The definition of “fanatic?” Anyone who is more religious than you are.
It’s a good working definition, and for decades I’ve been suspicious of anyone who talked about the devil, demons, or spiritual warfare. I dismissed them as the lunatic fringe of Christianity. Since then, however, I’ve learned about Dean Sherman and Don Basham. They are both sensible, civilized men who have been through rough experiences—experiences they did not seek.
For example, Don Basham’s book is Deliver Us from Evil, 1972, Minneapolis, MN, Chosen Books. The subtitle is “A Pastors Reluctant Encounters with the Powers of Darkness.”
I have a lot of trust for Don. In the ‘60s, when I explored the baptism of the Holy Spirit, I read his book, Face Up with a Miracle. At that time, the charismatic movement included a number of whackos. In contrast, I found Don Basham to be sane and wise, along with my other favorite charismatic writer, Dennis Bennett, who authored Nine O’Clock in the Morning. So, when I wanted to find out more about spiritual warfare, I again found Don sane and wise.
Don Basham (1926-1989) was a pastor ordained in the Disciples of Christ. He was also the chief editorial consultant to the magazine, New Wine, favored by my wife and me in the 70’s.
Dean Sherman is dean of the College of Christian Ministries at Youth With a Mission. He spent decades in foreign missions where the devil works more blatantly. The devil has it easy in the U.S. where we dismiss him as a Medieval fantasy. Dean’s book is Spiritual Warfare for Every Christian, 1990, YWAM Publishing, Seattle, WA. On page 23, he lays out the basic reality which each of us faces as a Christian.
Ready or Not…You’re in the Battle
“I find many are simply not interested in hearing about spiritual warfare. They would never come to a seminar, listen to a tape, nor read this or any other book that deals with the enemy. Some feel that spiritual warfare is a special gift or calling only for a small segment of Christians. I remember one lady in Australia saying, ‘Well, I’m just not the fighting type.’
“Spiritual warfare, however, has nothing to do with personality, gifting, calling, or background. When we signed up to be Christians, we automatically entered into warfare. It’s not a matter of preference. Spiritual warfare begins with recognizing that we are already in the midst of it.
“Almost every Christian freely confesses that Jesus defeated the enemy at Calvary. However, the mental knowledge—that Jesus defeated the devil and that we have authority over him—isn’t enough. We continually allow Satan—who was defeated—to push us around and take advantage of us. We often act more like victims, than the victors Christ intended us to be.
“As the children of God, we need never be victims. If we understand the Biblical principles of spiritual warfare and how the enemy operates—and if we stand against him—we will overcome.”
The two books are complementary. Both have personal testimonies. Both stress Scriptural theology. However, Don’s book is primarily testimony. Dean’s is primarily analytical and theological.
Obviously I’m urging you to read both. The sequence? Your choice.
Dean Sherman begins his book with a powerful six-page testimony. Among his best teachings concerns the church “and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” (Matthew 16:18) You may be amazed to discover the probable locations of the gates of hell.
Don Basham asked the question, “Are Christians at risk of demonic invasion?” His answer was “Absolutely not!” That’s what he thought when another pastor suggested evil influences might be causing turmoil in his church and failures in his ministry. But after more troubling and perplexing problems, Basham began to discover he was wrong.
So, should you enlist for spiritual warfare? Not likely. We can’t.
GREETINGS: We’ve been drafted. So, shape up. Pack up. Fall in. Move out. Praise and conquer.
Purpose of this blog is to compile several books for my grandchildren to read in 25 years.
Copyright © 2015 by Jack Towe
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