with the saints of the church”, well, I did. I called the Pastor several times. What he offered me was to buy me an order of groceries since I was hurt and out of work. This is a Pastor to whose church my wife and I had tithed and offered almost $60,000 in the 12+ years we were members. My wife taught at their school for a year for no pay whatsoever. Not even gas money. I taught their Bible College part-time for a year with no compensation. I also went to band rehearsals 1&1/2 hours early every Sunday AM and again on Sunday PM for 10 years. We helped out on many events and occasions. We truly volunteered our lives to serve God through this church. And when I talked to the “saint” about my injuries, he offered me a bag of groceries. Didn’t even offer to pay one bill, or even to give me one dollar. So that’s what happened when I “took it up with the saints”. Also, on one blog I read where the preacher that prayed for me that night denied it and called me a liar. There are several people who go to that church who gave statements to the insurance investigator that they did see him pray for me and did see me fall. The insurance investigator told me that. There are witnesses to the entire event. But it’s over now. I’ve dropped the lawsuit. All I ever wanted was for the medical bills to be paid. But that’s something that I have to do alone. I’m also unable to afford the other two surgeries, one for the right wrist and one for the neck for a bulging disc caused by the fall. This is the injury that aggravated a “pre-existing injury”, which was a neck fusion done in 1994. The injury to my lower back is the worst kind of pain and I think that’s why my attorney asked for such a large amount in the lawsuit. He knew that I would never be well again. But the mental pain is almost as bad. Now, thousands of people hate me, hate my wife, and the church “family” I had for so many years never even visited me once, either before the lawsuit was filed or since. I just wanted to state the facts and attempt to clear my reputation. Thank you for reading this.

  3. Ajlouny & Associates New York slip and fall lawyers skilled in helping victims who have slipped, tripped and fallen in a hazardous workplace, on a construction site, in a mall, restaurant and any other public place. If you have been seriously injured in a fall, contact our law office to speak to one of our experienced slip and fall lawyer.

  4. And once more, allow me to draw attention to the fact, that no where in your post exists one single argument about anything I said, or anything that matter of substance, other than more of your juvenile rants about me.

    In fact, you don’t even explain why you first started attacking me.

    All you do, is keep coming looking for more.


    And as always, I’ll be happy to oblige.

    Regardless of how much you ball, baby.

  5. The church is crying foul –saying that Lincoln was laughing on the ground after the fall.



    As well be the judge hearing the case.

  6. whooliebacon and everyone else who likes goofy stuff–I found an interesting pamphlet dated April, 1943 from Washington State Defense Council. This helpful pamphlet was entitled: “If a Fire Bomb Hits the House”. No they didn’t recommend running like hell! You were supposed to stay behind a door and water it with your garden hose. Perhaps this is also effective when confronting the Holy Ghost!


  7. Every body knows you don’t mess with the Holy Ghost.

    If the Ghost borks your system, too bad. Should have read the ULA.

  8. Maybe we can get Bill Frist to give us a consult by watching the film of the spiritual and tortious act. Of course, even if there is film of the event, God won’t show up on the film.

  9. The “claw hand” of prayer on Rev. Angley’s website looked promising for starring in a Zombie Cult Movie! Cool!!!

  10. Has it come to this? You don’t see no snake handlers sue when the adder bites!

    This is an interesting question. You can’t sue for acts of god, or can you? I don’t know. But it does seem that this could have been forseen, even without consulting Biblical prophecy.

    Thanks for including “This week in God” items on this blog. These are difficult times and it’s important to have a raucous but kind hearted laugh when god and mammon attack!

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