We have been ministering in deliverance for over thirteen years and have exchanged views and opinions with many people about all aspects of deliverance ministry. We are in a continual learning phase ourselves but what follows below are what we believe to be four of the more common myths/ misperceptions about deliverance ministry:
- Christians do not need deliverance.
We have ministered literally to thousands of Christians (who we would define as “if-they-died-today-they’d-be-in-heaven” types) and have no doubt that many have been set free from demonic spirits. The terms “spiritual warfare” and “deliverance ministry” are not synonymous. Rather, deliverance is a subset (an important and neglected one!) of spiritual warfare. If people were delivered from, and stayed free, demonic spirits at the instant of salvation then the ministry of deliverance would not be required. That is not the case however and sadly much of the church is in denial in this area.
- The effectiveness is directly related to noise and activity level. Deliverance ministry does not have to be a circus; in fact it should not be because the there is a real person there that need not be embarrassed nor abused. Demonic spirits typically resist leaving because they have a legal right to be there. If this legal right is addressed prior to calling the spirit out, then it goes much more quietly.
- Deliverance ministry is not for today. If people were delivered from, and stayed free, demonic spirits at the instant of salvation then the ministry of deliverance would not be required. However, Jesus commanded his disciples to drive out demons and said that it would be one of the signs to follow believers (Mark 16:17). He is the same yesterday, today and forever and he also said that if we had faith in him we would do what he did. How can one ignore this call? There are not demons behind every issue in a person’s life but we need the Word of God and the power to walk in fullness. Deliverance ministry is one manifestation of the power of God working in person’s life.
- Only select people can do it. Not everyone is called to preach or lead worship but the fact is that people can be trained in this area to be effective. So it is with deliverance ministry. Our experience is that, just as with any other ministry in the body, that if the Lord gives a person the desire in an area, He is able to take the gifts he has given, combine that with proper training and experience, and use that person effectively. When people hear the term “exorcism” it conjures up a certain visual and mindset. The term “deliverance” is less intimidating but no less meaningful and it is one of the signs that is to follow believers!
There is much debate in the church about deliverance ministry.. not only the need for it, who needs it and how it should be done. We hope that healthy and constructive discourse on the topic will continue!