Question for Lutherans & Anglicans regarding exorcisms

Blessings to all of you and peace be with you.

I have a quick question to ask all our Lutheran and Anglican brethen.

Do your respective communities of faith have an actual teaching or doctrine on exorcisms?

Not picking a fight, simply curious to know what your leadership teaches.


God Bless

I would say it’s not much different than the Catholic understanding. Here is a good resource on the subject.

Thanks! So I am assuming Lutheran priest do perform exorcisms,if deemed necessary? I am sure your source will answer my question.

Yes, indeed. It’s less formally organized, I would think.

I know here in the Diocese of Green Bay (my wife is Catholic), there are priests assigned as diocesan exorcists, they’re kept under strict secrecy about who they are, etc. I would say it’s a difference in structure vs. difference in how it works.

I know that many Lutheran pastors who I have talked to about the subject still use the older Roman rites for exorcism, too.

We do! We teach that demons and possession is a real phenomenon.

For a Lutheran book on the occult check out “Wizards that Peep” by Siegbert W. Becker.

Yes you are correct about the Diocese. Most Dioceses,perhaps all of them,do have assigned exorcist priest. I have met such a priest whose entire ministry is exorcisms. Yikes!

Good to know. I have heard of certain denominations who reject it as an old superstition and outdated? I assuming they deny the demonic realm?

The more mainline liberal churches. To them, Satan doesn’t exist. Even the most anti-liturgical Baptists and evangelicals still believe in demonic possession and exorcism.

That is what baffles me. How can they read,study and preach the Scriptures,yet deny the existence of Satan? Scripture is so explicit on evil/foul spirits which exist. I simply do not get it? :confused:

Because for mainline liberal churches, Scripture is not authoritative. Many, if not most, do not feel it is fully inspired. When it comes to mainline Presbyterian, Lutheran, Anglicans, et al. church bodies, issues that we debate here, like sola scriptura or the magisterium, etc. are completely irrelevant. To them, their only interpretive authority are liberal social causes.

Every diocese in the Church of England has an exorcist or a team of advisors. We tend to refer to it as the Ministry of Deliverance. Members of clergy must consult with the exorcist appointed by the Bishop and the Bishop generally determines the nature of the rite to be used. A standard text is ‘Deliverance’ edited by Michael Perry.

Regular clergy are permitted to use prayers for protection and peace where it’s deemed pastorally helpful to pray with those suffering from a sense of disturbance or unrest. However, for exorcism/deliverance the Bishop’s advisor must be consulted.

From what I understand, a lot of liberal ministers/theologians explain biblical accounts of demonic possessions as nothing more than primitive explanations for epilepsy, other diseases, and psychological issues.

Another modernist approach is to re-interpret the biblical reality of demonic powers into metaphors for either social ills (such as poverty or alcoholism) or for world systems (such as the godless political-military-industrial complex).

This is because they really treat the Bible as just like any other peace of creative writing. Things like demons are not treated as reflecting historical reality but are seen as simply literary devices that can be analyzed, dissected, and re-interpreted as the reader sees fit.

Exactly, brother.

I’m actually surprised by this. Would you happen to know if the Episcopal Church in the US has a similar system? If so, it would be a huge deal as far as how I have customarily perceived the Episcopal Church.

I don’t mean to sound rude. I realize there are some Anglo-Catholic and Evangelical bishops in the Episcopal Church who believe in the reality of satan and demons.

I just never imagined that Anglicans had an officially recognized exorcism ministry that was actually appreciated by bishops and other Anglican leaders.

I would not paint with such broad strokes. Even the Catholic church (hardly a hot bed of liberalism) requires psychological testing before the exorcism can occour.

Many years ago I personally exorcised by a Four Square Pentecostal, he was trying to get the “demon of Catholicism” out of me. I think some take it to extremes and see demons under every stone.

Yes demons and evil exist for certain but they are not as common as some think, fairly rare IMHO.

I’d argue the exact opposite: That this world is infested with demons and most of them are subtle.

Mathew 4:8-9 shows that the Devil is in control of the kingdoms of the world and he can offer them to Jesus as a temptation:

“Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.”

I think you misunderstand. I have no problem using common sense and the full range of medical and scientific knowledge available before turning to exorcism.

My comment was directed toward liberal Christians who do not believe in the existence of demons at all and who explicitly argue that the biblical accounts of demonic possession were just the efforts of primitive people to understand physical and mental disorders.

Yes, that is certainly an example of someone not understanding what true demon possession really is.

I no longer know how the Episcopal Church treats this. And generalizing is, you know, not prudent. But exorcism was not unknown in TEC, once.

Now, who knows?


Thanks for the response.

I googled this, and found a page on the Episcopal Church’s website! It says that there is no rite of exorcism but guidelines do exist:

Those who find themselves in need of such a ministry should make the fact known to the bishop, through their parish priest, in order that the bishop may determine whether exorcism is needed, who is to perform the rite, and what prayers or other formularies are to be used.

My guess is nowadays, an exorcism in TEC is when someone changes their position on economic inequality and starts voting for socialists.

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