Friday, January 9, 2009
Methodology of Spiritual Warfare - Copley
Much of the modern church has chosen to simply ignored the enemy. As a result some demonic problems are termed psychiactric problems and troubled members are carted off to secular counselors. Those who have done any work in the area of the demonic have seen some so called mental problems are caused by the enemy. Many times a person has a combination of physical and spiritual problems. The Epistles call us to knowledge and correct application of truthful thinking and acting. In the New Testament there is a lack of explicit methodology of confronting demons. In this writing we will explore various ways to deal with the enemy. The results of power displays in Acts can be fit into three categories. 1. The church grew in witness and/or numbers. (Acts 2:5-41; 3:7-4:4 etc.). 2. The church grew in quality (people deepening their faith, and their commitment to each other as the body of Christ, etc. (Acts 2:43-7; 4:34-5 etc.) 3. The church faced persecution from the enemies of Christ, who responded to miracles and church growth with violence (Acts 3:7-4:4; 5:17-18; 29-42; 6:8-15 etc). Though the initial response may be growth, eventually the enemy regrouped and launched a counter attack. Why isn't there any emphasis on exorcism in the New Testament Epistles? Reasons may include: 1. God wants our attention on Him rather than our ability to exorcise demons. I have seen believers become fascinated with the enemy. 2. Too much emphasis on demonic encounters opens the door for a type of demonomania in which Satan is seen as the source behind every problem. Biblical counseling includes dealing with the enemy, however it focuses on confronting the enemies lies with God's Truth. 3. Power and truth are inextricably intertwined (see Eph. 3:16-19). In the Gospels and Acts, power is shown more clearly. In the Epistles, truth is given greater emphasis. Power and truth work together in God's kingdom. 4. Truth encounters empower Christians to believe appropriately on their own behalf, rather than relying on an "expert" to deliver them. I believe there are three types of encounters: 1. Power encounter. A visible, practical demonstration that Jesus Christ is more powerful than the spirits, powers, or false gods. 2. Commitment encounter. To rescue people from wrong commitments and bring them into relationship with Christ. 3. Truth encounter. To counter error and to bring people to correct understandings about Jesus Christ. "You shall know the truth and the truth will set you free." These are all seen as part of the same process and not as isolated from each other.