I guess this question from one of my favorite CLC’ers is perhaps the most appropriate one I could answer on Halloween: “As I was sitting in service [for the opening of 'Break Every Chain'] I thought of a question. What is an exorcism? How does it relate to deliverance and spiritual warfare?”
Great question, especially in light of our current series. Here’s my take on it:
- Exorcism is simply a ‘formal’ term for deliverance, and the word normally used by Roman Catholics, whereas most non-denominational churches use the word, ‘deliverance’ instead. Exorcism does NOT have to involve a head spinning around backwards, green vomit, physical gyrations or any of the drama usually attached to it in Hollywood horror films.
- Instead, when a person is demonized - that’s the correct way to Biblically describe someone who has come under the influence of a demon, whether it’s reflected in physical sickness or ailment OR through addictive behaviors OR emotional problems – the solution is not just to discipline their fleshly nature. No, if the problem is caused by a demon, the answer must include evicting (“exorcising” the demon by using our authority in Christ and commanding it to go, in the name and authority of the Lord Jesus!
- Remember Pastor Jack Hayford’s quote, “You can’t disciple a demon and you can’t cast out the flesh!” - I say we need both discipleship AND deliverance. Exorcism is the deliverance part.
- At CLC, I’m determined that we won’t get obsessed with demons or allow our services or small group ministries to be hijacked by demonic manifestations – BUT I’m just as determined that we won’t put a bandaid on someone’s problem by not offering them deliverance from evil spirits, just because some in our ‘enlightened’ country reject the notion that demons exist, or the ‘religious’ folks who insist that a Christian can’t have a problem with a demon. One-third of Jesus’ ministry was casting out demons, and I know that even today HE wants to ‘break every chain’!
If this seemed like a shameless plug for our current sermon series at CLC, perhaps it was – but I know that THIS Sunday, November 2, we will deal with the second major open door through which the enemy gets access to our lives, and it’s the ONE spirit that I think is the biggest attack in our nation and in The Church today. I hope you’ll join us at any Chicagoland CLC campus this Sunday in “Fighting for your Life!”
Hope that helped. Now, what would YOU like to Ask the Pastor? Just leave your question or comment below-