The Bondage Breaker was written by Neil T. Anderson. This is a book that “deals with the foundational issues of your identity in Christ and outlines practical steps on how to live by faith, walk according to the Spirit, renew your mind, manage your emotions, and resolve the emotional traumas of your past through faith and forgiveness” (p. 12). I find this to be a significant definition of exactly what I see counseling to be. Anderson emphasizes the battle we Christians have with spiritual warfare and doesn’t hesitate to hide the fact that Satan may play a major part in many of our emotional struggles and distance from God during them.
He does not believe that all diagnosis is caused by demons but what Anderson does acknowledge is that “many Christians battle physical symptoms unsuccessfully through natural means when the essence of the problem and the solution is spiritual” (p. 32). Anderson then goes on to suggest that most acts of misbehavior are influenced by un-holiness. When these acts of un-holiness become habitual in our lives we are opening up a doorway that allows Satan to have a stronghold on our life that in turn leaves us in his bondage (p. 54). There is also much emphasis on self-worth throughout his book.
Throughout many of the chapters Anderson mentions how our struggle with un-holiness is less when our parents or loved ones meet the needs we have to be loved. Anderson then tells us the importance in realizing our worth in God. He says “In Christ we are important, we are qualified, we are good. Satan can do absolutely nothing to alter our position in Christ and our worth to God. But he can render us virtually inoperative if he can deceive us into listening to and believing his insidious lies accusing us of being of little value to God or other people” (p. 41). Anderson then moves on to his “steps to freedom in Christ. ” These steps include recognizing and renouncing the ways we are deceived by the world, ourselves, and Satan, and our wrong perceptions about God (p. 139). By following these steps Anderson assures us that we will be able to come to a place where we understand that God’s truth is the only truth and from this we will be able to break away from the bondages that have strongholds on our lives.
When we realize who and what we are be deceived by we are able to affirm the truth in our lives that comes from God and God alone, because He is the Truth, the Light and the Way. Anderson begins to conclude his book on emphasizing that the only true healing can come from Jesus. Though Anderson does not fully reject psychotherapy he does emphasize that most inner hurts and battles we have with self-worth do need professional consult and from that point one can gain the knowledge of who they are in Christ and begin to heal from their bondage.
Strengths and Weaknesses I find that I agree with much of what the author is saying in his book. I do believe that though Satan does not have the ability to control our every thought and action we are vulnerable to let him in when we let sin hold a significant control over our lives. As a recovering addict I can attest to just how much Satan is able to enter your life when you let something as strong as sin take over your very thoughts and actions.
Satan uses these things to make us feel worthless and lie to us by telling us we can never recover and God is angry with us for our actions. I felt as though I was unworthy of God’s love because I struggled so much with my addiction and put God as a last priority to my addiction. You will find in your recovery just how wrong Satan was though, and you see how God was there all along trying to bring you closer to him with your every breath. I did find there to be inconsistencies with Anderson’s theory though.
Anderson obviously emphasized the importance of Jesus being the only way to recovery from bondage but then in other parts of his book he would pull from psychologist like Freud who sometimes lack biblical truth in their theories. He did not reject psychology per-say but I did find that what he did include from some psychology did sometimes conflict with His beliefs about the power of God in our healing process. Application As stated above applying the authors theory will not be a problem for me. I do see how in Christian Counseling settings I will be able to incorporate the workings that Satan can have in our lives.
Never are Satan’s works above or stronger than God’s works but we can find ourselves in a place where we are the ones who have pushed God out and let too much of Satan’s lies in. In conclusion though, I can’t see myself fully committing to the authors theory for all counseling techniques I do see where Anderson is absolutely bold and correct in his thoughts on the hold that bondage can have over our lives when we allow too much sin to take us over.
Anderson, N. T. (2000). The Bondage Breaker. Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers.