Freedom in Christ

The gap between the daily experience of most Christians and the potential experience of Christians is so great that it poses a bit of a puzzle. Aside from lamenting it, is there anything we can do to rectify it? Neil Anderson has developed what is probably the most advanced model available for helping believers experience the fullness of who they are called to be in Christ:

  1. Breaking alliance with the demonic realm and it’s many inroads
  2. Renouncing Lies
  3. Forgiving
  4. Dealing with Rebellion
  5. Dealing with Pride
  6. Breaking bondage patterns
  7. Renouncing curses and ancesteral connections
  8. Staying Free

This idea is not new. It grew out of the early Charismatic deliverance ministers like Francic MacNutt, Don Basham, and Derek Prince. This in turn, I think was a development from Penteocostal and Holiness ideals of conversion. I think a process of this nature is very important and helpful, and that people like Anderson have taken a huge and important step forward, but that we need still another generation of ideas to come forward in this area. Anderson’s process has really great components, but it would work better if more tightly organized and patterned after the model of Biblical salvation. Secondly, his process emphasizes what you already are in Christ, whereas I see faith playing a larger role throughout the process. Here is a proposal with a mapping to Anderson’s steps in brackets:

  1. Surrender to Christ.
  2. Identification and Renunciation of all former allegiances. [1,7]
  3. Renunciation of enslaving lies. (such as views of self, God and others) [2,5]
  4. Repair of Human Relationships. (including repentance and forgiveness) [3,4]
  5. Receving Total Forgiveness and Security.
  6. Encountering the Presence of God.
  7. Baptism in the Holy Spirit.
  8. Physical Healing.
  9. Fighting for Further Freedom. [6,8]
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2 Comments

  1. I appreciate your observation and suggested model. This type of ministry(I believe Anderson calls it ‘Discipleship Counseling’) is needed and I need to engage in it more. I’m sure either model can be effective. I’m a guy that likes resources and a plan laid out. I’d like to see something laid out for your model.
    However, here’s an observation of mine. I don’t see #7 and #8 being strictly in that order, though a good place for both. AND in a Process of faith that’s where I would put them. BUT I would almost maybe, might (visually speaking), put them beside the others in the list. As in these 2 can be obtainable at any point, theologically or practically. Might you plan to add some substance to the model?

    ALSO, I thought of emailing you separately concerning your opinion. I’ve read your comments on the apostolic and prophetic, that’s how I got here to start with.
    I’m a Pentecostal pastor. I’ve had “words” before, some for individuals, some for the church(our church). I sense that there is something good and useful in the prophetic ministry realm, but I don’t know objectively where to start. I know everything out there is not good. I was considering “Suprised by the voice of God” – Deere or something from Bill Hamon. I don’t want flakey or extreme(relative). I’m not interested just in someone’s opinion or their own constructed “theology”, but something biblical founded. Can you offer a good book(s) on the subject?
    Thanks,

    jerry

  2. Jerry,

    Thanks. This article is in some ways a place holder for future work I want to do in the area you’ve mentioned. I think Neil Anderson is the best that is available now, but his entire process is colored by his “once saved, always saved” view. I think that removes some of the conditionality — exercise of personal faith — that is in the Scripture and could make it more powerful.

    Also, I think it could be made to flow better into a kind of conversion process. So yes, I do plan on expanding that, but it’s not right at the top of the agenda. My wife and I are currently working on a “foundations manual” type book which will have some overlap with that. About healing and BHS, I think the key thing here for me is that those are completely omitted from Anderson’s process, and are a logical part of it. The ideal in Acts seems to be Salvation and the Baptism coming very close together. I agree that you could find a different logical order for them, but this is the one that I thought made most sense. This testimony I think captures the flavor of what I think is possible with a process like this: http://www.churchlink.com.au/churchlink/true_stories/gay.html

    About prophecy, there are different books for different purposes, but it sounds like you’ve probably already found what you are looking for. When you say you’ve had words do you mean that you personally received them from God, or that someone else, or from your congregation gave them to you? Deere’s “Surprised by the Voice…” is completely outstanding in its Biblical and historical argumentation, but it’s primarily designed to convince you of the reality of prophecy not teach you how to use it. I do also like Deere’s “Beginner’s Guide to the Gift of Prophecy” because of the deep heart of love it conveys.

    Bill Hamon’s Prophets series is about the best “How To” that is available out there. (Prophets and Personal Prophecy; Prophets, Pitfalls, and Principles; Prophets and the Prophetic Movement) It’s a solid Biblically based approach, and I think it is particularly sensitive to the pastoral aspects of handling prophecy. For someone with your background that may be the best. Especially since Hamon is based just a couple of hours south from you. He does training on a regular basis and you might also be able to get a relationship going where someone mature in the gift comes in and gets you guys going.

    While there is a lot of other material out there, much of it good, if you are more interested in the “how” than the “if” from a Biblical perspective, I’d be surprised if Hamon isn’t close to what you are looking for.

    I think it’s a really commendable thing to even be thinking about. Even pastors who believe in prophecy are often unwilling to step out in that direction because of some of the risks. But my experience shows me that there is actually greater risk from leaders (either local or itinerant) using prophecy in manipulative ways than there is from flakey prophetic people roaming around the congregation.

    God’s blessing,

    Will

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