Friday, January 23, 2009
A Pastors Confrontation with the Enemy
As a conservative evangelical pastor I had preached against those who held a warfare position, thinking I was exposing error. I recall how I accidentally received a tape by a spiritual warfare leader. I had ordered a series of tapes from a Christian ministry and somehow they included a tape of a spiritual warfare leader's message. One evening after reading the Bible with my family, I asked my wife to play the tape. Ten minutes into it I asked her to shut off the tape and put it in the garbage. I then told my children that the speaker was teaching heresy. The next Sunday I renounced him and his ministry from the pulpit, requesting that if anyone present owned any of his tapes or materials to burn them. This foolish viewpoint soon received a karate chop that would cut me to the heart. Two months later, our oldest son shared with my wife, and me that he had a spirit guide who was with him in a supernatural way. He talked with him all the time. After hearing him out, I said to my wife, "Let's ignore it. Maybe it will go away." It didn't. Things quickly spun out of control and took turns so weird and bad that my good wife finally asked if she could talk to the guy whose tape I threw way. I said, "Five minutes; don't give him our name." In the conversation she gave enough details about me that the guy was able to get my phone number from a mutual friend. One morning he called and said, "Good morning, Ken! And he gave his name. Being a bit brash and put off, I said, "Let me tell you what I did with your tape and what I said to the congregation that I pastor." He laughed after I explained and said, "God has a tremendous sense of humor." With that bit of wit, the ice melted and I confessed, "I am desperate and I don't have a clue as to how to help my son." He questioned me for thirty minutes, then said, "I believe the Lord wants me to lead you though a doctoral-level course in spiritual warfare. It's obvious you haven't been to kindergarten where warfare is concerned." He kept his word; he helped me understand the nature of the battle around me and guided me in helping my son. My son was set free, and now I have at least graduated from Kindergarten. If you're one of those readers who scorns the whole idea of spiritual warfare, let me say up front that I used to be a kindred spirit. But reality has a way of smashing your arguments into dust. My view of the world changed as I saw the reality of the enemy and the reality of Christ's power. The contrast between the purposes of the two became obvious as I considered Christ's words: "The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly" (John 10:10). The pastor in this account, it's me, Ken Copley. Dr. Ken Copley is available for counseling, conferences, and local church meetings.