Religion

Famous Megachurch Holds 'Demon Trials' for Depressed People

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Mars Hill Church, a megachurch in Seattle, Washington, headed by Pastor Mark Driscoll, has made the news numerous times for over a year.

In addition to the controversial Seattle megachurch, there are several other Mars Hill churches throughout the country.

Psychology professor and blogger Warren Throckmorton reports that Darlene Lopez, a former member of the Mars Hill Church in Albuquerque, New Mexico, recently claimed that the church held "demon trials" for church members.

Lopez wrote on We Love Mars Hill, a website set-up by former members, that a friend of hers underwent a demon trial per Pastor Driscoll's guidelines:

Apparently, the elders were doing demon trials on members or anyone who had oppression in their life. Mark Driscoll wrote this whole procedure on how to summon, and then put on trial the demons that are oppressing the believer. It all sounded strange to us. I asked her why she couldn’t be my friend and she said my name was brought up in a demon trial...To this day she says she ended our friendship because of “sin.” But it wasn’t until that demon trial that things changed.

Throckmorton notes there are guidelines on how to conduct "spiritual warfare" on the Mars Hill Church website and on Pastor Driscoll’s Facebook page, which include combating demons.

According to Pastor Driscoll, some of the maladies that may be caused by demons include: masturbation, ongoing depression, eating disorders, mental illness and anger.

There are several steps to a demon trial, but eventually the demon-oppressed or possessed "counselee" is brought before some Mars Hill Church pastors and is supposed to tell them "everything the demon tells you, no matter how odd it may seem," notes the Mars Hill Church website.

"If there are any demons working in [name] in the area of [issue], we bind all of you together along with all of your works and effects and command that you come forward," the website states.

The demon is then asked his name and is commanded by the Mars Hill pastors "to the pit bound by that name with all of your works and effects and all of your associates and their works and effects as well."

The "counselee," who is supposedly demon-possessed or oppressed, must be a Christian for these demon trials to work, according to the Mars Hill Church website.

However, there are no instances of Christians ever being possessed in the Bible, notes Christian theologian and pastor John MacArthur on his website.

Sources: Warren Throckmorton, We Love Mars Hill, MarsHill.com, GTY.org

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