Percy Burns. 2020. Glorious Freedom: How to Experience Deliverance Through the Power and Authority of Jesus. Shippensburg, PA: Destiny Image Publishers, Inc.
Review by Stephen W. Hiemstra
Many people recognize the work of God in their lives through their sensitivity to unexpected blessings. Spiritual warfare often works the same way, through unexpected afflictions usually timed to interfere with a spiritual breakthrough, like the little foxes that can destroy a vineyard in blossom, as King Solomon once wrote (Sol 2:15).
In his book, Glorious Freedom, Percy Burns writes:
“I will teach you how you, too, can walk in the power and authority given you by Jesus Christ to be set free from demonic bondages and how to set others free. Glorious Freedom is for all who desire to recognize demonic strongholds in your own life or in your children’s lives, how to deal with those bondages, and how to protect yourself and your family from the strategies of our common enemy Satan.” (14)
The key word here is teach. This book assumes no prior knowledge of the subject matter and provides a fair amount of biblical background for those unacquainted. Frequently, Percy passes the pen to his wife, Sara Jo, when she offers an alternative perspective or interesting story.
Clues to Demonic Influence
While for many people spiritual warfare may appear like Solomon’s little foxes, others find themselves with ongoing demonic oppression. In introducing his chapter on recognizing demonic influence, Percy recounts the story of a man whose life and marriage was falling apart because of his own sexual sin. He knew he had a problem and had hit rock bottom. Wanting to reclaim his life, he approached Percy about deliverance ministry (33-35).
In general, Percy cites these clues to demonic oppression:
- Extreme fearfulness
- Consistent confusion
- Sense of ongoing defeat
- Sense of foreboding darkness
- Excessive meanness
- Overly controlling
- Addictive personality
- A drivenness (36)
He follows scripture in his observations and sees deliverance ministry perfectly compatible with Christian counseling, working with a mentor, and striving to improve personal discipline (35-38). Percy has occasionally worked with several psychiatrists in undertaking this ministry (27).
Background and Organization
Percy Burns is a retired Presbyterian pastor who came to deliverance ministry while serving a church next to the French Quarter in New Orleans, which he describes as the center of witchcraft in the United States at that time (29). He received his bachelor’s degree from Belhaven University and his masters of divinity at Austin Presbyterian Seminary. When I met and worked with him, he was a seminary chaplain in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Percy writes in eleven chapters:
- The Launching Pad
- Recognizing a Demonic Problem
- How Demons Gain Access
- Step-by-Step Guide to Ministering Deliverance
- Ministering Deliverance to Children
- Recognizing the Power and Authority of Jesus
- Personal Testimonies of Freedom
- Questions You May Have
- Called to Minister Deliverance?
- A Journey through the Scriptures
- From My Bookshelves: Insights from Trusted Sources (xi)
These chapters are preceded by a preface and Introduction, and followed by an epilogue and about section.
Satan not Fair
The longest chapter recounts personal testimonies of people helped by deliverance. The stories represent a cross section of society, all ages and economic classes and they chronicle many different challenges. These stories have been written by those who experienced them, which is obvious from the different writing styles of the authors.
Perhaps the most striking was a story by a parent of a four-year boy, visited by a spirit that he describes as “gray man” who attempted to convince the boy to jump out a window and to dismiss his Sunday school lessons about Jesus (138-144). As a parent, this story really gripped me—we think of childhood as a time of innocence. Yet, as Percy repeatedly reminds his reader—Satan does not play fair.
The second longest chapter is Percy’s review of biblical teaching about Satan, demons, and the practice of deliverance ministry. In particular, Percy draws attention to:
“There shall not be found among you anyone who burns his son or his daughter as an offering, anyone who practices divination or tells fortunes or interprets omens, or a sorcerer or a charmer or a medium or a necromancer or one who inquires of the dead” (Deut 18:10-11 ESV; 180)
Dabbling with the occult is a common thread running through many of the accounts that Percy cites. The prevalence of films today focused on the occult suggests one reason why the need for deliverance ministry has grown in recent years.
Key turning points in my seminary training were often accompanied with unexpected family challenges, which led me to introduce myself to Percy and to assist him with his ministry when an occasion would arise. This book, Glorious Freedom, provides an accurate picture of deliverance ministry, as Percy practices it.This work led me to appreciate the power of Christ, strengthened my prayer life, and led to healing in my own life on several occasions. Experiencing spiritual oppression? Curious? Check it out.
 My own experience is chronicle in a chapter on authoritative prayer in my 2019 book, Simple Faith (Centreville, VA: T2Pneuma Publishers LLC).
 I would like to thank Percy Burns for making a pre-release copy of Glorious Freedom available to me
Burns Calls Out the Unclea
Other ways to engage online:
Author site: http://www.StephenWHiemstra.net
Publisher site: http://www.T2Pneuma.com