UnderGround Forums
 

HolyGround >> Demon casting in the gospels


10/20/11 9:35 AM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
dabigchet
Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 9/10/07
Posts: 8374
 
So, I am reading the gospels and one of the things that has really stood out to me is the amount of demon casting that occurs. while i am not about to tally it all up, it may be that there are more specific occurrences of jesus casting than any other activity (healing, specific individual occurrences of him preaching, etc). every town he goes in, there are possessed individuals, and the son of god himself is ridding them of their demons.

i am wondering what christians think of the prevalence of demonic possession in nazareth and surrounding areas 2000 years ago compared to your city and surrounding suburbs today. it seems that there are only a few possibilities:

- satan/demons/spirits for whatever reason possessed more people then. if this is the case, why do you think that might be?
- those people weren't actually possessed, but it was a misdiagnosis of other, now better understood illnesses. this seems unlikely to me because there are cases where jesus is pretty specific that demons are physically in the afflicted, and he is physically casting them out (into a herd of pigs in one example). also, if this is the case, i would have to wonder why god wouldn't clear the air and inform people that the suffering aren't actually possessed by demons. that would be very helpful information to humanity, and would have saved many from suffering and death in later centuries.
- the accounts of jesus casting out demons are not reliable.

or, perhaps, something else? what am i missing?
10/20/11 10:56 AM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
colubrid1
Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 10/6/02
Posts: 1313
My wife works in a hospital with sucide patients. She sees weird things every day. There are a lot of people who are posessed.
10/20/11 11:27 AM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
Benedictus
Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 11/17/09
Posts: 41
I would also venture to say the presence of Jesus irritated the demon spirits. I know of a boy who had been playing with a guija board. Later he was in a youth service. The presence of God came into the room and then the demon began to manifest in the boy. The youth leaders exorcised the demon out of the boy. Phone Post
10/20/11 12:43 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
mmanthebay
8 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 5/12/08
Posts: 451
I'd say demonic influence is common today, but our terminology (possession, influence, manifestation) and movies often tend to cloud our awareness of it. I agree that Jesus presence caused so many manifestations. The story about the pigs, the demonized man, and the pig farmers has a lot of underlying information on the subject. Phone Post
10/20/11 2:29 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
dabigchet
Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 9/10/07
Posts: 8378
ok, so if jesus could just cast the demons out (there is not a single case of him being unsuccessful), why would jesus's presence cause more people to be possessed? why are demons so stupid? if anything, i would think now that jesus isn't walking town to town casting them out like nothing, that demons would be MORE likely to possess people.

also, if demon possession still occurs on regular frequency, does that mean that mental health professionals are misdiagnosing cases like schizophrenia, when the proper diagnosis is demon possession? if a patient responds to anti-schizophrenia medication, is that a good indicator that they are not actually possessed by a demon? should we be medicating schizophrenics less less and praying more?
10/20/11 5:29 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
zealot66
20 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 1/1/01
Posts: 12230
 Funny enough, I believe Demon oppression is 'real' as evidenced from watching Ghost Adventures. Laugh all you want. I dont know to what extent 'possession ' takes place but there does appear to be good and bad spirits. There is too much cirucmstantial evidence.

Now, about the Gospels, I often wonder if some people who were believed to be possessed were simply mentally ill and there was no science to explain it.
10/20/11 5:31 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
Benedictus
Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 11/17/09
Posts: 44
It's not a matter of more people being demonized just because Jesus' presence, rather what was there all along is exposed from the Light. Read John chapter 1. Phone Post
10/20/11 10:11 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
Ridgeback
23 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 7/3/07
Posts: 25215
dabigchet - So, I am reading the gospels and one of the things that has really stood out to me is the amount of demon casting that occurs. while i am not about to tally it all up, it may be that there are more specific occurrences of jesus casting than any other activity (healing, specific individual occurrences of him preaching, etc). every town he goes in, there are possessed individuals, and the son of god himself is ridding them of their demons.

i am wondering what christians think of the prevalence of demonic possession in nazareth and surrounding areas 2000 years ago compared to your city and surrounding suburbs today. it seems that there are only a few possibilities:

- satan/demons/spirits for whatever reason possessed more people then. if this is the case, why do you think that might be?
- those people weren't actually possessed, but it was a misdiagnosis of other, now better understood illnesses. this seems unlikely to me because there are cases where jesus is pretty specific that demons are physically in the afflicted, and he is physically casting them out (into a herd of pigs in one example). also, if this is the case, i would have to wonder why god wouldn't clear the air and inform people that the suffering aren't actually possessed by demons. that would be very helpful information to humanity, and would have saved many from suffering and death in later centuries.
- the accounts of jesus casting out demons are not reliable.

or, perhaps, something else? what am i missing?

 This is the narrative of orders most people don't get from the gospels.   Jesus wasn't supposed to be some magical being, he was supposed to be a fully realized human who lived as a citizen of the Kingdom of Heaven fully.  His Incarnation is like an invasion force into a world under the nearly complete control of dark powers.  So yes his presence is an extreme irritant and as he starts putting his divine life into the cosmos the devil and his cohorts are more and more restricted.  The "bind the strong man" was traditionally interpreted to mean that when Jesus descended into Hades he bound Satan and set the captives free, meaning that demonic powers were severely curtailed.  But of course Revelation teaches that the devil will be released near the very end of time and lots of people have claimed a huge increase in demonic activity in the 20th century up to today.  

When the desert fathers went to the deserts of the Middle East they weren't trying to flee the world or drop out.  They went there to do battle with demons and claim the wild places for the Kingdom.  The idea was that the wilderness areas were still under the power of the dark forces of the world and they were spiritually clearing brush by choosing to do battle with Satan.  

Anyway, my point is this world view of the early Christians is nearly absent from modern Christianity, which tends to divide the world into heaven on the second floor, earth on the first floor, and hell in the basement.  The early Christians envisioned side by side orders doing battle on the earth.
10/20/11 10:15 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
Ridgeback
23 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 7/3/07
Posts: 25216
dabigchet - ok, so if jesus could just cast the demons out (there is not a single case of him being unsuccessful), why would jesus's presence cause more people to be possessed? why are demons so stupid? if anything, i would think now that jesus isn't walking town to town casting them out like nothing, that demons would be MORE likely to possess people.

also, if demon possession still occurs on regular frequency, does that mean that mental health professionals are misdiagnosing cases like schizophrenia, when the proper diagnosis is demon possession? if a patient responds to anti-schizophrenia medication, is that a good indicator that they are not actually possessed by a demon? should we be medicating schizophrenics less less and praying more?

I know you are trying to be funny, but all the cases of possession I have read about pointed out very clearly that psychological/psychiatric options were completely exhausted before possession was even suspected.  Usually the psychiatrists were desperate and asked the priests to intervene.  
10/21/11 9:12 AM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
dabigchet
Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 9/10/07
Posts: 8385
Benedictus - It's not a matter of more people being demonized just because Jesus' presence, rather what was there all along is exposed from the Light. Read John chapter 1. Phone Post


so, for this to be true, we pretty much have demons living inside of us at about the same rate as in jesus's time. there is just a much higher rate of demon dormancy now?
10/21/11 9:21 AM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
dabigchet
Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 9/10/07
Posts: 8386
Ridgeback - 
dabigchet - ok, so if jesus could just cast the demons out (there is not a single case of him being unsuccessful), why would jesus's presence cause more people to be possessed? why are demons so stupid? if anything, i would think now that jesus isn't walking town to town casting them out like nothing, that demons would be MORE likely to possess people.

also, if demon possession still occurs on regular frequency, does that mean that mental health professionals are misdiagnosing cases like schizophrenia, when the proper diagnosis is demon possession? if a patient responds to anti-schizophrenia medication, is that a good indicator that they are not actually possessed by a demon? should we be medicating schizophrenics less less and praying more?

I know you are trying to be funny, but all the cases of possession I have read about pointed out very clearly that psychological/psychiatric options were completely exhausted before possession was even suspected.  Usually the psychiatrists were desperate and asked the priests to intervene.  


i think the topic is a little funny, but i am honestly curious what christians think of this. the idea that jesus descended into hell and restricted satan's superpowers a little bit doesn't make sense to me either. clearly, everyone seems to believe that individuals can still be possessed by demons. so, jesus didn't take that superpower away, but maybe limited the number of people who could be possessed at any one time?

isn't it MUCH more likely that those particular accounts aren't reliable? that so many people were not actually possessed by demons?
10/21/11 9:44 AM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
Ali
777 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 1/1/01
Posts: 8598
Ridgeback - 
I know you are trying to be funny, but all the cases of possession I have read about pointed out very clearly that psychological/psychiatric options were completely exhausted before possession was even suspected.  Usually the psychiatrists were desperate and asked the priests to intervene.  


This is an important thing to note, though it cuts both ways. That is, I don't think there was a lot of psychological/psychiatric "ruling out" of other options in the biblical reporting of these possessions.
10/21/11 10:01 AM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
Benedictus
Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 11/17/09
Posts: 46
@dabigchet, to answer your question, yes. The bible makes clear that those who are not in Christ are swayed and ruled by the prince of this world. Phone Post
10/21/11 10:06 AM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
dabigchet
Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 9/10/07
Posts: 8388
Benedictus - @dabigchet, to answer your question, yes. The bible makes clear that those who are not in Christ are swayed and ruled by the prince of this world. Phone Post


this is a different topic. i am not talking about being swayed or influenced, i am talking about demonic possession. the bible is pretty clear that we aren't talking about people who are being "swayed"
10/21/11 11:47 AM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
Benedictus
Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 11/17/09
Posts: 48
Step back and think about it for a minute. Phone Post
10/21/11 11:56 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
Ridgeback
23 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 7/3/07
Posts: 25257
dabigchet - 
Ridgeback - 
dabigchet - ok, so if jesus could just cast the demons out (there is not a single case of him being unsuccessful), why would jesus's presence cause more people to be possessed? why are demons so stupid? if anything, i would think now that jesus isn't walking town to town casting them out like nothing, that demons would be MORE likely to possess people.

also, if demon possession still occurs on regular frequency, does that mean that mental health professionals are misdiagnosing cases like schizophrenia, when the proper diagnosis is demon possession? if a patient responds to anti-schizophrenia medication, is that a good indicator that they are not actually possessed by a demon? should we be medicating schizophrenics less less and praying more?

I know you are trying to be funny, but all the cases of possession I have read about pointed out very clearly that psychological/psychiatric options were completely exhausted before possession was even suspected.  Usually the psychiatrists were desperate and asked the priests to intervene.  


i think the topic is a little funny, but i am honestly curious what christians think of this. the idea that jesus descended into hell and restricted satan's superpowers a little bit doesn't make sense to me either. clearly, everyone seems to believe that individuals can still be possessed by demons. so, jesus didn't take that superpower away, but maybe limited the number of people who could be possessed at any one time?

isn't it MUCH more likely that those particular accounts aren't reliable? that so many people were not actually possessed by demons?

 Those are two separate issues.  You can believe that a particular narrative is fanciful, but it would still make sense to understand the narrative from within the narrative and get those details right. 

I am not sure what issue you have with the idea that the fallen world is still allowed to exist for a time (to allow more people to make more free choices), but in that liminal space the dark power is severely curtailed.  Let us say a crooked country is run by a crooken ruler and the country is full of corruption.  If a new ruler took over a great deal of what was bad in the country would be corrected, but pockets would still remain, especially if the ruler was being careful not to completely dismantle the whole country.  He would have to burn the whole thing to the ground and start from scratch to root out all of the corruption.  And that is exactly the kind of language Jesus uses.  He talks about wheat and tares existing side by side until the time of harvest.  Why would a farmer tolerate weeds?  Because killing all the weeds might hurt the crops.
10/22/11 8:38 AM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
Juijitsuboxer
56 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 1/1/01
Posts: 9284
“…the Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil.” (1 John 3:8)
10/22/11 12:26 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
DyingBreed
16 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 1/18/03
Posts: 13780
it is just as real today as it was then. ive seen demons manifest when the heavy presence of God shows up during a church service. it usually happens when an evangelist, prophet, or apostle is there as a guest speaker. the heavier the anointing, the more things seems to get crazy.


as a person who has had the experience happen to him, i can say that there are many many people oppressed by demon spirits and some are actually possessed. lets not get the image of the exorsist movie where the head does a 360, (although im not entirely dismissing the possibility, lol) but there is a very real spirit world out there.

when it happened to me, the presence of God was so strong in that room that it was hard to even stand up. i felt a MAJOR resisitance within me, and a tightness in my stomach and chest area. the prophet that was speaking walked over to me as it was happening and began to pray for me for it to come out. then i went somewhere else. it was like i stepped to the side and what was in me started growling. im not going to say anything more about it because i wont have this experience mocked or stepped on by skeptics, but i was delivered, and thankful.

some people havent done anything themselves to have this happen to them...they were abused sexually some, and others just have had a rough life that exposed them to this. others have invited such spirits by occult activity that does more than one could imagine once you open yourself up.

havent read the entire thread, but some of the other posts have talked about this very real truth. it is the same, if not worse, today as it was in the past
10/22/11 5:41 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
prof
104 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 1/1/01
Posts: 5841


*Reading thread Prof does double-take. Pinches self. Yup. Awake. Checks calender. Yup. Still 21st Century. Looks at thread again. Yup. Adults still discussing casting out demons, seriously.*

*Prof leaves to look for some reason to remain optimistic about the human race...*

;-)

10/22/11 10:57 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
Ridgeback
23 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 7/3/07
Posts: 25267
prof - 

*Reading thread Prof does double-take. Pinches self. Yup. Awake. Checks calender. Yup. Still 21st Century. Looks at thread again. Yup. Adults still discussing casting out demons, seriously.*

*Prof leaves to look for some reason to remain optimistic about the human race...*

;-)


 Chronological snobbery is kind of a 19th century habit of thought.  We are in what a lot of people call the "post-modern" age Prof. so you might want to update your thinking a bit.

When you attended the series of exorcisms and conducted your own independent study of the question of demonic possessions, what conclusion did you come to based on the evidence?  Or was it a matter of you simply accepting that because an implied naturalism gets results in science that somehow verified that naturalism was scientific?  You surely didn't just listen to what some other people told you about this subject did you?  Or, worst of all, you didn't assume that only things you can see with your limited senses are what exist.

Why would optimism about the human race be important?  Why would pessimism?  Why would any view whatsoever make any difference?  You seem to imply that there is some potential that humans are failing to live up to, but you forget to mention what that might be.  
10/22/11 10:57 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
DyingBreed
16 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 1/18/03
Posts: 13783
Good luck prof Phone Post
10/23/11 12:07 AM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
mmanthebay
8 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 5/12/08
Posts: 454
dabigchet -
Benedictus - It's not a matter of more people being demonized just because Jesus' presence, rather what was there all along is exposed from the Light. Read John chapter 1. Phone Post


so, for this to be true, we pretty much have demons living inside of us at about the same rate as in jesus's time. there is just a much higher rate of demon dormancy now?
Look up Jesus' teaching about Unclean spirits returning to a clean house. Phone Post
10/23/11 12:09 AM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
mmanthebay
8 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 5/12/08
Posts: 455
dabigchet -
Ridgeback - 
dabigchet - ok, so if jesus could just cast the demons out (there is not a single case of him being unsuccessful), why would jesus's presence cause more people to be possessed? why are demons so stupid? if anything, i would think now that jesus isn't walking town to town casting them out like nothing, that demons would be MORE likely to possess people.

also, if demon possession still occurs on regular frequency, does that mean that mental health professionals are misdiagnosing cases like schizophrenia, when the proper diagnosis is demon possession? if a patient responds to anti-schizophrenia medication, is that a good indicator that they are not actually possessed by a demon? should we be medicating schizophrenics less less and praying more?

I know you are trying to be funny, but all the cases of possession I have read about pointed out very clearly that psychological/psychiatric options were completely exhausted before possession was even suspected.  Usually the psychiatrists were desperate and asked the priests to intervene.  


i think the topic is a little funny, but i am honestly curious what christians think of this. the idea that jesus descended into hell and restricted satan's superpowers a little bit doesn't make sense to me either. clearly, everyone seems to believe that individuals can still be possessed by demons. so, jesus didn't take that superpower away, but maybe limited the number of people who could be possessed at any one time?

isn't it MUCH more likely that those particular accounts aren't reliable? that so many people were not actually possessed by demons?
Read the Acts of the Apostles. Phone Post
10/23/11 1:08 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
prof
104 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 1/1/01
Posts: 5842
Ridgeback -
Chronological snobbery is kind of a 19th century habit of thought. We are in what a lot of people call the "post-modern" age Prof.


Riiight.

So, when we put our most cautious and rigorous efforts into discovering how things work, the utterly one-sided history of
vapid and contradictory supernatural explanations falling to fruitful and useful naturalistic explanations is just a sort of fluke. Nothing...no lessons to be learned there.

The fact that mankind has shown a strong proclivity to mistakenly attribute (what we now know to be) biological/natural problems to evil spirits, devils, demons and spells...that just shouldn't figure into a rational approach to claims about demons. Nah.


What one would have thought to be "rational skepticism" and "learning from experience" can be brushed aside with terms like "Chronological snobbery." Are we more knowledgeable about biology and the universe now than ever before? Pshaw...the person with a vested interest in any dodgy claim now has a new phrase to whip out: "chronological snobbery."

Ridgeback, if this is a sample of the post-modernism you are recommending, it could not be a greater inditement of such thinking. As much as you would like to imagine your thinking is more sophisticated than, say, a young earth creationist, your response about "chronological snobbery" on the issue of demon possession is at least as wacky as anything I've ever seen from a YEC.


Ridgeback -

so you might want to update your thinking a bit.


...says the person wedded to the dogma of an ancient church, still contemplating demon possession. Is this a comedy bit from you this time?


Ridgeback -
When you attended the series of exorcisms and conducted your own independent study of the question of demonic possessions, what conclusion did you come to based on the evidence?



You aren't seriously suggesting that we can only hold rational conclusions on the basis of direct personal experience...are you?

I've never personally conducted any experiments in quantum physics. That does not mean I am unjustified in believing
the results of others who have done so?

Scientists tell us that the heat and light of the sun comes from it's process of fusion. Do you disbelieve this clam because you have not personally conducted the necessary experiments to establish that science?

Similarly, I've never personally conducted controlled experiments on astrology, homeopathy, dowsing, crystal energy healing or the efficacy of the magic spells deployed by witch doctors of certain Congo tribes. Yet that hardly bars me from holding a justified skepticism about such phenomena.



It's a rather ridiculous bit of special pleading to imply that I ought not apply similar skepticism to the magical claims of your religion, on the basis of my not having personally conducted studies.

Ridgeback -
Or was it a matter of you simply accepting that because an implied naturalism gets results in science that somehow verified that naturalism was scientific? You surely didn't just listen to what some other people told you about this subject did you?


It's the same issue I've explained to you many times:
Scientists don't simply tell me "facts" I'm supposed to just accept. They can explain to me their method of inquiry and it's epistemological justifications. And I see that science has a method that is EPISTEMOLOGICALLY RESPONSIBLE (insofar as how it recognizes the possibilities for error and institutes methods for lowering the influence of variable, etc).

Since I can understand the scientific method as sound, epistemologically, that gives me good, rational reasons to place some trust in the knowledge derived from that type of inquiry. And scientific knowledge tends to stand up to continued empirical inquiry by many parties, anywhere on earth. And it converges on a view of reality, brings together knowledge, the pieces of the puzzle generally fit together and make cohesive sense of human experience.

You and your religion (along with countless other fringe/supernatural belief systems) can...not...do...that.
When I ask a religious person "How Do You Know That?" I get answers that are all over the map and contradictory, depending on who I'm talking to, and no single account shows anything like the care, caution and epistemological responsibility used by science.

THAT is why my appeal to the (thus far) naturalistic explanations of science are not (as you clearly wish to imply) on par with the faith, dogma or bias of religious thinking. There is a very significant difference that all your winking and sly innuendo simply can not cover up.

And this, btw, is the fundamental idea uniting New Atheists. Given religion presents no good answer to this basic question of "how do you know?" you get instead shifty appeals to post modernism and tactics like charging "chronological snobbery." No wonder New Atheists are making a difference, and non-belief is a rising phenomena. It's on the back of religion having poor answers, not on "new atheist" tone or dogma as religious people would wish it to be.

Ridgeback -

Or, worst of all, you didn't assume that only things you can see with your limited senses are what exist.


You can not get away with covering poorly justified ideas with bland generalities. "Just because you haven't apprehended it by your senses doesn't mean it doesn't exist you know!"

Exactly what I might say to you if you were skeptical of my claim that magic fairies lived in my garden. And you'd be just as moved by that logic as I am by your statement here.

Of course there are things that exist that humans do not directly apprehend via our senses (e.g. X-rays, quantum phenomena, lots of radiation, the list goes on and on). So..what? That does not give credence to ANY far out claim that "X exists but outside our senses." The question will always be: How Do You Know? What justification can you give for saying X exists?


Ridgeback -

Why would optimism about the human race be important? Why would pessimism? Why would any view whatsoever make any difference? You seem to imply that there is some potential that humans are failing to live up to, but you forget to mention what that might be.


Well it certainly isn't the low bar set by the Biblical God, that's for sure. Thankfully most of us have moved above that bar long ago, having ignored his many ridiculous, immoral ideas and commands.

Realizing our desires, on which our happiness and well being is grounded, depends on being able to recognize reality. In that sense, my optimism concerns a desire for ways of recognizing reality.

Modes of believing that poorly equip us to recognize reality
are not a source of optimism.

Prof.






10/23/11 4:54 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
Demitrius Barbito
40 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 1/1/01
Posts: 2517
 The strongman has been bound...

Reply Post

You must log in to post a reply. Click here to login.