Temptations of the Devil

At church yesterday the Old Testament reading was about the Temptation of Adam (what Milton wrote about in “Paradise Lost”) and our New Testament reading was about the Temptation of Christ (what Milton wrote about in “Paradise Regain,” a great work hardly anyone reads).   Our pastor pointed out that Satan’s most serious temptations are not to encourage us to commit individual sins but, as he does in both of these pivotal Biblical events, to attack our faith: to lead us to distrust God, to disbelieve His Word, to stop looking to Him for our needs, to put our faith in ourselves instead of in Him.  For Pastor Douthwaite’s profound sermon on these temptations and how our sins reveal our underlying unbelief, go here

Speaking of our old evil foe, a Catholic priest, in co-operation with the church of Rome is opening an
exorcism center in Poland to deal with the upsurge in demonic afflictions in Europe. The article quotes an exorcist:

“People don’t pray anymore, they don’t go to church, they don’t go to confession. The devil has an easy time of it,” Amorth said in an interview. “There’s a lot more devil worship, people interested in satanic things and seances, and less in Jesus.”

What do you think about this?

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • http://www.pharmacycalvinist.blogspot.com George Goddard

    I remember Micahel Horton’s quoting someone’s remarks about what a faithless or Godless society would really look like. “There would be no gum stuck to the sidewalks … all the kids say yes ma’m and no ma’m and there would be no garbage or litter one the picket fence lined yards. And every Sunday all of the people would gather at the local churches to hear a sermon where Christ was NOT preached.”!

  • http://www.pharmacycalvinist.blogspot.com George Goddard

    I remember Micahel Horton’s quoting someone’s remarks about what a faithless or Godless society would really look like. “There would be no gum stuck to the sidewalks … all the kids say yes ma’m and no ma’m and there would be no garbage or litter one the picket fence lined yards. And every Sunday all of the people would gather at the local churches to hear a sermon where Christ was NOT preached.”!

  • Bror Erickson

    It would be interesting to see this exorcism center. I for one do believe in demonic possession. But I am also on the skeptical side, when I hear there is a center for this. Maybe though the need is that great. I just hope that the man can actually tell the difference between demonic possession and Schizophrenia. We don’t need a well meaning exorcist abusing the mentally disabled.

  • Bror Erickson

    It would be interesting to see this exorcism center. I for one do believe in demonic possession. But I am also on the skeptical side, when I hear there is a center for this. Maybe though the need is that great. I just hope that the man can actually tell the difference between demonic possession and Schizophrenia. We don’t need a well meaning exorcist abusing the mentally disabled.

  • CRB

    George,
    I think that Horton is right for a society is unfolding before our eyes in this country. Perhaps, such is a precursor to a society under Sharia law?! I believe the reason that Europe is going in the direction it’s going spiritually is because of the rejection of the Gospel. One has to wonder how long before such rejection is the norm in the U.S.?!

  • CRB

    George,
    I think that Horton is right for a society is unfolding before our eyes in this country. Perhaps, such is a precursor to a society under Sharia law?! I believe the reason that Europe is going in the direction it’s going spiritually is because of the rejection of the Gospel. One has to wonder how long before such rejection is the norm in the U.S.?!

  • WebMonk

    While I hope that a trained and experienced person at a center would be able to more properly differentiate between mental illness and possession (and thus stop or avoid abuses), I’m a bit wary of the Catholic Church opening the center, and their methods for exorcism. They can work, but their power is quite divorced from Christ and unfortunately is dangerous to both the exorcist and the exorcizee. Even more tragic is that it rarely (at least to my experience) protects the subject from later oppression or possession.

    Having kids regularly come back into a mental hospital after their ‘exorcism’, and obviously back under oppression or possession is a tragedy to see. Unfortunately, the story’s reporting of what their interviewees said was not encouraging (if the reporter was accurate, which isn’t particularly likely).

    Bror is very right that there is a lot of abuse that happens by people who ‘exorcise’ mental diseases such as Schizophrenia. I only know a few people who have been through demonic oppression, and only met/seen a few who were possessed. Once the real thing has been seen, there’s no chance of mistaking a possession for a mental illness.

    Possession is rare enough on Main St, USA that I have no problem believing the stories I hear through friends of *beeping* ignorant *beeps* who have read some books (but have never actually seen possession) decide that someone they know is actually suffering from demon oppression/possession instead of a mundane thing like BiPolar, MPD, or Schizophrenia.

  • WebMonk

    While I hope that a trained and experienced person at a center would be able to more properly differentiate between mental illness and possession (and thus stop or avoid abuses), I’m a bit wary of the Catholic Church opening the center, and their methods for exorcism. They can work, but their power is quite divorced from Christ and unfortunately is dangerous to both the exorcist and the exorcizee. Even more tragic is that it rarely (at least to my experience) protects the subject from later oppression or possession.

    Having kids regularly come back into a mental hospital after their ‘exorcism’, and obviously back under oppression or possession is a tragedy to see. Unfortunately, the story’s reporting of what their interviewees said was not encouraging (if the reporter was accurate, which isn’t particularly likely).

    Bror is very right that there is a lot of abuse that happens by people who ‘exorcise’ mental diseases such as Schizophrenia. I only know a few people who have been through demonic oppression, and only met/seen a few who were possessed. Once the real thing has been seen, there’s no chance of mistaking a possession for a mental illness.

    Possession is rare enough on Main St, USA that I have no problem believing the stories I hear through friends of *beeping* ignorant *beeps* who have read some books (but have never actually seen possession) decide that someone they know is actually suffering from demon oppression/possession instead of a mundane thing like BiPolar, MPD, or Schizophrenia.

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