Into The Schmutz With Neil T. Anderson

by on December 13th, 2012

(A Brief Review of Rough Road to Freedom: A Memoir by Neil T. Anderson; Monarch Book, 2012, $14.99)

Yiddish is a language developed by the Jews in Europe. Yiddish has some interesting sounding words. One of those Yiddish words is the word schmutz. The word schmutz has a range of meanings and can be described as soiled, icky, a mess as in “I have schmutz all over my face”. It is also used of something of inferior quality. If one is having lots of serious problems they might say they have fallen into the schmutz.

Author Neil Anderson is known as The Bondage Breaker from the title of one of his books (see our article “Cure All Bondages” beginning on page 4) . He recently published his biography entitled, Rough Road to Freedom. His forte is deliverance from demons but in a gentle low keyed style euphemistically called by Anderson, “freedom encounters.” There is not a lot of freedom felt when a Christian is told they have a demon inside of them. It is a case of saddling you with a problem that you did not know you had simply because Anderson says so. He eschews being thought of as an exorcist and is against the rambunctious, hollering commanding type of exorcist. Though there is a stylistic difference it is the same game with a different name.

Drawing from his new bio and other of his writings I would like to summarize Anderson’s extreme views in capsule form hoping that it will stir reader’s to their own biblical research to “find out if these things are so”, (Acts 17:11). This compilation of some of his major presuppositions is rather startling and can be viewed as religious schmutz. If the average pastor claimed to believe these things he would be looking for a job or given medication. Anderson is applauded by many of the big names in the Christian world. Publishing some books can do amazing things in a celebrity culture.

Departing from Dave Letterman’s list of 10 and observing the number 13 (considered very important to Anderson) I will list 13 of the most extreme and egregious views of Neil Anderson without comment. The extended and detailed research on these teachings can be easily gotten from Anderson’s own biography, Rough Road To Freedom, his books, namely, The Bondage Breaker and an extensive heavily documented article and critique generated by Personal Freedom Outreach in St. Louis Missouri . The following then is the schmutz we would be in if we accepted what Anderson says. These are all his ideas and one would be hard pressed to find them anywhere in the Bible.

1. The superstition of Friday the 13th has supernatural, spiritual significance even though the importance of the date for unbelievers goes back only about 100 years.
2. Of even more spiritual significance is a full moon on Friday the 13th.
3. Even if those claiming satanic ritual abuse are not telling the truth – accepting what they say is the only way to help them.
4. The night time of 3 a.m. is the prime time for demonic activity and even more so on Friday the 13th when there is a full moon.
5. Visions of Francis of Assisi are true and should be believed.
6. Demons can occupy the bodies of believers.
7. The demons in believers are actually located in the nervous system of the human body.
8. There is no need or sense of obligation to defend any systematic theology.
9. Criticism of these ideas is characterized as slander and cruelty.
10. Watchman Nee is someone worth quoting.
11. Contemplative prayer is a very good thing as are formulaic prayers.
12. Admits that his theology has been affected by his experiences.
13. Claims that the Bible is his only rule of faith and practice even though 1-12 cannot be found there in any form or fashion. The next 13 plus can be discovered in his writings.

The opposite of the above is as follow: The Bible is clear that demons are always external to the believer and never internal. Satan and demons can tempt a Christian but not in anyway indwell them since their bodies are the very temple of the Holy Spirit. As well there is not one word in the Bible that encourages a believer to have any kind of exorcism gentle or rough. Jesus did not perform exorcisms in any form but simply spoke a word to dispel demons. Sin is to be taken seriously and dealt with by confession to God but never mistaken for a demon. Sanctification is a life long struggle but God gives grace. The only way to thoroughly clean up schmutz is to clean it up with large applications of the Word of God. Do your own research, get the above studies, and compare all of it to your Bible and what it teaches. Then help someone extract themselves from false teaching and clean up the spiritual schmutz.

26 responses to “Into The Schmutz With Neil T. Anderson ”

  1. Bud Press says:

    Sometimes, what looks legitimate on the outside may be rotten on the inside. Thanks to Richard Fisher for equipping the body of Christ, and helping us to see the vast difference between God’s truth and deceptive “schmutz”.

  2. Mtn Girl says:

    Excellent points made about the error of this book and the whole thing about Christians having “demons.” I went through a period when I was married to a man obsessed with the idea of Christians having demons and he would cast them out of me. At one point saying he could “smell” the demons around me. Did it make me feel like somehow I was responsbible for it? Yes, indeed it did. It was awful.

    If I may say so, the picture of him on the cover of his book, looks, well, he doesn’t look like somone who walks in freedom. As a matter of fact, for someone who claims to be free from demonic activity, he looks quite the opposite.

  3. Yiddish is a language developed by the Jews in Europe. Yiddish has some interesting sounding words. One of those Yiddish words is the word schmutz. The word schmutz has a range of meanings and can be described as soiled, icky, a mess as in “I have schmutz all over my face”. It is also used of something of inferior quality. If one is having lots of serious problems they might say they have fallen into the schmutz.

  4. Mike Oregon says:

    ” By their fruits you will know them” (Mt. 7:20). I am one of the multitude of people who have been set free thanks to Pastor Anderson’s books. He helped me to find and–most importantly–to feel the infinite love that Jesus has for me. All my life, I believed the lies of the devil: “you are unworthy”, “God doesn’t love you”… I don’t know who you are nor your intentions, however, your little article about Pastor Anderson’s book was written clearly not out of love but out of pride, ignorance and–let’s say it–evident envy. I don’t care much for your pseudo-theological reservations about his book/s. The truth is that Pastor Andreson has been helping people to realize who they are in Christ for decades and that it is far more important than your sad atempt to descredite him. As far as I know, he never said he was infallible, you, on the other hand, seems to be quite certain and categorical…. Why don’t you write about his other “80%” instead? You would do to yourself (and to others) a big favor…

  5. Jeanne says:

    Dear Mike,
    It is only by the grace of God that you feel you were helped by Mr. Anderson. I attended a few days long seminar that he held and it didn’t do a thing for me. Please give God the glory and not Neil Anderson.

  6. Jim says:

    Dear Jeanne, I was saddened to hear your assessment of a brother in Christ:

    “If I may say so, the picture of him on the cover of his book, looks, well, he doesn’t look like somone who walks in freedom. As a matter of fact, for someone who claims to be free from demonic activity, he looks quite the opposite.”

    Such a characterization is a clear violation of many verses, not the least of which is Eph. 4:29, Mt. 7:1.

    I am in the process of reading several of Dr. Anderson’s books, to see if what he teaches lines up with scripture, and to see if those who assert him to be heretical are correct or if they are taking his statements out of context. i recall how the religious crowd was jealous, and hateful to the point of seeking to kill Jesus on many occasions, until finally they did, only the reality was Jesus was always in control, and gave himself over to them.

    They (the world) is supposed to know we are Christians by our love. God have mercy on us all,
    I myself have violated the scriptures i’ve mentioned, just this week, i have also repented.

    I realize that i must give an account for every word spoken, i wonder if that applies to every word written? please see Mt. 12:26,37. then 2 Cor 5:10. I share this not to shame you, or to elevate myself, i hare it in love. your brother in Christ. Jim

  7. Jim says:

    Dear Pastor Fischer,

    I was wondering if you could give me a page number for any or all of the 13 assertions listed in your article. i am currently enjoying reading for the first time all of Mr. Andersons books, and have yet to find anything out of order. In response to #6 above you have stated that Mr. Anderson is teaching:

    6. Demons can occupy the bodies of believers.

    Where exactly is that statement? I have just read pages 186-187 in ‘the bondage breaker’, and i have yet to find that statement.

    i did find this however: (pg 186 near the bottom) “to be demonized means to be under the control of one or more demons. The term never occurs in the epistles, so we have no way of precisely knowing how it would apply in the church age. It is my belief that every believer is Holy Spirit Possessed” (quote from Neil Anderson)

    Clearly that statement goes against your assertion and insinuation that Dr. Anderson is a (Schmutz)
    I thought name calling was something we all left behind in grade school, but apparently not.

    He (Dr. Anderson) goes on to say on page 187 “The influence that demons can have on believers is a matter of degree.”

    It is not my goal to call you names sir or to try and put you down, but to humbly say what is the truth? Are you telling me that the thousands of people who are walking in greater freedom, and experiencing the fruit of the spirit, etc etc (as a result of Mr Andersons books) are the product of a heretical cult leader? What exactly are you saying and where is the page number and book? Facts are stubborn things. I have quoted several clear statements, that at least for me make a lot more sense then simply calling somebody names.

    I have yet to run across some of your other points, but will keep my eye out. I trust you are not taking things out of context? I can only guess you might, because clearly # 6 (above) missed the point….(or perhaps it missed the mark) If i am wrong, please help me see what the truth is. Your brother in Christ. Jim

  8. Jim says:

    Dear Pastor Fischer,

    Please allow me to quote from page 51 of ‘The Bondage Breaker’ by your brother in Christ, Mr Neil Anderson, (the Schmutz)

    This is in response to your assertion #12 above:

    “12. Admits that his theology has been affected by his experiences.” (Fischer)

    Page 51: “We don’t make anything true by our experience.” (Anderson)

    I have no idea how you concluded your point based upon the fact of what is written on page 51.

    Would you kindly show me the danger of his actual statement, or show me where he stated what you assert?
    Your Brother in Christ, Jim

    PS – my theology became real (i experienced love) when i received Christ, i also experienced freedom from drugs, and a while lot more. What is wrong with that? Trust me i understand that doctrine trumps experience….but again where exactly does Mr Anderson say what you say he says?

  9. Jim says:

    Dear Mtn. Girl, I was saddened to hear your assessment of a brother in Christ:

    “If I may say so, the picture of him on the cover of his book, looks, well, he doesn’t look like somone who walks in freedom. As a matter of fact, for someone who claims to be free from demonic activity, he looks quite the opposite.”

    Such a characterization is a clear violation of many verses, not the least of which is Eph. 4:29, Mt. 7:1.

    I am in the process of reading several of Dr. Anderson’s books, to see if what he teaches lines up with scripture, and to see if those who assert him to be heretical are correct or if they are taking his statements out of context. i recall how the religious crowd was jealous, and hateful to the point of seeking to kill Jesus on many occasions, until finally they did, only the reality was Jesus was always in control, and gave himself over to them.

    They (the world) is supposed to know we are Christians by our love. God have mercy on us all,
    I myself have violated the scriptures i’ve mentioned, just this week, i have also repented.

    I realize that i must give an account for every word spoken, i wonder if that applies to every word written? please see Mt. 12:26,37. then 2 Cor 5:10. I share this not to shame you, or to elevate myself, i hare it in love. your brother in Christ. Jim

  10. Monte says:

    One of the problems with critiques like this, that can be verified to misrepresent books and authors before tearing them to shreds, is that the dishonesty and false testimony of the critique is not dealt with on the same biblical scale as is expected in our response to the falsely accused.

    A second problem is that I have yet to hear a critic tell their readers how they should handle the situations described in books by Neil Anderson and others. I don’t believe that Neil Anderson and his ministry are the way this ministry has falsely represented them. However, since the author of this critique (as with so many others that are out there) thinks Neil Anderson is handling people wrong when they come to him with their bondage, problems, troubles, whatever you choose to call them, how would these “better” ministries help those people.

    When I want to tell someone that there is unsound doctrine in a resource they are using, I set out to help them find God’s help for whatever they are facing, but according to sound doctrine, and with the body of Christ bearing their burdens (I think we fulfil some law of Christ when we do that, or something).

    In summary, where is the “discernment ministry” that discerns the false testimony in a critique like this (rather than just supporting someone of the same judgemental opinion), and trying to put an end to the freedom of false witnesses to sell the wares, so to speak. I think there is somewhere in the Bible that tells us how God feels about false witnesses.

    And, where is the ministry to the people who get help from Neil Anderson and his comrades in arms (the weapons of our warfare, don’t you know)? If they’re doing it wrong, show everyone how to do it right. To condemn a doctor for helping people because you don’t like his bedside manner, while providing no alternative health care… well, it just kinda sounds unbiblical, or something.

  11. Don Veinot says:

    We have found that most of those who have contacted us in defense of Neil Anderson have not read or interacted with the fairly extensive articles which cite from and address the teaching in his books. All the documentation is there from Anderson’s own books and bio. All the quotes in the articles from Anderson are there and biblical reasons for rejecting Anderson’s view of things. “Demons, Demons, Where are the Demons?” and “Neil Anderson’s Rough Road for Believers” both from Personal Freedom Outreach, PO Box 26062, St. Louis, MO (314) 921-9800. The 13 teachings enumerated in this blog and more are quoted with the references in these articles. These demonstrate that the claims of “dishonesty and false testimony” are, at the very least, uninformed.

  12. Monte says:

    I would be happy to find out who is uninformed. I’m starting from the place of reading your article and noting that you have neither cited support for your accusations, explained what Neil Anderson says he meant by them, or explained why contemporary issues need to be found in the Bible before Christians will handle them in biblical ways. Anorexia is not in the Bible, but the Bible is full of the hope that will minister to someone struggling with an eating disorder.

    Since I’ve already checked out these kinds of criticisms from others, and consistently found them to be guilty of the dishonesty and false testimony I speak of, I would appreciate it if you could simplify by showing what you were referring to in each of your thirteen points. We can then see if you accurately communicated what Neil Anderson himself is communicating, and explain how you would handle the things people are bringing to Neil Anderson in ministry in what you consider a biblical way.

    So far you are telling us that information received from people needing ministry is not to believed unless that information is in the Bible. If you want us to believe your accusation that all these things you stated are “his ideas” (rather than things he has learned from what his clients have gone through), you will need to show this to be true.

    And, if you are going to say that things described by people coming out of cultic and occultic practices are not valid because you are hard pressed to find those beliefs and practices in the Bible (do people only get ministry if they were worshipping at an Asherah pole instead of a Totem pole), you need to tell the church how we minister to people who are experiencing a whole range of things that are never mentioned in the Bible (schizophrenia, drug addictions, childhood sexual abuse, post traumatic stress disorder, depression, etc). If someone is wrong to have beliefs about those things because they cannot find those things in the Bible, explain what we are to do with them, please.

    So, this is your post. You are making the accusations. I would like to hear you substantiate what you have published. I would be happy to clear up any unfair conclusions on my part.

  13. Lauren says:

    Read his bio and then write with some knowledge.

  14. Don Veinot says:

    Monte writes:

    I would be happy to find out who is uninformed. I’m starting from the place of reading your article and noting that you have neither cited support for your accusations,

    It is unclear if you “would be happy to find out who is uninformed.” In Pastor Fisher’s review he writes in the 3rd paragraph:

    Drawing from his new bio and other of his writings I would like to summarize Anderson’s extreme views in capsule form hoping that it will stir reader’s to their own biblical research to “find out if these things are so”, (Acts 17:11).

    He then goes on in the next paragraph to tell the reader where they can find the “detailed research on these teachings.”:

    I will list 13 of the most extreme and egregious views of Neil Anderson without comment. The extended and detailed research on these teachings can be easily gotten from Anderson’s own biography, Rough Road To Freedom, his books, namely, The Bondage Breaker and an extensive heavily documented article and critique generated by Personal Freedom Outreach in St. Louis Missouri .

    In my recent response I added the names of Pastor Fisher’s “detailed research on these teachings” which he did for PFO:

    “Demons, Demons, Where are the Demons?” and “Neil Anderson’s Rough Road for Believers” both from Personal Freedom Outreach, PO Box 26062, St. Louis, MO (314) 921-9800.

    The in-depth reviews and research are available it is really a matter of whether you will take the time to get and read them.

  15. Monte says:

    Yes, I would be happy to see either of us adjust our beliefs to match reality because any changes required create the opportunity for all of us to become more like Jesus. When becoming like Jesus is our mutual aim (because we recognize that this is the plan and purpose of God), we will also come to greater unity with those who are being transformed through the renewal of their minds.

    I will begin the research you require, albeit with the a “for the record” clarification that us guys who can only do said research within this elusive thing called “spare time”, have a significant disadvantage in relation to ministries devoted to publishing their critiques and criticisms of whoever they please in whatever fashion they please.

    All that to say, while it may take some time to find these publications (I can’t even find a search-bar on the website in question), I will be back.

    Thank you for the clarifications, and the opportunity to join you in testing all things.

  16. Don Veinot says:

    “Demons, Demons, Where Are The Demons?” is available online. You will likely have to call to have them send the PFO Journal with “Neil Anderson’s Rough Road for Believers” in the mail. Personal Freedom Outreach gets high marks on their Standards and Credentials .

  17. jim says:

    Dear Monte, thank you for all your remarks, very well stated. I hope you can respond after finding the articles.
    A brother, Jim

  18. Monte Vigh says:

    Hi Don,

    While I am slogging through the unreferenced accusations against Neil Anderson, I thought it would be helpful for you to do a bit of work on our behalf at the same time. Trying to show all the ways that this article (and others) misrepresents people before judging their misrepresentations is not my favorite activity (especially when there are no references or context presented in the article). However, it seems necessary to do this because of the people who are hurt when the perceived Pros of discernment appear to discredit someone these hurting people thought could help them. While I will continue identifying the ways this article misrepresents a man and his ministry, here is what I believe lies at the center of the conflict.

    There is nowhere in the Bible that shows people organizing into Independent Judging Societies for the purpose of judging and criticizing others. Because the Bible calls the Holy Spirit unified church (Ephesians 4:3) to come together to test all things (I Thessalonians 5:21), and tells people who “think otherwise” on issues to stay together because “God will reveal that also to you” while we “hold true to what we have attained” (Philippians 3:15-16), those who organize into autonomous, independent, unaccountable, separated societies to judge and criticize those with whom they “think otherwise”, are clearly unbiblical.

    Here’s the other side of my main problem: Because of forming isolated, independent, manmade societies, the dissociation from the church results in distorted views of those with whom these Independent Judging Societies “think otherwise”. In the same way that the man-centered doctrines of the religious elite of Jesus’ day could not accept a Messiah who ate with tax collectors and sinners (Matthew 9:11), the Independent Judging Societies cannot envision God working in people’s lives beyond the scope of what they have decided their version of God would do (they think this is about the Bible, but it’s not). It is then inevitable that they misrepresent those with whom they disagree with the same confidence and certainty of the first century Sanhedrin.

    These Independent Judging Societies (Schmutz clubs, if you will), are like the disciples rebuking the Syro-phonecian woman for bothering Jesus with her demonized daughter, only to find that Jesus had a customized ministry for that woman that not one of his disciples could have imagined (Matthew 15:21-18; Mark 7:24-30).

    Remember that the disciples were facing a situation with this woman that they could not find in their Bible of the day, so assumed, as do the Independent Judging Societies of our day, that this meant Jesus wouldn’t want to deal with it. What they thought they knew about him was blinding them to the glory of who he was, and what he had in mind to do. In the same way, the Independent Judging Societies believe that what they have decided God can and cannot do must be the rule by which all the churches live.

    So, while I’m trying to research your unreferenced paper, would you please show me in the Bible where God teaches that we should create Independent Judging Societies to act as autonomous, unaccountable, authorities who rate and berate anyone who claims to be a servant of God through faith in Jesus Christ our Lord and “thinks otherwise” about how to serve God from their place in the body of Christ. I see how the church is to test all things together as the church, but not where such unaccountable groups justify their place or their work.

    I will be back with more than the biblically required two or three witnesses that the present article in question is both dishonest, and woven through with false testimony. Did I say that it would really be nice if you would only publish articles where the authors provide their references (kind of an accountability thing), instead of making people like me work way too hard to find them just to prove the article is wrong?

    PS: Thanks, Jim, for the encouragement!

  19. Don Veinot says:

    I am on the road until mid next week and so a lengthy response may have to wait until then. I am concerned though that you may have missed my previous response since you write that you are “While I am slogging through the unreferenced accusations against Neil Anderson.” The article clearly states:

    The extended and detailed research on these teachings can be easily gotten from Anderson’s own biography, Rough Road To Freedom, his books, namely, The Bondage Breaker and an extensive heavily documented article and critique generated by Personal Freedom Outreach in St. Louis Missouri .

    There is a link to PFO where the detailed articles can be obtained. Your choice to not get them will certainly limit your ability to check things out and any conclusions you draw will be at best uninformed. Also, an interesting blog article on judging is Those Judgmental Christians. It also occurs to me, if judging is wrong, why are you judging what Pastor Fisher has written?

  20. Monte Vigh says:

    I do understand that you have directed me to where I can “slog” through other similar articles to try and find what the author is speaking about. My contention is that, any article claiming the authority to judge another man’s ministry, including making clear accusations against a man and his ministry, and exhorting people to avoid such ministries, ought to include the precise references so that there is no question what the author is referring to.

    This article is “unreferenced” in that it does not give the specific references to each of the claims, hence making far too much work for those who have to go read whole articles and treatises to try discovering what in the world the author is referring to. A reference, as in a footnote, directs readers to the exact location of a statement, belief, conclusion, or whatever other way we would say something is presented. Telling us to go read other articles is not referencing the specific accusations of the first article.

    As I have said already, there are too many people like me who know that these articles are wrong, and that they are hurting the body of Christ, but we simply don’t have the same time as the critique-specialists to search through these things. I believe that the responsibility is on the author, and yourself for claiming the article is worthy of our acceptance, to help people like myself know exactly what you are referring to without having to search through more of the same kind of articles to prove what is wrong.

    What would this look like? For each accusation, present the “evidence” in the footnote. Readers could immediately assess whether the accusation accurately reflects the evidence presented, or falsely interprets and judges the original person and/or document. That is what I mean by referencing an article.

    Also, as an example of where these articles go wrong, your assessment that I think that “judging is wrong” is another wrong assessment. I have never suggested that judging in itself is wrong, for Jesus differentiated between the kind of judging that is wrong, and the kind of true judging he wants his church to carry out about everything. Suggesting that I believe all judging is wrong is one of those subtle ways that people are first misrepresented, and then challenged on this misrepresented view of them or their ministries. To be clear, let us judge the way the New Testament teaches the church to judge, and lets do it as the church, not autonomous groups writing unreferenced articles that misrepresent brothers in Christ and divide the church with false testimony, and unrighteous judgement (yes, I will reference my response to the above article when I locate the unreferenced sources).

    Again, to clarify, I am in no way suggesting that the church should not test all things, always establishing everything by real testimony of two or three witnesses. It is because of the New Testament teaching on testing all things that I challenge this article as dishonest and false testimony. The Bible tells us very clearly what true testimony looks like, and what God thinks of both true and false testimony. I do not challenge this article because I am against testing people and ministries, but because the autonomous critique-specialists take testing out of the hands of the church, and consistently present false testimony about certain kinds of people and ministries.

    My aim in writing like this, with appreciation for your willingness to let someone like me interact with you as brothers who “think otherwise” (as Paul said in Philippians 3:15-16), is to show that, when the above article, and the ministry it targets, are both measured by the plumbline of God’s word, it is not Neil Anderson’s ministry that is proven to be schmutzy, but the author and the article that are off-plumb, if you will.

    I hope this catches you before you leave. Whatever the case, I will try to have my detailed “test” of the above article completed by next week. I do hope that we are working on a fulfillment of the proverb, “Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another” (Proverbs 27:17). While I have no idea what my “tone” sounds like to you, I am trying to relate within the “speaking the truth in love” relationship of the body of Christ that Paul describes in Ephesians 4:11-16. I hope that there is a good work of God to build up one another as we pursue that faith that expresses itself in love (Galatians 5:6).

  21. Don Veinot says:

    A few things in a quick response:
    1) A number of your criticisms are based on assumptions you have made which are false. For example, that I directed you to other articles is not the same as your suggestion that I, as you put it,:

    have directed me to where I can “slog” through other similar articles to try and find what the author is speaking about.

    Without getting the articles you wouldn’t know that they are research articles which do quote from the works and giving endnotes as to where the quotes are located. There is a difference in type and style between the Crux Blog and Journal articles which Personal Freedom Outreach and/or Midwest Christian Outreach, Inc does. The Journals are more in-depth research pieces which include all of the references you are looking for. The Crux on the other hand is shorter (700 – 1500 words per blog vs 3,500 – 5,000 words for Journal articles). The blog does not have space to reproduce the articles within the blog piece. We include links and otherwise direct those where they can find information if they are interested. You can of course choose to not get and review them but you end up in no better shape than you accuse Pastor Fisher of being in. You are responding to his researched articles without reading them which would not require anything like an actual response to any assertions you might make.

    2) Most discernment ministries and missions to cults and false religions are not well funded. Most of us, including myself and my wife, work full time jobs to support ourselves and the ministry. When you write:

    we simply don’t have the same time as the critique-specialists to search through these things

    you are assuming we somehow have more time than you do. It is likely not true.

    3) I like snark and we do use it in our writings and other material. In fact, one of our Board members does YouTube videos under the moniker of Snarky the Apologist so I rather enjoyed your strawman “Independent Judging Societies” argument. I don’t know of any such societies. I am aware of some individuals who engage in being critical and are unaccountable but MCOI has worked hard at being accountable to the church at large in a number of ways. Everyone who works with MCOI (all volunteers) must be a part of a local church and the church leadership must be aware of their involvement in the ministry of MCOI. Most of us go do different types of churches and we have varying theological positions. Some are dispensational while others are Reformed. Some tends toward Charismatic while others do not.

    Next, MCOI has a Board of Directors and an Advisory Board (the Advisory Board is listed in our Journals on page 2 as they are in in this issue .

    In addition, we are members of Evangelical Ministries to New Religions and I am a charter member of the International Society of Christian Apologetics. We also have a large number of Bible Colleges, Seminaries and pastors around the country who read and comment on our material. They are not shy if they find us in error and we make corrections if and when that is the case. Obviously we are human and will make mistakes but do strive to be accountable to the Body of Christ at large.

    When you write:

    I do hope that we are working on a fulfillment of the proverb, “Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another” (Proverbs 27:17). While I have no idea what my “tone” sounds like to you, I am trying to relate within the “speaking the truth in love” relationship of the body of Christ that Paul describes in Ephesians 4:11-16

    For me “tone” is often secondary. Many of these issues can get emotionally charged as they challenge dearly held beliefs in many cases. It may be in the end that we will not agree but can disagree agreeably. Well, that job I mentioned earlier is over-the-road team driving with my wife and we are only in one day this trip and are busy getting ready to leave again in the morning so I am outta here for now. If you really want to interact with the research, get Richard’s PFO articles, one of which, as I pointed out, is online.

  22. Monte Vigh says:

    Thanks for your response, Don. Sorry for sounding snarky. I do have the one online critique you mentioned, and will slog through that as well. I am not avoiding it, but for each misrepresented comment I have to try and find the original piece to read in context. Some of the comments are summary interpretations/perceptions that cover a fair bit of ground. I will likely respond to the above article in once part, and continue on with the other as I am able. Hopefully I will have my first part done for when you return. Take care out there!

  23. Val says:

    I am currently reading Neil Anderson’s book, How to help others find’ Freedom in Christ’. I have also read ‘Bondage Breaker’ and other similar books written by other respected authors. I have been a Christian for over 50 years, and am an avid student of the Bible. I have found nothing heretical about Neil Andersons books. I find them very balanced and quite refreshing. Teaching in this area is needed in the church as our enemy Satan wants nothing more than to keep us in the dark regarding his tactics and to divide the body of Christ. I have seen how Christians can be trapped into deceit when their guard is down. We need to keep alert. As to whether a Christian can be ‘possessed’. The actual word in the Greek is translated ‘demonized’. Every one of us is given a free will and make choices every day. Just because you prayed a prayer and asked Jesus into your heart sincerely, doesn’t mean that you can’t choose to fall away from God and follow the Devil and open your heart to him. The bible gives us accounts all through the old and new Testaments of that happening. Only God knows our hearts and if we are fully His or are hanging on to some sin. Let me ask a question. If a person is demonized, and then accepts Christ as Saviour, when do the demons leave, before Christ comes in, or after he has accepted Christ? Do we cast demons only out of people who are not following Christ? The Bible makes it clear that if we have an empty house (our spirit man) then the demons will come back and bring more bondage than at the beginning.
    I agree that any born again believer who is daily walking in submission and obedience to God and walking ‘in the Spirit’ doesn’t leave room for any demon, but how many of us are actually doing that? I admit that I’m not always. I have had down days and have even gone for weeks or months very discouraged where I’ve barely opened my bible and struggled with my thought life. I have been in spiritual battles, but thanks be to God that He lifted me out of the pit, and I made the choice to turn back to the Lord. Satan is not a gentleman and he does not play by the rules. When we open ourselves up to his plan and his deceit, we can become again entangled with a yoke of bondage (Galatians 5 & 6). I have been studying this topic for years, and want to see God’s people set free. Thank you for letting me leave these comments. In Christ’s love.

  24. Monte Vigh says:

    I am very close to completing my detailed response to the above article, however, I will upload it elsewhere and share the link since it is rather long. In the meantime, I have been addressing components of the article in smaller submissions, and would like to share one of those.

    What seems to be a central thought in the presentations of those who feel obliged to attack Freedom Ministries is that they have decided that Scripture teaches that Christians cannot experience demonization in the ways we see people experience demonization in the gospels. This is only their interpretation of Scriptures, but it is presented with a claim of authority that justifies declaring Freedom Ministries to be unscriptural. If they are unscriptural, then the help they are giving to these demon-troubled believers is unscriptural, and so every part of their ministry must be proven to be against scripture.

    In this post, I give a small taste of the wonderful hope that is still offered to demon-troubled Christians today, just as Jesus gave that hope to every demon-troubled person who came to him in his earthly ministry. There is not one scripture that says a Christian cannot have the demon-troubles that Christians testify is their experience. However, all the scriptures that speak of hope, and freedom, are fully in effect, now offered through the body of Christ, the church.

    I hope that this will encourage an evaluation of the above article, and any like it, that attack those ministries that are seeking to be the body of Christ to demon-troubled Christians. Of course, these ministries also help people find freedom from our other two enemies, the world and the flesh, but that is a whole other topic.

  25. Monte Vigh says:

    Hi Don, I see that my link wasn’t included in my last reply. Does that mean I need to paste it into a reply for it to show? I guess I need to know if that is what will be required when I complete my longer reply to the original article.

  26. Don Veinot says:

    I do apologize for the delay in responding. Our recent trip was particularly difficult as we had dangerous road conditions from St. Louis, MO to Santa Rosa, NM. By the time we were parked in a safe place with a sufficient cell signal to connect to the website the website had gone off line and was down for 2 days. So, I am now home, the website is back up and I have blocked out some time to address this. In your most recent comment you wrote:

    What seems to be a central thought in the presentations of those who feel obliged to attack Freedom Ministries is that they have decided that Scripture teaches that Christians cannot experience demonization in the ways we see people experience demonization in the gospels.

    It should be noted that MCOI and PFO are not the only ones who disagree with Anderson’s views. Christian Research Institute, several members of the International Society of Christian Apologetics and several members and member organizations of Evangelical Ministries to New Religions and quite a few other churches, denominations and discernment ministries are of a similar opinion. As Pastor Fisher notes in “Demons, Demons, Where Are The Demons?” :

    The Assemblies of God denomination issued a 15-page position booklet refuting the idea that Christians can have indwelling demons. It concludes that such teaching is unbiblical and erodes the biblical concept of salvation and peace.4

    The first I became aware of Neil Anderson’s views was at one of the first apologetics conference held at Southern Evangelical Seminary in Charlotte, NC in one of the workshops. As we read the Gospel accounts and the few incidents in the Book of Acts I note that the ones who were demon possessed were unbelievers at the time of their possession. So I suppose the question is, does Satan have as much power over believers as he does over non-believers? If so, would that mean he as more power than Christ who, if the view being espoused is correct, is not able to deliver someone from possession when they are born again but instead need the special spells and incantations which Anderson outlines?

    Hi Don, I see that my link wasn’t included in my last reply. Does that mean I need to paste it into a reply for it to show? I guess I need to know if that is what will be required when I complete my longer reply to the original article.

    As a general rule we do not let commenters links go through unless we have had an opportunity to vet them in advance. We have had problems with Trojan viruses, ads and other stuff. Our readers would be better served with short pieces of your response in the comments section I think. As you work on your response citing what Pastor Fisher wrote and why you disagree is important. How you or I feel about it is not. For example, in “Demons, Demons, Where Are The Demons?” we read:

    Anderson would have us pray the following prayer:

    “I cancel out all demonic working that may have been passed on to me from my ancestors. … I renounce all satanic assignments that are directed toward me and my ministry, and I cancel every curse that Satan and his workers have put on me. … I reject all other blood sacrifices whereby Satan may claim ownership of me.”2 [Neil T. Anderson, The Bondage Breaker. Eugene, Ore.: Harvest House Publishers, 1990, pg. 207]

    These prayers are not intended to be said by someone seeking salvation, but by Christians who already have been “delivered from the power of darkness and translated into the kingdom of God’s dear Son.”3
    The Assemblies of God denomination issued a 15-page position booklet refuting the idea that Christians can have indwelling demons. It concludes that such teaching is unbiblical and erodes the biblical concept of salvation and peace.4
    The Christian Research Institute has issued a position paper warning the Christian public about Anderson’s teachings. It states:…

    On note 2, I put the end note in for those reading. They can get the other references from the article itself. Further on in the article we read:

    Anderson and Saucy further confuse the picture by saying:

    “Thus yielding to the flesh is also yielding to the influence of Satan and his demons. That such influence can reach the point of enslavement is also taught in Scripture.”18 [Neil T. Anderson and Robert Saucy, The Common Made Holy.Eugene, Ore.: Harvest House Publishers, 1997, pg. 353.]

    Again there is a total confusion of categories. Yielding to the flesh is direct and talked about throughout Scripture. And, yes, the flesh can enslave. That yielding to the flesh is exactly the same as yielding to Satan directly is untrue. There is a certain sense in which all sin plays into Satan’s program. There is a general sense in which all sin furthers Satan’s aims. However, the Scripture does not confuse the indwelling flesh or sin nature with demons which are always external to the Christian. There is a sense in which yielding to sin is a yielding to Satan because we further his agenda but it is a stretch and a lie to say that means we then have occupying demons and that we need a special Anderson prayer ritual/exorcism to rid ourselves of those internal pests.

    There is always room for good debate and iron sharpening iron but we need to stay focused on the issues and demonstrate where and why we hold a different view while leaving personal attack out as much as possible.

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