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Animist Deception
Animism foolishly believes that inanimate objects or physical places may imbibe the qualities of living beings such as moral character and influences of good / evil.
In the field
of Christian missions in particular a form of deception has gained credence of late among evangelicals that, in essence, is a christening of pagan animism, in which objects and places are believed to communicate demonic influence.
Often the source of this special 'insight' is the words of demons themselves during Christian exorcisms.
Jesus said of Satan the prince of all demons that –
"He ...has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him.
When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies."
John 8:44.
This is
directly relevant to the special 'insights' of Christian leaders quoted below.
In other words, even when Satan speaks fact it is always deceptive and therefore to give any credence whatsoever to it is to begin to be deceived. Yet from this source and based on fallible human experience of demonic activity many Christians today believe a demonic presence may be attached to certain objects through which their evil influence is then transmitted. Accordingly, pagan cult-objects, African curio masks, Asian Buddha statuettes, etc., are zealously destroyed out of foolish fear of their demonic contamination.
Christian stupidity!
defending this mythic thinking, some have ignorantly cited God's prohibition on Israel's priests wearing their holy garments when they leave the sanctuary and go into the outer court of the temple lest they transmit 'holiness' to the worshippers (Ezekiel 44:19) as evidence of physical transmission of a spiritual effect. This so-called 'evidence' of the transmission of spiritual qualities through inanimate objects is also cited in God's prohibition of the Jewish priests boiling animal offerings or baking grain offering among the worshippers lest this transmit 'holiness' to the people (Ezekiel 46:20).
Holy Scripture
Old Testament 'holiness' of objects associated with God has absolutely nothing to do with a personal moral quality of character called holiness. God wants, wants all His people, to imbibe holiness of character, but that only comes from moral decisions and not ever from touching or seeing things, whether it be priests' robes or altar offerings.
The Hebrew word 'holy / holiness' simply means separate. Things dedicated to temple ritual were 'separate' from the same objects commonly used because they were to be associated with God in the thinking of the people. For this reason the censers used by Korah's group of Levites and Reubenites in their rebellion were to be treated as holy even though their users and Reubenite families had been annihilated by God's judgement for their rebellion against Him (Numbers 16:37;26:9,11).
knows us and how essential it is for us, for our sakes, to retain an attitude of respect and reverence for God and therefore for whatever is associated with Him. Therefore for the benefit of the people, God said to Moses before God descended upon the mountain from which He would speak the words of the Ten Commandments to them –
"...set limits for the people all around, saying,
'Take care not to go up into the mountain or touch the edge of it. Whoever touches the mountain shall be put to death."
Exodus 19:12.
This is
the ceremonial 'holiness' of anything directly associated with God, to teach the people reverence as a necessary precursor to them trusting God more than themselves, as exemplary Abraham had done (Genesis 15:5-6). But it did not mean that God's holy character could be transmitted through inanimate objects.
It did not mean that no-one was to touch the mountain because they might become holy like God.
Therefore concerning pagan cult and occult objects transmitting or transferring spiritual contamination, the Bible is very clear in the principle that no object is unclean "in itself" but only to the person who "thinks" it is unclean (Romans 14:14-18).
Thus also, for the sake of people's mental attitude, the Law of the Lord prohibited menstruating women from coming near to the House of the Lord. God designed the menstrual cycle as Eve's Creator and all that He did is good, but this unfair discrimination was necessary at that time to teach Israel special respect for God's presence. The ban certainly did not mean that the woman might transmit spiritual uncleanness to others (Leviticus 15:19).
these misled modern Christians, in whose minds the seeds of the old paganism has now been sown, refer us to the New Testament practice of Paul 'transmitting' God's power through handkerchiefs and aprons in Ephesus (Acts 19:12), and Jesus 'transmitting' healing power through His clothes. This is then cited as proof that physical objects can transmit spiritual power for good or for evil. This ignorance is disturbing, but that it should occur in evangelical Christians is astounding.
This is the superstitious thinking that the Reformation attempted to free us from and partially succeeded; a Latin church superstition that saving 'grace' comes through a Eucharist wafer and 'holiness' from a sprinkle of water at a cathedral door.
then the perspective of God's Word in a town where all meat was slaughtered as a sacrifice to pagan gods –
"Eat whatever is sold in the meat market without raising any question on the ground of conscience [about pagan ritual associations]
For 'the earth is the Lord's, and the fullness thereof' [everything in it]."
1 Corinthians 10:25-26.
In our
human frailty, our attitude and therefore our faith is often affected by what and how we see, hear, and do. For this reason the Bible records examples of triggers to human faith. These have no magical power whatsoever. They are simply psychological aids to the full release of a latent faith.
As the Shadow of Peter
A good
biblical example of a faith-trigger is Peter's shadow in Jerusalem's streets and "all were healed" (Acts 5:15-16). Peter's shadow certainly contained no special power, as an animist paradigm would suggest. All triggers, from the laying on of hands to anointing the sick with oil, were simply aids that set the moment to release faith toward God within the individual recipient of His mercy. Jesus sometimes deliberately helped people who were ready to believe by giving them triggers to their faith from their personal environment, such as particular actions to do.
See: Faith Release
Examples of these triggers given to us in Scripture are –
       "Go, wash in the pool of Siloam" (John 9:7);
       "Rise, pick up your bed and go home" (Matthew 9:6);
       "Go and show yourselves to the priests" (Luke 17:14),
and Jesus was quite clear as to what God's channel of healing was when the non-Jewish one came back to say thank you:
"Rise and go your way; your faith has made you well"
Luke 17:19;
cf. Matthew 9:22.
The apostles continued Christ's methods to help people release their faith toward God's mercy. And we have a specific example given for our understanding concerning an adult who had never walked:
"Paul, looking intently at him and seeing that he had faith to be made well, said in a loud voice [authoritatively],
'Stand upright on your feet!'
And he sprang up and began walking."
Acts 14:8-10.
was no power whatsoever in Paul's human voice, nor was any power transmitted in the sound of his words. The Holy Spirit is not an impersonal power which needs physical or auditory contact to flow to a point of need. (That view is pagan even if dressed in Christian terminology).
Pagan Perspective
Himself, though being God-in-the-flesh, lived a fully human life. Therefore the New Testament records for us how Jesus Himself used these faith-triggers in expressing the authority of God's rule/kingdom through Himself, an authority which, by His Spirit, is also ours today. The physical body of Jesus was a temple of the Spirit just as ours are today (John 2:21; 1 Corinthians 6:19).
Thus, when a Christian walks in the Spirit the world's reaction is the world's response to God: just as the weak widow woman who reached out to God-in-Jesus through touching the hem of His garment. Christ's garment then was no more holy than the clothing of a Spirit-filled Christian is today (and the 'tassel''/tzitzit story spread by Judaisers is nonsense).
Israel Heresy
spoke to a tree and it did not need ears. Jesus addressed a storm, and wind and waves obeyed. Jesus explained it as His "faith" which speaks, and that this was as available to all His disciples to no less a degree and on the same principle.
  "Truly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what has been done to the fig tree,
but even if you say to this mountain, 'Be taken up and thrown into the sea,' it will happen."
Matthew 21:21.
Beware of wolves in sheep's clothing among God's people (Matt.7:15; Ac.20:29).
Therefore nothing should be read into a television evangelist inviting his audience to touch their TV sets as he prays for them, as though God's power became invested in individual television sets through the prayer. At best, the moment-of-the-touch is simply a trigger of faith, as much as Jesus made mud from spittle and dust to heal a man born blind. People truly are healed by the power of God through faith, not through power invested in objects of any kind. God's power on earth lies only in the person of the Holy Spirit and cannot be transferred, nor can the Spirit Himself be divided among objects.
There is therefore no basis for using these descriptions of Christ and the apostles in Scripture to show that supernatural power may reside in objects as 'evidence' that Satan's power may therefore also reside in objects. It is simply another lie of our enemy to blind the Church of Christ.

Some Half-truths which deceive God's people  
1. Territorial spirits  
Satan may tactically deploy his limited resources in various localities to co-ordinate natural and political factors that may help influence human behaviour but that never gives Satan's crew of liars any priority in that particular territory in any way whatsoever for "the earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof" – even in the land of pagan Egypt under Pharaoh's evil rule (Exodus 9:29; Psalm 24:1).
But Daniel is often quoted concerning demon princes of 'Persia', 'Greece', and God's angel "Michael your prince ...the great prince who has charge of your people [Israel]" (Daniel 10:20-21;12:1), as though this proves demons are territorial. The rebuttal is right there in the text itself!. Israel had no territory at this time. It was in exile. The reference to Persia and Greece is to political entities not to territories. Satan works through people, by their sin, as much as God works through people, by their faith in Him.
It is therefore not the dispelling of demonic influence by territorial spirit-mapping-prayer that gives Christian effectiveness in missions. It is only the direct anointing of the Holy Spirit Himself on persons through whom God's spiritual authority is practiced by godly faith. No one need fear Bermuda Triangle territory or strategize spirit-mapping before praying. The rebuke of specific demonic opposition as the Holy Spirit may directly reveal during worship and intercession is part of Christian ministry, but not at all or ever in terms of designated names attached to territories.
2. Generational spirits  
Blaming past generations for present problems takes a new twist with this teaching. There is no biblical basis whatsoever for telling a demonised person that their problem originated from past generations as a consequence of which demons had a right over them. God does not give license to Satan over individuals because of the behaviour of their ancestors, no matter what lies demons may tell.
On the contrary, the Word of God says that no one is under God's judgment because of their ancestors.
"What do you mean by repeating this proverb... 'The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children's teeth are set on edge'?
As I live, declares the Lord GOD, this proverb shall no more be used by you in Israel.
Behold, all souls are Mine; the soul of the father as well as the soul of the son is Mine:
[only] the soul who [personally] sins shall die."
Ezekiel 18:2-4.
was not God changing His mind. This is how He thinks!
But what about God's other statement which says –
"...for I the LORD your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate Me"?
Exodus 20:5.
God does not contradict Himself!  
This "third and fourth generation" limit (grandchildren and great-grandchildren) in the statement should guide our understanding.
   The average parent has direct personal influence in the family to the limit of grandchildren, but some last to see (and influence) their great-grandchildren.
does not carry grudges from one person to another, but the sour influence of parents personally affects their families, and this family-influence structure exists by God's design as our Creator. Therefore He said that He puts the fathers' "iniquity" on their families – through their influence on young minds.
  Therefore there is no biblical evidence whatsoever that demons or their activities can ever be inherited from our ancestors.

Now for a
sampling from some aberrant yet probably sincere Christian teachers:
some purveyors of these errors and their perverting perspectives
C. Peter Wagner –
•  "demons can and do attach themselves to objects, to houses or other buildings, to animals and to people" (1990:76) ...even tourist replicas of traditional religious objects may be demonised (1993c:62).
•  Among "animistic people the names of these spirit owners of territories are well known." (1990:85-86). ..."high ranking ...evil spirits" [are assigned to territories to] "prevent God from being glorified in their territory" (1990:77).
•  The "six demon princes that serve just under Satan, whom they regard as king" are Asmodeo, "Damian, Beelzebub, Nosferasteus, Arios and Menguelesh" (1988a:203).
"Under each [of the above] ...are six governors over each nation. For example, those over Costa Rica are Shiebo, Quiebo, Ameneo, Mephistopheles, Nostradamus and Azazel. Those over the U.S.A. are Ralphes, Anoritho, Manchester, Apolion, Deviltook and one who is unnamed." (1990:84-85).
So, 6 for Costa Rica and for the whole 50 states of the USA only 6 also!
Satan really seems to have a management problem.
•  Amaterasu Omikami is the "territorial spirit ruling Japan" (1993a:53).
James Watt [former US Secretary of State fired by the White House in part for his insensitivity to minorities] "through sensitivities acquired in his past association with the occult, perceives specific dark angels assigned to the White House" (1990:80).
Of course, Watt would not be prejudiced, would he?
  Wagner's errors are regrettably noticeable in the views and methodologies of Sentinel Ministries of Canada.

Unlike these, the names of real demons are descriptive.
If these names had any truth at all, it is only their true meaning which would be relevant, which he does not give to us because he probably does not understand. Enough said!
Cindy Jacobs –
"The territorial spirits over a city or region are greatly empowered by the occult spells, curses, rituals and fetishes used by witches, warlocks and satanists" (1993:86).
Timothy Warner –
"engaging in occult practices may invite demons to empower an object, and in this way the demons become associated with that object" (1991b:93).
"Evil spirits use such objects as a medium to come to people" (1994:30-31).
Charles Kraft –
•  "Artifacts dedicated to enemy gods [spirits] have demons in them. Tourists and military personnel often bring from overseas ...images or implements used in pagan rituals or dedicated to gods or spirits" (1992:112-113); and
" many health food shops are infected that we would be well advised to claim God's protection whenever we enter one" (1992:44-45).
•  "A demon I once cast out of a woman claimed the right to inhabit her because she lived in a house in which a previous owner had committed adultery" (1994b:43).
•  "One of the laws of the universe is that demons can be inherited" (1993:262).
•  A child may be "demonized from the moment of conception" (1992:73).
•  Demons which are found near bodily orifices (e.g. mouth, nose, ears, eyes, anus or vagina) may best be commanded to leave through that orifice (1992:194).
Do demons really need any kind of door? This is real stupidly superstitious pagan thinking.
This is complete
Ed Murphy –
"...physical objects associated with the spirit world. Because they were dedicated to the spirit world when they were made, evil spirits are often associated with them. ...This includes paintings, 'art' objects, sculptures, images, fetishes, books, even some forms of extreme rock" (1992:447).
Neil Anderson –
"Adopted children are extremely vulnerable to demonic influence" (1991:205).
George Otis –
"One of the primary haunts of Haitian spirits, or loa, are waterfalls" (1991:91).
Ralph Toliver –
"Words are ...the currency of the spiritual realm" (1997:5).
[Emphasis is mine in the above misleading statements].
teachers of this perversion of perspective include Thomas White, John Robb, John Dawson, etc.
The authentic Christian identity and personal dedication of the above persons is not called into question in any way. Most of them are precious children of God doing a good work for God in bringing His word to those in need. BUT, their naive acceptance of anecdotes, shallow perception of the Holy Spirit's methodology in salvation and seriously inadequate comprehension of Holy Scripture, has made them unwitting avenues for regression and deviance of Christian spiritual authority in dealing with the true demonic.

With special appreciation to Drs Robert J. Priest (Anthropologist), T Campbell (former missionary now business manager of Columbia International University and adjunct professor at Columbia Bible College, a division of CIU), and Bradford A. Mullen (Associate Professor of Theology at Columbia Biblical Seminary and Graduate School of Missions) for their thorough research and their useful paper, titled – 'Missiological Syncretism: The New Animistic Paradigm'.
cited above
  Anderson, Neil T.
1991 The Seduction of our Children. Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers.
  Jacobs, Cindy
1993 Dealing With Strongholds. In Breaking Strongholds in Your City: How to Use Spiritual Mapping to Make Your Prayers More Strategic, Effective and Targeted. (Edited by C. Peter Wagner) Ventura, CA: Regal Books, pp.73-95.
  Kraft, Charles
1992 Defeating Dark Angels: Breaking Demonic Oppression in the Believer's Life. Ann Arbor, Mich: Servant Publications.
1993 Deep Wounds Deep Healing: Discovering the Vital Link Between Spiritual Warfare and Inner Healing. Ann Arbor, Mich: Servant Publications.
1994b Spiritual Power: Principles and Observations. In Behind Enemy Lines: An Advanced Guide to Spiritual Warfare. (Edited by Charles Kraft and Mark White) Ann Arbor, Mich: Servant Publications, pp.31-62.
  Murphy, Ed
1992 Handbook for Spiritual Warfare. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.
  Otis, George
1991 The Last of the Giants. Tarrytown, New York: Chosen Books.
  Wagner, C. Peter
1990 Territorial Spirits. In Wrestling With Dark Angels: Toward a Deeper Understanding of the Supernatural Forces in Spiritual Warfare. (Edited by C. Peter Wagner and F. Douglas Pennoyer). Ventura, CA: Regal Books, pp.73-99.
1993a Introduction. In Breaking Strongholds in Your City: How to Use Spiritual Mapping to Make Your Prayers More Strategic, Effective and Targeted. (Edited by C. Peter Wagner) Ventura, CA: Regal Books.
  Toliver, Ralph October
1997 (unpublished) Some thoughts on the paper 'Missiological Syncretism: The New Animistic Paradigm', by Priest, et al.

    "Thus says the LORD:  
'Learn not the way of the nations, nor be dismayed at the signs of the heavens because the nations are dismayed at them, for the customs of the peoples are vanity'."
  Jeremiah 10:2-3.
scroll line
2010 Haitian-Earthquake
A very foolish public statement by Pat Robertson (Southern Baptist preacher and TV host in the USA) that the tragic 2010 Haiti earthquake (which killed more than 170,000 and devastated that nation) was a consequence of their "pact" with the Devil, is simply historical fiction, but more importantly, it betrays Robertson's gross ignorance about God Himself.
Pat Robertson ignorantly and foolishly stated:  
"they [the Haitians] got together and swore a pact to the Devil. They said, ‘We will serve you if you’ll get us free from the French.’
True story.
[Not!] And so, the Devil said, ‘Okay it’s a deal’.
1. The Throne of God rules in all the affairs of men even when God allows a society to reap what it sows, for as Moses said to Pharaoh of Egypt (the super-power of his day) – "the earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof";
2. About 96% of Haitians identify themselves as Christian (80% Catholic, 16% Protestant) even though often contaminated with local superstitions like many other societies in all nations of this world.
The implication in Robertson's statement that Haitians deserved this tragedy because of their past and his pious hope that something good may come of it – does not represent the attitude of God or reveal the nature of God's relationship to this world – which is what Christianity is really all about, if it is authentic!
Mr Robertson needs to look inward. Pray for him when you pray for Haiti.

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