Friday, February 16, 2007

Casting out Demons

I have been talking with my congregation (and therefore you all in the blogosphere) about Spiritual Gifts (I would suggest you go back through the past two months worth of blogs as there are almost 10 that deal with this issue). I had noted that there seemed to be missing a few gifts from my congregation (Speaking in tongues, Healing and Ekballism - Casting out Demons). So when the conversation began regarding the casting out of demons on a few other blogs I have taken note of in my daily readings I sat up a little straighter. Today marked a comment to one of those blogs and I wanted to share it with you all and begin to work it out for the congregation as well, because I think discussion about these less prevalent gifts are going to need to be had during our upcoming work on Spiritual Gifts discernment.

Here is the comment:
Sounds to me like good fun stuff to consider and at first blush from reading your post I got an interesting flashback to the Gospel of Mark 9:33-43 where the disciples return from being out and about telling Jesus of the people they met casting out demons in his name. Jesus tells them that whoever does this will come to him soon enough. Also had the flashback to Abraham Lincoln, well where Abraham Lincoln got his quote about the "house divided against itself". The house divided cannot stand. That is to say that if someone is casting out demons, there is only one power that can actually do so, and that is God the three-in-one. So whatever the "cover" looks like - Jew, Turk, etc the power is God. God does not do anything except for his glory and they will eventually turn to him. This then makes it impossible for anyone to cast out demons without this being a fruit of the Holy Spirit. Wesley certainly relied upon the "fruits" to determine someone's continuing aptitude for Christian service. It does make it interesting in our times, and certainly makes me all the more eager to see the CS Lewis movie "The Screwtape Letters".


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