[CF Devotionals] 2009-05-17 - The Dangers of "Deliverance"

The Spiritual Warfare Series, Part 5

Whenever one uses systems instead of God’s TRUTH, it makes the struggle of walking in obedience even a greater struggle than it need be. This should be self-evident. After all this is what the Jesus said.

“To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free”” (John 8:31-32).

Elliot Miller, quoting from one of the more conservative of the deliverance teachers, gives an example how one can hinder instead of help the client when using a faulty understanding of scripture.

“[A woman named Anne wrote (to the quoted author) in the middle of one of his conferences:] “ I didn’t know what it meant to take every thought captive. I tried to do this once, but I was unsuccessful because I blamed myself for all this stuff. I thought all those thoughts were mine and that I was the one who was doing it. There has always been a terrible cloud hanging over my head because of these issues. I never could accept the fact that I was really righteous because I didn’t feel like it. Praise God it was on Satan—not me. I have worth.” 6

Miller responds to this letter by noting:

“There is a biblical basis for saying some of our evil thoughts are provoked by Satan (e.g., 1 Chron. 21:1; Matt. 16:23; John 13:2; Acts 5:3), but there is no biblical basis for saying all of them do (James 1:14, 4:1; Rom 8:7; 1 Pet. 2:11; Gal. 5:17). The author fails to recognize that evil can originate from ourselves (our flesh) and yet we can still gain victory over the power and guilt of sin through Christ’s cross and indwelling Spirit (e.g., Heb. 9:13-14; Gal. 5:16-25). His desire to protect us from responsibility for the evil in our hearts contradicts his own emphasis that we should take responsibility and not fall into a “devil made me do it” mentality.” 7

  1. Miller, Elliot, “The Bondage Maker: Examining the Message of Neil T. Anderson, Part 1,” CRI Statement
  2. Ibid.

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