We have all heard the phrase, “Don’t put God in a box,” meaning He is much bigger and mysterious than we often conceive of Him. Putting God in a box of pre-conceived notions that we believe God Almighty can do (or not do) can be the source of much heart-ache, confusion, and so on.
In this shorter than normal blog, I want to make a similar appeal when it comes to our Adversary, Satan. Our backgrounds, or the current teaching we are exposed to, will determine certain the boxes we are tempted to put Satan in…and these boxes can cause great confusion and pain.
One way we put Satan in a box is by having a list of criteria that must be met if paranormal activity can be viewed as potentially demonic. Since Satan (and his demonic followers) can appear as an angel of light - which is the exact opposite of what he is - then appearing, smelling, or sounding like anything else would be a piece of cake. Since that is the case, what criteria list can we possibly assemble? WE CAN’T! Take the angel of light scenario, what typical criteria would be present: hot spots? Horrid smells? Sense of evil? Some deformity (who started this nonsense?!)? NO - none of those would be present! Please don’t put Satan in a box by having a criteria list. Besides, if the activity is real, then it is angelic in origin - either good or fallen.
Believing in earthbound spirits puts Satan in a box. If consulting criteria for determining a demonic entity is both irrational and unbiblical, then the paranormal community is left in hopeless confusion in differentiating between a deceptive demon and an alleged human spirit. If the Bible says the phenomena will be exceptionally deceptive (and certainly that is the inference) we must be very wary of putting Satan in a box.
We are putting Satan in a box when we assume that what has worked for us as demonologists in the past, will always work. What do I mean? I have completed dozens of successful cleansings/blessings and almost all worked the first time. Recently, that hasn’t been the case. One recent instance took three attempts before it was totally clean. However, I have been deeply broken by a dark force that God has called me to attack in His name because it has caused me much self-doubt, grief, frustration, and so on...more precisely, I allowed it to because I had put Satan in a box.
Due to client confidentiality, I don’t want to even mention what happened…but suffice it to say, I had NEVER seen or heard of such force in a case before. This was no “ordinary” case. I have no safe category to put it in. Something arrived…something extraordinarily strong. I am of the opinion that these many-layered onion-cases are more common than I had previously assumed. So, I seek God even more and know that He is good…all the time..
PRESUMPTION OF GUILT
Biblically, when dealing with other believers, we are to be trusting...not gullible, but trusting. If someone shows themselves to be untrustworthy, then it is neither reasonable nor biblical to trust them. And biblically we should NEVER trust Satan or the demonic, simply because they have a track record of untrustworthiness and downright deception. Satan is the “father of lies.” It is his mother tongue. Why, then, do we seem to have these two principles reversed? Let me try to explain.
I have always been bothered by the assumption that 90% or so of alleged paranormal activity is explainable by other means. That is an enormous amount of lying and basic ineptitude attributed to fellow followers of Christ. Of course, I realize a lot of non-Christians seek assistance for paranormal activity as well, but fundamental decency and law of charity is due everyone (Rom. 13). Why do we assume they are wrong…unless proven otherwise?
My theology is reformed, which in this context means that I believe, even the godliest person, is in a battle royal with indwelling sin. (Rom 7...Paul as mature believer) First, presumption of guilt WILL affect our approach to the phenomena. Second, do we not think that demons can clam up and “vibe-up” - make the current heaviness vanish and feel nice and peaceful, when the investigators arrive? Since, they watched us set up the equipment; it is my belief that whatever evidence we do catch, is by their design. Once in while, a demon will make a mistake - they do make mistakes - but they, not we, are in control of evidence collection. I have known of situations in which there was indisputably much demonic activity, but they maintained total radio silence when the investigators arrived. The conclusion? By way of scientific “verification,” the heart-broken, demonic-oppressed client is told there is no activity in their house. But, a judicious investigator would word it differently, and give it another shot, or they might even believe the person.
I like the television show Fact or Faked, but they commit one fallacy repeatedly; just because an anomaly can be duplicated, does not mean they have discovered the real cause. I shake my head sometimes at the elaborate (and expensive) experiments they will do, in order to see if they can replicate it. Almost anything can be replicated with enough technology. There’s a pretty good chance demons use that to their advantage.
I may get metaphorically stoned for this, but I don’t do investigations. Unless there is reason to believe otherwise, I actually believe the client. I know that my most earnest efforts will yield nada, if infesting demons are determined to stay, and won’t go down the ghost road. But in the end I choose to presume there is activity, if there was demonic activity or not, no harm was done by believing the client and cleansing the area.