I have some opinions of my own, but I would just like to hear from other people.
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I'm giving you the inside scoop so please pay close attention. In 1983 I overdosed on mescaline, a hallucinogenic drug very similar to LSD. I took the equivalent of 40 tablets which are not much bigger than a pinhead. Mind you, that much mescaline was enough to kill me 3 times over; doctors at a psychiatric ward were baffled as to how I could be coherent and functional. The problem was that I would occasionally have flashbacks where the drugs in my system would react with the psychotropic drugs that I was being given. I was eventually sent to a state psychiatric facility and on my first day there five men approached me. The one that was leading asked me where my God was because he couldn't help me in that place. They laughed because they said that I was trapped in there with them. I began laughing even harder and one of them asked why are you laughing? I said because you are also trapped here with me and they left me. I quickly took the opportunity to talk to people about Jesus and I began to lay hands on and pray for people and they were being delivered as devils were cast out. By the end of 3 weeks most of the patients had been sent home and the next day I was discharged and warned never to go back there again.
This is a question that cannot have a clear biblical answer, because the Bible says nothing about schizophrenia or psychosis which have a strict medical definition that was not available in Biblical days.This means that any answer we come to will be conjectural rather than decisive. What it comes down to is, are the symptoms of schizophrenia or psychosis the same as the symptoms described of those who suffered demon possession in the Bible? And if they are, do they have the same cause? Only if we can answer yes to both those questions can we equate the two. As far as the first question is the concerned, some of the symptoms may seem the same. But we cannot answer the second question definitively. It's quite possible that similar effects have different causes and it is not possible to be certain either way. Schizophrenia and psychosis have physiological causes and are due to something being wrong with the brain itself. Demons are quite a different matter entirely and their operation is quite unknown. The one thing we really must not do is argue from our own experience. That is not a valid approach to understanding the Bible. Everyone has different experiences and will come out with different conclusions. We cannot base our understanding of the Bible or its teaching on our personal feelings or our personal experience or what has happened to us. That does not lead to a Biblical understanding, but only to a human understanding. Rather we need to interpret our experiences through the Bible and not the other way round. So I am sorry to say, we cannot know the answer to that question. Not from the Bible anyway. Regards Phil
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