This is the ninety-sixth installment in The Sounds of Fundamentalism series. This is a series that I would like readers to help me with. If you know of a video clip that shows the crazy, cantankerous, or contradictory side of Evangelical Christianity, please send me an email with the name or link to the video. Please do not leave suggestions in the comment section. Let’s have some fun!
Today’s Sound of Fundamentalism is a video clip of a pastor named Joe describing his interaction with demons. In any other setting, someone talking like this would be involuntarily committed to a state psychiatric hospital.
A troubled child who believed in magic boards. Grew into a troubled man who heard voices telling him to cause trouble. Grew into a christian man. Did he ever get healed or did he swap one fantasy for another?
When I was a person of faith I had a close friend who told me stories of his encounters with Demons in his ministry. Now I won’t make any judgement on the reliability of these claims, instead I will note that he told me of other things that had been revealed to him about future events. Sufficient time has now passed for me to test his claims about future events – the result 100% wrong. So on that basis what is the reasonable conclusion for me to make about claims of dealings with Demons?
The video should have said:
“Hi, my name is Joe, and I have several undiagnosed mental illnesses, schizophrenia being chief among them. People have figured out how to use my mental illness to promulgate their religion and make lots of money from it.”
I had a dear friend who suffered in this way. She tried to get psych help and tried various spriitual routes. She spent thousands of dollars on cures and helps. When speaking with her, I told her that she was loved and that those of us who had always known her (from her youth) were on her side in this battle and needed her to acknowledge that she was mentally unwell. She would patiently listen to us, each of us and then explain how she was hearing what we were saying about hallucinations and the power of psychosis but that we just did not understand what was happening with her. The entities were a problem she had to work through on her own, she insisted. She was hospitalized several times and could not stay on psych meds. It took years to finally kill her but it did. One night she decided to finish it at a subway station.
Joe is as J.D. Matthews says, very probably a schizophrenic. Many with this diagnosis have times when they manage to be free of domination and can function very well. Christianity substitutes dependency and for some people with mental problems, there is a way to trade in one set of visions for another. I am happy that Joe is alive and has been able to find a way to live without terrible hallucinations. And I hope he continues to be well enough as time goes on.
By the way, he would not be forcibly admitted for any talk of demons or any other wild ideas unless the doc could ascertain that he was an active danger to himself or others. He would have to have a plan to hurt someone or himself, or show very clearly that he could not manage basic self-care in the world.
Soooooo…. Where’s the scientific proof?
Yeah. Thought this would be a “I’ve seen things so therefore they exist” kind of tale.
Those of you who know me by my infrequent comments may remember that I have claimed some psychic abilities. However instead of attributing my abilities to woo-woo I prefer the scientific approach, blind tests included.
That said, I’ve met demons. Well, they looked like the creatures described in the bible and they weren’t all that horrible. They lied a lot but isn’t that the only power ascribed to Lucifer? Honestly for true horror and mayhem one really needs another human.
In my journey I discovered I hold both light and dark within myself. Whichever I choose to feed is the side that wins. So far grey is winning. Pure black and white are great for creating defining lines but grey paints beautiful pictures.
Glad the gentleman in the clip found a path he can walk. Let’s hope he doesn’t insist that his path is the only path for everyone else too.
Hopefully I am not the only person cynical enough to watch this and wonder if he is actually playing all of us. A small time preacher will get a lot more attention if he claims to have met and walked with demons than one who just preaches the “good news.” I’m not really convinced he is schizophrenic or actually hears voices/sees spirits.