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Deliverance in Anglican Pastoral Ministry

Deliverance in Anglican Pastoral Ministry
Third Annual Conference on Special Pastoral Intervention

An interview with Dr. Mark Quay

By Grace Wiley
March 7, 2018

The Third Annual Conference on Special Pastoral Intervention will be held on June 5-8 at Trinity Anglican Church, Rock Island, IL. The event is sponsored by the Society of Special Pastoral Intervention (sspintervention.org) and the Anglican Diocese of Quincy. The subject of the Conference will be "Deliverance in Anglican Pastoral Ministry."

In anticipation of this event, Grace Wiley, Administrative Assistant to the Bishop of the Jurisdiction of the Armed Forces and Chaplaincy (Bishop Derek Jones), interviewed the Rev. Dr. Mark Quay, president of the Society and author of A Minister's Manual for Spiritual Warfare (Resource Publications, 2015) about the need for trained deliverance ministers in the Anglican Church in North America.

What is deliverance ministry?

Well, the definition in my book says, "Deliverance ministry is any action by a Christian, done in the name of Jesus, which seeks to remove or lessen the spiritual bondage which comes with undergoing a demonic attack." But fundamentally, deliverance is a Gospel ministry-it is a proclamation of freedom and healing in Christ from demonic assault. Preaching, teaching, prayer, at which the Gospel is the center, are forms of deliverance ministry.

What we're looking at in particular here is a specialized response of the Church, through appropriately trained ministers (lay or clergy) to the sorts of demonic attacks which are beyond temptation. This can include demonic oppression, obsession, and even what some call possession.

What prompted you to begin working in this area?

I guess it was because I kept running into things that "go bump in the night." I don't mean to sound flippant. I just found myself being aware of spiritual presences that weren't peaceful or healthful. Maybe 25-30 years ago, I decided I needed to learn more to fight back. With experience, the spiritual gift of discernment, and what little mentoring was available back then, I came to understand the nature of spiritual warfare.

Since that time, I been involved in a number of different kinds of demonic attacks: hauntings (yes, they're real), oppressions, occult activities, and even possessions. I kept notes on what I was learning and also on what others also involved in this ministry were saying. This would eventually become A Minister's Manual for Spiritual Warfare. This book, together with seminars I've led, raised awareness among a number of ministers who came to me asking for training. This led to the formation of the Society for Special Pastoral Intervention.

What is the need? Are there really people who are being demonically oppressed or possessed?

Perhaps I might rephrase the question to "Are there really people who are being demonized?" I'm trying, along with members of the Society, to get our terminology from the Bible. The Bible refers to people as "having a demon" or being "demonized." Nevertheless, sometimes a distinction between demonic oppression and demonic possession is pastorally useful.

Are people being demonized? Yes, in larger and larger numbers! We frequently read articles coming from Roman Catholic sources saying they need thousands of exorcists, especially in Western Europe.

And why is that, you may ask? Scholars like Gabriel Amorth give us the answer. Young people in Western Europe resent the wholesale secularization of society by their parents' generations. This "progressive" dynamic even infested the Church, both Catholic and Protestant, so that [the Church] had no credibility. Searching for some sort of transcendent reality in life, these youths turned to Eastern mysticism, spiritualism, the occult, and even Satanism. Well, they found spiritual reality, all right, and it was hungry for their souls. In a panic, they've turned to the Church, which of course they found to be as skeptical about demons as your typical agnostic. Priests and Protestant pastors trotted out their usual "it's all ignorance or poorly understood disease or mental health problems" and found that wouldn't answer. They weren't trained at all to handle this. How could they be, they didn't even believe in this?

Thankfully, there are some orthodox priests and pastors, typically traditionalists or charismatics, who were prepared and who have entered into the war for souls. There just aren't enough of them and they're mostly too busy battling to have time to train.

It would be tempting for us to say, "Yes, well that's Europe, isn't it, with their atheistic, secularist agenda. This can't happen here." Look at the agenda of the American social elite. Look at popular culture. We're about a decade or so behind Europe. Do we want to wait until the need is catastrophically upon us, or do we need to begin preparing now? In my mind, we've already left this too late.

What has been the impact of the Society for Special Pastoral Intervention since its inception?

It's still early days for the Society. We're trying to get a sense of the current needs in the local parish and the ACNA bishops' awareness of them. However, between our two conferences to date and seminars held at parishes, about 250 people have been trained to some extant in spiritual warfare and deliverance ministry.

In addition, we're serving as a resource for pastors who are running into demonic attacks on their parishioners (and sometimes on themselves). We've been able to provide guidance and, in some cases, even send teams of trained ministers to assist the local pastor. Word about this gets around and even former skeptics are asking for our advice.

What is this year's conference about and who is it for?

Like the previous two, this conference will be offering training for those who are either already experienced in deliverance ministry or to the complete novice. It will equip them with the fundamentals. It is for bishop-approved clergy and pastor-approved laity. People from other denomination are welcome as well if they have similar approval. What will be different in this year's is that we will be offering seminars for more experienced ministers.

Who will be speaking? Are there any specific topics that will be touched on?

Many of our previous speakers will be there this year: Bishop Don Harvey (retired ordinary to the Anglican Network in Canada), Bishop Frank Lyons (former missionary bishop to Bolivia), Dr. Craig Isaacs (clinical psychologist and exorcist), Dr. Erich Junger (forensic scientist and exorcist), and Fr. Lee Mullins (missionary to Thailand and expert on the occult and Eastern religions). The speakers represent a broad range of churchmanship, from Anglo-Catholic, to Evangelical, to Charismatic. This ministry is Broad Church in the best sense of the term. Topics will include Biblical Demonology, types of demonization, setting up deliverance ministries, and several case studies. Those interested should go to the website, www.sspintervention.org for a complete list of topics and speakers.

What do you hope the outcome of this year's conference will be?

Two things: raising up more ministers to bring the Gospel's message of freedom to those suffering from demonic attacks, and raising awareness of the need for this important ministry. Practically speaking, this means pastors recruiting and training deliverance teams in their parishes and bishops appointing resource people to help pastors in this ministry.

What we at the Society dream of is a Church like St. Chrysostom describes where even the simplest layman is able to speak with the authority of Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit and cast out devils as a normal part of Gospel ministry. Until then, we will continue to train, advise, and intervene to bring Christ's liberty to those held captive by evil.


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