Saturday, July 05, 2008

Baring Fangs

There seems to be a lot of fantastic acting going on these past few weeks. First, Hollywood released blockbuster after blockbuster to overwhelm the viewing appetite of the movie-going public. What with National Treasure 2, Indiana Jones, Iron Man, Prince Caspian...the list goes on. Coming up is Hellboy II and the widely anticipated Batman, though the Joker could be the main draw this time. This was Heath Ledger's last major starring role (as the Joker) before he committed suicide.

The other acting closer to home is the trial of Mdm Valli, or rather the Priests, Volunteers and the Novena Catholic Church. Unexpectedly, counsel for Mdm Valli, Mr RS Bajwa, has now put on the mantel of priesthood by uttering "May God forgive you", referring to Father Simon Tan, at the conclusion of his cross-examination of the same. Has Mr Baja taken holy orders? He appears to be more of an expert on exorcism than the priests, and he seems to know when one should stop talking to God, more so than the priests, when he questioned the efficacy of the prayer sessions during their attempts to help Mdm Valli.

Father Tan was understanding enough. He doesn't seem to be perturbed and merely stated that the way counsel behaved was consistent with him doing his job.

Readers would know that I have the greatest doubt and skepticism regarding the plaintive's case. I maintain that opinion. Counsel's behaviour does not help me form a more sympathetic view for the plaintive. This trial is probably going to turn more ugly before the truth comes out, if it has not already surfaced, i.e.


Image source: Author: Emily Roesly


peter said...

Actually if we analyse this case beyond who is guilty, there are certain things which are not known to the general public. For me it has been a personal experience and observationas to what exactly goes on.

There are churches and cell-groups especially those that belong to the Evangelistic type or Independent Churches in Singapore. I witnessed one cell-group meeting where ordinary folks who are appointed as cell-group leaders or "the annointed one" pray and do deliverance to people afflicted with personal problems, ill health and what-nots. They utter such words as " In the name of JESUS, Devil you leave this person". Sometimes they encourage other cell-group members to lay their hands over the victim to "slay the devil". The victim falls backwards and manny would say that this is a result of the devil being cast off from the body.

In the light of the above, if I am someone who does not really know the difference between exorcism and prayer/deliverance and I am following this court trial, I assume this to exorcism of some kind, don/t you think so?

Now as an experienced Christian/Catholic (what ever the label is deemed suitable by others) myself, I keep my distance from such churches and cell-groups because it appears that every person is capable of "slaying the devil". IN this sense are we not dabbling in witchcraft or exorcism ourselves?

Epilogos said...

The Gospel according to Mark Chapter 9 relates an incident where some of Jesus' disciples tried but where not successful in casting out a demon - "...And I spoke to Your disciples that they should cast him out, and they could not..." -(v 18). These same disciples asked him later why they had failed ("....Why could we not cast him out?") - (v 28).

Jesus answered, "...This kind can come out by nothing except by prayer and fasting." - (v 29).

So there are different types of demons and there is no one way to caste out demons. I agree that exorcism practices appear often to be naive today, even clumsy sometimes. Christians must realise that they are dealing with powers which are beyond them and that they must humbly seek the Lord through much 'prayer and fasting'.

So I believe that:
1. demon possession is real
2. Christians are empowered to caste out demons
3. they can fail to do so