Monday, June 04, 2007

A Change in Plans… Spiritual Warfare

I had intended to have a series of posts on the re-write of the “Form of Government” section of the Book of Order. I still plan on doing that series. However, the best laid plans… Something new was added to my plate—teaching a class on spiritual warfare.

A not-so-funny thing happened several Sundays ago. A couple that has been attending Evergreen for about a year brought a visitor to church. The visitor was a high school age young man. This young man wanted to come to church. They sat back by our sound booth so not too many people were right around them. Whenever we prayed or sang worship songs the young man would jump up and begin walking around—he couldn’t sit still. Hisses and growls came from the young man’s mouth while I was preaching. At one point his eyes rolled back into his head.

I noticed right away how the young man reacted whenever we praised God or prayed. I found out about all of the other “stuff” the next day when a received a phone call from the couple who had brought him to church. They had never experienced anything like that before. They did not know what to do. They were fairly sure that there was a demon in the young man—this from a couple that would never have expected something like that to happen.

Well, one thing led to another and last night was our first class on spiritual warfare.

There are a lot of topics that cause Presbyterians to squirm: homosexual ordination, the supernatural gifts of the Holy Spirit, tithing, the doctrine of hell—to name a few. But if you really want to see Presbyterians squirm then all you have to do is to start talking about demons, Satan and the like.

My introduction to the idea of demons was back in my senior year of high school. I played the guitar for a jail ministry and encountered my first demon possessed person. Several days later a team went back to the jail and the demons were removed from Harley. The transformation in Harley was UNBELIEVABLE! He pled guilty to selling heroin and went to the state pen to do the time for his crime. While in jail he started a Christian newsletter and had a fabulous ministry until he was knifed by a fellow inmate.

My second encounter with a demon possessed person was the very next year. While attending a Presbyterian related college I met Greg. The previous year he had been possessed by several demons. A group of faculty, staff and local church leaders were used by God to remove the demons from Greg. Greg had a very powerful testimony about the power of God over demonic forces.

Since arriving at Evergreen almost eleven years ago I have had to deal with demonic forces several times.

Here is the problem—Presbyterians never talk about demonic forces and spiritual warfare. That ends today. My next several postings will be on this very topic!


At 9:58 PM , Blogger Red_Cleric said...

You and your congregation will be in my prayer and I'll make sure an Episcopal priest friend of mine keeps you before the throne as well. He's got quite a bit of experience in this area.

We know the war is won but the battle for individual lives can be costly and ugly.


At 11:16 PM , Blogger Presbyterian Gal said...

You're a brave parson to be doing this. I'll add my prayers as well because by committing to do this you just drew a bullseye around yourself. I know this from experience.

Steady as she goes, Cap'n.

At 6:08 AM , Blogger regressivepresby said...

Full Court,
Thanks for blogging on this- you're spot on right.

The victory is secured, but the battle rages on in the rescue time. May the Lord grant you and the saints at Evergreen wisdom and insight, courage and love, surrounding you with His peace as you lead in this battle. And may the Lord redeem that young man as one of his own. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.


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