If you take a look at Luke8:26-39 you will see Jesus heals a man possessed by a demon. The demon had taken control of him and he had a hatred for all things religious and would walk amongst the tombs howling and had to be chained down. This is a case of serious possession still happening in the church to this day. In a sense it is also symbolic of the people we meet today in modern society who fight against the church. I see a lot of Catholics engaging with them in a bid to change them but it’s pointless. You’ll never get anywhere with them. Don’t get me wrong, the church believes in dialogue with people of all beliefs and none but it understands that this dialogue has its limits and that the rest is up to us in terms of our determination to pray for them and Jesus response of Grace.
These people are so grounded in their convictions that only the Grace of God will free them not only from themselves but from the demonic influence that’s taken hold of them. That’s what happened the possessed man and there was no talking to him. Society could do nothing but chain him down and listen to his howls from a distance whilst waiting for the Grace of Christ to touch and free him. We need to do the same. We must realise that there’s no talking to them and that only prayer and the Grace of God will transfigure them, bringing these tormented souls to their senses. As I always say “never teach a pig how to sing, it only wastes your time and it irritates the pig”. Try dialogue by all mean with them but if after a while it becomes obvious they’re not listening and this is a case for Grace to intervene, then don’t try to be a hero, back off and allow them their space, ignoring their cries of hatred and keep praying for them. Because anything more that this is from the evil one. Don’t befriend them either and stay away from people like that lest you become like them and absorb their mannerisms. Jesus ate with sinners but he didn’t hang around them for long before retreating into the mountains to pray. Sitting with sinners like ourselves does not mean we have to develop life long relationships with them, this is not the example Jesus was setting. I honestly wouldn’t take an ex rapist into my home. I’ll meet with him and pray for him but I’ve got my families interests as a priority and so this whole sitting with Sinners doesn’t mean living with them and creating friendships that are potentially fatal to both yourself and those in your household if you’re married that is.
In martial arts we have a saying when it comes to self defence and that is keep your distance. If you let people get into your personal space then during a confrontation, it’s a case of first punch wins. if however you outstretch your hands and keep them at a safe distance and prevent them from entering the forbidden area, should they throw a punch you will be ready to block it. It is the same with relationships with those who are not Christian and even some who are Christian but are not exactly quite there yet in terms of accepting the full authority of the Church and have the wildest of beliefs. If we keep them outside the forbidden area we can maintain a good dialogue but things won’t get heated. if we allow them beyond this point then we play an enormous gamble and I’ve seen men and women having affairs and atheist family members destroying whole families and creating tension because the family allowed a person beyond that line they’re not supposed to cross into the forbidden zone and so they got bitten.
So, keep the devil at a distance, don’t allow him to bounce chests with you. sometimes he’s obvious but at other times very hidden under what appears to be good. He can appear as a business man, charming but is really a wolf. Don’t try and change the world, change yourself and worry about the world second. Busy yourself with becoming crucified to the world first (Gal:6:14). God, family, a cup of tea and the rest of the world ( at a distance 😉 ). Keep that order of things and you’ll succeed in gaining a little tiny corner of heaven on earth.