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Switch to Forum Live View Casting out Demons?
3 years ago  ::  Feb 22, 2011 - 3:10AM #1
Louis77
Posts: 3
I have a question for anyone who might be able to help.  As I have said before, I have been studying ACIM for awhile now, but have not completed it.   I have been trying to understand it the best I can and am thus reading it slowly.  I am constantly challenging the text in relation to my current Christian faith to see how it fits and what seems right and what seems not to fit.  So far the only question that doesn't seem to make since to me is more related to the Bible than ACIM, but I question what the ACIM book would make of this.   So here goes:

When in the New testament Jesus is casting out demon's, what was he casting out?  And if demons are only in relation to our own ego, then why did they call out to Jesus such as the verse when they say And He (Jesus) asked him (the man), "What is thy name?" And he answered, saying, "My name is Legion: for we are many."

In one verse the demons asks to be sent into a flock of pigs, so Jesus sent them into the pigs, and they and ran in to the water and were drowned. 

This part of the Bible does not seem to be in anyway in accordance with the ACIM teachings, for if this is true, what would be the point.  Or if the evil is the ego within us that believes in death, and time and separation, how do we account for the many times that Jesus as well as his disciples cast out demons in his very miracles. 

I guess this is a two part question, because the other part is, is the Devil real, and are demons something that we create, or they a dark part of this universe, or is it also possible that the course is a trick from the devil himself.  I am not interested in trying to belittle this course, or make light of it, I simply want to understand.  I am just having trouble reconciling this matter.  

The thought that keeps coming to mind is an old saying that I used to hear:

The greatest trick the devil ever played was making the world believe that he doesn't exist.

I would love to hear your thoughts and comments
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3 years ago  ::  Mar 02, 2011 - 7:10PM #2
Bob_Bennett
Posts: 916

Hi,


 


The contents of the Bible are not reliable, esp. the New Testament, in which many marginal notes got added in, and disagreeable teachings were removed.  See "Misquoting Jesus" by


a prof. from U. of North Carolina.


In the Course, there is nothing but Mind, including Mind of God.  There is no way that demons can exist as no one would have created them.


 


Bob

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3 years ago  ::  Mar 07, 2011 - 5:21AM #3
Louis77
Posts: 3

Regarding the response about reliability of things in the Bible.  Well I guess that's just as valid as an argument as the one that the book of ACIM is completely reliable.  I mean from that point of view you could just as easily say that the book of ACIM is reliable only if you believe it.  Neither has a firm root in facts, however if you going to critisize the Bible's legitimacy, you have to wonder if you are going to accept any of it.  For in ACIM, Jesus states actually many verses in the Bible, but never disputes they happened, only that the perception of the quotation may be incorrect.  On top of this I find it hard to believe that Jesus would proclaim to his own disciples in numerous books of the gospel to go out and cast out demons and perform miracles in other towns if he did not see this as a real belief.  Although I know the books of the Gospel were written many years after the death of Christ, it is hard to believe that the same thing would be written in all four books by different people at different times many years apart if it did not happen.   How do you explain this? 


In a side argument, maybe you have seen certain tv shows where some psychics, as well as regular folks have encountered on many occassions experiences with evil spirits, or demons that haunt them.  In some cases it is described as human spirits that haven't passed on to the next realm, but in some it is reported to be of an evil or dark entity that possesses or haunts them.  Many people ascribe to these experiences, are we to believe that all these people are delusional?  What are we to ascribe these experiences as?

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3 years ago  ::  Mar 08, 2011 - 3:47PM #4
Jenandew7
Posts: 12,755

I am going to attempt to answer this from my own understanding but I bow to Bob as a much more learned authority and myself as a relative beginner. 


My first and foremost argument is that the promises made by ACIM are distinctly and clearly the atoning (forgiving), healing, "saving", redeeming, loving, peaceful promises made in scripture.  In other words the goals of faith are the same but the instructions are more clearly stated in ACIM.  Something to think about:  If it is true that ACIM was directly dictated by Jesus, as it claims, then it is a more pure revelation than scripture.  I could build an argument for you from the most significant teachings of scripture (it would take some time), but no, I do not think we can compare every bit of scripture, item by item.  The truest test of ACIM is in its results, not in its comparison to scripture.  People study scripture all the time without acheiving the promises of faith. 


If you do a search, there is a discussion somewhere that one of the early participants in the ACIM process (I can't remember who) compared Christianity to ACIM and concluded that it is not the same religion as Christianity.  It has, for example, a different cosmology.  In the beginning, ACIM tells us that the scriptures say that Adam slept and nowhere does scripture say he ever awakened. 


Feb 22, 2011 -- 3:10AM, Louis77 wrote:

I am constantly challenging the text in relation to my current Christian faith to see how it fits and what seems right and what seems not to fit.



This is difficult for us to comprehend:  The ego is successfully attempting to maintain the status quo.  This inginuity, these thoughts are insane thoughts.  Yes, I rejected even with vehement anger the foundational teachings of ACIM.  I threw the book down and ranted at God that I knew it wasn't true.  Then I picked it up again.  Then threw it down again.  Then picked it up again.  Now I know it is true.  God does not create things that wither away and die.  God does not will suffering, loss and death.  God does not create scarcity.  Think of a perfect world!  *lol*


  So far the only question that doesn't seem to make since to me is more related to the Bible than ACIM, but I question what the ACIM book would make of this.   So here goes:

When in the New testament Jesus is casting out demon's, what was he casting out?  And if demons are only in relation to our own ego, then why did they call out to Jesus such as the verse when they say And He (Jesus) asked him (the man), "What is thy name?" And he answered, saying, "My name is Legion: for we are many."

In one verse the demons asks to be sent into a flock of pigs, so Jesus sent them into the pigs, and they and ran in to the water and were drowned. 

This part of the Bible does not seem to be in anyway in accordance with the ACIM teachings, for if this is true, what would be the point.  Or if the evil is the ego within us that believes in death, and time and separation, how do we account for the many times that Jesus as well as his disciples cast out demons in his very miracles. 



You want to read this story as being literal but it makes no sense literally and I've been involved in discussions of the odd passages found in the Gospels that make no sense and I know this is the first one most Christians offer up for discussion.  Now think about what ACIM is teaching you about what you see in this world and as soon as you begin to discern real from what you are seeing now, all this fearful, illogical, imbalanced stuff will simply be gone.  It simply is not real.  God did not create it.  It is an absolute horror to us to think that we could see demons, but most of us don't.  :)  Belief in demons must be, then, something our egos cooked up to fear and to maintain our enmity with God, our separation. But I ask you this:  How many demons do you have if you consider all your tendencies to sin to be demons?  It sounds like a lament to me that they called them legion!  Soooooooo many!


This feels like a fool's errand!  And see, Bob is so succinct and correct.  To try to mesh all of scripture--and literally(?!)--with the teachings of ACIM is impossible.  (Note:  the literal interpretation of scripture is a recent innovation in Christianity.  But it takes the focus off the bigger picture which is the theme of scripture and it focuses on minute details.  I would say it causes people to lose their perspective on their priorities.  For example, with all your apparent teaching about demons, how often have you been taught you should ask for the Holy Spirit?) 

I guess this is a two part question, because the other part is, is the Devil real, and are demons something that we create, or they a dark part of this universe, or is it also possible that the course is a trick from the devil himself.  I am not interested in trying to belittle this course, or make light of it, I simply want to understand.  I am just having trouble reconciling this matter.  



Even the Jews today and the early Christians understood that our demons come from within.  We are possessed by an ego that in every way is a demon when it comes to creating misery for ourselves, but we created it.  We merely need to withdraw our belief in it.  I say that as though it is easy for me.  It isn't. 

The thought that keeps coming to mind is an old saying that I used to hear:

The greatest trick the devil ever played was making the world believe that he doesn't exist.

I would love to hear your thoughts and comments



Where does scripture tell you that you must believe in the devil?  If you don't believe in the devil, the devil has no power over you.  Actually, this is bondage in the ancient view.  And freedom was through Jesus Christ.  This is scriptural.  As St. John said in 1 John:  Perfect love casts out all fear. Very little is actually said in scripture about demons/Satan and we have made it so central to our faith!  Do you want to believe in demons?!


I realize that I am trying to steer you ingeniously toward seeing the truth of ACIM  . . . It is a different envelope for your walk of faith with the same objective that Christianity once had before every kind of misleading error was made or worldly theologian messed with our interpretation of it.  We are at enmity with God and we do an excellent job of helping each other avoid ending the separation. 


Annie

If you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday. --Isaiah 58:10
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3 years ago  ::  Mar 11, 2011 - 8:44PM #5
Myownpath
Posts: 947

There is an other possibility to this discussion. Many Biblical Scholars will attest to problems with the bible, dates, translations, witnesses, culture, etc. ( too much is wrong to go into here.)Many have now come to even doubt the actual existence of Jesus since there is no evidence of him ever existing. His life story seems to be the same as other Gods/people including the virgin birth, being crucified, resurrecting... These stories can be found elsewhere - see Horus.


So it would seem that it is also possible that ACIM is a creation from the mind of Dr. Helen Schucman as much as the Bible seems to have been created by man. Here's the thing. We have minds that we can think with. Do I believe I'm an illusion living in an illusion -NO! Do I think that there is a better way to live and treat others. Absolutely. If someone fully believes the Bible or ACIM I think they are not thinking critically and in turn may short change themselves.


My opinion is to take what is useful to live your life, but check your sources and then check those sources. Just because someone said that they heard a voice doesn't make it so. Just because it's written down and is really old doesn't make it true. Though I believe both books to be FALSE, ACIM stresses coming from a place of Love and I think that is all the Truth we need.

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3 years ago  ::  Mar 13, 2011 - 5:08PM #6
Bob_Bennett
Posts: 916

RE: Demons being cast out in the N.T.


 


Bible scholars generally agree that the bible's reference to demons were actually to what we now call psychoses, and that Jesus was healing the minds of those he cured, but that the writers mistook it for casting out demons.


 

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3 years ago  ::  Mar 13, 2011 - 5:11PM #7
Bob_Bennett
Posts: 916

ACIM vs. the bible.


 


There is no competition here.  ACIM is a successor to the N.T. and Christianity in this sense:  ACIM is for the comisc Age of Aquarius, whereas the N.T. and Christianity were for the cosmic AGe of Pisces, the fishes.

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