A Faith and Leadership Journal Commentary: Spiritual Warfare Part 2-Can Whole Communities Suffer From Demonic Oppression?
Hello in part 1-We have stated in an effort to understand with the battle over demonic spirits we have to understand internal signs to avoid and so on.
The Mob Mentality
According to biblical scripture-The “mob mentality” possibly could apply to the kingdoms of Sodom and Gomorrah (illustration, below) which we understand were allied with the cities of Admah, Zeboim and Bela. These five cities, also known as the “cities of the plain” (from Genesis in the Authorized Version), [Gen.13:10] Divine judgment by God was passed upon Sodom and Gomorrah and two neighboring cities, which were completely consumed by fire and brimstone.
Neighboring Zoar (Bela) was the only city to be spared. Sodom and Gomorrah have been used historically and today as metaphors for vice, sexual perversion, and homosexuality, although a close reading of the text and other Ancient Near Eastern sources suggest that this association may be incorrect.
On last point that I think it is very important to mention. According to historical research- it was during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the era of the Reformation and Counter-Reformation, there was an ‘epidemic’ of such possessions. Some of the hundreds of cases that were reported were group possessions in which many people in small, close-knit communities, such as convents and orphanages, displayed the same symptoms. Why?
The question as to why and how demon possession can effect mass groups of people is a good question, but If we use our imagination and possibly some common sense then we can say yes!-that consistent bad habits and filthily living may be a chronic incubator for evil to exist, and demons to feel motivated to work. Examples can be areas where drugs become influences, prostitution, wild parties and sex clubs are largely frequented and so on.
As a person of faith our response must be a clean healthy lifestyle. Period!
(This Article is Part 2 of A Seven Page Series on Spiritual Warfare)
According to a wise and focused minister in evangelism who recently commented “Everything that occurs in the visible, and physical world is directly connected to the wrestling match being waged in the invisible, and spiritual world.”
Ultimately the effects of evil that are waging an ongoing war in the unseen world, that manifest itself in the seen world in many ways, including inside of you- For example: Take the barely reported story from CNN about -A small group of nuns and priests that met a tormented woman in the chapel of a house one June evening in 2017. Although it was warm outside, a palpable chill settled over the room.
“Leave her alone, you f***ing priests,” the guttural voice shouted. “Stop, you whores. … You’ll be sorry.”
While Dr.Richard Gallagher is an Ivy League-educated, board-certified psychiatrist who teaches at Columbia University and New York Medical College. He was surprised about the days events as he was part of the team that tried to help the woman.
Gallagher knew about biblical accounts of demonic possession but thought they were an ancient culture’s attempt to grapple with mental disorders like epilepsy. He proudly calls himself a “man of science,” but to date Gallagher has become the go-to guy for a sprawling network of exorcists in the United States.
“There was one woman who was like 90 pounds soaking wet. She threw a Lutheran deacon who was about 200 pounds across the room,” he says. “That’s not psychiatry. That’s beyond psychiatry.”
The Book Rite of Exorcism was first published in 1614 by Pope Paul V to quell a trend of laypeople and priests hastily performing exorcisms on people they presumed were possessed, such as victims of the bubonic plague, says the Rev. Mike Driscoll, author of “Demons, Deliverance, Discernment: Separating Fact from Fiction about the Spirit World.”
“A line (in the rite) said that the exorcist should be careful to distinguish between demon possession and melancholy, which was a catchall for mental illness,” Driscoll says. “The church knew back then that there were mental problems. It said the exorcist should not have anything to do with medicine. Leave that to the doctors.”
The Fight against Evil
Scripture tells us in Ephesians 6:10-15 Contemporary English Version (CEV)
10 Finally, let the mighty strength of the Lord make you strong. 11 Put on all the armor that God gives, so you can defend yourself against the devil’s tricks. 12 We are not fighting against humans. We are fighting against forces and authorities and against rulers of darkness and powers in the spiritual world. 13 So put on all the armor that God gives. Then when that evil day comes, you will be able to defend yourself. And when the battle is over, you will still be standing firm.
While all people who display serious issues of mental illness- they may not be exactly guilty of suffering from demon possession-there must be a certain understanding that wickedness manifest itself in multiple ways, and if we are not careful and have certain trust in the Power of God with a healthy righteous lifestyle then we may fall prey to all forms of demonic evils, from momentary, to ongoing, angers, insecurity, discords, fear and the list goes on to finally eternal. This fact is further illustrated in an a recent article from Psychology Today.
People are not evil because they have done bad things or else we’d all be evil. As Aristotle maintained, being evil portends a persistent habit of doing bad things. Moreover, evil people know that what they are doing is bad but choose to do so anyway. They therefore act with malicious intent.Moreover, evil people typically care little or not at all that what they are doing is or may be harmful to others; and some evil people even derive sadistic pleasure from it. Moreover, some evil people are very cunning and can disguise their evil intentions and lack of regard for others. These individuals may be con artists or even charming rapists or murderers
The true debate is that one must understand that there are very real forces of evil that operate in the world, and not take certain acts like rape, murder, and more for granted.
Yes we all believe that madness exist, but additional research, meditation, and prayer must be done to discover the root of the wickedness.
Again, trust and believe evil exist in this world and the agents of evil can be complex or simple-With that in mind only God can deliver you from any bondage either from the seen or unseen world if you have faith.
(This Article is Part 1 of A Seven Page Series on Spiritual Warfare)