CBN Scrubs "Witch Candy" Blog Post
Richard Bartholomew printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Fri Oct 30, 2009 at 12:59:47 PM EST
The Christian Broadcasting Network has caved in to scoffers and mockers and scrubbed a blog post which explained the dangers of Halloween - specifically, that "most of the candy sold during this season has been dedicated and prayed over by witches", and that this is a time of "sex with demons" and "rape and molestation of adults, children and babies", among much else.

The post was by Kimberly Daniels and taken from Charisma magazine, although much of the skeptical reaction has been at the expense of CBN's president, Pat Robertson. Regarding Halloween as demonic is common among Charismatic and neo-Pentecostal churches (and Evangelicals in general are not very keen on the celebration), and it is no surprise to read that she has links with C. Peter Wagner. It is interesting, though, to see elements of conspiracy theory, harking back to do the debunked "Satanic panics" of the 1980s.

Daniels has her own ministry, Kimberly Daniels Ministry International, where there is a profile. We are told:

Kimberly Daniels was the fastest female sprinter in junior college in the nation and in the military around the world. Later, she was spiraled into a lifestyle of prostitution and drugs. Since the miraculous intervention of Jesus in her life, she shares her testimony globally. She is a graduate of Florida State University where she obtained a Bachelor's Degree in Criminology. Kim's educational efforts have also blessed her with a Master's Degree in Christian Education and a Doctorate in Christian Counseling...Kim currently spearheads a coalition of over 20,000 intercessors called Commanders of the Morning. She and her husband, Ardell, have six children. They travel internationally with the commitment to bring apostolic truth to the body of Christ.

She seems to be on the up; only 8,000 "Commanders" are mentioned in an advert for a conference here, where she will be speaking alongside some characters we've met before: Chuck Pierce and Dutch Sheets.

A 2002 Charisma profile has further background:

With her team of "demon busters," Daniels is "stomping on the devil" and enjoying every minute of it. Once a drug addict herself, Daniels travels the globe teaching on spiritual warfare...As raw as the inner city where she grew up, Daniels, 40, spends most of her year traveling across the United States in a 30-foot recreational vehicle dubbed the Demon Buster Mobile.

Daniels began her career after attending a meeting given by Prosperity Gospel patriarch Kenneth Hagin:

At a prayer meeting in her hotel with other attendees, Daniels says someone prophesied, "An unclean spirit is among us." Believing this word was for her, Daniels stepped forward to receive prayer. When the meeting was over, she says she was free from demonic oppression, had been baptized in the Holy Spirit and was speaking in tongues.

The article continues:

...In 1996, Daniels and her husband founded Spoken Word church with a handful of faithful... When young people involved in the African religion Yoruba [sic - author means the traditional religion of the Yoruba people -RB] sought her out for deliverance, they introduced themselves by naming the strongmen over their heads, telling her that in order to help them, she'd have to deal with these demonic forces.

...Not easily intimidated, Daniels confronts demons boldly, often calling them "sissy, punk gods" before casting them out. Though unconventional, her method has produced much fruit.

Lavette Peoples, 29, was a practicing witch when she first visited Spoken Word Ministries (SWM). "I participated in spells, blood and animal sacrifices, astral projection and conjured up demons," says Peoples, now an intercessor at SWM. "I was crying out for help, and nobody in the city recognized I was full of demons. But when I went to Kim's church, I received deliverance..."

In 2000, Daniels was ordained through apostle John Eckhardt's Impact Ministries. Eckhardt, pastor of Crusaders Church in Chicago, says he recognized an apostolic gift in Daniels and believes God will use her to encourage other women called to walk in similar kinds of ministries.

Eckhardt has a website here; one of his sermons deals with "how cities are affected by demonic forces residing in the water".

This was one aspect of American Christianity that baffled me when I first came to the States.  I had grown up as a Methodist in the UK and I don't recall a single moment from all the Sunday School classes, Bible studies, or discussion groups where we were told that things like witchcraft, ghosts, or other supernatural manifestations were actually real.

Of course, there was also very little talk about a literal Hell, Satan, or demons too, which I think reflects the gap between the number of people who believe in God and Heaven and the number of people who believe in the Devil and Hell.

There must be something in the conservative psyche that makes them see dangers and enemies wherever they look.  I see a lot of commonality between believing that witches are real (and have real power) and believing that Obama is a secret Muslim fascist communist Manchurian candidate.  Neither belief makes any sense at all, but they both give these people something to rail against and stir up the fear and paranoia.

What's funny is that the image of the archetypal conservative is of a swaggering, gun-toting patriot ready to face down any enemy who dares to cross their path, but the reality is that I have never seen such a fear-driven paranoid bunch of people.  In their bedroom of life, there is an imaginary monster lurking under every bed and inside every closet.

by tacitus on Fri Oct 30, 2009 at 02:13:15 PM EST

Here's the skinny:

  1. Adam and Eve, in the Garden, screw up.

  2. God kicks them out of the Garden and withdraws his protective mantle.

  3. Demons flood in and establish dominance, and thus mortality, sickness, war, conflict, and all manner of evils that have plagued the world are born.

So, to get back to the Garden we have to kick out the demons.

by Bruce Wilson on Fri Oct 30, 2009 at 02:23:58 PM EST

Great catch, Richard.

by Bruce Wilson on Fri Oct 30, 2009 at 02:20:23 PM EST

at least not in the SBC churches I attended, and not this type of demonology.  As Richard states this is coming from the Pentecostal/Charismatic stream.  It is spread rapidly through C. Peter Wagner's  Apostles and Prophets crowd with Jack Hayford also on board as the overseer of the Cleansing Stream demon deliverance centers all over the globe.  Another related phenomenon is faith healing centers which are popping up all over, also using demon deliverance methods. Even in the SBC churches in the rural South we would have laughed at this 25 years ago.  Now it seems a significant segment of the evangelical world appears to be influenced by demonology and the corresponding spiritual warfare techniques.

Daniel's book "Delivered to Destiny" was endorsed on the back by M.C. Hammer, C. Peter Wagner, and R. T. Kendall.  The forward is by none other than Diana Hagee.  

by Rachel Tabachnick on Fri Oct 30, 2009 at 03:49:34 PM EST

It's a small world after all.

by Bruce Wilson on Fri Oct 30, 2009 at 04:00:57 PM EST

The Vatican issued a statement today that Halloween was an "anti-christian" holiday. Not quite as hysterical as the Daniels article but the basic message is the same.

by Frank Frey on Fri Oct 30, 2009 at 05:12:34 PM EST
Or, are they playing up to the whackadoodles in order to show their conservative "cred"?

by trog69 on Sat Oct 31, 2009 at 12:00:11 AM EST

but the fact that they pulled it because it got the sort of attention they DIDN'T want (and people were laughing at it) is even funnier.

It also suggests to me that these people KNOW what they're putting out is BS.

by ArchaeoBob on Sat Oct 31, 2009 at 03:53:08 PM EST

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