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Exorcism

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Hear me out on this one.

 

Last night, I decided it'd be a great idea to watch a three-part drama called Midwinter of the Spirit about an Anglican priest working as a Minister of Deliverance (aka an exorcist). Every Anglican diocese has one, even though it's not really talked about, and I started doing a bit of reading/thinking.

 

So... 

  • How do you feel about exorcisms/what is your opinion on them?
  • Do you think evil can manifest itself in a supernatural/paranormal way, or is it a figment of a frightened imagination? 
  • Do you think people can be possessed by the Devil/demons/evil spirits? 

No right or wrong answers, I'm just really curious about this because it's not talked about a huge lot. Thanks in advance for answers! 

 

P.s. Midwinter of the Spirit is actually super good and I recommend it. 

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  • How do you feel about exorcisms/what is your opinion on them?

    I feel they can be needed for very extreme cases of possession.  However, I have no experiences with them, being of a non-traditional denomination . It's not really something  we talk about either, but we should. I think it's important to be aware of.

     

  • Do you think evil can manifest itself in a supernatural/paranormal way, or is it a figment of a frightened imagination? 

    Yes. I do.  I have seen and felt demons. -shudder-. I was wide awake and not frightened in any fashion...well, until I saw it. Just the big, black form looming over my bed on a Tuesday afternoon while folding laundry. Nbd. ...not.

    I don't watch horror movies or read horror books. I really have nothing to go on to think this up. I was wide away and my daydreams aren't that vivid. Nor to my dreams ever talk to me. O_O

     

  • Do you think people can be possessed by the Devil/demons/evil spirits?

    People, yes. I do think that some forms of mental disorders are the symptoms of a demonic attack, or the result of someone oppressed by another person under demonic influences.

    Also, anyone who has been involved in any sort of cult/ritualistic activity may not be possessed by the demonic, but certainly oppressed and influenced by it.  The actions people take have consequences that affect others. If the person being oppressed becomes weakened by the oppression, I do think it's possible for them to lose control and let the demonic in..

    Much like recovering addicts give in to temptation. human will power is only so strong alone.

     

    Christians. No.  We can be influenced, attacked ( as I have been)  , oppressed and tempted by the demonic.  Jesus lives in us. There is no room for a demon to take full control of the body and mind, but sometimes, they do get into the mind and wreak havoc.  Causing thoughts of inferiority, self harm, addiction, etc. I've experienced these thoughts and they fluttered away with a rebuke in Jesus name, hence my inclination to believe said things are caused, or at very least, influenced by the demonic.

    ...I'm not really good at debating though... all I have is my personal experiences to go by.

      I'm kind of hesitant to hang around this thread. XD

     

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I do believe demons can possess a human being, a Christian? Not really unless he leaves the door ajar for them and yes they do tend to manifest in what i guess you can call paranormal way.

About exorcism being needed, im confused with the terms deliverance and exorcism. They both cast out demons. So lets see, is casting out of demons necessary? To that i'll say yes with a nod.

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1. I think that they are necessary in some cases. I've heard some stories about possession from a couple pastors, so I would they are definitely real, along with the stories in the bible about Demon Possession. 

2. I definitely believe evil is possible of this. While I think it is rare to be possessed by a demon, I do not rule it out. I think sometimes we think we see things, and we jump to the conclusion that it is some sort of demonic/evil power, but I do believe there is still the possibility of said evil.

3. I suppose I answered that in number two, but still yes. 

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I do not and will never believe they are right. They are of the devil. Any vids on the Internet of "demon possession" is fakes and staged

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  • How do you feel about exorcisms/what is your opinion on them?

They're needed. A Ouji board is something that is meant for talking to spirits; but how do you know if they're friendly or not? You don't; you'd be leaving the door open for ANYTHING, and that anything could do some nasty things...

  • Do you think evil can manifest itself in a supernatural/paranormal way, or is it a figment of a frightened imagination? 

Yes it can; Ouji board.

  • Do you think people can be possessed by the Devil/demons/evil spirits? 

Yes

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Just for clarification's sake, a Minister for Deliverance and an exorcist are interchangeable terms in Anglicanism (they both mean priests who cast out demons etc. but the former is preferred for... obvious reasons). 

 

****

 

I think I've got my head round a rough idea of how I feel about exorcisms etc. I don't necessarily believe in ghosts or physical demons, but I think I definitely believe in the existence of evil power. I did some reading and cam across a sermon given by Canon Simon Bulter, which resonated with me (sorry for the copying and pasting):

 

 

Often the language that people use to describe these experiences is the language of ‘haunting’ or even ‘possession’. Their only exposure to the ministry of deliverance having been from films like The Exorcist and all its over-dramatic offspring, they often have expectations that the priest will turn up looking like Max von Sydow or Karl Malden, ready with bell, book and candle, Latin prayers and a lot of shouting. The reality of the ministry of deliverance is far from that...

The Church of England has a more considered – and certainly less dramatic – view, which comes from its experience of the cause and nature of these psychic and paranormal phenomena. To these we bring our Christian belief that evil – however that is to be understood – does not have the last word or the final claim on any life or place in the world. The last word is spoken by the death and resurrection of Jesus...

But you will want to know about exorcism. Is it practised by the Church of England or is it something we have embarrassingly consigned to the dustheap of medievalism? Well, the answer to that is most emphatically that we do still practice exorcism in the Church of England. But before I mention three ways we do practice exorcism, let me say first that the reason that we do is because, whether we believe in a sentient being called Satan (personally speaking, I’ve come to the conclusion that I don’t) or whether we believe in some less-focused and more-disordered power, the reality

of evil is still very strong. There are forces of disorder that appear greater than our own individual or corporate capacity for sin. How many of us have tasted that experience where, looking back at an act of stupidity, anger or unkindness, we say, “I don’t know why I did that, something just took hold of me”? How many of us, working in large institutions, find it hard to see how things can change for the better and seem to find that, despite the best efforts of individuals to improve organisations, they seem to have a life of their own? I want to name those individual and corporate powers as demonic: forces of disorder that have the power to disrupt, damage and even destroy things. Christians, faced with such powers, respond with the power of the cross and resurrection of Jesus, the Jesus who casts out the powers of darkness in his own ministry (albeit in a 1st century rather than a 21st century way) and Jesus who, the Church believes, know offers the power of his death and resurrection to the church to minister light, love and liberation – deliverance if you like – from all that is evil. 

- Canon Simon Butler, 2012

 

We regularly ask for deliverance from evil when we pray the Lord's prayer (Lead us not into temptation, and deliver us from evil), and it is something that is a large part of the sacrament of Baptism. "Deliverance from evil" seems such a large part of the historic Christian tradition, I'm loathe to just throw the baby out with the bathwater when I reject certain ideas about ghosts and poltergeists. I think I need to do some more reading of Scripture and Church teaching to come to a full conclusion. 

 

Canon Butler finished his sermon with this, by the way, which I think is a great point:

 

 

 

  1. We are so conditioned to a world that is rational that we forget the power of the mind and the spirit to affect our lives. We forget that we are spiritual beings living in a spiritual world. Faced with that reality, a reality with which Jesus lived and, it has to be said, with which the majority of people living are still aware, faced with that, you and I and all who believe are protected by and enlivened by the cross and resurrection of Jesus. On the cross, the powers of evil and disorder threw everything they had at Jesus and, thanks to the power of the resurrection, they were overcome. We now live in the power of that resurrection and, therefore, when faced with evil which may still disturb, we cannot be defeated or overcome. Do not be afraid. Pray when faced with evil. Pray the Lord’s Prayer daily with faith. And then, as St Paul reminds us, nothing can separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. 

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  • How do you feel about exorcisms/what is your opinion on them?

  • -I don't think that priests can succeed in preforming exorcism, i believe that only the person who is possessed can cure himself/herself by living healthy life, without sins.

Do you think evil can manifest itself in a supernatural/paranormal way, or is it a figment of a frightened imagination? 

-The Bible clearly says that demons can manifest themselfs to people in physical way.

Do you think people can be possessed by the Devil/demons/evil spirits?

-Yes

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I do not and will never believe they are right. They are of the devil. Any vids on the Internet of "demon possession" is fakes and staged

Why? People in the time of Jesus were possessed, so why are they all fake now?

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  • Do you think evil can manifest itself in a supernatural/paranormal way

Definitely. It has happened to out family and so I believe it very strongly.

 

  • Do you think people can be possessed by the Devil/demons/evil spirits?

Yes, it happened in the Bible and I believe it happens now.

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  • How do you feel about exorcisms/what is your opinion on them?

I don't feel any way about them. I think they can be helpful if it is really needed. There have been cases where exorcism was harmful because the person wasn't actually possessed, just dealing with mental illness.

  • Do you think evil can manifest itself in a supernatural/paranormal way, or is it a figment of a frightened imagination? 

Definitely. There are demons and there are evil spirits.

  • Do you think people can be possessed by the Devil/demons/evil spirits? 

Yes. I mean it was in the bible.

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