7 Facts From the Gospels That Would Get Jesus Thrown out of Your Church

 

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Even after two thousand years of attempting to adjust to Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, the Church still finds the literal life and ministry of Jesus Christ too extreme to follow (or even teach).

Initially, none sound too radical—so long as they stay on the pages of the Bible (you know . . . where they belong). But strip your mind of the fairy tale-type mentalities that surround them. Imagine these literally happening today—-in your church on a Sunday morning. What I think you will realize is that when we remove centuries of caked on commentary, and religious jargon, it quickly becomes apparent that there is little place for the Jesus of the Gospels in our churches. In many ways, He was and is everything the modern Christian disdains.

 

Don’t believe me?

 

Have a look 🙂

 

 

1. He both taught, and demonstrated speaking to inanimate objects to make them obey you (Matt 21:20-21).

Theologians can explain it away all day (and they do). If there were any doubt about what Jesus was referring to when He told His disciples to talk to mountains, the preceeding verses remove it. When read in context, we see Jesus had just spoken to a real tree, and says “not only will you be able to do what was done to the tree but if you say to this mountain . . . ”

 

 

 

2. He taught 100% success in prayer (Matt 7:7, Matt 21:22, John 16:24).

This was before the days of, “sometimes God says yes, sometimes He says no, sometimes He says wait a while.

The idea of not receiving what you ask in prayer is completely foreign to the life and teachings of Jesus.

He also rejected weird religious idioms that still surround the concepts of prayer today. Such as the genie mentality that claims if you ask God for something, you can never truly be sure what to expect (Matt 7:8-11). He may give it to you . . .

. . . Or He may decide to kill you instead.

And if you think that is an exaggeration of what many mainstream churches are teaching—–I truly wish it were!

 

 

 

3. He made, “cruel and heartless” statements in times of tragedy that connected sin to physical calamity (Luke 13:4-5).

Jesus uses a recent accident in which 18 people were killed by a falling tower, and warned that unless there was repentance, more would perish. Young’s Literal Translation says they would perish in like manner.  He also told a man who had been crippled for 38 years to stop sinning otherwise a worse thing would happen to him.

 

 

 

 

4. He scolded His disciples for not being able to perform a miracle (Matt 17:15-20)

A man’s son is suffering from seizures. The disciples try, but are unable to help him. Upon seeing this, Jesus could have said something like, “It’s okay guys, you’re only human. I shouldn’t expect so much from you. The reason it didn’t work was because it was all part of God’s sovereign plan. He has decided to use the suffering of this child for His glory.“—Let’s be honest—- if it were 21st century jesus, that’s what it would have sounded like.

Instead of such comforting strokes that we so often hear in times of hopelessness and unanswered prayers, Jesus straight-up rebukes His followers. “You perverse and twisted generation! How long do I have to put up with you!?” (punctuation added).

 

 

 

5. He said the devil was behind disability (Lk 13:11-16, Mk 9:25).

In a world where God and Satan have apparently switched jobs (now a days God is blamed for sickness and disease) man, oh man would Christians get their panties in a bunch over such a claim. And it wouldn’t even need to happen on multiple occasions. Just once and someone would catch it on video or audio, and it would be thrown onto YouTube where it would then be devoured by ravenous Christians who confess to believe in the supernatural, so long as nobody actually takes it seriously.

 

 

 

6. He emphasized faith for miracles (Mark 11:23-24).

And no, it was not some general faith in God as sovereign, or that it’s, “all in His hands.”

No. It was purposeful, specific faith in the desired outcome. Contrary to popular opinion, Jesus very seldom (and one could argue—never) spoke about faith in God when it came to answered prayers. (We discussed this lie in a recent article.)

On another occasion He even said to a person, “your faith has healed you.”

Blasphemy! Faith doesn’t heal anyone. God does!

 

 

7. Most of His teachings on prayer were centered around how to get things (Mark 11:24 John 16:24)

He didn’t talk about how we are supposed to spend hours, “listening” for God’s voice in prayer (although I think we should). And He didn’t talk about how we should spend more time just thanking God in prayer (although I think we should.)

Now a days, all of us are trying to downplay asking God for things. Always coming up for reasons why prayers aren’t answered. How He isn’t a, “Cosmic Bellhop” etc etc. . . And yet—–When we actually read the accounts, we see that time and time again, Jesus is teaching us how to get what we need, and even what we desire by prayer. And He does it unabashedly and with great frankness.

 

 

 

Jesus

3 Reasons Being Born Gay Should Not be Compared to Being Born Black (or any other race)

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This article is neither for, nor against gay rights or the homosexual lifestyle. Instead, it’s simply  about removing misinformation and logical fallacies that lead people to conclusions they may not have arrived at otherwise. Dennis Prager, a man I greatly admire, often says, “I prefer clarity to agreement.” What that means is the point of the discussion is not to agree, but to clarify, bring to light, and to be honest. Whatever conclusion you come to after the misinformation has been identified, is up to you. The goal, therefore, is to frame the debate correctly— not decide the outcome.

Much like forcing a square peg into a round hole, the comparison of the homosexual community to a minority race has been repeatedly tried, but simply falls short of logic.

 

Why? Three reasons:

 

1. It’s Obvious a Person is Born Black

It is not, however, obvious, whether a person is born gay. While the debate of whether this can be proven continues to rage on, let’s assume it were true. This is still a far cry from proving that everyone who claims to be gay was born that way. As much as the media and extreme activists want to make this a black and white issue (no pun intended), there are other reasons a person lives the homosexual lifestyle. For example, no one wants to talk about the alarming number of homosexual men who were molested as boys by other men. The same with women who live their entire lives straight, have children, then, after a string of abusive relationships with men, begin getting involved with women.

This is a complex issue that we have attempted to simplify in order to make it more palatable to society at large. And many in this camp do not want a debate, discussion, or even questions about it. It’s much easier to paint the opposition as the same kind of racist bigots that resisted the Civil Rights Movement than to address some very legit concerns.

 

 

2. A Black Person Doesn’t Change Color

Many claim they lived a lie by getting married and even having children before they decided to come out as gay. Others say they didn’t, “realize it” until later on in life. Whatever sequence of events, or mental state it requires for such a shift to take place, one thing is certain: There is nothing in the realm of race that even resembles this phenomena.

 

 

3. Being Born Black is not a Way of Life

This is the biggest and most obvious difference. I once was talking to a proponent of the gay lifestyle (I say, “talking” they’d probably say, “arguing”) and I mentioned that gay people often wrongly associate with minority races and that it’s a fallacy to compare the two. They scoffed and laughed at me. I’d obviously shown how stupid I was for saying such a thing. But in order to make my point, I asked them two simple questions:

A person, who is born gay, unhindered by any influence from society, or religion, will most likely live what kind of lifestyle?

The obvious answer is the homosexual one, ie, they will pursue relationships with the same sex.

Alright.

Next question:

A person who is born black, unhindered by any influence from society or religion, will live what kind of lifestyle?

 

Uh . . . .

 

See the difference?

We are talking about a physical trait versus a way of life. That’s huge!  How can we possibly say that how a person physically looks is the same as how a person acts? Think about it. This is the very distinction Dr. Martin Luther King was attempting to make: A person should not be judged because of the color of their skin (how they look) but the content of their character (how they act).

This comparison is a fallacy that has gone unchecked for far too long.

Another person I asked these two questions to responded out of frustration and snarled, “The person born gay will live any kind of lifestyle they damn well please!”
To which I responded, “Agreed. Regardless of how we are born, we still choose the lifestyle we live.”

 

 

Living In Sin: An Accusation That Really Just Means, “I’m Better at Hiding My Sin Than You”

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So I think we’ve all heard the term. It’s a label pretty closely resembling the Scarlet Letter. A sentence that gets passed upon unfortunate souls who we feel have strayed from the paths of righteousness: Living in Sin.

 

I don’t really know why more Christians are not concerned about this topic.  I mean, the claim has been that if you’re, living in sin and die that way, you’ll go to hell. Others aren’t willing to say you’ll go to hell, but they’re also not willing to say with any certainty that you won’t. Then you have some folks who will tell you that as a Christian, you can’t lose your salvation at all—-comforting, right?  I thought so too . . . Until I found out that there is a  fine print disclaimer on this one that basically says, “oh, by the way, if you sin too much, you probably never were saved to begin with . . .  So you’re going to hell anyway.”

However one wishes to pronounce, “tomato” or, “potato”, the train of thought here is:

“living in sin” = “soul in jeopardy”

So, I think it’s time we stopped giving this subject the, under the rug treatment, and got some real answers.

 

M.I.A.

 

The issue I ran into almost immediately when investigating this topic in the Bible is that some of the greatest dynasties we have erected—-doctrines that are fundamental to our Christianity, are largely Missing in Action:

For instance,

The Bible really doesn’t mention or refer to a, “Hierarchy of Sin”–where some are worse than others.

Nor is there a, “Sin-O-Meter” which measures whether or not the number of sins exceed the, “allowed daily amount” by grace.

There’s also that weird Variety thing that no one has ever spoken out loud but sounds something like, “A variety of sins here and there is fine. We all do it. But when one sin is committed in a higher frequency than all the other average sins, well then I’m afraid you’ve crossed over into, living in sin.”——- In other words, God wants diversity when it comes to your transgressions. But He frowns on a concentrated amount of any one of them.

So, apparently with this idea, you just need to make sure your vices are proportional to one another.

Then you have probably the most popular of these ideas; what I call the, “Heart Monitor.” This is where we convince ourselves that if we are sorry for our sin, or feel bad when we do it, that this is somehow different from a person who sins without feelings of remorse.

 

 

So Then —What’s The Bible Really Say?

 

 

All of these concepts are actually quite difficult to find and extract application from in the Scriptures. I mean, sure, they are kind of . . .  sort of———————– ish in there. But they are certainly not as clearly outlined as most of us have been led to believe. And they are not anywhere close to being a measurable criteria for us to live by.

No, instead, it would seem that upon searching God’s Word what we find more than anything else is simply that sin is sin—- Either you do it or you don’t.

Some may point to Scriptures that talk about, practicing sin  such as 1 John 3:9 as if this is the dividing line between believers and non believers. But then gloss over the other part of the same verse which says a born again person cannot sin—–period. Not just practice sin, but sin at all. Even if that part wasn’t in there (or you decided to avoid the versions that translate it that way), there’s another problem we run into with this. And that’s the fact that nearly every professing Christian on the planet says they sin multiple times each day. One minister I recently heard on the radio said we sin, “constantly.

Yet . . . We’re suppose to believe this does not constitute practicing sin?

 

 

 

 

. . . Anyone else beginning to feel like there’s a few loose floor boards, up in dis’ house?

 

 

Now, some will wonder if we all violate this passage that speaks about practicing sin, then what does it mean?  Why would God write such a thing to us? It’s not the subject, but God actually tells us why He said what He did—- Chapter 2 reads, “I write these things to you so that you won’t sin.”  He didn’t say, “I write these things to you so you will know whose most likely going to hell.

I talk about this passage and others like it in an FAQ I wrote on the subject of The Grace Message.

 

What’s it all About?

 

This being the case, where does the whole, living in sin, thing come from? As previously pointed out, the Hierarchy, Sin-O-Meter, Heart Monitor, and Variety doctrines are largely bunk.

 

 

My theory?

 

 

I’ve  noticed that as I progress in my Christian walk, I’ve gotten pretty good at hiding my sin——-Come on . . . You know what I mean. Us seasoned folk have learned to talk the talk and walk the walk— in front of the right people.  In other words, sin tends to go underground and undercover over the life span of the average believer. We get so good at playing the game that we can be overly critical, judgmental, lustful, hateful and selfish—— inwardly, without skipping a beat (or should I say a, “Hallelujah”?) outwardly. As we become experts in this field, it seems we also become more aware of those who aren’t. 1 Corinthians mentions folks who compare themselves with and among themselves.  So if you think about it, the only way the, “living in sin” thing really works is if we compare ourselves with another human being.  I mean, we’ve already admitted to sinning, “constantly” and on a daily basis, so we certainly can’t compare ourselves to Christ and come away feeling like we’re not living in sin, can we? At least not without a couple hundred theological jumping jacks.

But when comparing ourselves to one another, it inevitably creates a lesser-of-two-evils type scenario. Then those who sin different from us, and aren’t quite the pros at hiding it that we are, will stand out. And let’s face it, there is a part of us that enjoys pointing these folks out. Just like looking at someone who is fatter than you (yes, I’m going there) makes you rationalize how fat you are, so this makes you feel better about your sin.

. . . I know, I know— it can be pretty disturbing when unconscious thoughts are put into words.

 

I have a knack for it!

superman

 

But, in all seriousness, I have a feeling the Holy Ghost has been dealing with a lot of us about this. Maybe finally hearing it out loud will cause us to think twice before accusing others of what we ourselves are still guilty of on a, “daily” and, “constant” basis.

Two Big Lies You Never Knew You Believed About Prayer

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You often hear people ask,  “Why aren’t the extraordinary things we read about in the Bible— the miracles, healings, etc, not happening today?

Firstly, the question is fallacious because these things are indeed happening (you probably just need to get out more).

But really, what we should be asking is, “Where are the type of people we read about in the Bible, who believed God in unrelenting faith for the miraculous and impossible?

See, we’ve been trying to put the blame off on God for why these things don’t happen as much but the truth is, God doesn’t change. People, on the other hand, are a whole other story.

 

The Lies We’ve Embraced

 

For the most part, the Church has allowed herself to be robbed of the miraculous and answered prayers as a result of buying into two big lies.

Lie #1:

We have substituted devotion for faith. Over time, we have equated these things as the same. You get people all the time saying things like, “Uncle so and so was a minister for 50 years and he loved the Lord more than anyone. Yet he died of cancer, and never saw his prayers answered. If anyone had faith, it was him!

Think about that statement. Notice how the assumption was made that if you have devotion, you have faith.

Devotion and faith are not the same—hence the reason one is called faith, and the other devotion. As a result of accepting this falsehood, we have made God out to be a liar and impugned His character. How? Because He promised (it’s amazing how lightly we take that word now a days) that all things would be possible for the person who believes. Yet, we have people all over who are not seeing the impossible in their lives, though they are ministers. Though they are committed. Though they love the Lord.

No, faith for answered prayers is not the same as love or devotion for the Lord.

Lie #2:

We took all the verses where Jesus spoke about the necessity of having faith in order to get answers to prayer, and we said He was referring to faith in God. So folks go around saying, “I have faith! I believe in God, I believe in Jesus.”

False.

When Jesus spoke about the object of faith which gets prayers answered, He did not say it was faith in God.

Shocked? I was too. Let’s take a look at a few instances in the Bible.

Mark 11:23, for instance, He does not say, “If you pray and tell God how much you believe in Him, the mountain will get up and fall into the sea.” What did He say? “Whosoever shall say unto this mountain be removed and be cast into the sea and shall not doubt in his heart but shall believe (believe what? In God? No. Then believe what? What should he believe?) that those things which he says will come to pass, he will have whatever he says.

Again, Mark 11:24, “Therefore, whatever things you desire when you pray, believe (in God? Nope) that you receive them and you shall have them.”

What did the woman with the issue of blood believe? Just in God? No. The Bible tells us what she believed. “If I may but touch the hem of his garment, I shall be made whole.” She did not say, “If I just believe in God, and trust that He is sovereign, I shall be made whole.

Right before Jesus healed the blind men, what did He ask them?

Do you believe in God?

Nope. He never asked that.

Do you believe I am the Christ?

Wasn’t ever brought up.

Do you believe that I’m sovereign and that one day, after you die, I will take you to heaven and open your eyes?

Negative.

He didn’t ask them any of those.

What did He ask?  “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” (Matt 9:28).

Again and again we see that the object of the faith was connected to the desired outcome of the prayer. Not to some generic belief in God’s sovereignty, His existence, or Jesus as the Christ.

 

Lies Don’t Comfort

 

Don’t get me wrong, I understand there are things that we all wish were not the way they were. I wish that all God required of us in the area of prayer was to just believe in Him. To just believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died for us and rose again. But the fact is, He requires more than that. And I get that we feel compelled to comfort the afflicted in times of tragedy and crisis by any means possible. But lying to them isn’t the way  to do it. Telling them the truth is. Giving them hope by sharing with them God’s Word is.

Of all people, Christians should be the ones to understand this the most. Lies do not comfort. It’s the truth that sets us free.

Instead of hiding the truth about prayer, we should be heralding it. This is Good News! It means we serve a real God who can and is still doing what we read about in the Bible.

 

The Achilles’ Heel of the Grace Movement: Why Many Won’t Survive it

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What has come to be known as the Grace Movement/Message holds a very special place in my heart. For years I felt like a lone voice heralding the life changing power of Grace, through faith, apart from works.

Long before most had ever heard of Andrew Wommack, Joseph Prince, and others, I was having Bible studies in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s teaching what I had found by myself with nothing but the Holy Ghost, and a Bible. As far as I knew I was the only one on the planet preaching this message.

Don’t get me wrong, there’s still a lot of things I don’t know. There’s plenty that I have learned and continue to learn from other grace preachers. But I mention this so that folks understand that what I’m about to say does not come from a critic of this message. Nor does it come from a person who has just caught wind of the doctrine. On the contrary, I’ve been beating this drum longer than most.

 

A Disturbing Trend

 

Having said this, I’m beginning to see that as the Movement progresses, it is encountering what seems to be the inevitable fate of every sound doctrine—a mutation, or perversion of the authentic.  Many, with little knowledge of what God’s Word has to say on the subject, are jumping on board and attempting to teach it. But even more alarming than these folks who lack biblical knowledge is the fact that they don’t appear to even care that they lack it.  As a result, we are now seeing large amounts of, “grace” people who don’t want to talk about other important aspects of God’s Word. Sin, judgement, hell, wrath, and the devil have all but been completely removed from the vocabulary.

 

God is Not a Two Thousand Year Old Book

 

Upon inquiring about the seemingly lack of respect for the Bible, I have heard variations of the tired cliche’, “God is much bigger than a collection of two thousand year old manuscripts. My allegiance is to Jesus, not a book “

So, let’s explore this idea a bit . . .

There are some things that we, as Christians, have been practicing for so long that many don’t know why there was a necessity for them in the first place. So it’s pretty much inevitable that there’s going to come a point in time for people who were not around when the foundation was laid, to challenge these practices. Which is fine. I’m all for the challenge of long held traditions. And it sounds great to say, “Jesus is a real Person, not an old Book. If you want to know about Him, just ask Him.” Seriously, such a statement sounds revolutionary, right?  Man, lets get rid of the way these old farts in stuffy suits have been doing it for centuries and lets get back to Jesus!

So why is it so important for people who have Jesus living on the inside of them to follow the Bible?

Well, anyone who has even a basic understanding of the history of Christianity knows that almost the exact moment Jesus ascended to heaven, false doctrine began to infiltrate the Church. The Bible speaks about different gospels, and even a different jesus that slowly crept into the fellowship of believers and began leading people astray. When we look at the New Testament, we see nearly every book is jammed packed with warning after warning against false doctrine and exhortations to hold firmly to the original teachings of Jesus and His Apostles.

So you see, as nice and fluffy as it sounds to claim you don’t follow a book because all you need is Jesus, it really makes no sense. If first century Christians who personally knew the apostles needed their supervision and constant course correction, why would we think we don’t?

Well, we have the Holy Ghost and so He leads us into all truth.

All of the first century Christians had the Holy Ghost too. But even more than that, many of them received the Spirit directly through the laying on of the hands of the apostles, themselves. Are we supposed to believe that these Spirit-filled, tongue-talking, believers, who rubbed shoulders with Jesus and the apostles, somehow required more oversight than us?

 

. . . I mean——really?

 

“The Bible isn’t the Answer”

 

All of this usually segues into the objection: “Well, obviously following the Bible is not the answer. There are thousands of denominations and no one can agree on the right interpretation.

But we can all agree you don’t need to be circumcised to be saved, right?

We all agree you shouldn’t get drunk at communion, right?

We all agree you shouldn’t curse Jesus, right?

All of these things and many, many more, first century Christians were confused about.

See, it’s easy to point to the diversity in the Body of Christ now and say, “They’re all reading the same book but they can’t agree on anything” but you’re not comparing it to the time before the apostle’s doctrine was widespread.

Christians literally needed to be told that a person isn’t inspired by God if they say, “Jesus is accursed.”

They literally needed to be told not to get drunk at communion.

They literally needed to be told that a man having sex with his father’s wife is not something you should be proud of.

Think about it . . .

Spirit-filled Christians!

Tongue-talking Christians!

Direct disciples of Peter, Paul, James and John!

Yet they needed clarification on things that you and I wouldn’t think twice about today.

No, if you think the diversity is bad now, you have no idea what the Body of Christ would look like if we didn’t have the Bible. You think you do, but all the evidence points to absolute and total chaos.

 

Ol’ Faithful

 

Another unfortunate and bizarre element to this whole thing is the treatment these, “Grace Christians” show towards those who disagree with them. You’d think that for a people who promote grace there would be a lot of patience, understanding, and love toward those on the outside. But half the time they treat you like an enemy if you’re not willing to go along with everything they say. They’ll scorn, ridicule, and mock you. And rather than attempt to combat your ideas with reason and logic, they take the ol’ faithful route of  simply shunning you from their groups.

It’s a shame. What they heralded as a revolution is slowly turning into just another divisive group in the Body of Christ.

 

The Beginning of the End

 

So here is my prediction: There are many riding the bandwagon of this message that will be destroyed for a lack of knowledge. Because the Bible isn’t central to their understanding of the Gospel, they’ll leave themselves wide open for false and erroneous doctrines with no means of detection. There will be no way to prove or disprove what is being said in their fellowships. And the certainty of truth will slowly decay into New Age Thought, where anything goes, and every person simply does what is right in their own eyes.

Yet, in spite of all of this, the True Gospel of Grace must, and will continue to prevail and become more and more widespread as it leaps forward on the backs of men and women who know God’s Word.

A Different Perspective On The Creflo Dollar Debacle

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Many are running to criticize Creflo Dollar because he asked for donations for an extremely expensive jet. But criticism is a thin line to walk and before you do it, you have to be sure you have all the right information.

 

The Rundown

 

So here’s a rundown of things we know about the situation . . .

1. We know he wasn’t telling the truth about the necessity for it in order to meet the needs of his schedule.

 

 

. . .  Wait, no we don’t.

 

2. Alright fine. But we do know he is being greedy.

 

 

. . . No, we don’t actually do.

Attempting to measure greed in another person is extremely difficult. You may be greedy for feeling like you needed the computer/iPad/Whatever that you’re using right this moment to view this article. You may be greedy for wanting to have a nicer car.

Now, I’m willing to  concede that these examples are much  less expensive than what he was asking for, but is that how you measure greed? By the amount of money something costs?

While we may feel there is evidence of greed here, we don’t know for certain.

 

3. Maybe so. But we know he isn’t sorry for what he asked for and doesn’t see it as a mistake.

 

 

. . . Um . . . . Still wrong.

Evidence that he does could be the fact that he took down the video.

 

4. We know he had wrong motivations for asking.

 

. . . And where do you keep your crystal ball?

 

5. Okay, okay. But we definitely know everything that was said in the video so there is absolutely no chance that things have been taken out of context.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1

 

No.

In fact, at this point, we can’t even be positive there was ever a video.

 

In Summation . . .

As you can see, we have quite a strong case for why it was necessary to attack this man.

By the way, is that how this whole, “being a Christian” thing works? We pounce on one another when we make a mistake (assuming this was a mistake)?

. . . Really?

Some argue, “he is a public figure so its okay to talk bad about him.”

It is? And what Scripture says its okay to talk trash about men of God in high rankings of leadership?

I can think of quite a few that say not to speak evil of one another. Not to sow division among the brethren. But I can’t think of one that says we are supposed  to talk crap about leaders—even when they have done something wrong.

Others will claim they’re issuing a rebuke to Creflo.

Come on, now.

Creflo isn’t following you on Twitter, reading your Facebook feed, or subscribed to your YouTube channel.

There is a word for talking negative about people when they are not present . . . And it ain’t, rebuke.

Now, here’s what we really do know: the Bible tells us that love rejoices in the truth. It’s always willing to believe the best about every person. It covers a multitude of sins.

Gossip, backbiting, sectarianism, and division are all works of the flesh.

Since we don’t know the man’s heart, why don’t we all take a moment to analyze the one we do?

Exorcisms: Are We Doing Them Right?

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I recently read a book, “The Day Satan Called” by Bill Scott. It’s a true story of his experience with a demon possessed girl who called his radio station and the supernatural, unbelievable chaos that ensued in the year and a half following.

Reading the book and hearing this man describe what he had gone through brought back to my mind an encounter I had about fifteen years ago.

One evening I received a phone call from a close friend of mine. His voice over the line was trembling. He sounded out of breath, almost like he had just run a marathon. “Scott, I need you to get over here, my friend has a demon!” Without even really thinking about it, I hung up the phone, threw on my shoes and  jacket and drove about a mile down the road to my friend’s house. I remember walking up to the front door being excited. I had never cast a demon out of someone before. This was going to be a night to remember (boy, was I right about that! Unfortunately not in the way I thought.) My friend answered and walked me over to his room. There I was, Bible in hand, chest puffed out, ready to confront the forces of darkness.

Nothing in the world could have prepared me for what I saw next. It was literally like something you’d see in a bad horror movie. First I noticed that it looked like a tornado had blown through. The room was in total shambles. This wouldn’t have been so surprising if i hadn’t visited multiple times before and knew what his room normally looked like. My eyes quickly glanced around and I saw blood smears in different spots on the walls. You hear rumors from other Christians about their encounters with demons and they always describe a thick, almost tangible presence of evil. Let me tell you—-there is no better way to describe it than that. Then I saw him. A man 1crouched down in the corner like some kind of animal. His eyes were blood shot, his hands were bleeding, and he was foaming from the mouth. He cocked his head my direction and with a grin on his face, spoke in a sinister voice, “Hi, Scott!” Where he was located at in the room, to his left were two rolling closet doors made of mirror. After he called my name he sprang from his crouched position, slamming his head into one of those doors and the whole thing shattered. Then he crawled closer, with a smirk on his face, staring me right in the eye. I was still trying to process what I was seeing when suddenly he jumped forward and knocked me back. At that moment I was filled with a level of fear I had never experienced before and without even thinking I ran out of there.

What ensued after that was a long, grueling, battle with the devil. Part of the time he was hopping all over the room. Other times he’d be on the floor in contorted positions. The evil spirits in him laughed at us and gave different names of demons that were present. They claimed they had been there since this man’s childhood and had no intention of leaving. Every time we thought we were gaining ground he would smile and say “There’s still more of us!”

After about four hours, he lay passed out on the floor in a deep sleep, almost as if he were dead. It was exhausting. I thought it was all over, but soon realized once I got back home that at least one spirit had followed me. As I got ready for bed I was hearing audible voices in the room. Fortunately, this must have been a last-ditch effort on their part because they quickly left once I began praying.

 

Why Are Exorcisms So Hard?

 

That event in my life has always bothered me. Both me, my friend, and two other friends I had called over had commanded the demons to leave multiple times in Jesus’ name. Yet they continued to laugh, making a mockery of us and of God. To make matters worse, in the days ahead it began to become clear to us they had either never left, or there were more that still needed to be cast out.

Why did it happen like that? I went into the situation expecting to see the same results Jesus had seen and instead fell flat on my face.

Even apparent, “experts” on spiritual warfare will tell you how long these battles can last, and how often their successes are short lived. And don’t even get me started on the Catholic Church. Those guys are always getting beat up and thrown around like rag dolls by the devil. I heard a statistic a while back that priests who handle exorcisms have a significantly shorter life span than those who don’t.

Looking into the reasons for this, I’ve been unsatisfied by the answers I received.

Why does such a seemingly easy practice in the Scriptures translate to so much difficulty for believers today?

 

An Enlightening Moment in my Research

One day as I was surfing the Internet I began to come across websites of pagan religions that spoke about demon possession. I was a bit surprised because I had always been taught that this was something exclusive to Christianity (at least the recognition of it was.) What was even more amazing to me was these people had stories of casting demons out as well! Unbelievers, casting out demons? Turns out it isn’t such a wild idea and dates back even before Christianity. But here is what really concerned me: the stories I read about and the methods these pagans used to expel devils were extremely similar to the methods Christians use. They spoke about finding out the name of the demon, reasons for why it was there and it often took hours, weeks, and even months before seeing success.

This I found really bizarre!

But it prompted me to search the Bible for an explanation. What I soon realized is the idea that only Christians can expel demons really isn’t present. I know the story of the Seven Sons of Sceva. But I’m not sure if we should use that as a universal template to arrive at a doctrine.

For years I had been puzzled by this until one day I was reading the passage from Mark 16 about believers casting out demons. Jesus said, “And these signs will follow them that believe: in my NAME they will cast out devils . . .”

 

Are We Doing It Like Jesus?

 

In the Greek, Name isn’t just a title given to identify a person. Christians have sort of unconsciously used it like a lucky rabbit’s foot, tacking it on to the end of their prayers in the hopes of getting results. But  in the original language, it carries much stronger ramifications. One of which is authority, and like manner.

See, when you cast a demon out, or pray for the sick in Jesus’ Name, you’re not just adding that word like its a some sort of proper grammar to end religious sentences with. It means you are taking upon yourself the authority of Jesus Christ, and doing it in His manner. In other words, you’re doing it like He would if it were Him physically present. This would explain the existence of pagan exorcisms.  Jesus was not saying casting out demons would be a unique trait of the believer, but the ability to do it in His Name, or, in the same manner He expelled them.

This is where the title of the article comes in. If we are not casting demons out in the manner that Jesus did, are we really doing it in the Name of Jesus? I understand we are verbally speaking His Name but if we are not seeing the same results, are we really using His authority?

 

In Conclusion?

 

Now, to clarify, I am not implying that Christians have some kind of evil spirit they are substituting for the Name of Jesus in these situations. Nor that God isn’t involved when it takes hours upon hours to expel a demon. But could it be that just like you could take a pill and make a headache go away after a while, or go through radiation therapy for months and overcome cancer, so some methods to rid a person of demonic possession are more—— normal? It isn’t that the practice is wrong or ineffective, it’s just not God’s best.

This is what I think could be happening in regards to spiritual warfare. Most of us are not truly using the authority of Jesus Christ. If we were, I don’t see how anyone could argue we should be getting better results. I have a feeling that we have sort of just been going with what others have told us, and settled for spiritual engagements which leave us exhausted, spiritually drained, and with questionable results.

This is definitely not a conclusion. This is a theory, a hypothesis, if you will, that I’m submitting for scrutiny, or confirmation. I definitely want to hear what others have to say on the subject.