Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Spiritual Warfare: A father comments

"Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast..." Gen 3:1

These are tumultuous times to be a christian. They are uncertain in the evolving landscape, be it politics, economics, spirituality, relationships - I mean the NBA may not even happen this season. [OK well that is not that big of a deal!]

From a father's vista, I am loving the fresh and sustained emphasis on theology. To see the emerging voices in the body of Christ, being so intentional and focused in their quest for such intimate knowledge, is delightful. Added to this, is the pursuance to walk in a "Word / Spirit" journey, that just grows in healthy balance and Spirit led lives. I am loving this. To have a low-grade word ingredient but a high value encounter quotient is dangerous indeed. These new 'Word / Spirit' chasers are humble, honest and real - quite beautiful actually.

However, a number of us have voiced interest in the fact that 'spiritual warfare' theology and practice has taken a back seat in recent times. A subject that had such a high profile in previous decades, has surprisingly been pushed to the side as pulpits have moved more and more from exclusively topical subject matter to expository preaching. Whilst I love this, this great and noble package of truth has been neglected.

May I suggest we revisit this conversation with a clear canvas?
  • For those who experienced an excess, may we be bold enough to get before the Father and allow him to remove these excesses from our hearts, so we can once again enter the conversation with a clean slate.
  • To those who view this subject with a certain fear, may we in turn be such students of the word, that we find the full God freedom that comes from engaging in the truth.
  • To those who simply want to stick our heads in the ground and pretend it does not exist, the enemy does not call a truce. He is committed to his quest for our destruction and our white flags do not produce a cease fire. He will come at an 'opportune time'.
  • To those who want the truth of our conversation without the religious subculture that it has dragged behind, I can only agree whole-heartedly. Unfortunately, the greatest 'protectors of this flame' have brought with them the passion for combat [that is good] but carried it with highly religious 'christian-speak' that is unhelpful and very distracting from the true truth [that is very bad]. Can we find the truth in her beauty without the foibles of a religious sub-culture?
These days , especially in the arena of Christian leadership as well as practicing the priesthood, we dearly need to add to our theological toolboxes [ that already carry the glue of a gospel-centered, Jesus honoring task], the hammers, pliers and other tools of -
  • the reality of spiritual combat,
  • the discerning of spirits,
  • the authority of the believer,
  • deliverance from demons,
  • setting at liberty those who are captive,
  • dealing with curses,
  • the power of the name of Jesus,
  • personal and corporate prayer,
  • the impact of fasting,
  • the punch of praise.
  • the role of prophecy,
  • the word... and so on.
As always, I would love your thoughts as we explore this story. Thanks for letting me serve you in this way.


  1. Hi Chris, thank you for the challenging thoughts, on a personal note - just this morning my wife was on the phone with me, it seems my 11yr old son is going through some hormonal changes, she caught him surfing the web for “Miley Cyrus naked” on his iTouch… so needless to say, I have some challenging conversations ahead of me this evening before home group. Honestly, there was a stage and time when I did not want to deal, but also did not know how to deal with these issues, now it’s a conversation I am eager and desperate to have with my son(s) – lovingly of course.

    As you say, our enemy will stop at nothing to destroy the purity of our children, our brothers & sisters and our fathers…

    Thank you for highlighting these issues so boldly… It’s not an easy one being a spiritual father, but I came across this passage this morning as I was referencing for my son, thought it was apt.


    Long hours, little time off. Must be willing to work weekends, holidays, and vacations. Energy, imagination, intelligence, understanding [especially the Bible], endurance, flexibility, and love required. Must have leadership qualities and the ability to instruct and guide, coupled with a warm personality. On-the-job training offered. DAD, thanks for taking the job!

  2. Thanks bro,
    As a Dad, to take on this weighty matter with wisdom and spiritual insight is to be highly commended. This is not an easy task, but one that we must take ownership of esp. when our kids are not yet able to discern clearly not fight darkness boldly.
    May God give you grace, boldness and courage

  3. I would add to the list Chris, re-thinking our theology of the Kingdom. The gospel of the Kingdom was the gospel Jesus preached...before the cross. What is the relationship of the cross and the Kingdom?

    Ladd's theology that has so influenced many of us in our thinking of the Kingdom lacked a strong cross centered basis for it's authority. It was more simply the commissioning that supplied the authority.

    I'm rethinking this myself, and feel it needs to be re-taught to our churches and flocks.

    As usual, thanks for the thought provoking writing.