Interesting posts on Christian pacifism and exorcism

Since I recently blogged about political theology in my last post, I have found an interesting conversation happening in the area of political theology at Doug Chaplin’s blog MetaCatholic, where he began blogging about the perils of Christian pacificism. In relation and in response to Chaplin’s post, Peter Kirk blogs on Gentle Wisdom about Doug Chaplin’s one-sided anti-pacifist views. Is pacificism for everyone? Should there be mandatory legislation to force everyone to participate in war, even if it is a just war? And is it right to force an entire nation to take a totally pacifist position and stand idly by to watch people get slaughtered by a mindless dictator committing mass genocide?

ElShaddai Edwards just blogged about his review of the HCSB Reference Bible. What caught my attention was ElShaddai’s recent post about exorcism in which he posted a copy of a letter someone had written about the casting out of demons. The discussion thread leads to another about the charismatic issue of tongues. This topic is not dead, as the cessationists would like to believe, because the rise of the charismatic movement and pentecostal churches around the world (particularly the southern hemisphere) will make this issue of charismata a more important topic of interest in the near future. Philip Jenkins has written about this in his book The Next Christendom: The Coming of Global Christianity published in 2003.

7 Replies to “Interesting posts on Christian pacifism and exorcism”

  1. Concordia Publishing House will release my book titled “I Am Not Afraid: Demon Possession and Spiritual Warfare in the Lutheran Church of Madagascar (True Stories)” in the summer of 2013

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  2. Wow, thanks ElShaddai. Interesting that it occurred at a Lutheran college. Maybe Lutherans aren’t so out of touch with the spiritual after all.

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  3. That really surprises me that over half of your class had some kind of contact with demonic or occultic activity. Some people think that North Americans are somehow more immune to demonization, and that this only happens in countries within the southern hemisphere. This can be deceptive because we falsely assume that we are somehow more sophisticated, and that demonic activity can be reasoned through good theology, or explained away as merely a psycho-social disorder. Or that by avoiding the issue, we can avoid this spiritual dimension of demonic/occultic activity.

    It’s sad that so many Lutherans shy away from discussing this. When seminarians become ordained into ministry, they will sadly lack the knowledge, experience, and background to competently deal with this from a pastoral perspective. Ministry is more than theology, preaching and teaching and counselling. Seminary does not approach this as a reality. But I have always believed that the demonic is a very real spiritual dimension, which we have avoided since it’s sort of invisible to us; or at least invisible until it is made manifest in a physical way.

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  4. Actually I didn’t see any TV documentary. I was researching the topic for an article in the LLL magazine (about 20 years ago). But I also talked to some who were students at St. Louis seminary (now long since retired or deceased) when that occurred, so close-second hand references. Then there was an article written in the mid 80’s about the issue in a publication dealing with demonization.

    Sadly, many Lutherans shy away from any discussion of the topic. After vicarage year, in Pastoral Theology class I asked the professor why there was no time to discuss it on the schedule. He said that if there was any interest about the topic, he would spend a few minutes. At the next class (25 students) over half had some kind of contact with demonic or occultic activity while on vicarage alone! So for many, many years we have not been preparing our pastors to even discuss the topic Biblically, let alone historically or pastorally.

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  5. A Lutheran…well that’s interesting isn’t it? I recall a documentary about the true story of “The Exorcist”, which may also be something you saw too. Something Lutherans can learn from RC priests is how to deal with the spiritual realm of Christian faith, not just the theological and philosophical side of our faith. There are some Catholic orders open to dealing with evil as a tangible realm from a Christian perspective. I know a Catholic deacon, now a priest, who acknowledges this side and told me that this is very real and we must tread carefully.

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  6. It is interesting that the movie “The Exorcist” was loosely based on a true story, but it was a teen age boy, not a girl. He was Lutheran and lived in the greater DC area in 1949 and his parents sought help for him. Eventually they took him to St. Louis, where two RC priests and two Lutheran Professors from Concordia, St Louis were involved in the exorcism. It took place at Alexian Hospital in South St. Louis.

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