By Pastor Michael Frisbee
This past Wednesday, I took a heavy dose of anti-nausea medicine and turned to the Anderson Cooper show. I loathe what the man stands for, so normally I would not normally tune in. But I had been given fore-warning that he had a special topic and guests that day.
In this case, AC had renowned self-titled exorcist, Pastor Bob Larson, and three young women. One I know assuredly was his daughter or grand-daughter. All three teen age girls, ages 15 to 17, claimed to be exorcists and being trained by Pastor Larson. Needless to say, AC was skeptical, and having researched past coverage that AC has done on Christianity, I knew there was going to be an attempt to at least try to have his audience come away with the idea, “Oh those kooky Christians.”
I’ve known of Pastor Larson for a long time. I have read his book, and find his beliefs and practices somewhat questionable in regards to scriptural support. I don’t exactly agree in the way he evangelizes and how he determines whether a person is truly demon possessed. In Pastor Larson’s eyes, pretty much everyone but him and those that are with him are possessed. Go to his website, http://www.boblarson.org, and for $9.95 there is a test you can take to see if you are possessed as well.
As these girls were being interviewed, they came off as very “scripted” and well – brainwashed. I have seen videos of cult members that were being interviewed and their affect and such were very similar. It also came out that at 13, the one girl was given a chance by Larson, while in Africa, to exorcise a demon. At AGE 13! How in the name of our Heavenly Father, can a young, impressionable girl have the mental, emotional, and spiritual maturity to do this? Granted, Larson was right there, but how does any right minded individual put a young girl like that into such a danger?
During the course of the show, AC brought to light several of Larson’s questionable practices regarding how he charges for his services. Included is the Pastor’s Exorcists Training School. I have seen the $249 charge that was discussed in the show, but when I went to check the site later, the price had been removed. However, the “Cross” that he offers for a $100 donation was still there. One of the “testimonials”, was that when a man placed the cross on his wife, blessed by Larson, she was instantly healed.
Then things got interesting. They brought out a woman who had been exorcised by these girls. As the story played out, she had been exorcised by others before as well, “but it didn’t take”. What wasn’t discussed was whether this woman after her original “exorcism” had repented of her past sins and such that led to her possibly being possessed, and whether she had actually accepted Jesus Christ as her Savior. The only way someone can truly be delivered up from the enemy, is to accept Christ, repent of your sins, ask for forgiveness, and be washed in the blood of Christ to be made righteous. Once Christ and the Holy Spirit reside within you, you cannot be possessed by the demonic. However, as a Christian, you can be OPPRESSED by the demonic, something wholly different.
After this young lady came a woman and her minister father who was there to expose the non-scriptural teachings that Bob Larson ascribes to. They had been abused and victimized by a different ministry, but the same signs and such were on display within Larson’s teachings. They also took him to task regarding training and using these teen age girls. During this, it came out that a reality show based on the three girls was in consideration. Larson claims the production company came to them, but in doing a search around the web, there is signs that it may been more Larson approaching these networks.
Then comes Rev Darrell Motal, pastor and founder of the Caravan Community Churches, founder of The Paranormal Church, and someone that has been working in a ministry to help people that have been victimized by unethical and abusive deliverance ministries and exorcists like Larson. Rev Motal has done a number of undercover video and audio work looking into how Larson fleeces those that attend his seminars. He tells of how before one demon had even been cast out, Larson had 5 calls for the donation basket to go around, to buy his books, DVDs, etc. Larson got very irritable and angry, called Motal a liar. However, if you will go to this website - http://theparanormalchurch.ning.com/ - you can watch some of these videos. Motal’s Youtube site is here - http://www.youtube.com/user/TheParanormalChurch . Unfortunately, they did not give Rev Motal enough time to fully discuss all that Larson is doing wrong in this field and how dangerous Larson’s ministry is for those who are Christian and those who are not. You can listen to Motal’s backstage comments at the site.
Finally they wrapped up with a priest that directly addressed the girls and of course by this time, Larson was visibly angry at being challenged. The girls just were not believable, and by the end of all this, you have to question whether this was really about them doing this for the glory of God, or as a stunt to get their own TV show.
Deliverance ministry is a dangerous work. However, we are not powerless as Christians. Christ gave us the authority to carry on His works, and this includes the casting out of demons. (Mark 16:16-18) When called to do this, the Holy Spirit will anoint us with the gift of discernment. (1 Corinthians 12:10-11). As Christians, we have the ability to call upon the authority and blood of Christ to command and cast out the demonic. They must obey. However, we must be walking fully in faith and love of Jesus Christ and our Heavenly Father. We must be walking fully in His Word and Spirit. The person that is seeking freedom from the demonic MUST bring themselves to Christ, and begin living their lives in Him, otherwise, the demonic will not depart in fullness, and if it finds an empty vessel, will return with seven more even worse.
Now, many question whether we should even be applying scriptures to anything at all in regards to ghost hunting and paranormal investigations, that these are scientific realms, not spiritual. Well, I beg to differ. If you seek out the spiritual, it is a spiritual matter. It is a theological issue. There are matters as stake that have eternal consequences.