My friend Mikael Skogsén is a pastor with a strong prophetic gift who regularly updates his Facebook with testimonies about words of knowledge, healings and salvations that happen in his everyday life. I got his permission to share one of the testimonies, which I did yesterday on my Swedish blog. It’s an amazing story about how he and his friend were eating on a restaurant, when suddenly Mikael starts prophesying about the waiter’s fiancee in Germany and proclaimed healing in his aching back. The man was of course eventually saved.
Now, some people started to suspect and accuse Mikael of using the power of psychic spirits, similar to occultists in Asia, which would produce apparent healings that eventually result in depression and even worse ailments. Now, I’ve grown accustomed to heresy hunters, people who spend too much time on the Internet arguing that millions of charismatic Christians are possessed by Kundalini spirits and that influential Pentecostal leaders like Bill Johnson are false prophets. I’ve argued against their bad arguments time and again. That’s not new. What really bothers me is that it seems that many of these people automatically assume that if a Christian experiences supernatural stuff, it must be demons.
See, when heresy hunters attack Bill Johnson or Todd Bentley they at least have a lot of resources online to base their judgment on (even if they all-too-often aren’t doing much research). These are famous pastors whose theology and practice have been publicly debated. But Mikael Skogsén isn’t famous. The people who commented on my post hadn’t even heard of him before. And yet, the knee-jerk reaction is that his supernatural ministry is demonic.
This is an absurd consequence of frequent heresy hunting. In practice, every single Christian who experiences miracles is presumed to be demon-possessed until proven innocent. I don’t think this is an exaggeration at all; I remember reading through a forum some time ago where the hunters discussed who modern-day true prophets were. The only ones they could come up with were Christian leaders who didn’t experience any miracles, but like the hunters spent most of their times complaining of how others were false prophets.
Defending their view, heresy hunters often point to Biblical texts about how there will be false prophets and false signs and wonders (Mt 24:24, 1 Jn 4:1 etc). But the existence of falsehood does not mean that we should a priori assume that all Christians who do miracles are demonic. In fact, “no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, ‘Jesus be cursed,’ and no one can say, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ except by the Holy Spirit.” (1 Cor 12:3), and “A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit.” (Mt 7:18)
To assume that a Christian pastor whose miraculous ministry results in people accepting Jesus as their Lord and Savior is demonic is like assuming that a nurse is a murderer. Surely, it’s not impossible that Christians are demonised or that nurses are murderers, but it is unreasonable and unlivable to assume that this is normally the case until proven innocent. You won’t get much treatment in the hospital if you a priori assume that the staff there want to kill you, and you won’t do much for the Kingdom of God if you a priori assume that everyone does everything in the power of Asian demonic spirits.