Can demons rape women?

Question:

I have sever anxiety and a fear of demons. It's been ongoing for over a decade. One time my brother made a comment that demons can rape women. Is this true? Of course, now I've been googling it and I read a bunch of scary stuff, people saying that it is true and it has happened to them. Sometimes I have panic attacks over the fear of it happening to me. I pray and try to stay positive and rational, but I really need reasurrance from a reliable source that it is not possible.


Answer:

The problem with the imagination is that it has no limits.

"But reject profane and old wives' fables, and exercise yourself toward godliness" (I Timothy 4:7).

The world is filled with information, but all information is not equally good or true. As a Christian it is very important that you distinguish between truth and falsehoods. The sad thing is that some are so firmly convinced that what they believe must be true that even the truth won't persuade them otherwise. "The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved" (II Thessalonians 2:9-10).

The Bible tells us that God cannot lie (Titus 1:2). Not that He chooses not to lie, but that He actually cannot lie because lies are sinful and sin is not a part of God's nature. Thus, the Bible, which comes from God is truth. "Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth" (John 17:17).

The tales of incubus and succubus are ancient myths usually revolving around demons. Incubus are supposed to be male demons who visit young women in the night. Succubus are supposed to be female demons who visit young men in the night. The tales have been traced all the way back to Sumerians in Mesopotamia, two thousand years before Christ. So it is an old tale, popular and constantly being changed as it is retold.

People usually call the fallen angels who follow after Satan "demons." Angels are spiritual beings (Psalms 104:4). That means they don't have a physical body. As spirits, they are also eternal beings (that is, they don't die). Jesus explained that when men are resurrected, they to will have spiritual bodies. "For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels of God in heaven" (Matthew 22:30). There is no marriage in heaven because we will be like the angels. If you think about it for a moment, it makes sense. Male and female are attributes of physical bodies. There is no mention of gender with angels. We have males and females who reproduce because people die and need to be replaced. Angels don't die, so the need for reproduction is not like men. Thus, for both reasons there is no marriage.

Besides, how could a spiritual being, without a physical body, interbred with a physical being? We understand that two different physical species cannot interbred, so why would we expect it to happen between beings who are even more dissimilar?

Therefore, the Bible shows us that it cannot happen, so why do the myths exist?

It is a guess on my part, but I suspect that the stories about incubus and succubus were perpetuated to hide truths. There wasn't DNA testing in the ancient days, so when a young woman wanted to hide why she was mysteriously pregnant, she wouldn't talk about the boy across town who crawled through her window one night; she would tell everyone that she was raped by a demon. Then she isn't a sinner but a victim. I won't be surprised that sometimes it was the story given when the truth was a woman was raped. Guys would use the same story line to explain why they had a wet dream. With each retelling the fictional stories get expanded and made more mysterious.

There is another possible source to these myths: There is a medical condition called sleep paralysis:

"Sleep paralysis is basically where you are kind of half-awake and your brain hasn't connected to your body's functions completely so you can't move. It's a common occurrence among African Americans but not so much among whites and Africans. It's often referred to as a demonic visitation, but it is really just sleep paralysis.

Some people will refer to it as a form of lucid dreaming. To stop such dreams I'd recommend not sleeping straight on your back. I used to get sleep paralysis all the time because of that. Started sleeping on my side and 'poof', gone."

[What does sleep paralysis mean?]

There is a detailed description of sleep paralysis and the myths surrounding it on Wikipedia. "Sleep Paralysis" contains a good description and links to resources.

It is common for people, when faced with something they can't explain, to jump to the most fanciful explanation they can think of. But usually the true answer is found in the common and mundane. As one doctor used to say, "Why go looking for zebras when horses will do?"

In other words, there is no reason for you to let your imagination go wild and to panic over what you imagine might happen.