Ross Douthat believes in angels and devils. Me too.
The early church grew because of its manifest spiritual gifts, because of its manifest interaction with the unseen world. But there were downsides, people speaking gibberish in tongues, bizarre and unedifying manifestations. I’ve been to some pentecostal services where the dangers of too much interest in the unseen world, I would even say the spiritual dangers, are real.
I believe that our missionary work could benefit a lot from increasing the focus of our missionaries on the power of the priesthood to cast out devils and invoke the angels. In Africa, sure, but even in places like Spain some of the strongest members I knew were those who had turned to the missionaries to cast out literal evil powers.
But even in today’s church, which downplays this sort of thing, this can go overboard. I’ve seen it. And it can be dangerous. I met a man who lost his soul.
The risks are as real as the rewards. I’m glad this is the Prophet’s call, not mine.