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Posts Tagged ‘Rabbi Peter Rubenstein’

Fox News Asks Whether Virginia Tech Shooter Cho Seung-Hui Was Demon Possessed

Posted by Job on April 19, 2007

See this link. The article was WAY TOO SHORT, but other than that one cannot find any problems with it. Fox News gave first crack to the fundamentalist/charismatic Christian camp, which was represented (somewhat regrettably) Dr. Richard Roberts, who, like me yesterday screamed “YES!” Why do I say “regrettably”? Because there were better people that they could have picked (i.e. Frank Peretti) to represent the branch of Christianity that believes in spiritual warfare. Why do I say “somewhat?” Because, well, there are also much much worse. Next, the article spoke to a rabbinic Jew, who claimed not to believe in spiritual evil, but only man’s evil. Which, of course, denies all of the references to evil spirits in the Old Testament and in Jewish written and oral tradition before Yeshua HaMashiach came into the world, including the specific Messianic prophecy (that appears only in Jewish tradition and is not in the Christian Bible) that the Moshiach would be able to cast demons out of mute people. Before the Moshiach, rabbis were able to cast demons out only if they were able to force the demon to speak through the person and tell its name, allowing the rabbi to address the demon by name to tell it to leave. Yeshua HaMashiach was not only able to cast demons out while not suffering them to speak, but cast demons out of those who could not speak. Of course, their ability to do this was based on the power that God have to natural Israel under the Old Covenant. Once the Old Covenant was fulfilled in Yeshua HaMashiach’s birth, life, death, resurrection, and ascension, they would have had to have accept Yeshua HaMashiach as their Messiah, Lord, and God not only to gain the increased power of the New Covenant by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, but also to prevent from losing the power that they had under the Old Covenant. So, since their faithlessness and rebellion caused them to lose the ability to deal with evil spirits that Christians now demonstrated, they had to revise their religious teachings to deny the existence of spiritual evil altogether. (I feel that it is important to point out that not all rabbinic Jews deny evil spirits … Rabbi Peter Rubenstein practices Reform Judaism which does not hold scripture to be inerrant, literally true, or final authority, making them no different from similar Christians who do not believe in them either.) Next they give time to the views of an atheist, no need for much comment there other than they were able to find one who “appreciates how religion first understood evil and created rules to combat it.” While that may warm the heart of certain worldly legalism – loving “religious right” Christians, hopefully true fundamentalists will cringe at his viewing Christianity as morals, values, rules, etc. rather than a spiritual personal relationship through faith.

Finally the article got to good old Robert Schuller, the leader of inoffensive nonthreatening Purpose Driven Power of Positive Thinking Contemplative New Age seeker driven man centered “Christianity.” His response: even if Satan (or more accurately evil spirits) WERE a cause or a contributing factor, “I am not going to give them credit for it.” That’s right Reverend. Deny spiritual truth from the Word of God – and spiritual truth that you yourself acknowledge is very likely true – just because it makes people feel better. It isn’t about equipping people for battle against these spirits to try to stand against these horrors and the worse to come. It isn’t about helping your members deal with the divorces, abortions, low self – esteem, false burdens, gossiping, lying, homosexuality, pornography/alcohol/gambling addictions, etc. that are reaching epidemic proportions in the church: about telling them that do not worry, they are still saved, they should not accept guilt/shame/condemnation but instead have faith in the power of God’s Love and Grace to expose and deliver them from demonic oppression. No, it is all about reassuring the people. Filling them with “positive good feelings.” Helping them to paper over and repress their legitimate emotions over a culture, nation, and world spiraling out of control in so many ways with homilies and platitudes.

It would have been interesting to see what the mainstream and liberal denominations would have had to say about demonic possession in the Cho Seung-Hui case and similar, but hey, we will take what we can get in the major media on this topic, and that means accepting Richard Roberts’ advocating our side too.

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