Showing posts with label Demons. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Demons. Show all posts

Sunday, March 01, 2020

Crazed Swine on a Gerasene Hillside

We do not have a whole lot of clear teaching in the Bible about demons and precisely how they operate. It is evident from the various accounts we have in the gospels that demons are capable of indwelling, tormenting and periodically controlling humans who become susceptible to them, but we do not know much more than this for certain.

Under what conditions do demons come and indwell a person? Where do they go when they haven’t got a human being to play with? Why do they so terribly fear the abyss, and what makes them crave human hosts while methodically working away at their destruction? None of these things are spelled out for us.

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Demons and Daily Living

Stand to Reason columnist Alan Shlemon writes:

“To be honest, I believe in Satan and demons, but my belief in them makes little difference in how I live. There are two reasons for that. One, I often feel awkward talking about them for fear that people might think I’m (spiritually) weird. Two, I don’t know exactly what they do and what I can do to affect their activity.”

I think this is fairly common among Christians. More than a few of us would confess that the oddballs who speak constantly of demonic oppression or the “works of Satan” spook us just a little a bit.

Does belief in demons affect how we live? Not really, at least not in any way we’d notice. Should it? That’s another question.

Sunday, November 03, 2019

Inbox: Demon Possession and the Church Age

A friend emailed me some thoughts on demon possession worth passing along:

A couple weeks ago someone asked me for my thoughts on demon possession and the role it plays today [he had been reading something written by Derek Prince]. This led to the following thoughts, and I’d appreciate yours.

Monday, May 06, 2019

Anonymous Asks (38)

“Can ghosts and evil things get me?”

Let’s see. There are indeed “ghosts” in the Bible.

The King James Version uses the word 109 times, though not in any sense that should keep us up at night. All occur in one of two expressions: “Holy Ghost” (an antiquated way of referring to the Holy Spirit) or “give up the ghost” (which just means dying).

In modern translations the word is used whenever superstitious people saw something they couldn’t explain, and wrongly assumed they were being visited by spirits. The disciples saw Jesus walking on the water and cried, “It is a ghost!

Like most reported ghost sightings, it wasn’t.

Sunday, January 06, 2019

Getting in the Driver’s Seat

“My people inquire of a piece of wood, and their walking staff gives them oracles.”

Idolatry is stupid. There, I said it.

It’s hard to imagine that any craftsman who ever put tools to wood, stone or metal really believed his artistic creations had the power to determine outcomes or influence reality. These men could hardly miss the fact that they were manufacturing a commodity. They were marketing a commercial product, not consciously giving worldly form to some arcane power in order to enable its devotees to focus their otherwise-diffuse religious attention. And if idols are indeed merely human constructs, then worshiping them is stupid.

That doesn’t mean there aren’t reasons people do it.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

A Digression About Possession and Oppression

On my way to work this morning I stopped in at my local A&W for a breakfast burger only to find a crazy person between me and the cash register — or at least he was behaving that way. The three uniformed employees were huddled behind the counter hoping not to get hit, the arms and spit were flying, and the words were coming high volume and a mile a minute. He kept repeating that he had come from jail and was on his way back there, and he made it all seem quite believable.

I suspect he was looking to intimidate the staff into giving him a free meal, but his demeanor had the opposite effect: nobody dared serve him for fear he would sit down and eat his breakfast right there, and they’d never get rid of him.

I gave him five bucks and he went away. Having a conversation with him was impossible. There was nowhere to fit the words in, and he wasn’t hearing anyway.

Sunday, July 02, 2017

If You Don’t Know, Just Say So

When you don’t know the answer to something, the only truly honest response is “I don’t know”.

Some people just can’t bring themselves to say it, sadly.

This poor soul dared to pose a question on an internet forum a while back. The silly fellow had been reading his Bible (on his own, possibly) and had the temerity to come across this verse:

“As he said these things, a woman in the crowd raised her voice and said to him, ‘Blessed is the womb that bore you, and the breasts at which you nursed!’ But he said, ‘Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!’ ”

Hooboy. Some people just know how to pick ’em.

Monday, July 07, 2014

If You Don’t Know, Just Say So

The most recent version of this post is available here.

Friday, May 09, 2014

Debunking Heavenly Mythology VIII: Captain Kirk Was Wrong

“Better to reign in Hell, than serve in Heaven.”
— John Milton, Paradise Lost
I know, I know, it’s Satan’s famous line from Milton, but the first time I heard it, it was delivered by William Shatner’s Captain Kirk in the original 1967 Star Trek episode Space Seed. In my frequently-inaccurate childhood memory the line belongs to Ricardo Montalban’s villainous character Khan, but thanks to YouTube, I stand corrected: Montalban doesn’t ever actually get to say it. Rather, with unusual subtlety for the genre, Khan, offered the choice between a comfy prison or the challenge of taming a wild planet, asks Kirk, “Have you ever read Milton?” Kirk, being a renaissance man, replies “I understand”.

Thankfully for my fascinated pre-teen self (and most of the audience, I’d suspect), Kirk later explains the significance of the reference to his engineer Scotty (who, despite spectacular feats of speed-engineering, is apparently not a renaissance man).

And really, it’s Shatner, so who better to deliver the line?

But that line stuck in my head. I thought it was really cool, and defiant, and independent, and all those things the TV screenwriters thought it was supposed to evoke (hey, I was probably twelve, okay?). Anyway, it worked.

But whether you choose to attribute the line to Kirk, Khan, Milton or Satan himself, it’s still wrong: Nobody reigns in hell.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Inbox: Demon Possession and the Church Age

The most recent version of this post is available here.