Can We Really Believe in Demonic Possession?

In taking seriously the issue we need to be wise to those who would glam on to the opportunity provided by stoking either fear or fascination with the occult. We confess and testify to the veracity of the negative spiritual world and its existence to be sure. That being said we must be able to see that which is true and bring the full weight of God’s cleansing power upon its destruction. 

Thinking through how demon possession works in 2023 and how it remains an active force even when so many people do not believe in its existence can be a difficult labor. In some ways writing on this matter can sound like taking time to ponder through leprechauns, fairies, and other mystical forest creatures. Most enlightened people, usually of a settled upper-middle class bourgeoisie mindset are of the opinion that we have moved passed such notions and need to spend our time in the real world. However, it has been the opinion of the last several Tuesday essays that it is actually the comfortable suburban types who need to get with the program. Not only is demonic activity still with us, denying its existence is dangerous for the well-being of humanity. The aforementioned forest deities are likewise more with us than some would bother to consider. More on them later.

Today as we get back into the question I want to ask a few leading questions. First of all, why, or better yet, how did we get into a world where so few want to believe in the presence of the spiritual, whether good or bad. The answer to that goes back to man’s discovery in the 18th century that he no longer needed the superstitions of the past to grow crops or in his finding new scientific ways of accomplishing victories over nature previously thought impossible. Humanity’s confidence in itself, and unwillingness to see its failures made it immune to the noumenal realm. However, just like a dog who hides its face behind a telephone pole, merely because Dr. Ph.D. isn’t looking at the transcendent doesn’t mean it’s not there. Our haughtiness just makes us more blind and grants more power to the wicked spirits of this age.

That being said and while chronological snobbery may be the privilege of the age in which we live it is not the fact that we are in some sense smarter than those who came before us. We may have more access to information, but as I have noted before folks in the Bible knew the difference between what was actual and what was not. No one on the planet was more surprised their staffs turned to snakes than the sorcerers of Pharaoh’s house. Our forefathers in the Reformed faith, including the Father of the Puritans William Perkins who wrote the English manual on demonic activities were likewise concerned that we treat the subject with fairness and honesty. Perkins made a distinction between actual witches and those who by reason of whipping themselves up conjured a feeling of demonic activity.

Read More