It’s not that we are focusing on demons as much as we are bringing light to the truth. We believe we are moving the Church toward a more biblical worldview which openly acknowledges and addresses spiritual realities. One of the major problems that has led to the ineffectiveness of the Church today is the adoption of a western worldview which ignores, on a functional level, much of what the Scriptures teach about spiritual realities. Categorizing our problems under the labels “The World,” “The Flesh,” and “The Devil” is a little deceiving because it tends to give the impression that they operate independently from each other. According to Genesis 1-6, if it weren’t for Satan, the world and the flesh wouldn’t be problems for us.
Some believers point to James 1:14 as teaching that all sin is really the result of the flesh. But this interpretation ignores the rest of the Book of James, especially James 3:13-4:10, which clearly implies that all human conflict and worldliness has a demonic dimension (3:15) requiring us to resist the devil as part of the solution (4:7). Paul says our struggle is “not with flesh and blood” but against an organized, evil, spiritual empire that controls the world (see Ephesians 6:12) and which impacts every person born (see Ephesians 2:1-3). Satan is called the god of this world, and all the world is under his evil influence. To be sure, excessive preoccupation with the demonic can be a problem with some groups. The solution is found in living according to a completely biblical worldview with Scripture as our guide.
As we’ve stated over and over, recognizing a spiritual dimension to our problems does not imply a “devil made me do it” theology. Nobody emphasizes personal responsibility for finding freedom more than we do. Every New Testament passage on spiritual struggles emphasizes our personal responsibility to resist and stand firm (Ephesians 6: 10-12; James 4:7;1 Peter 5:8,9). But we must take seriously the spiritual dimension of our struggles if we are to win in the battle against the flesh and the world.
The focus of our ministry is Christ, not the devil. We instruct people not to call up, name or deal directly with the demonic in counseling sessions. We don’t want demons to manifest; we want to manifest the presence of God. Wanting to do all things decently and in order, we teach pastors, missionaries, counselors and laypeople to maintain control and work only with the counselee.