On learning more

Tiff, thanks for the heads up! My preliminary search found this. Is this what you're talking about?


How do we know

... if someone is possessed by a demon?

I have been perusing through the gospels and reading stories of Jesus' encounters with those who were possessed by demons. It seemed back then people just knew whether or not someone was demon-possessed. Sometimes they were violent, sometimes they were disabled, and sometimes they were just "crazy".

Scripture describes a "demon-possessed" person running up to Jesus. What were the indicators that led them to know this? Sometimes I wonder what it would be like if I could meet someone and somehow know - this person has an evil spirit.

Nowadays there is so much confusion about the nature of the spiritual realm. Let me qualify that - there is so much confusion about the nature of the spiritual realm in Western societies.

I visited a support group for people who had family with mental illness. I remember someone expressing their frustration because someone else had told them that their family member was possessed by a demon and that if she prayed hard enough, he would be healed of his mental illness. Her frustration came from feeling judged that she had not been faithful enough in prayer and it added to the burden of being the caretaker.

A lot of the people in the room empathized with her and attributed the interaction to the person not understanding the scientific nature of mental illness. I wondered aloud how the spiritual realm does still play into mental illness and was met with silence and resistance.

Nowadays we call it schizophrenia and depression, but I still wonder what role the spiritual realm plays in a person's well-being. Even for those who aren't "clinical," how can we understand plainly what is happening spiritually? How do we develop discernment over whether a bad day was just a bad day, how there were germs in the food we ate that made us sick, and when spiritual warfare is really at play?

I think part of it is our lack of understanding of the spiritual realm. Most of us think Hollywood and it just gives us the heebie-jeebies.

God has allowed me to have some pretty significant experiences over the last two years though, and I feel like I'm in unchartered territory. I agree that the Scientific Revolution caused a divorce between the spiritual and the physical world. What does it look like to bridge them together again?