Aspects of the coming of the Kingdom of God in the ministry of deliverance from the occult and idolatry: a perspective from the RCA

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Denysschen, Gregory Hilton
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University of the Free State
Abstract in other languages 𝘚𝘤𝘳𝘰𝘭𝘭 𝘥𝘰𝘸𝘯 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘈𝘧𝘳𝘪𝘬𝘢𝘢𝘯𝘴
𝑬𝒏𝒈𝒍𝒊𝒔𝒉 People converted from polytheistic religions face spiritual and physical challenges that impact adversely on the quality of their Christian experience in their new-found faith, as found within the ambit of the Reformed Church in Africa (RCA) and its ministry. Is this due to the inadequate attention given to addressing and dealing with the possible spiritual bondage suffered by converts from these religions? What are the implications of reference to bondages brought about by the influence of spirit entities, called demons in the Christian scriptures, and which manifests itself in the form of physical, emotional and spiritual affliction perpetuating their suffering? What is the meaning of the hope of deliverance the Gospel hold out to them? This research thesis has an introduction followed by six chapters. The introduction broadly spells out the challenge the research faces in terms of the nature of the subject matter. The first chapter serves to clarify the purpose, research questions and define terms as used in the study. It deals with question-problem statement, the field to be focussed on in terms of what it hopes to achieve and the state of research. My hypothesis is that the purpose of the Gospel in the coming of Christ amounts to the restoration of the Kingdom of God among the nations on earth. The kingdoms of this world, represented by the idols, stand in direct antithesis to the kingdom of heaven. Emerging from a world saturated in animism and idolatry has had certain specific social and physical consequences for the members of such a community, which can be shown to have impacted adversely on the quality of their Christian experience in their new found faith. A ministry tailored to effectively address trauma experienced directly as a result of the spiritual implications of idolatry is desperately needed. In order to test this hypothesis, certain questions were raised: Will developing a comprehensive counselling and prayer therapy in ministry to deal specifically with this unique challenge, effectively solve the problem of meeting the need for each new believer to fully experience the actual physical and spiritual liberty that are theirs in Christ in real terms? Can a specialised approach be developed and presented to clergy and related counsellors, to equip the church to minister to the new believers from animistic and polytheistic religions, and would this dramatically impact on the quality of Christian life experienced in the RCA? Would equipping the ministers of the gospel with the findings of this research render them more capable to effectively serve this community in the way envisioned? The second chapter is dedicated to my methodology and research mode. Chapter three covers hermeneutical and theological perspectives and chapter four examines Biblical passages illustrating the broad spectrum of spirit influence and consequences. Chapter five deals with case histories phenomenological observed and analysed. I propose a responsible and appropriate counselling and prayer therapy in Chapter six and then conclude with final remarks, a summary of insight and present an aspect of transforming mission celebrating the triumph of Christ over the forces of darkness.
𝑨𝒇𝒓𝒊𝒌𝒂𝒂𝒏𝒔 Ses hoofstukke word in hierdie navorsing aangebied. Die eerste hoofstuk handel oor die doel van die studie en navorsingsvrae en die definisie van terme wat gebruik gaan word. Die probleemvraag en fokus, sowel as die staat van navorsing in die verband word aangeraak. Die hipotese is dat die doel van die Evangelie in Christus se koms, die oprigting van die Koninkryk van God onder die nasies op aarde is en dat dit op ‘n betekenisvolle en tasbare wyse moet plaasvind. Komend uit ‘n lewensruim deurdrenk met animisme en afgodery ervaar so ‘n gemeenskap sekere gevolge wat negatief inwerk op die kwalitiet van hul belewenis in hul nuutgevonde geloof in Christus. ‘n Bediening word benodig wat sulke trauma, veroorsaak deur die geestelike implikasies van afgodediens, effektief kan aanspreek. Om hierdie hipotese te toets is drie vrae gestel : Sou die daarstelling van ‘n omvattende beradings- en gebedsterapie in die bediening om spesifiek hierdie unieke uitdaging aan te pak, die behoefte wat elke nuwe gelowige ervaar om ten volle die werklike fisiese en geestelike bevryding wat aan hulle behoort in Christus in reele terme te beleef, aanspreek? Kan ‘n gespesialiseerde benadering aan predikante en beraders voorgehou word, om die gemeentes toe te rus om nuwe gelowiges uit animistiese en politeïstiese agtergronde sinvol te bedien en sou dit ‘n indringende impak op die kwaliteit van hul Christelike belewenis in die RCA maak? Sou die beskikbaarstelling van die bevindinge van hierdie navorsing aan die bedienaars van die Evangelie hul in staat stel om meer effektief te wees in hul diens aan die gemeeskap soos beoog? Deur hierdie vrae te oorweeg sal sekere antwoorde verskaf word. Dit sal gedoen word met verwysing na die gevallestudies en onderhoude wat gehou was met mense wat inderdaad trauma beleef het en gehelp is.
Thesis (Ph.D.(Missiology))--University of the Free State, 2013
Kingdom of God, Animism, Idolatry, Christianity and other religions -- African