Mike Guglielmucci Questions Answered « Planetshakers Insider.

According to the link above, Mike G. is currently undergoing in-patient psychiatric treatment. Some Christians are questioning why he is getting “worldly” treatment, when he “really” needs to be delivered from the demon of lust. Bearing in mind that I am not a psychiatrist, and have absolutely no contact with or inside information about the churches/persons involved, I believe in-patient psychiatric treatment is appropriate for a person in Mike G’s circumstances.  I am writing about this, not solely to air my opinions about the Mike G saga (if that were my only reason I have no business writing about it), but because I think the broader Christian community has a misunderstanding of spiritual warfare.

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I believe in-patient treatment for a person in Mike G’s circumstances is appropriate for the following reasons:

  1. He has a medical condition that needs to be treated. First of all, he may be suicidal, and needs to be monitored closely, and perhaps medicated. Also, he is obviously in ill-health, even if it is psychosomatic.  He was truly vomiting, coughing up blood, and in pain.  Even if he was taking something to induce his symptoms, he will need to be monitored and treated for those symptoms.
  2. Even if his problem is basically spiritual, Mike G’s ideas about God, healing, and the church are obviously so neurotic at this point that he probably needs a break from a religious context in order to start dealing with it.  His shame is so toxic that he needs to be completely protected from anything that might trigger it.
  3. By a “break from a religious context” I do not mean a break with God. God is still holding onto Mike, as He holds onto any of us no matter how far away we have gotten from him.
  4. While I do believe that there is definitely demonic oppression involved, getting free and healed will require more than just a few deliverance sessions. Satan has a deep foothold in this young man’s life, and repentance and freedom are going to take time and a lot of effort.
  5. Once he is stabilized medically and emotionally, then it will be time to begin to deal with the spiritual roots of the issue. He probably does need to be delivered from a demon of lust. But there are other, much worse problems here – unbelief, deceitfulness, pride, fear, shame, rebellion….And his thinking is obviously very confused.  Satan delights in taking the truth and twisting it, so that Mike may “know” the scriptures yet not really know them at all. He may believe lies about the nature of God that are very deeply rooted. He is going to need to rebuild his faith from the bottom up. So deliverance from lust is only one step, although obviously a very important one.
  6. And who should he trust to do the deliverance? His church? His family? These are people that he was unable to trust with his secret. That may be solely his problem and not have anything to do with the climate of the church. On the other hand, perhaps that climate is toxic. Whom then can he trust?

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I believe that there is a reason why some people are delivered from a sin and never struggle with it again, and why others like Mike G. struggle for years and are not delivered. I think the word of Jeremiah 8:11 is a key point:

“For they heal the wound of my people superficially, saying ‘peace, peace’ when there is no peace.”

Telling someone to pray, or fast, or memorize verses, or repent, or do more good works, does not of itself heal a deep wound of the spirit. Nor does a deliverance session, if you are not getting to the root of the issue. A demon of lust only has a foothold if you give it one. Why did he begin to look at porn to begin with? What unhealed wound of the spirit did Mike G. have, that porn would seem to be a balm? Most people with any addiction, whether drugs, sex, or money, are trying to self-medicate, to deaden emotional/spiritual pain. It is a form of idolatry, yes; but the porn itself is probably only a symptom of a deeper issue. Instead of repenting from looking at porn, Mike G. needed to be repenting from looking to porn instead of God to assuage his pain.

One of the best books I have read on the issue of spiritual counseling is Inside Out by Lawrence Crabb. He has written many other helpful books as well, but this is a good place to start.

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