Tuesday, August 23, 2011

II Cor 10 - demolishing strongholds

Paul writes in vs. 3-5: "For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. 4 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds."

This morning I heard a story about this. Three stories, in fact. At our Jericho Congregational Church Men's Group, we discussed a "thought question" posed by Christian philosopher (and former UVM Campus Crusade for Christ director) J.P. Moreland in his book "Kingdom Triangle":

"What is real?"

Ask eight Christian men and you get eight views that particularly large elephant. Engineer Rich Parker noted that modern science does not determine what is real, it merely exposes it. The laws governing the universe discovered by Galileo and Pasteur were real before either man was born. Bob Terranova, a disabled person who ministers to other disabled people, described how Joni and Friends helped a disabled woman and her family this month; when God loves people through His body, that is real.

And finally, when someone mentioned the false "superstition" of third world peoples, Wycliffe missionary-on-furlough Brian Chapaitis talked about spiritual reality in Papua New Guinea. Over there, he said, people believe the spirits live in the rocks, the water, the trees. And the spirits are not friendly. The discerning Christian missionary acknowledges this reality. Rather than ignore the spirit world, as we Americans tend to do relatively speaking, the missionary walks down to the water. He speaks to the spirits in the rocks and trees. He tells them that Jesus is the One Great Spirit who is King over all the Spirits. He tells them in the name of King Jesus that they have no power to harass His people. He tells them to go into the abyss. He tells them to take a hike, because their salad days of feasting on suffering humanity are over. Starting now.

I see a common thread in all three stories: through His body Jesus demolishes the strongholds of invisible spirits, despair, illness, and proud worldly philosophy. Sin, the flesh, and the devil, the unholy trinity arrayed against the Godhead, thrive in darkness. Like all passing shadows, they die in the Light.

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