Is it Madness or the Devil?
I was once possessed by a demonic spirit. At least that’s what the church told me. I was held down by four sisters of the faith while the mother of the congregation touch my forehead calling forth the demonic influence. I was speaking in a foreign tongue, much like their own but strangely I was speaking from another realm. Simultaneously they turned to face what was dwelling inside me. I was the enemy in their midst, and I must leave at once.
It seems the cross around my neck must be cast away, as it was the object which opened the door to hell. A cross, a symbol of my own spirituality, but tainted somehow by the person who gave it to me. I was healed then and there and sent home as if nothing happened.
Do you believe my story?
But this is not about me at all, even though my personal account paves the way for what I wish to discuss. It’s about why we do this. I question the authenticity of my “exorcism” per say.
The exorcism-is this a genuine practice for the dispelling of evil spirits or is this just a tool used to battle mental illness which, for the church, masquerades as demon possession? Better yet, are we killing those who simply need more powerful medication and therapy?
All good questions
I am diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder with psychotic tendencies. I see things, hear things and even smell things that aren’t there. Considering I have spent many years in a full gospel nondenominational church, I also speak in tongues. You see the pattern?
So, if I were to have a severe anxiety attack with psychosis and started to pray in my spirit language, seeking help from my God, would I again be labeled as possessed.
Maybe, maybe not.
The church has different standpoints on mental illness. The catholic church, for instance sees mental illness as a separate ailment from possession. In fact, the Catholic church has a long list of conditions that must be met before an exorcism can be performed. Although they have around 10 licensed exorcists, these soldiers of God cannot move until all other possibilities are exhausted. This means, in cases of mental illness, demon possession is not the culprit, or at least not dwelling within the body. In some cases, where demons are thought to be responsible, deliverance, not exorcism is the way to deal with mental disorders. In other words, the demons are working from without instead of from within.
Other religions view mental illness as a cover for demon possession. IN fact, all illnesses and problems are believed to be caused by demons. In Christian churches, to dispel a demon may not take exorcism, but will required anointing and cover to remove the demon while protecting the congregation. It is a less extensive ceremony but still seen as a dangerous endeavor. A short or more portable form of demon extraction is daily speaking against the negative spirit and speaking life instead. Whether this is true or not it seems to work well for the majority of Christian followers.
I fasted and I prayed, denying myself sustenance and association with unsavory things. I prayed day and night warding off the demon which kept wanting to regain admittance. Weeks after my deliverance, it knocked at the door of my psyche. Only rigorous denial of pleasures would keep the demon out.
This was my life for months after the church cast out my demon. It got better after that but in time, the demon returned. I left the church and followed my own whims. I returned to the church, but hid the demonic spirit deep within. Sometimes I think they can see it, and other times, I fit right in.
Am I really possessed, probably not. That’s why I refuse to give it up again. I think maybe it’s just my freedom they wish to enslave, or simply the mania of my Bipolar disorder.
This brings me to another important factor of possession and the exorcism. Is it abusive to cast out demons? If you watch horror movies, you’ve probably seen terrible stories of exorcisms and demonic possession. Starving and binding of the alleged possessed are only some of the harsh practices of the exorcism. During the period of casting out the demon, the victim sometimes lies in their own excrement and screams obscenities day and night. It’s easy to see why this would appear abusive, and in a way it is. But what lengths must be taken to remove the dark entity?
What if I am possessed, and what if I refuse to close the door to the darkened devil? This means that with each passing moment, the demon’s roots are traveling deeper and taking anchor to my soul. It would make perfect sense that the longer you allow a demonic spirit to take up residence, the harder it will be to make it leave. By now, if I am truly possessed and I wanted the church to dispel my demon, it might be a truly horrific ordeal. I could die as well.
Yes, during some exorcisms, the victim dies. It is a risk that they church and family know and accept. This goes way beyond abuse, if this is all but a farce. If not, it is a necessary risk to bring balance to the light and dark. It simply must be done for the health of all mankind.
I’m not so sure about any of it.
So, what do you think?