Can a Christian Have an Unclean Spirit?
Volume III
The Psychology and Book Apologetics

Volume III: The Psychology and Book Apologetics

This volume of the book deals with all the psychological aspects of this subject. The fields of psychology and demonology overlap each other. In the past, many who were mentally ill were thought to be possessed. Today, any who might be possessed are simply said to be psychotic or to have a multiple personality. But what are these mental conditions really like and did Jesus cure mental illness by exorcism? The second part of this volume deals with book apologetics, i.e. it answers entire books that deal with this same subject from the opposite point of view since they deny the existence and influence of demonic spirits. The following is a list chapters in this volume. Book length: 232 pages.

Table of Contents

List of Charts
Abbreviations and Translations

Chapter 11: Epilepsy: The Archproof

I. The epileptic boy
II. New Testament epilepsy and possession
III. The medical nature of epilepsy
IV. A demonological interpretation of epilepsy
A word of warning

Chapter 12: Hysteria: The Archetype

I. Conversion hysteria
II. Dissociation hysteria
III. A demonological interpretation of hysteria

Chapter 13: The Neuroses and Psychoses

I. The neuroses
II. The psychoses
III. A demonological interpretation of the neuroses and psychoses

Chapter 14: The Mind, Drugs, and Spirits

I. Medical facts about mind-altering drugs
II. The religious or mystical effects of mind-altering drugs
III. Yoga and drugs
IV. Zen and drugs
V. Spontaneous mysticism
VI. Primitive religions and drugs
VII. The shaman and drugs
VIII. Witchcraft and drugs
IX. Lycanthropy and drugs
X. A demonological interpretation of drug usage

Chapter 15: Reply to Dr. Reddin

A. No man can serve two masters.
B. Exorcism is not mentioned in James 5:14-16 as a method for healing Christians.
C. In scripture, oppressed believers were never exorcised.
D. The epistles make no mention of Christians being demonized.
E. Everything that is attributed to unclean spirits in believers is merely the works of the flesh.
F. The idea that a Christian can have an unclean spirit "grossly blurs the distinction between `Christian' and `non-Christian.'"
G. The arguments that a Christian can have an unclean spirit are based on reason and experience, not on scripture.
H. Theology must be based upon paragraphs of scripture, not upon single words.
I. In Romans 7, Paul's struggle was with the flesh, not with spirits.
J. "Pulling down the strongholds" does not refer to exorcism.
K. Neither the "binding and loosing" passages nor the "binding of the strong man" passage refers to exorcism.
L. Attempting to "bind the strong man" in so many different places implies that Satan is omnipresent.
M. Exorcism is for non-Christians, not Christians.
N. The special instructions of modern exorcists for their subjects during the exorcism process is not found in scripture.
O. An unclean spirit can no more enter the Body of Christ than it can enter Christ Himself.
P. Only the Word of God is needed "as our sole guide for faith and practice." (I.e. there is no need for books on demonology.)
Q. Modern demonology is based on human experience, not scripture.
R. Paul warned against getting involved in the wisdom of man, different doctrines, myths, or vain babblings.
S. "An over-emphasis on the work of demons leaves an under-emphasis on the work of God."
T. This idea that a Christian could have an unclean spirit causes widespread confusion and fear.
U. Paul pronounced a curse on any who would preach another Gospel.

Chapter 16: Reply to Dr. Cortes

1. The Gospel writers did not mean to suggest that demoniacs actually had unclean spirits within them.
2. In the New Testament a "demon" is not a true substantive.
3. A better translation for "evil spirit" is "evil power."
4. In the gospels the number of spirits said to be inside a person was often confused between one and many.
5. The gospels do not portray Jesus as being an exorcist.
6. One reason to support the above statement is the fact that Jesus used the same method to treat the sick as He did to treat the possessed, showing that the latter were just sick.
7. A second reason to support the above is that Jesus never used spells, rituals, adjurations, incantations, or invocations in His so-called "exorcisms."
8. A third reason is that the possessed were often said to be "healed" when they were cured.
9. A forth reason is that Jesus spoke to the spirits in the same way that He spoke to the winds and the fevers.
10. A fifth reason is that spirits were said to "come out" which is similar to saying that sicknesses "left."
11. A sixth reason is that Jesus occasionally laid His hands on the possessed to cure them just as He did to the sick.
12. Jesus did not give the apostles the power to cast out spirits; He only gave them the power to heal.
13. Matthew 10:1, Luke 9:1, and Mark 6:7 are all parallel passages; since the first two refer only to healing, Mark's mention of the power of exorcism must just refer to the power of healing.
14. In Luke 10:9 Jesus gave His disciples only the power to heal; the disciples then used that power to cure the possessed.
15. The singular power to heal the sick was interpreted as including the power to cast out unclean spirits.
16. Because the Greek term exorkiz , "to adjure," is never used in the New Testament, exorcisms never occurred.
17. To resort to exorcism in an attempt to help someone is the same as hunting for the devil.
18. Just as Jesus' calling Judas a "devil" cannot be taken literally, so any reference to unclean spirits cannot be taken literally.
19. Similarly, Jesus' calling Peter "Satan" cannot be taken literally.
20. The idea that there was actually a "dumb and deaf spirit" cannot be taken literally.
21. The idea that a spirit wanders about the earth when it comes out of a person cannot be taken literally.
22. The idea that an unclean spirit would use the name of God when appealing to Jesus cannot be taken literally.
23. In ancient times possession was common, but now it is rare.
24. Biblical exorcisms were probably just the result of the spontaneous recovery of neurotics.
25. Unclean spirits in the New Testament did not really know that Jesus was the Christ.
26. The spirits' reference to Jesus as the "Holy One of God" does not imply a special knowledge of Jesus' deity.
27. Even Satan was not certain that Jesus was the Christ.
28. Jesus did not really cast unclean spirits out of the Legion man.
29. The bent woman of Luke 13 did not have unclean spirits within her.
30. Saying that the woman of Luke 13 was "bound" or "loosed" implies only external spirit activity.
31. The expression, "spirit of sickness," of Luke 13 does not refer to a real spirit.
32. The Legion man's case was merely one of multiple personality.
33. Only the Legion man himself spoke, not some unclean spirit.
34. In the Greek the definite article for "the" never precedes the word for "demon" showing that the latter does not refer to a true substantive.

Chapter 17: Reply to Dr. Sargant

A. The psychological drug-excitation therapy, used to treat hysterical soldiers, is equivalent to exorcism.
B. The phenomenon of possession can be explained in terms of abnormal states of brain activity.
C. There is a similarity between the drug-excitation therapy and the drugged-drum-dancing healing rituals of primitive religions.
D. There is a link between divine ecstasy and sexual ecstasy.
E. The conversion process of Christianity is very similar to the psychological abreactive and excitatory therapy.
F. John Wesley produced converts in his revivals by making them have nervous breakdowns through his awful hell-fire and brimstone preaching.
G. The one-track mind about God that new converts acquire is a symptom of the nervous breakdown they have suffered.
H. Baptism causes personality changes in new converts by subjecting them to an intense fear of drowning.
I. God-possession is common among primitive religions; Jesus Himself became possessed by the Holy Spirit during His baptism.
J. When the apostle Paul spoke in tongues, he was actually experiencing trance-like fits of hysterical ecstasy.
K. Sex and religion are often combined; in Christianity some Middle Age nuns felt themselves physically loved by Jesus.

Final Conclusions

Summary of Volume III

Chapter 11: Epilepsy: the Archeproof

Epilepsy stands at the center of the debate of whether or not a Christian can have an unclean spirit because Jesus cured epilepsy by casting out a spirit. However, some believe that the boy of Matthew 17 was not "epileptic," but "lunatic." Yet all the Greek lexicons agree that the word in question means "epileptic." So if epilepsy can be caused by a spirit, and Christians can have epilepsy, then here is real proof that a Christian can have an unclean spirit. However, there is more than one type of epilepsy; are Christians immune to one type and not to another? Is there a type which may be caused by a spirit and a type which is purely natural? To discover the answer to this question, the medical nature of this condition is explored. There are some surprises to be found in this information. (30 pages)

Chapter 12: Hysteria: the Archetype

Hysteria is also central to the study of demonology because what used to be called "possession" is now called "hysteria." "Hysteria" does not refer to a panic-stricken person, but is something quite different. What is it; what is its medical or psychological nature; are Christians immune to it? Is it really just dissociated mechanisms from the person's subconsciousness, as psychiatrists claim, or is there more to it?

One of the most bizarre forms of hysteria is multiple personality, which includes the case of the Eve of "The Three Faces of Eve." Were any of these patients Christians? More surprises are found here. (65 pages)

Chapter 13: The Neuroses and Psychoses

We know that Christians can become neurotic or psychotic. Are spirits involved in either of these illnesses? To determine this, the medical and psychological nature of these conditions are explored. This includes: studying the neuroses such as anxiety, phobia, obsession, compulsion, depression; and studying the psychoses such as paranoia, depression, mania, and schizophrenia. If it appears that spirits might be involved in any of these, theories must be developed to explain how they are involved, and what is the balance between the natural and spiritual elements of these conditions. This is because no spirit-caused condition is one-hundred percent spiritual, not even possession; all spirits are limited to working through the physiology and psychology of the subject. (19 pages)

Chapter 14: The Mind, Drugs, and Spirits

If spirits may be involved in epilepsy, the neuroses, and the psychoses, why can some of these conditions be treated (though not cured) by drugs? And why, conversely, do other drugs seem to promote the activity of spirits, such as the psychedelic and other mind-altering drugs? Most Third World religions use drugs and asceticism to produce spiritual experiences, as a means of putting their devotees into contact with their "gods." So is there a connection between the mind, drugs, and spirits? (32 pages)

Chapter 15: Reply to Dr. Reddin

It is not enough to answer various objections to the idea that a Christian can have an unclean spirit; there are also entire books written against this idea. These objecting works come from all directions, from the fundamentalists, from the liberals, and from the non-Christian psychiatrists. The fundamentalist viewpoint is represented in a book by Dr. Opal Reddin and nine of her colleagues at Central Bible College, Springfield, Missouri. Their book is called, Power Encounter: A Pentecostal Perspective.

Though their credentials are impeccable, the arguments of these theologians are extremely weak. The passages they cite to "prove" that a Christian cannot have an unclean spirit have little or nothing to do with internal demonic bondages. For instance, they repeatedly refer to Matthew 6:24, the passage that says no man can serve two masters, as one such "proof." But what does this have to do with demonology? Why should anyone think that those who are harassed by unclean spirits are "serving" the devil? This is a dangerous attitude, the same one that lead to the prosecution of the possessed during the witch hunts of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. At that time the possessed were identified with witches, which resulted in their being imprisoned, tortured and executed along with witches! By citing such passages as Matthew 6:24, these theologians demonstrate that they are out of contact with the realities of this subject.

Dr. Reddin and her colleagues further criticize those who have made demonology their life-long study, but their lack of understanding demonstrates their failure to invest any real amount of time and energy into studying this matter. Hence, their thought and arguments are fraught with weakness. (24 pages)

Chapter 16: Reply to Dr. Cortes

Dr. Juan Cortes, a liberal, has produced a similar book entitled, The Case Against Possessions and Exorcisms: A Historical, Biblical, and Psychological Analysis of Demons, Devils, and Demoniacs. His credentials are impressive: the holder of a masters degree in philosophy, a doctorate in theology, and a Ph.D in clinical psychology, and having been both a student and a professor at Harvard. However, his errors in the use of New Testament Greek and in his interpretation of scripture are easily exposed. For instance, he claims that a "demon" is not a true substantive, not a real "thing," but merely an impersonal "force" or "influence." He supports this claim by stating that in the Greek the word "demon" is never preceded by the definite article "the." But the fact is, out of a total of fifty-five listings for this word in the New Testament, the definite article precedes it in thirty-one of these cases (which are listed), which is 56% of the total. This is a far cry from "never." (28 pages)

Chapter 17: Reply to Dr. Sargant

The psychological viewpoint is represented by Dr. William Sargant in two of his books: Battle for the Mind, and The Mind Possessed: A Psychology of Possession, Mysticism, and Faith Healing. His books are interesting, and his contribution to the treatment of the soldiers who suffered nervous breakdowns during World War II was significant. However, when he tries his hand in the field of religion, he is obviously unqualified. He holds such beliefs as, the Christian conversion process is the result of a nervous breakdown, the apostle Paul suffered trance-like hysterical fits of ecstasy when he spoke in tongues, and exorcism is equivalent to his drug-excitation treatment for hysteria. His lack of understanding of the religious domain and of the spiritual realities essentially hamstrings the effect of his argument. (15 pages)

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