Demons Thrash When They are Exposed – And so do Abusers
And when Jesus saw that a crowd came running together, he rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, “You mute and deaf spirit, I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.” And after crying out and convulsing him terribly, it came out, and the boy was like a corpse, so that most of them said, “He is dead.” (Mark 9:25-26)
Just as darkness hates light, so the devil despises and even fears exposure. Truth exposes his lies and strips away his disguise. You see it here. Jesus calls the evil spirit out, exposes him, expels him, and forbids him to return. The result? The demon cries out, convulses the victim “terribly” and leaves.
Now, I do not know if I have ever really dealt with someone who has such a demon, but I can tell you that I have seen this “thrashing” business in wicked people when they are exposed. One in particular became extremely agitated when he knew his disguise was exposed, thrashed around on the couch he was sitting on, stood up, sat down, stood up again, paced around the room. Apparently it is quite traumatic for these wicked ones, who are used to traumatizing others, to be spotlighted themselves.
More typically perhaps abusers, as most all of you have seen, react with varying degrees of agitation when exposed, ranging from raging to, in some cases, even attempted or actual murder and then their own suicide. They step up their attacks and even more energetically pursue their favorite abuser tactics. Oh, they make it all look like (as best they can) that THEY are the poor, pitiable victim, but in fact what is happening is that they realize that their secret evil is being called out and it throws them into a fit. An evil and I suppose sometimes even demonic, fearful frenzy. Most people of course do not understand what is really going on and end up pitying the poor fellow.
But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be silent, and come out of him!” And the unclean spirit, convulsing him and crying out with a loud voice, came out of him. (Mark 1:25-26)
and they begged him, saying, “Send us to the pigs; let us enter them.” So he gave them permission. And the unclean spirits came out and entered the pigs; and the herd, numbering about two thousand, rushed down the steep bank into the sea and drowned in the sea. (Mark 5:12-13)
I wonder. How many cases of abusers hiding in the church will turn out to be, when we see with perfect clarity on that great Day when Christ comes, demonic? This of course is not to be seen as some excuse for the abuser – “the devil made me do it” kind of thing. No. But the devilish origin of these wicked children of darkness may well explain why we see them thrashing around and raging in a panic when the light of truth is put on them.
One final thought. In the biblical cases of demon possession, Christ delivered the victim from the demon by casting the evil spirit out. The Gadarene demoniac, for example, was said to be “clothed and in his right mind” to the amazement of the people. But abusers, particularly the kind of abuser who parades as an eminent saintly Christian, is apparently beyond such deliverance. So that perhaps we might say, he IS an evil spirit? (I am theorizing here and thinking out loud, not stating definite proven facts). HE is the one to be cast away from victims.
I am not certain of these things, but I do know that like a demon, the typical “christian” abuser will thrash and “fit” when the light of Christ comes his way. We should train ourselves to recognize that kind of behavior for what it really is, or we just might find ourselves apologizing to the devil and trying to comfort the poor man. As some author wrote, to paraphrase, “I am not certain that I have ever met the devil, but I am sure that if I ever do I will feel quite sorry for him.”