Friday, March 01, 2013
This week has been an interesting week. It kinda flew by in some ways. Most of my students were cottaged this week. That means they were not permitted to leave the cottage of the residential facility to attend school, even though the classroom is in the same building. But, the cottage is a locked unit that houses 8 girls currently. It can house 10. There is a boy's cottage as well, that houses I believe 6 boys right now, but can also handle 10. Today, I had 6 out of 8 students in class all day today.
I have been thinking about demons a lot lately. I know what Scripture says about demons. It is possible for demons to possess humans, but not objects. But, it is contrary to what I thought. But, what am I going to believe? The way I was taught, or what God says in His Word. You would think it would be simple. Obviously, God and His Word is more reliable than what a man teaches. But, when the teaching is ingrained in you, it makes it difficult to change it. I was taught that demons were sitting at the boundaries of your life just waiting for you to mess up so that they can attack you in some physical way. I was taught that our houses are full of demons and that they are sent to annoy us by moving things in the house. There is no Scriptural basis for any of this teaching. In fact, the Bible doesn't even use the word "demon". Instead, it uses "devil". But, what does this mean for me? Yes, I have seen demons in the past. But, they went away when I started taking medication. So, did I truly see demons? Or, was I just having hallucinations? If they were really demons, why did they go away when I started taking meds? Also, if they were hallucinations, why do they only come back when I'm highly stressed, even when I'm taking my meds properly? I have been mulling this over for a long time now. I have spoken with both my pastor and a therapist about it. They both agree that I've had hallucinations and that they are not actually demons. They agree that if I were truly seeing demons, then they wouldn't have gone away with medication.
But, what do I believe about demons? I believe they exist. I believe they can possess people. I certainly do not believe that I am possessed. I am freaked out by the idea of witchcraft and cannot watch a movie that has witchcraft in it.
I want to believe that what I was taught is not true. But, can I? If it is not true, then so much of what I have always believed is now called into question. Am I ready to face the truth? I want to know the truth. I know I have been taught many false teachings. But, am I really ready to identify and address the false beliefs? I want to be ready. But, I"m afraid the 'house of cards' will fall if I start to pull on the brick of its foundation. You see, demons and Satan are central to the teaching I was brought up under. I was taught that we are constantly under attack and that we are to always have our spiritual armor on and we are to rebuke the demons that are in every situation and person that we deal with. We were taught to rebuke demons in the name of Jesus and cause them to flee before us. We were taught that if we sinned, no matter how big or small, then we gave a portion of our heart to the devil. And, if we weren't careful, we would give our whole heart over to Satan. So much as one wrong thought would give the devil a foothold, and there's a nice and neat diagram to show this teaching. Once the devil got a foothold, he would work to gain another foothold. And, before you knew it, he had built an entire fortress in your heart. Again, I don't really know how much of that teaching is Scriptural and how much of it is Bill Gothard's thinking. Ephesians 4:27 says "neither give place to the devil". However, when you look it up in commentaries, it basically means not to give in to the temptation of the devil. There is nothing in the commentaries about giving a piece of your heart to Satan. So, I really don't know about this teaching. I know there is no Scriptural basis for many of the things I was taught about demons. But, I don't know if I am ready to acknowledge that yet. I want to believe that it isn't true. But, it is a vital part of what I believe. How can I renounce such a core belief? Yet, furthermore, how can I continue to believe that which I have proven wrong? But, have I truly proved it wrong? Or, am I just reading the Scriptures the way I want to read them? Although, the therapist, who is a pastor's son and a devout Christian, agrees with my current interpretation that there is no Scriptural basis for my current beliefs. I want to choose to believe what the Bible says. But, what if I'm attacked for not believing the way I was brought up to believe? What if the demons return and haunt me again? I haven't seen them for some time. If I change my beliefs, will they come back? I don't know what to do with this information. And, I don't see the therapist again for a couple weeks, and I won't really have an opportunity to talk to my pastor soon; at least, not an in-depth conversation.