Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Two Mistakes

Christians tend to make two mistakes concerning the spiritual forces of evil. Today I am going to “briefly” touch on these two mistakes.

Mistake #1—Ignoring Satan, demons and other spiritual forces of evil.

Have you ever heard of a sports team ignoring the opposition? The quarterback of the Seahawks has to recognize the defense’s formation and change plays accordingly. A baseball player will recognize the third baseman playing too deep and will lay down a bunt for a base hit. A basketball guard with the ball will recognize a “sagging” zone defense and hit the long jumper. The distance runner will add a burst of speed has he/she passes an opposing runner to mentally defeat the opposition. The skipper of an America’s Cup yacht will watch every move of the opposition and try to take advantage of a wind shift, a slow tack or jibe or spectator boat “chop.” You always keep an eye on the opposition--unless you are in certain corners of the Presbyterian Church (or any denomination for that matter).

When was the last time that something came out of the national office concerning Satan, demons or spiritual warfare? The PCUSA writes fights the battle for tomato workers and rebuilds homes in the Gulf region—both of which are noteworthy and good. We rewrite the Book of Order and develop new confessions. Yet, we ignore Satan and his followers.

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” -Ephesians 6:10-12

Our main battle is against that which is not of flesh and blood! By ignoring our enemy we either fight the wrong battle, fight on the wrong battle front or fight without the power of the Holy Spirit.

Mistake #2—Spending too much time dwelling on Satan, demons and other spiritual forces of evil.

Some Christians are too enthralled by Satan, demons and other forces of evil. These Christians spend too more time thinking of the enemy than they do on their own spiritual growth and development. The above passage from Ephesians tells us to “be strong in the Lord…” Being strong in the Lord should be first and foremost on our minds and agenda. Guy Chevreau wrote a book on spiritual warfare called Spiritual Warfare Sideways—Keeping the Focus on Jesus.

The second phrase of the title, “a sideways look at spiritual warfare,” is a recognition that we should give only peripheral consideration to Satan and spiritual warfare. The prince of darkness and his works must never have our front-and-center attention. As men and women of faith, it is never ours to show more concern, interest or effort fighting the devil than worshiping and serving our risen Lord.” (page 19)

I have known a few Christians who had an unhealthy fascination with Satan, demons and spiritual warfare. That focus stunted their spiritual growth and maturity.

We need to make sure that we do not make these two mistakes.


At 4:39 PM , Blogger Red_Cleric said...

Two answer your question re: denominational resources. A quick search of the PCUSA site shows a book review dated 2006 on "Hell: A Heated History of the Underworld" some historical stuff on eschatology; Ayer's Q & A from 1999 and part of a survey result from Presbyterians Today 2003.

Not what I'd call a guide or even direction is dealing with a demonic presence in a person, congregation or dare I say, higher governing body...


At 5:35 AM , Blogger regressivepresby said...

As with most things worth keeping in the PCUSA, one needs to look to 'unofficial' resources for help, PRMI has some good teaching- sure you're aware of that, but thought I'd say it anyway.

Thanks for posting,


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