Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The Colorado Shootings and the Demonic

I am posting the following story by Dan Wooding's ASSIST News Service regarding the young man who committed the church/missionary center shootings in Colorado. I suspected an occult/demonic link, and if true, this story bears that out.

Colorado Gunman Scared Co-Workers 5 years ago

By Jeremy Reynalds
Correspondent for ASSIST News Service

COLORADO SPRINGS, COLORADO (ANS) -- Matthew Murray was kicked out of a missionary training program five years ago for strange behavior, and talked about hearing voices, according to a man who served at the center with him.

Murray was the gunman who killed two people at the Youth With A Mission center on Sunday and two others at a Colorado Springs megachurch later that day, police said. He was shot by a church security guard and died of his wounds.

Richard Werner, 34, told CNN on Monday he was a worker at the center in Arvada, Colorado, in 2002, the same time as Murray.

CNN reported he said Murray was told in Dec. 2002 he would not be allowed to join a mission trip to Bosnia. That was five days after Murray performed a pair of dark rock songs at a concert at the mission that made fellow workers, according to Werner, "pretty scared."

The performance -- which included a song by rock band Linkin Park and another that had been recorded by controversial rocker Marilyn Manson -- followed months of strange behavior, CNN reported Werner said.

Werner, of Balneario Camborius, Brazil, said he had a bunk near Murray's and that Murray would roll around in bed and make noises.

"He would say, 'Don't worry, I'm just talking to the voices,'" CNN reported Werner said. "He'd say, 'Don't worry, Richard. You're a nice guy. The voices like you.'"

Werner told CNN he immediately suspected Murray when he heard the news of Sunday's shootings.

"I turned to my wife and I said, 'I know who did it. It's Matthew,' " CNN reported he said. "It was so obvious. For four months, he was sleeping right next to me. Those are the things you don't imagine, but when it happened it was so obvious."

Werner told CNN his "heart is crushed" by news of the shootings.

Peter Warren, director of Youth With A Mission, said Monday in a statement that Murray did not go on the mission he was training for in 2002, because managers thought that "issues relating to his health made it unsafe for him to do so."

Phil Abeyta, who identified himself as Murray's uncle, read a statement from the family Monday asking for forgiveness.

"Our family cannot express the magnitude of our grief for the victims and families of this tragedy," CNN reported he said. " ... We cannot understand why this has happened."

Abeyta spoke at a news conference with spokesmen from the Youth With A Mission center.

Police said Murray, 24, of Englewood, Colorado, shot and killed two people at the Youth With A Mission center and wounded two others early Sunday.

At New Life Church, about 80 miles away, Murray sprayed fire from an assault rifle and threw smoke bombs in at least two locations where large numbers of churchgoers were likely to be, police said. Two teenage sisters were shot in the church's parking lot and died of their wounds; three other people, including the girls' father, were wounded.

32 comments:

Palm boy said...

Gah.
Your thoughts on demonic possession seem to be well placed.

crownring said...

Here's another to add to the list.

[url]http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20071212/ap_on_re_us/bus_stop_shooting[/url]

SolaMeanie said...

This is just so heartbreaking. I also have to wonder, if this stuff was going on at the school where people heard him rolling around in his bed and "talking to voices," did anyone not try to help him? It sounds like he just got tossed out and that's it.

But I have to keep in mind that the media are not always complete in their reportage.

TrothKeepr said...

Voices, eh? Sounds like CIA mind control to me, just like ole Cho. (Of course, CIA mind control and the demonic could be, as it were, one and the same thing.)

Suspiciously,

Trothkeepr

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Nowhere in the NT are sins attributed to demonic posession.

People in the NT who are possesed have their personalities overwhelmed and behave in a disturbed manner.

However, we see no evidence of demonic posession being a cause of sinful behaviour.

People are sinful.

The heart is wicked enough without the need for demons to cause it to do bad stuff.

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

SolaMeanie said...

Matt,

Can't agree there. I am not one who sees demons under every rock and bush, but as one who has been involved in ministry to the cults and occult for years, demon possession can cause quite a few things. Sin opens the door to demonic involvement. If you look at the New Testament cases where demonic possession is in play, you can't assume just because all of the possessed persons' actions aren't spelled out in full that the demon didn't egg them on into sinful actions. Look at Matthew 8 where a demonic encounter is described, and the related violence. Violence seems fairly sinful to me.

SolaMeanie said...

I might also add, what about the case of Judas Iscariot? The Bible says that "Satan entered into him." Would not that have had some contribution to Judas' betrayal of the Lord?

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Demonic posession results in an overthrow of the personality. This can involve violent behaviour.

But we see nothing in Scripture about specific sins being attributed to demonic posession.

As regards Judas Iscariot, he was not posessed at all.

Satan is not a demon. He is an angel.

Angels have glorious bodies. They could not and almost certainly would not want to posess anybody.

Satan entered Judas in the same way that he filled the heart of Ananias and Saphirah. It was not a matter of posession.

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

SolaMeanie said...

An argument from silence is no argument. Scripture doesn't have to give a list of specific sins.

Demons are fallen angels. Where do you get the idea that demons and fallen angels are distinct beings?

Ananias and Sapphira and the case of Judas are not comparable at all. Aren't you engaging in a bit of eisegesis here? The biblical text makes it very clear that Satan entered into Judas.

SolaMeanie said...

BTW, Matt...just for the record. I know it probably seems like we disagree more than we agree, but I do appreciate you and what I have read both in your own blog and in your comments elsewhere. Iron sharpens iron, and I am glad you are engaged in the "fight" so to speak.

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

The word 'entered' need not be understood in terms of posession.

It seems very unreasonable to think that Satan was actually in the upper room.

The behaviour of Judas seems very unlikely the semi-luncacy of demoniacs.

"Demons are fallen angels. Where do you get the idea that demons and fallen angels are distinct beings?"

Where does the Bible say that demons are fallen angels?

Compare the descriptions of angels with what we see of demons in the Bible.

Angels are glorious and mighty beings who are always portrayed as having bodies.

Demons are bodiless spirits. There abode is earth, not heaven and they seem rather cowardly.

There is quite a difference.

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

SolaMeanie said...

I'll have to make do with my comment here, and then get back to this later as I am pressed for time today.

Look at the Greek term "eisercomai." That should help. It means enter into, with taking control as a component.

As to the differences/similarities between demons and fallen angels, there are obviously different schools of thought. Countering each other as in "Demons are fallen angels. Where do you get the idea that demons and fallen angels are distinct beings? Where does the Bible say that demons are fallen angels?" won't get us anywhere. I am arguing that I don't think the Bible makes that distinction.

Angels are spiritual beings as are demons. If they have a "body," it is a manifestation and not their true form. Angels can appear as human beings also.

As to Satan being in the upper room, why not? Satan is capable of walking around "to and fro," as it says in Job. If Satan "entered into Judas," he didn't do it long distance as angels are not omnipresent.

If you are thinking that I somehow blame all sin on "the devil made me do it," you are misreading me.

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

"Look at the Greek term "eisercomai." That should help. It means enter into, with taking control as a component."

Which would fit with it being influence.

These are mysterious things, but I dont think we should assume this is the same as demonic posession.

"I am arguing that I don't think the Bible makes that distinction."

It never applies the word demons to angels and it never applies the word angels to demons.

Furthermore, they are never described in the same ways, with the exception that both are called 'spirits', a word used in many different ways in the NT.


"Angels are spiritual beings as are demons."

The resurrection body is spiritual, but it is also physical.

"If they have a "body," it is a manifestation and not their true form."

What makes you think that?

They eat using this manifestation, so it is more than just an appearance.

How can a thing have a body one moment and then not have it?

It is more straightforward to assume that angels are beings that are similar in some ways to humans. This makes sense given that our Lord compares humans in the resurrection to humans.

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

SolaMeanie said...

Matt,

Until I can get back to this subject, you might want to check this link out.

Note the places you can click to describe "bad theology, " "really bad theology," and "really, really bad theology."

You might find it interesting and instructive.

SolaMeanie said...

More germaine to the subject matter, this is also an excellent resource. It's the book "Angels, Elect and Evil," by C. Fred Dickason.

http://www.christianbook.com/Christian/Books/product?event=AFF&p=1011693&item_no=02224

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Solameanie, I haev visited Phil Johnson's Bookmarks many times.

Some of his links are useful, but I wish he would go easy on the sarcasm at times.

He would most certainly put me in the 'bad theology' category.

I have not read that particular book, though I know it is well known.

The title suggests that the author holds 'elect angels' to be a description of all God's faithful angels, which is questionable given the one use of that term in the New Testament.

It is not at all clear from that verse which angels are held to be elect and what purpose they are elected for.

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

Joe B. Whitchurch said...

DP, angels are never called demons and demons are never called angels because before human history and writing the change of status occurred. Read about it in Revelation 12 when 1/3rd of the 'stars' (an obvious reference to angels, clearly stated as such in Revelation from chapters one and two) fell with Lucifer.

From that time on there has been no recorded conversion of angels going on as that was their free choice and 1/3rd chose poorly (understatement).

Are you making some sort of appeal for the category of mental illness. I can understand this. Perhaps this shooter was ministered to for deliverance and such was not the need or case. Perhaps he needed meds and did not choose to take them. Another poor choice (understatement).

Do you believe all demonic activity tormenting Believers has to be overpowering and negates us of the responsibility of giving the devil or his demons a foothold? Are you likening possession of a 'spirit' to a mental illness only as it couldn't be a demon or a demon isn't personal or some such? You are quite unclear. Is this part of your intent as your name suggests or are you simply wasting peoples' time with semantics of your own invention? Wazzup DP? Do tell.

Joe B. Whitchurch said...

Oops my post to DP was intended for DF or dyspraxic fundamentalist with the angel icon I believe. Perhaps dyspraxic (OK, I give, what does THAT mean?) fundamentalist could be spelled dyspraxic phundy-mentalist, I dunno. Do you think you are an angel? Just curious from your pic.

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Joe, Dyspraxia is a disability that casuses clumsiness and difficulty with mental sequences.

I am not an angel, I just like the picture.

"Read about it in Revelation 12 when 1/3rd of the 'stars' (an obvious reference to angels, clearly stated as such in Revelation from chapters one and two) fell with Lucifer."

There are fallen angels. The question is whether these are the same as demons. I think the evidence is in favour of a negative answer.

"From that time on there has been no recorded conversion of angels going on as that was their free choice and 1/3rd chose poorly (understatement)."

Absolutely true.

"Do you believe all demonic activity tormenting Believers has to be overpowering and negates us of the responsibility of giving the devil or his demons a foothold? Are you likening possession of a 'spirit' to a mental illness only as it couldn't be a demon or a demon isn't personal or some such?"

I think it is very likely that demo posession may be connected with sin or perhaps involvement with the Occult.

It is a subject of which some people presume to know far more than they ought.

I grew up in a Charismatic church where demons was a big topic of interest.

My point is that demonic posession in the NT is always connected with disordered and unstable behaviour.

Demonic posession results in the overthrow of the human personality.

There is nothing in Scripture about persons being lead to commit specific sins through demonic posession.

Sinful behaviour is never in the Bible attributed to demonic posession, with the exception of violent disorder.

Thus, we should avoid identifying persons as demon posessed simply on the basis of particular wicked deeds that they have committed.

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

Joe B. Whitchurch said...

Matthew or DF, you have risen in my estimation substantially, not that this means anything particularly. LOL. I tried to post this reply to you earlier in the day today but it didn't go through.

I did have one outstanding question though. If you do not believe demons are fallen angels (as per Rev 12, and Isa and Eze passages via double reference) just what/who is/are demons? What is your case of such? In your case for what/who they are, your use of some Scripture in your argument would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance.

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Joe, thanks.

Good question.

The Bible does not say.

Ancient Jewish literature holds that they were created as demons.

According to a silly story in the Talmud, God made the demons' spirits on the sixth day, and could not make their bodies on the seventh day because it was the Sabbath. So they ended up being forgotten and left as bodiless spirits.

Obviously we cannot believe that story. That God created them as bodiless spirits is a possibility, but unlikely.

GH Pember argued that demons are the spirits of pre-Adamite humans. Whether you buy that depends on whether you can swallow the Gap theory AND Pre-Admaite humanity.

I think the best explanation is that of the Antenicene Church Fathers, who held they are the disembodied spirits of the Nephilim. Half-Angel Half human spirits.

Of course you may not buy the angelic explanation of the sons of God in Genesis 6.

It seems that the Lord has not seen fit to tell us what demons are.

However, I think there is sufficent evidence for us to question the commonly held view that they are angels.

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

Joe B. Whitchurch said...

Matthew DF, disembodied gap theory people? half angel half men from Genesis 6, church fathers, Talmud, Jewish writers and such are far more iffy to me than these clearer hints from Scripture. And I do buy into the more mystical interpretation of Genesis 6. I tend to believe these are the ones already locked up according to the book of Enoch (less authoritative) and 2Peter and Jude (authoritative).

But about your question of Satan as a fallen angel having a physical body and so unable to do this and that related to possession or such, even dismissing the obvious one with Judas which others have mentioned, have you considered this one I'll mention below...?

The book of Job says Satan had conversation with God and was allowed to torment Job via his property and family at first. But in the reports of these calamadies back to Job, nobody mentioned seeing a body affecting such things, wind yes. And more illustratively, later Satan is allowed to foul up majorly with Job's physical body. But Job never sees the causal agency (Satan and/or his demons). If Satan can do stuff like this and not be visible, how is it that he and other fallen angels (demons) cannot torment situations, get into things inappropriate and mess with people without being seen?

I'm with you on human agency and responsibility and don't appreciate the cavalier 'the devil made me do it, I'm not responsible' nonsense, but your sources while intriguing don't have much authority in my view. Have you read John Warwich Montgommery's work and compendium titled simply "Demon Possession"? JWM is not a Pentecostal and the compendium includes Christian missiologists, Christian psychologists, and biblical scholars as well as those who read the sources you mention but who I believe hold to the biblical authority as significantly higher and more substantive and less speculative and they attempt to think biblically in such matters as well as interdisciplinarily.

You might enjoy it, though of course the topic is not exactly one people generally 'enjoy'. LOL.

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Joe, I have not read anything by JW Montgomery. There are always so many things to read.

Joe, I think the Scriptures do indicate that though angels have bodies, they can be invisible.

The resurrection body of our Lord was a physical one, but it was also spiritual. He was able to enter into a locked room.

The bodies of angels would seem to be similar to ours, but different in a number of ways.

It is not clear that Judas was posessed by Satan. The evidence based on comparison between descriptions of demons and descriptions of angels strongly suggests a different category of being (as do early Jewish and early Christian writings). Thus the idea of an angel being able to physically posess another corporeal being is at least questionable.

I appreciate that you view my suggestions as to the nature of demons as being speculative. However, as the Bible never identifies demons as being fallen angels, it seems right to describe that position as speculative as well.

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

MadTownGuy said...

There would appear to be a more important issue here than the mechanics of demonic influence.

Organizations like YWAM exercise strict control over their membership. From what I have read in some of the news reports, there was a lot of what looks like "shepherding" going on in YWAM Arvada and in his family - that is, an effort to exercise undue influence (beyond what most of us would consider healthy) over his life. And whether we consider Murray's actions to be the result of psychosocial maladjustment or of a demon taking advantage of his situation, in either case we have to consider this as a contributing factor.

The larger issue, then, is the great number of other lives that have been so adversely affected by the heavy-handedness of the leaders in these groups. Lives have been impacted, to be sure, by the tragedy of these shootings; many more other lives have been and will continue to be affected by the excessive controls until the church says "enough" to these usurpers of power.

To see some of the effects of these teachings and attitudes on real people, cruise over to FactNet.org and search on YWAM. If anyone recalls the "shepherding" movement from the 1980s or has been involved in G12 cell groups, you probably have some idea of how pervasive - and perverse - these teachings are.

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

The Shepherding thing was pretty unsound.

Robere said...
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Robere said...
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Robere said...

I was born into pentecostalist fundamentalism and it was only after the gift of higher education that I learned to be more analytical about my upbringing and the bizarre beliefs and behaviour of those who surrounded me as a child and teenager. Later on as an adult, I was privileged to work in adult psychiatric inpatient settings where I came to appreciate the true nature of mental illness. This work certainly opened my eyes to the mumbo-jumbo of so-called demon possession and related clap-trap. Let me tell you I have personally witnessed the recovery of hundreds of cases of acute psychosis with the administration of antipsychotic medication. So many of these individuals were hearing voices too, but medication led to either complete recovery or at least signficant relief from auditory hallucinations and other psychotic disturbance. There were no exorcisms, just good medicine and good care provided by dedicated clinicians. I assure you, people who hear voices are NOT demon afficted or demon possessed. To label them so is to add to their suffering. Let's grow up and question the ignorance that drives this sort of stupidity.

SolaMeanie said...

Robere,

That was rather patronising, wasn't it? Your "higher education," as you put it, didn't seem to teach you much. There are degreed psychologists and psychiatrists out there who wouldn't agree with you. Some have even rejected a significant amount of "psychology" because it doesn't jive with their own observations.

Your views are really based on rebellion against your upbringing. That, I think, is the root of your comments.

Robere said...
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Robere said...
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Solameanie said...

Your last comment is a good example of why I zapped the last one, Robere. You really aren't here for any other reason than to sneer at Christianity.

So long.