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.

12 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.

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