We who preach the gospel must not think of ourselves as public relations agents sent to establish good will between Christ and the world. We must not imagine ourselves commissioned to make Christ acceptable to big business, the press, the world of sports or modern education. We are not diplomats but prophets, and our message is not a compromise but an ultimatum. A.W. Tozer
Therefore let God-inspired Scripture decide between us; and on whichever side be found doctrines in harmony with the word of God, in favor of that side will be cast the vote of truth. --Basil of Caesarea
Once you learn to discern, there's no going back. You will begin to spot the lie everywhere it appears.

I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service. 1 Timothy 1:12

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Be Careful About Who Divides the Word

The following is by G. Richard Fisher in his article, The Plight of Ancestral Bondage: Is It Real Deliverance or Just a Radical Delusion, in the July-September issue of Personal Freedom Outreach’s The Quarterly Journal. The article exposes the fraudulent nature of “generational sin” and “deliverance” ministries. While the subject is about the whole fake demon-chasing by the likes of Bob Larson, Neil Anderson, Mark Bubeck, Rebecca Brown, et al, the comments by Fisher are also valid concerning any teachings.

Repeating a falsehood over and over can make it sound like truth. Hitler’s dictum that a lie repeated often enough will begin to sound true applies here. Just who divides the Word and how he divides it really becomes the all-important issue.

The discerning Christian will care who divides the Word for them. He will employ caution and concern when it comes to reading and listening, and will look to those who generally follow good hermeneutics, as well as historical orthodoxy. He will want to put himself under teachers whom he can trust and who hold to the fundamentals of the faith. He will avoid those who ride hobby horses, get off onto tangents, and are sensational for sensationalism’s sake. He will certainly avoid those who boast that they can verbally slap Satan and demons around because Jude 8-11 strongly condemns such conduct. Jude says that such teachers are dreamers who speak evil and speak of what they do not know. He says they are corrupt and totally running under their sinful nature and are like Balaam and Cain.

Christians should avoid these so-called “deliverance ministers” because they are clearly unbiblical, boastful, and spawning uncertainty as well as an unhealthy focus. We are to set our focus on things above - looking unto Jesus (Hebrews 12:2), not looking unto demons. …

It all goes back to who divides the Word and if they do so properly. When someone offers to lead us across a bridge of interpretation, we must be sure we are on the right bridge. Our protection is listening to dependable, historically orthodox teachers who recognize context and the balance of comparing Scripture with Scripture. We should also be praying for God to give us discernment. The commentaries we consult should be safe and sound. They should not smuggle in pagan worldviews and inject things into the text that are not there. Syncretism ends up being the real curse.

It is our responsibility to know where we dine and what we are “eating” and who is doing the serving. Sometimes apologetic ministries are maligned for trying to act as some kind of “Board of Health” for the religious “kitchens” out there. Somebody has to do it. Cutting the Word properly is a biblical mandate and essential to our spiritual health (1 Thessalonians 5:21).


Anonymous said...

Just overwhelmed. You dont need to publish this tho. Years ago thought i needed prayer for deliverance from spirits, and its just matter of ingrained bad habits and sins after all? But how blind could a person be that he can even deceive himself bec of his pride, as i have. That it becomes too late, even knowing Scripture, youre not really obeying...its just pathetic, miserable, hopeless when ones heart is wrong and hard. But how to change when ur all alone, dont know how to go back, just so,so bad. You cant even accept yourself, how can u be forgiven.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...


I'm saddened to hear you suffered from such abusive teaching. "Deliverance" teaching can ruin people's lives.

It is never too late, and one can change because you are NOT alone - You have the Lord Jesus Christ.

We are not asked to accept ourselves for forgiveness. We are forgiven because of the work of Jesus.

Ps. Jim said...

Ask yourself the following:
Can generational curses as outlined in Exodus 20; 4-5 affect a truly born again Christian believer? According to Ezekiel 18: 19 if they walk in obedience to the Lord and do not the same things as there parents or ancestors, “he shall surely live” is the promise of the word of God. If a person in Christ can be guilty and held in bondage because of another’s sin from the past, then the Cross has no power but torment.
Where is the liberty if one has to go back and find out what their ancestors did to be free, when the Lord plainly promises that he hold’s no record of the past when it has been washed away by his blood, isn’t this “wallowing in the mud” of the past, rather than looking unto Jesus? What is the point of obedience as outlined in this chapter if it has no effect in our relationship with God and His pleasure.
How can you and I be held accountable for what an ancestor may or may not have done?
What if a person does not know any family history and simply accepts Christ grows in their faith because they have not been exposed to this teaching, yet when they hear of it begin to experience all kinds of insecurities, fears and sickness that they did have before, has not this teaching undermined their simple faith and instead of making them God conscious, made them Devil and self conscious?
Wasn’t Jesus as part of the new covenant made a curse for us? Galatians 3:13 “Cursed is everyone that hangs on a tree” how then can a Christian be cursed?
Can a born again believer be demon possessed?
If a believer is no longer in Adam but in Christ Col 3:3 etc ad infinitum heaps of verses, how can what their ancestors did effect them if the umbilical cord has been severed? Gal 1:15
If the Devil and his demons could not enter (cross the blood line of bulls and goats) the Holiest of Holies in the Old Covenant Temple, how can they posses or cross the bloodline of the Lord Jesus in the new and enter the spirit of the born again believer, who is the temple of the Holy Spirit. 2nd Cor 6:16
If the bible plainly teaches that anyone who is “in Christ is a new creation, old things have passed away and all things have become new” and that their old man (nature) has been crucified with Christ, where is the liberty in the teaching that something else additional to the work of Christ on the Cross needs to be done, because it was not effective or cannot be effective fully through simple faith in Christ?
Isn’t this adding to the finished work of grace through works?
We acknowledge that personality traits, even specific sicknesses can run in families, also various habits or idiosyncrasies but these are not do with our position in Christ, nor do they affect the fact that the believer is “the righteousness of God in Christ” therefore they are not guilty but fully justified.
We also acknowledge that a believer may need some habits or sins broken from their lives because of disobedience and are in the area of the soul, but we also believe and have experienced over many years that when the simple gospel is obeyed and believed that no deliverance, nor counselling is needed. God works it in and through us, and a lot of the time we are ignorant of the problem, because our focus is not on them but Christ.
We are exhorted to look unto Jesus, not to ourselves, our ancestors or even to look back. Heb 12:1-2 and Philippians 3:13-15

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Well said!