The World Christian Movement
Al Dager, Media Spotlight
Evangelism vs. Evangelization
In the Perspectives course we find a distinction between evangelism and evangelization. The distinction is consistent with that of the first International Congress on World Evangelization which came out of the Lausanne Conference on World Evangelization in 1974.
Evangelism, of course, is a legitimate name and a legitimate endeavor. It is the work of the Church to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ in order to bring souls into the Kingdom of God. True evangelism follows the spreading of the pure Gospel with the planting churches and the discipling of believers that will guard the biblical truths and practices vital to sustaining a viable relationship between individual believers and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Evangelization is the term used by the global, ecumenical World Christian Movement to gain the support of churches throughout the world. It denotes the "Christianizing" of all a world's "people groups" by means a work that combines social and political action as equal elements with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
To the average Christian there is no distinction between evangelism and evangelization. But to the World Christian Movement there is a distinction. Essentially, that distinction is that evangelism involves the saving of souls, while evangelization means the saving of whole nations or "people groups spiritually and temporally through political and social action.
A major obstacle to understanding the true motives and goals of the World Christian Movement is the inability to discern this distinction. That such a distinction exists is openly acknowledged by the Lausanne Committee on World Evangelization, from which the World Christian Movement has sprung. In an interview prior to the first International Congress on World Evangelization, Bishop A. Jack Dam of the Anglican Church in Sydney, Australia, who served as Executive Chairman of ICOWE, stated:
Lausanne is a Congress on evangelization, not a Congress on evangelism. [The World Congress on Evangelism in Berlin, held in 1966] was the first of many congresses on evangelism. But I think now the present thought in the minds of many leaders around the world is that we need not only to think of evangelism, that is, the proclamation of the Gospel, but the whole task given to us by the risen Christ. This, I think more aptly, is called evangelization.22
The Lausanne Covenant, formulated at the International Congress on World Evangelization in Lausanne, Switzerland, July, 1974, set the course for the agenda of the World Christian Movement. Article 5 of the Covenant states:
...Although reconciliation with man is not reconciliation with God, nor is social action evangelism, nor is political liberation salvation, nevertheless we affirm that evangelism and sociopolitical involvement are both part of our Christian duty. For both are necessary expressions of our doctrines of God and man, our love for our neighbor and our obedience to Jesus Christ.23 (Emphasis ours)
Affirming that the task of world evangelization involves not only the preaching of the Gospel, but social and political action to right the wrongs in the world, Dr. Billy Graham, Honorary Chairman of the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization, summed it up this way:
....Evangelism has taken on a new meaning. It is a time of great opportunity, but also a time of great responsibility. We are stewards of our Christian heritage. We must evangelize at all costs where there is yet time. World problems of poverty, overpopulation and the threat of nuclear war mount by the hour. The world is in desperate need of the gospel, now! 24
If we start from a wrong premise, we are sure to arrive at a wrong conclusion. In this case, Graham, stating that evangelism has "taken on a new meaning," infers that as Christians we have a mandate to infuse into our evangelistic efforts certain actions designed to stem the tide of human suffering (including the threat of nuclear war!). But human suffering is part and parcel of the fall of man. God uses and even causes human suffering in order to accomplish His act of redemption....
Considering Jesus' words that few would enter into the Kingdom of Heaven, and that we are destined for tribulation from the world system because it hates Him, where in His Word do we find the "whole task" of solving the world's problems?
On the contrary, Jesus said that the poor would always be with us (Matthew 26:11).
Does this mean that we should turn away from those in true need? Of course not. But while we may help individuals in need, we have not received a mandate to eradicate poverty from the earth, any more than we have received a mandate to solve the problem of overpopulation or the proliferation of nuclear weapons. These are personal agendas being foisted upon the Church as a whole by social activists. They are not part of the Great Commission.
There are enough causes to go around many times over. To require socio-political action as a mandate is to steer the Church in a direction not intended by Christ.
So pervasive has the Lausanne Covenant become among the vast majority of Evangelical churches that a Christianity Today article has stated, "The unifying question has quickly become: 'Do you subscribe to the Lausanne Covenant?"'
Our question is, "Are we to be united in Christ, or united in the Lausanne Covenant that forms the basis for the World Christian Movement?"
And why is evangelization called a movement?" The word movement connotes an organized effort by man with an agenda and a plan of action to meet that agenda. Proper evangelism is not a movement; it is a work of the Holy Spirit upon individuals to minister the Gospel to others.
But the World Christian Movement requires that a new meaning be applied to the term evangelism, which meaning encompasses social and political action. Yet it does recognize that evangelism is not, in itself, socio-political action, Thus, a new word has been coined to encompass both evangelism and socio-political action: "evangelization." We will see as we progress that evangelization is a "Christian movement" that manifests itself in any expression of Christianity, not in winning souls, but in maintaining a "Christian presence" among the world's unredeemed. Thus, Jesuit missions of the Roman Catholic Church are given equal standing with Evangelical Christian missions as valid expressions of "evangelization." This is why the term World Christian Movement is used to describe this new "move of God." ...
Evangelization does include evangelism, but not exclusively, and not primarily to the unsaved in so-called Christianized nations. It promotes evangelism to "people groups" who have not heard about Jesus Christ, and then only in terms that can be understood within the cultural context of those people groups. This will be addressed later on. In the meantime, we must understand that personal evangelism-although a part of world evangelization is not the primary goal. Rather, the primary goal is the turning of whole people groups into Christianized organisms.
This is not to denigrate the aspirations of those involved in world evangelization - especially those who do not understand the true nature of its agenda, and are seeking to win souls to Christ. It is merely to delineate the distinction between what Christ commanded His Church, and what these people wish to force upon us as a mandate.
It is also to demonstrate the difference between biblical evangelism and man's plan for evangelization. Not everyone involved in the World Christian Movement is aware of that difference. Thus, we find that, in the Movement, the terms evangelism and evangelization are often used interchangeably.
A Simple Lifestyle Demanded
The Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization has published what it calls "Occasional Papers" which address the Committee's position on various issues related to its agenda. Occasional Paper #20 addresses "An Evangelical Commitment to Simple Life-style." In this Paper, Alan Nichols calls for a more equal distribution of wealth. We will quote several passages and address the author's position:
The 1980 Simple Life-style Consultation was one of the many consequences of the Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization 1974, at the end of which thousands of Evangelicals signed a Covenant which included this statement: "All of us are shocked by the poverty of millions and disturbed by the injustices which cause it. Those of us who live in affluent circumstances accept our duty to develop a simple life-style in order to contribute more generously to both relief and evangelism." Thus, a primary motive in the Lausanne Covenant for developing a simple lifestyle was "the poverty of millions" and "the injustices which cause it."...
While recognizing that God still calls some to voluntary poverty, participants expressed the strong affirmation that involuntary poverty is an offense against the goodness [of) God, and added that it is related in the Bible to powerlessness, for the poor cannot protect themselves.25
No true believer in Christ would look upon those in poverty without compassion and a desire to alleviate whatever suffering is in their power to address. What the Lausanne Committee is requiring as our "Christian duty," as stated in Article 5 of the Lausanne Covenant, is that all believers in Christ deprive themselves of other than the basic necessities of life in order that their "wealth" may be redistributed.
This idealistic theory sounds magnanimous except for some pertinent truths:
1) Wealth is not static; it is created through industriousness and hard work. To take from those who have in order to give to those who do not have will only result in nobody having anything. It is a Marxist principle, not a biblical principle. It is to kill the proverbial goose that lays the golden egg! Scripture lauds those who work in order that they not be a burden to others.
2) Wealth is relative. Rulers in some countries do not enjoy the material benefits that the average citizen of the United States enjoys. Who is to say that one has too much? How much is too much?
3) Poverty is often due to government policies. The nations upon whom the Marxist-minded leaders in Christendom heap their condemnation have created their wealth through industriousness and hard work, True, there is some "exploitation" of the working class, if exploitation is seen as those implementing the ideas of industry receiving a disproportionate share of the income derived from the resources they sell. But kings of old would give their all to enjoy the benefits that the average person in a First World country enjoys as a result of that "exploitation."
Does this mean that Capitalism has no problems? Of course not....
Reality dictates that most rulers are not regenerate men; they couldn't care less about the poor. And this is why God's Word does not place upon the Church the burden of solving the world's problems. However, we are commanded individual situations to help those who are the suffering, especially within the house hold of faith (Galatians 6:10).
4) Is it better to give to charity then to invest in enterprises that create wealth? The axiom that it is better to teach a man to fish than to give him a fish is true. They are misguided who deride the wealthy whose charitable giving of hundreds of millions of dollars is a small fraction of their worth....
Let God judge the wealthy; and let God judge each believer for how we handle that with which He has blessed us.
But this is not the Lausanne view Rather, wealth is equated with greed:
Another of Jesus' sayings which to use Ronald Sider's phrase - is "largely ignored by rich Christians," is Matthew 19:23,24; "I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."
The corollary is clear, as the Apostle Paul taught (e.g., 1 Corinthians 5:10; Ephesians 5:5): namely that the greedy also will be excluded from the kingdom.27 (Emphasis ours)
...Yet it is wealthy Christians who give generously for the cause of the Kingdom. It is not wealth, but covetousness that is a sin. Covetousness has to do with desiring another person's possessions; it does not have to do with honest gain. ...
The Cultural Mandate
In the Reader for Perspectives on the World Christian Movement, C. Peter Wagner, mentored by the late John Wimber, and so-called "expert" on church growth, calls social and political action "the cultural mandate" of the Gospel:
The cultural mandate, which some refer to as Christian social responsibility goes as far back as the Garden of Eden. After God created Adam and Eve, He said to them: "Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing... -
Both the cultural mandate and the evangelistic mandate are essential parts of biblical mission, in my opinion. Neither is optional. There is a growing consensus on this point in Evangelical circles.
This was not true as early as twenty-two years ago when the Berlin World 'Congress on Evangelism was held in 1966. One of the first Evangelicals to stress the cultural mandate in a public forum was Horace Fenton of the Latin America Mission at the Wheaton Congress on the Church's Worldwide Mission, also held in 1966. Following that, the social consciousness generated by the social upheavals of the 1960's brought the cultural mandate to prominence until it was given a relatively high profile on the platform of the International Congress on World Evangelization at Lausanne in 1974.30
Mankind is in dominion over the earth, always has been, and always will be. But Wagner makes the assumption that God's instruction to Adam and Eve has not been accomplished because Christians are not in dominion over the earth. This argument is presented by dominionists of every stripe, from Manifested Sons of God adherents to Christian Reconstructionists. (See my book, Vengeance is Ours: The Church in Dominion, for an in-depth analysis of 'Kingdom Now" or "dominion theology.")
The "cultural mandate," then, is the need for Christians to take dominion over the earth by means of social and political action. And, according to Wagner, it was inspired by the "social upheavals of the 1960's." So now we not only have hippies in the White House; they're in control of world missions, too!
Scripture tells us that God is over the nations and places in power those whom He chooses-men of base nature (Daniel 4:17).
Those who wish to change the world are in for a sore disappointment. They decry the awful condition of mankind, and feel that it is their duty to clean things up. They are with good reason horrified at the evil that is manifested today. And each generation perceives that evil as increasing.
The United States is especially marked for its sins. Cries abound that crime is epidemic, divorce is rampant, immorality pervades society, America's inner cities are filled with anger and hopelessness, our moral foundation is weakened.
But that is how it is in every city all over the world. The United States is still the most civil country on earth in spite of its many shortcomings. Yes, America is going to be judged for its sins, but so is every nation on earth.
Does this mean that we should not care? Of course not. But to decry the state of a fallen world for the purpose of mobilizing Christians in the hope of transforming that world is futile. Sin will continue to wax worse until Jesus Himself returns to judge the nations. And even then, during His righteous reign on the earth, many hearts will not bend to him even if the knees do bend out of fear or force.
Therefore, this berating of Christians is unfounded when directed at motivating them to action on behalf of these men's doomed efforts to "win the world for Christ." If the Church needs berating it is because we have ignored the Lord's command for holiness in lieu of seeking comfort through the world system, not because we have failed to conquer the world system.
The dominionist agenda of the World Christian Movement is evident in the following Perspectives article by Edward R. Dayton and David A. Fraser. Addressing the distinctions between those who stress the socio-political mandate over the evangelistic mandate and vice-versa, they find agreement with both:
Both sides have some areas of agreement. Both argue that a more humane and non-oppressive social order and a more just distribution of resources are important concerns of the Church... -
We are convinced that only a theology of the Kingdom of God can bring coherence and order to the debate. Jesus' proclamation of the good news of the Kingdom of God is the basis and content of mission. God is bringing about the extension of his rule over an unruly world. The Missio Dei is the Kingdom of God and the integrating aim of mission.31
Dayton and Fraser criticize the "traditionalists"-those who believe that the Gospel is the sole mandate while voluntarily involving themselves in relieving the suffering of those to whom they minister. At the same time, the authors affirm the dominionist mandate of Johannes Verkuyl:
The degree to which they [traditionalists] have stressed a personal-social salvation to the exclusion of the political-social dimensions of the Kingdom is the measure to which they have narrowed the nature of the Kingdom and made it less than what Jesus proclaimed.
Johannes Verkuyl is right in the way in which he sketches the various elements of mission as implicated in the Kingdom of God:
The Kingdom to which the Bible testifies involves a proclamation and a realization of a total salvation, one which covers the whole range of human needs and destroys every pocket of evil and grief affecting mankind. Kingdom in the New Testament has a breadth and scope which is unsurpassed, it embraces heaven as was earth, world history as well as whole cosmos.32
Did Jesus mandate that the Church destroy every pocket of evil and grief affecting mankind? Has He commanded His disciples to fight for the kingdoms of the world? This will, of course, be the result of the full reconciliation of God to His creation at the New Heavens and New Earth. But even during the millennial reign of Christ, evil will flourish in men's hearts, and grief will come upon those who are disobedient. The only way to destroy every pocket of evil is to destroy every man, woman and child upon the face of the earth! But blessed hope! Those who are in Christ when He returns will be resurrected and changed to sinless perfection (I Cor. 15:52). The best we can do now is lead souls to Christ and disciple them to be conformed to His image.
In their zeal to see the "Kingdom" come to fruition, Dayton and Fraser assign equal value to liberal, unbelieving "missions" with Gospel-proclaiming missions.
In the Foreword of the Perspectives Reader, Leighton Ford, Chairman of the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization states:
God is raising up a new army of Kingdom volunteers in our day.
Across every continent are emerging 'World Christians"-young women and men with world horizons, committed to "Exodus" lifestyles, possessed by the goal of discipling the nations to Jesus Christ the Lord.33
The "Exodus lifestyle" refers to the Israelites being prepared to leave Egypt with nothing but their staffs in their hands and their feet shod. This term, "Exodus lifestyle" is a buzzword of the World Christian Movement which suggests that Christians should not possess anything but the basics of life. The fact that the Egyptians gave the Israelites great spoils to take with them is not considered.
The term "discipling the nations," as used in the World Christian Movement, is a dominionist term that denotes the "Christianizing" of the nations. It is a convoluted meaning attributed to Jesus' command recorded in Matthew 28:19-20:
Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
The dominionists teach that it is not only individuals that Christ wishes to convert, but entire nations or people groups. Their goal is to reinstitute the Old Testament Laws that God gave to Israel, and impose them upon the nations, thus "converting" the world to Jesus Christ. Why does the World Christian Movement use the same reference?
Their agenda is generally referenced in modern English versions of the Bible, most notably the New American Standard Version and the New International Version, which, in many churches, have superseded the King James Version. The NW renders Matthew 28:19-20 thus:
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And 8urely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.
The NAS is similar:
Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit,
teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.
The Greek rendered "teach" in the KJV, and "disciple" in the NAS and NW, is matheteou--to teach or disciple. It does not mean "to make disciples," which carries another connotation. To teach the nations meant to take the Gospel beyond Israel to the gentiles. It did not mean to make the nations, as entire ethnic groups, into disciples.
The first and proper understanding is to disciple individuals (whosoever 'win believe [John 3:16]) within the nations. The second understanding, held by dominionists, is to disciple the nations is whole people groups. This, of course, infers a political power which was never conferred upon the Church by Christ.
Within the World Christian Movement are those who promote the latter idea that the Church is mandated to make the nations, not individuals from within the nations, Christ's disciples. This is borne out in the language chosen by John R.W. Stott in his contribution to Perspectives:
... It was in consequence of his [Jesus'] universal authority that he commanded his followers to make all nations his disciples, baptizing them into his new community and teaching them all his teaching (Matt. 28: 19).34
Stott is Rector Emeritus of Ml Souls Church in London, President of Christian Impact, and an Extra Chaplain to Queen Elizabeth II. His credentials are extensive. He is known for his strong ecumenical position.
Michael de Semlyen, addressing the United Protestant Council on November 1, 1997, said of Stott:
It is well known that leading evangelicals including John Stott convinced themselves that there is no literal Hell. Now just a few years later the doctrine of eternal punishment has been "officially" abolished by the Synbod of the Church of England. Annihilationism is the reformulated doctrine of the Anglican Church - flying in the face of 2000 years of orthodoxy and the plain teaching of our Lord in Scripture.35
Stott is a contributor to the Perspectives course via his messages used in the Reader.
Ralph Winter, as do many involved in the new evangelization process, uses a term that betrays their ultimate objective. He states that there are practical evangelistic strategies which we must have if we are going to "win the world for Christ."36
Well, we are not going to "win the world for Christ." We were never commanded to "win the world for Christ." That is the dominionist agenda, not the Great Commission.
Scripture tells us that, when Jesus returns, the whole world will be united to wage war against Him. His question, "Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?" (Luke 18:8) reveals the apostate condition not only of the world, but of the churches.
Are we going to "win the world for Christ" only to lose it to Satan again? What, then, is the purpose of those "strategies" designed to "win the world for Christ"?
World evangelization forms the basis of what has come to be called "the World Christian Movement." The goal of the World Christian Movement is to evangelize the world by A.D. 2000 through social and political action based on a mandate to alleviate the world of its suffering. ...Yet just as most Americans are unsuspecting pawns in the scheme of international politics, so most Christians are being used to further the global religio-political agenda of organizations promoting world evangelization....
The purpose is to establish Christendom as the moral bully to force unregenerate men to act right, thus establishing a "moral and just" society in keeping with the philosophical tenets of the world's religions. Governments want moral citizens as well, since it best serves the governments' interests.
While all godly men would like to see a moral and just society, true believers trust in Christ to accomplish this when He returns. We do not trust men, no matter how pious their words.
The dominionist agenda presupposes an unbiblical end-time scenario: that the nations will be brought into submission to Christ before He returns. It also presupposes that the Lord's Body is huge and well-heeled. But what did Jesus say?
Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth? (Luke 18:8b)
For many are called, but few are chosen. (Matt 22:14)
For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not in any wise men after the flesh,
not many mighty, not many noble, are called:
But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and
God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are
And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen,
yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:
That no flesh should glory in his presence. (1 Corinthians 1:26-29)
Mission Frontier, the magazine for U.S. Center for World Mission, asked the question, 'Will the meek succeed in inheriting the world when throughout history violent men have failed?" The premise is that, indeed, God's people will inherit the earth, not when Christ returns, but before, through the World Christian Movement.
Yet to "succeed" implies an agenda and a concerted effort to fulfill that agenda. But the truly meek do not have an agenda; they trust in God to take vengeance for them upon those who abuse them. In the World Christian Movement the goal is not really to "inherit," but to "conquer."
The dominionist agenda does not end with social and political action. It also wars against demonic principalities and powers in order to destroy their strongholds over cities and nations.
The World Christian Movement has adopted the modern deliverance mode of spiritual warfare to a large degree. This involves a charismatic form of "spiritual warfare," confronting demonic powers through liturgical acts, prayer walks, demonstrations of spiritual power, signs and wonders, and other means. C. Peter Wagner's influence is evident in the Movement's approach in this direction.
One approach with which we find no fault is, of course, prayer. To pray for the Lord to open doors to minister the Gospel is scriptural, as pointed out by John D. Robb in the Perspectives Study Guide:
The Apostle Paul urged the Christians of his generation to "devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray for us too that God may open a door for our message so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ" (Col. 4:2-4).37
But there is prayer, and there is prayer. Biblical prayer is based upon the desire to see the will of God done. It is not affectatious, and does not seek to manipulate God. The prayer of today's spiritual warfare movement, which is engaged in by many in the World Christian Movement, is liturgical. It involves railing against principalities and powers, which is forbidden by God's Word (2 Peter 2:11; Jude 1:9).
Much of what Robb says in his dissertation is biblical, yet he also presents as truth the spiritual warfare teachings of C. Peter Wagner:
Peter Wagner in a symposium on power evangelism at Fuller Seminary affirmed: "Satan delegates high-ranking members of the hierarchy of evil spirits to control nations, regions, cities, tribes, people groups, neighborhoods and other significant social networks of human beings throughout the world. Their major assignment is to prevent God from being glorified in their territory, which they do through directing the activity of lower-ranking demons."38
He also quotes Francis Frangipane who gained his understanding of spiritual powers as an apostle in the Manifested Sons of God movement:
There are satanic strongholds over countries and communities; there are strongholds which influence churches and individuals.... These fortresses exist in the thought patterns and ideas that govern individuals... as well as communities and nations. Before victory can be claimed, these strongholds must be pulled down, and Satan's armor removed. Then the mighty weapons of the Word and the Spirit can effectively plunder Satan's house.39
This teaching is based not on God's Word, but on a misapplication of His Word as seen from a dualistic perspective of the spirit realm. Those who hold this view of spiritual warfare, whether they realize it or not, are subscribing to the dualistic concept of equal (or almost equal) but opposing forces: God= Good, Light, Love, etc.; Satan=Bad, Darkness, Hate, etc. In Christian dualism (the heart of the word-faith and charismatic movements), God is more powerful than Satan, but Satan can do as he will unless God gets some help from mankind and/or His angels. To those who subscribe to these ideas, it is a matter of legality. God is powerless to confront Satan unless He can establish a legal precedent to do so.
At the heart of this thinking is the belief that man surrendered control over the earth in the Garden of Eden, placing it in the hands of Satan. Now God is on the outside looking in, and must be invited back by man once man has taken control back from Satan. It is man, not God, who must pull down the strongholds.
Granted, not all involved in this concept of spiritual warfare are aware of the implications and where they came from. But this Manifested Sons of God teaching is at the heart of the liturgical attempts to "bring down the strongholds."
Amazingly, C. Peter Wagner, a major proponent of this form of spiritual warfare, is not even sure that it's true:
It goes without saying that if this hypothesis concerning territorial spirits is correct, and if we could learn how to break their control through the power of God, positions on the resistance-receptivity axis could change virtually overnight.40
There are a couple of important concerns that arise from this statement. The first is the idea that we can break demonic control through the power of God. This implies that man can use the power of God. But no, we cannot use the power of God; we pray for God to use His power to accomplish His will.
The second is Wagner's uncertainty "if this hypothesis" is correct. Does this not question the validity of using such a method as an important aspect of world missions?
Remember now, we are not talking about praying for God's will concerning the lost; we are talking about spiritual warfare methodologies that are rooted in Manifested Sons of God theology. (For an explanation on Manifested Sons of God theology and occult roots, see my book, Vengeance Is Ours: The Church In Dominion.)
Scripture does call demonic forces principalities and powers. Yet it also reveals that God uses those powers to test the hearts of men. God's testing of Job, the evil spirit from God that tormented Saul, Paul's thorn in the flesh, are a few examples.
It is true that demonism is rampant in so-called primitive cultures where people live in fear of their "gods." But demonism is just as rampant in advanced civilization, as evidenced by the different "gods" worshipped there. It is also true that God may, at His discretion, use men to manifest His power over those "gods" through miracles But that is the exception rather than the rule, arid is always initiated by God, not by man.
Yes, Christ's true disciples have the victory over the enemy of our souls, and the evil one cannot touch us except by God's permission. Yet God tells His people that we should expect tribulation in this world, that the world would hate us, and that we must be on guard for our souls because Satan roams about seeking whom he may devour. But God's grace is sufficient for us.
His Word and His Spirit are not at our command; we are at His command. And He is not moved by our liturgical attempts to get Him to move in the manner we expect He wants to move Yet liturgy-involving corporate 'prayer' -is at the heart of the spiritual warfare attempts by many in the World Christian Movement.
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