I had the most interesting conversation the other night on Twitter, and I couldn’t wait to blog about it here, but I had to give it some extra thought, first.
When someone starts talking about demons at Starbucks, my ears prick up. That’s my personality. I’m one of those people who listen in on others’ conversations at Red Robin, and I chime in on conversations at the grocery store. This guy – who leads a ministry with 23,ooo Twitter followers – said that if you need a cup of coffee to get going in the morning, you are an addict and you are possessed by demons. Apparently, the ratio is two demons per cup. Why two? Because God had told him so, that’s why. He addressed my skepticism by saying I needed to talk to God about it, and He would reveal the same thing to me.
Yeah, OK. I was just doing the math. Four cups of coffee a day… that’s eight demons. You’d think I’d be way more disturbed than I am at that rate.
He added that “the average Starbucks is filled with thousands and thousands of demons.” He might be right about that, but only because they charge so much. I wish I’d known I was buying $5 cups of iced Satan all these years. I would have completely switched to Dunkin’ Donuts.
The conversation took a turn and soon we were talking about depression and psychotropic drugs. God had told this person that those, too, were nothing but capsules filled with Beelzebub. Depression is a demon, he said, and we should be praying, not medicating. Demons enter the body through medication, too!
(Scribbling on a napkin…OK 2 demons per cup of coffee…that’s like eight…plus a demon per pill…that’s 11 demons if you include insulin…now we’re up to 13 demons. What about dietary supplements? How many demons are in an Omega 3 capsule? Cinnamon? What about the dreaded children’s Aspirin?)
I did what I shouldn’t have done – I told him that my medication was a gift from God, and that He had used it mightily in helping me to live an abundant life. It was a stupid thing to say. Other people chimed in to tell me I was lacking in faith.
What is faith, really? Here’s a stranger who doesn’t know anything about me telling me I’m full of demons and not a true believer in Christ Jesus, who says he knows that all of medicine is the work of the devil because God told him. What God told anyone else is irrelevant. I’m willing to pray and ask God if maybe I’m over-medicating, but this guy isn’t willing to accept that he might be wrong. So, who has the bigger faith?
I gave up on the conversation and moved on to other things. There’s really no point in screaming at a bunch of deaf people. I’m not interesting in arguing with people who put God into such a tiny box. My message is for people who are teachable and open-minded. They don’t have to agree, but they have to be open to the possibility that there is more going on in the lives of people with mental illness and in the heavenly realms than they understand.
If your neighborhood is flooding and God sends you a life raft, do you get on the raft or keep crying out for God to supernaturally rescue you from your rooftop? That’s what people like him do. They miss the gift because it doesn’t come in the form they want it to. So you wave your arms a few times, point to the life raft, and when they insist on being stuck up on that roof, you move on and find someone else who could use it.
Sounds cold, but there’s not much else you can do.