Growing up around a certain level of charismania I have seen more than my fair share of how some people do deliverance. Some of it was good, some of it wasn’t. Some it was grace-based, a lot of it wasn’t. I also think there is a lot of crazy superstitions around this ministry, so I want to start my series with a look at some myths I believe surround it. Deliverance is one of those ministries that tend to scare people off because people just don’t know enough about it, or what they know is not true to begin with.
If you are new to deliverance, you might not have a framework for some of the things I am going to mention. You are lucky.
Myth 1: Hollywood over exaggerates
This is a tricky one because yes movies like the exorcist are way over the top, but I have also seen things you wouldn’t believe if I told you. (And I will tell you in future posts) So in some regards Hollywood exaggerates but in other areas not so much.
Myth 2: You have to first get the person saved before you can deliver them
Newsflash people, almost every single person Jesus healed or delivered was not saved beforehand. By saying people need to be saved first you are placing a conditional on freedom. Also, it is much easier to present the gospel to an unbeliever who just experienced God’s deliverance than it is to present it to a still demonized unbeliever.
Myth 3: You have to confess the sin that opened the door for the demon
Jesus never once asked anybody to confess their sin before He healed or delivered them. This is just a stalling tactic probably invented by the demons themselves. Dealing with sin in a person’s life and casting out demons do often go hand in hand, but unconfessed sin does not give any demon a right to stay.
Myth 4: Sin opens the door to devils
This one is also tricky but in essence no sin gives the devil a right to you. He is a thief and a thief steals that which he has no right to. If your sin gives him a right, he would not be a thief and you would be in the wrong for casting him out. Sin does however make it much easier for him to destroy areas of your life. If I lock my car in my garage with the alarm set and gear lock on, a thief can still steal it, but it would be harder. If I leave my car unlocked in a dark alley in a shady part of town with the key in the ignition, there is a much higher chance of it being stolen, but just because I did something dumb doesn’t give the thief rights to my car. Theft is theft.
Myth 5: You have to find out the demon’s name before it will leave
This one comes down through charismania where deliverance ministers believe that a demon will only leave once it’s name or agenda has been figured out. This again is a stalling tactic aimed at wearing out the minister. Knowing the name and agenda of a demon can be useful, but it is not a prerequisite for deliverance.
Myth 6: Christians can’t have demons
Theologically many folks like to stick their fingers in their ears, close their eyes and live in denial, but the fact remains that Christians can have demons. I have cast out thousands of demons over the last 12 years, most of them were cast out of Christians, even grace-walking-spirit-filled-tongue-speaking Christians. I taught on the subject once at a leading grace church and the next day received 6 calls from people who wanted ministry. They all came, and demons manifested and were cast out of every one of them. Theology sounds nice, freedom feels much better.
Myth 7: Don’t touch the demonized person while ministering because the demon can jump into you
I don’t know who came up with this one. Probably based on the story in Acts 19:13-16 of the 7 sons of Sceva and a Jewish high priest who got knocked around by a manifesting demon who then chased them naked and wounded down the street. Demons don’t just jump from one person to another. That is a fear tactic used to prevent you from attempting deliverance. Fear pushes faith out, and without faith you are going to struggle to set people free.
Myth 8: The devil and his demons are powerless and can’t influence us
If that were true the world would look much different. This again is a finger-in-the-ear-cop-out from those who are more interested in theory than actually setting people free. Yes the principalities and power have been disarmed, but the disarming was in the removal of the law and ordinances that opposed us, and in the returning of authority lost by first Adam. If the devil was powerless, Jesus would not have instructed us to cast devils out or be waiting for the devil to be made a footstool, God wouldn’t need to crush him under our feet, James wouldn’t have needed to tell us to resist him, Paul wouldn’t have needed to write to not be ignorant of his schemes and Peter wouldn’t have had to warn us that he is walking around looking for people to devour. The devil has power, but you have more. Stop making excuses and use yours to crush him, that’s why you have it.
I think I will end it here for now. If you have any questions, please leave them in the comment section below. Perhaps there are some myths I forgot about and your questions will help kill more of the sacred cows of deliverance.
I’ll start telling some deliverance stories next time.