Exorcism in the African Church is incredibly widespread. But we have to ask ourselves is deliverance ministry really the Church’s main purpose?
Exorcism In The African Church
The calling of the Church – first and foremost – is to preach the gospel, not to chase demons.
“Discernment is extremely important when it comes to the subject of deliverance or exorcism.”
“There are many people who will claim that God has called them and given them special power to conduct the ministry of deliverance. But not everybody who claims to be a messenger of God actually is. And so as believers we must test all things, to hold fast to that which is good and to abstain from every appearance of evil.”
Topics & Timestamps
0:10 – The controversy surrounding exorcism in Africa.
0:48 – How the church should respond to exorcism or deliverance.
0:54 – The church has been called to preach the gospel.
1:25 – The church must deepen its discipleship effort.
1:55 – The church must train God’s people for discernment.
2:34 – Remind believers of their identity in Christ.
3:12 – Remind believers to proclaim the gospel.
3:48 – Not all who claim to be messengers of God actually are.
Top Quotes: Exorcism in Church
“The calling of the Church – first and foremost – is to preach the gospel, not to chase demons.”
“We must be able to tell the difference between a demonic encounter and some seemingly demonic problem that’s actually a medical problem.”
“Deliverance is not what Christ has really called us to do. We do deliverance in the process of proclaiming the gospel and in the process of fulfilling the great commission.”
Other Content On This Topic
The Controversy of Exorcism In The Church
Exorcism: How can the Church in Africa respond today? You will agree with me that the subject of exorcism or deliverance has become one of the controversial subjects that the Church in Africa is called to deal with. There is a lot of misunderstanding, a lot of emotions when it comes to discussing this subject. And quite often the Church is at a crossroads not knowing how to respond. Especially in light of the fact that a lot of the deliverance experiences we are seeing today are not really established on the Bible, but on cultural or modern experiences of what we are seeing in our context today.
The deliverance experiences we see today are not really established on the Bible.
How should the Church respond to the ministry of exorcism or deliverance? A number of points that I could offer here.
The Church Is Called To Preach The Gospel
Number one is that the Church first and foremost has been called to preach the gospel, not to chase demons. As much as delivering people from demonic powers and encounters is extremely important, it must be part and parcel of the whole counsel of God’s will and not just an aspect of ministry. That when the gospel is preached and people are delivered from sin and its power and consequences, they are ultimately delivered from influences and impact of Satan and his demons as well. In other words, the gospel is really the ultimate exorcism.
The Church has been called to preach the gospel, not to chase demons.
The Church Must Deepen Discipleship
Number two: The Church must deepen its discipleship effort for their believers and enable members to understand the truth of God’s word. When people know what they believe and who they are in Christ, they will no longer live in fear of demons and powers of darkness, but rather rest in the confidence of what Christ has accomplished for them. A lot of deliverance ministry in Africa today thrives on fear and not faith. Thrives on fantasy and not really reality.
Train Believers In Discernment
The Church must train God’s people for discernment. We must be able to tell the difference between a demonic encounter and some seemingly demonic problem but actually a medical problem. How do we know when somebody is really mentally sick or mentally disturbed? And how different is that from when somebody is demon possessed? When you cannot discern the difference, is it possible you could be abusing Church members in the name of deliverance when actually they need to see a psychologist or a psychiatrist?
Remind Believers Their Identity Is In Christ
Discernment is extremely important when it comes to the subject of deliverance or exorcism. The Church of Christ must continually remind believers of their identity in Christ and what Christ has done for them. When believers are reminded that they are now under new management, that they are sons and daughters of the living God for whom Christ rose from the dead triumphing over powers of darkness and death itself, they begin to live in the confidence of the finished work of Jesus and not on the fear of what Satan can do. Especially remembering that Satan himself has been defeated by Jesus Christ on the cross and also through His resurrection.
Discernment is extremely important when it comes to the subject of deliverance or exorcism.
Remind Believers To Proclaim The Gospel
The Church must further remind people of the single most mandate that Christ has given the Church: one of the great commission, the making of disciples from all nations of the world. That God’s people are called to proclaim the good news of the gospel and the gospel alone has the power to deliver people from spiritual, demonic bondages. Now, that is not to discount the ministry of deliverance or to say people cannot be possessed or they may not need help when they are possessed. But deliverance is not what Christ has really called us to do. We do deliverance in the process of proclaiming the gospel and in the process of fulfilling the great commission.
Test Teaching & Hold Fast To Truth
Not everybody who claims to be a messenger of God actually is.
We must also be aware as we discuss this subject, that there are many people who will claim that God has called them and given them special power to conduct the ministry of deliverance. But not everybody who claims to be a messenger of God actually is. And so as believers we are called to test all things, to hold fast to that which is good and to abstain from every appearance of evil. As the Apostle Paul tells us in 1 Thessalonians 5:20-22.