The Divergent Flavors of Deliverance

Dumping Demons: So Many Paths

Getting rid of dark spirits is an unexpectedly vast field, despite so few people being involved with it. Here are some Christ-centered variations on a theme. Deliverance

Within the Warfare model are several different approaches for difficult cases.

Among the "What opened the door"/"Digging" view there are many approaches and techniques.


Among all deliverance theories above, Jesus still remains the focus and the ideal. Scripture is generally used to justify most techniques (though with the deep counseling, there is less Scriptural support). All would probably agree that a person should seek Jesus, and not RELY on people, for help; however, it remains clear that counseling of SOME type is generally what a demonized person needs, even if it is counseling to build up faith and get a person to wholly commit to Jesus. All would probably also agree that getting rid of fear and other such things is vital (though how to do so is another matter).

Counselors would also probably generally agree that "renewing the mind" is very important - that is, to develop the mind of Christ and to trust, obey, and rely on Jesus and Scripture.

BUT SIDENOTE ON MIND OF CHRIST: I have now heard a couple times that deliverance problems may be caused by generational issues more often than not. In fact, I've now heard that sometimes, the first person to become Christian in a lineage may be so burdened by generational issues that it's very hard to renew the mind and hold onto faith or read Scripture. Personally, I think that would explain a lot.... So if that describes YOU, don't blame yourself for lack of faith!

So much division....

In researching deliverance ministries, I read a whole bunch of Christian theology. There's a lot of very interesting stuff, but I was saddened to see the amount of discord and finger-pointing. Many people and organizations accuse others of heresy and deception. A favorite target is Bethel in Redding, for example, which is pretty conservative to me, but to most other conservative Christian groups it apparently is pretty liberal, is considered "hyper-Charismatic," and even almost New Age (a viewpoint I can understand, given the stories I've read). Sometimes there is finger pointing back and forth. "Heresy and occultism!" on the one hand, or "You're limiting the Holy Spirit and you're in bondage to the spirit of religion" on the other. Serious charges include examples of people coming into new or worsened demonic oppression as a result of following particular schools of thought or seeking certain forms of deliverance help. The oppression may even occur years later and apparent gains can be lost. These sorts of accusations of deception and problems are all over the place.

Is there truth to these claims of heresy, occult influence, and people coming under demonic influence due to particular organizations and styles of counseling? I'm sure there is, because there IS evil at work in the world. I think any reasonably intelligent enemy would take every opportunity to sow discord and deception at every turn. I think even valid techniques and theologies will be nibbled around the edges by deceptive spirits and human pitfalls of pride, myopia, and ignorance. As a result, I think there will never be a 100% successful technique or ministry. I think there will always be casualties who come out worse than they came in, maybe even with more demonic problems. And yes, I think there are just plain bad practitioners and bad theologies, too.

On the flip side, when I used to have big issues with accounts of healings done by people with extremist theologies, a friend (who might be considered a heretic by many) pointed out to me that God often works through us despite our theological failures. Curry Blake (who is also maligned as a heretic by some) suggests there are so few people willing to walk in healing, that God will use just about anyone who perseveres. In fact, if one thinks about it, no human being on Earth is going to be perfect, and two people will never share exactly the same theology. God HAS to be able to work with us despite our imperfections, or else He could get nothing done through human beings.

In other words, the enemy can make even good, effective techniques cause failures, deception, harm. BUT God is so much bigger, more proactive, more committed, more determined - right? So I'm starting to think that God can take even our flawed, fallible methodologies and use them to save, heal, and rescue as many people as possible. Because God is that good.

What's Best?

I seriously have no idea. It occurs to me that there are now enough people practicing deliverance, including people who casually learn how to do it from friends and online classes, who see visible results, that it's hard for me to believe ALL of it is a deception. I rather suspect most of the techniques are valid in certain circumstances. However, as I mentioned, any reasonably intelligent enemy would seek to sow discord and confusion wherever possible. Do some people seeking divine healing and supernatural help from the Holy Spirit (like "getting slain in the spirit" or "speaking in tongues") get demonized? You bet (I already have some material about that on my site). Do some people seeking deliverance get pulled into worse situations? Yeah I'm sure of that, too. Do some people come out victorious and go on to transformed, positive, inspired living? I'm pretty sure that happens as well. Is it best to seek God most of all, to trust God more than any human being, to seek God's will throughout, and forgive deliverance counselors their foibles and failings? Yeah, that's what I think the upshot is for me.

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