demons versus mental illness

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by amity, Apr 2, 2007.

  1. amity

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    Here's the new thread.

    I say demonic possession and mental illness (depression or other) are two separate realities. What say ye?
     
  2. His Blood Spoke My Name

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    Doesn't matter what they say. What says the Bible?
     
  3. amity

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    So what DO YOU say that the Bible says? Tell us ...
     
    #3 amity, Apr 2, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 2, 2007
  4. tinytim

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    Would epilepsy qualify here?

    If so, I dare someone to tell me that my son that has epilepsy is demon possessed...
     
  5. His Blood Spoke My Name

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    Matthew 17:14 (KJV) And when they were come to the multitude, there came to him a [certain] man, kneeling down to him, and saying,
    Matthew 17:15 (KJV) Lord, have mercy on my son: for he is lunatick,
    and sore vexed: for ofttimes he falleth into the fire, and oft into the water.
    Matthew 17:16 (KJV) And I brought him to thy disciples, and they could not cure him.
    Matthew 17:17 (KJV) Then Jesus answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him hither to me.
    Matthew 17:18 (KJV) And Jesus rebuked the devil; and he departed out of him: and the child was cured from that very hour.
    Matthew 17:19 (KJV) Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out?
    Matthew 17:20 (KJV) And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.
    Matthew 17:21 (KJV) Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.

    Why argue with the Bible? The Word says 'this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting'. This kind... what kind is that? When one is acting crazy or out of one's mind'.
     
  6. amity

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    So how does this Bible passage establish that mental illness (or epilepsy, which is not a mental illness) is caused by demonic possession? You are taking one case and generalizing to all cases without warrant.

    The "kind" in tis Bible passage is that kind of demon. It does not say that all cases of any sort of mental or brain problem whatsover are caused by demons, does it?
     
  7. tinytim

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    Thank you amity for not classifying it as a mental illness... I will leave this thread now...
     
  8. rbell

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    One Extreme: Any condition that isn't obviously, externally physical is demonic possession. (Siezures, Tourette's, Autism, Schitzophrenia, Alzheimer's, etc.)

    Another Extreme: "Demonic Possession" was a First-century catch-all to explain the unexplainable. It doesn't really exist.

    The truth IMO is between these two poles. I think there are conditions that can only be explained by saying, "This person's brain doesn't work;" or, "This person's mind isn't right."

    There are other times in which we simply need to confront the wicked one, and get his folks outathere. But we have to do that in God's strength, and be "prayed up."

    That's my $0.005 (after taxes)
     
  9. rbell

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    Certainly you don't mean that ilnesses such as Epilepsy and Alzheimer's are demonic possession, do you, HBSMN?
     
  10. tinytim

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    This is one case of demon possession...
    Of course someone demon possessed acts mentally ill.
    But that does not mean everyone that is mentally ill is demon possessed.
    That is stretching it....

    OK, now I will leave this thread... that was my other personality that posted above...:laugh:
     
  11. Helen

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    Demon possession most certainly exists. However it does not need to show up as mental illness or any other physical ailment. Just like Satan inhabited a snake's body not meaning all snakes are demonic, it is just as true that just because a demoniac sometimes appears to have a mental illness, not all mental problems are demonically caused.

    I would daresay that there are some very brilliant leaders around the world who may be demon possessed...

    The King of Tyre certainly was, in Ezekiel.

    We live in a time when our genetic load (accumulation of negative mutations) is at close to an extreme level for humans. What this means is that every family is going to show up with someone in it who has some kind of genetic defect. Very possibly we all have one -- some being more obvious than others. Thus, a great deal of what we see today is a result of this, along with vaccinations with mercury in them, lead paint, and all other manner of poisons in our lives and food we have accumulated along with our negative mutations.

    I, and many others, are grateful for the medications which can help moderate the effects of these things.

    But when a person is demon-possessed, I doubt anyone would actually know it most of the time. Maybe an unexplained revulsion around the person....something uncomfortable that you want to get away from....

    But not every person we don't like is demon-possessed either!

    Demons are not stupid. One of the descriptions, in the Hebrew, of the snake in the Garden of Eden was a word indicating that he was subtle.

    Back to mental illnesses (as distinct from epilepsy and other physically-caused/connected problems) -- a would daresay many of those who suffer from various types of 'mental illness' are actually suffering from extreme cases of self-absorption and selfishness.

    I'll probably be ducking bullets again....
     
  12. pinoybaptist

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    My question is: Has anybody here ever experienced an encounter, face to face, with somebody who is demon possessed ? I will have to agree with Helen on this one, but not the way I understood what she was saying, if I understood it right.

    It is the demon possessed who feels uncomfortable around the child of God, even if the Christian is not known to the community, or is low key as to his Christianity, in public.

    We had a household help in the Philippines back in the early 80's who stayed with us for less than a month. As soon as she arrived from the barrios, and entered into the house, the first thing she saw was the Bibles on the dining table.

    She started acting strange. Eyes darting here and there, and wouldn't look at us straight in the eye. Every evening and early morning my wife and I would have our family devotions along with the kids, and she would be by the outhouse, which was a short walk on boardwalks on stilts on the water, throwing up.

    We let her go after about three weeks because we were afraid she was pregnant, with all her throwing up and strange behavior, and we didn't want to take the blame for it. Besides that she was acting really, really weird.

    Now she had an uncle and aunt who were members of the same church we went to, and this couple came to us after a week and asked if we could come visit their niece, and we did. They were about a day's journey up into the hills, and when we got there she was sitting on a chair, greeted us with a smile and a hug, but still wouldn't look at us straight in the eye.

    She was dressed up, made up, even, but her hair was disheveled somewhat, and her voice seemed to have changed, sometimes high-pitched, sometimes low and rumbling, oftentimes unintelligible in what she was saying.

    Her relatives said she had been alternating between lucid, calm, and sweet, which was her, to violent, cursing, and incoherent which wasn't her (she was valedictorian of her high school class).

    They have also sent for the pastor at that point, and he was about an hour behind having picked up his wife on the way.

    We were talking with the girl and her parents when she suddenly bolted straight out of the chair and to the window and said the Pastor is on his way up the trail now (to get to their house you had to leave your vehicle at the village center, which is normally a meeting hall with a basketball court in front) and walk a mile, or less, up a small, dusty carabao trail.

    She got agitated with every minute, until finally, when the pastor and his wife got to the house, we were restraining her. Five burly men. Four of whom were used to heavy labor, were heavily muscled, and one city boy who lifted weights and let me tell you, it was more than we could handle from a 100 lb, five foot two teenager.

    To cut to the chase, some kind of "exorcism" happened. No, nobody beat up the girl, nobody tied her up, nobody slapped her around. It was the Bible, prayers, and I would daresay love, but things finally quieted down for that household and that girl.

    Now she would probably have been diagnosed as schizophrenic or manic deppresive (sp?) here in the States, or maybe even by doctors in Manila, and placed into a mental institution and a regimen of drugs, which would probably have done her more harm than good.

    She's now a grandmother twice over from what we've heard, and a faithful churchgoer. The pastor who visited her had gone on to the Lord, hopefully.

    The thing is she could have very well been manic deppresive or schizophrenic if we didn't know the story, but how does one clearly define the boundaries between what seems obvious to the human eyes and what is of the spirit ?

    You wonder how many of the "hopeless" mental cases out there are really demonic possessions, and how many of those said to be "demonic" are actually real mental cases.

    I wonder about people like Manson, and Richard Speck, or Ted Bundy, Gacy, and even the gangsters of the roaring 20's and 30's. Or cult leaders like Jim Jones and those of Heaven's Gate and others, and even so-called "Christian" leaders of today.
     
    #12 pinoybaptist, Apr 3, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 3, 2007
  13. bapmom

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    my pastor dealt with a case of demon possession about a year ago. It was with a teenage boy who was attending a Christian school that's for just bus kids, which is relevant because it means he was not being raised in a Christian home - but he was voluntarily attending a Christian school. According to his own testimony his possession started after he began attending the school - which would explain how he was able to make some sort of profession and become a student there in the first place.

    No one realized his demon possession (that I know of) until he began trying to respond to a gospel message and was asked point-blank if he wanted to trust in Jesus Christ as his saviour. That's when "it" all let loose. My pastor is not a small man, and he and several other men had a hard time restraining this boy from hurting himself.

    The demon was only cast out when the boy was finally able to call on Jesus for himself.

    The Bible gives us a way to tell if it is demon possession or not......can the person declare that Jesus Christ is alive and risen from the tomb. This boy in my example could not - the demon kept insisting that Jesus was dead.
     
  14. preachinjesus

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    I have.

    pretty much where I'm at. Mental illness is a major issue but we often forget there might be some other things at work. My thing is that when a (mature) Christian encounters someone who is demon possessed they know it immediately. The Holy Spirit gives us discernment for a reason, and I've had my discernment bell go off on a number of occassions when I've encountered a demon possessed person.

    There is a marked difference between demon possession and mental illness.
     
  15. Baptist Believer

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    Essentially, I believe you are correct.

    However, in my opinion, one can be mentally ill without being demonized, but one cannot be demonized without suffering mental illness.
     
  16. Bible Believing Bill

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    Absolutly Correct!


    This is the problem with extremes, they don't really address the issue, they try to prove a flawed position. Unfortunatly many in our Churches today believe the frist extreme quoted above. I attribute this position to people being fearful of what they do not understand.


    I am not going to shoot a bullet at you sister. However, I disagree to your use of the word many. Yes there are some who are simply self-absorbed and selfish, but these traits are also symptoms of some mental illnesses. It is the same thing as the demon possesed, not demon possesed argument in that it is often hard to tell which side of the line someone falls on.

    And that is the biggest problem in discussing this topic. As bapmom points out the only way to tell is can the afflicted person call upon the Saviour. If they can then it is mental illness and if they can't it could very well be demon possession.

    While I agree that epliepsy is not a mental illness, I think we should remember that mental illnesses, epilepsy, and Alzheimer's are all different types of brain disorders. The brain is by far the most complex and least understood organ of the body. As research is done on any of these disorders it adds to our understanding of the brain and has the potential to help us find treatments and/or cures for all brain disorders.

    My next statement is not to point a finger at anyone so please don't take it that way. It seems important to Brother Tim that epilepsy not be classified as a mental illness. Why is that? My guess would be that it has to do with the stigma attached to having a mental illness. We all need to fight the stigma attached mental illness. Any stigma attached to any illness is unfair. We should never look down upon anyone who is suffering.


    Bill
     
  17. rbell

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    Actually, I think that Tim was saying he would bristle at anyone insinuating that his son's epilepsy was a demonic issue. And he would do right to be upset. A brain disorder is amoral. Demonic possession indicates that the evil one is in control of us.

    Anyone who would lump epilepsy and demonic possession together should have his/her own head examined.
     
  18. Bible Believing Bill

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    :laugh::laugh::laugh:

    Unfortunately there are people out there that will classify any behavior they don't understand as demonic possession.

    Bill
     
  19. tinytim

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    rbell is right... I know my son is not demon possesed but he has epilepsy.
    His brain surgery from his epilepsy has left him with about an IQ of 75.
    So when it was insinuated that mental illness is caused by demons, I wanted to make sure they were not talking about epilepsy.

    Some people just need to get an education about an issue before they start sounding like the mother off of the movie "Waterboy"

    "It's of the deeeeeviiil!"
    That foosball's of the deevil!

    I believe demon possession exists, and Bapmom has laid out a good guideline to recognize it.
     
  20. dan e.

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    I'm no expert at mental illnesses, and would never attempt to disprove they exist. I certainly believe that there are mental illnesses that are simply medical issues. I do think this is an interesting topic though, because while there are some who would think that anything related is a demon, I would say that there are many who would discount a demon's existence. I've run into many who would do the opposite and classify everything as a mental/medical issue. My in-laws direct a children's home in Southern Brazil and it is common for them to handle children influenced by demons. I think some foolishly discount spiritual oppression/possession, and attribute it with a medical issue. In my mind (which is no real authority on these issues), depression is a big one in the States. Have an emotional problem? You're depressed and need anti-depressents. This is the thing I am most critical and skeptical of. I believe MOST (I'm not bold enough to say ALL, but maybe it is all) depression cases are spiritual issues, not a "clinical depression".
     

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