Welcome to the week of ghouls and ghosts, saints and souls. It’s a significant week in the Catholic Church, and a significant week for Christians and Pagans alike.
I’ll be doing posts on all things eerie and saintly to play off of the festivities of Halloween that have occurred all month.
Today’s question: Do Christians believe in Demons? Mostly yes, with some exceptions.
In the Christian world, demons are fallen angels because of the Gospel stories of Jesus casting demons out of people, and the story of the fallen angels found in Revelation 12: 7-9.
And yes, the Catholic Church still does exorcisms, but not as often as you would think. In fact, you could say that Christian churches, especially those with a strong charismatic mentality, do exorcisms quite often. Exorcisms will be another post. But for now, just know that Christians feel that there is a supernatural negative power that is trying to destroy our souls, and an exorcism is a way of ridding that power over a particular soul or object.
But going back to demons, some Christians don’t believe in them because some get the idea of “belief” and “faith” mixed up. In theology, to believe something exists doesn’t mean you like or trust that thing or person. Belief means to acknowledge something is true. Like believing in the theory of evolution, or believing that lots of studying produces great grades. Having faith in something or someone means you are not only giving that object an acknowledgement that it is true, but that you are trusting in that object. I have faith that a marriage can last 40 years long. I have faith that prayer heals everyone in different ways. I have faith in God, and I believe there are demons.
Demons are powerful. After all, they were angels. They do supernatural acts that do affect us on Earth. But the most powerful thing they can do is the most subtle: to hide themselves through dressing up their powers as desirous and tempting. It’s tempting to be upset and release anger, or to eat sumptuous food and already feel full but eat anyway. A good way to mark the power of evil is to know what the seven deadly sins are.
Side note about Satan, the head of all evil. He is a fallen angel too. In the same place of Revelation 12:7-9, we read that he lead those angels who decided to rebel. Angels were practically perfect spirit-beings. Yet, through their choice, they all were thrown out of the Kingdom of Heaven. And their choice is very different from our choices. We don’t see into the future, and yet for the fallen angels they did and still chose their path. It gets heavier in thought and explanation about all this, but it does suffice to say that Christians trust in God’s justice, and trust that God has never condemned anyone or anything to an unjust punishment. After all, God is Good, God is Love.
In the mean time, we really do have a battle against demons. It’s called “spiritual warfare.” But with God, the faithful have nothing to worry about since demons can never inflict harm on a soul. “Holy Fear” is for God who does have power over souls, and will condemn souls if justice demands it. That’s scarier than what any demon can do!