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Apostles have been raised up by God

Via Ed Brayton, Terry Gross talks to the apostle C Peter Wagner. Be afraid.

On demons

“As we talk, in Oklahoma City there is an annual meeting of a professional
society called the Apostolic — called the International Society of Deliverance
Ministers, which my wife and I founded many years ago. … This is a society of
a large number, a couple hundred, of Christian ministers who are in the ministry of deliverance. Their seven-day-a-week occupation is casting demons out of people. And they have professional expertise in this and they happen to meeting — to be meeting right now. My wife is one of them. She’s written a whole book called How to Cast Out Demons. And I don’t do that much. Once in a while when I get in a corner, I might. But that’s — that’s been her ministry.
And so I’ve been very, very close to that for years. We’ve been married for 60
years.”

On people in American politics being possessed by demons

“We don’t like to use the word possessed because that means they don’t have any power of their own. We like to use the word afflicted or, technical term, demonized. But there are people who — yes, who are — who are directly affected by demons, not only in politics, but also in the arts, in the media and religion in the Christian church.”

This guy is seriously terrifying. He’s not some sad Dennis Markuze, he’s got a lot of followers. When exactly will the witch-hunts start, one wonders.

On demon identification

“Sometimes they know. Sometimes the demon has identified itself to the person. Sometimes you can tell by manifestations of superhuman, unhuman behavior. Sometimes you can tell by skilled deliverance ministers. My wife has a five-page questionnaire that she has people fill out before she ministers to them. So she asks the kind of questions that a medical doctor would ask to find out, to diagnose an illness. So she actually does diagnostic work on people to discover not only if they have demons, but what those demons might be.”

She actually does diagnostic work, and demons are as real as bacteria, and her diagnostic work can detect them and say what kind they are, just like a medical doctor…Yet these people aren’t some hicks who live 4o miles up Cowshit Road and can’t do much damage.

On whether other religions and nonbelieving Christians are
demonic

“Well, it means they’re not part of the kingdom of heaven. It means they’re
part of the kingdom of darkness. An apostle, a friend of mine in Nepal, once
told me that every Christian believer in Nepal that he knows of has been
delivered from demons. That their former Hindu religion had implanted, or the
demons had gained access, and that in order to become Christian believers, the
demons had to be cast out. Of course, we have many examples in the Bible of the same thing.”

Ah well if a friend of his told him that – there’s no more to be said.

On what it means to be an apostle

“In terms of the role of the apostle, one of the biggest changes from traditional churches to the New Apostolic Reformation is the amount of spiritual authority delegated by the Holy Spirit to individuals. And the two key words are authority and individuals — and individuals as contrasted to groups. So now, apostles have been raised up by God who have a tremendous authority in the churches of the New Apostolic Reformation.”

He thinks he’s been raised up by God. He thinks he has spiritual authority. He’s apparently serious.

If only these people were just a tiny minority.

Comments

  1. phillipreed says

    My wife has a five-page questionnaire that she has people fill out before she ministers to them. So she asks the kind of questions that a medical doctor would ask to find out, to diagnose an illness. So she actually does diagnostic work on people to discover not only if they have demons, but what those demons might be.

    Any chance we can get a copy of that questionnaire?

  2. says

    When superstitious New Apostolic Reformation folks attribute things to demons, they reduce them to evils that need to be vanquished, rather than issues to be understood. I agree — it’s terrifying that people still think this way in the 21st century.

  3. Stewart says

    Thank you very much, Phillip.

    Question 10, p.179: Are you satisfied with your Christian walk?

    (The Minister for that is presumably John Cleese.)

    Question 8, p.185: the cults.

    (I guess they left Judaism off the list because Christianity descended from it.)

    Question 9, p.186: they need to know exactly what items of Masonic regalia are in your possession.

    Yay! They didn’t neglect yoga (question 10, p.190)!

    The Jackpot: Question 2, p.192 – To your knowledge, was there evidence of lust in your parents, grandparents or further back?

    How could they not then ask “If no, how the hell did you get here?”

    Question 6, p.193: Women are asked the names of all their rapists (no bloody comment).

    Sorry, I was premature with that Jackpot award: question 10, p.195 – you’re asked to give the names of the animals with whom you’ve committed bestiality.

    Ok, enough. Priceless, but horrific.

  4. julian says

    That their former Hindu religion had implanted, or the demons had gained access, and that in order to become Christian believers, the demons had to be cast out.

    That was the saddest bit to read. They’re convincing people that their culture has filled them with demons and that they must reject them to ever be good. That’s just sick. Missionary work is still about preying on the ignorant, desperate and poor.

  5. phillipreed says

    I guess they left Judaism off the list because Christianity descended from it.

    According to typical wingnut logic, Jews are honorary Christians.

  6. Stewart says

    It’s a bit of a mind-boggling epic fail, isn’t it? Start a new religion, name it Christianity after the the main character, who’s the son of god, no less, and what is he?

    Jewish.

  7. says

    Phillip — Thanks for the link.

    I looked at that survey, and my jaw dropped. The detailed sexual questions were bad enough, but do these people really believe that martial arts and heavy metal music cause demon possession? Jeez!

  8. Stewart says

    If they do believe it, then a truly authentic film about Jesus would have to feature quite a bit of heavy metal and martial arts – unless the demons have simply been changing to keep up with the times.

  9. AsqJames says

    An apostle, a friend of mine in Nepal, once told me that every Christian believer in Nepal that he knows of has been delivered from demons. That their former Hindu religion had implanted, or the demons had gained access, and that in order to become Christian believers, the demons had to be cast out.

    Did anybody else read that and think of the many reports of “exorcisms” in parts of Africa (and even in African communities in the west: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/4596127.stm)?

  10. says

    AsqJames — Oh, missionaries are definitely taking that approach in Africa. Look up a German evangelist named Reinhard Bonnke.

  11. Jim Baerg says

    p179 Question 9
    “Do you have a problem with doubt & unbelief in everyday Christion living.”

    My answer: No. I have all the doubt & unbelief I need.

    How can anyone take seriously someone who claims to speak for God. Surely if Lord God Creator & Ruler of all the Universe has a message for humanity he can write it in glowing letters in the night sky or something equally unambiguous & available to everyone.

  12. Smokey Dusty says

    As a bastard myself, brother of four bastards and father of two bastards I find question 2 c interesting (and concerning). So much prejudice is tied up in that question. I occasionally meet people who think their children are better than mine because the appropriate magic spells have cast. Perhaps we’ll be rounded up first when the witch hunts start.

    2 f, g and h are interesting too. One can obviously pick a demonized women by her pregnancy complications. Also your demonization is all your evil mother’s fault. And pregnancy complications are a woman’s own fault too. If only she’d been more devout.

  13. bad Jim says

    “Has lying or stealing been a problem for you?”

    Yes, I find it very difficult to lie or steal.

    “Do you find it easy to communicate with persons close to you?”

    No, my mother has Alzheimer’s, which makes conversations tend to the surreal.

    I so wanted a question about whether I had a problem with drugs, to which I could respond Yes, I don’t know where to get them.

  14. Stewart says

    I sneaked a peek beyond the questionnaire. The specificity is beyond belief (“Those of British or Commonwealth descent shouldn’t need to pray through those paragraphs” – p. 210; what does “shouldn’t” mean here? – don’t you know with absolute certainty?!).

    It also seems I wasn’t kidding with the John Cleese reference: “I renounce… the spirit of Python…” (p.213)

  15. hermionesotter says

    #20 – maybe there are also instructions for using the Soft Cushions or the Comfy Chair?

  16. Rudi says

    What amazes me is how matter-of-fact this guy is about the existence of these supernatural beings. If I genuinely felt I had evidence for demons I would be both astonished and fascinated (not to mention terrified), and would hasten to document this evidence to demonstrate my findings to the skeptics (and the Nobel Prize Committee!).

    That Wagner does none of this is to my mind an indirect testament to his charlatanry. I am reminded of something Derren Brown wrote in ‘Tricks Of The Mind’ about hypnosis – his understanding of it (and who would doubt his credentials on this) was that when hypnotised and made to act out fantasy scenarios, people KNOW what they are doing isn’t real and are essentially pretending. The example he used was when he hypnotised someone to believe there was a rhinoceros in his office. The matter-of-fact way his subject dealt with this – calmy leading the rhinoceros out of the building! – was a tell-tale sign that on some level he knew it wasn’t reality. There are distinct echoes of that behaviour with Wagner IMO.

  17. lordshipmayhem says

    Question 2, p.192 – “To your knowledge, was there evidence of lust in your parents, grandparents or further back?”

    Well, there’s me. “The author would like to thank his parents, without whose sincerest co-operation, he would not exist.”

    If they do believe it, then a truly authentic film about Jesus would have to feature quite a bit of heavy metal and martial arts – unless the demons have simply been changing to keep up with the times.

    And I give you, Jesus Christ, Vampire Hunter, protecting the lesbians of Ottawa from the undead with the help of Mexican wrestler El Santos.

  18. Vicki says

    Does it count if the Masonic regalia is in my house, but belongs to someone else?

    (My partner has a Masonic sword passed down from his great-grandfather. It sits in a corner and gathers dust, since we are neither Masons nor fencers.)

  19. phrankeaufyl says

    Question 9, p. 186: “Do you suffer from … skepticism[,] unbelief … doubt … ?”

    Nope. Those are the things that keep me sane and happy. I don’t suffer from them at all.

  20. says

    Thanks to Phillip for the link.

    It would have been a help if Doris M Wagner had provided a list of correct answers to all the questions, or told me what to look for in the answers that would indicate that I, not being one of her patients, have my internal hard drive corrupted by one or more demons.

    I assume from these questions that I am likely to need her antidemon software. I have been interested in martial arts, yoga, an Eastern religion (ie Christianity) and I’ve got a tiki in a drawer somewhere. Thankfully, I am repelled by rap music, heavy metal and punk rock, but Elvis laid down some classic tracks; likewise ’60s bands too numerous to mention.

    The further I go, the worse my situation gets. Even firewalking: I had an old open-top car once with a leaky exhaust manifold that set fire to my boot, resulting in a fire dance on my part after I screeched it to a stop and got out.

    Sex is one of the Devil’s main interests, and therefore and quite understandably, it has to be Wagner’s too. She certainly devotes an awful lot of space to it.

    Parentage, whether the patient was adopted, conceived out of wedlock, had a difficult birth; whether the patient’s parents were foreigners, Christians, divorced or still living together and so on. It would be hard for many people to miss out answering ‘yes’ a few times, and therefore on some probability of possession. At least, that’s the way it is for me.

    Better hire myself an exorcist, just to be on the safe side.

  21. Smokey Dusty says

    @ #20 Not enough space. There’s no way I could answer Category 4 Question 1 in the space allotted. I wonder if I’m allowed to attach extra sheets.

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