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A Little Off The Beaten Path...
 
 
John Peterson John Peterson is offline
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04-07-2012, 02:57 PM
 
Hey Friends,


I received an e-mail from a guy that has seen a documentary on the subject of exorcism and wants to know if I believe that exorcism is real. He then asked me, "Why is it that the Catholics have a corner on the exorcism market?". And as though that was not enough, he asked if I knew that there is a new reality show that will be coming to television that features as he put it in his own words, "hot teenage girl exorcists".

Here's my response.

As a minister of the Gospel I can tell you that exorcism is nothing to play with. There certainly is a demonic realm that seems to be more active today then ever before. BUT demons are nothing to fool with. They absolutely are real and manifest themselves in all kinds of ways including all manner of physical sickness and psychological disorders. The Bible itself makes reference to it frequently in the new testament though barely touches on it in the old testament. For example, there are several references in the New Testament to Jesus and his disciples casting out demons. They were real. The Apostle Paul also cast demons out of people. In fact, there is one hilarious story in the book of Acts where it talks about an exorcism gone wrong when it was conducted by people that did not know what they were doing and had no spiritual authority. Here's the text from Acts 19, (I've underlined the text that I find hilarious)

Quote:
Paul Ministers in Ephesus

8 Then Paul went to the synagogue and preached boldly for the next three months, arguing persuasively about the Kingdom of God. 9 But some became stubborn, rejecting his message and publicly speaking against the Way. So Paul left the synagogue and took the believers with him. Then he held daily discussions at the lecture hall of Tyrannus. 10 This went on for the next two years, so that people throughout the province of Asia—both Jews and Greeks—heard the word of the Lord.

11 God gave Paul the power to perform unusual miracles. 12 When handkerchiefs or aprons that had merely touched his skin were placed on sick people, they were healed of their diseases, and evil spirits were expelled.

13 A group of Jews was traveling from town to town casting out evil spirits. They tried to use the name of the Lord Jesus in their incantation, saying, “I command you in the name of Jesus, whom Paul preaches, to come out!” 14 Seven sons of Sceva, a leading priest, were doing this. 15 But one time when they tried it, the evil spirit replied, “I know Jesus, and I know Paul, but who are you?” 16 Then the man with the evil spirit leaped on them, overpowered them, and attacked them with such violence that they fled from the house, naked and battered.

17 The story of what happened spread quickly all through Ephesus, to Jews and Greeks alike. A solemn fear descended on the city, and the name of the Lord Jesus was greatly honored. 18 Many who became believers confessed their sinful practices. 19 A number of them who had been practicing sorcery brought their incantation books and burned them at a public bonfire. The value of the books was several million dollars.[c] 20 So the message about the Lord spread widely and had a powerful effect.
Now let me address why it is that Catholic exorcists are successful.

Catholic priests that become exorcists are men that are completely consecrated to the Lord. These are men that have proven themselves to be above repute and specially trained in spiritual warfare. They are not doing this for thrills or to gain notoriety. They are truly men of God. There are other ministers of the Gospel that also have cast out evil spirits but in every instance they must be men that are consecrated to the Lord or they will be in the same position as the seven sons of Sceva.

Now as far as "hot teenage girl exorcists" are concerned. If this is really true they are in a very real danger zone and playing with things they have no idea that they are playing with. If their parents had half a brain they would not allow this. Believe me, the idea of casting out demons for fun and profit as part of a reality show is insane and will only make a mockery out of true exorcism.


---John Peterson
 
 
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Andy62 Andy62 is offline
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04-07-2012, 03:13 PM
 
This weekend there are a lot of progams on TV related to Good Friday and Easter. The History Channel is solid with them this afternoon.

I have not read Andrew Sullivan's article, but he has been on several programs discussing it including CNN yesterday.



http://www.thedailybeast.com/newswee...in-crisis.html

Last edited by Andy62; 04-07-2012 at 03:15 PM.
 
 
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MikeNY MikeNY is offline
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04-07-2012, 04:21 PM
 
John well said, I agree with you Excorcism is a dangerous thing and not to be played with.


 
 
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Pizzaman Pizzaman is offline
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04-07-2012, 06:34 PM
 
Catholics don't have a monopoly on exorcisms. Plenty of Protestant churches have deliverance ministries, including the evangelical Presbyterian church I attend. But for some reason the media tends to focus on Catholic exorcisms more than it does others.
 
 
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jcwolnik jcwolnik is offline
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04-09-2012, 05:22 PM
 
Exorcisms are scary things, and very, very real. The Catholic Church doesn't take them lightly. In fact, they cannot be administered with out permission and oversight from the local Bishop. Lengthy investigation into each specific case is conducted, including professional psychological analysis.

When I read things like this article about a TV show based on satanic practices, it makes me sick. I knew a priest who taught me theology, and he discussed the dangers of ouija boards as a doorway to the demonic. He worked with a group of students who at one point used one to get the answers to a multiple choice quiz. The board spelled out the exam perfectly and concluded with an invitation to hell for those using it. The devil uses garbage like that or this stupid tv show to enter people's lives and do all sorts of damage. Its nothing to play with.

The demonic fascination perpetuated by hollywood is another form of invasion. "Blockbuster" movies like the Exorcism of Emily Rose, Poltergeist etc....these perpetuate myths and sensationalize the healing that goes on during exorcisms to make money or the perpetuate a darker agenda. Its all horribly wrong and completely distorts everything about this ministry in the Church.
 
 
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Andy62 Andy62 is offline
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04-09-2012, 08:50 PM
 
I totally agree that dabling in this stuff can be very dangerous and a lot of people lose it and go over the edge.

I was living in St. Louis at the time the events that inspired the original Exorcism movie took place and it was down right spooky as it was discussed at every cocktail party and became the talk and obsession of the town.

There are many sides to this issue and many times people who come from the most conventional of religious backgrounds can go the wrong way. Both Adolph Hitler and Joseph Stalin had strong religious backgrounds.Do a Google Search.

Power is the great euphoric and there are a lot of wolves in sheep's clothing.

Having watched this for many years I think that many times too strict of interpretation of conventional religion is what drives people into these questionalble practices. In most cases they are simply looking for the power to influence their own lives.

I think that most of the powers that people go into these practices for are present in Chrisrtianity as Jesus taught it.

All of the things that Dr. Norman Vincent Peale forecast in the "Power of Positive Thinking" when he wrote it in 1952 have now been confirmed in laboratories:

"Scientists working in the field of parapsychology, and extra sensory-perception and experimenting in precognition,telepathy and clairvoyance [all of which were previously considered parphenalia of cranks,but now are of sound scientific usage in laboratories], are expressing themselves as believing that the soul survives the barrier of time and space . In effect,we are on the edge of one of the greatest scientific discoveries in history which will substantiate, on a laboratory-exploratory basis, the existance of the soul and its deathlessness."

I was raised in a church, where while well meant, I think that the church overstepped it's interpretation of the teachings of Jesus. Seeing the other kids around me as I grew up with the more relaxed religious interpretations of their parents caused me to totally reject religion for a period of time.

As I studied it I came to the conclusion that the problem was not the teachings of Jesus ,but the interpretations of the church.

If I interpret the Gospels right Jesus first showed those who came to him for help how to use their faith in the power that God put in each of them to solve their own problems before he started discussing sin with them.

Jesus may have come to save us from sin,but he also said that he came to make us free so I took my communications directly to him and bypassed the institution just as he had done in his day and it has worked.

I think that the answer to many of the problems of organized religion could be solved by people going directly to God and Jesus insread of working through all too human people in all too human institutions. After all that is what Jesus told us to do.

"Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father." John 14:12

"But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father
who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you." Mathew 6/6
 
 
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jcwolnik jcwolnik is offline
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04-10-2012, 03:59 PM
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy62 View Post
I think that the answer to many of the problems of organized religion could be solved by people going directly to God and Jesus insread of working through all too human people in all too human institutions. After all that is what Jesus told us to do.
I agree with you that Jesus needs to transcend being just an abstract, theological concept that is "taught" to us, and He needs to be part of a true, tangible relationship that involves emotion, commitment and effort. But I take a different view on the role of the church as an institution. I'm merely adding this for sake of discussion.

Mt 16:18 - "And I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it."

To me Jesus clearly intended to found a church imbued with His teaching authority, to carry on His Mission. Of course all churches on earth are made up of people and people are inherently flawed. But at least for me, I believe the Holy Spirit still guides it and keeps it true to its purpose....the salvation of souls. That's what began in Chapter 2 of Acts and goes on. Regardless of the errors along the way...the message, the purpose and the function still remain intact as was received 2,000 years ago.

Just my take on it.
 
 
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duff duff is offline
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04-10-2012, 04:05 PM
 
Better to work on confronting one's own personal demons first than to meddle with other people's.
 
 
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Andy62 Andy62 is offline
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04-10-2012, 04:41 PM
 
I agree,but realize that over the last 2,000 years there have been many factors that have influenced the human church including rulers, wars, politics etc. It was influenced by men along the way and has at times been controlled by kings and others who used it strictly to develop and extend their own personal power sometimes in violation of the teachings of Jesus as history shows us.

The various churches as we know them [there are over 30,000 Christian denominations] continue to evolve and I believe that God continues to work through them to reach as many people as possible- I believe it is not an event,but a process.

I think that Jesus having seen all of the human frailties in the institutional church of his day gave his followers the instuctions to contact him alone for specific instructions relating to each of us as individuals for that reason.

Some of the things that he directs you to do may contradict religious instructions that you receved from your church and those around you just as they did with me.

I believe that if you just follow the individual path that God puts in your heart whatever that may be and wherever it leads you can't go wrong.
 
 
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