The recent mass shootings at Sandy Hook elementary School in Conneticut reignited the whole gun control and background check debate. The deadlock and inaction in the Senate will not mean that the issue will go away, but rather that it has been postponed.
Right at the start let me say that talking about the demonic realm for the Christian is both necessary (if one is true to the Gospel) but difficult due to its multifaceted complications. As Christians, we are in a state of constant spiritual warfare against the demonic realm. But as in most wars, there is a "fog of battle" in which our intelligence of and knowledge of the enemy is limited. Some Christian writers claim more than we can know about the demonic, as in the exact order of hierarchy and functions of the "thrones, principalities, powers, etc." Especially difficult is the demarcation between psychological issues, chemical imbalances, etc., and demonic activity in and through a person.
Evidence for Demonic Activity:
At the time of my initial research I ran into Wilson Van Dusen’s book, the Natural Depth of Man. (New York: Harper & Row, 1972). Van Dusan was a psychiatrist in the California mental health system who treated many schizophrenics. He came to understand that many of these patients were assaulted by voices and entities that closely resemble biblically described “demons.” Further, effective treatment required that the patient resist the voices’ suggestions to do immoral acts such as lying, stealing, or self-mutilation. Further, Bible reading by the patient was especially helpful in subduing the voices. Wow! (It is still in print and available HERE.)
That fantasy figure was the classic demonic “succubus” of medieval fame. The male counterpart is the “incubus.” Neither are believed in by the elites of education and psychology. No matter, they are real and still active in the world. I explained to the young man that he must resist the beguilement of this figure, or his life would be ruined. He agreed. Unfortunately, I did not have follow up contact so I do not know the ultimate resolution of this case. Now, this person was by no means mentally disturbed or "bipolar" or anything of the sort. But he had made direct contact with a demonic entity that communicated with him and attempted to destroy his life.
Holy Spirit round four: Shortly after that, I read what became one of the classics of the Pentecostal literature on exorcism/deliverance, Frank and Ida Mae Hammond's, Pigs in the Parlor (first published in 1973). HERE The book has an appendix on the demonic aspects of schizophrenia. The Hammonds describe how schizophrenic patients often begin to become demonized by incidents or circumstances of rejection in their lives. This allows a ruling demon of rejection to enter. But various other demons, such as lust, pride, anger, etc., also come in, and in conjunction with the rejection demon, cripple and distort the core personality. The victim's internal thought are dominated by demonic thought and voices of lust, vengeance, fear, etc., that the victim believes to be his own. For many schizophrenics deliverance prayer must proceed in stages, to give time for the victim to reestablish his/her authentic personality.
We can speculate as to how this happens. They are taunted and beguiled to violence by voices they cannot stop, and which reward or punish the victims in various ways. I have described how the demonic can reward a person with sexual favors. Punishment is also an option. My wife and I ministered to a person who was punished by interior spirit with severe headaches if she started to go to church. We might believe that at least some of these mass shooters have been rewarded and/or punished by interior demonic spirits in similar ways to a point of control. Finally, when the mass murdered is cornered by the police the voices/demons turn into screams of accusation and commands to commit suicide.
All of this is speculative, and I especially invite comments and critiques by ministers or others in the healing profession who have experience in the deliverance ministry.
The remedy is called REVIVAL.
Let us all pray that a great revival come to America, where the murder rate shrinks to minuscule levels.
On an unused scripture:
Before I proceed with my last speculation, let me bring up an incident from the book of Acts. It is that of Paul confronting a sorcerer and immobilizing him. (Acts 13: 8-12.)
With this scripture in mind, let me turn again to the issue of mass shooters with a final speculative word, but one that may be life-saving.
First, a sensible word from the US government. FEMA recently put out a brochure advising churches on how to react to mass shooters. It suggests that ministry staff talk about the possibility of a mass shooter incident and develop a quick response plan. It gives very sensible, secular advise. Basically: run, hid, and fight (i.e.,“take aggressive action" as in throwing chairs, fire-extinguishers, etc.). The brochure is in PDF format for dowwloading and available HERE.
More elaborate instructions are given in recent article HERE.
Not hint of a spiritual remedy - naturally. Now let me add that there may be an effectivce spiritual weapon in these incidents. IF, and only IF, one finds oneself trapped in a group with a demonized person shooting at people, and IF there is no way to run, hide or fight, try this: Speak towards the shooter but to the demons and command: “In the name of Jesus, be bound and paralyzed!” Now, I cannot guarantee this will work, and if all you get is a quick trip to heaven I will see you there some time later and personally apologize. But if you are about to be shot anyway, what is there to lose?
If you have had experiences with the demonic, and minister deliverance ministry of any sort I would love to hear from you in the blog comments.
I am adding (8/23/13) this report of an incident at an Atlanta area school which received way too little publicity. It could have been another school massacre, but it was stopped by a prayerful and faith filled school bookkeeper, Mrs. Tuff. She prayed the heavily armed and mentally disturbed intruder to disarm await arrest. The link to the news report is HERE. A fine interview of Mrs. Tuff appeared in Christianity Today and can be accessed HERE.
This article, published in the New York Times, verifies in secular vocabulary much of what I say about the demonic nature of voices found in some patients with schizophrenia. "Our Failed Approach to Schizophrenia." The link is HERE
An article in the Atlantic on mass shootings and contagion. How much of contagion is demonic influence? HERE