By Andy Hale
As a child, I had a highly vivid imagination. In the woods of our family’s backyard, I could become Robin Hood, Indiana Jones, Han Solo, or a member of the Goonies. A storage box became a spaceship. A stick became Lion-O’s Sword of Omens.
There are the downsides to such an imagination, such as the times you discover what demons are from reading your children’s Bible. I can remember at the age of 5 being completely terrified by the idea that, I too, could be possessed by a demon and chained up outside of my town like the man from Luke 8.
Have you ever wondered what we should do with all the demonology and demon possession from the sacred Scriptures?
“There must be a way to understand why such language was used if this story is not actually about demon possession or exorcism as we should understand them today,” said Dr. Ragy Girgis on the CBF Podcast.
We sat down with the associate professor of clinical psychiatry at the Columbia University Department of Psychiatry to discuss the intersection of psychiatry and demonology and the dire need for mental health awareness within the Church.
“I would suggest that believing that serious mental illness is primarily volitional and related to moral weakness, rather than biological in nature and no different than high blood pressure, diabetes, or cancer, does a disservice to individuals with serious mental illness and their families.”
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This podcast episode is brought to you by The Center for Congregational Health, Baptist Seminary of Kentucky, and McAfee School of Theology Doctor of Ministry program.
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Andy Hale is the creator and host of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship Podcast. Hale is the senior pastor of University Baptist Church of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, following eight years as the founding pastor of Mosaic Church of Clayton and five years as CBF’s church start specialist. Follow on Twitter @haleandy