In a scathing article in the Sydney Morning Herald, Ruth Pollard slams Mercy Ministries for allegedly practising exorcism on patients. Mercy Ministries is a Christian organisation.
One thing to ask here is whether it is appropriate for a Christian help service to practice exorcism. Who decides whether a Biblical practice should be used by a Biblically based group? Governments? Newspapers? The media? The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission? Centrelink?
When she asked Centrelink if there were any abnormalities with the way Centrelink payments were utilised, Pollard was told, “Centrelink conducted a full investigation into the appointment of Mercy Ministries as nominees for Centrelink payments,” the general manager, Hank Jongen, said. “Investigation of the current customers reveals nothing untoward. There are no records of any complaints about the nominee arrangements.”
‘Nothing untoward’, and ‘no records of any complaints’, is not enough for Pollard and her fellow critics, though. They don’t like the concept of people being set free from being demonised, so they demonise the organisation for having manuals which outline what they consider correct techniques for casting out demons. Could this be because, like serial Christian basher and former senator Lyn Allison, she doesn’t like the prospect of Christians being able to help others through Biblical principles she doesn’t understand or consider valid?
Interestingly, Mercy Ministries has stated it doesn’t use the manuals anyway, and had revised their policy on exorcism. So why continue to pursue them?
I guess the practice of exorcism, which was first used successfully by Jesus, is a threat to unbeliever’s politically correct revisionist view of what true Christian ministry is – or it could be, if we will only act on Jesus’ instructions and not waver because a few doubters think psychology and medication are the only answers for many of the unexplained human frailties we are occassionally exposed to.
Clearly, each person has to be helped on an individual basis with true mercy, not every mental problem is solved through casting demons out of people, and there has to be a high degree of compassion, love and tender care given to these young women, most of whom suffer because they have a history of being neglected or abused. But saying no one ever needs to be freed through exorcism is a grave error.
So now, to perpetuate the rough treatment of Mercy Ministries, journalists are prepared to call respected commentators from Centrelink liars, and accuse the ACCC of a cover-up. Can’t let a good scandal die for want of facts, can we?