What Does Religion Say About Behavior Disorders?
Thanks for returning my e-mail. Okay, here is the topic, “What does religion say about behavior disorders?” This is for an abnormal psych class. I have narrowed the topic to examine: the Christian view of schizophrenia. Thus far, I have defined schizophrenia and explained that I will look at it in terms of Christianity. I have done a brief historical overview of how the Christian church viewed schizophrenia and I am now working on how it is viewed today. Part of what I want to include in my paper is the belief of demonic possession which still held today and how it is different from schizophrenia (in other words when does someone with the disease of schizophrenia begin to be thought of as being demonically possessed? or is demonic possession another thing altogether?) Did that make any sense? I hope so. I’ve been working on this paper pretty intensively for about four days and spent today in the library getting material. Anyway, any help on this matter would be helpful. Please give me also, the “credentials” of the person or persons responding to this question (i.e. Pastor of the……church, with a degree from……). I ask that so that the “reference” will be creditable. I thank you so much for your help.
In the Name of Jesus
Schizophrenia, huh? Well, let me begin by stating that I am not the pastor of Hegewisch Baptist Church, but the pastor feels comfortable enough with me to allow me to answer all the incoming e-mails that come off the Internet-regarding doctrine, deliverance, encouragement, etc. I have a degree but not in Theological Studies. My area of expertise is Computer Science. So quoting me, won’t really be a reputable source to include in your footnotes. What I can offer is a series of books you can quote from and I can summarize pretty quickly what the books have to offer.
First off, I’d have to suggest Win Worley’s booklets entitled, “Schizophrenia, Booklet #13″ and “Schizophrenia/Agoraphobia, Booklet #32″ as well as “Is it Mental Illness or Demons? Booklet #50.” The booklets are only $2.00 a piece and are commonly 35 or more pages long. Pastor Win Worley has credentials a mile long and was in the pastoral ministry for over 47 years before he passed away on December 19, 1993. The deliverance ministry–that casting out of evil spirits, was introduced to our fellowship through Win Worley in the early 70’s and our church experiences 1,000 to 1,500 first time visitors every year by word of mouth and has continued to have that kind of first time visitors for over 25 years. Win Worley also has over 33 hours of College Psychology in addition to his degree as well as many hours of post graduate work and time spent at Dallas Theological Seminary under the mentorship of Lewis Spery Chafer, president and founder of Dallas Theological Seminary. Win Worley was well aware of how Psychology described supernatural phenomenon, as well as how mass hysteria and powers of suggestion can work on crowds. Deliverance, and manifestations of evil spirits, do not fit in the above categories. They’re real, and they’re vicious. Win’s education will attest to this in his writings.
We believe that many demons are behind Schizophrenia. We have a member who was clinically diagnosed as schizophrenic as well as manic depressive. He no longer suffers from either of these “symptoms” after having received many years of deliverance from evil spirits. His testimony is in one of the booklets I listed above, if not, it’s in one of the 11 books Win penned on the subject of Deliverance. If you’d like to interview him over a phone conversation, his name is Al Roberts and he answers the phones for the church. He’d be happy to share with you his testimony.
The behavior, we look at as more like a symptom. The cause of the symptom is many times demons. Like you said, there is a biological side to things such as disease, but more often than not, what’s behind the disease are demons. When the demons are cast out, the symptoms disappear, the person is better able to act in a sound mind, and the behavior is “modified.” Behaviors, we believe, give us indications as to what spirits we are dealing with. “Behavior modification” cannot be accurately applied in it’s purest form to deliverance, because the person, we believe, is being driven and under pressure to do the things they do. The person is still responsible for his or her actions, but when the pressure is lifted, the person can make the correct and righteous choice with less intimidation from “within.”
The only behavior modification I can think of as mentioned in the Bible that comes to mind is this Proverb:
15 Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him. (KJV)
We believe that demons are in children as well. Unfortunately, children haven’t learned self-control. They haven’t learned how to go to the bathroom, how to pick up after themselves, how to watch their mouth as to what they say, how to eat with utensils. There are many things they cannot control yet, such as going to the bathroom. But as they grow older, although they may feel like doing something, they restrain themselves. Much the same way you or I do when we wake up in the morning and don’t feel like going to work or school, yet as an act of self-control, we exercise our will to do what is right, regardless of how we feel or what justifications we may have to not do what we know we must.
Kids, since they have not learned the art of self-control, must be corrected. Proverbs 22:15 tells us that the rod of correction shall drive it far from him. The child learns that even though they have demons, they fare better off if they use self-control to ignore the demons and do what they know is right. The alternative is a spanking. Through a spanking, behavior modification takes place, “Should I listen to the demons and do what I feel like doing, or do I do what is right so I don’t get a spanking?” The weighing of the benefits, the decision coming forth, “behavior modification” takes place.
It’s the same way with us and our Heavenly Father.
6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. (KJV)
We, knowing we have demons who tempt us which is beyond the normal desires of the flesh, have a choice. Do we do what we feel like doing and do what the demons drive us to do, or do we choose to follow the Lord and do what is right before Him? The choice is ours, just as the child had the choice before him. If we do what is right, the Lord blesses. If we do not do what the Lord says, He “chasteneth, and scourgeth” just as a parent would do his child.
So regardless if the demons are there, the only “behavior modification” that we believe takes place is the physical spanking a parents gives their child, or the “spiritual spanking” God gives his children through trials, tribulation, and outright chastisement. In either case, the end result is for our benefit, for our good because our Father knows best.
With all that said, receiving deliverance from the particular evil spirits that drive us “free up” our wills, by relieving the pressure they once put upon us from within. With that pressure lifted and now coming only from the outside, we are “stronger” to choose what is right. Our free will is never violated by the Lord. It’s our choice to do what is right or to do what is wrong. Even if being threatened with martyrdom death, an experience far more painful that demonic pressure, we have the choice. Please the Lord Jesus Christ, or not.
As for the booklets, you’ll find a lot of information. The heart of Schizophrenia is basically bound up in two major demonic spirits-Rejection and Rebellion. These two spirits are at the core of a network of spirits that make up “Schizophrenia.” Frank and Ida May Hammond wrote a book entitled, “Pigs in the Parlor.” There’s an entire chapter designated to Schizophrenia and graphic illustrations of this Rejection-Rebellion tag team.
As far as your word, “Possession.” If you’ll dig a little deeper into the Greek, you’ll find that there are many words describing demonic activity in a person’s life. Possession means 100%. The closest thing to that in the Bible is of course the Gadarene Demoniac.
And yet naked, cutting himself, and living in a cemetary, he still had the ability when he saw our Lord and Savior, “But when he saw Jesus afar off, he ran and worshipped him…” (Mark 5:6). Demons don’t run to Jesus. They run away from Jesus. This act was an act of the Gadarene man. We believe that Jesus heard the cry of this man’s heart form the other side of the Galilee Lake. He made the trip there, and then immediately returned. Why did He do that? He ministered to that one man. We believe that the man ran to Jesus to beg for help, with all that he had in him, he threw himself at the Savior’s feet right before the demons inside him took over and began speaking through him. Even the Gadarene Demoniac had an ounce of will and strength.
We can also look at Judas where the Bible says, “Then entered Satan into Judas surnamed Iscariot, being of the number of the twelve” (Luke 22:3). Again we see demons inside people. When they are inside people they are able to do their most dastardly work. And yet Judas later regretted giving in to Satan’s wishes when the Bible states, “Saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? See thou to that. And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself” (Matt 27:4-5).
So people think, “Well, demons only enter into evil people.” Like only whino’s and murderers are full of demons. Not so, demons even entered into the disciples and apostles:
Satan entered Peter as well when the Bible states, “But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men” (Matt 16:23). Now why would Jesus, the living God Incarnate, mistake Peter for Satan? He didn’t mistake Peter for Satan. Satan had entered into Peter and Jesus recognized who was speaking to Him and addressed the speaker accordingly. Demons enter people to accomplish their purposes. And yet Peter became one of the apostles when Jesus rose again and the Holy Spirit came upon him at Pentecost.
Even the apostle Paul had a spirit in him. The Bible states, “And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure” (2 Cor 12:7). “…a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan…” Let’s examine that for a minute. A messenger of God, would be an angel, like Gabriel, right? A messenger of Satan, would be what? An evil angel, or a demon.
Would you think it proper to say that the Apostle Paul was possessed like the Gadarene Demoniac was possessed? That would be absurd, wouldn’t it? It’s kind’a like saying, “I love God. I love ice cream. I love my dog.” Is that to say that I love God as much as I love my dog and ice cream? The Greek uses another word to describe how much a person has been infiltrated by demons. The word is “Demonized.” There are different levels, or amounts of ground demons have taken over which make them more and more demonized.
Hollywood gave the word “possessed” the stigma of The Exorcist. People think that if you say you have a demon, that your head might spin around. At the same time, a lot of “jump on the bandwagon of Deliverance” churches have watered down the casting out of evil spirits as to say that demons can only be on the outside, not inside Christians. Was the Apostle Paul a Christian? Certainly so. And yet he had a demon. How much more should I, a sinner saved by grace, have demons as well in my flesh?
I gave a presentation in Communications class in College on demons. A local downtown Memphis Homeless men and women’s shelter allowed me to borrow video tapes of these people getting deliverance. I was into DC Talk at the time (no longer–got delivered from a lot of Rock and Roll spirits), and played the song in the background called “Some people gotta learn the hard way.” Before each manifestation, I held up a poster-board describing which spirits the people in the video were getting deliverance from–Lust, Pride, Masturbation, Drugs, Alcohol, etc. so that everyone could see where this type of activity leads. There were no questions when I finished and the teacher was in shock. Hopefully your will turn out better than mine did.
You can also visit our web site bookroom at http://www.hbcdelivers.org/wrw.htm and take a look at our deliverance material. You might find a lot of other books I can’t think of at the moment.
One last thing I’d like to mention–true deliverance, the casting out of evil spirits, is mutually exclusive from Psychology. The two have nothing in common. It’s that black and white. Before a person is really able to get free from a lot of spirits, they first have to fight with the spirits of Psychology which justify everything and explain everything away. It’s like talking with Doubting Thomas. There are some excellent resources in the bookroom describing how Psychology, even Christian Psychology, is at the heart, an attack on God’s Word and a Gnostic Heresy that has entered the church in the religious guise of “doing good.” Biblical Counseling is as far from Psychological Counseling as day is from night. There’s a huge difference and I hope that this study helps you come across this as well.
I hope I have been able to be of some help. Visit the church if you can. We have deliverance after every service we hold and we hold three services a week. Better yet, there’s an October Workshop coming up October 16 or 17 through the 20th. We spend the entire time teaching the fundamentals of deliverance. On Saturday night, we do a Mass Deliverance, where there’ll be hundreds of people manifesting. It gets pretty wild, but come Sunday morning, there are tears on many faces from the joy of being set free from the things that years and thousands of dollars in Psychology could never help. You’d get SO much out of it, and it’s only a month and a half away. Check out the Workshop Schedule on the HBC web page http://www.hbcdelivers.org.
Let me know if I can be of any further service. I don’t think that my subsequent e-mails will be quite as long as this one.