Christians from Protestant denominations rarely, if ever, hear about demons or the spiritual world in their churches. So when a Catholic expert in demonology provided somewhat of a crash course at a Q conference on how demons behave and how exorcisms work, it was all people could talk about.
Gabe Lyons, founder of Q, recently revealed that the discussion in April on the spiritual world ended up being one of their “top talks” that people were most challenged by and raving about. And Adam Blai, peritus of religious demonology and exorcism for the diocese of Pittsburgh who trains priests in exorcism, wasn’t surprised.
“There’s an inherent interest in these matters,” he told Lyons during a follow-up Q&A last month. “I’m not sure why that is except that perhaps it’s one of the places where the spiritual world really becomes physical. I think on a basic human level, that is inherently interesting to us. It’s the reason they make movies about it.”
Moreover, exorcisms and dealing with demons constitute about a third of Jesus’ miracles in the gospels, Blai noted. “You’re not only talking about something very real and physical, but you’re also talking about something really central to the Gospel.”
Lyons decided to open the talk on demons after seeing more and more headlines highlighting the rise in exorcisms around the world. It’s something the Catholic Church addresses but Protestants in the U.S. are less likely to hear anything about it from pastors.
“How can we be Christians and not try to better understand what’s happening in the spiritual realm?” Lyons asked at the Q event in April, after finding out that 80 percent of attendees rarely or never heard a talk on the demonic realm. “Isn’t that like a pretty big deal to what we believe is actually going on in the world?
“The reality is there’s an enemy who wants nothing more than to destroy you, destroy me, destroy your churches, tempt you. He’ll disguise himself in every possible way. Do we really take enough time to talk about that?”
Blai offered some nuggets to Q attendees who may be hearing about demons for the first time.
1. The spiritual world is very legalistic.
“Demons are bound by the rules of God. They have to operate within those rules. Their normal activity is temptation. They’re allowed to do that to us our entire lives. God has them all on a leash and He lets the leash go enough to let them tempt us because that’s what makes us spiritually stronger.”
2. Demon possession only happens if we invite the demon in.
There are nine ranks of demons, according to Blai. The more serious ones are more difficult to deal with. The exorcist revealed that he and his team run into the “main” ones that are named in the Bible (or “upper management” as Blai likes to describe them) quite often.
It’s to the point that the demons become recognizable — “Oh, it’s you again.”
Infestation, oppression and possession are considered “extraordinary” activity, Blai described. Demons are not allowed to do any of those things “unless we invite him into our lives to do those things,” he said.
“Somebody with valid authority has to tell the demon ‘I invited you to do it.” That could include a parent who invites a demon into their child.
“Once he’s in your life in that extraordinary way, you have to renounce and reject whatever the invitation was to push him out. You have authority of your own body … same to your child or house.”
If it’s a stranger, however, you don’t necessarily have authority over that situation, Blai noted. For Catholics, that’s when a priest who has been trained should be called.
Click here to read more.
SOURCE: Christian Post, Sheryl Lynn