On Demon Possession - A Reply

This was a reply that Sam Long just made to my post on demon possession. I didn't want it to get lost in the archives. Something that could have very well happened to it. So here it is in all its glory.

It came as a result of this post and comments.

From the reply:

If I might interject a brief comment about the interpretation of the passage from Zechariah - more than likely, "Satan" here and in the rest of the OT is not so much a personal name as a description of a being who "accuses," literally, "The Accuser" (hasatan in Hebrew). He is not necessarily an evil being, but doing his duty to preserve the holiness of God's presence and of God's "followers" (see Job).

In my estimation, we suffer from a gross misunderstanding of the spiritual world. Maybe it is my "liberal" education, or just common sense, but doesn't it strike anyone else as somewhat stretched to consider a being to serve as God's foil with seemingly similar powers and minions? And where did this being come from (please spare me from taking any OT passage or Revelation out of context)? Anyway, something to think about.

As for demon possession, I wonder if the ailments of the NT have been diagnosed and treated through medicine and counseling. Perhaps demon possession of the NT was an archaic way of describing multiple personalities or other psychological problems.
Much of the time, the entire discussion of temptation and Satan strikes me as a convenient cop-out for our inability to control selfishness. Take some responsibility people!