The Evangelical Universalist Forum

Demons - real or not?


#121

Berserk, the number of alleged cases of demons that have been verified by independent outside observers is zero.


#122

If it was something like the law of gravity, and based on clear evidence and logic, those who have ‘verified’ demons would not be limited to a few religiously zealous folk.


#123

:wink:


#124

qaz and Bob are pontificating from ignorance. As Jesuit exorcist and researcher, Malachi Martin repeatedly said, "There are no atheists at a genuine exorcism.: the evidence and especially the undeniable awareness of pure powerful hatred are self0authenticating evidence. And as psychiatrist Scott Peck writes, “I asked to witness exorcisms. The first 2 were standard psychiatric disorders and I was already cutting notches on my scientific pistol. But then I encountered the real thing.” He then explains how "the real thing: changed is life and outlook and wrote another book on his direct experience of exorcisms. And have you considered (1) that Satan is not a willing participant in psychological studies and (2) that the Christian fait his based on eyewitness testimony unsupported by scientific analysis< Now stop ducking the listed symptoms and offer a serious eplanation. You know very well that epilepsy is laughable as an explanation. I assume from your deafening silence that you have no serious answer to the charge that you are discrediting Jesus’ claims about the arrival of the kingdom of God and the meaning of His crucifixion.


#125

Actually they are not, they are saying to you to post reality… And you will post conjecture, in other words opinion. Good stuff to at least take into consideration but from some standpoints there needs to be reality.:roll_eyes:


#126

Nothing but rank hypocrisy right here on your part Berserk WHEN you yourself maintain…

So here’s the contradiction… Jesus AND THE TEXT proclaim the judgement on such a one as a NOW reality BUT to maintain your berserk doctrine you must maintain an… ‘oh but wait it hasn’t quite happened yet’ scenario; but that does NOT agree with Jesus nor the texts of John’s gospel your reference BUT don’t actually read.

Jn 12:31 NOW is the judgment of this world; NOW the ruler of this world will be cast out.

Jn 16:11 …of judgment, because the ruler of this world IS judged.

And just to be sure… this last word “judged” <κέκριται> kekritai above is in the perfect tense meaning… a past action as having been completed with results continuing in the present — you Berserk are the one who is… “discrediting Jesus’ claims about the arrival of the kingdom of God and the meaning of His crucifixion.


#127

@berserk are these the things you want me to explain?

///The posted YouTube video demonstrates the reality of demonic possession and exorcism. Furniture is moved or toppled by an unseen hand. Faces are scratched in patterns of 3 to mimic the Trinity. A foul Sulphur-like odor fills the room. Evil apparitions are seen–and shown in the video! Objects owned by the victims dematerialize and relocate to a boarded-up area under the stairs, and so, were not physically relocated there.
///


#128

On the contrary, I have posted eyewitness testimonies from my brother, cousin, uncle, and members of my church that document paranormal verifications of demonic possession and oppression and the eyewitness testimony of a famous east coast exorcist whom I knew personally. I have also posted allusions to possession cases in a book written by an initially skeptical witness of exorcisms, both spurious and genuine. Finally, I have documented from the Gospels how Jesus’ view of the presence of the kingdom of God is inextricably tied to his exorcisms of demons and posters have no answers. How could they? I have posted universally accepted interpretations from standard Bible commentaries.


#129

Do you find repeating refuted nonsense wins you converts? I never discredited God’s kingdom nor the crucifixion, and repeatedly explained to you how I affirm them. You’ve offered no response at all.

You now do appear to assert that all exorcism is self-authenticating and thus undeniable, which leaves you treating qaz and all who reject such movies as insipid idiots. You don’t grasp how this supports my observation that then very few have gotten to see any real demonic deliverance, and that they all appear zealous.

When I repeatedly tell you that I’ve watched many of my colleagues who believe your view do ‘exorcisms,’ your assertion simply demands my conclusion that they are all fake, and that all the many reputable brothers in my ministry experience who assert belief in exorcism are deceived.

Yes, I realize you feel that ones you’ve seen are demons, and wish the rest of us would encounter the rare and real enchilada. Maybe you can point us to where they happen as publicly as they did in Jesus’ ministry.


#130

Bob, you create strawmen which you then dismiss to avoid authentic evidential cases. Where are the impressive paranormal verifications that accompany the exorcisms you have witnessed. And perhaps I lost your demythologizing gibberish in your reply. So explain again how you accept Jesus’ claim that His exorcisms of demons demonstrate that “the kingdom of God has come upon you.” And explain why you can’t be accused of a psychologized rejection of Jesus’ claims about the defeat of Satan through His earthly mission.


#131

With all respect, I’m sorry that we unconvinced skeptics are found so aggravating.

But such claims will not add any proof to those of us who have known such people first hand, and who also have seen that folk of most religious cults and other exotic groups have legions who testify to being eye-witnesses to supposed supernatural verification in wild and crazy stuff that is viewed as undeniable. And many of us have also seen a ton of chicanery, fraud, and self-deception. You’re welcome to believe in a “famous east coast exorcist,” but you’d be perceived to be more credible if you showed ability to grasp why not everyone is equally impressed by such.


#132

I continually pose the decisive questions to you and qaz that you always duck. So for readers’ benefit I repeat them to expose your relentless evasions:
(1) Jesus believes He exorcises real demons and treats these as a sign that “the kingdom of God has come upon you.” How can you claim Jesus’ teaching as authoritative for you if you reject His belief and teaching through psychologization?

(2) You ducked my question about whether you have witnessed the specified paranormal verifications in exorcisms you have witnesses. If you have not, how do you respond to my charge that you are setting up a straw man to avoid the evidence of authentic cases?

(3) When I, my family and church members, and academic colleague report witnessing spectacular paranormal verifications, are you just assuming without evidence that we are lying or deluded? If not, what is your alternate explanation of these paranormal phenomena? [Please consult the list I provided in an earlier post, so I don’t need to constantly retype these.’


#133

Bob, you gotta tell this person they are full of bull sh…

You will feel better after you do it.:smile:


#134

I detailed to you several times how N.T. scholars across the spectrum, while usually not accepting first century definitions of evil spirits, believe that Jesus displayed a powerful deliverance ministry, and that this was among important reasons (such as Good Friday and Easter) that disciples became convinced that he had inaugurated a new era of God’s reign and the work of His Spirit in our lives. I indeed affirm that reasoning, and His power.

When you summarize that this makes me a heretic who denies the cross and God’s kingdom, all I see is the kind of fundamentalist proof texting I came from and an insistence that if you think Jesus’ incarnation and humanity was so real that he could fallibly share in first century views of the cosmos, then you are a heretic. I.e. you circularly argue that if you don’t accept the first century’s version of cause and effect demonology, you blasphemingly condemn Jesus, and thus CAN’T offer any skeptical arguments.

It’s fine if your presupposition and logic leaves you to feel that there is no room for you to examine anything contrary to that, but I don’t appreciate your mockery of those who don’t share your reasoning and His power.


#135

:grinning: Ah yes, enough said


#136

I have changed my mind


#137

Yes I’m inclined to see the real enchilada as Jesus being the Healer and that certain physical conditions were indeed spoken of in terms or language of satanic affliction as THAT was the cultural understanding and mindset of the day… thus Jesus’ “deliverance” was in fact a great healing, as per…

Lk 13:11-13, 16 And behold, there was a woman who had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bent over and could in no way raise herself up. But when Jesus saw her, He called her to Him and said to her, “Woman, you are loosed from your infirmity.” And He laid His hands on her, and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God. … So ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has bound—think of it—for eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath?”

To make the simplistic and reactionary retorts such as… “The issue that divides us is the legitimacy of demythologizing Jesus by claiming His belief in evil demons sent by Satan to possess people is a culturally based error that renders Jesus delusional” OR “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.” is just that… simplistic!

It’s like claiming Jesus must have been a delusional fraud BECAUSE he didn’t know the day nor hour of the Parousia (Mk 13:32). :thinking:


#138

Davo - I understand what you’re saying, but it puts you on a slippery slope, doesn’t it? Certainly there was a worldview and mindset in place; but to then generalize and say it was ‘wrong’ factually, in reality, that now we know without a doubt that in reality Jesus was not casting out demons, seems like a giant step without any real evidence, other than we consider our worldview superior.
On this particular point, I’m not dogmatic; however, going down that slope I can see where it would be easy for someone to ‘bracket’ all Gospel and Pauline writing as ‘just their worldview’ - which would imply they were factually wrong about God, Jesus, the supernatural, etc. - and I think that would be hugely unjustified.
I fully acknowledge that their natural science was laughable compared to ours. It does not follow that in this non-scientific area, the supernatural, that our understanding is superior in toto.
When I hear, here and there ‘that was all back then, we know better now, there’s a new model, progress etc’, I think it’s fair to ask - in what WAYS is our model ‘better’ - and of course it is in some ways - but also fair to ask: were they in some sense closer to the truth of many things than we are?
Anyway I find the entire ‘mindset’ discussion endlessly fascinating.


#139

But this is where you “create” the slippery by generalising beyond what I said, which is hugely unjustified. Is declaring (as I have) Jesus’ miraculous healing/delivering ministry denying or affirming the supernatural?


#140

Beats me. And chill - I did not say that YOU would do this - I referred to ‘someone’. Geez.