Not far from my house is a field. One early summer as I was riding past it on a Sunday morning I noticed that the field had marquees up and thousands of Ethiopians had descended on the field. Curiosity got the better of me and I stopped to ask one of the stewards what was going on. A priest had been brought over from Ethiopia and was going to perform some exorcisms.
That the exorcisms were on full public display took me rather by surprise. Despite extensive travel, I’d never really considered exorcism as public spectacle before. I had a similar jolt watching some of the videos released by The Last Reformation and their very public exorcisms.
I’d been taught to conduct this ministry in private for the sake of the afflicted, but of course Jesus’ own ministry was very open-air. So it made me wonder again why the casting out of evil spirits has been downplayed in the ministry of Jesus. Anthony Le Donne gives four reasons why this may have happened.
- Paul doesn’t care about exorcism
- The Gospel of John doesn’t care about exorcism.
- The Hebrew Bible doesn’t care about exorcism.
- We rarely see career exorcists in church history.
I’m not sure he’s right about Paul if you include Acts 16:16-21 and Acts 19:11-20 but it’s true that Paul doesn’t mention it in his letters.
In a previous post, Where did all the demons go? I laid out ten steps as to why I felt that it remained an important part of church ministry.
As John Piper says
Demons are real, Satan is real, and every pastor should do a serious study of the devil and of his ways and of demons, and decide how he is going to deal with that.
Photo by grammarshy