The Pursuit of God

Serious Topics for Serious Christians

Deliverance Ministries: Scamming You in the Name of Jesus

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AUDIO VERSION: YouTube  Podbean

If I want to make a name for myself in this world, I need to impress people. If I impress them, they’ll pay me, worship me, follow me, and hang on my every word. As soon as I impress them enough, I can write a book. No matter what I say in that book, all of my fans will buy it. Cha-ching, hear the sound of money pouring into my bank account. I can hold conferences and charge people to attend. I can set up institutes and charge people to take courses. If I pick the right field, I can make a boatload of money at a very young age even if I have the IQ of a tomato. I don’t really have to be an expert in any particular field or have any formal education. I just have to pick a field where no real expertise is required—a field which relies entirely on the manipulation of vulnerable people. Deliverance ministries, for example. Now there’s a great way to get rich quick.

So how do I get rich quick in deliverance ministries? Just by understanding a few basic principles.

     1. Hurting people are extremely gullible.

People are already pretty easy to manipulate, but when they’re suffering in some way, their vulnerability greatly increases. Prolonged pain makes people desperate for relief. Once they get desperate, they’ll try anything to get help. That’s where I come in.

     2. Healing is very easy to fake—at least temporarily.

Humans are sensual beings. Stimulate their senses in a strong, positive way, and it becomes a lasting memory. Happily for me, it is extremely easy to create intensely positive emotional experiences for my victims. If I just get them in the right atmosphere, I can easily manipulate their current psychological or emotional state. Take the girl who was abused by Daddy and is now desperate for any male affirmation. Perfect. As a man, I just have to give her that tender smile and a little helping of attentive listening—maybe a light touch on the arm. Her desperate hunger for male affirmation will do the rest. And when I see her looking at me all starry-eyed, I tell her she’s experiencing the love of Jesus washing over her. Cha-ching, hear the sound of her money falling into my offering plate. Who knew I was such a powerful channel of God’s love to the masses?

      3. Christians think way too much of the Bible.

All I have to do is start quoting Scripture and most Christians will turn off their brains and blindly believe everything I say. A black and white preacher’s collar is a powerful symbol of safety in this world—if I sport one of those, it will help people drop their guard around me. So here I am, a deliverance minister. When I walk into a room, the hurting masses cheer, because they are so desperate for their next dose of psychological peace which they think only I can dispense. They believe everything I say. I’ve got them right where I want them. I’m rolling in wealth, and I’ve actually convinced myself that I am Christ incarnate. Who said it was hard to get rich quick in this world?

GOALS OF DELIVERANCE

The entire premise of deliverance ministries is utter rot. Preying on your fear of demons, your internal wounds, and your human tendency to trust in a confident voice, deliverance ministries are touring the globe aggressively driving the lambs of God away from their Shepherd and trying to keep them trapped in corrals of crippling deceptions. This is a field in which we have Christians gunning down other Christians. Not every enemy of the Church is found outside. Her most dangerous predators are lurking right inside her borders, and they are going after YOU. How do you defend yourself against these shady servants of Satan? By understanding some basic principles about how false shepherds work.

Since false shepherds are listening to Satan, they have Satan’s priorities. Satan is always trying to create division between you and God. He does this by teaching you to pursue the wrong priorities in life and to cling to the wrong attitudes. Let’s do a little comparison of what God wants and what Satan wants.

God teaches you to trust in Him alone in life.
Satan teaches you to trust in SYMBOLS of God instead of God Himself, such as the Bible and human leaders in the Church.

God teaches you to rely on Him directly for guidance in life.
Satan teaches you that you need human teachers to interpret God’s will and to tell you when you are out of alignment with Him.

God says that pleasing Him should be your highest goal.
Satan says that getting God to please you should be your highest goal.

God teaches you to recognize and embrace your total dependency on Him for all things.
Satan teaches you to downplay your dependency on God by teaching that YOU have godlike powers within yourself—you just need to learn how to wield them through the correct use of prayer and Scripture.

God says that He is your Master who you must fully submit to.
Satan says that God is your Servant who you can learn to dominate and control using prayer and Scripture.

DELIVERANCE STRATEGY

Deliverance ministries work on three basic principles.

STEP 1: CONVINCE YOU OF NEED

This is a basic advertising principle. If I want to sell you a product, I must convince you that you need it. This is very easy to do. First, I amplify a problem that I know you already have. In this world, we are all plagued with body odor. Deodorant companies know this. Happily for them, BO is already an embarrassing problem. They just have to amplify the embarrassment in their commercials by showing an actor who shares your gender, age and ethnicity being socially shunned because of how he smells. They then show that actor applying their product to his underarms, and suddenly everyone wants to be around him. Without ever having met you, deodorant companies can persuade you to try their product by promising a solution to a problem that they KNOW you struggle with. How are they so smart? They’re not smart, they just know some basic facts about humanity. We all stink. This is a reality.

While deodorant companies amplify your external problems in order to persuade you to buy their product, deliverance ministries amplify your internal problems. Once again, they don’t have to know anything about you personally in order to create a persuasive argument for why you need their help. ALL humans have internal wounds, painful memories, unresolved fears and insecurities. By simply amplifying problems that they know are common to mankind, deliverance ministries can convince YOU that you are in some terrible spiritual place. Let’s check out this list that one very popular deliverance promoter put out.

To determine if you are in need of deliverance, ask yourself the following questions:

1. Are you using physical, of-this-world means to address spiritual issues?
2. Are you continually argumentative or contrary–usually on the verge of anger?
3. Are you listening and following words that contradict God’s Word?
4. Is your thought-life in disarray? Is it running loose and undisciplined?
5. Are you walking in known disobedience to the Word?
6. Are you violating, neglecting or causing pain in a relationship?

If you’re alive and breathing, you qualify for deliverance. This list of grave symptoms has been intentionally worded to ensure that every human on the planet will be able to identify with one or more of the items. Let’s go through them each in turn to see what a psychological game this is.

1. Are you using physical, of-this-world means to address spiritual issues?

Do you read the Bible to try and find answers to spiritual issues? The Bible is a physical, of-this-world item. Do you go to church? The church building is physical. Are you using a physical device to read this article about spiritual issues?  Remember that deliverance ministries target Christians. Most Christians are taught to go to the Bible for spiritual guidance in life. Knowing this, all our deliverance minister has to do is turn our Bible reading into some grave sign that we’re spiritually imbalanced and suddenly we’re starting to fret.

2. Are you continually argumentative or contrary–usually on the verge of anger?

How ridiculous can a guy get? When people argue, they’re usually feeling some degree of anger. Notice how our advisor backs off his wording to a mere “on the verge of anger”. You don’t have to be fully angry to qualify for this symptom. If you’re feeling even on the verge of anger, then according to this guy, you’re in need of deliverance. Who doesn’t ever feel angry in life? This is like us telling you, “If you ever feel tired in life, it means you need a new car.” It’s utterly ridiculous to take traits that are common to all humans and try to hold them up as powerful diagnostic tools. Do you see what a sneaky game this is? And this guy is the president of a large deliverance institute. What a snake.

3. Are you listening and following words that contradict God’s Word?

Here’s more utter rubbish. You can’t just tell a Christian to obey “God’s Word.” Which part? The part where Yahweh tells us to sacrifice animals in His Temple? The part where Jesus tells us “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect”? The part where the disciple John tells us that if we don’t love everyone, we’re obviously not saved? Should we all be eating food cooked over poop? That’s in God’s Word. Should we be sacrificing our children on rocks? That’s in God’s Word, too. Do you see what garbage is being peddled here? This man really wants you to read this question as, “If you’re not morally perfect, then you need deliverance.”

4. Is your thought-life in disarray? Is it running loose and undisciplined?

Really?? What human on the planet never has a wandering mind? What human never feels scatterbrained and frazzled at times? This is like saying, “Do you breathe oxygen on a daily basis? Then clearly you need deliverance.”

5. Are you walking in known disobedience to the Word?

Notice who you are supposed to be obeying: a BOOK instead of GOD. Whenever you come across language like this, major alarms should be ringing in your mind. We obey GOD, not a physical object. The deifying of physical objects is IDOLATRY, which God detests. But you will find that false teachers in the Church will constantly tell you to view an OBJECT as a substitute for God. You think it’s okay because the Bible is about God. No, it’s not okay. If we write a biography about you, would you want your friends and family to all stop talking to you because they’ve got the book about you and the book is good enough? The Bible is a collection of historical documents. It is not alive. It did not create the universe. It does not have a mind. It doesn’t give you commands. We do not worship, obey, or rely on a physical object. We worship, obey, and rely on GOD. God is not a book.

Now this is a list of six symptoms that are meant to convince you that you’re in dire need of deliverance. What’s different about this point and point #3? They’re the same question, just worded differently. This is an intentional ploy to make you have to say “yes” to multiple items on this list, hence increasing your anxiety about your need for deliverance.

6. Are you violating, neglecting or causing pain in a relationship?

Think carefully. Can you HONESTLY say that you’re never the cause of any pain or strife in any of your current relationships? Of course you can’t. We all act like jerks sometimes. We all say hurtful things, we all slack in holding up our end, and plenty of us can think of nasty things we’ve done which could qualify as “violating” a relationship.

So what we have here is a list of six symptoms (really five, since 3 & 5 are the same). You’d have to be dead to not flunk this test. Since you’re not dead, you fail this test miserably, and according to this snake, that means you are in dire need of his deliverance services. Do you see how easy it is for these people to suck you in?

STEP 2: DEMONIZE THE PROBLEM

Once deliverance teachers convince you that you need their services, they try to turn your need into a crisis by demonizing the problem. After all, we’re talking about spiritual issues here, and once we step into the spiritual arena, we can start talking about supernatural beings. Bring on the demons. Did you know that there’s a demon behind all of your problems? There has to be demons, because then the deliverance ministers have something concrete to deliver you from. Just as the mental image of a cancerous tumor eating away at your organs is going to spike your angst levels, the image of some evil creature lurking in your mind and body is guaranteed to freak you out. Bring on the generational curses and soul ties. Bring on the demon of despair, the demon of anger, the demon of molestation. Whatever your problem is, just put the words “the demon of” in front of it, and you’ll have your root cause identified. Demons are to deliverance ministers what viruses and bacteria are to medical doctors. And while the medical boys want to shoot you up with drugs, the deliverance guys want to cast those demons out of you.

STEP 3: DRAG OUT THE HEALING

Now while we’re tempted to think of deliverance sessions and exorcisms as the same thing, there’s an important difference. The stereotypical exorcism is a one-time event in which some poor tormented soul is thoroughly cured of their problematic host in a dramatic, yet effective round of ritualistic hoopla. Once an exorcism is over, everyone goes home and that’s it. Well, it’s hard to get rich quick off of these one-time wonders, so the deliverance folks have reworked the whole exorcism package to make room for a much longer, multistage therapy process.

According to deliverance ministers, you don’t just have one demon, you have a boatload of demons. And they can’t all come out at once—they have to come out slowly, over time. This isn’t a simple matter of calling the priest over to your house and having him speak some God-ordained command. No, deliverance is a process. You have to undergo many counseling sessions in which you bare your soul to the person who is giving you healing. And of course the more you bare your soul, the more they can figure out how to manipulate you better, and the more they can demonize your problems and scare the hell out of you so you’ll feel more and more dependent on them. If only they would do something to get the hell out of you, but no, the hell hangs on according to these folks. You’ve never seen such tenacious demons. It’s like Satan has endless resources and he can afford to sick fifty of his guys on every Christian. How fast you progress in the “deliverance” therapy depends entirely on you, of course. Your effort, your faith, your willingness to bow down at the feet of your healers as if they are God Almighty. Of course if you get stuck, it’s your fault. And if you relapse, it’s your fault. But the healing is real because how else could you possibly interpret the feelings of euphoria that you get around these healing gurus? It’s not like they’re playing your heart like a fiddle and telling you exactly what they know you want to hear. Okay, yes they are.

There is great power in the sensation of a stranger laying his hands on you. It is extremely moving to listen to someone pray some gut wrenching prayer on your behalf. And the more you spill your guts to someone, the more bonded you will feel to that person—this is a basic psychological principle. The problem is that the bond is one way. The healers aren’t sharing with you, they’re just harvesting a collection of your most painful memories and turning them into a very effective arsenal that they can whip out any time to blast you back into line. And while they wax on and on about your great authority in Christ, they really want you to be dependent on THEM and THEIR uncanny ability to assess the spiritual roots of your problems.

THE POWER OF DELIVERANCE

How hard is it for a medical doctor to sell you some snow job about your health? He simply has you submit to an x-ray, then he tells you that the scan showed some horrific cancerous growth on your appendix. You’re shocked—you don’t have any symptoms of illness. He says that’s normal—that many cancerous tumors don’t cause problems until it’s too late. Oh, okay. What do you know? He’s the doctor. He then lays out his treatment plan. It’s expensive, but hey, you’re panicked. You do everything he says to the letter. Some of the drugs he gives you make you feel pretty darn good. When you finish the course of medications, he takes another scan and announces that the tumor is gone. Big sigh of relief. You go around telling everyone that this doctor saved your life. Of course what you don’t realize is that he was lying his face off the whole time. What you don’t realize is that your scans showed nothing and that all the meds he bilked you for were nothing but caffeine pills. What trashed you in this scenario was your blind trust in a total stranger. The same thing trashes you when you mess with deliverance ministries.

You never knew you were so demon infested until the deliverance boys got a hold of you. They run you through some emo spiking exercises, declare you to be “delivered” and you go around telling everyone that these wolves saved your life. Meanwhile, you’ve never been further from God. You never checked with Him when some human handed you a grim spiritual diagnosis. You closed your mind to the possibility that these people were just using you for their own selfish gain. Read that Bible they’re always shoving down your throat and you’ll discover that there’s nothing new about false shepherds working the sheep over for a profit.

Thus says Yahweh concerning the prophets who lead my people astray: “When they have something to bite with their teeth, they cry, “Peace,” But against the one who gives them nothing to eat, they declare holy war.” (Micah 3:5)

Here Yahweh describes a classic picture of false prophets passing out ego-pleasing predictions towards those who sufficiently pay them for their “insights.” But towards those who refuse to suck up to them, the prophets call for Divine retribution. In the same way, if you keep your wide-eyed innocence and obey the orders your healing ministers give you, they’ll give you their promised “deliverance.” Of course what they’re delivering you from is a problem that you never had—all those fictitious demons that are infesting your mind and body. But if you don’t roll over like the easy victim that these wolves want you to be, then their nasty side will come out.

Why do you suppose some of the Jews of Micah’s time were refusing to pay these so-called prophets of God that had become so popular with the people? Because they’d figured out that these guys were nothing more than devious blowhards. They realized that their “Divine” words and visions were nothing but a scam, and they refused to be bilked by these con artists. In the same way, you need to wise up about these deliverance ministries that are gunning for you. You CANNOT trust in human beings to tell you what truth is. You must check all things with God Himself. The Holy Spirit is your Teacher, Guide, and Counselor in life, not these vipers who want you to see a demon behind every bush. Yes, demons are real. Possession and oppression are real. But these are also fantastic tools for leading people astray, and deliverance ministries are making it hand over fist by curing you of problems you don’t really have.

The irony is that no matter how much deliverance you receive, your answers to those six screening questions will remain the same. Do you want to pursue healing from someone who is so upfront about the fact that he intends to keep you permanently labeled as sick? As the machinery of deliverance ministries marches on, more and more Christians are getting chewed up and spit out in a state of harmful delusion. When we look past all the euphoria, what goals are these people taught to pursue in life? Good feelings and carnal comfort. How are they taught to treat God? Control Him. Boss Him around. Sick Him on their demons. There are some major problems with deliverance theology. Before you buy into the idea that you need someone’s help to drive scores of demons out of your twisted mind and soul, pray about it. Scrutinize the theology that’s being peddled to you. Ask the Holy Spirit for wisdom. Does He really need the help of healing ministers to fix you? Not hardly. As a Christian, you have just as much God in you as these supposed experts on spirituality. Why look to them when you could look to God Himself? It is God who controls the activity of the demonic realm, it is God who brings trials into our lives. Instead of spending our energy trying to topple demonic strongholds, we’d do much better praying, “Lord, help me to learn everything You want to teach me through this trial. Make me all that You want me to be.”

FURTHER READING:
Trained Shills & Blind Trust: A Winning Combination for False Shepherds
Debunking Soul Ties & Soul Fragmentation
Sacrificial Giving: A Favorite Teaching of False Shepherds

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