Can a Christian be Oppressed



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  • Can a Christian be Oppressed

    I am concerned about the deliverance ministry topic. Binding and loosing etc... I think Christians can be oppressed and can be delivered from addictions. I have been blessed by this ministry. However, I think with everything else, we need to focus our goal on Jesus, and the finished work He did for us at the cross and not get so obsessed with the demonic realm. Even though it is always around us. Our focus should be who we are in Christ and Him who lives in us being greater than he who lives in the world. So I love the deliverance ministry, it frees so many from bondages, but for our focus to be on Christ who paid for all. He loves us ssoooooo dearly and wishes us to have freedom in Him. I love Eddie and Alice Smith and their prayer center and how they glorify Jesus. I also have been blessed by so many others who absolutely love the Lord with all their hearts and see to it that those who come to Him find His peace which surpasses all understanding.

    Remember in my testimony, Faith who shared the gospel with me; she took the cleansing stream course with me and did deliverance with me over the phone right after I got saved (a couple weeks after). I believe the Lord used that to free me up from all the occultic practices I had been involved in. I know the power of God's Spirit was with me as He freed me soooo quickly of foul language usage every day, to not wanting to drink ...

    Pray I only take your time if it glorifies Him. I don't want to get off on rabbit trails (as they say). I pray we continue to see through His eyes and He gives us His heart. He truly loves you, Steven, so dearly. God bless you brother!

  • #2

    From my own experiences as a Full Gospel pastor and layman, I find it a complicated journey, often lacking any empirical methods of absolution regarding some details. Fundamentalists and many conservatives teach that evil and holiness cannot coexist, and it is true regarding the spirit, but not the soul. This hinges largely on rather one observes two parts or three parts. Being Full Gospel, my position (and undeniable experiences) will not follow suite with the teachings found in many of conservative venues.

    Most Christians assume and are often taught that because they have been delivered from the curse of sin, sealed by the Holy Spirit, darkness cannot dwell in them. St. Augustine, a fourth century philosopher whose groundbreaking philosophy infused Christian doctrine with Neoplatonism, stated emphatically "that good and evil cannot coexist". This has been a staple doctrine of many of theologies. However life repeatedly proves to the contrary, that darkness can exist in a Christian, such as harboring and empowering lust, anger, envy, pride, fear, hopelessness, etc. I lost count of the number of deliverances on behalf of genuine believers, who were bound after conversion, but fully transformed after soul purging deliverance. Some are now friends here on this forum, and their lives were in fact revolutionized.

    Is deliverance necessary for every believer? No. Some come to Christ from a relatively clean experience, those who are not hampered by noxious soul complications. What about self-deliverance? Absolutely. A person willing to do as Thomas A. Kempis said "Do a little violence in the beginning so that it might go well with you." Meaning, submit yourself to a devotion of prayer, fasting and repentance with exceedingly great dedication. Allow God's word and the power of prayer to purify the soul from its collected contaminates which are in effect, power bases. No... evil (spirit or power) cannot continue to tenaciously reside in such a soul, where God is faithful to purify us if we submit, as those of the early church did as routine. Today, we are so utterly lazy, it would be rare to find a person willing to "lay the axe to the root" out of the inconvenience of time lost and discomfort incurred.

    Paul said that there was evil indeed present in him: "Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not... I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me." Romans 7:17-18, 21

    How could Paul have evil present in him, and at the same time, be filled with the Holy Spirit? The evil he is speaking of course was the inclination of the flesh, but it is also a field of oppression for many. All living creatures consist of a dichotomy, namely body and soul. However the human consists of three parts, or a trichotomy, namely the material body or "soma" (hylic) which is the self-evident, the soul or "psyche" which is the will and emotions, and the spirit or "pneuma" which is what is reborn upon regeneration. The apostle Paul described mankind as a threefold substance as referenced in 1 Thess. 5:23, and this has been generally recognized since the early church fathers. When God created man in his own image, he made us distinct from the beast of the field by grafting into us the "Third Element" or "pneuma" that would allow perfect communion with Him and create us after His image.

    To further complicate the study of the spiritual, traducianism is the immaterial aspect which is transmitted through natural generation along with the body, the material aspect of human beings. Thus the conduit of the generational curses and/or ancestry demons. The church father Tertullian actively advocated traducianism as a tangible matter to be considered. Although I agree with St. Thomas Aquinas who stated: "It is heretical to say that the intellectual soul is transmitted by process of generation." Such a proposition would be taking it too far.

    Back to the discussion about trichotomy, the mind, will and emotions is places where darkness can remain long after a person has accepted Jesus as Savior, been baptized, even having served for years in the church. This is where unclean spirits or powers can remain if allowed sanctuary, cohabitating with the physical body. Scripture further makes a clear distinction between a person's soul and their spirit:

    "For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart." Hebrews 4:12

    A person could spend months digging through the annuals of commentary by early church historians, philosophers, bishops and scholars, and arrive at mixed positions. However, there is no truth like experience tried and proven. Having spent a full decade almost constantly on the frontline of deliverance, theological opinions without real experience simply didn’t carry weight. Myself and two other young pastors were being used in deliverance for the aid of a number of troubled Christian in the early 90's. So much so was the positive result, that it caused friction in the body. People started making appointments for help while others scoffed. The senior pastor with multiple doctorates (retired in 2000) consulted his professor at Moody Bible Institute at that time, because he didn't know how to react to this seemingly unorthodox Christian deliverance activity, where he was firmly indoctrinated into secessionist theology. The professor instructed him it was not a work of God and to subdue any such activity. All the intern pastors involved either had to leave or abstain. Unfortunately, text book learning and lengthy credentials despite lacking real experience triumphs over what is true far too often. That was my and many other's pivotal point that resulted in a transition into Full Gospel ministry.

    It is a spiritual law; you cannot introduce challenging truths to closed minds without causing tears and fractures. Jesus taught this in effect when he said, "And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. For the old skins would burst from the pressure, spilling the wine and ruining the skins. New wine is stored in new wineskins so that both are preserved." With this the Lord exposes the folly of the Scribes and Pharisees, in their zealous attachment to the traditions of the elders; giving a reason why he did not call these persons by his Gospel, but instead those whom he enlarges by his Spirit and grace. Those who were open to unpredictable and often times uncharted aspects of His call could accept the fresh work of the Lord.

    I didn't intend to turn this into another dissertation, nor can I begin to scratch the surface on this post. I wrote a book back in 1992 that was used to teach Christians in detail about deliverance and the need for intentional purification after the transition. It resides on a 5.25 floppy though. I have a computer drive that I should install to pull across a large number of documents written in Tandy TRS-DOS DeskMate. Sigh, another project of many that needs done.


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