Freedom in Christ helps believers resolve emotional and spiritual conflicts (strongholds) that are preventing them from being healthy and growing followers of Christ. Dr. Neil T. Anderson was the founder of this ministry and developed a method called Discipleship Counseling. In our western mindset we can often think of ministry as separate silos. However this ministry combines essential elements of: Counseling, helping others resolved the past (This is often seen as intervention in current strongholds) AND Discipleship (focused on the future) which is often seen as education. This is a both/and approach to developing Christ followers. (The Book Discipleship Counseling contains much more information on this Ministry Philosophy)
Isaiah 61:1-6 is a prophecy concerning Christ and is the heart of this ministry
1 The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, 2 to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, 3 and provide for those who grieve in Zion– to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor. 4 They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated; they will renew the ruined cities that have been devastated for generations. 5 Aliens will shepherd your flocks; foreigners will work your fields and vineyards. 6 And you will be called priests of the LORD, you will be named ministers of our God.
A Community Freedom Ministry (Which is what they call a function ministry in a local church) is built on the foundation of dependency of Christ demonstrated through prayer and it is administered through the three Ts. Teaching Taking and Training
- Identity in Christ
- Sanctification (Positional and Progressive)
- Spiritual Warfare (Using the Armor of God)
- Fighting from a Position of Victory
- Battle for the Mind
- Personal Responsibility
- Freedom in Christ Small Group Bible Study
- The Grace Course
- Victory Over the Darkness
- The Bondage Breaker*
*- The Bondage Breaker is the most popular of Neil Anderson’s books and can paint the wrong picture of a ministry of this kind if it is the first or only resources someone has read on this topic. In the book Neil recounts experiences of manifested presences of demonic spirits in his journey in helping others. I do not believe he is trying to be sensational; but many cannot see beyond that are do not understand the Doctrine and foundations of the ministry that are communicated in his first book Victory Over the Darkness. Here is an excerpt from the last chapter in The Bondage Breaker p.258 that clears things up (Note many never get this far in the book)
“I have not attempted to cast a demon out of someone for several years. But I have seen hundreds of people find their freedom in Christ as I helped them resolve their personal and spiritual conflicts through genuine repentance and faith in God. I no longer deal directly with demons or dialogue with them. Nor do I permit their manifestation in counselling sessions. I only work with the person by helping him or her assume responsibility to submit to God and resist the devil (James 4:7).”
“I have learned from experience if you try to resist the devil without first submitting to God, you will have a dogfight. On the other hand, you can submit to God without resisting the devil and stay in bondage. The tragedy is that most recovery ministries aren’t doing either one.”
“We are not to help people swat demonic flies but take out the trash in their lives that the flies are attached to.
“We are not to cast out darkness, but to turn on the light of God’s truth through confession and repentance.
The Steps: A Systematic way to obey James 4:7-8
“Submit yourselves then to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands you sinners, and purify your hearts you double-minded.”
Submit to God (Through Confession) and Resist Satan through (Renunciation) and to Draw Near to God through (Repentance)
The Steps to Freedom
1. Counterfeit vs Real
- Occultic Practices
2. Deception vs Truth
- Ways we can be deceived by the world
- Ways we can be deceiving ourselves
- Defensiveness: Ways we are wrongly defending defending
3. Bitterness vs Forgiveness
- God as Father
4. Submission vs Rebellion
5. Pride vs Humility
6. Bondage vs Freedom
- Sexual Sins
- Eating Disorders
7. Curses vs Blessing
- Identity in Christ (Galatians)
Ways of Facilitating the Freedom Prayer Appointment
- In A Group – Two Hours
- Alone – 3 -4 Hours
- Freedom Appointment 5-8 Hours (Prayer Partner, Encourager, Person seeking freedom)
– Equipping those who are walking in freedom to teach and train others in the method of Discipleship
Counseling. This is more caught that taught. But the essentials are:
– 6 months to 1 Year in being taught and discovering the basics mentioned above
– Have been taking through the steps and are walking in light in relation to God and others around
them (not perfection).
– Have participated in two or three freedom appointments as a prayer partner.
– Have attended a training session for helping take others through the steps to freedom.
– Have facilitated a freedom appointment under the supervision of a seasoned encourage and having receive feedback from them.
You can contact me if you are interested in becoming a part of learning more about this ministry.