Cleaned it. I'm sorry to rouse your curiosity like that but I want discuss it in a public forum. I only mentioned it as an example of unexplainable phenomena.
I never wanted to encounter the supernatural. I am a man of science and remain skeptical of spooky things. But I did encounter the supernatural none the less, two of our houses were turned into spook central. Never saw a bleeding statue but struggled with a bleeding bath tub one exhausting evening. Three different plumbers told us to call a priest. This was only one of many encounters
I assure you Dr. Scott, I never wanted a supernatural explanation for any of that. I do hope you aren't saying that I had these encounters because I wanted to believe in demons. I agree with what you said and it applies 99% of the time, but there are events that can only be explained by demonic activity. I just don't believe any longer that we should engage them.
This thread signals a persistent thread in American evangelicalism but one that is not unique to American evangelicalism as some have shown here.
Throughout the church we have often misinterpreted unusual but "natural" phenomena as supernatural or apostolic phenomena. This happens for a variety of theological, psychological, and historical reasons. Theologically, we have often failed to distinguish between canonical or redemptive history and post-canonical history. Put plainly, we are not David, Elijah, or Paul. We don't have apostolic power. We haven't seen Jesus face to face. We were to experience any one of the things Paul suffered, we would likely die. We don't get teleported/transported by the Spirit from place to place. We don't raise the dead or kill them (or rather the Spirit doesn't do these things through us). Why? We're not apostles. This touches on the other thread concerning natural law and civil polity. This is the flip-side of that debate. We don't live in the canonical world. If we don't accept that then we will likely continue to try to re-create the canonical world politically or spiritually.
The psychological reasons for this urge, I think, have to do with wanting to feel as if we are in the "real" period of divine action and salvation. We feel "left out" (if not left behind). I've noticed this with my Pentecostal friends. They describe every ordinary thing in apostolic terms. They can't bear to live in a post-canonical, ordinary world. They have to have the same immediate experience of Christ and the Spirit as the apostles. They cannot content themselves with Word and sacrament.
Historically, there have been two great epochs in W. history since the close of the canon: Christendom, modernity (and late modernity which many probably wrongly call post-modernity). In Christian antiquity/Christendom we often blurred the border between the canonical period and our existence. History was less defined.
Beginning in the Renaissance and especially in Modernity (more or less since 1650) we have had a more highly defined sense of "then" and "now." Some of this consciousness has not been helpful. It has often relied on anti-theistic assumptions (e.g., Lessing's Ugly Ditch and Kant's phenomenal/noumenal distinction; rationalism, empiricism, and irrationalism/romanticism). So, under Christendom, it wasn't always clear that we weren't in the canonical period. This gave rise to the sorts of interpretations of events one finds in Tertullian and even in the medieval period. They lived in a "sacral" and highly supernaturalized world. Bees were thought to build altars to the sacred body of Christ (having carried away crumbs of the host). It's the sort of thing one still sees in 2/3s world Romanism where statues "bleed" etc.
Most of us, however, don't live in that world. We know that, in the ordinary providence of God, statues don't bleed. If everything is extraordinary, however, then anything is possible and nothing is impossible or even unlikely. The Modern turn, however, helped re-kindle Romanticism in the 19th century and revivalism and hyper-spiritualism in the 19th and 20th centuries. In response to Kant's closed world, people turned to the mystical or emotional and in the 20th century they have largely become the same thing. If a preacher (using Finney's methods of manipulations) can create the right emotional experience, the "Spirit" is said to be present in worship. How does one know? One had the appropriate "affection." (The 1st Great Awakening is not immune from this critique). This same sort of thing happened in the 14th and 15th centuries when the nominalists reacted to the realists.
That's why we should be thankful for Warfield's sane and sobering analysis of these phenomena in Counterfeit Miracles. Call him a killjoy but he told the truth. Most of the things to which people appeal as evidence of canonical activity in the world (be it demons or angels) is unverifiable and dubious on the face of it.
Is there real spiritual wickedness in the world? Absolutely but more often than not it's not where we think it is. "The devil wears Prada" indeed! He spends a lot more time in the corporate headquarters of (name your favorite multinational) than he does in your neighbor's house. Remember, however many servants he has, as I always told my children, there's only one devil and he's not ubiquitous. He can only bother one person at a time. Further, we belong to Jesus. The evil one can roar all he wants. Throw a bottle of ink at him and go back to sleep.
[T]here 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...