FAQs for The Way of Purity
What is the purpose of our courses?
The purpose of this site is to actually recover men and women from slavery to sinful habits. Our heart's desire is to reclaim those who are captive, to recover those who are enslaved; not merely to inform, but to help release.
"You were like a burning stick snatched from the fire"
My name is Mike Cleveland, and my wife and I, along with our board of directors, operate the ministry of Setting Captives Free. Our purpose in this ministry is to recapture, recover, and restore to wholeness of life men and women who have been involved in any type of habitual sin.
What is the daily time commitment to complete the lessons?
Many people want to know what type of a time commitment it takes to do the lessons each day. The average is probably around 45 minutes to an hour a day.
Are people actually set free from sin through these courses?
No. These courses will be ineffective by themselves to release men and women from bondage to sin. It is not the courses that set people free, it is Jesus Christ.
However, if God is working in the heart, then yes, He can and does use the biblical principles in these courses to free people from sin's grip, regardless of how long they have been involved in the sin. We have seen people who had been addicted for 40+ years become totally free by the power of God as they have gone through the courses. Both men and women are finding complete freedom as they seek the Lord and study the material. Is everybody set free? No, some quit after a few days, and some quit halfway through, but the majority of those who stay with it to the end become free.
Who will see my answers?
The mentors and counselors of Setting Captives Free will be the only ones to see your course material unless you include a friend’s email address at the bottom of your lesson. Occasionally, we may ask your permission to use a response to encourage others who are taking the course. We are against spamming, or the sharing of any personal information that was intended to stay personal.
What if I am severely addicted to this particular sin? Is there hope for me?
Absolutely! Without a doubt. The reason we can make the claim that you can be totally delivered, is because we believe God can and does change people. What you will need to learn to do is to "stop trusting in man, who has but a breath" (Isaiah 2:22) and learn to trust in God for "salvation comes from the Lord" (Jonah 2:9).
We have people come to this ministry who have been enslaved to a particular sin the majority of their lives. While it is impossible for man to change man, it is a small thing for God, and He can do it. If you have been in bondage to sin for 10, 20 or 55 years, have hope that you can be changed!
Is this course based on biblical teachings, psychological teachings, or both?
We are an alternative to psychology, "Christian" or otherwise. We believe in biblical counseling, and that God's Word is sufficient for all the problems of mankind. If you are looking for a psychological approach to overcoming sin, this will not be the place for you. There are numerous psychological approaches, 12-step methods, and therapeutic resources on the Internet. Simply do a search for "addiction" to find them.
3 "His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4 Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires." 2 Peter 1:3-4
"But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, 15 and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work." 2 Timothy 3:14-17
What is the cost of our courses?
Absolutely nothing - we do not charge for our courses. In our case, the slogan "You get what you pay for," is not true. These courses will provide you with the tools to truly overcome habitual sin. And it is free. However, if you would like to donate to Setting Captives Free, please click here.
Why are the courses 60 days long?
While we know that God can save someone instantly, He normally works through causing us to grow in grace and knowledge. We did not get ourselves in to a particular addiction overnight, and it may take time to get out, as well. There is much learning to do, much heart searching, much application of Scripture--all of which takes time.
Studies have shown it takes 21 days to break a habit. We do not only want to break the habit, but also to replace the habit with a spiritually healthy lifestyle. This takes discipline, and discipline takes time.
Some people come to our ministry, and after a few days will proclaim from the rooftops that they are free. Soon after that, they cannot be found anymore. After a week or two, they come dragging back beaten up and defeated by the enemy of their souls. True freedom from sin must be verified over time and, after someone has been free for 60 days, they are well on their way to a lifetime of freedom.
My spouse wants to help. What can he/she do?
Thank the Lord your spouse wants to help! Spouses can greatly assist those who desire to become free. There are two specific actions your spouse may take to assist you. First, ask him/her to go through your particular course with you and do the lessons together. Second, if the bondage area is pornography or sexual impurity, have your spouse enroll in and work through the lessons in the A United Front here at Setting Captives Free. If the two of you will team up and work together, instead of against each other, you will make progress quickly.
How many people have taken this course?
Thousands of people have taken our courses. Obviously, not all who enroll will complete the course. Many do, some do not.
I am sure not everybody who takes the course is set free from pornography. Can you tell who will be set free, and who will remain in bondage?
Yes! There are several unmistakable clues. One is teachability. Some people come to the site puffed up with their knowledge of the Bible. They are talkers, who provide great insight and wisdom and depth of thought. The problem is, the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk, but of power (1 Corinthians 4:20) so it matters very little what words people use. It is the power of God in the life that enables purity. These talkers usually have overly spiritual wordage and phrases, with email address such as "1SpiritualMan@CompletelyFree.net" (not a real address) and they are more interested in telling, than in learning. These kinds of people fall often, as pride goes before a fall, and they usually do not make it very far in the course before they return to their sin, as a dog returns to his vomit.
If we have involved ourselves with habitual sin, we have become intoxicated at the devil's bar. This leaves us spiritually impaired and unable to perceive spiritual truth correctly. If we want to break free from sin, we must humble ourselves and be willing to learn, rather than blab all of our knowledge, which has only served to puff us up and increase our condemnation.
The other kind of people who do not do well are those who attempt to get to the "deeper issues" (fear, stress, anger...etc.) before they work on breaking the addiction. The problem is that the sin itself causes "deeper issues" so the devil has blinded and confused these folks to think that they must work on something other than the problem. Not one of these people has become free for any lasting amount of time.
So, if you are not teachable--if you have come here to proclaim your knowledge and great insight--or if you do not want to work on being free from habitual sin, then this is not the site for you. However, if you are willing to learn, and if you understand that, when the sin bondage is broken, the other issues will disappear over time, then please enroll in one of the courses.
With which church or denomination are you involved?
Setting Captives Free is an evangelical, non-denominational ministry operating under a board of directors. It is affiliated with several different churches, rather than one specific church or denomination. We believe strongly in the authority of the local church and are here to help men and women find freedom from habitual sin, that they might become more useful in the local church.
What place does demonic activity play in a counseling case, if any?
Demonic activity has very little relevance to counseling. This is not to deny the existence of demons or their influence over people. Demons do exist and they do exercise some negative influence over people. But, when we are counseling others, we are counseling people who are personally responsible for their actions. Their blame for their sin is their own and cannot be shifted to unseen demonic forces.
It may be that some who come for counseling will be there because of a life-dominating sin and may believe that they have a demon. The Bible teaches us that when we sin, it is because of the wickedness of our own hearts and not the result of demons.
Counselees need to be instructed in sound doctrine, not exorcised. The Bible gives us many instructions for overcoming the devil. The Bible tells us to repent, resist the devil, guard our hearts, put off old habits and replace them with godly habits, pray, and submit to God. Counselees who have become enslaved to life-dominating sin may need extra help in applying biblical principles. They will need to be taught the importance of radical amputation, regular accountability and feasting on God's word.