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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Pastors as “Christian” witchdoctors in Africa

One of the contexts in which we do ministry in Africa is the background and influence of African Traditional Religion (ATR). In ATR the sangoma (witchdoctor) has special access to God, the spirit world and the ancestors.

The sangoma is able to make contact with the spirit world in order to guarantee protection from evil spirits, to ensure good luck in a job interview or even to lift a curse someone else might have placed on you. The sangoma is able to provide blessing, healing, deliverance and protection (among other things).

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