I wrote recently about how important the ministry of deliverance is to the church. Jesus often freed people from the influence of evil spirits, and He commissioned the church to do the same: “And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons” (Mark 16:17). When the church neglects this vital ministry, those who should be set free often remain in chains.
The topic of demons and deliverance is undoubtedly a controversial one. It is surrounded with many questions and fears. Some believers have been exposed to bizarre and harmful things done in the name of deliverance, and Hollywood’s portrayal of demon-possession conjures fear and misunderstanding. There is a great need for clear, biblical teaching and practice in this area.
Every time I teach on deliverance or dialogue about the topic, there are many questions that arise. But the most common question I encounter is “How can a Christian have a demon?” I understand this question because I used to have a forgone assumption that a genuine Christian cannot have an evil spirit or need deliverance from a demon.
However, my presumptions about this question were not founded on biblical grounds. They were based on what seemed logical to me. After all, how can an evil spirit dwell in the same place as the Holy Spirit? How can light and darkness live together? The very thought of it seems repulsive and altogether impossible. But does the Bible actually teach that a Christian cannot have a demon?
Whether or not a Christian can have a demon is an important question with far-reaching implications. (It is with this in mind that I released the book Can a Christian Have a Demon?). How we answer this question will determine—at least in part—how we minister to those in the church who are walking with oppression, bondage, or torment. If we can overcome some of the common misunderstandings about deliverance ministry, the confusion will be cleared, and the way paved for many to be set free by the power of God.
My heart in bringing up this question is not to be controversial, but to bring understanding. In my next article, I will outline some biblical reasons why I believe that Christians can in fact need deliverance from demons. Let’s ask the Holy Spirit for His insight and wisdom into this important topic!
Have you or someone you know ever experienced deliverance from a demon? What are your thoughts on the question, “Can a Christian have a demon”?