Tuesday, June 23, 2009

spirits and skeptics

I watched a cable channel, one of my favorites. It’s National Geographic Channel. It’s informative (however, like most information, it still needs to be verified even if that good channel has a battery of researchers).
They have this episode about demonic possession. No, I don’t want to talk about demonology. After all, it’s one of the most dangerous thing to talk about. It’s about their attacks on people who do exorcism. Yes, skeptics. The NatGeo people interviewed a minister who do exorcism (I’ll withheld the name). As I notice in that episode, they have interviewed 3 skeptics (2 doctors, the remaining is, if I’m not mistaken, is a member of a skeptic society). Obviously, that channel is out there to debunk demon possession. One of those skeptics even said that he doesn’t believe in demons. By saying that, he indirectly said that he doesn’t believe in any spirits. If that is the case, he doesn’t believe in God because God is a Spirit.
That particular episode showed that back in the Dark Ages, there are people who could have been treated for certain mental illnesses, like Tourette’s syndrome. However, because, back then, they thought they were possessed, they were burned or afflicted physical injuries. Those people have even been accused of being a witch because of their mental illness. Thus, back then, wicthes are burned at stake.
They interviewed a minister who is known for casting out demons. Yes, they have seen that man cast out “demons”. However, after the session, HE SOLD TAPES AT A COST OF US$20 OR MORE. Obviously, he made a living out of demon possession.
No, i’m no theologian. Yes, I am a church kid. Yes, I read the Bible almost 17 times from Genesis to Revelation. Yes, I used to be a youth leader in the Old Church. Yes, I used to be a lay preacher. Still, I admit that I’m just your regular church guy (because if I’m not, I don’t have time to blog, like most current youth leaders I know). In fact, with my current state right now, a regular old church fella will say one way or the other, “Don’t listen to him. He’s a former excommunicant.” Thus, I bluntly say that I am no authority on this topic.
However, I can’t help but say things. I admit, it’s a mixture of reaction and response.
First, it’s NatGeo. It’s science and other academic stuff. Most in the scientific community and a handful of people in the academic community are atheists. If you happen to watch that episode, you’ll notice there are around 3 skeptics interviewed, only 1 is a minister. Obviously, they picked a minister who, in my own opinion, are out there to get money in a not-so-right manner. It’s overkill! 3 CERTIFIED experts to 1 minister whom I think is a fraud? It’s like putting a Physics graduates to a regular, school skipping undergraduate.
Second, it’s true. Back then, they don’t know yet tourette’s syndrome, ADHD, ADD, bipolar disorder, etc. Thus, it is possible that there are some people who were tortured, burned, beaten, because they thought these people are possessed. (I thank the doctors for discovering these mental illnesses though). Now, that’s burning the whole house because rats. The first Biblically recorded Person who casts out demons, if I’m not mistaken is none other than Jesus Christ. Apostles Peter, John, and Paul were recorded to cast out demons. Jesus Christ even cast out a legion of demons inside one man’s body (demons are like armies, they have ranks, they are organized). However, there are no Bible verses that said that they hurt them physically to cast the devils out. After all, demons are spirits. You can’t fight physically to a spiritual being. Now, about those people who inflict physical harm to those people who were allegedly possessed, it’s not only their ignorance of medical science, but also their ignorance of one of the many basic truths of the Bible – God and Satan are spirits, and you can’t fight or worship them physically.
Now, about the televised demonstration of exorcism, I’m quite, yes, skeptical on that. One Pastor I know said that he literally saw a demon possessed school girl had a REALLY MASCULINE VOICE and can’t be stopped by 10 men. If my memory is not mistaken, it was said that she floats. The devils are insecure beings, because after all, they know that they will be burned in the Lake of Fire. Thus, if they will seek attention, they will do it big time. Most of the time, these pastors are humble enough not to televise this. About the minister who cast out demons and sells his tapes, well, that’s another story. Soulwinning, discipleship, baptism are supposed to be free of charge. After all, the Bible said that what you got free (the born again experience), share it to others freely (by soulwinning and discipleship). Now, how about those tapes? That minister is accountable to God.
By the way, I also heard a doctor said that because of demonic possession, people tend to believe that it’s not their fault, but it’s solely the demons fault why a person does bad things. Now, if you hear a Christian said that, it’s not entirely true. Man by nature are sinners. Satan and his demons are tempters. Thus, if your nature is to sin, with a demonic motivation, presto, you’ll commit sin. Whose fault is that? Not entirely Satan, but you. After all, he’s called Satan (“accuser”). He’ll tempt the person to commit sin, then at the end, will be accused by Satan himself. It’s wrong to entirely blame Satan and his devils in our mistakes. It’s our fault. After all, we are sinners (only saved by grace if you received Jesus as Lord and Savior).
Oh well, at the end of the day, we’ll all just say that, “well, it’s NatGeo, what will you expect?”
I am not your ideal church guy, but I am still a Baptist, what will you expect?

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