I am using these videos because I want to focus on one particular aspect of demonic manifestation in church-- that of demonstrations of demonic activity which is often mistaken for activity of the Holy Spirit-- for a reason I will describe below. For me, these are painful to watch because I can always yes and amen MOST of what is said. Then there is a little tiny "white" lie.... a little something tweaks my spirit.... a little false mixed in with a lot of truth.
I've been present on many Sundays in many places where things not too far from this have occurred. Many, many times, in worship in very solid, pleasant churches, I have encountered "worshippers" who I believe were actually manifesting. I have prayed for them to be delivered right then and there. Sometimes, I have seen deliverance come, quite unexpectedly. In a Charismatic gathering, you never really KNOW for sure, except in your own spirit, what "spirit" the person to your right and to your left has actually invited in. But all of this is subjective. We do not test spirits by gut feelings but by the Word of God.
For God is not a God of confusion (disorder/chaos) but of peace. As in all the churches of the saints. - 1 Corinthians 14:33.On a greater level, I would say that these manifestations are all a part of a particular spiritual force with a particular goal, evidenced by the fact that-- just as once upon a time in upstate New York a mysterious apparition birthed three similar, yet different religions (Jehova's Witnesses, Latter Day Saints, and Seventh Day Adventists-- all of whom loathe the Catholic Church)-- a similiar situation occurs frequently in charismatic circles where a geographic location hosts many similar manifestations OR where similar manifestations occur rapidly in a short time span but in many different geographical locations, as in this case with the Toronto Blessing and Lakeland Revival.
It isn't necessary to discuss that too deeply here.. anyone with an ounce of discernment can see for themselves that something is up. My old pastor Britt Merrick had wise words indeed when he used to tell us: "If it's WEIRD, it's NOT GOD."
On a practical level, this activity simultaneously (and successfully, in the eyes of many people) discredits God, discredits the Catholic Church (the demonic force acting on the first person has him making the sign of the cross and blessing his congregation.) discredits the Charismatic movement (which I believe-- and the Church affirms-- is a LEGITIMATE move of God) and discredits the integrity of the persons worshipping here.
However, these give me great consolation. There is evident need for a magesterium when we consider the implications of "no-holds-barred" church like this. There is great wisdom in the Catholic system, and protection. I'm thankful to be a part of the Catholic Church.
I encourage you to consider that these videos in no way represent the Charismatic movement, but only an offshoot and branch of it which clearly demonstrates the need for wise Church leadership. Please keep in mind also that I do NOT agree on a theological level with the commentary and subtitles in these videos. I do speak in tongues, believe in the miraculous gifts, and believe in the communion of saints, etc.
However, when I watch these through the lens of my own past experiences with exorcism and deliverance, I am quite certain I am not seeing God at work.
As a warning to you, these videos are extremely creepy, and they will leave you.... ill at ease. Should you choose to watch them, I pray they will give you a new depth of understanding when it comes to the operation and activity of our enemy within the circles of "Christianity."
NOTE: THIS IS A RESPONSE TO THE BELOW COMMENTS. Thanks for reading!
I have some misgivings about the way many people IN the Renewal, especially at this time, go about doing what they do. I recently became involved with the Renewal in our Diocese completely by accident and discovered that I simultaneously felt very at home and very uncomfortable. :D
I'm still working through that, but what it comes down to is that I firmly believe in the Charismatic gifts, have seen them and partaken of them, have been baptized in the Holy Spirit and can attest to the fact that it was a DIFFERENT and more fruitful experience than any of my experiences with the sacraments initially-- like an "unlocking" of sacramental grace. To clarify that statement: there is nothing else NECESSARY than Sacramental Grace, but a deep, personal awareness of the grace received is a grace in itself that I find indispensable.
There was a "time before" and a "time after" this experience for me, and it has remained ever since.
On a theological level I am in agreement that the Renewal is a work of God and that it was EXTREMELY timely with regards to Church history. On a personal level I get frustrated at meetings and gatherings of the local Renewal because I hear things that demonstrate a misunderstanding of the POINT of the Charismata. I hear people call out things like.... "We're Catholic, that's what the problem is..." or "the church is holding us back." They demonstrate a misunderstanding of the perfect and necessary, HEALTHY tension between the work of the Holy Spirit and the prudence and rigidity of the Magesterium. So while I believe wholeheartedly in the Renewal and participate in it within the life of the Church, I am wary of the individual manifestations of the Charismatic gifts and gatherings OF the Renewal, mainly because I've noticed that there are many people within the movement who come seeking the GIFTS and not necessarily the God who gives them.
There is a three day gathering in Raleigh this month that I'm hoping to attend to see more and pray more about. Not sure if I will make it unless I can find someone to go with me.
In the past I have spoken with tongues in a congregational setting and had someone with the gift of interpretations interpret, under the oversight of a pastor, when I was a protestant.
Nowadays, I pray in tongues in my private prayer, and it sometimes comes out when I am with others who pray in tongues, just in private prayer. It is not "gibberish" as it is very clearly A language, but I do not know what language it might be. I have often thought that it resembled a combination of hebrew and arabic.
I have been in the presence of Christians who began to pray in tongues and who were understood by other people in the congregation because they were speaking a native dialect of theirs which the people themselves had never heard before. It is extraordinary to witness. I have NEVER in my life felt that tongues were "coming out" when I was in a liturgical worship setting. Only in my private discussions with God and in my conversations with Him among friends. I don't go into prayer ever with the intention of speaking in tongues, but sometimes it just comes out.
When I returned to the Church, my biggest problem was that I have SEEN the fruit of baptism of the holy spirit in the lives of people who change and suddenly LIVE for God. I could find very few people around me in the Catholic Church who had shared this experience.... most of them were seeking holiness via what I would have at that time called dry channels.... reading more prayers each day, making an examination of conscience twice a day, something like that. These things can be very fruitful, but only if they aren't looking to "do more" but rather "receive more." The issue is building a personal relationship with Christ and His Church over religiosity or empty actions. We receive grace when we come to communion worthily whether we are aware of the amazingness of the eucharist or not.
The main difference is that when we come AWARE of God's greatness, we become filled to overflowing.
Reading Fr Cantelamessa, (preacher to the papal household during JPII) especially his book "Sober Intoxication of the Spirit," and Bishop Cordes' "Call to Holiness: reflections on the charismatic renewal" were instrumental in helping me prayerfully discern what was what here.
I'm the first to admit that I find a dryness in the PERSONAL LIVES of most traditional Catholics who reject the Renewal's lives that I personally find unbearable. On the other hand, I'm also the first to admit that I find a "falseness" and "emotivity" in the personal lives of those who embrace the Renewal but reject the traditional. To me, there is a healthy middle ground, and that's where I always want to be.
When it comes to my personal prayer? It is more "Charismatic" than anything else-- I feel a kinship and bond and fellowship with Charismatics in prayer that I do not feel when I'm praying a rosary with an SSPXer. :D Nevertheless, I embrace the traditions of the Church and especially the Extraordinary Form of the Liturgy, which I believe is LIFE GIVING. I cannot stand the idea of going to a "Charismatic mass"-- To me, liturgy is about something totally different.
There is a time and place for the Charismatic gifts but it is not IN MASS, because in MASS our eyes are on the Cross and Resurrection.
OUTSIDE of Mass our eyes should be on bringing the Cross and Resurrection to others, and that is where the gifts come in handy, ESPECIALLY the Charismatic gifts.
I am a recent revert, it has been less than five years, so I expect that my understanding will evolve over the years. However, I simply CAN NOT discredit the Charismatic gifts-- A, because they are approved in the Church and B, because I have seen their fruit in action and glorified God.
One of the largest charismatic gifts in operation in my own life is discernment of spirits. I "sense" the darkness around me as a tangible presence and am drawn to prayer when others around me haven't noticed a thing. God often places people in my life who struggle with deeply demonic (extraordinary activity of the devil) issues in their lives. I myself was exorcised at one time. Because of that, I am - -as I mentioned before-- simultaneously WARY of the overemphasis placed on the Charismatic gifts by some, and sympathetic to their reasoning. It is my firm belief due to my own experiences with the gift of tongues, the gift of discernment of spirits, and the gift of word of knowledge, none of which I have asked for our sought out-- among others-- that we must always SEEK the Holy Spirit and ask Him to show up, and SUBMIT our experiences to those in rightful authority over us. Without one, we cannot have the other.
Love to hear your thoughts! <3