Skip to comments.Local Psychologist A Former Skeptic, Now Trains Priests In Exorcisms
Posted on 02/11/2014 6:24:28 PM PST by Mrs. Don-o
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) So, exorcism might seem like fiction. But did you know that the Vatican has actually encouraged every Catholic diocese to have a trained exorcist on staff?
A local psychologist is an expert who is traveling around the world to train those priests.
Once he was a skeptic, but he tells KDKAs Andy Sheehan, after assisting in nearly 100 exorcisms, his experiences have made him a believer.
For the past 10 years Adam Blai has been on the front line.
Basically, its a war between heaven and hell, says Blai. Thats been going on since Creation started, and its a war over us for the most part.
Fighting over the bodies and souls of the possessed.
Their mouth isnt moving and the sound coming out of them is beyond what a human can produce, Blai says.
A force thats taken over.
Ive also seen bones dislocate spontaneously, and pop out when something animated the body and put the body into a different shape, he says.
Blai says hes needed to summon angels and saints to battle what he calls the kingdom of darkness.
Sheehan: So, its a war.
Blai: Oh yeah, weve seen the demon and possessed call out to its brothers and doors blow off and theres nothing there, but something has entered the room. That happens all the time.
Exorcism traces its roots to the New Testament Gospels where Jesus frees the possessed, but even Blai himself was initially skeptical.
Your mind rebels against really believing that this is really real, even after youve seen some things, he says. But eventually, the evidence piles up, and the pile becomes so large that you really have to accept it.
A trained psychologist at Penn state, Blai has studied the most violent criminals, but even in serial killers and rapists, he found at least some humanity not so with the possessed.
When you interact with somebody possessed by a demon, their heart is so completely and totally black and devoid of any hesitation or compassion that you know in your heart that they would tear you apart and be smiling the entire time, Blai said.
Blai: Holy water is something thats used in every case.
Sheehan: Now, if you sprayed the possessed with holy water, would it burn? Thats something we see in the movies. There will be some reaction.
Blai: Oh yeah, they have a violet reactions. It looks as though theyve been scourged with a whip.
It really changes you, and to see a full-blown case like they would make movies about though Hollywood always exaggerates things a little bit it really kind of straightens out your spiritually life, Blai said. And you have to think very hard about what youre going to do with that knowledge.
Of course, there's no reason that a person's torment couldn't have natural and supernatural elements at the same time. Demons love to heap suffering on a person who's already psychologically sick. So the Church tries to assess and address both aspects: hence the ongoing relevance of medical, psychological and psychiatric professionals working in tandem with a well-trained and spiritually-prepared priest.
I have no personal knowledge of this, but I have read that every major religion has exorcists.
Cool. Adam knows our pastor very well and attends our TLM occasionally. Good guy! He’s also a great photographer and has taken some of the photos at http://www.latininpatton.com
Is that true? Don't know about Muslims. Seems to me a Muslim exorcist would have to cast out most of the religion.
That wouldn’t surprise me. I have never seen demonic possession, but I’ve been told by people who have, that it has occurred to people regardless of their religious background. Naturally, any community, whatever their creeds or customs, would be strongly motivated to try to find some way to deal with it.
I have never heard of exorcism among Reformed Protestants. It’s important for people to remember that born again Christians cannot be demon possessed because they have been bought with a price, the blood of the Christ Jesus, and they are indwelt by the Holy Spirit.
“A trained psychologist at Penn state”
Then he should be familiar with delusions of grandeur.
“I have no personal knowledge of this, but I have read that every major religion has exorcists.”
Deliverance is only a prayer away, and is not exclusive to priests.
Seems to me a Muslim exorcist would have to cast out most of the religion.
AMEN and Amen!
I’ve been with a loved one going through a psychotic break. Sadness of course but never fear, never a feeling that there’s a demon involved but I believe it can happen. I would be interested in hearing from any psych nurses out there.
The power to bind and loose has been given to all believers, not just one denomination. Others frequently command them to leave.
Our Lord created all things that were created. They fall under His authority when it is exercised.
Sure they are under His authority. What I said was that Reformed Protestants don’t practice exorcism. I also said true born again Christians cannot be possessed. A Christian has no need to fear being possessed because he has the Holy Spirit.
I know of an Episcopal priest who did an exorcism and went crazy. That Episcopal diocese now hands over their cases to the local Catholic diocese.
It can happen to anyone if God allows it. We're not in charge.
Show me from Scripture. I don’t believe it.
By John MacArthur
Can Christians Be Demon Possessed?
We must remember, first of all, that Gods Word is our only reliable source of truth about Satan and demons.
Princeton theologian and scholar Dr. Charles Hodge rightly warned:
No amount of learning, no superiority of talent, nor even the pretension to inspiration, can justify a departure from the . . . truths taught by men to whose inspiration God has borne witness. All teachers must be brought to this standard; and even if an angel from heaven should teach anything contrary to the Scriptures, he should be regarded as anathema, Gal. 1:8. It is a matter of constant gratitude that we have such a standard whereby to try the spirits whether they be of God (Commentary on the Epistle to the Romans [Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1972], p. 395).
What does Gods Word, the touchstone of truth, say? Can demons inhabit or spatially indwell a true believer? Can they walk through an open door and become a squatter? Proponents of todays spiritual warfare movement say yes, but they base their answer on subjective experience, not on Gods Word. The Bible makes it clear that such a claim has no justifiable basis.
There is no clear example in the Bible where a demon ever inhabited or invaded a true believer. Never in the New Testament epistles are believers warned about the possibility of being inhabited by demons. Neither do we see anyone rebuking, binding, or casting demons out of a true believer. The epistles never instruct believers to cast out demons, whether from a believer or unbeliever. Christ and the apostles were the only ones who cast out demons, and in every instance the demon-possessed people were unbelievers.
The collective teaching of Scripture is that demons can never spatially indwell a true believer. A clear implication of 2 Corinthians 6, for example, is that the indwelling Holy Spirit could never cohabit with demons:
What harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever? Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said, I will dwell in them and walk among them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people (vv. 1516).
In Colossians 1:13, Paul says God delivered us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son. Salvation brings true deliverance and protection from Satan. In Romans 8:37, Paul says we overwhelmingly conquer through Christ. In 1 Corinthians 15:57, he says God gives us the victory. In 2 Corinthians 2:14, he says God always leads us in triumph. In 1 John 2:13, John says we have overcome the evil one. And, in 4:4, he says the indwelling Holy Spirit is greater than Satan. How could anyone affirm those glorious truths, yet believe demons can indwell genuine believers?
DEMON POSSESSION AND TRUE CONVERSION
Many of the leading voices in todays spiritual warfare movement are too quick to hail every profession of faith in Christ as proof of salvation. That reflects the easy-believism that has swept this generation.
A thorough biblical understanding of the doctrine of conversion makes it clear that demons could never indwell or possess a believer. Jonathan Edwards wrote about true conversion:
Scripture describes conversion in terms which imply or signify a change of nature: being born again, becoming new creatures, rising from the dead, being renewed in the spirit of the mind, dying to sin and living to righteousness, putting off the old man and putting on the new, becoming partakers of the divine nature, and so on.
It follows that if there is no real and lasting change in people who think they are converted, their religion is worthless, whatever their experiences may be. Conversion is the turning of the whole man from sin to God. God can restrain unconverted people from sin, of course, but in conversion he turns the very heart and nature from sin to holiness. The converted person becomes the enemy of sin.
What, then, shall we make of a person who says he has experienced conversion, but whose religious emotions soon die away, leaving him much the same person as he was before? He seems as selfish, worldly, foolish, perverse and un-Christian as ever. This speaks against him louder than any religious experiences can speak for him.
In Christ Jesus, neither circumcision nor uncircumcision, neither a dramatic experience nor a quiet one, neither a wonderful testimony nor a dull one, counts for anything. The only thing that counts is a new creation (The Experience That Counts! p. 99).
In Matthew 12, Christ rebuked those who were following Him just for the sake of witnessing great signs and wonders:
When the unclean spirit goes out of a man, it passes through waterless places, seeking rest, and does not find it. Then it says, I will return to my house from which I came ; and when it comes, it finds it unoccupied, swept, and put in order. Then it goes, and takes along with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there; and the last state of that man becomes worse than the first. That is the way it will also be with this evil generation (vv. 4345).
Instead of responding with spectacular signs and wonders, Christ addressed their need for salvation. Many people appear to have their lives in order. But in reality, they have not trusted Christ as Savior and Lord. Their souls are unoccupied that is, the Holy Spirit does not indwell them. Thus they are open to demonic invasion. That cannot be true of those whose bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit (cf. 2 Cor. 6:16).
According to 1 Peter 1:5, when Christ reigns in a persons life, that person is kept by Gods power. As a result, the evil one does not touch him (1 John 5:18). When the Holy Spirit inhabits a person, no demon can set up house as a squatter. Indwelling by demons is only evidence of a lack of genuine salvation.
“The Lord hath made all things for himself: the wicked also for the evil day.”
“And the Lord said to Satan: Behold he is in thy hand, but yet save his life.”
“Be sober and watch: because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, goeth about seeking whom he may devour.”
“And no wonder: for Satan himself transformeth himself into an angel of light.”
However, all religious groups have persons who are not in a state of Sanctifying Grace. The mere emptiness of an unsaved soul, the vacuum itself, attracts demons.
!! I never heard of such a thing. Just wow.
I agree with every single one of those Scriptures...obviously. But not one says a born again believer can be demon possessed. Not one. You can search the Scriptures all day and you won’t find evidence of a believer being demon possessed.
So are we to conclude that unless something is specifically mentioned as a possibility in Scripture, it can't occur? That is demonstrably not the case.
The verses quoted show 1) that God chose to use the devil as an instrument to accomplish a greater good and 2) Christians must always be on guard against the enemy and his tricks.
Further details from the recent case in Indiana:
"...Both women were Baptist and said they never dabbled in anything occult. The mother never missed church on Sundays, and LaToya sometimes went....
"...do you think the ex-boyfriend had to do with any of this? Maybe he put a curse on the mother. He had once asked her for an article of underwear as a souvenir. Around that time, LaToya also had a family picture disappear from her album, and a pair of her shoes disappeared. Personal items are often used in curses against a person..."
I think the hub of our difference is that we don’t agree on who is and is not a Christian. When I use the Christian I don’t mean it in a cultural sense and I am not speaking of people who go to church or are members of a church. When I refer to a Christian I am using that term in the biblical sense. A Christian is a man who has been born again by the miraculous work of the Holy Spirit. And when a man is a born again the Holy Spirit resides in him. The body of a Christian becomes the temple of God where no demon can reside.
Scripture is my authority, not experience and not men. We have no right to build doctrines and teach ideas which go beyond what Scripture teaches. That’s the domain of false religion and cults.
When the unclean spirit has gone out of a man, he passes through waterless places seeking rest, but he finds none.
Then he says, I will return to my house from which I came. And when he comes he finds it empty, swept, and put in order.
Then he goes and brings with him seven other spirits more evil than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man becomes worse than the first. So shall it be also with this evil generation.
If you were to change this to say "which go against "rather than "which go beyond," this would be a true statement.
As it stands, though, it is not true. Scripture itself contradicts the idea that we have "no right" to go beyond what Scripture teaches, as long as such teachings do not go against Scripture.
The argument is internally inconsistent, since there is no Scripture which tells what the books of Sacred Scripture are. This means that the rule "nothing but Scripture" is disobeyed as soon as we accept a canon of Scripture.
Your notion also goes against Jesus' criteria, and Paul's.
He who hears you hears me, and he who rejects you rejects me, and he who rejects me rejects him who sent me.
2 Thessalonians 2:15
So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter.
I’m not Roman Catholic, so obviously we disagree on Scripture, Scriptural authority, the nature and identity of the church, the gospel, the way of salvation, tradition, among many other things. I wish I had time to get into all of those things.
Exorcism isn’t a topic that interests me and I certainly don’t want to debate it. I wish I hadn’t even commented because I don’t want to spend time thinking about it or researching it or defending my position. I find exorcism rather sad. By and large it’s unsaved people performing rituals on other unsaved people. I am very aware demons are real, but I know I have been indwelt by the Holy Spirit, so I have no need to fear such things. Yes, I know I am to guard my heart against evil, but evil cannot take me. I was bought with a price at Calvary and that nothing can snatch me away.
Everything about me changed when God saved me. For many years before I was truly saved I thought I was. I was the all-too-typical false convert. I grew up in a Christian home and I knew a lot of Bible, but I wasn’t really saved. I had made a decision for Jesus, and I was religious, but John 1:13 teaches that we are born not of our own will (our decision), or of blood (by heritage), but by the will of God. When He wills a man to live, that man comes fully alive. I am simply not the man I was when I was younger. And that wasn’t own my own strength, it was something He did to me and in me. Yes, I am still a sinner who struggles with sin (just as Paul described in Romans 7), but I hate my sin. I no longer love the things of this world or the way this world works. The older I get the more I am aware of my sin, the more I recognize my utter inability to do anything to save myself. I am totally dependent on Him. The Bible tells us that for those born again God removes their heart of stone and gives them a heart of flesh. I am still a work in progress, but I know He did that for me.
I do suspect that a lot of bogus stuff goes on in purported exorcisms, at least judging from what you can read from internet news sites. I wouldn't go so far as to say that "by and large its unsaved people performing rituals on other unsaved people," since I have no real way to detect for sure who is 'unsaved': that's strictly God's domain, not mine. It's the kind of thing they used to say about Our Lord ("It's by the prince of demons that He casts out demons.")
"The Bible tells us that for those born again God removes their heart of stone and gives them a heart of flesh. I am still a work in progress, but I know He did that for me."
Amen to that, my friend.
“Pope Francis: Christians must guard against slyness of the devil”
“...When the spirit returns and finds it swept clean and adorned, he explained, it then takes another seven spirits worse than he, who come and make their homes, and in that way the last state of man becomes worse than the first.
Vigilance, he stressed, because his strategy is this: You became Christian. Advance in your faith. I will leave you. I will leave you tranquil. But then when you are used to not being so watchful and you feel secure, I will come back.
The Gospel today begins with the devil being cast out and ends with the devil coming back! These are not lies, he urged, it is the Word of the Lord!
Let us ask the Lord for the grace to take these things seriously. He came to fight for our salvation. He won against the devil! Please, let us not do business with the devil! He seeks to return home, to take possession of us Do not relativize; be vigilant! And always with Jesus! (10/11/13)
Thank you. I appreciate your sweet spirit. It doesn’t go unnoticed.