This is a hard book to review. I really enjoyed the book, but disagreed with the premise. It deserves 5 stars for interest and readability, but 1 star for polemics. I settled on 2.
The book consists of story after story about how controlling and manipulative people wreak havoc upon the church. If you have been in church for any amount of time, you will understand this. Sampson claims that these people are controlled by a Jezebel spirit.
I am a musician and singer and have lead worship for a half dozen churches throughout my Christian walk. The Music department is a place where people tend to show their true natures. Many people FEEL God wants them to sing, whether they have a gift or not. In reality they just want to be SEEN and HEARD. Almost everyone in their life has desired to be rich and famous. How many times on “American Idol” have we seen a person who thought they could sing, then totally bomb, and still do not see it. They want to be famous so bad they will do anything they can to get on stage.
Many times it is the same in church. I have seen a lot of manipulation in the church over the years. "God told me" is used about as frequently as "Praise the lord". People want their way and many times do not care who they step on to get it.
“God told me I was supposed to be on the worship team”. “God told me I was supposed to marry you”. “God told me to leave my wife”. “God told me I was supposed to have the service next Sunday.”
Why have I said all this? The bible says people are born depraved sinners. When we are saved, we receive a new nature, but the bible says we still have to fight the old man. I believe this is where this book fails. We have found the enemy and it is us.
Steve Sampson's whole premise is that a spirit of Jezebel is controlling thousands, maybe millions of people all over the world. I totally disagree.
Yes, spirits and demons are real. Satan is real. But I believe there is no Jezebel spirit per say. At the least, it is not controlling people all over the world. Spirits are not omnipresent. Only God is. Because he is a spirit, the devil is invisible. But he can not be in two places at the same time. Neither can any other being except God.
That said, more than one person could not have a Jezebel spirit at the same time. I am not ruling out that evil spirits do not get involved, but the bible says we sin when we are carried away by our own lusts.
Mostly, this book consists of story after story about people manipulating pastors for their own agenda. The stories ring true, but in some situations you wonder if something is left out.
Proverbs 18:17 NAS says:
The first to plead his case seems right, until another comes and examines him.
The book is very readable. The stories keep you riveted - I could not put it down. Unfortunately, there was very little exegesis, so he did not prove that there even is a Jezebel spirit. He throws in a couple of scriptures, but never even tries to convince you that what he says is biblical theology.
I can not say I recommend this book to everyone, but if you are very discerning and well versed in biblical theology, it is a good read. Just do not take it too serious.
*I received this book for free from Chosen Books in exchange for an honest review.