Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Carnal Spiritual Warfare

Here's an article written by Ted Brook that some one e-mailed me the other day...
I thought it was so good that it was worth posting here...
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As a former teacher and supporter of modern spiritual warfare methods, I know how difficult it is to re-evaluate the subject of demons and deliverance.

For me, fighting demonic forces was a daily routine. I don't recall many meetings which did not include casting out devils, pulling down strongholds or breaking through walls of demonic resistance.

I truly believed that I was doing some good by waging countless spiritual battles. I truly believed that my efforts were biblical.

But eight years ago, I began to re-evaluate these tactics and questioned the biblical accuracy of my ministry. I... examined the validity of today's spiritual warfare teachings. I knew that the Bible said, "our weapons are not carnal but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds".
However, I began to ask, "what happens when we war after the flesh and call it spiritual?" Are we pulling down strongholds that are not biblical or casting out demons that have been fabricated by men? What happens when we spiritualize our carnal weapons?

I began to intensely study Jesus' earthly ministry. I discovered that Jesus regularly cast out devils. But I also discovered that we in the modern Church were casting out demons that Jesus never heard of.

I took extra effort to notice when Jesus did not cast out devils. I wanted to find out if my ministry was different from His - especially in situations where I would have normally attempted to take on demonic forces and He would not. As an example, Jesus did not cast out demons of deception or religious spirits out of the Pharisees. I would have attempted it. Jesus confronted their teachings and their religious ideas.

If we were to deal with the Pharisees, we would do it differently. As usual, we would blame their false doctrines on demonic strongholds. It is now common for us to believe that people are not responsible for their own deceptions. Today, we credit spiritual blindness to powerful demonic forces which are assigned against individuals, churches, or cities.

I have come to understand that we tend to believe that people love the truth and it's the devil who keeps it from them. Therefore, we deem it necessary to remove the blindness so they can eagerly grasp the truth.

We seem to forget that Jesus came as the light of the world but was rejected by men because, "men love darkness rather than light because their deeds are evil." (John 3:19)
I also discovered that Jesus did not cast out the spirits of murder or the spirits of alcoholism as we do today.

We have invented new extra-biblical demons. How convenient! We can now credit our fleshly lusts to demons of pornography. We can blame our anger on spirits of rage that come and go as they please. We have no control over them. We wouldn't get angry any longer if someone could just cast them out of our bodies. We can now attribute our abusive tendencies to family spirits and generational curses. All kinds of emotional problems can now be assigned to familiar spirits. Our Adamic nature is no longer at fault. Our unhappiness can now be attributed to spirits of oppression. We can blame our addictions on spirits of alcoholism or demons of nicotine.

In defense of our modern deliverance ministries we claim, "We are doing what Jesus did." But in reality we are not doing what Jesus did, we are doing what He did not do. Why didn't Jesus deal with these demons? These spirits have been around since the beginning of time... so where were they during Jesus earthly ministry? Our usual response is, "We are doing the greater works"...

We no longer understand the Gospel of crucifixion. We have trespassed the doctrine of Christ and we are stepping beyond Jesus teachings. Our deliverance ministries belittle Jesus' earthly ministry. We are more anti-Christ than we would dare admit.

My discoveries during my quest to understand the ministry of Christ led me to believe that we need to once again exalt Christ as the ultimate minister. His ministry was complete. There was nothing left to do. He did the entire will of God. All the works that are of God can be found in His ministry. Every sermon he preached was more revelation than we can fathom in this lifetime. The miracles he performed are all the miracles we need. He was the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Christ is sufficient. (Ted Brooks)

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