Journeyman Project Dispatches from the Life of Patrick Fowler: Christianity Explored


Angels and Demons: Shattering my Worldview…

In my theology classes, we are discussing the spiritual activity that is visible in the world today. Scripture paints a stark reality of angelic and demonic influences all around the saints of the Old and New Testament...but to see some of these realities at work in present human experience is quite scary. I've heard stories demon possession (including the personal experience of a pastor's mother who was demonically possessed for years when he was a child), levitation by shaman, and I've watched video of a self-professing demon-possessed man doing 'healing' surgeries on Brazilian patients. Sexual abuse, suicide, substance abuse, drunk driving: demons can have a powerful influence over the lives of believers and non-believers alike. They are often hard to cast out: taking hours of confrontation and prayer. And they can be incredibly deceptive: even professing that they serve God and Jesus (yes, I watched the demon-possessed surgeon speak the name of Jesus!).

While I believe these things are adding clarity and preparation to my learning here at Dallas Theological, they are pretty fearsome to behold as well. Demons are liars, subtle attackers, and powerful enemies, having thousands of years of experience in tormenting the creatures made in the image of God. It's worrisome to wonder what my more outright encounters might entail, and even more vexing to consider the places of influence they might hold in our national and global society.

Take, for example, the demonic power to do miracles. Usually we think of demons doing evil things...but they are told to deceive many people, especially in the end times, through miracles and wonders. What kind of reaction would a miracle-working surgeon get, if he started healing people today? How do we really explain some of the magicians that we see in our world today? Is it all just an illusion, or is there more behind it? What is really happening in the growing communities of our nation where wicca or the occult is practiced?

In addition to possessing people, demons have the power to cause illness, tragedy, and yes, it appears they can occasionally take the lives of their hosts and the people around them.

My key questions for you are as follows:

  • Are we really doing the right thing in looking to science for explanations to everything we experience, or are we being naive?
  • Should we be actively reaching into the darkness of our society in hopes of redeeming people under Satan's power?
  • How should we be magnifying the power of prayer in our churches to combat Satan's efforts?
  • How can we better reach out into the work God is doing in the world, and specifically help them to combat spiritual warfare where it is much more visible than in America?

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