Demons in light of science - problems?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by CubeX, Oct 14, 2005.

  1. CubeX

    CubeX
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    The New Testament repeatedly talks about demons which seem to be the causes of physical problems (i.e., seizures, etc.), they seem to be personal beings (Jesus speaks directly with them), and it seems that both Jesus and the disciples (along with Jews of that time) all believed in these beings.

    Modern medical and psychological sciences have now found biological and biopsychological reasons for the problems attributed to demons in the first century. This poses a major problem because it implies that Jesus, the disciples, and others were greatly decieved in believing in illnesses being caused by demons.

    This is an issue that I have been pursuing for months now and I wanted to get some input from others on this topic. Although the answers will greatly vary from denomination to denomination (even in Baptist subdenominations), I would like to get some input. If you would be so kind to state some information either before or after answering this question, it will help my research greatly. Please include the following:

    Age:
    Location: (if America, then what state please)
    Denomination: (or subdenomination - Southern Baptist, Fundamental, American, etc.)
    How long you have been a Christian:

    Thanks! I hope to finish my work within the next year or two and I'm only a fifth of the way into it! With your help, I hope to finish and (hopefully) publish my work! Thanks again,
    -David
     
  2. Deacon

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    Q? So where's the question Cubex?

    Doc's have a had enough time correctly diagnosing illnesses today!
    You really think a diagnosis based on minimal biblical evidence two thousand years later is worth much?
    I'll trust Doc Luke!

    Rob
     
  3. Gold Dragon

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    When we discovered that it was viruses, bacteria, genetic mutations and immune disorders that caused disease and medications, treatments and therapies to heal them, did that mean that God does not cause and heal disease?

    In the same way, the discovery of biological sources for psychological disorders does not exclude the possibility of demons also being a source of the biological problem. It definitely does not exclude the possiblity that Jesus and the disciples healed those disorders. Sometimes modern medicine may heal the physical part of the disease and not be able to address the spiritual aspect of it.

    God is sovereign over the natural which we currently understand and the supernatural which we may understand in the future or may never understand.

    Age: 29
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  4. jw

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    Christ never said all sickness was caused by demons or sin. Many were healed with no mention of demonic activity whatsoever.

    Also take note of verses like...

    John 9:2-3 "And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?
    Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him. "

    Luke 13:1-5 "There were present at that season some that told him of the Galilaeans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices.
    And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things?
    I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.
    Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem?
    I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish."
     
  5. donnA

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    age:41
    location:Ky, USA
    denomination:SBC
    How long christian:14 years

    No problem I see.
    Not all illnesses or physical problems are due to demons, and the bible doesn't say they are.
    Otherwise Jesus would know that.
    Never let anything make you doubt the truth of scripture.
     
  6. Johnv

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    I don't think this poses a problem at all. The demons Jesus was referring to caused physical conditions. Scripture does not say that all such physical conditions are the result of demons. Scripture does not even say that demonization causes these physical conditions with any regularity. All scripture tells us is that in these specific cases, demons that Jesus addressed caused the specific physical conditions mentioned. That's all. Nothing more, nothign less.
     
  7. Marcia

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    Many passages talk about healing and casting out demons, showing these were separate situations.

    Also, since the text says that Jesus cast out demons and Jesus spoke of demons, it was not a misapprehension but a fact. Jesus would certainly know that illness can be caused by factors other than demons (though some illnesses were apparently caused demonically, such as the woman bent over double).

    Age: XX
    Location: Virginia
    Church/Denomimation: Baptist but not affiliated with any Baptist convention or association
    How long a Christian: 15 yrs. this December.
     
  8. APuritanMindset

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    Just because doctors have found that there are chemical and bacterial reasons for various diseases that we have and such doesn't discount the that they are caused by demons. It just means that we know more about how the demons work. Luther believed that milk spoiled because of a demon. Who's to say that milk doesn't? We don't see things completely clearly yet. We see as in a mirror dimly. We may think we have all the answers, but we don't.
     
  9. Johnv

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    So, what you're saying is that demons cause the diseases that are evidenced by chemical and bacterialogical reasons. There's no scriptural support for that. None.

    We know what causes milk to spoil. Other lifeforms begin feeding on it. We call it being "spoiled", but it's merely the result of something completely normal and expected.

    The problem is Luther had no knowlege of bacteriology. So unless you can come up with scripture that says bacteria are the result of Satan, you're out of gas on this one, especially considering that man bacteria are beneficial to us, and are so essential to our life, that we would die without them.
    Why is it that when someone says "we don't have all the answers", they often behave as though they have all the answers???
     
  10. just-want-peace

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    Many episodes of exorcism by Christ had the demons speaking to Him, so the reality of demons is not in question.

    What IS in question is how many afflictions we suffer are due to demons, and how many are simply biological/chemical/emotional/physical/mental problems that are due to some malfunction of these complicated bodies we now inhabit?

    Demons are real, and I'm convinced that for non-believers many of the problems listed above may be attributable to demons.

    I also believe that a Christian can be harrassed and aggrivated by demons, BUT not controlled; as I believe possible with a non-Christian

    It would be easy, however, if you concentrate too much on demonic activities, to "see a demon behind every illness"!
     
  11. Johnv

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    Amen. If I leave the milk out too long, and then drink it, and then get ill, I become guilty of the sin of not taking responsibility for my actions if I blame it on a demon.

    Adam refused to take responsibility for his actions, choosing instead to blame the woman for giving him the fruit, then blaming God for giving him the woman. Look where it got him.

    Satan rejoices whenever we pass the buck, and when we do so, we give Satan power. So why do we think we are being Godly and righteous by blaming Satan or demons for such things????
     
  12. CubeX

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    The question is along the lines of "what's your opinion?" SO if you have more of an opinion than this, please post. If not, that is fine.
    -David
     
  13. menageriekeeper

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    I believe the Bible makes a distiction between cases that were merely illness(the nobleman's son, John 4:46) and those that were actual demon possession(Matthew 8:28, men in the tombs). Just because illnesses such as epilepsy and schizophrenia can mimic the symptoms of demon possession, doesn't mean that Christ and his apostles(trained by Christ) wouldn't have been able to distinguish between the too.

    It's a manmade idea that possesions described in the Bible must have simply been some sort of brain malfunction.
     
  14. StraightAndNarrow

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    The deciples and everyone else in Jesus' time had no knowledge about what really causes diseases. They attributed illness to things like demons or evil spirits. That the state of medical knowledge at that time.

    Jesus, on the other hand, had all the information including information we don't have today. He was simply preaching and teaching in terms that the people of his day could understand. How would the people react if He said:

    Your problem is a Pulmonary infarction caused by a pulmonary embolism? or

    You have an Acute myelogenous leukemia?

    Would anyone have understood? Of course not. God's ways are not our ways. He is so far superior to us that we could never hope to understand today if He spoke in all of His wisdom.

    Jesus spoke in terms that would be understood to the people of His day. He still does that today.
     
  15. TexasSky

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    Denomination - Baptist (SB to be more specific)
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    The bible shows examples of Christ speaking to demons. The bible shows examples of times when people assumed "sin" or "demons" when Christ said neither was the case, but that the condition existed so that God can be glorified.

    My family has been in the mental retardation/mental health field for years. I did some counseling, and worked at a counseling center for years. Some people suffer from chemical imbalances of the brain. Some people show all the symptoms, ~but~ there is no clinical evidence to explain the situation.

    Not everyone who is mentally ill is demon possessed.
    Not everyone who is demon possessed is thought of as mentall ill.

    If, though, your science leads you to doubt Christ's words - you've got VERY bad science.

    I've just a tad short of 1/2 a century on this earth. I've NEVER seen God proven wrong. I've OFTEN seen science proven wrong.
     
  16. Magnetic Poles

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    Highly recommended reading that directly deals with some of the issues raised in this thread:
    Click Here
    "The Demon-Haunted World" by Carl Sagan
     
  17. Paul of Eugene

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    I've got a question. We all know that bacteria are the cause of many illnesses.

    Bacteria as we think of them were completely unknown to people of the first century. That is, we think they were.

    Could some references to demons actually be references to bacteria - in a way that could be understood, dimly, by folk of the first century?

    Not all of them, but some of them?
     
  18. donnA

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    I don't know, but God is the author of scripture, and you'd think He would know even men back then didn't.
     
  19. Johnv

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    God is not the author of scripture. Men are the authors of the scriptural text. God is the one who inspired the text. That doesn't mean God dictated the text to the authors.
     
  20. Petrel

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    I don't think so. We have a pretty clear definition of a demon, and they were definitely thought of as evil, sentient spiritual beings. I don't think God would give people the idea that sentient spirits were responsible for disease when it was of microbial origin.

    Did you have a particular passage that you think might be due to bacterial infection rather than a demon?
     

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