Archive for the ‘Spiritual Warfare’ Category

I returned from a two-week trip to Uganda on July 25. I did not have time to post updates while I was there, so I’m catching up now that I’m back in the U.S. The first update can be found here. New updates here.

James Jordan has written an excellent critique of why Christian scholars and secular scholars are in thrall to false ideas. The entire article is here, this is an excerpt:

The current scholarly consensus gives little comfort to the evangelical scholar, because at a great many important points the history of the ancient world as reconstructed by secularists contradicts what the Bible says. The evangelical scholar finds two possible ways to deal with this. The first, far and away the most common, is to go back to the Bible and “soften” what the Bible says until it fits with the current secular scholarly consensus. The second way of dealing with the problem is to attack the secular scholarly consensus. This is something few evangelical scholars are willing to do.

Why not? Well, we could be harsh and say that evangelical scholars like their tenured positions at secular and quasi-secular institutions of higher learning, and so don’t like to take risks. That would be unfair, however, because some tenured people do take risks, as do some untenured people. In more than a few cases, however, fear doubtless is a factor. Most people, scholars included, like to look good to their peers, and to call into question the work of one’s fellows is not the way to get along with them.

The more pervasive reason that evangelical scholars do not challenge the secular system at its root is that modern evangelicals do not believe that the depravity of man seriously infects scholarship. They believe that the secular scholars are simply and disinterestedly pursuing truth. They don’t think that secular scholars suppress evidence.

Unfortunately, this view of the secular mind is extremely naive. The Bible tells us in Romans 1:18ff. that the unconverted mind constantly suppresses the truth, and that includes the truths of history. The Bible tells us, again in Romans 1:18ff., that the unbeliever deceives himself continually. In other words, he is not really aware of his powerful propensity to suppress any truth that threatens his peace of mind.

Further — and I realize that by writing what follows I am opening myself up to ridicule, but it is true nevertheless — the Bible tells us that the unbelieving world, including the world of scholarship, is constantly being led astray by fallen angels who seek to prevent the establishment of the Kingdom of God on earth. These “principalities, powers, thrones, and dominions” are under Satan but over the ordinary demons. They operate by means of prejudice and ideology, binding the minds of men into straightjackets of error from which it is difficult to deliver them. It takes the miraculous power of the gospel to break through these ideologies. Warfare at this level is the calling of the Church (Ephesians 6).

Thus, over the course of time, men forget the truth because in their hearts they forsake it. The reason the Bible is so full of memorials to historical events and to the words of God, is that men tend to forget. This is an moral forgetting, not a mere psychological one: Men forget because they don’t want to remember. Thus, the history of the Bible and of the Church is a history of revivals, of times when what had been suppressed and forgotten is once again remembered. If this is a problem in the Church, how much more is it a problem outside of her?

Secret_window

Depp plays the role of successful author, Mort Rainey. He catches his wife cheating on him and then spirals into…well…depression, hatred, anger, apathy and more. He is basically confronted by a John Shooter, who claims that Rainey has copied a book he had written previous to Rainey’s published work. This Shooter figure torments Rainey and in the end it is revealed that Shooter was am imaginary character in the mind of Rainey…which raises the question:

How should a Christian minister to Rainey if given the chance? Refer him to a psychologist? Send him to the mental ward? How about casting out a demon?

Yeah, I know that the whole demonic things seems imaginary and some would want to send me to the mental ward for even suggesting that demons exist. Anyhow, such thinking has sadly pervaded the church to the extent that many Christians would not even think of confronting possible demonic activity in a deranged individual. Well, what is my take on demonic activity?

Demons are real. Jesus confronted demons and taught and empowered His disciples to confront demons as well. Obviously it was important for Jesus to deal with demons. Demonic deliverance evidences the power of the Gospel and is actually part of the good news. Jesus’ ministry was to proclaim the favorable year of the Lord, to set captives free. We quickly want to understand this captivity to be our bondage to sin and the punishment thereof, however it extends beyond that to include our freedom from the power of darkness that once held sway over us. This is no small thing. We were once captive to the prince of this air, children of wrath, in bondage to darkness and the practice of sin. Jesus has set us free!!!

I don’t want to dismiss the apparent help that many modern medicines provide for people, but it is fair to question whether some people who don’t respond to every medicine a doctor can possibly prescribe actually need the deliverance offered in Christ. Just think of the following encounters of demons by Jesus:

The New Testament mentions several opportunities in which Jesus drove out demons from diseased persons, believed to be these entities responsible for those illnesses.

These many examples show that Jesus often prescribed healing by confronting demons. Now, if we don’t engage this ministry today, do we run teh risk of leaving people in bondage? Perhaps we send deluded folks to get help and after every psychiatrist and medicine available, they still show signs of irrational behavior. Is it possible that demons could be at work? I would say PROBABLE, not a last resort possibility.

I am the first to admit that I don’t confront demonic activity as I should, and should do more. Better safe than sorry. I would much rather pray for someones deliverance AND send them for psychiatric help…rather than send someone for help first and then encounter possible demonic activity as a last resort if all else fails.

Like many, I am captive to Western thought and the exaltation of rationality and science. We Christians subscribe to a supernatural worldview but are functional atheists at times. I need to constantly check myself to make sure that I am not a functional atheist, but a functional Christian, who declares the Gospel and and prays for the power of the Gospel to set people free. The “Purpose Driven Life”, “Your Best Life Now” and other such books will not send demons fleeing in fear…but the name of Jesus, being spoken over a possessed soul will set the captive free. May we American Evangelicals fight the tendency to be nice and neat in our ministry and instead embrace the messy ministry of encountering the demonic that seeks to destroy so many lives around us.

Mort Rainey needed Jesus!!! Those voices that led to kill and destroy are no other than teh work of Satan, who comes as a thief to kill and destroy. I would like to think, that if given the chance, I would have led Mort to Jesus and deliverance from the tormenting voice in his head.