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Satan, Lucifer, demons, demon possession, and exorcism.

Demon possession and Christians in court

Postby Heart of Gold » Wed Oct 26, 2016 11:40 am

As a Bible believer, do you accept biblical arguments such as demon possession and God-directed actions as a defense in court?
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Re: Demon possession and Christians in court

Postby jimwalton » Wed Oct 26, 2016 11:50 am

As a Bible believer, I believe in spirit beings. (It's pretty much necessary to believe in God, a Spirit being.) The Bible speaks of many different kinds and ranks of spiritual beings: cherubim, seraphim, angels, the Accuser (Satan), demons, principalities ("rulers"), powers ("authorities"), and spiritual forces of evil. Therefore, I accept biblical arguments such as demon possession. While certain claims of demon possession can be attributed to mental illness, I'm not convinced that is the only possible or even necessarily the most reasonable explanation for all aberrant behavior. I believe in demon possession.

As far as God-directed actions as a defense in court, it depends what you are talking about. Many people claim to have had a word from God or a voice from God when they haven't, and their actions are merely the result of misjudgment, misguidedness, mistakenness, or downright evil or malice. But as a Christian who is a Bible believer, I do believe that God can and direct our actions. In the NT, Peter and John were commanded by God to preach publicly the good news of Jesus' resurrection. The governing authorities ("court") ordered them to cease and desist, and they refused, using their God-directed actions as a defense in court. So it depends to what you are referring.
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Re: Demon possession and Christians in court

Postby Heart of Gold » Wed Oct 26, 2016 12:38 pm

Let's say a defendant claimed he was not guilty of rape because he was/is possessed by a demon. Would you consider this a feasible defense?

Let's say an employer fired a worker and is being sued for wrongful termination. The employer pleads not guilty and claims that God instructed him to fire that individual. Would this be a feasible defense?
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Re: Demon possession and Christians in court

Postby jimwalton » Wed Oct 26, 2016 12:42 pm

Case A: Rapist claims demon possession. No, I wouldn't consider this a feasible defense. It's not the nature or expression of demon possession as taught in the Bible or, as far as I know, of any literature on demon possession.

Case B: Wrongful termination. No, I wouldn't consider this a feasible defense. This is not the nature of God's work in the world or how he reveals himself to people.

We learn about the spirit world from the teachings of the Bible, and so we have to follow what the Bible teaches about the motives and actions of God and of demons. Neither of your hypothetical situations fits the template, so I would say "no" in both cases.
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Re: Demon possession and Christians in court

Postby Heart of Gold » Wed Oct 26, 2016 2:39 pm

A: Demon possession in the Bible can get pretty obscure. 1 Samuel 16:23: So it came about whenever the evil spirit from God came to Saul, David would take the harp and play it with his hand; and Saul would be refreshed and be well, and the evil spirit would depart from him.

B: Lot's daughters were instructed to rape by God.
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Re: Demon possession and Christians in court

Postby jimwalton » Thu Nov 10, 2016 7:36 pm

Great comments. Glad to have the discussion.

A: 1 Samuel 16.23. The terminology of the verse ("evil") should be read in the sense of "injurious". This isn't demon possession. In the Bible God brings both discipline and judgment for those who are disobedient and rebellious. On a national level, He even brought enemy armies to bring defeat to Israel. Saul's mental illness began only after his confrontation with Samuel in 1 Samuel 15, and was due to his rebellion against God. He admitted in 1 Sam. 24.16-21, in a confession, that "I have treated you badly." The mental agony, depression, mental illness that Saul was experiencing was a result of his own conflicted soul, and not a case of demon possession perpetrated by God.

B: Genesis 19.30-38: Lot's daughters rape their father. You have misread the text. The text says absolutely nothing about God instructing them to rape their father, nor does it imply or even hint such a thing.


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