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Neil Anderson Critique: Bondage Breaker Essay

Neil Anderson, in his book “Bondage Breaker” ( 1993) addresses using a new phenomenon for a New Age problem. Overall, Anderson suggests that a large amount of problems that people struggle with today are related to Satan’s attack on their mental state. Anderson stands firm on the belief that Christians are not aware of their ability to be attacked by Satan’s attempts to confuse and deter them from God’s plan for their life. This critique will share the overall summary of this theory.

Summary Anderson (1993) writes this book in three major parts. The first entitled “Take Courage”, opens the reader up to his opinion on Satan’s influence and ability to mislead a person. Anderson begins suggesting that the enemy uses many different forms of negative thoughts, feelings and sins that plague people in and outside the counseling field. In these first chapters, Anderson (1993) supports his opinions with his many experiences of people under the attack of demonic forces.(p.18). In chapters two and three, Anderson (1993) shares his view that the world is heading in a new direction where culture is more accepting of Satanism and the supernatural (Anderson, 1993, p.29). Therefore this makes for a great time to share this concept and allow people in on the ability to have more control over the enemy’s confusion.

It is also in this first section that he addresses the biblical need to accept and address the demonic influence (Anderson, 1993, p.37). The author suggests that Christians have accepted the idea that with Jesus Christ, the influence of Satan is dead ( Anderson, 1993, p.37). The author supports his belief that Satan’s influence is still very strong and suggests the bible informs this by such verses as in 2 Corinthians, 10:5, “…Every thought captive to the obedience of Christ (holy bible). He also continues to support his belief with scripture from Romans 7, where Paul is describing his struggles (Holy Bible)

Anderson also shares his views on Satan’s attacks on the human mind (1993, p.64). He shares the support in scripture like “The spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons” (1Timothy 4:1, NSV). He also relates this to psychology by connecting this to a routine pattern of patients hearing voices (Anderson, 1993, p.65).

In the final section of part 1, Anderson (1993) shares how God’s love and gift of Jesus Christ is enough to take control of Satan’s influence, but it’s about understanding and accepting it, before trying to take action (1993, p.93). Once this is understood by the client, then Christians must take action. Anderson (1993) compares this to being in the military and resting in the tanks and missiles but not taking caution in wearing a helmet (1993, p.93). In other words, the author suggests there is work to be done in “taking up the armor of God” discussed in Ephesians (Holy Bible).

Moving into the second part of the book, Anderson (1993) begins sharing more about Satan’s strategy with his attack on a person’s thoughts and sins. In chapter seven, one reads the different qualities of a demon, like its ability to exist in or outside humans (Anderson, 1993, p.116).In chapter 10, the reader is informed of Satan’s lies that continue to linger in a person’s mind until they become their truth (Anderson, 1993, p.153). And finally in this section, the author shares about how easily deception can slowly sneak into a person’s mind and can take over their life (Anderson, 1993, p.171).

The last portion of the book is about the freedom through Christ that we are unaware that we have. This section is Anderson’s explanation of what to do to rid yourself of the demonic forces that have been fueling a negative path in one’s life. The first step that he states in taking action towards this freedom is prayer and acknowledging, by renouncing all past or current non-Christian activities that a person may have participated in (Anderson, 1993, p.201). The next step is to make oneself aware of the deception that you are believing (Anderson, 1993, 204). Anderson gives many scripture and sample prayers to help a person realize this (Anderson, 1993, p.209 ). The third step in this process is to allow yourself to choose forgiveness for others (Anderson, 1993, p.203). The last steps described in these sections explain in detail for areas of pride, rebellion, and lastly how to make sure this process is a success. Strengths and Weaknesses

The major area that I feel uneasy about with this theory of Satan’s attacks on Christians is his biblical support. Anderson (1993) supports this theory on the idea that Christians are free through Christ but we are influenced by Satan. I felt that his stance on this was not very clear. I recognize that we are informed in different areas of the bible to be aware of Satan’s influence, but I don’t know if I agree with his opinion that demons can live within us (Anderson, 1993, p.118). I know that a lot of his interpretations are based on his methodology that he uses, and therefore, I start to question his opinion of the scripture. It’s just hard for me to understand and accept that if Christ died to give us freedom, how are demonic forces able to live among us still? I’m not against this idea entirely, but it has led me to question where I stand on this. I feel I will need to investigate more on this topic.

In agreeing that this may not be acceptable, it brings me to question the ways this theory on Satan’s control could be abused. If someone were to begin accessing their situation and applying it their everyday life, I can see how this could very easily be abused. Every time you stub your toe, it’s now all thanks to Satan’s attacks on you. Eventually a person could begin to label their sins Satan’s faults as well. Biblically, God calls his people to honesty and dignity. I would not want to find myself falling into this pattern of never truly evaluating my own struggles and just accepting them as Satan’s fault. With all this being said, I will say I highly enjoyed this book. I would prefer reading this book the most, as it brought me to consider a new perspective on the dark world that we live in. Until reading this book, I was not very clear on the biblical support that this topic has, even if it is an area of methodology in scripture and several different theological opinions to go with it.

I appreciate Anderson’s views on these attacks in the counseling field. I was amazed at the experiences he has had to back up every one of his theories. I also enjoyed his information on new age super natural influences in the world. I think that is vital information because so many people today are looking to these sources for advice.

Personal application I’ve had a small portion of my walk with Christ influenced with the knowledge of Satan’s attacks on the earth and our spiritual walk with God. I enjoyed reading this book and will probably study it further in the future. I appreciate knowing that the times in my life when I could not figure out what I was missing or understand what I was doing wrong, it may have been because of spiritual warfare. However, with that being said, I am not comfortable relying on that as a crutch. Therefore, I feel as though this is an area worth investigating and hearing others’ opinions on before calling it fact.

I do think that this is an issue I would like to compare further with other critics in the counseling field and hear their opinions. I would like to see the new studies that are developing in regards to Christian therapy that acknowledges demonic influences. I am curious to not only hear if this is common treatment, but how it is being researched.


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