Are Demons Active Today?
by Jack Cottrell (Notes) on Wednesday, September 30, 2009 at 8:26am
QUESTION ABOUT DEMONS: Where does the Church of Christ (nondenominational) stand on the issue of demonic activity in modern times? Does demonic possession exist only in Catholic lore and legend, or does our fellowship also believe in its possibility, but not enough to ever really mention it? If you could refer me to any reputable reading on the matter, I’d be deeply appreciative.
MY REPLY: There is no unanimity on this issue within Restoration Movement circles today. In earlier times, including my student days, the tendency was to deny modern-day demonic activity. Ever since the occult “came out of the closet” in the late 1960s, I believe the tendency has shifted in the other direction. Ever since the early 1970s I have taught that demons are very active in the world today, and that even Christians can be demonized. I have a brief section on this in my book, “The Faith Once for All” (ch. 8). I believe in this very strongly. In fact, I teach a one-credit course on Demonology in our seminary curriculum; it is required for those in the counseling program. Also, I am teaching a ten-week Wednesday-night series on this subject in my local church (Bright Christian Church, Bright, IN). For reading on the subject, you could see Ben Alexander’s work, including his book, “Out from Darkness” (revised ed., 1993). He is a converted spiritist and has first-hand experience with modern demon activity. He denies that demons can be present in Christians, though; I disagree with him on this. Non-Restoration authors I recommend are Merrill Unger, C. Fred Dickason, and Neil Anderson. A Restoration author who denies modern demonic activity is Wayne Jackson from the Apologetics Press. See his “Demons: Ancient Superstition or Historical Reality?” in AP’s periodical, “Reason and Revelation” (April 1998). I believe his arguments are faulty, though.