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Anderson(A Brief Review of Rough Road to Freedom: A Memoir by Neil T. Anderson; Monarch Book, 2012, $14.99)

Yiddish is a language developed by the Jews in Europe. Yiddish has some interesting sounding words. One of those Yiddish words is the word schmutz. The word schmutz has a range of meanings and can be described as soiled, icky, a mess as in “I have schmutz all over my face”. It is also used of something of inferior quality. If one is having lots of serious problems they might say they have fallen into the schmutz.

Author Neil Anderson is known as The Bondage Breaker from the title of one of his books (see our article “Cure All Bondages”). He recently published his biography entitled, Rough Road to Freedom. His forte is deliverance from demons but in a gentle low-keyed style euphemistically called by Anderson, “freedom encounters.” There is not a lot of freedom felt when a Christian is told they have a demon inside of them. It is a case of saddling you with a problem that you did not know you had simply because Anderson says so. He eschews being thought of as an exorcist and is against the rambunctious, hollering commanding type of exorcist. Though there is a stylistic difference it is the same game with a different name.

Drawing from his new bio and other of his writings I would like to summarize Anderson’s extreme views in capsule form hoping that it will stir reader’s to their own biblical research to “find out if these things are so”, (Acts 17:11). This compilation of some of his major presuppositions is rather startling and can be viewed as religious schmutz. If the average pastor claimed to believe these things he would be looking for a job or given medication. Anderson is applauded by many of the big names in the Christian world. Publishing some books can do amazing things in a celebrity culture.

Departing from Dave Letterman’s list of 10 and observing the number 13 (considered very important to Anderson) I will list 13 of the most extreme and egregious views of Neil Anderson without comment. The extended and detailed research on these teachings can be easily gotten from Anderson’s own biography, Rough Road To Freedom, his books, namely, The Bondage Breaker and an extensive heavily documented article and critique generated by Personal Freedom Outreach in St. Louis Missouri . The following then is the schmutz we would be in if we accepted what Anderson says. These are all his ideas and one would be hard pressed to find them anywhere in the Bible.

1. The superstition of Friday the 13th has supernatural, spiritual significance even though the importance of the date for unbelievers goes back only about 100 years.
2. Of even more spiritual significance is a full moon on Friday the 13th.
3. Even if those claiming satanic ritual abuse are not telling the truth – accepting what they say is the only way to help them.
4. The night time of 3 a.m. is the prime time for demonic activity and even more so on Friday the 13th when there is a full moon.
5. Visions of Francis of Assisi are true and should be believed.
6. Demons can occupy the bodies of believers.
7. The demons in believers are actually located in the nervous system of the human body.
8. There is no need or sense of obligation to defend any systematic theology.
9. Criticism of these ideas is characterized as slander and cruelty.
10. Watchman Nee is someone worth quoting.
11. Contemplative prayer is a very good thing as are formulaic prayers.
12. Admits that his theology has been affected by his experiences.
13. Claims that the Bible is his only rule of faith and practice even though 1-12 cannot be found there in any form or fashion. The next 13 plus can be discovered in his writings.

The opposite of the above is as follow: The Bible is clear that demons are always external to the believer and never internal. Satan and demons can tempt a Christian but not in anyway indwell them since their bodies are the very temple of the Holy Spirit. As well there is not one word in the Bible that encourages a believer to have any kind of exorcism gentle or rough. Jesus did not perform exorcisms in any form but simply spoke a word to dispel demons. Sin is to be taken seriously and dealt with by confession to God but never mistaken for a demon. Sanctification is a life long struggle but God gives grace. The only way to thoroughly clean up schmutz is to clean it up with large applications of the Word of God. Do your own research, get the above studies, and compare all of it to your Bible and what it teaches. Then help someone extract themselves from false teaching and clean up the spiritual schmutz.

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