Lord, deliver us from deliverance ministries

In some Christian circles today there is a huge emphasis on the demonic realm and “deliverance” ministries. There are books written, sermons preached, conferences attended and spiritual away weekends devoted to the subject.

TB Joshua is a so-called prophet of God in Nigeria.  A large part of his ministry is exorcism.   This “man of God” lays his hands on the faithful and rebukes the demons.  There is the usual vomiting, crying and falling.  He exorcises the demons of alcoholism, depression, poverty, sickness and whatever other bad spirit you may unknowingly have.

I was in a car accident when I was 10 years old and as a result walk with a bit of a limp.  A few years ago a well-meaning Christian asked if he could pray for me.  I agreed as prayer is always a good thing.  However, in his prayers he attempted to rebuke the Spirit of infirmity in me and demand my healing from God.  I stopped him mid-prayer and said thanks but no thanks.

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Dealing with demons

devilHow should Christians relate to the demonic world?  On the one hand, there a Christian sub-culture obsessed with demon possession and “deliverance” ministries.   According to this worldview, there are generational demons, poverty demons, sickness demons and even demons that make one infertile.  The key to a powerful Christian ministry is to identify the particular demon involved and cast it out in Jesus’ name.  T.B. Joshua is perhaps the most infamous adherent to this model of ministry.

On the other hand, there is a Christian sub-culture that dismisses the supernatural and the spirit-world.  According to this worldview, there is a rational, cause-and-effect, scientific explanation for everything that happens.  Demon-possession was simply the uniformed explanation for illnesses in Bible times that were not understood.  We know better now.   

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