By Norman Grubb
Union Life Vol 1 #1
Q Demon possession of Christians has long been debated. How is it possible to have the Spirit of Truth and simultaneously be demon-possessed? If one discerns such a condition in a member of their family, should exorcism be recommended? If not, what should be done?
A On the question of demon possession in Christians, I don’t see why I should pursue it beyond Scripture, and I don’t find any such question raised there! It is sufficient for me that if a demonic presence is observed in anyone, such as fits John’s test in 1 John 4:1-3, I will immediately use the authority of the Name of Jesus and cast it out. In my own ministry I usually look for and find that the binding is negative believing in the power of Satan or self-condemnation. Release comes by the transfer of faith to who we are as redeemed sons, for greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world.
While with C. T. Studd in the Congo years ago, we heard that someone had written that because of Studd’s extremeness for Jesus in sacrifice and faith, maybe he had a demon. His reply was, “Good! Then if I have a demon I shall go to hell. Then I will get so busy preaching the Gospel to the devils that Satan will open the door and push me out quick, lest I get all his devils saved!” This is the best answer for all this demon fuss.
Q The recent extreme emphasis on the areas of submission, authority, covering, and shepherding in certain circles has caused many of us to re-evaluate our understanding of the words. Specifically, should every Christian have a human “covering” in the form of one with whom he or she clears all major decisions?
A I find sweeping statements in Scripture on the need for all of us to be servants one to another, especially those in leadership positions. I interpret that to mean that, in union with Him who “took upon Himself the form of a servant,” that same Spirit expresses Himself by me. However, this expression is not in response to human legal demands, but in the freedom which makes me love to respect and submit to those to whom God leads me to be in that relationship. But such relationships go only insofar as He leads me; and therefore I am equally free to withstand where He leads me to withstand. I am fearful of man-imposed claims over, and restrictions upon, spirits freed in Christ.
Q I have a Christian daughter of legal age with a life-style ‘totally unacceptable. Because of the effect on younger children, my wife and I have told her not to call or come home until she wants to change or be changed. Were we wrong to apply the harsh church-situation advice of 1 Cor. 5:5 (“deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh”) to this family situation?
A Parents sometimes must use their authority even to the point of shutting out from their home an older child whose influence may harm younger children. We are free as responsible parents to act decisively as God directs, and we need take no condemnation for such action. We know our parental love is not something soulish, soft or sentimental, but of the quality which will cause us to lay down our lives at any time for our children.