Generally speaking, the majority of the pastors today became like firefighters, trained to extinguish the fires of people’s critical situations. Several pastors do not pastor people, but they pastor the crisis of the members of their congregations. The foundations of their member’s beliefs are not confronted. This situation isn’t only exhaustive, but also doesn’t build up the solid solutions that bring the growth toward maturity. The effort of the pastors became superficial, and the cycle of the crisis is never broken. The church becomes more and more superficial and flavorless. Attending the calling of several leaders, pastors, missionaries, and intercessors who desire an intelligent and efficient pastoral training, the present book is to educate the body of Christ with the principles and biblical values, investing in the church’s well-being and mainly in its growth in quality, rescuing the values of the priesthood and the pastoral work in depth. It also is designed to fulfill the emerging need of the present generation, making it’s fruit to be permanent and their lives stable. I hope this material will inspire you and provide the tools to invest in what is most valuable—the human soul. Have a nice reading!
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There is a "new tolerance" that has been spawned in our modern society that is based on both an inversion and an aversion to biblical values; it has produced a "new generation" that is very differentiated. We face the worst kind of spiritual attack that the church could suffer, a moral permissiveness that is associated with technological advancement and it has engendered a culture that is increasingly global and anti-Christian. This has directly affected the family makeup and the health of the church.
The actual situation of the church is always a reflection of what is happening in the family. Starting from the premise that the family is the cell of society, what we have today is a gigantic social cancer. "The family is terminal," declares the French psychoanalyst Charles Melman in a recent article in Veja magazine. He says: "We have witnessed an event that might not have precedent in history, the dissolution of the family group. For the first time the institution of the family is disappearing, and the consequences are unpredictable."
Western (American) society has best defined and modeled the family institution. The result has been that it became immeasurably stronger than any that has existed before it. However, since the 60's a growing backlash has been occurring. Perhaps a brief historical overview of the dysfunctionalization of the family that has been spreading worldwide is in order:
— It began with the decriminalization of adultery and the famous no fault divorce in the U.S. during the decades of the 60's and 70's.
— It was followed by the culture of non-marriage (free sex, drugs and rock 'n roll). This culture has spread so widely that currently, in addition to heterosexuals not wanting to marry, homosexuals are fighting for the right to marry.
— Consequently, an epidemic of pregnant adolescents and juvenile parents is multiplying in a generational cycle that has reduced parenthood to an average age of 15.
— This has spawned the sinister, gigantic, abortion industry, where millions of children have been murdered by the very people who should most accept, protect and love them. It is difficult to assess the imbalance of injustice that has spiritually accumulated with so much bloodshed.
— All this has produced an exponential increase of psychoemotional disorders. Research shows that in thirty years the percentage of the American population with depressive disorders has risen from 3% to 30%.
— The loss of existential ties has exorbitantly elevated the indexes of abuse and violence. Single mothers and fathers are marginalized and children have been made vulnerable, producing miserable families. This is the recipe for a proliferation of pedophilia, child prostitution, pornography and all forms of violence and sexual perversion.
This platform of familial bankruptcy gives birth to and nurtures a legacy of misery and violence. It produces a scenario of urban warfare that spreads panic, especially in large cities. Essentially, this social pathology based on violence and crime is simply a side effect of the death of the family - the tragic reaction of a generation that has been deprived of existential relationships and therefore suffers every variation of perverted, criminal and amoral behavior.
— We have created confusion between correction and violence, i.e., there has been so much abuse that the government directly interferes in how parents educate their children. We have a delinquent generation that is growing up without correction and increasingly has less respect for parents or any type of authority.
A zealous mother in a church where I ministered was being threatened with losing custody of her son. The reason was that she was punishing him by spanking him using a switch she would take from an outside bush. After explaining biblically to the policeman who came to her door why she was correcting her son in this manner, she asked him: "Do you know why I'm using this switch to correct my son when it is necessary?" He responded: "Why?" She said: "Do you see that baton hanging on your belt?" "Yes," he replied. "If I don't correct my son with a switch, it won't be long before it will be YOU who will be hitting him with your baton!"
— And finally, we have the homosexual dictatorship. This dictatorship is established by a lack of discernment between acceptance and approval. Acceptance is unconditional, linked to the intrinsic value of humans; however, approval is conditional and depends on character, i.e., choices. To accept someone regardless of their choices is a matter of civility; to be obligated to approve a conduct that attacks your values is abuse. Despite accepting such a person, those who do not approve homosexual conduct are ostensibly marginalized and discriminated against, all in the name of prejudice. With this, the process of social anarchy seems to hit the bottom of the barrel.
Studying the fall and destruction of great empires and societies that have marked human history (the Assyrians, Babylonians, Romans, Incas, etc.) it is clear that there are common aspects with what we are seeing today:
Moral relativity. Society whose fundamentals are profoundly threatened by the trivialization of sin and the legalization of wickedness.
Perversion and animalization of sex. Hedonistic pleasure at the expense of marriage, pleasure for pleasure's sake, where relationships are disposable.
Loss of family ties. When a critical mass of society finds itself disconnected from essential relationships and does not know who is the father, mother, husband, wife, child, etc.
Explicit occultism. A growing and explicit involvement with satanic rituals. The era of witches, wizards and vampires.
This has been the challenging backdrop of Western society. If we do not respond as the church, certainly we will be doomed to inevitable destruction.
The role of the church
We need to adjust pastorally to interact with the whole arena of these challenges or, to the contrary, even though the harvest may be great, the fruits will be quickly lost. There are many who try to stay in church even though they are spiritually sick but end up relinquishing their faith and dying spiritually. And this is when they have not experienced spiritual abuse that has traumatized them even further, accelerating the losses. Worse yet is that all of this has been highly advantageous to a gospel that is increasingly humanistic, permissive and decentralized from the glory of God.
Today, the ministerial demand is to close the doors of the church. This has given innumerous pastors great difficulty. This ministerial failing has produced an absurd population of more than 40 million de-churched in Brazil. This is a population that is equivalent to the entire Brazilian evangelical population! As many who are now currently in church have now fallen away from church and have become disillusioned with it. The result: a post-Christian generation; a people who are being transformed into the worst people in society.
This leads us to a sad conclusion about the growth of evangelicals: the majority of the growth is of poor quality and actually results in huge losses to the church. This ecclesiastical paradigm does not prioritize the health and quality of growth and needs to be confronted.
The qualification process of growth demands that we think not only in transformation, i.e., a change of form, but in transfoundation, a change in fundamentals, values and cultures in relation to this new generation that is coming into our churches, a process which is only possible by the wisdom of the cross.
Obviously, a great deal of effort on the part of pastors is necessary to mature a new convert and it is even more difficult to create a disciple; the huge investment required to produce an ideal, trusted leader dwarfs both. Without laying solid groundwork in discipleship, the process of sanctification stagnates and, in more cases than not, is aborted before it even begins.
The majority of pastors can describe their ministry as an exhausting routine of "putting out fires" and "pastoral crises" on the part of their members and disciples. They are not pastoring people, they are pastoring their crises; they are pastoral firemen. The basics are not being addressed. Besides being exhausting, this reality does not create viable solutions that enable stable growth. Pastoral effort is often merely the equivalent of applying a band-aid and the crisis cycle continues unabated. The church becomes increasing shallow and dull.
Responding to the appeal of countless leaders, pastors, missionaries and intercessors who aspire to efficient and intelligent pastoral training, the transfoundational approach aims to educate the body of Christ with biblical principles and values; it invests in the health of the church, especially in her qualitative growth, and redeems the values of the priestly-pastoral role in a profound and contextualized manner while addressing the emerging needs of this generation.
This model of deliverance counseling establishes an approach centered on principles and demystifies the concepts of deliverance, healing, authority and pastoral maturity. It enables those who feel the responsibility to help others to have a firm base in counseling, deliverance, re-education of character and identity, generational restoration, reconciliation, etc. The objective is to dynamically promote the sanctification of the church from a fundamental and practical point of view.
Before going into the diagram of the counseling model of deliverance, it is important to lay some groundwork about the basic concepts:
1. EXPELLING DEMONS VS. DELIVERANCE
The word "deliverance" in evangelical culture has historically been used exclusively for the expulsion of demons. However, in our model of spiritual counseling, it is important that we make a distinction between "expelling demons" and "deliverance." This is a distinction that is quite clear in Jesus' ministry. In some of the narratives Jesus directly casts out demons, but in others the individual's deliverance comes without any demon being excised.
The expelling of demons is normally associated with the process of evangelization. The evangelistic ministry is almost always accompanied by two gifts: healing the sick and expelling demons. When there is a demonic manifestation during a presentation of the gospel, the demon is expelled so the person is free to consider accepting Jesus. The objective is to clear the path for the person to make an objective decision about salvation. Once he has accepted Jesus, is he totally free and has all of his past been completely resolved? Of course not! It will be necessary to address the reasons that the demonic exploitation was present to begin with.
Truthfully, demons are merely spiritual parasites that feed off of human injustices. They are an indirect consequence of spiritual warfare. Imagine a location where trash is accumulating. Obviously there will be many flies and other vermin like cockroaches and rats attracted to the trash. How do you combat these parasites? It does not matter how much you shoo away the flies, stomp on the cockroaches or kill the rats, they will multiply faster than you can eliminate them and will end up returning, continuously infesting the environment.
We call this the "shoo fly" method of ministry when we insist on irresponsibly expelling someone's demons. However, if instead of swatting mosquitoes and squashing cockroaches, you decide to eliminate the garbage and disinfect the environment, you will automatically eliminate the parasites and they will not return. This is deliverance. True deliverance means that you are responsibly — and personally-dealing with the generational and territorial garbage of the soul. We will explain later that the deliverance of the soul is directly related to the conversion process and goes further than the concept of the new birth.
There is no value in becoming a specialist in parasites, learning their hierarchy or the different types of flies, rats, etc., that exist In deliverance the emphasis needs to be on the garbage. When you eliminate the trash the parasites will leave with it!
The essence of deliverance is sanctification. The presence of demons and curses is symptomatic and secondary. It is necessary to identify and responsibly deal with the causes of spiritual problems: memories wounded by guilt; shame; abuse and hidden trauma; strong, sinful ties; hidden sins; iniquities, generational and territorial wounds that exert a pervasive influence; broken relationships; chronic enmities; marital trauma; broken alliances, family crises, etc.
2. DEMYSTIFYING CURSES
When we begin to talk about curses people typically react negatively. Some express an aversion to the topic; others classify it as heresy and become theologically indignant. There really is much "strange fire" and disequilibrium associated with it, as much in teaching as in the practice of dealing with it. The evangelical world is full of superstitions. Every faith that does not have a biblical base is superstitious and mystical. We need to demystify this:
a. The world "curse" is a biblical word.
First, the word "curse" does not have its origins in the occult, rather, it is a biblical word that occurs more than 200 times in the Bible. As such, it is something that should not be despised. As much as it is stigmatized, as much as we dislike it, as much as it does not sit well with us and as much as we see it as a deplorable concept, "curse" is a biblical word that merits the effort necessary to understand it.
There are several words in the Bible that are translated as "curse." Basically all of them can be summarized by one of three meanings:
A punishment coming from the breach of a commandment, a covenant with God, or breaking a promise or oath. The word in the Old Testament is alah; in the New Testament the word is anathema, which also signifies that which is prohibited under the penalty of punishment or destruction.
A situation where something or someone is bound (as with a spell), hemmed in with obstacles, rendered powerless to resist. It is exactly the opposite condition of the blessing of God. The Hebrew word arar references an actual curse or one who has been cursed.
A curse arising from speaking evil, swearing, defaming, cursing, wishing harm. In the Old Testament the words are qalal, qabab, naqab and za'am and they basically have the same meaning. In the New Testament there are the words kataraomai, kakologeo and raca (insult). This is a spoken curse and represents an open, public expression of emotional hostility against one's enemy. Jesus warned us about it saying: "Curse no one." He also said we should bless those who curse us in this manner.
b. Almost every time the word "curse" occurs in the Bible, it appears in the context of the people of the covenant and not unbelievers or the wicked.
Perhaps this surprises you. It is natural to conclude that the wicked or unbelieving will be in a spiritually unfavorable condition. A curse does not seem to be appropriate way to characterize the life of a believer. However, in the Bible, the word is almost always associated with the people of the covenant, the people who should be the guardians of the divine precepts and commands. The blessings we enjoy because of the Bible are not a permanent inheritance. Our choices determine whether or not we remain secure in them.
Every alliance, commandment, law or principle carries a curse with it. You have the option of obeying counsel; not so with an alliance, commandment, law or principle. They carry consequences:
"But if you refuse to listen to the Lord your God and do not obey all the commands and decrees I am giving you today, all these curses will come and overwhelm you" (Dt 28:15).
Reading these words you have to remember that God was not referring to the wicked, but to his own people. It illustrates the responsibility implicit in an alliance with Him. The possibility of curse comes with the alliance. You might think that this is an Old Testament issue; however, the writer of Hebrews shows to what degree it is found in the New Testament: "For it is impossible to bring back to repentance those who were once enlightened — those who have experienced the good things of heaven and shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the power of the age to come — and who then turn away from God. It is impossible to bring such people back to repentance; by rejecting the Son of God, they themselves are nailing him to the cross once again and holding him up to public shame" (Hb 6:4-6).
This text has a very specific context that should not be generalized frivolously. It presents a specific manner to deal with a significant portion of the Jewish church that was falling away from Christianity into Jewish legalism. The point is that the New Testament reinforces the covenant responsibility implicit on the part of a believer.
Excerpted from "Intelligent Shepherding"
Copyright © 2017 Marcos De Souza Borges (Coty).
Excerpted by permission of Balboa Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
PART I: Basic Concepts,
1. INTRODUCTION, 09,
2. COUNSELING AND DELIVERANCE, 31,
3. SITUATIONS THAT HINDER DELIVERANCE, 45,
PART II: Analyzing the Diagram of the Model of Deliverance Counseling,
1. SYMTPOMS OF CURSES, 57,
2. THE MAPPING PROCESS, 101,
3. CAUSES OF CURSES, 129,
4. THE PROCESS OF CRUCIFIXION, 165,
5. THE CROSS OF CHRIST, 205,
6. THE PROCESS OF EVALUATION, 217,