Can a Christian be demon possessed?

Question from a reader:

Can a Christian be demon possessed? I have a friend who is convinced that demons are hanging out in her house and taunting her. She seems drawn to the mystical and occult much more than to Christ. I want to show her that, if she's truly in Christ (which she may not be), that she has nothing to fear. B. T.

Answer from Randy Alcorn:

1 John 5:18 says "We know that anyone born of God does not continue to sin; the One who was born of God keeps them safe, and the evil one cannot harm them."

This would seem to imply Christians are safe from absolute control or possession, but not safe from significant influence. So my bottom line answer is no, a believer cannot be possessed, but he can certainly be oppressed and heavily influenced by a demon (particularly as he opens up aspects of his life to outside control and addictions).

This article says no, and I think it's helpful.

This is an article saying no, and has some decent insights, though not complete.

This is a detailed and lengthy treatment arguing Christians cannot be demon possessed, and addressing specifically arguments of those who believe they can be:

This also might be helpful:

Now, this is an argument, pretty well stated, that Christians CAN be possessed.

I think it is largely semantics. Certainly Christians can be heavily influenced or swayed by demons, and even if those demons are outside them (as I tend to believe) they certainly have access to the inside, as that's the way they tempt us. So even though I would not say a Christian can be demon possessed, this writer is correct in emphasizing Christians should not go overboard with this so as to suggest they can't be heavily influenced by demons. After all, a Christian who is in bondage to pornography, for instance, is certainly in one sense captive to Satan, though he can also respond to the conviction of the Holy Spirit and be delivered.

2 Timothy 1:7

“...for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.”

James 4:7

“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the Devil and he will flee from you.”

Randy Alcorn, founder of EPM

Randy Alcorn (@randyalcorn) is the author of over fifty books and the founder and director of Eternal Perspective Ministries