This past weekend, we attended the Yama-Con Convention in Pigeon Forge, TN to promote the church and Science Café among fans of anime. The convention ran from Friday morning until Sunday afternoon, December 5-7.
At several points during the convention, we left the table unattended to give those less inclined to conversation a chance to pick up our promotional cups and literture. During one of those times, we Sheila and I attended a Fan Panel titled Wayward Sons: Religion and Morality in Supernatural. This was a discussion centered around the television show called Supernatural, but since I have never watched it, I was unaware of the connection until after the panel started.
The leader of the panel called upon the attendees to voice their opinions about the show and its religious and moral implications. Most of the room was quiet, however. Only about four people said anything at all. One of these was a young woman who identified herself as practicing Pagan. She told her opinions about the events of the Garden of Eden to which I paid particular attention.
Her view of the Garden of Eden was that God had given man only one choice--to do good--and therefore, he was a domineering tyrant. On the other hand, Satan offered Eve a choice, so he was really the hero of the story. She said Satan was there to liberate Eve from God's restrictive and unfair control. Earlier, the young woman said that she had tried to find details about Satan's fall in the Bible, but no one was able to show her anything about it except a reference that he had fallen.
During the panel, I raised my hand several times, intending only to give the young woman the Bible reference (I would have also invited others to stop by our booth and ask questions). However, I was never recognized to speak, and pretty soon the meeting was over. I was disappointed but put the matter into God's hands.
Later that day, Sheila manned our table alone, and I left for a while to visit the vendor area before it closed. It was in a large hall with two sets of doors. For some reason, the organizers of Yama-Con wanted all visitors to enter through one set of doors and exit through the other set of doors. I guess they got volunteers to guard the doors and keep people flowing in the desired direction. All I know is that when I arrived at the entry door to the vendor area, the same young woman who spoke out at the panel was there checking people at the door. There weren't many people at walking around at that time, and she was unable to leave her post.
I engaged in a conversation with her that I intended to be informative only. Other Christians in my situation might have thought to take advantage of the situation and beat her over the head with a Bible until she fell on her knees and cried out to God. Sorry, that's not me at all. I only wanted to answer the implied question she asked at the panel and see where the conversation went from there. Here is the scripture reference.Isaiah 14:12-14 King James Version (KJV)
12 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! 13 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: 14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.
I started out by saying that I had seen her in the panel and had heard her speak about not being able to find any Bible reference explaining Satan's fall. I commented that she must not have looked very hard, but there is exactly one occurrence of the word "Lucifer" in the King James Version Bible, so you can locate it pretty easily with a simple text search. Before I could then tell her where the scripture was located and read it to her from the Bible app on my phone, she began to get extremely nervous and panic.
I mentioned before that some Christians in my situation would take advantage and preach at her, and at first I thought she might be entering a fight-or-flight mode in preparation for the encounter with me, believing me to be a Christian like that. However, I quickly realized that something more was going on. I believe strongly that there was a demon inside this young woman. This scripture kept coming to my mind.Luke 8:27-29 King James Version (KJV)
27 And when he went forth to land, there met him out of the city a certain man, which had devils long time, and ware no clothes, neither abode in any house, but in the tombs. 28 When he saw Jesus, he cried out, and fell down before him, and with a loud voice said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God most high? I beseech thee, torment me not. 29 (For he had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. For oftentimes it had caught him: and he was kept bound with chains and in fetters; and he brake the bands, and was driven of the devil into the wilderness.)
I continued conversing with the woman, or the demon—I couldn't tell which it was. I asked about her children at one point, and he response was intended to intimidate. She called off their names, which I believe were the names of fictional demonic characters either from cartoons, literature, or games, but I didn't know. I thought to myself, "how lame that this demon has no other way to strike out at me."
I was mentally preparing myself to command this demon to be cast out. Probably, in this public place where unbelievers were passing by, I would have been quickly restrained and arrested. I would be willing to do that, but I never felt the release by the Holy Spirit to proceed. Right at that time, a young man approached who had been at our table earlier in the day, one that I would have liked to lead back into relationship with God. He knew the young woman was a Pagan and I was a Christian, and it caught him by surprise that we were talking to each other. I think he thought we were having a normal, friendly conversation. I don't know how he missed seeing the stress in the woman's face change to relief when he asked me to go into the vendor area with him (something that I had promised to do).
My conversation with the woman ended, and I did not see her again at the convention. Part of me wishes that the encounter had played out to the conclusion that the demon within her would be cast out. However, I am content knowing that the demon felt its vulnerability to the power of Jesus within me. Besides, if I had cast the demon out of her without being able to do the proper follow-up, it is possible that the vaccuum would have been filled with more demons later.Matthew 12:43-45 King James Version (KJV)
43 When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none. 44 Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished. 45 Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation.
Through all of this, I never found out the woman's name. Still, she will be in my prayers, and I hope yours.