lurking 11: demonic possession
Exorcism is directed at the expulsion of demons or to the liberation from demonic possession through the spiritual authority which Jesus entrusted to his Church. Illness, especially psychological illness, is a very different matter; treating this is the concern of medical science. Therefore, before an exorcism is performed, it is important to ascertain that one is dealing with the presence of the Evil One, and not an illness. Catechism of the Catholic Church
Lying deep within the cornucopia of crazy Christian beliefs, perched somewhere between dinosaur-riding farmers and evil babies, is a real humdinger. It appears that in 2014 there are people with reasonable levels of education who believe that dark spirits rise up from the bowels of hell and take possession of human bodies. Ludicrous, I hear you cry! The tip-off came from Neuronotes, and I didn’t have to lurk very far to find real live Christian evidence in three of the blogs I follow.
the alter ego demon
Our foray starts innocently enough with passing remark about global pop superstar Beyonce:
Beyonce is, by her own admission, hosting a demon she knows as “Sasha Fierce”. She publicly testifies that when she performs, this alter-ego takes over and empowers her to do things that she herself could never do. Anyone who would dismiss this is ignorant of a very real occult (hidden) reality.
Yes, perhaps she needs an exorcism. That could explain everything.
the alien abduction demon
The next post I stumbled across questioned how likely it is that people are abducted by aliens, suggesting instead the much more rational explanation that they are possessed by Satan’s minions.
Typically, the victims are taken against their will. Some have said they were able to smell the odour of sulphur, which is not uncommon in cases of demonic possession. Many of these abductees have a history of engaging in occultic or New Age practices, which leaves people in a state of spiritual vulnerability, and whom are also frequent in presentations of possession. Similarly, a drop in temperature in the abduction environment is also reported, along with involuntary levitation of the contactee. […]
Abductees have reported numerous times that the ‘alien’ beings de-materialise when the Holy Name of Jesus is invoked. They have been reported to have walked through walls of buildings, and are evidently of an angelic nature rather than a material one. Likewise, their craft often defy the laws of physics.
Most encounters with ufonauts and their craft occur around 3 am. Crucially, demonologists and exorcists report that this time is a peak of diabolical activity – the ‘Devils hour’: an inversion of 3 pm, whereby the death of Our Blessed Lord on the Cross is blasphemously parodied.
the biblical demon
To be honest, however archaic, dangerous and ignorant it may appear to anyone living in the real world, there is nothing unusual about Christians believing in demons. As our next post points out, the Bible is very clear about exactly what demons are and no amount of cherry picking interpretation games can explain them away for Christians.
Characteristics of Demons: Mark 5:1-20 is the definitive passage on demon possession and its effects in the Bible. Some of the details about demons the Bible reveals in this passage are:
1. Devils want to be near dead human bodies or tombs (vs. 2, 3, 5).
2. They can cause unusual strength (vs. 3-4).
3. They can make a person unreasonable or immune to sensible persuasion (vs. 4).
4. They cause excessive crying (vs. 5).
5. They cause sadistic and masochistic behavior (vs. 5).
6. They have an affinity for heights (vs. 5).
7. They recognize Christ as “the Son of God” and appeal to Him (vs. 6-7).
8. They know they deserve torment and dread it (vs. 6-7).
9. They have names (vs. 9).
10. More than one can possess the same body (vs. 9).
11. They desire to stay in the same geographical region or “country” (vs. 10). territorial.
12. They would rather indwell an animal body than none at all (vs. 12).
13. They can cause animals to kill themselves (vs. 13).
14. They desire to be in a body when it dies (vs. 13).
15. They have a desire for water (vs. 13). […]
When a case of demon-possession is highly suspected, the following is recommended:
1. The person needs to be confronted with the fact that their state is a result of their willful decision to yield to the evil spirits rather than to their Creator-God.
2. The person must be enjoined to repent of the sin of worshipping false gods and turn to Christ for forgiveness and salvation. Note: in some cases, due to the severity of the demonic attack it may be impossible to share the gospel. See the next step.
3. The Prayer of Faith: The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. James 5:16. (For the right kind of faith see I Cor. 13:2). Pray that the afflicted will be convicted of sin (his or hers), righteousness (Christ’s), and judgement (its certainty) (see John 16:5-11). Pray that the Lord Jesus, to whom all authority is given, will release this person from the bondage of the demon(s).
It is recommended that you not be alone but in the company of other believers who will pray with you.
It is also recommended by some that you pray out loud. Demons cannot read our thoughts.
Although this all undoubtedly entertaining for those of us who like to poke fun at yet another painfully ignorant Christian belief, let’s not forget how breathtakingly dangerous this can be. Let’s not forget the way these teachings are the affecting the lives of children with mental and physical problems, and countless others across the world. These beliefs lead directly to the suffering, torture and death of innocent people.
Terrance Cottrell Jr., Wisconsin Age: 8 Died: Aug 22, 2003
Diagnosed as autistic at 2, he was a problem child. Church members thought he was possessed by the devil. In an exorcism he was held down for two hours until he suffocated. The pastor was sentenced to prison, but never admitted guilt.