The Evangelical Universalist Forum

Demons - real or not?


#101

It seemed pretty important to you that I watch it. IIRC you said something along the lines of me “ducking”. I’m not. I’ve watched the first two parts and I don’t find it to be the ironclad proof of demons that you do.


#102

Here’s a a thought: watch the 3rd part and get your questions answered. I’m amazed at how dismissive you are without bothering to offer cogent reasons, which, I guess, you fear can be easily refuted.


#103

@berserk have you considered other possible explanations for the events in the video besides demons?


#104

Since others are posting videos here…I thought I would Google “are demons real”…and post any videos, that come up on the page one search - via YouTube.

I repeat…DANGER if you watch this video!

Title: Summoning A REAL Demon - DO NOT TRY THIS !

We should also look at a video, documenting some cases!


#105

A theology professor who doubled as one of the most famous exorcists on the east coast had his office next to mine. I was appalled by how easily he attributed psychokinetic activity in a house to the latent power of the brain rather than to spirit activity. Let me give you 2 examples: (1) Whenever a teenager got upset, huge “water bombs” from the ceiling would pour down, drenching people. A plumber was called to determine the problem, but he ran in terror from the house, shouting, “You don’t need a plumber; you need an exorcist!”

(2) When another teen he investigated got upset, fires would spontaneously start around him that almost burned down his house! My exorcist professor colleague dismissed claims that either case was a type of spirit activity, preferring psychokinesis as a natural explanation. Upon reflection, I thought it absurd to rule out a spirit-based (if not demonic) explanation. But such spirits might be mischievous discarnate humans rather than demons.

My exorcist professor colleague thought genuine demonic possession was extremely rare. But he recognized the case that inspired the movie “The Exorcist” a case of authentic demonic possession. As already noted, the exorcist in that famous case was his personal friend. In that case, a message in blood was scratched on the victim’s chest --“Louis.” The family was from St. Louis and so the family brought the victim there for Bowdern to exorcize. In the long battle with the demon in that case, furniture was moved by an unseen hand, the bed shook violent, and the boy displayed superhuman strength. Yet what is most convincing in authentic possession cases are not the attendant psychic phenomena, but rather the felt presence of sheer intense hatred.

The key moment came when Bowdern tried to get the boy to willingly take Holy Communion. The demon responded by defiantly admitting, “There is a word that will liberate him, but I will never let him say it.” Back in 1948 the Catholic Mass was in Latin; so that word was “Dominus,” the Latin word for “Lord.” When the boy finally said that word, he was cured. When the demon left, there was an explosion of blue light that was witnessed by worshipers in a church across the street.
In my city, I am known as a debunker of possession claims because I always attribute the cases presented to me as misdiagnosed psychopathology.

A lot of harm can done if mentally ill people are treated as cases of demonic possession. But the family cases I have reported in this thread are, I think, authentic. If I thought Jesus always mistook mere psychopathology for demon possession, that would convince me that he was a deluded fraud and I would give up my faith.


#106

oh wow! :astonished:


#107

And you accuse me of bias? :stuck_out_tongue: It sounds your faith is very important to you (which is a good thing), and your faith hinges on the reality of demons. Your whole life would be turned upside down if demons weren’t real, so you assume they must be real.


#108

No, qaz, just the opposite is the case. I am naturally skeptical because I want to worship the real Jesus and the real God. So I often provisionally adopt views that seem to refute Christianity to keep my spiritual quest honest. What I want to avoid is the dishonesty of living out a faith that meets my needs and makes me comfortable, so that I set aside serious problems with that faith. I’d rather have loose ends in my theology, so I can keep my quest real and authentic. Also, I embrace an important epistemological principle: to be meaningful one must be able to identify how one’s faith position is falsifiable, at least in principle. If no conceivable falsification test is admitted, then one’s position is meaningless and unworthy of credence.


#109

Maybe Islam has some insight into demons…and how God keeps them out of heaven?

Quran and Science: Are Stars Missiles That Allah Shoots at Demons?


#110

+1


#111

@berserk you didn’t answer my question: Have you considered other possible causes for the events in the demon video? How do you know the cause is demons?


#112

are you beserks old advesary ? the grey skinned atheist guy from wondercafe?


#113

I gave you that answer in my 2nd post upwards. I would only add this here: that interpretation is to be preferred which makes the best sense of the relevant data. Demonic possession seems the most intuitively plausible interpretation of: the presence of pure emotionally searing hatred; levitation, a foul sulphurous odor, furniture moved by an unseen hand, scratches appearing in blood across the victim’s chest, sometimes spelling out a significant message, the transformation of a female victim’s voice into a guttural male growl, the victim’s paranormal knowledge of the exorcist’s most vulnerable secrets (e. g. Jesuit Malachi Martin reports a possessed victim exclaim, “Well, if it isn’t Peter the Eater!” when he first entered the room. “Peter the Eater” was a dirty nickname the Jesuit’s girlfriend had given him during his misspent youth.).


#114

Never heard of it. Who are you?


#115

You really think that? The first guy talked a lot but provided no reason for me to believe him. The second guy played audio that sounded like a big cat noise (tiger? Puma?) commonly used in cinema, only this time with the pitch altered. The moving broom, chair, and wall could have been done with a fishing line or leaf blower, or maybe some intermediate video editing. It’s not like the footage was that great in quality. Why would a demon gently swirl a chair or shake a broom anyway? If it had the power to terrorize people I’d think it’d make a much bigger scene than that!

To me, demons seems the least plausible explanation. Much more likely IMO is sick people trying to prey on gullible people.


#116

qaz, read my list of symptoms of possession and try to justify an alternative explanation.


#117

Yes. I have raised the same possibilities, with this person before. For ANY video:

  • Effects could be duplicated, by professional stage magicians.

  • Any Hollywood video creation team…could make a video appear, to do what they wanted it to.

  • Computer animation is capable of creating, almost any type of video

Then again…it could be the REAL thing. We just don’t know.

For example. Is this quy a “real” QiGong master healer?


#118

Most likely epileptic seizures or some similar mental illness.


#119

Qaz, my experience is that those who see confronting possession by evil spirits as obvious and central tend to feel that anyone is an insipid idiot who does not interpret the challenges of life and evil the way they do.

At Fuller Seminary, Drs. Pete Wagner and Charles Kraft developed a similar focus that felt directly confronting demons was central, and like my own ABC colleagues, it seemed their whole faith pivoted on their view of demonology and how to challenge such evil among us. John Wimber even offered a class to demonstrate how to heal and deliver folk. But after the rest of the faculty witnessed all this for a couple years and thought it was bonkers, they published a paper (edited by Dr. Lew Smedes) explaining why they found it unbiblical.

My own impression is that like many other contrasting traditions in Christendom, good brothers will interpret the same evidence on this topic quite differently. I suspect that it is a bit of a Rorschach about how we have variously experienced life as a whole, and how we have come to approach the challenges of the spiritual life.


#120

qaz, I’ll be charitable and assume that you offered this insipid response without reading my posted list of possession symptoms reported by eyewitness testimony. So read the list and explain how epilepsy accounts for all these accompanying paranormal manifestations.