Mark Discoll, pastor and founder of the hugely successful Mars Hill Church conglomerate, is back. After being deposed amidst accusations of plagiarism and spiritual misconduct, Driscoll has launched a new web site to herald his comeback. He has confessed to past errors of “pride, anger, and a domineering spirit.” My purpose isn’t to evaluate one way or another what he’s been through. That’s already been done in countless Christian blogs and news articles. Once can only pray he’s gotten figured out what led to his downfall and will find the Lord’s will for his life and ministry. He’s gifted, bold, and an obviously effective communicator. And he’s an unabashed part of the contemporary Reformed theological movement. Calvinism in tight-legged jeans and untucked shirts.
Here’s why I bring up this subject. Driscoll’s new web site contains a series of articles on “Spiritual Warfare.” In one such article he addresses the issue of whether a Christian can be possessed by demons. Mark starts out well, pointing out that “possessed” can be interpreted in varying ways. He concludes that a Christian can’t be “owned” or “dominated” by a demons, just influenced. His ultimate answer ends up being a somewhat evasive, politically correct view that no sincere Christian can argue with. Driscoll writes, We believe Christians may be deceived, accused, or tempted by Satan . . . If believers begin to respond wrongly in such situations, they may give demons influence in their lives. Apparently an evil spirit can empower, energize, encourage, and exploit a believer’s own sinful desires. Examples would include Peter and Ananias. As children of God, regenerated and indwelt by the Spirit, we are responsible to and empowered by God to resist Satan, and if we do resist, we need not suffer from his influence.
What you say sounds good, Mark. It’s not incorrect, just short-sighted and inconsistent with the practical realties of spiritual warfare. You skirt the issue of whether a demon can so affect a Christian as to give expression through their thoughts, bodies, and vocal cords. After more 30,000 documented exorcisms and four decades of frontline warfare in more than 100 countries amidst highly diverse cultures, I assure you that Christians can be “possessed” by demons. Not owned. Not dominated, but attacked to such an extent that the demons steal their health, finances, relationships, and desire to serve the Lord. Some end up killing themselves or threatening the lives of others. And these demons speak through their bodies and are capable of physically assaulting other Christians. I’ve had the broken bones, bruises, and bloody scars to prove it! I wish you well, Mark, on your return to ministry as God leads you. But I wish that you and other Christian leaders would leave the comfort zone of canned theology to do REAL, not theoretical, spiritual warfare and find out what REAL demons do to REAL Christians who were born in the genealogical line of embedded demonization.
P.S. For an in depth discussion on Christians and demon possession, be sure to watch this week’s episode of “Ask the Exorcist” (to watch CLICK HERE)
An encouraging word: PRESERVE A HERITAGE
Preserve me, O God for in You I put my trust. David’s words of Psalm 16:1 remind us how important lineage is. In our instant gratification society we may lose sight of the future effect of actions. Each of us needs to ask ourselves how everything we do will affect our good name, our reputation, our future belief system, and our progeny. Do you want your children and grandchildren to be blessed and preserved by your godly influence? Think beyond the moment in which you live. What heritage will you leave for future generations? There is nothing more important to leave those who come after you than the knowledge that you put your trust in God.
Bob Larson has trained healing and deliverance teams all over the world to set the captives free and Do What Jesus Did (Luke 4:18). You can partner with Bob and support this vision to demonstrate God’s power in action by calling 303-980-1511 or clicking here to donate online.