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Sometimes exorcism causes damage not deliverance.

A while ago, a certain school of wisdom proclaimed, "When in doubt, cast it out!" The slogan referred to dealing with demon possession or oppression and assumed (1) that there may be doubt whether a person is so afflicted, and (2) that exorcism can, in any case, do no significant harm and therefore might as well be tried.

I've personally dealt with a few cases of demonic possession over the years, and while pursuing my Ph. D. in psychology at Fuller Theological Seminary, I immersed myself in the psychological and spiritual literature pertaining to it. Let me briefly show why I affirm the first assumption and dispute the second.

Four Cases

Consider the following people I've known (names and identifying details altered, of course):

1. Joan, a woman of unremarkable appearance and behavior and an active member of her mainline congregation, was serving on an educational committee interested in exploring paranormal phenomena. Some members of the committee considered such phenomena ...

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