Overcoming obstacles with Optimism

Sex, religion and politics are taboo subjects in our culture.  We all arrive to our beliefs through different paths.  Regardless of what I think, I try hard to respect all opinions that are shared with me.  I agree with some.  I disagree with others.  I know everyone draws conclusions from their different experiences.  Respect that.  I will respect you.  But don’t hurt me and/or others.

Picture courtesy of Morgue Files

Recently, I was attending a church.  The lesson of the week was Mark 9.  Within this, there is a verse that deals with a boy falling to the ground having what could be interpreted as a seizure.  The pastor at this church taught the son was having seizures and Jesus rescued him by purging the evil spirits from his body.  After church, I went up and asked this pastor to further define his view of epilepsy and religion.  He said “not all seizures, but those not medically diagnosable, could be fallen angels or evil spirits taking over the body of people who have not been born again.”  ….But, he did not feel all seizures were the work of the devil.

I kept quiet after his explanation.  I needed time to really think about his comments before I reacted emotionally rather than respond intelligently.  The following week I went up again after the service to continue our conversation.  My hope for an unemotional discussion was quickly dashed.  I asked questions about the progression of medical knowledge and miracles of healing beyond purging of the devil.  After all, the blind man saw again and the lame man walked.  I asked about young children who had seizures.  He said the evil spirits could possess them too if they were living in a home without two believers.

I explained to the pastor beliefs like this were not only discouraging but potentially harmful.  On different occasions, I have been invited to churches because they felt they would heal me from these “fallen angels”.  It never worked.  There have been children who have even died because of the extreme religious view seizures can be healed by laying of hands or exorcism.  I also explained to this man for the first ten years I was a child with seizures not medically diagnosed, I was not possessed because my parents were nonbelievers.  While an adult, we did find the medical reason, and no evil spirits fled from my body.  When the neurosurgeon cut open my skull and removed the piece of brain, his medical reports did not claim a swoosh of air passed him because fallen angels or a possession of the devil exited my damaged brain.

I hope this message is passed on by many and some with doubts are able to understand: Seizures are a medical, not religious, condition.


Comments on: "The Devil Didn’t Make Me Do It" (7)

  1. Bravo, Tara.
    But you know it was already said way back in the Gospel: They have eyes, but see not. They have ears, but hear not. So if you don’t get through to such people —- there are centuries-old precedents.

  2. I am sure there are many people who would not even think about asking such a question. Yes, you are brave. You are compassionate enough to assess the words “preached” that day. And, cared enough about the message it sent to all.
    Blessings Tara.

  3. Wow, wow, wow . . . Tara, I couldn’t agree with you more: seizures are not the result of demon possession and treating them as such is NO help at all—and potentially something that can hurt or kill a person.

    I think it is wrong and mean to give someone innocent—be they child or adult—the impression that they have an “evil spirit” inside of them controlling their body—and mind.

    I have heard a lot of stuff regarding religion in my time, but I have never the “demons could have free run of a home/family if it’s not ‘protected’ by two believers” angle. Sounds like a way to drive a wedge between a husband and wife if they “believe” differently. Is that the way religion is supposed to work: to split families?

    Tara, I’m sorry you had to go through this then and now. I know you are a caring person and a believer; you deserve to be treated as such by clergy.

    This was a VERY good post.

  4. Really don’t know what to say because this is just bonkers. Thank you so much for having the courage to speak up. I suppose this is why education regarding epilepsy is so important. Ugh. I ache.

  5. I agree, and I disagree. If you believe the Bible is true, then you must accept that there are times when demon possession occurs. However, all medical avenues should be pursued first and foremost. And, when Jesus got rid of demons, he did it with a command, not all the stuff that goes on in an exhorcism. We recieved power when the Holy Spirit came to do the same. Angie

  6. […] I read this awful awful awful story that kicked me in the guts. Here a preacher suggests that Epilepsy can be punishment or an […]

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