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Lutheran minister’s theology
of evil altered by events
Posted: August 28, 2005
1:00 a.m. Eastern
By Mark Ellis
© 2005 ASSIST News Service
WICHITA, Kansas – He's faithfully visited notorious serial killer Dennis Rader every week at the county jail and still sees himself as his pastor. But the Dennis Rader he saw make a rambling final statement in court is not the same person he knows.
"The person I heard in the courtroom was not the real Dennis," says Michael Clark, pastor of Christ Lutheran Church in Wichita. "There was someone else speaking from Dennis that day," he believes. "I personally think we’re dealing with some kind of possession."
"From all that I’ve seen and the people I've talked with who have dealt with demonic possession, I feel there was something working there," he adds. "When I go back to the beginning when Dennis made his first statement to the public about his condition in the '70s he said, 'There’s a monster inside of me that I can’t control.'"
As Rev. Clark listened, he was struck by the inconsistency with the man he knew. "I honestly don't think it was the Dennis Rader I know who was a member of this congregation and who I worked with in leadership," he says. "It was a power, an evil force that was controlling."
Rev. Clark still believes Rader is a Christian, but Rader’s shocking double life caused Clark to reexamine his theology of evil during the last few months. First Clark read C.S. Lewis' classic "Screwtape Letters" as well as M. Scott Peck's "A Glimpse of the Devil." Then he consulted with a retired Lutheran pastor who experienced demonic encounters in the mission field.
While Rader may need specialized treatment to address his condition, Rev. Clark is not sure he's the one to provide it. "I've learned more about the value and purpose of exorcism," he says. "I'm not sure I would get involved with that because it takes specialized training and skills."
"It's not something you play around with – it's very dangerous," he adds.
"We're so used to dealing with the psychological and scientific model," he continues. "We don't recognize the possibility of a spiritual explanation." He takes issue with those who would be quick to apply a label to Rader such as "psychopath" or "sociopath."
Originally posted by Rasputin13
As for BTK... I sincerely doubt he's posessed. The fact that he lived a double life is nothing out of the ordinary. Most serial killers and mass murderers do everything they can to hide their killing ways. I think this Priest is just unable to grasp the fact that Rader pulled one over on him and so many others, for so many years. Instead of accepting that he wasn't able to recognize this "evil" side of a man whom he was so close to, he instead chooses to blame it on a higher power.
Originally posted by Rasputin13
While the churches may appear to be silent on this subject publicly, the Catholic Church released a book to its Priests on the proper ways to conduct an exorcism, in the last decade. They also held a conference, a sort of "classroom," on conducting exorcisms.