Failed exorcism in the Bible and the clergy
Hollywood depicted exorcism powerful and that only a “trained exorcist” equipped with a cross and holy water can dispell bad spirits. In 1990, Neil Anderson introduced the book ‘Bondage Breaker’ and the “Spiritual Deliverance” or “Spiritual Warfare” label was introduced.
Forward to today, many Christians empowers Satan by creditiing every bad thing happening as demonic. While it may be true for the most part—devils are helpless and powerless before those who are in Christ.
Failed exorcism in Acts 19:13-20
Idolatry fused effortlessly with superstition, magic, astrological speculations, and occultism among the Ephesians. Followers of Paul who believed in the gospel attempted to exorcise the demon-possessed but failed miserably.
Acts 19 exposes how evil powers can overcome professing Christians and religious leaders who drove out demons but are deep into the many other forms of idolatry.
Seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, were doing this. 15 One day, the evil spirit answered them, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know about, but who are you?”
16 Then the man who had the evil spirit jumped on them and overpowered them all. He gave them such a beating that they ran out of the house naked and bleeding.
The case of Anneliese Michel
Anna Elisabeth “Anneliese” Michel was a German woman who died after several exorcism rites. Her parents and the priest were charged with “intelligent homicide” for abandoning proper medical help and procedures.
Anneliese had 67 Catholic exorcism rites. She stopped eating and was dehydrated, leading to her death at 24.
Pope John Paul II incident
In 2000, a 19 years old woman was agitated during an audience with Pope John Paul II. A Bishop tried to calm her with a crucifix and a medal of the Virgin Mary but failed. The Pope was told and later met the woman.
The Pope performed an exorcism and promised to offer mass the following morning. However, the demon was unmoved and continued to possess the woman despite the papal effort, admitted Fr. Don Gabriel Amore, The Vatican’s chief exorcist.
The Vatican refused to call the event an exorcism, reported ABC News.
Remember, satan does not have power over God’s children.
However, the enemy will do everything to influence our choices and tempt us to be hopeless. The reason, renewing of the mind (daily repentance) is critical.
1 Peter 5:8
Be alert and of a sober mind. Your enemy, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.
And the LORD said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your power; only do not lay a hand on his person.” So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD.