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    “See to it no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ” (Colossians 2:8).

    « Zechariah 14 and Matthew 27: End-Times Prophecies or Messianic? | Christian Culture is Weird: A Bunch of What-If's »
    Friday
    Sep282012

    On Spiritual Warfare Part 1 of 2

    I spoke in a previous article about the Word of Faith movement and the extremely negative impact it had in my life. More importantly, I talked about how it is more aligned to occult ideas than the Bible. Now I want to move to a similar topic, that of so-called “spiritual warfare”.

     

    Now the Bible does describe spiritual warfare (Ephesians 6:10-20), but what I am discussing here are a series of practices that often coincide with the Word of Faith and charismatic movements, that have little to no Biblical basis.

     

    Other Resources against Spiritual Warfare:

    http://www.titusinstitute.com/spiritualwarfare/attack.php

    http://cicministry.org/commentary/issue78.htm

     

    What is “Spiritual warfare”?

    Biblical spiritual warfare is described in Ephesians 6:10-20 (see below). This passage is clear and straightforward (as most of the Bible is), but alas it is neither sensational nor financially lucrative. To that end, books, websites, sermons, conferences, and a variety of other resources are dedicated to informing Christians about the “realities” of spiritual warfare.

     

    These authors and teachers (and musicians) might define “SW” as the constant battle between demons, angels, God, Satan, and humans. They build upon this basic concept to include elaborate words, phrases, actions, music, and prayers by so-called “intercessors” and “prayer warriors” (terms that do not appear in Scripture when describing people, nor are they listed as spiritual gifts), employed to put Satan and his demons on the run. Self-titled apostles and prophets may also hold this elite office.

     

    These Christians apparently hold a special status with God, as their prayers (allegedly because of their unique gifting) are more effectual in routing demonic activity.

     

    SW ultimately comes down to words and thus the tie-in with Word of Faith followers. Many of the same words and concepts are used, however SW focuses primarily on flamboyant and elaborate prayers to rout demons from individuals, groups, or places (like cities, countries, governments) and free a person of sin, hidden sin (which can inadvertently invite demonic attacks), and demonic attacks (which can come in the form of sickness, accident, financial distress, persecution, etc.).  

     

    Much emphasis is placed on using correct words and phrasing to make the demons go. Many times music is used to gear people up to emotional (they would see it as spiritual) highs in worship. Then the praying begins.

     

    It can be a raucous time of people inviting the Holy Spirit to come/rain down (which makes no sense, since the Bible tells us the Holy Spirit already reigns in Christians), speaking in tongues, swaying, crying, dancing, shouting, jumping, running, waiting on a move of God, etc.

     

    Another major component of SW is the naming of spirits. Allegedly, demanding a demon’s name gives one power to command it and cast it out. Common spirits named include “Spirit of Jezebel” (named after the evil queen in the Bible. See: 1 & 2 Kings), “Spirit of Ahab” (Queen Jezebel’s wicked Israelite husband), “Spirit of Witchcraft”, “Spirit of Delusion”, Succubus, Incubus, etc.

     

    This naming of and casting out demons is especially important during a counseling process called “Deliverance” wherein a Christian (either a new Christian or a more experienced one) confesses accumulated sins from a lifetime or their last deliverance session.

     

    The counselor(s) will then walk the Christian through rebuking demons that might be associated with previous sins. The Bible does tell Christians to “confess your sins to one another” (James 5:16), but deliverance takes that to another level.

     

    The underlying concept is that we as Christians (being filled with the Holy Spirit) have the power and ability to cast Satan and his minions out with our prayers. The Bible certainly records instances where Jesus’ disciples cast out demons in Jesus’ name (Acts 16:16-18).

     

    The Bible does say that gifts of the Holy Spirit include speaking in tongues (1 Corinthians 12-14). But we have made a separate religion out of these things by placing more emphasis on them than the Bible does.

     

    (examples of SW-advocating websites)

    http://www.cbn.com/spirituallife/prayerandcounseling/intercession/weapon_prayer_0303b.aspx

     http://www.thevoicemagazine.com/blog/spiritual-warfare/spiritual-warfare-prayer-your-secret-weapon-against-satan/

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