Loughner: Psychology, Demonology And Presumption In The Body Politic
January 24, 2011
By Rev. Michael Bresciani
Jared Lee Loughner is charged with killing six people and wounding others in the recent tragedy in Arizona. Days of media coverage has raised controversy, speculation and a sea of voices all trying to handle and assess what seems almost incomprehensible in a civilized nation.
It has become abundantly clear that Loughner’s motivations were not merely political but were born of an imbalance in his life and his thinking that may have been induced by one or more of several sources.
Knee jerk responses from newsmen, pundits and broadcasters have been deplorable starting with blame laid on Sarah Palin. Franklin Graham has decried that initial misguidance and almost anyone with a level head in the matter including this writer has joined those who realize that Sarah Palin has absolutely no culpability at all in the matter.
Naturally those who are analyzing the motives have resorted to the common wisdom of the day and assigned psychological reasons for Loughner’s behavior. A few of my friends asked about the possibility of demonic influence and I had to concur with them that this would be a very likely possibility given the circumstances of Loughner’s life and private pursuits.
Anyone other than a minister or a theologian might be laughed out of Dodge for even suggesting such a possibility and that alone may be why no one in academia, broadcasting or among the rank and file has dared to mention it.
It is pointless to pit the Biblical view against a purely secular view of why things like this tragedy occur but answers from scripture are not referred to only because they do not fit popular notions. That in no way gives them any less credence.
In trying to explain the recent sudden deaths of the Red Winged Blackbirds that fell from the sky in Beebe, Arkansas, a well known Harvard Professor smirked and laughed on Fox News as he explained that the birds probably followed the lead bird after it committed suicide and plunged to their deaths. When science can’t sufficiently explain something it too, seems to follow some unseen leader to its own death as well.
Other theorists have claimed it is too many radio frequency signals in the air, chemtrails or poisoned food sources just to name a few ideas put forth to explain what may have caused the birds to plunge to their deaths. Such speculation only shows that science is just as likely to grab at straws for an explanation as anyone else in this world where the unexplained still shrinks the best minds of men and angels.
Modern psychology may be grasping at straws for an answer to the tragedy in Arizona as well. The Bible makes no apologies and is not as uncertain about the source of very bad or extreme behaviors.
Rather than being something that is reverted to when all other explanations have been exhausted the Bible attacks the question with complete authority. Christ himself made a very clear distinction between people who were suffering from mental illness and those who were simply demon possessed.
As Christ traveled the countryside around Judea, Samaria and parts of Syria it is said that he healed both those who were lunatic and the demon possessed. Unlike modern psychiatry he was not confused and did not lump them all into one category. In the gospel of Matthew Christ is seen healing both mental illness and demon possession and it is understood that he knew full well the difference between them both.
“And his fame went throughout all Syria: and they brought unto him all sick people that were taken with divers diseases and torments, and those which were possessed with devils, and those which were lunatic, and those that had the palsy; and he healed them.” (Mt 4: 24)
Loughner approached all the kinds of interests and proclivities that are prerequisite for demon possession. He was a pot user and even though the world hates to hear it the use of drugs is not only associated with sorcery and Satanism; the Bible uses a word to describe the practice of sorcery that is the very word we use to describe drug abuse in English.
In the Greek, the original language of the New Testament, the words pharmakos, pharmakeus, and pharmakea are translated in English as sorcery. Such references are found in Rev 22: 15, 9: 21, 18: 3, 21: 8 and Gal 5: 20.
It should be noted that drug use of itself may not constitute the practice of sorcery but it levels the mind and creates a condition to which demons and satanic activity are likely to result. Much like mindless meditation that is not focused on the living God it is a means of making a person receptive to other spirits but not necessarily God’s spirit. In unfocused meditation the alpha brain waves are lowered and receptivity to suggestion, demons and a host of other stimuli is peaked.
Adding that to the fact that a shrine or altar has been alleged to have been found in the back yard at Loughner’s residence; a picture of satanic intrusion is not only very likely it is nearly a foregone.
The fruit or the outcome of dabbling in satanic ritual or involvement is always the same. Throughout history it has been responsible for death, mayhem and unspeakable behaviors. Who is not aware of cases like the Manson murders? Not as well noted throughout history is the rampaging confusion that demonic spirits cause in communities and entire nations. In Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians he spoke to the believers in the region of Corinth to remind them that God was not ever the author of confusion. (1Cor 14: 33) Conversely the implied teaching is that Satan is always the author of confusion.
The outcome of Loughner’s attack on innocent people in Arizona has clearly been to create a national confusion. While some of the exorbitant claims and blame have emerged from those in media and may only be proof that the political class takes itself all too seriously, but for the rest of us it is a matter of the usual order of things crashing headlong into the inexplicable; that is national confusion. Could this be the work of demons? You can count on it!
Living in a modern world that scoffs at the idea of satanic intrusions does little to authoritatively refute the Biblical warnings about demons. Psychology will insist as it is wont to do that it is all religious gobbledygook but the biblical record goes even a step further.
The Bible clearly says that while unbelief in spiritual matters reaches an all time high in the last days, that is exactly the time that the world will be inundated with unclean spirits, so many that they will actually lead the nations of the world to the last and worst battle history it will ever see; the dreaded battle of Armageddon. (Rev 16: 13, 14)
While it is well known that the chief work of the god of this world (Satan) is to war against faith in God, he is a thief according to Christ who seeks to steal the very faith of nations. Less well known is the fact that he prefers to operate incognito and clandestinely. That simply means that he would prefer that no one believes in him either. It is the best way for Satan to assure that no one comes to see that the author of confusion is also the master of many.
America is seeking a healing. Best sources indicate that people are praying for this nation like never before and that coupled with recent steps taken in the political arena (mid-term elections) show decisively that we want to recover from a long walk into our own demise. The recent events in Arizona, although horrific and deplorable must not plunge us into confusion and result in irresponsibly laying blame and creating divisions and internal strife. God help us to refuse this attack on our nation as well as the good people of the State of Arizona.
“The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.” (Jn 10: 10-11)