When I was the interim pastor for a Fundagelical church, I was asked on several occasions for deliverance ministries I could recommend. Deliverance is the supposed casting out of demons from a person who is possessed or oppressed by demons.
I’ll be honest that the only people I know who claim to have been delivered from demons, also suffer from mental illness. The mental illness is seen as evidence of demons afflicting the person.
I stumbled across a message board (Those are still things?) called Ministering Deliverence.com. A person calling themselves “servantofJesus” posted the following, (I have italicized the quotes and left all the spelling and grammar mistakes intact.)
“Why does it seem like their gone, then they come back?
I have had hundreds of battles with these demons. I have broken their legal rights/repent/ect. and they admit that they have none. Then I torment them to where I cough, puke, ect. and they seem to come out. Peace for a minute or two, then I test to see if they are there and they ARE. This has happened more times than I can count. They can say that they love Jesus, but it’s easy to tell that it’s demonic and doesn’t love Jesus. I had one left; now more were let in by the enemy. Ministers, what would you do if this continued to happen? I thought that once your [sic] broke their legal rights and sent them to the pit that they had to go once they came out. I’m confused.”
I think confused is an understatement. Here is an individual claiming to cast out demons repeatedly only to have them come back in immediately. I’m hoping that the “ministers” might suggest to him a psychiatric evaluation. Let’s see.
Brent says, “You should look out for a deceiving spirit. They will show you things that are not there while they convince that things are, are not. They are there to waste your time and bring discouragement while the real problem remains undetected or protected.”
In other words, you can’t trust anything. It sounds like this person may already have lost their grip on reality, and Brent has taken away any ability to trust anyone or anything. Deceiving demons will lie to him.
In response to how he tests to see if the demons are still there, ServanofJesus replied,”I ask the Lord to send down 2 Giant Angels with swords. I ask the demon his name. Then I ask the angels to cut off one of it’s limbs if it’s lying. If they do, then the spirit will cry out in agony. I continue asking God to give them plagues and such until the name is given. I also sometimes ask God to hide from the demons mind why I’m asking it’s name and to catch on fire and incapacitate any demon or destroy anything that’s helping the demon. I also sometimes ask the Lord to dumb the demon down to that of a 3 year old. Sometimes I send them up to Christ for judgement. Sometimes I ask the Angels to beat them up. I have determined that that’s actually quite effective. They don’t like that. I prefer not to cut them up and torture them, but I don’t hesitate to do it if they don’t cooperate. Interesting thing. A few days ago I was confronting one, and I asked it if satan asked God for rights to torment me. It responded “your Lord said that I’m not allowed to tell you that”
Did you catch it? He prefers not to cut them up but let the angels beat them up. Rather than refer this person to a therapist, his beliefs are reinforced an encouraged by others on the board.
Susiehotrod says, “I do self deliverance most mornings. The next morning as soon as I wake up, right away I feel this anxiety, fear full grief, feeling nothing at all in the pit of my stomach
I remember reading in Frank Hammonds’s ground breaking deliverance book “Pigs In The Parlour” saying that he felt that one needed to learn how to do self deliverance if any continued freedom was to be experienced.”
I’m just guessing, but I think Susiehotrod has an anxiety disorder which has developed into ritual behavior. I can’t imagine what life must be like to wake up every morning and feel the need to cast out demons! I also can’t imagine suggesting this as a method of treatment.
ServantofJesus continues that he is having health problems as well. He believes his medication may be what is opening the door to demons. “I took Ciprofloxacin, which is an Antibiotic that is currently on the market. It’s a very dangerous drug that is destroying literally thousands and thousands of lives every year and the FDA won’t ban it. It’s in a family called Fluoralquinolones and Levaquin, Tenquin, Cipro are a few that will mess up your life.
The devil took advantage of this opportunity to attack me and now I am dealing with it some 10 months later. As I have cast out demons by the thousands, I feel relief. If I go a day or two without doing deliverance, it seems like the symptoms get worse. It’s like they just keep coming and coming. I need to shut this door of attack, but I don’t know how.”
Serantofjesus is correct that new research is showing that fluoroquinolones are showing dangerous side effects in some patients. (Here is a good summary article) What is needed here is some sound medical advice. Surely some reasonable person will tell him that antibiotics can cause physical and mental issues and are not a doorway to the demonic. Please!
Nautica999 says, “I would recommend going online and finding a list of what is in the medicine and rebuke all things in it as well. There may be something tied to that as well.”
The reason I share this message board exchange is to demonstrate the danger of Fundagelicals taking Bible verses out of context. A cottage industry of books, videos, and workshops on deliverance has sprung up making huckster rich. They take a few verses and turn it into an incoherent mess of advice and techniques to deal with “demons.” The gullible waste their money on this bull pucky and worse yet; the mentally ill avoid treatment and are fed a reinforced group delusion of outside forces controlling a person.
My heart breaks to see tormented people who have convinced themselves that they are tormented by hordes of demons. There needs to be a serious debunking of so-called deliverance ministers and some serious good theology taught on this topic.