Focusing Too Much on Evil Creates Unhealthy Outlook
It is good enough to know it is there and God’s ultimate plan for it.
Recently, a reader wrote me with some comments about a post I had written related to the occult and the growing presence of evil in society. After a few exchanges, we realized we were on the same page with both of us thinking that while it is good for Christians to understand that evil exists in society and that its presence is growing seemingly exponentially, often focusing too much on evil can create an unhealthy outlook on life itself.
In fact, I would also state that focusing on evil (how Satan works, the legends connected with Nimrod, the Nephilim, and other areas that Scripture is either silent on or barely mentions, etc.), can easily create an unhealthy interest so that a person wants to know more about it. Because of that, he might find himself reading all sorts of extra-biblical texts that purport to fill in the blanks where Satan is concerned. It’s similar to a minister delving deeply into the world of pornography in order to know as much as possible about it – how heinous it is, how depraved, etc. – in order to help his flock comprehend its dangers. It should be enough to know that pornography exists and that it is sinful. It creates a prurient and therefore, thoroughly unhealthy interest in it.
I was part of a forum for conservatives where the free exchange of ideas was encouraged, where people could talk about all the things liberals resent. Things were going fine until I visited one day to find that someone had posted a video of a group of Muslims abusing a dog. My anger flared. I quit the group and blocked them and stated that I did not need to see proof of how depraved some people are to understand what their depravity causes them to do. Neither do I need to see a video of someone abusing a child to know that it exists and how horrendous it can be. When we see those things, it is difficult to turn away from them or forget them and because of our fallen natures, we can find any excuse to continue looking. The only answer is to turn away from it with finality.
I’ve written several books on the “dark” side of things; Nephilim Nightmare, Demons in Disguise, and Behind Enemy Lines. Admittedly, they were difficult books to write because I had to delve into areas that are probably best ignored. Did I provide worthwhile information? Well, I provided information. Whether it’s worthwhile or not is up to others to judge. But I have to ask myself if they needed to be written and with the exception of a chapter here or there, I think I could have just as well not written them at all.
This is true for Christians who have what they believe are ministries that seem to go head-to-head with Satan himself. That is their focus. These “deliverance” ministries are interesting because the focus is on breaking and/or binding the power of Satan. I understand how they arrive to their conclusions, using several Scripture passages, but I believe their focal point and emphasis is wrong because it appears to me to be unscriptural.
If we look at the gospels alone, it seems clear enough that Jesus did not go out of His way to take on Satan. He didn’t avoid him and certainly knew Satan was there. Jesus understood evil existed in society and Satan was the primary cause of it, coupling with fallen individuals who would allow him to gain access into their lives in whatever form. Jesus also seemed to understand that He was not going to be able to eradicate evil from society at that time because of God’s main purpose for allowing it to exist in the first place. As I’ve stated repeatedly in past articles, God allows Satan and evil to continue to exist because of the coming head-to-head battle that will occur (and end in the blink of an eye), between God and Satan. It never has been a contest and will not be a contest at the coming point in the future when Jesus physically returns to this planet and destroys Antichrist, who will be at that time, the physical embodiment and representation of all that is evil in one person (cf. 2 Thessalonians 2).
I’ve read a good deal from people who believe their reason for living is to thwart the powers of darkness, to free those who are in bondage, and to literally go head-to-head with Satan himself. Often, they come from a background too heavily steeped in Charismatic beliefs, where truth is often determined by how a person feels about it. While in one very real sense, people who become Christians are spiritually transferred from Satan’s kingdom of darkness to God’s Kingdom of Light, the people who believe their mission is to literally fight the powers of darkness see Satan behind everything. However, people are quite capable of performing evil deeds (and are held responsible by God for those deeds), without any input from Satan because of our inherent sin natures. But is it our calling to go toe-to-toe with Satan? Is that what we are expected to do?
And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overpower it, (Matthew 16:18).
The above text clearly denotes that the same faith that Peter had is the same faith upon which Christ will build/is building His Church. Notice the last phrase: …and the gates of Hades will not overpower it. That is due not to our faith but the power of God. Many passages speak of God healing, binding, and helping (Psalm 147:3, etc.). That is God’s job and it is why Jesus did what He did when He walked this earth. Notice also that Jesus says HE is building His Church. Certainly, He works through us to accomplish this, but there is not a mention of us doing battle with Satan or his minions of evil. That is God’s department. Even the Old Testament is filled with instances of saints praying to God and waiting for His response, as opposed to taking on Satan directly. Yes, there were physical battles of people against people, as the Israelites sought to obey the LORD and eradicate the pagans from the Land that God was giving them, but that is not our job today because the Church is not Israel. They still have a few future battles to fight and in reality, the LORD will do most of the fighting for them.
Do you also notice that during His life, Jesus did not actively look for ways to take Satan on? It was certainly not because He was afraid of Satan either. Clearly, the opposite existed and exists. Yes, Jesus was directed into the wilderness in Matthew 4 to wait for a time of testing. But He also spent a great deal of that time seeking His Father’s face. This is not something any of the apostles were called to do, but Jesus only.
The Gadarene demoniacs are another perfect example (Mk. 5.1-20 · Lk. 8.26-39). There, Jesus simply approached the men and the demons inside them quaked in fear and bowed at Jesus’ feet imploring Him not to cast them in the “pit.” Jesus obviously could have done that, but chose to let them roam, first allowing them to cast themselves into a nearby herd of swine.
The sense in the original language of the above verse in Matthew 16 is that the Church is like a steamroller, picking up speed and steam as it is built into a spiritual edifice suited for the indwelling of God via the Holy Spirit. In short, there is absolutely nothing that Satan can do that will slow the growth of Christ’s Church, not one thing. In fact, we are not to be bothered by Satan’s activity at all. We are called to free people from the kingdom of darkness by fulfilling the Great Commission of Matthew 28. That is our calling. We preach the gospel and let the chips fall where they may. If people don’t listen, while that is tragic, it is on them. If they do listen and flirt with the idea of receiving salvation but don’t, that is also on them. If they fully embrace salvation, that is also on them.
There have been a few times during my adult life where I have unwittingly come face-to-face with possessed people. In one case, my wife and I had just landed in Los Angeles and were eating lunch in a small cafe. As we bowed to pray, my wife prayed for us aloud. Three tables over, there was a young woman sitting at her table. While we were praying, we both heard in a very demonic voice, “Oh look! She’s praying!” I looked up from our prayer and asked the woman if she needed something. The woman’s eyes rolled back into her head and in a very normal voice looked at me and with a sweet smile simply said, “No, I’m fine.”
Some probably think I should have entered into battle for this person’s soul. We did that through prayer and I remember her from time to time and continue to pray for her. This was a situation that I did not expect and interestingly enough, the demon(s) could not keep silent when they learned that we were children of the King of kings.
The idea that we are to take on the enemy of our souls is something that I do not believe is taught in Scripture. As I’ve stated, I understand how those folks arrive to their conclusions, but I firmly believe they are in just as much error as those who believe in Dominionism or Replacement Theology. You can make the Bible say just about anything you want it to say, but when His Word is allowed to interpret itself by taking it as a whole, it is very difficult, if not impossible to arrive to many of the erroneous conclusions that so many arrive at.
In Acts 16, we read of Peter and Barnabas being incarcerated. What did they do there? Did they “bind” Satan? Did they speak all manner of words against Satan? No, they turned their attention not to Satan, but to God and sang praises to Him! (Acts 16:25) Though I’m sure they did not foresee it, this praising of God is what brought about their freedom from jail. The same thing occurred in Acts 12 with just Peter and he was asleep at the time of his release! He was not “binding” Satan or speaking against him. Clearly, Peter was simply trusting God for the outcome, whatever that happened to be.
This idea that Christians are to go into direct confrontation and battle against Satan is problematic for several reasons, in my opinion:
- It puts the focus on Satan, not God
- It causes the Christian to believe that God’s power is to be claimed and used against Satan
- It can cause the Christian to become “puffed” up with pride
- We can never be sure if the enemy is lying to us or attempting to deceive us
I’ve read stories of these “deliverance” ministers who speak of tremendous miracles and the blatant evil that they say they felt when doing battle with Satan or his minions. The problem here is how do these people know Satan is not simply putting on a show for them? Their interest in the occult has caused them to think that God has called them to battle for souls directly with Satan, when in point of fact, it is God who saves anyone, not us. The Bible already tells us that there are only two kingdoms – Satan’s and God’s – and only one of those will last at all. Satan’s is already passing away and people are being saved out of into the Kingdom of Jesus.
He delivered us from the power of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of the Son he loves, (Colossians 1:13).
Please notice the very first word of the above text – “HE.” Who is that “He” referring to here? Clearly, it refers to God Himself. God is the Deliverer and most in the “deliverance ministry” would agree that what they do they do by the power of God. In reality though, God is the One from start to finish who delivers us from Satan’s kingdom into His Son’s. He doesn’t need any help from us at all. He gets things done. We are called to preach the gospel. God does all the rest. We open our mouth and speak. God uses our words to bring people to Him and to open their eyes. Those who will come, will come.
This is my opinion and I’m sure there are many who disagree. I would simply encourage everyone to search the Scriptures. Find out what His Word says and try not to read into things.
I truly believe that focusing too much on the specifics of evil in society will create within people an unhealthy predilection born of an unhealthy curiosity. Instead, as Paul says, we are to do something different. “Therefore, since you have been raised with Christ, strive for the things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God…” (Colossians 1-3).
Spiritually, we are alive with Christ and seated in the heavenly realms (Ephesians 2:6). Think about it. If we are technically in heaven, why would we ruin our experience by focusing on Satan or his evil kingdom?
Entry filed under: alienology, Atheism and religion, christianity, Cultural Marxism, Demonic, devil worship, Emotional virtue, eternity, israel, Judaism, Political Correctness, Politics, rapture, Religious - Christian - End Times, Religious - Christian - Prophecy, Religious - Christian - Theology, salvation. Tags: deliverance ministry, demons, gadarene demoniac, nephilim, nimrod, occult.