Some Pentecostalists believe in using exorcism rites over all sorts of matters that torment people, not just the hard-set, destructive evil of classic "possession" or demonization. Disease, mental illness, anger, confusion, conflictive relationships -- all are treated as the creation of some sort of demon sent to pester (or 'afflict') that person. A Pentecostalist 'deliverance ministry' calls on the power of Christ to free someone from the grip of a specific trouble, lie, addiction, obsession, or demonic action. This is done through the Holy Spirit working through Christ's servants in that congregation or cell. (There may be group deliverance, too, but that is rarely meant by the term, and works differently.) Some who come for deliverance are non-Christian, and others are believers of various intensity.

These Pentecostalists have developed a complex set of beliefs and practices around the effort to cast these demons. To wit:

* they are to be cast out by name.
* a demon can get a 'legal right' to be inside someone.
* a demon may come into someone just because they hang out at an 'occultically-occupied' location, or through a close relationship with someone involved in the occult.
* there are demonic hierarchies, with each demon assigned to specific tasks.
* objects (such as ancient works of art and imported jewelry) can also bear the demon. (Because of this, some deliverance ministries consider museums to be dens of the occult.)
* there are curses that can be passed along from one's forebears.
* there are elaborate and wearying rituals or courses of action which supposedly can force a demon to tell the truth and obey orders.

Some of them even expect to see spinning heads and levitations and glowing eyes and such, as if this was a horror movie. They believe the real work of "deliverance ministry" should be left to a 'gifted', 'trained' specialist in casting out demons. Mainstream Christians do not believe in 'deliverance ministries', and do not support them in their congregations. Some even call them a false hope that stops people from getting proper mental health care or from learning to just let go of an inner conflict. Pentecostalists and Charismatics see 'deliverance ministry' as one of the core tasks of the church, in that the Lord's authority is in effect, not only in the by-and-by, but in the here-and-now, in a way that really matters in someone's life. Many of these do not support the more extreme interpretations of what 'deliverance' means.

If the beliefs and practices most often backed by 'deliverance ministries' were so important in the struggle against Satan, then it's strange how little support they get from the Bible. It's strange how the worldview they get from all this resembles that of the occultic follower, or of an animist, the exact folks they say they oppose. Truth be told, the kind of things the 'deliverance ministries' call "demonic affliction" are more like strong forms of "temptation". Demons will ply their lying craft, but it is our sinful selves that pay heed. The responsibility is ours, not theirs. The Bible usually deals with temptation not through exorcism, but by way of self-examination, confession, repentance, character-building, determination to resist, love for others, and trust in God. Rescue from temptation is done by Christ, and the power to refuse it comes from the Spirit -- not from a "deliverance minister". The key is to remember Whose we are.