Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Believer’s Guide to Spiritual Warfare

In the Believer’s Guide to Spiritual Warfare, Thomas B. White talks about how Satan deals with people in order to bring about the most damage he can with his limited resources and powers. White says that Satan pollutes the minds and perverts the will of people by using governments, schools, media, religious organizations, etc to influence the lives of believers. This is so true, it has been a very effective avenue for Satan to use. For example, the Bible clearly says that God created everything in 6 days (the Hebrew word “yom,” when modified by an ordinal, ALWAYS means a 24-hour period, so “first day,” “second day,” etc definitely means a 24-hour period), but many Christians have allowed themselves to be fooled by Satan into believing that creation took long periods of time. The schools, government, media, etc have done the job for Satan quite well.

In the section on demon possession, White claims that a Christian cannot be indwelt or possessed by devils, but they can be influenced and harassed by them. His list of ways to deal with the devil is popular with most Christians–prayer and the armor of God.

White gives five scenarios that are good examples of what is happening with Christians today. In the first scenario, the Erosion of Conscience, he talks about the movies Christians go to. I was thinking of movies as soon as I saw the title to this section. We Christians, myself included, think nothing of going to see our superheroes in the theater, knowing full well that there will be vulgar language, sexual innuendo, and nudity. Movies are a way for the devil to get a stronghold on us and we are allowing it to happen.

The other scenarios he mentions are interesting but seem like something that could be no influence from the devil at all. I guess that that is what he is trying to say, that these things can come by direct assault from Satan or from our own sin nature and flesh. A discerning spirit is needed to recognize what is going on when it comes to sin in our lives.

I liked that White put in the book a list of other than demonic causes for problems that people might have. I was a little surprised that he said that homosexuality is mostly a non-demonic influenced activity. I had though that most of these spiritual warfare guys put homosexuality definitely spirit caused category. But then he says that it’s the parent’s fault that a person is homosexual – someone other than the person himself is always at fault!

The chapter on discernment was interesting, I have always been “afraid” of Christians who claim to be able to discern the spirits because I think if I get near them they’ll start telling everyone about my past and present sins and embarrass me. I know this is probably a false impression of a discerning person, but it’s something I think of nonetheless.

The Chapter on protection contained a lot of information I learned while involved in the Pentecostal movement; but since I’ve been a Baptist, I’ve not heard anything on spiritual protection. The two churches on at opposite ends of the spectrum, it’d be nice to hear/read something that was in the middle of the road to get a different perspective on the subject.

Overall, this is a good book; White isn’t too “over the top” in his views. I like the Q&A in the back of the book because it gets right to the point. I’ll definitely keep this book in my library.


Anonymous said...
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tim said...

Just wanted to see if you could read my comment if I wrote one.

tim said...

I've not read this book but it makes me think of the people I've heard over the years that blame God (it's His judgment) or Satan (his attacks) for everything that happens. I'll concede that it certainly happens but also we need to sometimes accept responsibility for our own desires and actions. It's like when Adam blamed Eve, although she did get fooled first he also knew the truth and took it just the same.
I think when it comes down to it we probably struggle more with our own flesh and nature more.