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 14, 2015

Demon Possession & the Christian

As I noted yesterday, I was asked to read the book, “Demon Possession & the Christian,” by C. Fred Dickason, and then give my thoughts about it.  Today's post will be quite lengthy.

Before I get into my actual page-by-page review, let me make some general comments about the book:

1.  The whole word game of “demonized” or “demon possessed” is silly.  There is no differentiation in the Bible.  Possession does NOT mean ownership.  Possession only means someone has control of whatever they possess.  E.g., I can borrow my neighbor’s lawnmower, and while I’m using it I possess it and have control over it, but I don't own it.  The author is wrong to suggest possession and ownership are the same.  I will will usually use “demonized” to MEAN “demon possessed” because it is shorter.

2.  Why is there no biblical example of a demonized Christian? 

3.  Why did neither Jesus or the Apostles warn against Christian demonization?  If this was something possible, wouldn’t Jesus or the Apostles have at least mentioned it?

4.  Job was tormented by Satan (unbeknownst to him) but he was never “demonized.”  Cannot this be the same with Christians — tormented without being demonized?

5.  There is too much reliance by Dickason on secular psychological methods and claims.  I wrote a fairly lengthy article years ago exposing the unbiblical, unChristian, and unscientific nature of psychotherapy and the psych field, which I posted as a -part series in 2011 (yes, the series is still posted).  Suffice it to say that the field is fraudulent, and nothing more than “rent a friend” for counsel, yet some of the practices (all developed by non-believers) have actually been dangerous and caused even more emotional problems than before.

6.  Too much credence given to a known false teacher, M.Scott Peck, especially since he is steeped in the psychological method.  As the Christian Research Institute has stated, “In setting forth his views on spiritual and mental health, Dr. M. Scott Peck has captivated the attention of Christians and non-Christians alike. The best-selling author of The Road Less Traveled and other books on spirituality and psychotherapy claims that true salvation or mental health comes to persons — whether Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, agnostic, or atheist — as they set aside prejudices of the past and strive toward fulfilling their own potential to save themselves. In his teaching Peck denies practically every major doctrine of Christianity while advocating an unbiblical morality.”  The references against Peck and his false teachings are very, very easy to locate, but this fairly short article by H. Wayne House should give you an idea of just how dangerous his teachings are.

7.  Why is there no biblical example of demons driven out and then transferred to other people?

8.  Just because one is seminary trained and a biblical scholar, that doesn’t mean they are infallible.  (E.g., C.Peter Wagner with his Strategic Level Spiritual Warfare false teachings, his claim to be a new apostle and new prophet with the New Apostolic Reformation, etc).  In this case the individual with false teachings about demons is Mark Bubeck, who wrote the forward to this book, and to whom many times Dickason refers.  A good article to examine about him is this one published by Personal Freedom Outreach (PFO) apologetics ministry.

9.  Where does the Bible have ancestral bondage?  Where does it teach it?  The passages used for this claim are Exodus 20:5 and cross reference Deuteronomy 5:9.  These passages merely say that God will “visit the iniquity”of the fathers on their children for up to four generations as long as they hate God, but will show loving kindness to thousands of generations who love him.  There is no curse to pass from one generation to the next, no ancestral bondage to some past relative who was involved in the occult, etc.  The best example of what He was saying is the punishment brought upon Israel due to them turning their back on Him, and the later restoration as they turned to Him in repentance.  People all suffered the consequences of the wickedness of the leadership and/or the majority of the people. THIS is what “visiting the iniquity” meant.  To find a curse of demons or ancestral bondage is pure eisegesis.  I wrote an article about this back in December 2010.

Okay, so now I want to highlight by page number some of the more egregious problems I found in this book.

P.46 Members of the Body of Christ, His Church, who are qualified and walk in fellowship with Him, may help others find deliverance from demonization.”  WHO is qualified?  By what standards?  Dickason just asserts this.

P.61 (He cites Mark Bubeck.)  Where does the BIBLE say that our sin gives Satan a “claim against us”?  He just asserts this with no biblical basis.

P.63  Claims that we give Satan a “toe hold.”  But James 1:14-15 says our own evil desires leads us to sin, not that Satan has a “toe hold.”  There is no Biblical evidence of said “toe hold.”

P.64  He says Christ didn’t counter Satan’s claim to ownership when Satan offered Him kingdoms, etc.  SO?  Satan is a liar — just because he claimed ownership, that doesn’t make it true.  Jesus knew Satan didn’t own them, so why bother countering him?  Dickason even admits that Satan didn’t really own, but then he said it doesn’t matter because he controls them.  Not true — he only controls what God allows.  Many passages in Scripture specifically state that the world and everything in it belongs to God:  Exod. 19:5; Deut. 10:14; Lev.15:23; 1 Chron 29:11-12; Ps. 24:1; Ps 50:10-11; Ps. 89:11; Ps 95:4-5; Matt 28:18; Eph. 1:19-21; Col. 1:13; Col. 2:15.

P.67  There is a statement about our struggles against Satan.  The Scripture says such struggles are against ideas and worldviews, not demons (2 Cor. 10:4-5)

P.67, item #3.  He claims, based on Eph. 6:14, that demons can put “accusing thoughts” in the believer’s head.  This is eisegesis - that passage says nothing of the kind, nor does it intimate it.

P.78 When one states that a genuine believer can never be demonized, he must produce a clear statement from the Bible that says so specifically.”  Yet the whole purpose of his book is to claim that genuine believers CAN be demonized without ever producing “a clear statement from the Bible that says so specifically.”  This is hypocritical, let alone illogical.

P.87-88, ref Col. 1:13.  Contrary to Dickason, if we are delivered from Satan’s domain, then he no longer has dominion over us — no control.  Attacking and controlling are not the same.  Can demons attack Christians?  Yes, just like Job was attacked.  But Job wasn’t demonized, nor can Christians be demonized if demons have no control over them.  

P.89, ref. John 17:5. “There is too little evidence to say that Christ prayed for preservation from demonization.  We cannot construe this verse to mean that.”  Arguing from silence.  I can reverse this to say, “There is too little evidence to say that Christ DID NOT pray for preservation from demonization.  We cannot construe this verse to mean that.”  In other words, this is a useless claim.

P.91-93, ref 1 John4:4.   Dickason says this passage is not given in the form of a promise.  He’s right.  It is given as a general statement of fact.  I.e. TRUTH.  Who controls the Christian?  The Holy Spirit.  Who dwells in the Christian?  The Spirit.  The Spirit is greater than Satan.

P.92, ref 1 John 4:1-3 and 1 John 2:5-6.  “If believers apply these two tests, then the indwelling Holy Spirit will give insight and prevent deception.”  Blatant eisegesis.

P.99.  “Two authors, who have had considerable experience in counseling believers who have been demonically oppressed…”  Notice the operative word is “oppressed” and NOT “possessed.”

P.101.  “Passages Indicating Demonic Influence.”  “Influence” is NOT “possession” (i.e., control)

P.105.  “Passages Indicating Demonic Attack.”  Again, “attack” is NOT “possession” (i.e., control)

P.110-112.  Passages from the Old Testament in regards to Saul, et al, are not relevant because they did not have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.  The question is whether Christians can be demonized, not whether anyone in the O.T. was.  This also goes for Matt. 8:16, which is also before Christians were given the Holy Spirt.  So whether or not any Christ healed were true believers is irrelevant to whether Christians can be demonized.

P.114, ref. Acts 8:9-24.  “Here is an apparent believer under the influence of sin and perhaps demonic control.”  Wrong.  The man had bad thinking due to habits, not as a result of demonic control — it was his heart attitude.  To make his claim about demonic control, Dickason has to completely ignore the context.

P.117-118, ref. 2 Cor 11:3-4.   When Paul says “when you receive a different spirit” he is talking about accepting the teachings about another spirit, not receiving an indwelling of another spirit.  He says they accept the teaching and put up with it, not that they are demonized.
It may not be so that only by resident demons may one preach a different gospel.”  True — people contend wrongly by misunderstanding rather than being demonized.

P.119-120 ref. 2 Cor. 12:7-8.   Job also encountered the trials but didn’t know the cause.

P.121-123, refers to Saul in the O.T.; again irrelevant 

P.123-125, ref Luke 13:10-17.  The woman was not a Christian with the Holy Spirit.  Irrelevant.

P.125, referring to Judas.  Even if Judas was a true believer, he still did not have the indwelling Holy Spirit, who wasn’t given to believers until after the ascension.  His case is irrelevant.

P.126, ref 1 Cor. 12:3  “The case of the Corinthian Tongues Speaker.”  This is completely eisegesis.  Here’s what the passage actually says (NIV):  “Therefore I tell you that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, ‘Jesus be cursed,’ and no one can say, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ except by the Holy Spirit.”  There is absolutely mention of a “tongues speaker.”  Paul is simply saying that a person indwelled by the Spirit, speaking by the Spirit of God, cannot curse Jesus, and that in order to say that “Jesus is Lord” one must be speaking by the Holy Spirit (i.e., in-dwelt).  Dickason built this statement by Paul into a convoluted idea that a “tongues speaker” was actually saying things confusing them.  No such story exists.  And even if there was a “tongues speaker,” that doesn’t mean he’d be a believer, because there are tongues speakers in other world-wide religions.

P.130ff  The issue of semantics in this section is caused by assuming “possession” is “ownership,” which I addressed above at the beginning of this examination.  Satan can never own anyone because God owns them all, but Satan can possess and control people.
Also, “sin nature” is not an entity, rather it is a phrase to describe the origin of our actions and thoughts that are in rebellion against God.  Demons are entities.  
There is absolutely no Biblical evidence for the Holy Spirit being able to live with an evil spirit, while it can live with a “sin nature.”  The evil one is unable to live with the H.S. — look how they feared Christ!
All cited authors all make assertions based on their beliefs rather than evidence.  A lot of the claims are based on Mark Bubeck’s teachings and assertions rather than on Scripture.

P.144.  He again says that 1 Cor. 12:1-4 is about a tongues speaker who cursed Jesus under an evil spirit.  Since there is not even a hint in this passage of his claim, this is gross eisegesis.

P.145, and a “sensible deduction.”  “Conrad Murrell, who has had a rather extensive ministry in counseling the demon oppressed, suggests, ‘It would seem not only scriptural but completely reasonable that those out of whom we are to cast demons are either already God’s children or those who become God’s children in the process of deliverance.  This has been my experience.’
And there’s the rub - his “experience.”  He just makes an assertion about the people we are to cast demons out of, with absolutely no Scriptural basis all the while claiming it is Scriptural!  Why is it that these people who have “extensive ministries” in counseling demonized people are the only people who seem to see such activity?  And what makes him think people he exorcises were ever believers?

P.146.  Again he refers to the O.T., and yet the Spirit did not dwell in any believer in the O.T. (Saul was given the Spirit for a short time, as were other individuals.)

P.153 ff, and P.159, P.167.  Lots of analogy between sickness and demons, and death and demons.  The analogy is illogical and improper.  Demons are entities, whereas illness and death are not entities.

P.157 First, Dickason only asserts previous assertions are evidence for possible demonization, yet his examples were not of Christians with the Holy Spirit.   He again equates demonic “attack” or “influence” with “possession” or “indwelling.”  It just isn’t so.
In his “Reasoned conclusion” he again only asserts as if that is evidence.  I say that we can’t come to a valid conclusion about Christian demonization.  Yet Dickason says, “We have found the factual truth to be that Christians can be and have been demonized.”  NO WE HAVEN’T!  He just made unproven assertions and claimed fact.

P.157-158, “Practical response.”  Dickason begs the question when he states the following:  “Now suppose some would teach that the Bible declares that a Christian cannot be demonized.  In such a case, he would be unfair not only to biblical evidence and to proper theological reasoning, but he would be misleading men by elevating his inadequate conclusions to the stature of biblical doctrine.  He would need to lay aside his prejudices and pride, recognize his lack of information, and change his attitude and teaching on this matter.  Again, if some would teach that a genuine believer cannot be demonized, he may cause great psychological and spiritual harm to the Christian who is demonized.  He helps the enemy to continue his accusations and condemnations….”  This statement can be rephrased as such by me:  “Now suppose some would teach that the Bible declares that a Christian can be demonized.  In such a case, he would be unfair not only to biblical evidence and to proper theological reasoning, but he would be misleading men by elevating his inadequate conclusions to the stature of biblical doctrine.  He would need to lay aside his prejudices and pride, recognize his lack of information, and change his attitude and teaching on this matter.  Again, if some would teach that a genuine believer can be demonized, he may cause great psychological and spiritual harm to the Christian who is not demonized.”  As you can see, his whole statement is nothing more than an assertion, claiming biblical evidence where there is none.

P.160 genuine evidence from clinical observation by reliable and qualified persons that Christians can be demonized.”  So if the person disputes this, then they are not “reliable and qualified”?  The “no true Scotsman fallacy.  Who determines what “reliable and qualified” are?

P.162.  “Causes may be ancestral involvement” - again, there is no such thing in the Bible.  He refers to Exod. 20:5 for this claim, yet the passage is not about this.  CONTEXT is passing punishment down as consequences if — and only if — the next generation continues in idolatry, but even then it is not cursing or allowing demonization.  If these people would read the very next passage, it states that blessings would follow for the generations that love God.  The idea that this passage is about ancestral cursing and demonization is a mid-20th century invention.

P.172-173  the suggestion of “pre-conversion days” carryover of occult bondage is nonsense and really anti-biblical.  What does 2 Cor. 5:17 say about this?  Find one scripture to back up this claim by Dickason!

P.174  As with much in this book, Dickason cites psychiatrists and psychiatry as part of his body of evidence.  However, since this field is a demonic philosophy in itself, it cannot be trusted with things of God.  Also, Mark Bubeck is often cited, and he is also not trustworthy discussing demonology because of his bias and poor hermeneutics “supporting” his claims.  Bubeck’s ideology is mostly regurgitated from Jessie Penn-Lewis, a very dangerous charismatic teacher.  (Evidence in the form of the PFO article cited above.)

P.175 Dickason claims he had 400 cases of “genuine Christians” who were demonized.  Since he cannot know the heart of the person, how can he arrive at his conclusion that they were genuine?  He continues to refer to what I call “psychobabble,” which is useless due to their worldview.

P.176.  Hal Lindsey is known for aberrational teachings, so I wouldn’t trust any anecdote from him.

P.177.  Claiming that people can be demonized because they live in houses where “magic or spiritism” had been previously practiced is nothing more than superstition, as well as without biblical support (how do we know what sort of evil practices took place in ANY house anyone occupies? — according to this superstition, no one is safe).  Then we have a conversation with a demon who claims the “ancestral bondage” charge — as if a demon is going to be truthful!  Simply claiming to be a Christian doesn’t make it so.  Mormons, Jehovahs Witnesses, et al. all claim to be Christians.
Those in the “deliverance ministry” do a lot of talking with demons, while in the Bible we see Jesus only one time having a very, very short give-and-take conversation with a demon, and there is no reports of the Apostles conversing with demons.

P.180.  A Mark Bubeck case:  Asking a demon’s name, and receiving “Suicide.”  Only one case in the Bible has Jesus asking a demon’s name, while with all the other encounters he didn’t even let them speak.  In one example he calls a demon a “deaf and mute spirit,” but that is not a name; it defined the malady he caused.  Mark obviously knows more about demons than did Jesus and the Apostles.

P.182.  The “Evangelical pastor” case with a young woman suffering “from physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual problems…”   He calls the young woman a Christian, but that doesn’t make it so; anecdote certainly gives no indication from her activities that she was a Christian.

P.183ff.  In this anecdote, they teach the woman to use “the blood of Christ”; this is a very charismatic idea of claiming or praying “the blood of Christ.”  No example of such is anywhere in the Bible.  Then they “contacted the demon of lust.”  There is no such precedent in the Bible for “demon of this” or “demon of that.”  This has all been made up by the “deliverance ministry” people.  Then they carried on a conversation with the “demon.”  From that, he says they were able to get it’s “rank, that of throne…”  Again, nowhere in the Bible do we see specific ranks sought or needed.  This whole anecdote is ridiculous - playing hymns to this “demon of lust” and so forth.  There is no evidence this woman was a Christian.
The individuals were conversing with the demon (again, as noted previously, totally without biblical support), and assumed whatever the “demon” said was true!

I think this is a good time to point out that it is a well-known psychological phenomenon that some people are very susceptible to suggestions (similar to what lawyers call “leading the witness”).  If you tell the person they may have a demon, they will act the way they think you expect them to act.  A lot of what I read in “deliverance” tales, including this book, sounded very much like the “possessed” people were behaving as expected, in the same way people get “slain in the Spirit” by Benny Hinn and his ilk.

P.185, “Conclusion.”  He claims the anecdotal evidence provided is “weighty,” totally disregarding the unbiblical nature of much in the anecdotes, as well as the susceptibility of the person counseled, as well as the problem of assuming the person is a genuine Christian.  He bolsters his “evidence” by saying the counselors are “qualified theologically and practically,” but gives no meaning to this qualification other than to say that they are “well known to the Christian public.”  All sorts of false teachers and teachers of aberrant theological practices are “well known to the Christian public,” but that is no qualification for anything.  After all, Benny Hinn is “well known to the Christian public,” and he is a rank heretic.  The author just asserts that it would be difficult to dismiss his evidence, yet I find it very easy to do based on the many variables I have cited. 

P.187.  Dickason agains states he has encountered at least 400 Christians “who were actually inhabited by demons,” and yet he can only assert that they were Christians since he cannot know beyond their say-so.  I have encountered hundreds of people in my 41 years as a Christian, who claimed they were Christians while not really knowing what the gospel was; they were “churchians” — and yet it is quite possible that this is the type of “Christian” Dickason usually encountered.  Or, as previously noted, they could be immature believers who were wide open to suggestions about demons.

P.189-191  Dickason asks for any “tongues spirit” to come out of the woman — where in the Bible can one find even a hint of such a spirit?!?  And then he has a long conversation with the spirit to learn how it got there, and it took “several counseling sessions” to exorcise said demon.  Yet everywhere in Scripture a demon is exorcised immediately (except in the one case of the disciples and it took Jesus the moment to do the job, and he explained the problem as being a lack of prayer).  After “Alice” is rid of this demon, she later has to come for more exorcising of a “throne” demon who was “a top-ranking spirit.”  Do we find any biblical support for learning ranks of demons?  NO.  Again a long conversation with the demon takes place so as to learn how it got her and why it stayed, etc.  Oh, and another demon was named “Non-acceptance” because he would allow the girl to accept the Word of God.  And, guess what— this demon was with her because of “demonic involvement of her ancestors.”  Once you build a false system (ancestral bondage) and begin a ministry of demon-chasing, you see them everywhere, regardless of what the Bible teaches.  Again, with this particular woman, how can he determine she was a believer?  Is there any Scriptural evidence of a Christian with multiple demons?  NO.  What about 2 Cor. 5:17 — if she is a Christian she is a new creation and it doesn’t matter what happened in the past because now the Holy Spirit indwells her.  These anecdotes are of no more value than are Benny Hinn’s claims of all the healing he has done.
Anyway, he continues to see “Alice” and learns she has also been counseling with a “Christian Psychologist.”  Well, anyone who studies the psych field knows that the only difference between a “Christian” psychologist and a secular one is that now and then the “Christian” will use the Bible, but both use the same ungodly methods developed by atheists.
AH— but then Dickason uses a demon to prove his theology!  Dickason asked “Non-acceptance” “if he had used the concept that Christians cannot be inhabited by demons.”  Of course the demon said, “Oh, yes!  We use it all the time.  It is one of the best tools we have ever promoted.”  Pretty convenient to have a demon truthfully tell you what confirms your theology!  I guess Christians who don’t believe this are then listening to demons?

P.192.  A man is supposedly cleansed of many demons which had been associated with “maternal domination.”  He claimed he became a Christian — and began attending a Roman Catholic Church, which surely has very poor teachings.  Then the man was having sleep problems and felt “oppressed,” so Dickason convinced him it was because he had demons.  Exactly my point about suggestions to the individual.  Of course on his next session he had demons communicating with Dickason and telling who sent them etc.  Even after his sessions with Dickason, the man said he kept getting demons but knew how to command them to leave.
The man remained a Roman Catholic and yet Dickason said he had no doubt as to him being a Christian.

P.193ff.  Here we have an anecdote about a person with the “demon of pride,” whose name is even “Pride.”  Very interesting that whatever sin is plaguing the person, it is caused by a demon who carries the name of that sin.  Can anyone point to a biblical example?  Of course not.  However, apparently there was a pact with the devil in her background, which still held her even though she had become a Christian.  So Dickason decided to break the pact this demon had with her, and of course this led to another conversation with the demon who wouldn’t leave until Dickason explained to him why he had to leave.  This person had to return to Dickason several times for more confrontations with demons.  This is where it really got bizarre.  Dickason learns that this lady had charismatic elders lay hands on her, so he discerned that there was a “tongues spirt” ranking over “Pride,” and he learned that the name of this spirit was indeed “Tongues.”  There follows 2 1/2 pages of conversation with the demons!!  Dickason asked for his rank (“Principality”). And the long discussion of commands by Dickason and rejections and fighting the exorcism by the demons was right out of a Frank Peretti novel.  One thing we have learned through this and previous “encounters” is that charismatic experiences, especially “tongues,” are of demonic origin.  The whole session also reminded me of TV and Movie exorcists and the conversations with demons and the demands by the exorcists.  It is totally unbelievable.  If this actually took place, it wasn’t a demon — it was a result of suggestions by Dickason, who is very skilled at manipulation.  All he does is suggest an origin or history and the person possessed confirms what he suggests!  Then he calls upon angels to escort the demons to the pit — never mentioned in Scripture.

P.198-207, another case.  This woman had a background in psychology, which is nothing less than the devil’s playground, along with demons keeping her from studying the Word.  So Dickason tells her she has demons and how to rid herself of them, but they found defiant ones, some who had been in her since birth and some thereafter.  Oh, and we can’t forget that she had ancestors who had long involvement “in occult and demonic activity,” which is why the demons felt they had a right to enter her.  She just couldn’t win against them and so she had to come to Dickason for more counsel.  It seems she had gone to church to see if they had any answers to her problems and to see what perspective Christians could give on her psychological problems.  She ended up with the booklet The Four Spiritual Laws and decided to pray to receive Christ.  But the demons didn’t like her explaining all this to Dickason, and they kept causing her pain because she was speaking about Jesus.  
She continued with a dissertation about how demons are “keeping a barrier between psychology and pastoral counseling; because the longer they keep that up, the better the chance they have of keeping up their deception…. Psychologists have been trained in even Christian institutions and have been trained well.  But the biggest factors that they cannot understand are the theological issues and particularly the issue of angelology and how it relates to psychology; for it is an area untapped, so to speak.”  Well now, for all those solid biblical scholars who have exposed psychology and the psych methodologies as anti-Christian and founded on atheism, they have just learned that it is demons who put up this barrier against psychology!
And of course this led to the inevitable long conversations with the demons inside of her.  This conversation took seven pages!!!!!  And of course we had to learn names and ranks (although Dickason is so good he told the demon his rank was “throne”).  There was Mr. “Confusion” — although Dickason previously named him “Leading Defeated Throne.”  The conversation was the most bizarre yet, and totally unbiblical, as the claim of the demons is that she hadn’t “submitted to Christ as my Lord and Savior completely and totally.  And they didn’t say it directly, but they got on this doctrine of lordship salvation…”  AH!  Another theological viewpoint which Dickason obviously disagrees with is now proven as wrong because demons use it!!!!

From here I began skimming because it was becoming so repetitious with the same claims over and over again.  Case after case was because of an ancestral demon - someone in their past was involved with occultic things.  More assertions and cases from “reliable sources” that demons have possessed Christians.  Lots of credence given to psychiatry and clinical psychology, as Dickason works with psychiatrists and psychologists (HE is the one working with demonic fields, which help him in his self-deception).

P.212.  “After many months of therapy, and after using relaxant drugs that were designed to unlock the suppressed memory, the doctor found that there had been sexual molestation by her family.  This I had suspected.”  How often have I read of false memory recovery by therapists leading their patients?!?  Do you remember the big scandal of the “Satanic Ritual Abuse” stories, where the therapists uncovered all these people who were abused by SRA?  Only none of it ever happen, rather it was put into the minds of the patients.

P.213:  “Most of the demons had invaded before the person had received Christ.”  All I can respond with is 2 Cor. 5:17.  There is no biblical evidence or warrant for such an assertion.

P.219  Back to his claims of ancestral demons, totally misrepresenting what the Scripture actually says, but, hey, demons verified his teaching.  Yet Dickason says “well over 95%” of demonic possession is cause by ancestral bondage.  Isn’t it odd that the Bible never mentions it?

P.226.  I just loved this one: a “leading throne” bore the name of “The Majestic One.”

P.230.  While the Biblical examples are of demons exorcised and THEN the person becomes a believer, Dickason, et al, have the people become believers and THEN the demons are exorcised.  Hmm.  Again, since the Holy Spirit indwells the believer upon confession of faith, how can the demons remain?

P.239-240  This case sounds much like Freudian psychology.

P.244  Begins a section on “Proper Approach to Warfare.”  On p.250 is the first time in the book that the very important verse, 2 Cor. 10:4-5, is finally mentioned.  And THAT is the primary spiritual problem Christians have — fighting worldviews.

P.255  Notes that Bubeck has “warfare-style prayers,” as if man-written ritual prayers have any more effect in spiritual warfare than extemporaneous prayer to God!  Neil Anderson also writes this type of “prayer,” and all the ones I’ve read are nonsense supporting their personal aberrant views on spiritual warfare.

P.259, Citing Ensign and Howe claims that demons have a legal right to hold on to people.  Can anyone show me this from Scripture?

P.260-261 Is nothing but a bunch of assertions and speculations about how God allows demons to possess a believer.  No evidence is given for such claims.

Chapter 16 (pp.325-338) Is mostly assertions, and essentially a charge to not disagree with Dickason’s claims!

P.328  Evidence and claims from M. Scott Peck and his psychotherapy.  Since he is a known false teacher, and psychotherapy is rooted in atheism, there is no credence to be had here.

P.334-336  Is nothing more than formulas for treatment, follow-up, referral, and leading one to Christ.  One has to question what happens if this formula isn’t followed!

I found it to be very interesting that some of the things Dickason learned from the demons are things which support his theology:

a.  Ancestral bondage is true.
b.  Charismatic tongues are from demons.
c.  “Lordship Salvation” is from demons.
d.  Demons keep a barrier between secular psychology and Christian counseling.
e.  Demons can put thoughts in a believer’s mind.
f.  That one of the demons’ best tools is to say that Christians can’t be demonized.

I also found it interesting that only ONE time in the Bible do we learn of a demon’s name: “Legion,” and it didn’t describe a sin, rather it described the numbers there.

Many have said that the “deliverance ministry” is nothing more than psychology dressed up in “Christianeze” and substituting demons for various “mental” illnesses.  I have to agree whole-heartedly with this sentiment.  I also find the similarity of numerous visits with the “counselor” needed to solve the problem in either discipline to be quite amusing.

For further reading about “deliverance ministries”:
Deliverance Ministry in Historical Perspective

Can A Christian Be Demonized?


dorothyofkansas said...

Thank you for your blog . I just wanted you to know that i have learned much from reading it .

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Hi Dorothy,

You are welcome. If you ever see anything questionable, don't hesitate to bring it to my attention -- I'm not error free!