I have been involved with a "deliverance" ministry for a number of years. In fact, I was raised as a new Christian in one. Yet, when I began to understand what that church taught I first sought the Lord in fasting and prayer on the issue of whether or not Christians can be "demonized." His answer was "No." And He backed this up with both Scripture and examples from scientific knowledge.
First of all, it is a fact that nowhere in the Bible do we find a true believer having a demon in him or her and needing "deliverance." Nowhere do we find Peter having to cast out a demon from Paul, or even Jesus casting out a demon from one of the apostles. Church history for centuries does not record, to my knowledge, that Christians needed "deliverance" from indwelling demons after becoming saved.
In fact, in what I think is the best written book advocating that Christians can have demons by C. Fred Dickason called "Demon Possession and the Christian: A New Perspective," even Dr. Dickason had to admit on page 127: "Thus we cannot conclusively say that the Bible clearly presents evidence that believers may be demonized."
So if this doctrine has no basis in the Bible, where does it come from? It comes from experiences people have had. But it is a dangerous thing to base doctrine on personal experience. Joseph Smith, the founder of the Mormon cult, had an experience. Muhammad the Prophet had the experience of an "angel" coming and given him the Koran. So are we now to accept Mormonism and Islam simply because of the experiences of these men? God forbid!!
And neither should we accept this unbiblical idea that Christians can be "demonized" simply because of the experiences of people. The first and foremost question we MUST ask is, "Does the Bible teach that Christians can be demonized"? If the Bible does not teach it, then it is not a biblical doctrine and must be rejected.
I cannot stress enough the fact that this doctrine is Biblically bankrupt and has no foundation in sound Biblical interpretation and exegesis. People trying to teach me that Christians can be demonized using the Bible are like atheists trying to argue from Psalm 14:1 that the Bible teaches that "there is no God." It simply can't be done rationally.
One of the weakest arguments I've heard is that "The Bible does not say that Christians cannot have demons." To that I respond that the Bible does not say alot of things directly, but does this mean that what is not said directly cannot be true? Logically, that kind of reasoning is called non sequitur, meaning it simply does not follow. For example, the Bible does not say that a woman leaves her father and mother when she marries her husband in Genesis 2:24. But does this somehow prove that the woman doesn't also leave father and mother to be joined to her husband? Certainly not! So to argue that the Bible doesn't explicitly say that Christians cannot have demons is a very weak form of reasoning from a biblical perspective. It simply won't hold up.
Most of the texts used to teach that Christians can have demons are either taken out of context or misread in some way. A perfect example is Romans 7:21 used by some people. Paul was talking about our battle with the "flesh," not with inner demons. But people read into the text, what's called eisegesis (reading INTO the text), that this somehow implies demons can invade us somehow, instead of doing exegesis (taking OUT of the text) that Paul was speaking about the "flesh" in that context. But you never come up with sound doctrine by reading things into the Bible.
The fact of the matter is that Christians all over the world are being deceived in these "deliverance" ministries into thinking that satan has more power than he does. They are being fooled into paying more attention to demonic activity than God's activity. These ministries are mocking the Cross by ultimately arguing that what Jesus did for us was not sufficient. If we can be controlled or otherwise manipulated by demons just like unbelievers before we obtained salvation, then what true victory did Jesus win for us?
The bottom line for me is this: If the doctrine is not Biblical, it is not of God. And we cannot start down the dangerous road of basing critical doctrine on experience alone. The teaching that Christians can be inhabited by demons is simply not taught in the Bible. It is a doctrine that is based in experiences people have had.
But let's see these same people also accept the experiences of Joseph Smith and Muhammad as valid solely because they had them. What would we be forced to accept then? Something to think about.
For those interested, please see my website for more details: http://www.gospelanswers1.com
Again, leon, what you claim and what the Bible itself says are two different things.
The Bible does not say Peter was the strongest of the apostles. In fact, the Bible teaches against that kind of mentality, as Jesus had to correct the similar argument they had about who among them would be greatest.
Satan using Peter's selfish desire for self-preservation is NOT equal to satan entering Peter. The text does NOT say satan entered Peter. You assume that.
When satan actually entered a person in Scripture, it says that plainly in Luke 22:3 and John 13:27. We must be careful to say exactly what Scripture says, not what we think it says. Judas was entered; Peter was simply used, according to his desire for self-preservation shown in the context of the very passage you bring up.
So, unless you can demonstrate from some other passage your claim that demons can inhabit or enter believers who are indwelt by the Spirit, I cannot accept thsi doctrine not based on an accurate understanding of the Bible.
You speak alot about what the Bible says and what it does not say, however you seem to have a problem removing your man-nade intelligence from the bible. Let's stick to what the bible says, and not what you say, in your profile you say your a thinker, the bible does not require you to be a thinker, many atheist are thinkers you need to let the Holy Spirit which is the mind and power of God give you His widsom and you need to keep (satan's wisdom) (MANS PERSONAL THOUGHTS) out of God's bible and Word. Now on to the truth of God, and you must be very careful not to inject your(mind) into the perfect will and Word of the Holy Spirit.That a false doctrine, God's will is pefect on its own without your man made wisdom being injected into it and leading people away from help that and deliverance they can recieve by people praying for their loved ones or them for that matter. Okay you say Christins can not have demons inhabit them, the bible says you are dead wrong, the bible will always prove or disprove a person. Where the bible is silent I remain silent also, where the bible speaks I speak: This is what the bible says about the devil which is the cheif off all demons, Satan himself choose Peter who is suppose the be the Rock of all God's disciples and through his power send the temptation to Peter, and that temptation is recorded word for word in the following passages, its not what you said because what you said is meanlingless in God's word its what the bible says: 21From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day.
22Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee.
23But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.
24Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
***(Satan made the temptation himself he used no demons to tempt Peter, he directed his temptation towards Peter: He spoke through Peter because Peter was willing: Which is my point exactly, Satan used the strongest of all the deciples and tempted Peter, Satan entered Peter's thought and Peter repeated Satan's will to God, Satan goal was to tell Jesus not to go, because if Jesus did not go to the cross then Satan's rule would never come to an end. So Satan used the strongest of all the Christians to try and convince Jesus not to go to the cross. Its funny how Satan did not choose any other disciples, the reason he did not is because he knew Jesus knew who was the strongest in faith of all the diciples and by choosing Peter he felt Jesus would listen to him and not go to the cross. Be that fact as it may Satan did tempt a Christian and even more than a Christian and Disciple and even more than a Disciple the stongest of all them. If you read the entire scripture you will see that Jesus also gave a warning after the temptation, he said that if anyone follows him let them pick up their cross and follow him, at that point Jesus gave Peter a choice Jesus said you can believe in me and who I am and follow me you can be selfish and follow your own wisdom.(As you see, what I base my answer on is scripture and its backed up not my own personal thinking, and I don't confuse anything because I use the Word of God not my own wisdom, God said children are used to confound the wise sir.
Leon. You are confusing inhabitation with people speaking words inspired by satan. You can be influenced from the outside and speak from the flesh, as Peter did because he feared for his life, and not have a demon in you.
The case was different, however, with Judas. Scripture plainly says satan entered Judas in John 13:27. Judas was never a true believer. So, we have no Scripture teaching that Christians can be inhabited by demons. That ideas is a false doctrine spread by demons to cause fear and confusion in the Body of Christ.
The devil does speak freely though willing Christians..explain why Jesus said to his disciple "Get thee behind me Satan for you are not after the will of God" this was said when one of his diciples said to him Lord I forbid you to go to the cross to be cruxified? they can inhibit and speak through a willing Christian or Christians who give in to the temptations of the prince of the power of the air....No better example of that was given than by Jesus himself rebuking his disciple and speaking directly to Satan who spoke through the mouth of his very own disciple read it read it and read it somemore and becareful about saying what the bible does and does not say
Hello! Hope you had a very nice Christmas! Thank you for your comment on "Led Aside" I wrote that 25 years ago. :) I can still feel that beautiful day, and the peace of it. There have been hard times with my son who is mentally ill, but God is faithful. My dear grown son finally is in a facility in my town! After 10 years of my driving hours to see him. Happy New Year to you!
God's faithful blessings are yours, Jacque Sauter
I am glad to read this because my son accepted Christ as his Savior, and my son also has schizophrenia and some Christians have told me maybe he has a demon and I got really turned off when they said that. The Lord has brought my son through many terrible crisis in his life. He is 45 yrs old, and has not been about to have the enjoyable life his family has. No, he is surrounded by God's angels and Jesus tucks him in each night in the facility. This has been a hard road for he and I..but for him of course the most. Blessings for you.