In Spirit Blog

With Mother’s and Father’s Day just around the corner, it seems a good time to address a recent disturbing trend being voiced from some pulpits and in various public forums, the apparent existence of “The Orphan Spirit”.  Seems like this nasty critter rears its head when people have the nerve to expect accountability and character in those they deem to be leaders of whatever group they are a part of, especially when they have the audacity to express this expectation publicly.  However, we have observed a fascinating trend that when true fathers and mothers are present it seems there are no orphans to be found.  Perhaps, the supposed existence of an orphan spirit could be better labelled “The Orphan Spirit Hoax”.Orphan Spirit

Those of us who have had the privilege of relationship with a true father or mother, whether   the actual parents who raised us or others who have taken on that role in other situations, can likely name the characteristics of these special people.  Selfless, compassionate, honest, giving of time and resources, courageous, protecting and empowering are but a few examples that spring to mind.   Being part of a family, workplace or even sports team that has experienced this type of parent is life-altering and in many ways a foundation for life that can be drawn on again and again.  Unfortunately, the absence of such an influence can be like a wound that never heals which prevents us from functioning with any sense of normalcy or from living a prosperous life.  How cruel then that one who has never experienced a true father or mother be accused of harbouring an orphan spirit.  That is like accusing a starving person that we refuse to feed of having a spirit of hunger.  Preposterous!

Admittedly, we live in a time in history where expectations of leaders have never been higher.  With the availability of information through the internet and social media tools such as Twitter and Facebook it is frighteningly easy to create a persona and apparent reputation and also to destroy one.  Leaders and parents of all kinds can be easily tempted to place the blame on those with the high expectations.  This is a no-win proposition that too often results in abusive behaviour, usually on the part of the “parent” in the equation.  Hence the easy out of the apparent existence of an orphan spirit.  This nicely exempts the father or mother from any responsibility in the matter and also exempts the son or daughter by creating a convenient third party entity that can be blamed for the whole mess.  Just another version of “the devil made me do it” or demon hunting at its worst.

Before drilling deeper into the orphan spirit hoax, a quick disclaimer to ensure a clear definition of what is not at issue here.  Partly due to the fantasy relationships that are created by social media, mass communications and other very shallow personal interactions there can be situations where a person fantasizes that a father/mother relationship exists that simply is not there.  That is not what is being addressed here.  The situation we are concerned with is one where there is a clear parental relationship, either by blood or mutual agreement and understanding.  Statements that indicate such an arrangement exists might be:

“I am his or her spiritual father.”

“He is a son of this house.”

“She is coaching/mentoring me.”

This is in no way suggesting that any of these arrangements are healthy, wise or something to be desired but only indicate that a real connection exists instead of a fantasy in the minds of one person or the other.

It is in these situations that the one supposedly being parented can raise legitimate concerns of selfishness and abuse toward one they expected nurturing, empowering and character from, too often triggering the accusation they are operating in an orphan spirit.  This is nothing but a self-protection mechanism on the part of the abuser and power hungry leader to avoid dealing with the real issue.  If they were behaving like a true father or mother, there would be no orphans anywhere to be found.  Put another way, if you are going to talk the talk then you better walk the walk.

In closing, consider these words from the Apostle Paul, a true father:

“For it seems to me that God has put us apostles on display at the end of the procession, like those condemned to die in the arena. We have been made a spectacle to the whole universe, to angels as well as to human beings. We are fools for Christ, but you are so wise in Christ! We are weak, but you are strong! You are honored, we are dishonored! To this very hour we go hungry and thirsty, we are in rags, we are brutally treated, we are homeless. We work hard with our own hands. When we are cursed, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure it; when we are slandered, we answer kindly. We have become the scum of the earth, the garbage of the world–right up to this moment. I am writing this not to shame you but to warn you as my dear children. Even if you had ten thousand guardians in Christ, you do not have many fathers, for in Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel. Therefore I urge you to imitate me.” 1 Corinthians 4:9-16

Ask yourself, were there any orphan spirits in Paul’s presence?

Or to put it another way, how can an orphan spirit exist within your group of people if true fathers and mothers are present?  How is it possible that they can co-exist?

John Matthews

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Showing 9 comments
  • Florian Berndt

    That’s so sad! This has NEVER been the idea of the original ‘orphan spirit’ revelation, and to use it in such a way as described actually testifies of a deep seated orphan complex in those who use it to control people with labels like that – and yes, that would indeed be a hoax. Thank you for speaking out against this abuse, which seems to pop up everywhere right now in charismania land…

    You can find the original teaching of the ‘orphan spirit’ under these links:

    And for the full audio version:

    Or one simply gets James Jordan’s book ‘Sonship’…

    • B2E Group

      Thank you comments Florian. We’ll definitely check out these links. Would that we have more real fathers and mothers in the worldwide church.

  • Florian Berndt

    The first link is a summary by the way and not necessarily the wording used in the original teaching by James Jordan…

  • Edualdo Cicero

    My question then would be : “Should the presence of true spiritual fathers warrant automatically that those being close to them have grasped their identity as sons of God?” and a linked question would be : “Would there be a possibility for parents who have poured genuine love and affections over their children to still find that the latter may still prefer to hang on to an ‘orphan mindset’ and struggle through many years of finding their true identity as sons?” — Basically, wouldn’t there be any room for free will like Adam and Eve had at the garden (where all was perfect in Abba’s presence and love) that still made them go another route? Would any Judah Iscariot find his way out of a loving and genuine connection with the Word made flesh just because he chose to do so and thus embracing that orphan spirit more than he would the heart of Abba via Jesus His Beloved Son?

    • B2E Group

      Edualdo, the simple answer to your first question would of course be yes. However, even if the children did not fully understand their identity, a true father or mother would never place a label as “orphan” on a beloved son or daughter. Whether fully embracing a deep and meaningful parent/child relationship or not, our heavenly Father always considers us as sons and daughters and never orphans.

      • Edualdo Cicero

        Thank you John for your response.

        I was a bit confused by the fact that you would totally DENY the existence of the “orphan spirit” (designating the syndrome of all who do not see God as their Father and those who may not understand Him as such for various reasons and thus live out their faith in a very dysfunctional way). This is just a fact that Jesus also mentioned about those who, while knowing Him in the flesh, would still be “orphans” until the Holy Spirit would come to live in them (John 14:16-18).

        If, according to your answer (“yes” to my first question above), those in the presence of true spiritual fathers automatically grasp their identity as sons of God, how is it that folks like Adam or Judas Iscariot or even Demas (2 Tim. 4:10) and Alexander (2 Tim. 4:14)–who had been in the presence of Paul–would walk out of or misunderstand their identity as sons of God?
        What would cause children on the other hand to not fully understand their identity even with very good, loving and affirming parents?

        While I understand that it would be wrong to label people as “orphans” on the basis of their not fully grasping their identity as sons/daughters of the living God, is it necessary to DENY that the orphan spirit is designating a mindset that has not fully grasped God as Father? Which may actually help people realize that functioning out of that spirit would cause someone to feel deprived of the fatherhood of God and thus miss out on the assurance it provides when we actually do receive it as a reality for our life.

        I think the misunderstanding lies more on the MISUSE of the term (orphan). Using it to condemn is definitely wrong. However, bringing it to the light of God’s truth to reveal that we are no longer to be determined by its characteristics could bring a total paradigm shift. We experienced it in Tahiti as it did help believers to shift from the orphan mindset to the one of sonship in a very beautiful way. This approach helped them realize they were still functioning under that mindset. It is definitely not a condition warranted for those who have come to receive Jesus as Lord and God as their Father (while not denying the fact that it is still a mindset in which people live in out of choice or out of ignorance of who they really are).

        I hope my rambling is making some sense.
        Blessings and SHALOM to all,
        Edualdo Cicero

        • B2E Group


          Thank you for your deep thought and analysis of this issue. While I would not deny the possibility of the existence of an “orphan spirit” I would still place the burden on potential spiritual fathers and mothers to focus on their behaving this way rather than identifying the existence of the “orphan spirit” in others. From your comments, I think you would agree with this. Also, I would argue that even in the examples you gave, God the Father and Jesus himself continued to focus on demonstrating their love to the “orphan” rather than calling it out in them. This is the issue we are addressing and the “hoax” we are trying to uncover. To repeat one of the statements in the post in another way – “If people would focus on acting like true fathers and mothers, the “orphan spirit” has no fertile ground to grow.

  • Rose

    what is most concerning is the fact not many faith full christians will question those in so called Leadership when it comes to making up endless knew labels, not to mention offence to those files who may have a child who at one time was a real Orphan, thus is concerning just how these terms can be used so loosely and can abuse others as if some how is a negative thing.

    What was Gods first words? For God so Loved the world….. so yes even non believers are Loved and understand love, but the only difference is many have not experienced Gods Love, this still does not make them Orphans , as God says HE won’t and doe NOT leave any one as Orphans.. So who are leaving those in the church in the same state as they arrived? I also hear people say this, well just because it snot in the Bible does not mean these sports don’t exist ?? So it appeals often to certain types of personal of people.. EG: the ones who may in their own minds be genuine and just because their Leaders express this new terminology they thing its right to use the term Orphan Spirit in a sweeping manner EG: new folk start going to a church where they have been taught these doctrine and wrongly believe all people must be delivered of it?? is simply deception, or ignorance which can spread deception, as who knows you may have such a spirt where in fact you don’t….yes sharing the Gospel is relatively a Simply thing, one teaches and or shares in a normal every day live, and if those who are church goers do reach those who those they may determined in their own minds others are lost, where was you may be entertaining a messenger of God, so then simply tell them about christ and all he has done, then ACT out in Love. As love is the KEY to every ting you do, and Christ is the source of it all..

    The real issue in the modern church is the lack of sound minds, and Love form relations ship of been with chart son a daily basis in HIS word, as Rev explains clear that in the end times the Love of many will Grow Cold… then many will fall away.. with this falling away many can then be deceived.

    Last thing, exercise Christ Wisdom thats form ABOVE, and NOT mans every new throw around words, which fat to often , spilt the church and gains Nothing. ( Me chitin for over 30 yrs, and seen it all…. stick to the word of God and DON,T deviate from it as Christ was far more interested in our we treated one another, and he never cast out Orphaned spirt, he taught others who had more to take in those who are what? less fortunate, to care Love and nurture. The true Bible si those who take in the Orphaned and care for Widows, the so called pentecostals are obsessed with demon hunting…. so unless you focus on Christ along, you will be chasing doctrines of demons we guess.. um no wonder the church is in such a mess, as we are to be witnesses to those who are perishing, and if e are not Loving one another and stay on the focus then many will only be still working in their head knowledge and no really out pouring or any practical good.

    Last thing is this, Christ said you shall know them by their fruit, and many said Lord Lord did we not cast out demons, and Christ response was this, be gone you have not known ME. So I rather hear well done Good and Faithful servant welcome home , than to be told by the LORD of all, begone . So place on your feasts of those who need it most, and STOP trying to sound spiritual. As words and deeds must coincide together, which means we then would be lain gin Harmony and Love as Christ teaches us, rather than endless debating, really I feel is a cop out form login the real stuff that matters most. We are to be Sober and vigilant AWAKE in these so called end times, as tough MANY will come to deceive and try to take captive to there way of thinking….. if it snot in the Bible , its not true, end of.

  • Fraser Allibone

    Thankyou for the above all.
    When I first discovered teaching on the Father heart of God, by Jack Frost, I was attracted to it because Jack was saying openly things I’d struggled with all my life including my time as a redeemed soul. Thus began my journey of unpacking father pain.
    My hunger to know a true father as in God was very very deep as I had closed off my own heart from my earthly father due to his angry countenance and bullying nature, he broke me, broke my tender heart. His heart was already broken from a lack of a tender father himself. Poor man. My dad died 7 years ago.

    I looked for years for a father outside the church and inside the church, from Indian gurus to pastors. I wanted a dad and a God at the same time.
    When I got saved I loved the presence of the Holy Spirit, the anointing, the Glory but I had great fear of intimacy with a father because of wrong use or abuse from the past.
    I have and had hated myself for many years, from the time of being a precious child thinking that I wasn’t loved until fairly recently, not that I am ‘there’ yet, and this road has been tough, with me getting into trouble many times in church because of my pain. Some Church people carry much pain, and church can be a hospital, a place for true love and gentle healing as well as a place of joy and friendship.

    I had a depression recently and am still recovering, but my counselling has discovered that I had a low opinion of myself and that it was not my fault why my father was so hurtful. I reckon I blamed myself for his hurtful ways. I understand that he was projecting his pain stuff onto me. As the rest of my family probably did. They call it ‘scapegoating’, and I was an emotional rubbish bin for others’ toxic emotional anger. I sucked it up like a sponge and was marred and disfigured emotionally by it, a bit like Jesus on the Cross. But it’s not mine to carry but His so I give it to Him right now.
    This is sad, but I forgive them and wish to do good now to my remaining family which I think is happening.

    I never felt important to my father and I have put too much pressure I think on older gentlemen in my church past to be the dad I wanted but never had. This exploded recently with me being kicked out of my old church fellowship due to a rage-fuelled episode between the pastor and me. I was suffering mentally and spiritually, as was he. I looked on him as a ‘dad’ figure, and our own toxic emotions and rage poured over each other. It’s quite funny really looking back from where I am emotionally today.

    But at the time, it was like reliving the past, as a frustrated, repressed and deeply enraged, hurt and angry teenager (all hidden behind a ‘mask’); a teenager that had finally had enough, whose bucket of toxic hurt was finally at capacity, and spilled over. ‘She just can’ny take it any more Captain, she’s gonna blow!’ Like Scotty from Star Trek might say.

    I guess this needed to happen to effect change and a cycle of spiritual torment and abuse that I was subjecting myself to, no doubt due to my injuries in my little boy’s heart within me, where I hadn’t forgiven my dad back then. I forgive him now.
    So much need to pray for our leaders, as our Father’s love letter to us, our scripture says. Fallible men you see. I must lay it to rest, and I do.

    Alas! I have realised not to put pressure on present authority figures, to be my ‘dad’ anymore, but to treat them as equal, eye to eye, adult to adult as I believe they say in transactional analysis.
    I am learning to see God as my heavenly father, but to keep authority figures at arm’s length, to keep the relationships cool, emotionally distant if necessary as a safeguarding factor for both of us, since I expected too much from previous ‘fathers’. This type of pressure and expectation has led to much disappointment and let down in me, just like I felt growing up with my father. And disappointment or hope deferred, as one Bible translation puts it, makes the heart grow sick. And my heart was sick, very.

    This type of thing I think has caused problems for many emotionally needy and sensitive ones like me; by the way I am six foot four and full of muscle, like in the song, ‘We come from the land down under! I am big AND sensitive.

    I have never been part of a church that teaches the orphan spirit or have even heard it mentioned in church from the front, and that’s been since 1990, nearly 30 years. It has been my personal search, due to my great search for a loving father, and this led me to getting all the information I could hungrily grab and digest. I went to conferences, retreats, I bought materials, listened to tapes, watched videos, GODTv, anything, a pilgrimage, a quest, my own holy grail, countless hours of committed search to finding God personally and a revelation of his love to me. I am on a journey discovering His love and probably will be for eternity, layers and waves of his love. Can I take it? One drop at a time. He undoes me.

    But the greatest breakthrough that I have had recently is to be easy on ‘me’, it sounds like self centred-ness, but my dad was so heavy, and I too became heavy on me. The little me that still lives. The rest of me, my intellect and maturity, my skills and musical giftings still related to God. I could have intimacy with God in these areas of DOING. But I couldn’t just sit still with God, without doing anything. I believe it will come, whereby I relate to Father without my playing the saxophone.
    Before, I felt that the little me or inner child as the psychologists call him or her, wasn’t loved, or even worthy of love, I’d kept him in the non-love classroom doing his lines for fifty years ‘I mustn’t let down my father down’. I thought my dad didn’t love me.

    But now, I have turned a corner, I see hope, a way through my pain, a solution, now I am blessing the little ‘me’, mini-me, feeding me, , forgiving me, holding the little one who is me, it’s like being two people, but in an acceptable way, a loving and integrating way, theres the present ‘big’ me , then there’s the little me who I am learning to love. Now God loves all of me, it’s just that I haven’t loved myself, I have berated myself instead and not allowed good things to come my way because of pride in my unlove-abilty, stuff like that. Christ took away my curse, so I don’t curse myself anymore. Sometimes I think unsaved ones think we’re mad with all the self condemnation and poverty mindedness. I know it’s not the American way, but in the British Church, I am of the opinion that there is a bit or a lot of ‘unworthy is me’, O holy God, O sinful me! As someone said. An old religious thing, developed in darkness.

    I suppose that when my two selves, my outer-man (that copes with the world) and my inner child (that relates to love), become one, I will be whole and complete, and emotionally whole. Happy and free.

    Bible scripture says to call no man father, I personally have biblically left my mother and father, and cleaved to my wife in marriage and have started a family of my own; this is a beautiful thing for me, and God’s goodness!
    I now have to let go of what wasn’t in terms of a mother and father’s love, stop trying to fix myself, or my world, and stop trying to recreate what wasn’t in my past, the missing play, rest and time with my dad, and look to God now for present fathering, to fill the love deficits as I heard somewhere. The past is gone, my Pa is dead, but God isn’t. Thankfully.

    God will meet our every need. Regards from Fraser.

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