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Micael Grenholm, a Swedish charismactivist, apologist and author.

Micael Grenholm, a Swedish charismactivist, apologist and author.

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Are All Christians Demon-Possessed Until Proven Innocent?

bill-johnson

Bill Johnson, heresy hunted true prophet

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. (more…)

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Greg Boyd on Casting Out Demons

boydSo I was listening to the Woodland Hills Podcast the other day where pastor Greg Boyd was speaking on spiritual warfare and delivering demonized people, and he shared a testimony about an exorcism that blew me away. “Wow”, I thought, “that was an awesome testimony!”

I asked him on Twitter if I could share that piece of the sermon on my YouTube channel to which he kindly responded “No problem Micael. We own NOTHING. So give away freely!!”

After discussing how he sometimes is ridiculed for taking the existence of satan seriously, even though it makes no sense why a Christian shouldn’t acknowledge the existence of satan and demons, Boyd shares how two girls once manifested demonic activity after he had rebuked satan at a church meeting. One of them grabbed him with surprising strength, rolled her left eye counter-clockwise three times and tossed him away from her. Thankfully, both of the girls were delivered and joined the church.

Also, check out Boyd’s excellent post on the existence of a spiritual realm.

To what extent can a Christian be demonized? Part 1

Guest blog by Lars Gunther.

This is a reworded and expanded version of a comment that I wrote on this blogMicael wrote a post on the issue of demonization, arguing that a believer can indeed be a victim of demons afflicting him or her from within the body, and thus be in need of having that demon being cast “out”, and not merely cast “away”. It is clear from the depictions of how Jesus defeats the demons that they can dwell within a person and that they upon being confronted with the presence of Jesus sometimes manifest themselves or that they produce loud noises and/or shake the bodies of their victims violently during their departure. (Note that demons in the New Testament do not cause their victims to shout and/or shake all the time, but that this happens as a result of the encounter with Jesus or a follower of Jesus ministering in His authority and power.)

Instinctively western Christians, being unused to these kind of phenomena, may wish to avoid the subject. However, demons are real even if they usually hide themselves. and the question of deliverance being necessary will sooner or later appear for a follower of Jesus, trying to obey his every command (Matt 28:19-20), including the ones to heal the sick, raise the dead and cast out demons (Matt 10:7-8).

In this post I will defend the proposition that Christians can indeed be in need of having demons cast out and the general approach to this topic as it was taught by John Wimber and his associates. (more…)

Can Christians be possessed by demons?

Jesus Exorcism

Jesus Exorcism

The Assemblies of God (AoG), the biggest Pentecostal denomination in the US, has famously argued that it is impossible for Christians to be possessed; no one who has received the Holy Spirit, they say, can be overtaken by demonic forces. This differs from the view shared by many neo-Pentecostals, charismatics, Catholics as well as many Pentecostals in the majority world (Asia, Africa and Latin America), who all say that Christians might actually become demonized.

When John Wimber, the founder of the Vineyard movement, was asked if he believed that Christians could have demons, he provokingly replied “Well yeah, I’ve cast them out of pastors!” His wife Carol wrote in her biography about her husband something like: “When we encountered a demon, we simply cast it out – without checking baptismal records. What else could we do? Wait until they become Hindus and then cast them out?”

Now, AoG-folks and like-minded may object that such allegorical evidence does not mean much compared to arguments from Scripture. Which is generally true, although in this particular case the usual claim concerning extra-Biblical supernatural phenomena – it’s a demonic deception! – is quite counterproductive. But the Bible is always important in theological matters, so let’s have a look.  (more…)

Delivering the Demonized

Me and pastor Jeremiah, delivering the demonized in South Africa

Me and pastor Jeremiah, delivering the demonized in South Africa

I witnessed my first exorcism five years ago. A friend who belonged to my church – a very gentle, humorous and smart person – started to act extremely weird during worship; shouting and shaking uncontrollably. The other church members quickly started to pray, and as they brought Michael, who previously had told me that he had a lot of experience when it comes to deliverance, I knew things were serious.

It was pretty terrifying of course, realizing that something else may be controlling my friend’s body. I was even more upset when Michael failed to cast out the demons that day. Their filthy activities continued for several weeks when we met for worship, until they finally were driven away by prayer and the Word of God.

Delivering people from demons is of course a very Biblical practice. We read in the Gospels:

Just then a man in their synagogue who was possessed by an impure spirit cried out, “What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!”

“Be quiet!” said Jesus sternly. “Come out of him!” The impure spirit shook the man violently and came out of him with a shriek. – Mark 1:23-26

(more…)