(July 16, 2007)

A couple of years ago someone tried to help me by giving me Neil Anderson’s Victory Over the Darkness to read. Anderson is probably one of the most popular deliverance ministers today. Many Christians, including some from my own church, look up to him and listen to what he says about counseling people with emotional problems by delivering them from demonic influences. Deliverance ministers believe that it is demons that are behind our inability to stop certain sins. If we are to be emotionally well, we need to cast these demons out.

I read this book with great reservation. And the more I read, the angrier I became. Anderson blames all emotional problems on spiritual problems – on not being right with God. As I read, I thought of the many people with mental health issues who might have been given this book to read. There was nothing there to suggest that such illness might be caused by medical problems. If I was reading this before being diagnosed with bipolar disorder, I would for certain think that my symptoms were caused by demons.

Think of the damage this book may be causing people! Think of the number of people who would as a result not go to a doctor for help! Not only are these individuals suffering painful symptoms, they are also made to live thinking their unconfessed sins are making them sick or that they’re possessed by demons.

I have a friend who has been deeply depressed for five years. Medications don’t help and ECT’s haven’t helped. She often feels tormented. She tells me she feels like there is something evil inside her. She feels under attack.

With no other avenue open, and in an effort to help her, I decided to re-visit Neil Anderson’s writing. “Perhaps there is something there that is true for her,” I thought. “He’s a Christian. Surely some of what he says might be useful.” I decided to read another popular book of his: The Bondage Breaker: Overcoming Negative Thoughts, Irrational Feelings, Habitual Sins.

(to be continued)


I should correct what I said in the above. It is the Bondage Breaker book that talks a lot about demons. Victory Over the Darkness is not so strong, though it does talk about Satan’s influence on our emotional health. I am at this moment re-reading the latter. So far, not too bad.