Monday, August 30, 2010

"I had to exorcise a few!" a Southern Baptist missionary told me

In the novel I'm writing, my heroine stands at a tomb and makes up a charm. Her husband warns her not to.

She protests. "But God is love. He won't let anything happen to us."

He shakes his head and pulls her close. "It's not that simple."

And a lot happens, both funny and tragic.

At a church meeting, after others had left, I  asked a Southern Baptist missionary back from Indonesia if he'd ever had to "have deliverance" for those involved with witch doctors. I didn't want to use the more dramatic e-word. He used it: "I had to exorcise a few!"

He added that his generator wouldn't work under the "demons' tree." He had to move it. "If you'd told me this in seminary, I wouldn't have believed it!"

What an indictment of the seminaries. My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge, Hosea 4:6.

One of my Facebook friends said the missionary probably could have solved that problem without moving it, just using the name of Jesus. I agree.

Anyway, you may have to ask when everyone else isn't around, but missionaries will tell you some interesting things.

Some people say that unbelief here in the West hides demonic activity from view. Imagine what things must have been like before Jesus disarmed the enemy!

 And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross. Colossians 2:15

What a wonderful LORD. Many Christians, especially here in the West, have discounted and ignored this and other key principles and replaced them with a socialized, humanized gospel--to the detriment of ourselves and the world. We have a valid concern--we don't want to attribute every head cold or bad habit to demons, obviously.

But we also overlook the "all things whatsoever." that Jesus mentioned in Matthew 28, which refers back to Matthew 10--"Heal the sick...cast out devils...." Details.

And when we do read it, we don't expect it.

It's a vicious cycle. And God misses out on a lot of credit and glory when we don't see Him in action the way we could.

On the other hand, amusement in the occult is rising, even among Christians. This is sad.

If God hates something--such as sorcery and witchcraft, and He says He does in Deuteronomy 18 and Galatians 5--should we who love Him and took advantage of His wonderful, terrible sacrifice be entertained even with stories about what our Creator and Savior hates?

See "Twilight of Loyalty?" if you like.

And why should the enemy heed our rebuking him when we've chosen to climb into his occult playpen with him like old friends? 

As the husband in my story tells his wife, Get into a playpen with serpents and sooner or later, you're going to get bitten.

Now, we believe a Christian can't be possessed by a demon because the Christian is indwelt by the Holy Spirit.

The president of the Southern Baptist Convention just stated this in an article in response to a growing interest in the rite of exorcism.

But that doesn't mean demons can't hassle us, especially if we makes them feel at home.

Jesus wasn't joking around when He cast out devils. I figure He could have taught the people, "This is a sickness of the heart," or "This is a sickness of the way a man thinks." People would have understood that. But He didn't. He cast'em out.

The day I started writing this post, the daily Bible verse in the margin on my Facebook page said:

"I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe." Ephesians 1:18-19a - NIV

This prophet expresses the most heart-felt longing:

God, I've heard what our ancestors say about you,
   and I'm stopped in my tracks, down on my knees.
Do among us what you did among them.
   Work among us as you worked among them.
And as you bring judgment, as you surely must,
   remember mercy. Habakkuk 3:2

Yes, Lord, as with Paul's and Habakkuk's prayers, let us see your incomparably great power and do all things whatsoever you taught the apostles. Forgive us for climbing into a playpen with serpents. In the awesome, wonderful, mighty name of Jesus!


Here's a true story about a priest who went to Rome to learn to be an exorcist, The Rite.

And a great novel about this subject is the classic, This Present Darkness. 
Just pray for protection against fear before reading either one of them.


K. Dawn Byrd said...

Everything you said is SO true, Margo! Many people don't believe in spiritual warfare because very few churches teach it today. God bless you for having the courage to post this!

Margo Carmichael said...

Oh, thank you, Dawn. I prayed about it. "The truth will set you free," huh?

OBdaDA said...

We aRe sO SenSe oVerloaDed.. iN ouR PhysicaL ReaLiTy/ FanTasY theSe daYs,,,
iT iS haRd tO 'feeL' thE spirituaLiTy aLL arounD ..
YoU haVe a gooD hanDLe oN iT..

Margo Carmichael said...

Yes, you're correct. We are overloaded. The scientific, the logical often overrule the spiritual. And the spiritual is what lasts.