In the opening of his book, “The Screwtape Letters”, CS Lewis writes: “There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall about the devils. One is to disbelieve in their existence. The other is to believe, and to feel an excessive and unhealthy interest in them. They themselves are equally pleased by both errors, and hail the materialist and the magician with the same delight.”
America is the materialist. We don’t believe demons exist, and any talk of demons are topics only for the stupid, the ignorant, and the “religious”. Here we believe in “science”, and any experiences we may encounter of a “demonic” nature can be explained neatly away. Here we incarcerate, medicate, and/or psycho-analyze.
But Cambodia is the magician. They believe demons (or “spirits”) exist- it’s not even questioned- and visual or audible manifestations are not uncommon. There the people speak to them, leave offerings to them, pray to them, and even worship them. The reality is, that either ignored and hidden, or catered to and in plain sight, the enemy moves equally free in both countries.
But while our evils here remain under cover (because we’re so distracted we don’t notice), there the pretense is gone. Their day-to-day reality is different from ours. Life and spirituality are raw. So, when a person accepts Christ, the freedom they experience is much more palpable. (Generally speaking.)
No longer do they leave offerings to the spirits. No longer do they live in fear of the spirits striking them with sickness, misfortune, and death. No longer do they live according to their karma in poverty, or abuse, with no hope of a better life. The void in their souls has been filled with the light, love, and truth of Jesus Christ- and not only do they know it, they FEEL it.
To see the young people at Water of Life worship the Lord of the universe- to see them jump, dance, sing, and spin- warmed my stodgy old heart to the core.
They have been set free, and they are free indeed.