A Seminar Offered by Africa Nazarene Clergy Development (G. Crofford) In more than 20 years of ordained Nazarene ministry, I’ve learned that there is no such thing as “no theology.” People will have a position about the full spectrum of doctrinal issues. Rather than “no theology,” it is always a choice between good theology and bad theology. Pastor Vidal Cole of Sierra Leone observed: “…In Africa especially our people need to have the right perspective of Jesus power and how they can transform their lives so they can be able to serve the Lord with all their heart, soul and might, Amen.” 1- Demons exist. Jesus acknowledged the existence of demons, sometimes called “evil spirits.” Luke 11:20 – “But if I drive out demons by the finger of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you” (NIV). The context is by what authority Jesus drove out demons. 2- We should not find a demon under every rock. “There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall about the devils. One is to disbelieve in their existence. The other is to believe, and to feel an excessive and unhealthy interest in them. They themselves are equally pleased by both errors and hail a materialist or a magician with the same delight.” -- C.S. Lewis, in the Preface to his book, The Screwtape Letters “When all you have is a hammer, the whole world is a nail.” 3- Delivering a person from a demon depends upon the will of the individual who is possessed. See the story of the lame man at the pool of Bethesda, in John 5. “When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, ‘Do you want to get well?’” (John 5:6, NIV). 1. Deliverance should never be undertaken under pressure either from the individual concerned or the group. It should only be attempted if there is a clear sense of direction from God. We must be convinced that God has authority over everything. The practice of deliverance is no place to bring our doubts. Read Matthew 17:14-20 2. Whenever possible, it is wise to have medical and psychiatric support when working with an individual. Some church disciplines require that permission be gained from a higher authority before anything is done. Usually with schizophrenia, the person's inner world and behavior change notably. Behavior changes might include the following: Social withdrawal Depersonalization (a sense of being unreal, hazy and in a dreamlike state), sometimes accompanied by intense anxiety Loss of appetite Loss of hygiene Delusions Hallucinations (hearing or seeing things that aren't there) The sense of being controlled by outside forces Disorganized speech http://www.webmd.com/schizophrenia/guide/schizophreniasymptoms 3. Where it is possible to consult a more experienced minister, this should be done. 4. Deliverance should never be attempted alone. There should be at least two mature and experienced Christians present and it is preferable that one should come from another church to provide objectivity. Obvious care needs to be taken when dealing with members of the opposite sex. Power is all to Jesus given, Lord of hell, and earth, and heaven, Every knee to him shall bow – Satan hear, and tremble now! Roaring lion, own his power: Us thou never canst devour, Plucked we are out of thy teeth, Sav’d by Christ from hell and death. Tho’ thou bruise in us his heel, Sorer vengeance shalt thou feel: Christ, the woman’s conqu’ring seed, Christ in us shall bruise thy head. Jesu! Come, and bind him, bind him, Let him feel His own hell, Let thy fury find him. Jesu! Than the strong man stronger, Enter thou, Let they foe Keep thee out no longer. Suffer him no more to harm her, Make her clean, Purge her sin, Take away his armour. Jesu! Mighty to deliver, Satan foil, Take the spoil, Make her thine forever. 1. Everyone should be treated with gentleness and respect at all times. There should be avoidance of aggressive words, gestures and expressions and reliance upon the authority of Christ. (more information from Nigel Wright) 2. Demons should not be talked to, argued with or given any attention other than that of rejecting, refusing and scorning them. 3. There is no need to use holy water, crosses, sacred objects, communion wine or anointing oil. Confrontation in the powerful name of Jesus is sufficient. 4. Deliverance is not a show. It should not be glorified (Luke 10:20), but should be seen as a routine task. Remember to keep details of the situation confidential, as you would in any any counseling situation. 5. Do not let this take over your ministry! It is only one tool in a broader tool kit for Nazarene ministry. 1 John 4:1 says: “Test the spirits, to see if they come from God.” May the Lord help us as we work in this area.