Sunday, December 18, 2016

Demon Possessions and Exorcism in Church.

Dear in Christ,

Have you ever read about demon possessed believers in the New Testament?

Let me be very specific: I am not talking about someone who was demon possessed before they became the followers of Christ. My question is about those who became demon possessed after they became believers or disciples of Christ.

We read about believers who became adulterers, heretics, disobedient, greedy, quarrelsome, to mention a few. (Please don't tell me that these attitudes come from demon possession - such claims can't be substantiated.) We read about these type of people being expelled, excommunicated or ostracized from among the community of believers - but, never do we read about anyone laying hands on them and praying for them.

There are a few websites and blogs which claim that a believer could be demon possessed. They don't discern between the Greek word for Satan (διάβολος, dee-ab'-ol-os, G1228 in Strong's) and the completely unrelated Greek words used in the context of demon possession:
G1139 δαιμονίζομαι, dahee-mon-id'-zom-ahee, ... from G1142;
G1140 δαιμόνιον, dahee-mon'-ee-on, Neuter of a derivative of G1142;
G1142 δαίμων, dah'ee-mown. 
It is quite likely that the authors of such websites and blogs got carried away by King James Version's indiscreet rendering of all these words and G1228 as “the devil”, whereas, as we have seen previously, these last three words had to be translated as “demoniac(s)”, as we see in many modern translations.

Knowing that there were numerous demon possessed people during the earthly ministry of Jesus and his disciples, how do we answer the question:

Why there were no demon possessed people among the believers?

Let me try answering this question using a few scriptures:
Col 3:3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.
1Co 3:16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?
1Co 6:19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
2Co 6:16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
I can go on and on and on, but the truth is that God / Christ / the Holy Spirit dwells in you and you dwell in them. Are there any scriptures which say that God / Christ / the Holy Spirit would share space with Satan / Devil / Demons? I don't see any.

As we have seen in this series on Satan Myth, many of the cases of demon possession were cases of schizophrenia, epilepsy or bipolar disorder. Isn't it intriguing that no such cases were reported among the believers mentioned in the New Testament?

One may come up with counterarguments like: the fact that not many pregnancies or childbirths are mentioned in the New Testament doesn't mean that such things were not happening among the believers. I don't think that's a valid argument, because, none would approach Jesus or disciples for divine intervention in what is normal. People approached Jesus and his disciples in the cases of untimely deaths. disorders and illnesses, not for what is natural and normal like childbirth.

How about Exorcism in Churches?

I know that I can't answer this question without displeasing at least some of my readers. (In fact, a few are already displeased. Anyway, I am not casting aspersions on anyone, I am presenting my understanding.)

If there is no proof that a Christian could be demon possessed, the exorcism that is taking place in churches can't be genuine, if it were performed on true believers. Yes, we do see a lot of exorcisms happening in quite a lot of churches. Does that prove that a true Christian believer could be demon possessed?
  • What if the pastor is deluded? 
  • What if the pastor is deluding? 
  • What if the church members are feigning to be demon possessed?
Recently, I saw the photos of a couple women who were healed or exorcised by different preachers at different venues. They are more or less like those whom conspiracy theorists call as Crisis Actors. I have read from the writings of former faith healers that most of the faith healing are stage-managed.

As we have seen in the series, most of what the New Testament terms “demon possessions” are either neurological or psychiatric disorders that could be healed by proper medical attention, proving that they have nothing to do with the minions of Satan or the Devil.

Yes, yes, there are plenty of testimonies of those who were exorcised by pastors and preachers, I agree. Is there any paucity for testimonies on any given problem? I have a few friends who have been associates of well known faith healers. They also have “testimonies” of how pastors used to perform healings and how some of those who were supposed to have been “healed” had the recurrence of the same ailments, and some even died within days of the so-called “healing” (though, not because of demon possessions). If testimonies prove the truthfulness of anything, how about the testimonies of those who claim that they were healed by black magicians and some of the Islamic clerics? What makes their testimonies less truthful than “Christian” testimonies?

If something can't be proved scripturally, no matter how many testimonies and personal experiences exist, it can't be true. There is no scriptural proof that a believer in Christ, in whom God dwells, can be demon possessed.

In Christ,
Tomsan Kattackal

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