Monday, August 13, 2012

Am I crazy in my focus on unhealthy spiritual warfare?

I have been recently advised and rebuked by a favoured mentor "Check things out carefully, George. God's judgment falls on those who judge and malign His servants. You may be right in your concerns, but check carefully with the people about whom you are concerned."

I have learned from my own bitter experience that the common understanding that spiritual warfare means binding demons is dangerous.  It is dangerous becasue binding principalities and powers over areas and institutions, even if one discerns their presence, is sinful and gives satan the right to attack us back.  Several wise Christian teachers have discerned the error and, I am so thankful, warned me about  something I practices.

Before I received this warning I had begon the practice of 'binding' evil forces over my worlplace, over my town, over the city newspaper, etc.  At a Leanne Payne PCM - Pastoral Care Ministry conference - she shared how her call for extra prayer over her ministry backfired and made things worse.  She had little good to say about the group that prayed for one of her conferences by binding principalities and powers in the mighty name of Jesus.  Those who prayed thought that they had lealped her, but that conference experienced severe and extreme spiritual warfare.  The intentions were good but the teaching was wrong.

This was my first warning and I took it seriously,  Immediately I repented.  I changed my prayer practices and repented for my previous arrogant, unwise and sinful prayer style.

Since then I have shared Leanne Payne's observations with other who practiced such forms of prayer as binding and addressing Satan, binding territorial spirits, binding things away from people, etc.  The fruit I have observed in my life and those of others who practice these things has not been good. 

Many individuals who practice these things find their marrige or relationships break up, their health problems become worse, finances deteriorate and their ability to get hired in a position seems to slip.  I was shocked by the loss of my first position after obtaining my Masters degree and already in devastation after the break-up of my marriage and family.

The evidence is strong in my mind, at this point, that Peter Wanger's whole approach encouraged 'binding' territorial sprits - principalites, and encouraged 'strategic spiritual warfare' and 'spiritual mapping' all of which is very different for John and Paula's careful avoidance of focus on demons that characterized your ministry. And I thank them  for that care - for when I, got cought up in the dangerous practice of 'binding' spirits over cities and institutions and I got spanked with the backlash that John Paul Jackson explains to well in "Needless Casualties fo War."

I appreciate Leanne Payne's sharing of bad fruit that flows from the 'bind the territorial spirits' type prayer. Such prayer intensified the spiritual warfare in one of her conferences and it seemd that principalities were able to penetrate in a way they never did before or since.

In the way of deeper insight, I observe that those with an unhealthy focus on Satan are often holding unconscious hidden anger at God.  This hidden anger at God is often found within a strong Performance Oriented Christian - the People Pleaser.

I heard this in Peter Wagner when he spoke at a prayer conference in Toronto and had to end his postive observations with a comment that "Satan is alive and well on Planet Earth."  This kind of experession of anger at God by giving glory to Satan is, of course, totally unconscious.  However this unconscious hidden anger at God is dangerous and deadly to the Body of Christ if not recognized and dealt with.

The teaching on 'binding territorial spirits' is an effective weapon of the enemy to dstroy Christians and bring down the charismatic movement. Jackson's book title - Needless Casualties of War -  makes it very clear how deadly it is.

One story: When the churches of Orangeville, Ontario tried to do spiritual warfare along the 'spiritual warfare' model of Peter Wagner they found splits and divisions among the churches. They learned of Needless Casualties of War and dumped Peter Wagner and followed a safer approach and healed their wounds. The local Christian book store carries Needless Casualties and did not stock Peter Wagner. Their discernement was based on the fruit and everything I know confirms their discernement.

Those who love the John Paul Jackson Body of Christ will teach and promote this most important book.

I have expressed disappointment with John Sandford, for his weak affirmation of Needless Casualties and being overly worried about offense (in the preface). I am concerned that John Sandford, affirmed Peter Wagner and Cindy Jacobs as leading lights in the prophetic movement in his preface to one of Loren Sandford's books on the prophetic. It is the role of the prophet to speak the truth with discernment, to. uproot false and demonic teachings that do grievous harm to the Body of Christ.

My rebuke to those with the prophetic mantle is to stop peace keeping, put back on your prophetic mantle.

I encourage John Paul to courageously share his important warning to the Body of Christ.  I advise the Body of Christ to check out the writing and teaching of Peter Wagner and Cindy Jacobs to verify that they do promote the form of 'spiritual warfare' that I have described. 

I endorse Needles Casualties of War by John Paul Jackson and, until shown that I am wrong, warn against practices promoted under the label of 'spiritual warfare' promoted by Wagner, Jacobs.  These names are (I believe) at the forefront of teaching (what I believe to be) a false and demonic form of 'spiritual warfare' the practice of which glorifies Satan and brings Satan's worst to bear on the Body of Christ.

Here I stand, open to correction but clear and unwavering in this warning.  Please provide feedback to support or correct my contentions based on your reading or experience.  Much thanks,

Humbly His servant,  George

George Hartwell M.Sc. Christian counsellor provides Christian counselling ( counseling / therapy ) through 90 minute in person sessions at his office in Mississauga.  As a professional Christian Marriage counsellor George provides Christian marriage counselling counseling for couples in Oakville, Mississauga, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.