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A classic of deliverance-ministry nonsense
on August 27, 2004
First, some background. I am a Bible-believing Christian and a biblical scholar by training. I believe that demons exist, that they tempt and harass believers, and that people can be demon-possessed or "demonized" today.
However, PIGS IN THE PARLOR is one of the worst Christian books I have ever read. Hammond teaches that *everyone,* including every Christian, has at least one demon and should seek to be delivered from it (12). In the Gospels, though, no one who had a demon ever approached Jesus and requested deliverance. No one! Loved ones had to bring the demoniacs to Jesus because they had no control over their bodies.
In the Gospels, the symptoms of those who had a demon included extreme strength, epileptic-like fits, self-destructive behavior, screaming, and revulsion at Jesus Christ (a symptom no Christian can have). Compare some of the symptoms that Hammond says are common in people who have a demon: worry, procrastination, gossip, caffeine addiction, and the like (28-29). In fact, these things supposedly *are* demons. Also on the list of nearly 300 demons are stubbornness, shyness, daydreaming, discouragement, headache, retardation, forgetfulness, heartache, embarrassment, sexual frigidity, and intellectualism (113-15). I suppose I have the last-mentioned demon. Ignorance and stupidity, however, did not make the list.
Hammond also teaches the doctrine of positive confession, that if we say something negative it "will open the door for the enemy" (35). On this false doctrine, see my book _The Word-Faith Controversy_.
Hammond implies that most demons enter a person before birth or during infancy (117). Most adopted children "will have spirits of rejection" (118). A child's stuffed toy frog had to go because it could attract demons (142). (Sorry, Kermit!)
In short: this book is worth reading only as a classic text of deliverance-ministry nonsense.