I recently visited a charismatic church. The sermon was about strengthening the spirit, or, as they put it, "Getting the wuss out of you!" The main scripture was Numbers 13:29, and the way it was explained suggested that each group (Amalekites, Hittites, Jebusites, Amorites, Canaanites, and Nephilim mentioned later) represented a spirit, and that those same spirits are holding people back today. For example, one of them was the "spirit of discouragement," another a "spirit of the python." I haven't ever heard of this notion, but wanted to study it out. I could not find any definitions that backed up what was presented. Please shed a little light on the subject, or advise me where I should look. -- Krissy Fischetti (Orlando)

The reason you couldn't find any definitions backing up this teaching is that it isn't a biblical doctrine. Among the neo-pentecostals it has become very popular, especially since the 1980s, to attribute various sins and attitudes to demons. To me, this is fanciful interpretation in the extreme.

This article is copyrighted and is for private use and study only. © 2004. Reprints or public distribution is prohibited without the express consent of Douglas Jacoby.