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

Friday, July 31, 2015

CCM -- Long on Inspiration and Short on Instruction

Contemporary Christian music, in particular, is long on inspiration and short on instruction.  Most of the popular choruses that are making the rounds today are simple lyrics of praise that, when at their best, pin-point a single truth which is repeated in one form or another throughout the song.

Gary E. Gilley and M. Kurt Goedelman, “I’d Like to Teach the Church to Sing,” Personal Freedom Outreach’s The Quarterly Journal, July-September 2015 (Vol.35, No.3), pg.13

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Random Aberrations, Apostasies, and Heresies

Horrible news this morning.  Thrivent Financial Services, which is the financial services for Lutherans (LCMS, ELCA, and WELS) has been funding Planned Parenthood!!!! [link gone by 7/14/18]  I’ve used Thrivent for life insurance for almost 30 years (from when we were still Lutherans, and it was originally Aid Association for Lutherans), and still have 12 years left on my policy.  I’m sort of stuck, since I can’t afford to start a new life policy at my age, but it you are participating in Thrivent and are able to drop them, do so!

The United Methodist Church General Board of Church & Society still thinks abortion is okay is some circumstances, [link gone by 7/14/18] yet the circumstances they claim have been denied to exist for the most part by the medical field.  They talk of “reproductive justice” as if it is “justice” to murder the unborn.  Oh, they have the same lies and excuses promoted by the “pro-choice” (pro-abortion) crowd, so why do they claim to have a Christian view?  They are just like Democrats with a platform promoting “access to modern contraception” — as if there is anyone without access to contraception? (Like don’t have sex?)  And of course there is that demand for sex indoctrination in the government school system.  The UMC leadership has no concept of the value of life.  Apostasy, pure and simple.

Elizabeth Prata has a pretty good article about modern mystics who have “visions” from God; you know who they are— the “usual suspects.”  She also has a good article about the right kind of Jesus to worship, and He isn’t the sissified boyfriend version so many false teachers promote.

More supposed Christian colleges bow to the homosexualists.  Two Mennonite colleges will now employ “married” homosexuals (which is an oxymoron, since two people of the same sex aren’t married).  More apostasy.

Neil explains the problem with “affirming churches” — those who think we should forget that homosexual behavior is a sin.  It is really amazing how many “Christians” are  apostatizing FOR homosexuality!  Why don’t they do the same for fornication and divorce and adultery and prostitution, etc?  OH, wait, they already did!  Which is how homosexuality left Pandora’s box.

Mormons are always trying to get real Christians to “pray” about the Book of Mormon so we will supposedly get a “burning in the bosom” from the “Holy Ghost” telling us it is true.  But should anyone pray about the BOM?  Of course not; and here’s why.

Joe Kovacs is an editor at Joseph Farah’s World Net Daily, a Christian Internet news source, but he is also a promoter of the teachings of heretic Herbert W. Armstrong.  The problem is that WND has long promoted Kovac’s books, which mislead many who follow the site.  In 2012 The Berean Call reported on the situation, and reports now that there is no improvement in that WND still promotes Kovac’s material.  A sad thing is that when Joseph Farah was alerted this week by James Kieferdorf, Farah’s response was to denigrate The Berean Call and claiming the issue is just “guilt by association”!  Then he pulled the old “follow Matthew 18” for charges, which, of course is abusing that passage.  What is the problem with these media people that they can’t just acknowledge that they’ve erred in promoting false teaching they were unaware of?!?  So be careful of theology you find at World Net Daily!

Hip and Thigh has part 2 of their review of “Which Bible Would Jesus Use”?  Very interesting stuff, demonstrating the lengths to which KJV Onlyers will go to stand by their cultic teachings.

Lastly, Doug has an excellent article summarizing the history and some of the false teachings of the Seventh-day Adventist cult.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Worship Leaders and Radio Songs

Too many times, the worship leader will hear a song on the radio that he rally likes.  It has a beautiful melody sung by a talented singer, but the intervals and range are difficult for the average church-goer to sing.  Because of this, even for the slightly-better-than-average church hymn singer, they have to abandon singing in the middle of the song.

We must keep in mind that the music itself can be a distraction when it interferes with the singing of the hymn.  Often music theory teachers will use old hymns as examples, as the intervals of these hymns are always in short steps.  (In other words, you don’t see a lot of going from A to E and back down to G below the A.  It is A-B-C-D-E-C; intervals such as this.)

Gary E. Gilley and M. Kurt Goedelman, “I’d Like to Teach the Church to Sing,” Personal Freedom Outreach’s The Quarterly Journal, July-September 2015 (Vol.35, No.3), pg.12

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Where Is the Sense of the Sacred?

Evangelical Protestantism is in trouble today as an increasing number of business and professional people are searching for a new church.  The complaint I hear most often is that people can no longer sense the sacred either in the preaching or in the liturgy. … Worship has become performance rather than praise.  The praise choruses that have preempted the great hymns of the church do not hide the fact that our worship is essentially a spectacle that appeals to the senses rather than an act of obeisance to the mighty God who is both holiness and love.  Contemporary worship is far more egocentric than theocentric.  The aim is less to give glory to God than to satisfy the longings of the human heart.  Even when we sing God’s praises, the focus is on fulfilling and satisfying the human desire for wholeness and serenity.

Donald G. Bloesch, “Whatever Happened to God?,” Christianity Today, Feb. 5, 2001, pg.54.  Cited by Gary E. Gilley and M. Kurt Goedelman, “I’d Like to Teach the Church to Sing,” Personal Freedom Outreach’s The Quarterly Journal, July-September 2015 (Vol.35, No.3), pg.11

Monday, July 27, 2015

Love Names Names

Love never kept the apostle John - the apostle of love - from calling people liars, antichrists and so on.  Indeed, it is true love to so identify those who are as such.  Then, the sheep may know clearly whom to avoid.

Jay E. Adams,  The Use of the Rod & the Staff: A Neglected Aspect of Shepherding, p.74

Sunday, July 26, 2015

No Further Revelation

Jesus told the disciples [John 16:13] that when the Spirit would come, He would lead them (the apostles) into all truth.  No more truth was to be expected beyond what the apostles taught and recorded in the books of the New Testament.  In 1 John 4:6, when discussing how to distinguish those who teach error from those who teach truth, John makes it plain that those who listen to the truth taught by the apostles are true teachers; those who do not are false teachers.  The principle Jude sets forth is precisely the same; to them was given the once-for-all deposit of truth.

Jay E. Adams,  The Use of the Rod & the Staff: A Neglected Aspect of Shepherding, p.63

Saturday, July 25, 2015


Mysticism is caught up in producing certain states that it claims are in such close relationship to God that it is often impossible to say what is God and what is human in the experience as the two are merged.  The line between the creature and his Creator is blurred - or even erased.  That very concept is a type of pantheistic heresy since God and a sinful human being cannot come into contact in such a way.  "No one comes to the Father," Jesus said, "except by me."  Yet, the mystic is quite ready to attempt to reach God in other ways than through Christ and the gospel.

Jay E. Adams,  The Use of the Rod & the Staff: A Neglected Aspect of Shepherding, p.49

Friday, July 24, 2015

“Song of Songs” Commentary

A couple months ago one of the blogs I follow (can’t remember which) touted a new commentary on the “Song of Songs.”  It was claimed to be a wonderful cross between allegory and reading as intended.  After all, Origen and Philo had gone too far with allegory and we need to get back on an even keel.  

Titled, “Song of Songs: A Biblical-Theological, Allegorical, Christological Interpretation,” by James M. Hamilton, I finally finished reading it this week.  And was very disappointed with it.

I understand previous allegories virtually limited the text to be about either God and Israel or Christ and the Church.  As a new believer over 40 years ago I could never make sense of it other than as poetry about lovers—real people (I’ve always been a fan of poetry).  I found it to be totally nonsensical if taken as an allegory as claimed.

Anyway, in this commentary all stops have been pulled out.  Not only does it allegorize to God and Israel and Christ and the Church (as well as keeping the story about lovers), this author found some sort of allusion or allegory in almost every line of the Song!  I think Hamilton has a very, very over-active imagination, struggling too much to make his allegories and allusions!  

Just one example:  Chapter 7:7-8 talks about her stature being like a palm tree that he’s going to climb for its fruit; try to follow if you can: 

The poetic allusion in view here stems from the fact that the word rendered ‘palm tree’ in Song 7:7-8 is made of the same consonants and vowels as the name Tamar, a name familiar from Genesis 38 and 2 Samuel 13.  In Genesis 38 Judah used his daughter-in-law Tamar as a prostitute, a gross perversion of God’s intention for marital intimacy.  In 2 Samuel 13 Amnon seized Tamar, his sister, and raped her (cf.2 Sam. 13:11,14), another twisted corruption of God’s good gift.  Neither prostitution nor rape should feature in the history of the people of God.  These horrors would be associated with the name Tamar, and these wrongs will be set righting the Song.  Here in Song 7:7-8, the King approaches a ‘Tamar,’ a palm tree, and he says that he is going to ‘lay hold of its fruit (Song 7:8).  In this context, a context celebrating renewed intimacy in marriage, the King taking the fruit of his tree accomplishes the overwriting of a bad file.  The King has conducted himself in horn and righteousness where Judah and Amnon were shameful and unrighteous.

“In Song 7:7-8, the King also once again draws on terms and imagery used for the land of promise to describe the Bride [all the way through SoS he does this - every description for the Bride is imagery from the promised land or the Garden of Eden].  The ‘clusters of the vine’ are reminiscent of the famous ‘cluster of grapes’ that the spies of the land brought back in Numbers 13:23.  The King will enjoy the fruit the Israelites were too timid to take.  Not only is the King approaching his ‘Tamar’—the palm tree—in righteousness where Judah and Amnon used their Tamars in unrighteousness, the King’s palm-tree-Bride willingly gives herself in 7:10-13, saying that she wishes he were ‘like a brother’ in 8:1.  The Bride wishing the King were a beloved brother again engages the distorted brother-sister relations between Amnon and Tamar, overlaying negative connotations with positive.

This was the type of “allusion” or “imagery” used for almost every passage.  It was enough to make me want to pull my hair out!  This was the most convoluted commentary I have ever read!

What can I recommend for a good commentary on SoS?  I have three I like, all of which stick to the idea of this being a poem about lovers only—no allegory!

Biblical Lovemaking: A Study of the Song of Solomon, by Arnold Fruchtenbaum

The Book of Romance: What Solomon Says About Love, Sex, and Intimacy, by Tommy Nelson.  I did write a comment in the front of this book: “There are a lot of assumptions about what is going on and why, beyond what Scripture says.  It doesn’t change anything, though.  It would be better if the author said, ‘This is probably what he’s thinking’ or ‘probably what’s happening is, rather than dogmatically declare it.”

The Song of Songs: A New Translation, by Ariel Bloch and Chana Bloch.  This one is done by non-believing scholars, who do not accept the Bible as the Word of God.  They often talk of “myth,” “legend,” etc and “non-literal translation.”  There are also some confusing areas where they mix the narrative, but that’s easily sorted.  They also don’t consider it about a bride, but just a lover.  Most of the liberal theological garbage you have to wade through is the first chapter, which is sort of an introduction to what the story is about and different ideas, yada yada.   Then you have their translation, followed by their commentary.  The primary problem is they think this is not a marital situation, but overall they have some very interesting reading to be had in their commentary.

So there you have it: of four specific commentaries I’ve read, I cannot recommend the latest.  It will make you dizzy trying to follow all the allusions and allegories!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Heresy Alert!

One of my readers, James Kiefordorf, has discovered an anti-trinitarian had a longtime broadcast program with American Family Radio:  Irvin Baxter.  I’ve never heard of this guy, but James provided some samples of Baxter’s teachings (with James' comments parentheses):

"Those who are baptized in the name of the father, Son, and Holy Spirit are not part of the bride of Christ"

"Satan knew what he was doing when he "hatched" the plurality of deities” (It's obvious what he means by this statement)

"The doctrine of the Trinity was born in 325 A. D." (Does this not sound familiar? Many cults use this line of attack to deny the Trinity!)

"Those who believe in this doctrine of the Trinity, should leave their "false church.” (He cites Rev 18:4 as a proof text; what does Rev 18:4 have to do with the Trinity?)

"Those who espouse the Trinity, and the Trinitarian formula according to Matthew 28:19, are identified as being "daughters of the mother of harlots---the Roman catholic Church"

While AFR discontinued broadcasting teachings by Baxter, Wilkins Christian Communications has been airing them.  When James notified Wilkins Communications of the problem, they were quite miffed.  It seems they were previously warned by James of teachers they promoted being adherents of some version of Armstrongism, such as Ron Dart.  The manager complained that by dropping Dart’s “Born to Win” they lost $150,000 per year revenue, that they do not regret, but they were adamant that James would not tell them who they should or should not air.

I found it interesting that they stated they didn't regret dropping Dart's program once they learned of the false teaching, yet they don't seem to be interested in having to drop another one.

So if anyone is listening to Wilkins' broadcasts of Baxter, know that you are listening to the teachings of a heretic.

(As an aside, when I looked up to see who James is, I discovered that he has too often warned broadcast ministries of their entanglements with heretics of one sort or another, and they just don't like him!  Terrible thing to have a sheep dog yapping at your heels.)

UPDATE 7/24/15:  Irvin Baxter is affiliated with the heretical Oneness Pentecostalists.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Random Good Teaching

Now that you’ve suffered through yesterdays reports on what is wrong with the Church, today you get to look at some edifying things I’ve come across recently.

Some biblical counseling advice about examining yourself and not returning “to the vomit.”

What does “wives, submit to your own husbands” mean?   Good cartoon graphic.  If only everyone actually understood this.

Good, thought-provoking article by Albert Mohler about the history of the “Heresy of Racial Superiority.”  We in the Church need to accept that the Church often was leading the charge for racism, and admit such teachings were indeed unbiblical.

The Cripplegate has a good article about how Christians have to understand and how we are to confront and deal with “The Self-Deification of a Nation.”

An interesting blog I have been following for a couple months is “A Cry For Justice.”  It’s primary focus is about how the Church fails to deal with domestic abuse and sexual abuse within its membership.  Very often with domestic abuse the wife is just told to submit (we have a good friend whose church would tell her to submit to her husband as she suffered continual abuse until she violated their rules and left him), and merely slap the husband’s hands without every holding him accountable.  The leadership in these churches will be held accountable before God.  I don’t agree with everything on the blog, especially with some eisegetical practices, but overall they do a good job of supporting the victims.  Anyway, this particular article, “Some Thoughts on Broadway, the Narrow Way, and Abuse” was worth sharing.

An excellent commentary on Philemon by Doug Wilson.

One of the biblical passages that skeptics like to assault is Deuteronomy 21:18-21 in regards to the execution of the rebellious son.  What is really going on, though, and is it as unjust and barbaric as the skeptic claims?  I think this excellent commentary should answer all the objections.

In these days of such rapid collapse of all moral conscience in our society, always remember where our Mighty Fortress is.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Random Aberrations, Apostasies, and Heresies

I find it really difficult to decide what to post about because aside from what I come across, I also receive e-mail suggestions, and then stuff I find on other discernment blogs, etc.  I do want to expose popular false teachers and false teachings, and I also like to expose what is driving so many denominations into apostasy.  I can’t cover everything because there’s just too much to keep up with, which is why I have that note off to the right side of the blog to direct questions to me at my email; I have had many, many readers over the years ask me about specific false teachers or teachings I haven’t addressed but that they have encountered and I am able to respond to them.

When it comes to Roman Catholicism, I find it important to demonstrate that, for all their claims of having God’s authority on earth, they are just as invaded with false teachings (on top of their own doctrine) as every other denomination.  And since they claim to be God’s representative on earth, then there is no excuse for their failure to exercise Church discipline against all those schools, colleges, and institutions who kow-tow to the world by promoting the homosexual agenda.  This is inexcusable!  

Here’s a latest example of a school violating Catholic teachings:  The Catholic DePaul University in Chicago is encouraging their students to advocate for same-sex fake marriage and every other LGBTQXYZ event.  They have previously supported “transgender” nonsense.  The article also notes that a Catholic university in San Francisco was celebrating the SCOTUS decision on same-sex fake marriage.  Where are the condemnations from local priests and bishops?  Where are the revocations of Catholic association?

Then there is the the direct slam at Christ and REAL Christians by the “Christian” Left with their blasphemous comparison of sex to the second coming of Jesus.  Why isn’t there some REAL outcry against this stuff by REAL Christians?  The denouncement of this should be all over the media.  The “Wild Goose Festival” should be exposed on a yearly basis as being totally unrepresentative of REAL Christianity.

The other side of the coin are the super-legalistic and greedy assemblies who make up their own rules such as paying membership fees.  This is just a cult which brings shame to the name of Christ.  This denomination apparently is also big into teaching the tithe as part of the Church, a teaching which is absolutely false and a lie.  If your church teaches tithing, run from it.  The tithe was a law for Israel and no one else.  The Christian is told only to give generously and without compulsion (2 Cor. 9:7).

Perry Noble continues to show his true colors as he scolds Christians about our beliefs about same-sex fake marriage.  This article from Entreating Favor opens with some general comments and then addresses Perry’s latest blog, in which he abuses 2 Chron 7:14 worse than I’ve seen before!  The only reason this man has an audience is because he tickles their ears!

There is a very good sermon series available on what the Bible really says about homosexuality.  Hip and Thigh has good directions to hear them.  Perhaps Nobel should listen.

I agree with the sentiment that human sexuality (homosexuality, transgenderism, etc) is the heresy of today.  If your view of man is in error, then your whole theology will be in error.

In fact, it really is apparent that most Christians do not understand the times in which we are living, and that the tribulation is nearer and nearer.  This is a good article for encouraging Christians to get a hold of reality.  (The author does misuse some scripture, but it doesn’t affect his overall warning to wake up and smell the coffee.)  Instead of being aware of what is happening in the Church, most Christians are content to hear happy, feel-good messages and sing feel-good songs rather than craving the meat of God’s word.
HT to Ali

The ELCA branch of Lutheranism has long been apostate with their support of homosexuality, but now they’ve gone one better (worse) in ordaining a “transexual”!  With the mental issues behind a person desiring to be the gender he/she isn’t should be the first disqualification for the pastorate!

If you stand with God and Christ against the homosexual movement, then you will railed at by those who hate what we stand for.  Now it’s being said that there are “Too many Christians, not enough lions.”  Never let it be said that Christianity can live alongside homosexuality because they do not tolerate us, and they intrinsically know they are rebelling against God.  In the linked article you will see a comment by an “openly homosexual pastor” who says that Jesus was “gay” and that he would love to be in bed with Him!!!!  This blasphemy comes from a guy who pastors a “church” invented for homosexuals, the Metropolitan Community Church.  What I discovered while searching for what church he “pastors” is that his MCC is joint with the United Church of Christ! [link gone by 7/14/18] If this doesn’t prove that the UCC is totally apostate, I don’t know what will.

Okay, so now let’s look at some other topics!

Joe has a great outline for what music for congregational singing should look like.

In Case You Still Aren’t Sure About The Shack and Its Author…

Bethel Redding church continues to demonstrate how far afield they are from orthodoxy.  They seem to have picked up the charismanic idea of “soaking in the spirit.”  Just another item to add to their Pandora’s Box of false teaching.

Lastly,  Fred is starting a review of the book, “Which Bible Would Jesus Use?”  — which is a KJVO promotional.  Looks to be a good series to follow!

Saturday, July 18, 2015

It Won't Get Better

Some people today think that it is ignorant to believe in Satan.  Well, if you feel like that, I just ask you to look at the world and at yourself and try to explain some of the things that happen, both within you and in the world, apart from the biblical teaching about Satan and the hosts and powers of evil, these malevolent influences that are unseen in the spiritual realm.

The next step in the argument is that the world, as it is in sin and under the control of Satan, cannot be improved.  Indeed, I defy anyone to show that Scripture teaches that it can.  The Bible teaches, quite categorically, that sin is such a radical problem that the world cannot now and never will improve itself; there is no hope for it in that way.  So we begin to see why the man or woman who is truly Christian, who bases all opinions on scriptural teaching, is not a bit surprised at what is happening in the world today.

Our Lord and Savior himself said, "As it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. . . .  Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot. . . ." (Luke 17:26, 28).  He spans the centuries; he lays down the proposition that because of sin and the Fall, mankind as mankind is going to be no different at the end of history than what it was at the beginning.  Therefore, nothing is such an utter travesty of the Christian gospel as the suggestion that because it is preached, each generation will be better than the previous one, and the world will reform and improve, until everything that is evil and wrong will have been banished and ultimately all will be perfect.

The gospel never teaches that; it asserts the exact opposite.  I do not apologize for saying that the Bible's view of history is profoundly pessimistic.  Of course, that is why the Bible is not popular and has not been so during the last hundred years.  Evolutionary theories and hypotheses are very optimistic; they all tell us that the world is going to be better and better and that mankind is evolving and advancing.  Philosophers always want to be optimistic if they can be, and thus they paint this picture of improvement.  And, of course, if you believe them, you cannot like the Bible because its realism contrasts sharply with these optimistic ideas.

D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled, p.95-96

Friday, July 17, 2015

What the Gospel Promises

The one thing the gospel does promise us is eternal security in the matter of our ultimate destiny.  It does not say, "Believe the gospel, and then you will never have any trouble in this life and world.  If you only believe it, it can banish war." Not at all!  It is an utter travesty of the gospel to believe that it does.  Indeed men and women who believe that will be disillusioned, if they have not been disillusioned already.  That kind of thing has been preached more in the last hundred years than it has ever been preached, and during that time we have had two major world wars.  So the gospel's purpose is not to tell you how war can be avoided.

What it tells you is that whether there is another war or not, you and I are passing through this world of time.  We have to die in any case, and the one thing that matters is how we can arrive at God and heaven and spend our eternity in the glory.  That is what I am interested in, and that is the only thing that we should be interested in, because a day is coming when we will have no other interest and we will leave the world and everything else behind.  Then we shall face that unknown eternity, and our great question--how can I know God?--will have already been resolved by that time.

D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled, p.79-80

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Where's the Meat?

I have a friend still attending the assembly which we’ve left, and he tends to fill me in with a lot of the nonsense going on there.  Recently the new youth pastor was going to preach on John 8:48-49, focusing on vs 58 where Jesus refers to himself as “I Am.”  Well the “pastor of worship” decided that he had a song to sing before the sermon, which he said tied right in with the message.  The song of choice was “I Am,” by David Crowder.  Take a look at the lyrics now:

There's no space that His love can't reach
There's no place where we can't find peace
There's no end to Amazing Grace
Take me in with your arms spread wide
Take me in like an orphan child
Never let go, never leave my side.

I am,
Holding on to You.
I am,
Holding on to You.
In the middle of the storm,
I am Holding on,
I am
I am,
Holding on to You.
I am,
Holding on to you.
In the middle of the storm,
I am holding on,
I am

Love like this, Oh my God to find!
I am overwhelmed what a joy divine!
Love like this sets our hearts on fire!

I am,
Holding on to You.
I am,
Holding on to You.
In the middle of the storm,
I am Holding on,
I am
I am,
Holding on to You.
I am,
Holding on to you.
In the middle of the storm,
I am holding on,
I am

This is my Resurrection Song
This is my Hallelujah Come
This is why to You I run
This is my Resurrection Song
This is my Hallelujah Come
This is why to You I run
There's no space that His love can't reach
There's no place that we can't find peace
There's no end to Amazing Grace

I am,
Holding on to You.
I am,
Holding on to You.
In the middle of the storm,
I am Holding on,
I am
I am,
Holding on to You.
I am,
Holding on to you.
In the middle of the storm,
I am holding on,
I am

Correct me if I’m wrong, but is there anywhere in this song where it refers to God as “I AM”?  What I read is the singer saying, “I am holding on to You” — i.e., he is holding on to God.  

There is a whole lot here about the lyric-writer but not a whole lot about God.  The endless repetition is one of the problems with today’s “worship” songs. 

I also have to ask, “Where’s the meat?”  Yet this is what passes for “worship” in today’s church assemblies. 

Manifestation of the Spirit?

As a young missionary in Scotland, David O. McKay attended a meeting conducted by James L. McMurrin, a counselor in the European Mission presidency.  During the course of the meeting, those in attendance witnessed several manifestations of the gifts of the Spirit.  About 70 years later, in a priesthood meeting, President McKay recalled:  “I remember, as if it were yesterday, the intensity of the inspiration of that occasion.  Everybody felt the rich outpouring of the Spirit of the Lord.  All present were truly of one heart and one mind.  Never before had I experience such an emotion.”

Teachings of Presidents of the [LDS] Church: David O. McKay, p. 81

What makes this any different than the charismatic “revivals” we continually see?  They claim their emotionalism is really responding to the Holy Spirit, so how do they explain this happening with Mormons?

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Random Aberrations, Apostasies, and Heresies

Responding to the recent Supreme Court unconstitutional and fiat decision on same-sex fake marriage, the media has been seeking comments from various church leaders.  This article has ten “well-known pastors and leaders” responding to the question, “is homosexuality a sin”?  Rather than ask this recently, they decided instead to find sources where the question is answered.  I found it interesting — and somewhat amusing — who they chose to answer the question:
Joel Osteen (from 2012) — Yes, he calls it a sin, but it’s about the only thing he gets right.
Rick Warren (from 2013) — He calls it a sin, but I certainly wouldn’t trust him for much teaching.
Tim Keller (from 2011) — Calls it a sin, and he is often okay in his teachings, but he has a lot of problems, which I have noted many times.  But, he spends a lot of time obfuscating the standing of homosexual sin over other sins, and totally ignores that God called it an abomination.
Franklin Graham (from 2013) —  Stands firm on the Bible.
Kirk Cameron (from 2012) — He does indeed stand firm on the Bible.
Tony Evans (from 2012) — I expected him to stand firm.
John MacArthur (from 2008) — As solid as you’d expect.
Carl Lentz (from 2014) — I’ve posted on this one before;  he solidly obfuscates and won’t teach against it.
John Piper (from 2010) — Solid answers
Perry Noble (from 2013) —  A real obfuscater, but he does call it a sin.  He doesn’t explain that, although all sexual immorality is sin, he doesn’t make the distinction that homosexual sin has been called an abomination by God, while He does not say this about sexual immorality in general.  And yet he encourages them to come unrepentant to the assembly — a place of meeting for CHRISTIANS!
So I find the responses to be interesting, but I wonder who Perry Noble and Carl Lentz would view same-sex fake marriage now in light of it being legal.

Then we have the Roman Catholic pope demonstrating he really doesn’t know where to stand in regards to homosexuality.

Sadly, so-called “Christian” colleges have caved to the homosexual agenda.  While some don’t surprise me because of their continuing apostasy in other areas, some also surprised me.

Ed Young is becoming a much more dangerous teacher.  He recently had Mormon Glenn Beck at a service and, when Beck stated he was a “saved” Christian, his congregation applauded — with no correction from Young! 

Jonathan Cahn thinks America is Israel.  Of course, as previous articles have pointed out, this is really the basis for his recent books promoting all sorts of false teachings.

By now my readers should know my stance on music in worship, including style and lyrics.  Of course the lyrics should always be a primary issue regardless of how one feels about the style.  Tim Challies has a good article about musical styles which “stifle community.”

Lighthouse Trails Research Ministry has a new booklet tract which should be distributed to all your charismatic friends.  It addresses the false teaching of “slain in the spirit.”  The entire tract is published at the link.

Hat tip to Elizabeth Prata for her link to an article about “The Danger in Women’s Ministries.”  That blog looks to be quite interesting, and I just may have to follow it.

Lastly, Doug has a good article about the many cults and their Bible versions.

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?