How fighting the devil became an ecumenical pursuit.
Anglican Erich Junger has seen a lot in his wide-ranging career as an enlisted sailor in the US Navy, a medical examiner, a police detective, and a crime scene analyst.
More than a decade ago, his calling shifted to a different kind of investigation. It’s careful work, sometimes secretive and sensitive. He goes after a master manipulator, an enemy responsible for physical, psychological, and spiritual havoc.
Well, not just any enemy. The Enemy.
An exorcist in the Anglican Church of North America, Junger now dons a clerical collar as he advises fellow believers to “put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes” (Eph. 6:11).
Scriptural directives to defend against the Devil take on a heavy urgency once you have seen the twisted work of Satan up close, again and again. Junger dedicated his ministry to studying spiritual warfare—specifically, the physiological effects of demonic activities—back in 2007. Ten years later, he became licensed as an exorcist.
To outsiders, the work of exorcism carries significant cultural baggage, whether due to misperceptions gleaned from the movies or the many real-life cases where possession had been faked or confused with mental illness. This is tricky spiritual territory to navigate. That’s why exorcists like Junger would say their expertise in identifying and combating the presence of the demonic is so crucial right now.
This realm of ministry remains particularly mystifying in the United States, where most Christians see Satan as a symbol of evil rather than a living being, according to Barna Research.
“Many priests and ministers of most all denominations have lost their sense of the reality of Satan as a …