Demon Of The Day: Rage
Posted by Job on April 9, 2007
Seeing an MSNBC column on a rare rage disease that might have contributed to the Hatfield – McCoy legendary feud was fascinating. This weblog is not opposed to medicine and science, but rather applies the Bible to them just like everything else. Rage is different from mere anger, or even fury. It is intense, uncontrollable, and includes acts of violence. According to the article; this condition leaves effects on the physical body: high blood pressure, headaches, heart palpitations, and elevated adrenaline levels. It also mentions Von Hippel-Lindau disease, which can also cause tumors in the eyes, ears, pancreas, kidney, brain, adrenal glands, and spine. Now realize that evil spirits do have the ability to leave physical marks on people. They also have the ability to provoke diseases and conditions that result in physical marks or scars. But the interesting thing is that when confronted with an excuse to explain and blame all of his family’s trouble, a leader of the Hatfield family denied it. How could their feud have been caused by a disease when there were other violent bloody but less notorious feuds? Instead, he attributes the conflict that cost his family so much for so long to the HEARTS of the participants involved. Generations of fighting over land, money, perceived slights, reputation, and (of course) revenge. A burning desire to be the one who wins, the one who comes out on top. A refusal to forgive or let go. Bitterness, resentment, hatred. A complete unwillingness to be the one to lose the battle to win the war, even if it means keeping your own child from being the next one to be shot dead over a pig. The human heart, a selfish prideful human heart that exalts itself above God, was the reason for it all. You may have a disease or nature in you, but you can resist. You may have a demon in you, but you can get it cast out. You can change! You just have to want you. You need a reason for a new life.
This Hatfield – McCoy feud as well as the feuds that have afflicted countless other families appear to be a case of “demons of inheritance”, where demons pass down family lines. Some claim that demons can be transmitted from partner to partner during sexual intercourse, and from mother to child in vitro. Others go for a more environmental explanation: that if a child is born into a family that has problems with a specific demon, say rage, that he or she will learn the behaviors that give a demon a legal right to accuse and enter that person. Using myself as an example, not long ago at all I filled with anger and was not even trying to control my verbal outbursts and attempts to intimidate other people. Then I noticed that my child, not even a year old, was already emulating my behavior. So I had to go into prayer and fasting (as well as a major lifestyle change to remove temptations and bad habits) in order to stop, and not long after I stopped my child stopped. Now had I not heeded God when He showed me how my behavior was affecting my child, there is no telling what kind of shape he would be in today. As for myself, I do not have to look far from where I received that behavior: my own parents argued with each other constantly until they divorced (at which time they argued at each other in separate with the children serving as surrogates and go – betweens), and their own parents did similar. And when it wasn’t arguing with the spouse (or ex – spouse), it was arguing with siblings, co – workers, friends, and the people at church. In every case, nothing was ever their fault. They could never let go. They always had to be the one to wind up on top or get the last word in. And yes, they began to come down with health problems that most medical professionals would call “stress – related” (as did their own parents). And yes, those same health problems began to afflict me.
But you know what? When I started to let the other guy win arguments, when I began to allow the taunts and teases of people go unanswered, when I no longer had to get the last word in or be right all the time, the rage left. And so did the health problems. It is actually amazing: when I in the grip of rage, I was years younger, in my proper weight range, and exercising, yet I still had high blood pressure, acid reflux disease, and the beginnings of ulcers and other problems. (Yes, add those to the asthma, kidney disease, sleep apnea, and respiratory infections that I was struggling with, I was pretty miserable.) But when I obeyed God and humbled myself before Him, though I have since aged, put on some pounds, and really do need to get back to the gym, all of those health problems are gone.
Were there root causes, issues from my past and with my family that were feeding my rage? Of course. But people, I did not have to go resolve any issues from my past. (Good thing too, because my family never did change.) I did not have to go sit in the chair of some counselor (not that I oppose such; quite the contrary Bible – believing Christians in such fields as psychology, psychiatry, family therapy, etc. do great jobs). All I had to do was obey God and let go of my pride and vengefulness, and the rage demons had no more legal right to me or to my child or my wife (whom I was also persecuting).
Sadly, we live in a culture today that glorifies and rewards rage. We used to glorify rage in men, now we are promoting such as a virtue in women. Of course, it does not matter which sex we build these up in, because one will provoke rage in the other by interacting with them, and both will work together to create an environment where rage will be inculcated within their kids. I hate to sound like the typical religious right moral censor who rails on and on against violent movies, TV shows, video games, books, etc. but let me tell you: when I was giving myself over to my rage spirits, I LOVED all of those things, because it fed those spirits, and those things gave me great ideas and inspirations on how to act out my feelings on those around me (especially on the expressway). Even when I couldn’t actually vent my rage on people, it was easy for me to retreat into my little fantasy world where I could plot and dream up acts of hate and revenge against anybody and everybody. Now some people into spiritual warfare tell you that evil spirits are actually in the movies or comic books or on the CDs and can enter the user when watched. Others say that demons of this sort may just be hanging around you, and by virtue of watching this stuff they get a legal right to enter you. At the very least, if you already have these spirits in your life, A) you are drawn to this stuff because of it and B) the cultural pollution can trigger it. Again, I speak from experience. In order to overcome my rage, I had to stop reading the National Review, the American Spectator, and OpinionJournal. I had to leave the talk radio (politics and sports) alone. I had to give up Fox News. The violent and emotionally manipulative movies and TV shows had to go, and so did the rap and rock music, BET, and MTV. And so on. There was a withdrawal period, but afterwards I had to admit that the only reason why I liked all that junk to begin with was because of my own problems.
Now please do not accuse me of being some sort of legalist. I am not saying that giving up all that stuff makes you more holy, will take you to heaven, earn you a better position in heaven, will allow you to speak in tongues or get some other spiritual gift, etc. This is just what I had to do in order for the rage demons to be cast out of me, and to close the doors so they would not come back. Let me repeat: I liked getting angry. I liked hurting people. I liked seeing people get hurt. And so on. If you are not having the sorts of problems that I had, then maybe you don’t have to give up all that stuff. If you think that going to see some action, horror, or splatter movie or buying that video game, watching anime, or listening to either aggressive violent music or the talk radio ranters will not have any effect on your behavior or your relationship with God, then go ahead. I only have one caveat though: pornography has been consistently proven in every sort of test imaginable – statistical, clinical, etc. - by Christian AND secular researchers to increase violence, anger, and rage in men. But if you are someone who is bound by demons of rage, then you need to do whatever you have to in order to be spiritually free from them before you harm someone else or yourself, and that includes the harm that you may cause in your children, your spouse, your other family, friends, co – workers, etc. by virtue of their being exposed to your behavior. And if you know someone who has rage problems, then you must first A) pray and intercede for them and B) attempt to counsel them to seek the spiritual (and possibly professional if the professional is a Bible – believing Christian) help. Help is available for the person afflicted with rage, but first that person must WANT help, and in many cases the biggest battle that needs to be fought and won is praying until the person who needs help recognizes and accepts it.