Skip to comments.Evangelical: We Don't Need Rite of Exorcism, Just Jesus
Posted on 11/16/2010 7:17:47 AM PST by marshmallow
With renewed attention on the rite of exorcism, one theologian has chosen to articulate the evangelical stance on the ritual that few practice today.
The existence of the devil and demons are real but a rite of exorcism is unnecessary, said Dr. Albert Mohler, president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, in his popular blog Monday.
The only weapon Christians need is the name of Jesus, he stressed.
"Evangelicals do not need a rite of exorcism, because to adopt such an invention would be to surrender the high ground of the Gospel," Mohler wrote.
This past weekend, a group of Catholic bishops held a closed-door conference in Baltimore to discuss the theological foundations of the rite of exorcism and to present, in detail, the practice and use of the rites associated with exorcism.
Bishop Thomas J. Paprocki of Springfield, Ill., who organized the conference, said that demon possession is rare but that they have to be prepared.
"The real hope here and the purpose is to provide some training so that really every diocese could have its own resources to handle such inquires," he told ABC News.
Not all Catholic priests are on board with Paprocki's efforts.
One priest who sent the National Catholic Reporter a copy of the invitation letter by Paprocki back in May wrote: "CAN YOU BELIEVE THIS? IN 2010."
Mohler does not deny accounts in the New Testament that show clear and real cases of demonic possession. Jesus and the Apostle Paul liberated afflicted individuals, he noted.
But the evangelical leader pointed out that no rite of exorcism was performed in those cases and there was no notion of a priestly ministry of ordained exorcists. The only thing involved in casting out demons from an individual was "the name of Jesus and the proclamation of the......."
(Excerpt) Read more at christianpost.com ...
Here is what Jesus said, and the context:
22Then was brought unto him one possessed with a devil, blind, and dumb: and he healed him, insomuch that the blind and dumb both spake and saw.
23And all the people were amazed, and said, Is not this the son of David?
24But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, This fellow doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils.
25And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand:
26And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; how shall then his kingdom stand?
27And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your children cast them out? therefore they shall be your judges.
28But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you.
Notice, howeve, Jesus did NOT say that Satan never casts out Satan, or demons do not cast out demons.
Consider. Other, non-Cchristian, or ever Jewish, religions practice rites of exorcism. Do they work? I don't know, but let's assume that as they have been conducted 100s or 1000s of years that sometimes they do.
Then, by definition, Satan is casting out Satan, as we know that God isn't doing it.
Notice also what Jesus said, “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand”.
OK, we know, because the bible tells us so, that Satan's house will be brought to desolation in the fullness of time. Also, we know, just from observation that to follow Satan is to be self-centered and selfish. You would assume that it would be the same for demons as for humans. Therefore, one would hardly hesitate to stab another in the back if it gained him an advantage.
Further, look at, say, an system of evil such as socialism. Look at the many varieties of it historically, and how the followers of these systems have killed each other with a ferocity that they can hardly match with their killings of capitalists. The Nazis and the Soviets, for example.
Is this not, figuratively, Satan casting out Satan?
I'm not saying that I'm correct in this analysis: I'm hardly an expert. But I think that giving the wording, at least in King James English, the possibility is open for this interpretation.
No, we wouldn’t use a Rosary but we do use Holy Water and Annointing Oil. They work just fine because we understand what actually makes them work.
"Even him, whose coming is after Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders. And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved." 2 Thess. 2:8,9.
However, my secondary point is the misinterpretation, IMO, of some significant Bible passages that have gone unnoticed or un commented upon by most pastors that I have heard preach on them, and most commentaries that I have read about them. Including some that I otherwise regard as sound
Two quick examples: The story of Cain and Abel, and the “render unto Caesar” thingee.
Cain asks God is he his brother's keeper. AND GOD NEVER SAYS THAT HE IS. People need brothers, not keepers. Keepers are for animals, criminals, and the mentally incompetent.
Now, second, I notice that most preachers who preach about Jesus telling the Pharisees to render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's either use it as an example of Jesus out-smarting the Pharisees when they tried to set a trap for Him, or else use it to encourage us to pay our taxes with a smile. Oh, and they talk about how much good they do.
BUT JESUS NEVER DEFINED WHAT IS CAESAR'S. Also, He never condemned resisting the theft of your property by the government. Especially, it would seem to me, this would be acceptable to Jesus if we could figure a way to withhold monies that might otherwise go to such activities as Planned Parenthood, aid to Hamas, etc.
All He is saying, or so it seems to me, is that if Caesar has got you in a bind, there is no sin attached to paying up. What real choice do you have?
Anyway, that is my sideways slant on those passages, and I have a few others where I do not really accept the standard interpretations.
Great questions! I’m going to look at both closely and will get back to you. I think we are in agreement on this already...:) I’ll be back..
You [Bobby], on the other hand, have had much experience in using prayer to help solve crises, going back to your college days when your ceaseless "Hail Marys" helped deliver your friend Susan from the devil in what you later realized was her exorcism. As I'm sure you recall, Governor Jindal, Susan's depression about her cancer quickly progressed from depression into despair, and you found yourself in a room with her and a bunch of Campus Crusaders for Christ and other well-meaning but green evangelicals, wanting to help but unable to do so. When you tried to join in the group's prayer, you felt "a weight on your chest," and initially could not overcome the darkness that was now taking ahold of your soul as well. But according to your 1994 article "Beating a Demon, Physical Dimensions of Spiritual Warfare," "suddenly...and strangely, I found myself repeating the Hail Mary until it became a chant. As a recent convert to Catholicism, I had yet to accept the Catholic doctrines concerning Mary, and considered [them] to be idolatry. Though I had never prayed a Hail Mary before in my life, I now found myself incapable of any other form of prayer." But as it turned out, it was your prayers, along with the intervention of a crucifix (later found to have been blessed by John Paul II) that turned the tide for Susan, and her faith in Christ was restored. Link
"The only thing involved in casting out demons from an individual was "the name of Jesus and the proclamation of the Gospel.......... I don't believe Jesus used rites, holy water, crosses, etc. either..."
But Paul did
Notice by aprons and cloth from Paul ordained by Christ. Paul blessed these items. Why not other items.
ACTS 19:11 "Now God worked Unusual miracles by the hands of Paul, 12 So that Even Handkerchiefs or Aprons were brought from his body to the sick, and the diseases left them and the evil spirits went out of them"
You win the prize for completely sensible post of the year! Bravo!
Good questions indeed!
MATTHEW 12:28"But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you.
Notice, howeve, Jesus did NOT say that Satan never casts out Satan, or demons do not cast out demons."
Study of scripture shows there is a fool proof way. How would you know for sure? Well there is a clear cut guide in the bible which Catholics and Protestant use.
I have been reading About exorcists or deliverance from books and articles for years. I have even meet the enemy through a friend's wife. She is into spellcasting.
The basic common link is this:
1 John 4 (New International Version)
1 John 4
On Denying the Incarnation
1" Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, 3 but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world."
At the end of each exorcism the victim has to declare in the personal pronoun that he or she believes Jesus Christ came in the flesh Meaning divinity became human. If the victim does not do this they know the exorcism is not over till this is done. I have read Catholic or Protestant do the same. So this is the real common link to know that person is fully deliver.
Now my personal experience I went to help a friend move. His wife who is into this new age crap likes to do spellcasting and tarot cards. She tried to "read" me without my permission I claim the Blood of Christ over this thus she could not "read" me. Also she then says at least I am a Christian.
Well I told her she is no christian. Guess how I prove it. I told her to recite and mean it the apostle's creed she could not do it. When it came to born of the virgin Mary =which equals flesh or became human. Several times could not say. Nothing but a lot of facial contortions and stutterings. Then told her to declare out right that Christ came in the flesh born of a woman. She would try then say out of desperation that there are many Gods with same contortions. Her husband was horrorfied. To make a long story short she is still a work in progress. I gave the husband a blessed exorcism medal and exorcism blessed cloth. She did not know what it was until he silently showed her. He never told her what it was. She fell down.
Anyway 1john 4 is the rule if it is not the rule the bible would be useless. But we can stand on it. Praise Jesus!