Sunday, December 03, 2006

The Bondage Breaker by Neil T. Anderson

After my experience in Eastern Europe last September I realized I didn't know as much about spiritual warfare as I should. So I picked up several books dealing with the topic. I just finished one of them entitled The Bondage Breaker by Neil T. Anderson.

Anderson divides the book into three parts. The first part examines a Christian's identity in Christ while the second part looks deeper into Satan's tactics to defeat us. I thought these two sections were good but he could have condensed it considerably.

However it's the third section, "Steps to Freedom" that I found most helpful. Based on the premise that "...people are not in bondage because of past traumas - they are in bondage to the lies they believed as a result of past traumas" Anderson puts forth a seven step process to teach Christians God's truths and help them overcome the enemy.

Don't be fooled, Anderson clearly rejects that there is anything magical about the words or process used. Helping Christians to discern and reject lies about them from Satan and learning to see themselves as God sees them, will set them free from bondage. Anderson then gives a step by step process to help Christians discover Satan's footholds in their lives and how they can remove these footholds through prayer and confession.

For the most part I think this book is fantastic and I recommend every Christian buy it. I also very highly recommend every Christian to go on a half-day personal retreat to complete chapter 13's Steps to Freedom in Christ.

You can buy the book by clicking here The Bondage Breaker®

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, Anderson is a heretic when it comes to biblical authority on this subject. He believes that experience trumps the Word of God. His notion that Christians can be demon possessed is one of the new non biblical heresies running around the church today, and there is absolutely no biblical basis for it. Sure, his stuff sounds good, but "there is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death". Stay far, far away.

Ryan said...

While there were definitely some things I didn't agree with Anderson on (which is the case in almost every book I read) I definitely wouldn't label him a heretic.

I too believe a Christian can't be demon possessed but I do believe a Christian can be very strongly demonically influenced (which requires the Christian to have provided Satan a foothold either unintentionally or intentionally). Sometimes it's difficult at first glance to tell the difference. I think Anderson leans more along this line of thinking, I just don't think he does a real good job of explaining the difference. Regardless, I still recommend the book.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your comment. Yes, it is biblical that we can be demonically influenced. That is why we are warned to "put on the full armour of God", and to "submit to God, and resist the Devil". This is a touchy subject for me (not only because demon possesion is not biblical), but I have seen the damage this heresy can cause in a church. Before you know it, sin is just a demonic influence or possession. These things take a life of their own, and personal responsibility is thrown out the window(with the bible). The hard work of submission to God, discipleship and being obedient is trashed and you are left with a bunch of kooks praying formulas over you. What a circus. As usual, bits of truth are woven into a myriad of unbiblical "experiences" and WA-LA, you have a cult. The Mormons are a good example of this.

Oh well, I digress. Maybe I should just forget about it, but, like I said, I have seen the damage something like this can do.

Thanks anyway for your blog and my God be glorified in it.
Blessings......... Steve

Ryan said...

Hi Steve,

Thanks for taking the time to put share your thoughts. Anderson spends quite a few pages discussing the importance of using the full armor of God and gives effective strategies to resist the Devil. But I’m not sure what you mean about demon possession not being biblical.

I see numerous places in the Bible where Jesus himself seemed to recognize demonic possession (i.e. “Come out of this man, you evil spirit” – Mark 5:8, “You deaf and mute spirit, I command you, come out of him and never enter him again” – Mark 9:25, etc). Perhaps the real issue is defining the term “possession”.

I think Clint Arnold does a great job in his book Three Crucial Questions about Spiritual Warfare analyzing this definition. In his book he notes that the word possession in relation to evil spirits doesn’t appear in the original Greek texts, rather only in English translations of the Bible. The Greek word is actually "daimonizomai" which doesn’t refer to “possession” but is more accurately defined as “demonized” (which has been translated as “tormented,” “vexed,” or “troubled.”)

Regardless of exactly how it happens, I get very nervous when I hear someone say it isn’t biblical. To me that sounds not to far from one of Satan’s greatest strategies; convincing people he doesn’t exist.

I completely agree there are a number of abuses that can come from this and great care must be taken. People can be abused, taken advantage of and even hurt. We shouldn’t rush towards assuming every illness or strange behavior has a demonic cause nor should we rush to assume it has a natural cause either. Many books have been written which lay forth criteria to help determine which are natural and which are spiritual.

Although there are many great books out there, two that I think are especially relevant for your questions I would highly recommend the following books:

Three Crucial Questions about Spiritual Warfare by Clinton Arnold (Especially Chapter 2)

Demon Possession: An unusual collection of experiences, case histories, studies, and conclusions from a wide range of professional people, including doctors, psychiatrists, scientists, historians, theologians and college professors. Edited by John Warwick Montgomery. (Especially Part 2 and chapter 12)

Both are available from amazon.com

I'd be interested to hear (read?) more of your thoughts regarding why demon possession is not biblical.

Ryan

Anonymous said...

Oops, I meant CHRISTIANS cannot be demon possessed. Sorry. Demon possession of unbelievers is certainly a biblical truth.
The Holy Spirit does not timeshare with demons in those whom He has sealed. Light and darkness have no fellowship.
If someone is demon possessed, and they profess to be a Christian, they need salvation, not a bunch of formulas prayed over them.

Thanks.

Ryan said...

Ah, okay, that makes much more sense :). I'd love for you to read Chapter 2 of Three Crucial Questions about Spiritual Warfare and get your thoughts about it. Very interesting read.
Ryan

Anonymous said...

Hey Ryan....
I would read it, but it is probably not anything new for me. I have researched this extensively since getting burned in a church that wacked out about it. Trust me. Once this is accepted in a church, then EVERYONE has a demon or two. Satan is glorified above God, and sin is not an issue anymore. Everyone marvels at the "experiences" they have, and only the false converts and pagans end up staying in the church. Those who are solidly grounded in the Word, leave, if they cannot convince the pastor(s) to stop the nonsense.

From your earlier post.... Three Crucial Questions about Spiritual Warfare by Clinton Arnold (Especially Chapter 2) Demon Possession: An unusual collection of experiences, case histories, studies, and conclusions from a wide range of professional people, including doctors, psychiatrists, scientists, historians, theologians and college professors.
Well, if God's truth has to be sought in the experiences of professional people, psychiatrists, scientists, historians, theologians and ESPECIALLY college professors........then it has to be satanic. It seems those steeped in this nonsense place experience above what the Bible teaches. How do we know if an experience is not a demonic deception? If not backed up by the truth of scripture, then it has to be suspect. There is a way that seem right to a man, but in the end it will lead in death. I will stick to God's Word..the Bible. No where does it say in God's Word that a Christian can be possessed by a demon. If, indeed, they have a demon, then they must be considered a false convert. Better to get them soundly saved at that point.

Submit, resist and put on the full armour. And, Romans 6....You have died with Christ, count yourself dead to sin, offer your bodies to God as a living sacrifice. Do the hard work needed. We are in a battle. No one said this would be easy, but it seems in today's culture, someone praying a formula over you is SO much easier than obedience.

Besides, many times what some folks say is a demon is just an issue of sin in their life. God may be using it to shape them or to get their attention. Or it could be a result of bad decisions in their life. A "thorn in the flesh" can be a necessary thing that God allows. Instead of praying to God about it, it is so much easier to get some prophet or prophetess to pray a formula over you, so you can go on living the same life.


Sorry. Maybe this is too harsh, but, like I said, I have seen the damage this heresy causes in a church. And I certainly would not spend a penny for a book like this.

Anyway... God bless
Steve

Anonymous said...

This is a very good book for new believers even something of what Anderson is not accepted by believers.
This is widely use in most churches in my countries for new believers,most of them are Chinese and practiced Eastern Religious before accept Christ and most of them experienced Demon possessed(included me).

By following the steps,we've been set free from our past and also spiritual bondage,thanks God,many Chinese finally realize what's truth.

Jenny Meigs said...

Thanks for your thoughts on this Ryan. I just finished listening to the audiobook of The Bondage Breaker. I've been a Christian for many years and have been to Bible college and am about to obtain my graduate degree from a Christian university to become a therapist. I say that so you know my background. I believe spiritual warfare to be very real. Even though I don't believe Christians can be possessed per say I fully believe they can be oppressed (similar to what you have stated in a previous comment). I'm not sure if the others who commented have actually read this book. I mean no offense either way. However, I think Dr. Anderson addresses many of the concerns that some have stated. I like how he explains that the weapon you use in spiritual warfare is the truth. It isn't some loud demonstrative phrase you say over someone. Since listening to this book, I've actually experienced more freedom myself! I'm having a difficult time finding the book edited by John Warwick Montgomery on Amazon. Do you know when it was published? Are there other books you would recommend in regards to being able to differentiate between the natural and the spiritual. Or books in general that you would recommend? Thank you and God bless you!

Ryan said...

Hi Jenny,

Thanks for the comment. Unfortunately all of my books are in boxes for a move right now so I can't give you a list of my favorites. However, there are lots of good books out there on the topic. Charles Kraft has quite a few, but perhaps his best is Defeating Dark Angels.


http://www.amazon.com/Defeating-Dark-Angels-Oppressions-Believers/dp/0830747478

Also, for the John Warwick Montgomery book try here:


http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/demon-possession-john-warwick-montgomery/1000643275

Hope that helps.

Anonymous said...

Any comment on this? Hey someone has been delivered! what can you say Stevie???

Anonymous said...

You have to understand that "possessed" isn't an accurate translation, and that we are blind if we believe the lie that Christians cannot be afflicted or affected by demons. That's what Satan wants.