Posted by: howvoicebegan | 19/11/2011

Is My Child Demon-Oppressed or Personality Disordered… or Just in Need of Christ?

I feel like I have been absent from the real world this month because I have been living in the world of  hard reality.

Just days after Koketso’s funeral, we uncovered a hefty issue in the orphanage: two children are stealing large amounts of money and possessions from anyone they can- people from church, the house mothers, and even children and teachers at school. Over the course of the week, more and more unfolded in front of our eyes of the gravity of the situation. These children are in a lot of trouble and need a lot of help.

But of all that we uncovered, nothing baffled or angered us more than the lack of remorse and unwillingness to apologize or change their behaviour; in fact, they seemed to mock us as we confronted them. It crossed my mind that these are not typical children but rather children who, in common American thinking, have a personality disorder. I looked up the DSM-IV definition of “Antisocial Personality Disorder” and my jaw dropped as I read the impeccably accurate description of our children: failure to conform to societal norms and laws, repeated lying, lack of remorse, justification of wrongdoing, and lack of concern about hurting or exploiting others.

As a Christian, though, one must wonder about the overlap or direct relation of “disorders” and demonic influence or oppression. Do demons use mental or behavioural problems as a cover up, and by accepting the person’s condition we allow a demon to oppress or influence a person throughout their entire lifespan? Are some cases actual brain disturbances, while others are in the spiritual realm? Believe it or not, one child actually stated “The devil made me do it” as an honest response to the reason behind their actions.

The activity of demons in the world and their relation to today’s deemed “personality disorders” is not something I feel I have much authority to comment on beyond stating that I believe both are real and are not necessarily mutually exclusive. Though I must wonder if these two children are cases for intense therapy or for rebuking demons, it is actually not my largest concern for them. Yes, there is one thing that is more important to me than demon possession: the lack of remorse.

Since these children feel no remorse and show no repentance for what they have done, I am deeply concerned about their eternal security. In Bible Doctrine, Grudem defines genuine repentance as “a heartfelt sorrow for sin, a renouncing of it, and a sincere commitment to forsake it and walk in obedience to Christ.” At the age of 13 (as in this case), children should be able to understand sorrow and renouncing their sin, and then walking in obedience to Christ– which happens to include not stealing.

If they show no remorse or a desire to renounce their wrongdoings, how can they ever come to the cross of Jesus? Even if they are “sorry they got caught,” it is only godly grief that will bring repentance and salvation (2 Corinthians 7:10). I fear that what we have seen only exhibits a small portion of the uphill spiritual battle they face in a lifestyle that opposes Christ, ultimately impacting their life beyond this world. With such a strong spirit of pride and arrogance that they have shown, I shudder to think that I may be looking at two eternally lost souls.

Would you join me in prayer for these young lives? We can conquer the theft only by their first step toward true repentance and falling at the feet of Jesus. With their penalty paid by Him, nothing- not even demons- will separate them from God’s love.

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Responses

  1. […] took our two trouble-makers to their therapy session yesterday. It was a standard day- at […]


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