still yet more on spiritual warfare

This is in response to a post by ElShaddai Edwards and somewhat in response to Peter Kirk (whose comments I appreciate).  

My reason for point out Heibert’s theory of the flaw of the excluded middle was to point out why many westerns tend to have a problem with ideas such as spiritual warfare. For westerners things can be explained either in terms of science or the supernatural (ultimate life issues) – but not necessarily because of devils and demons, etc. We’re too sophisticated for all that. Devils and demons are things one hears about in third world countries, not in the western world – we’ve move beyond all that – catch my drift?

So I am not trying to categorize things per se (or put them in boxes) but just point out why we westerners don’t understand certain things like devils and demons. Yet our world is plagued with them or signs of their influence: alcoholism, drug abuse, pornography, sexual promiscuity, domestic abuse, sexual abuse, Clergy moral failures (and general moral failures leading to broken relationships, divorce and more), millions of abortions, murder, high prison rates, corporate or government corruption, political corruption, etc the list goes on and on and on.  

Yet we won’t attribute it to demonic influences but rather there is some sociological or scientific explanation – alcoholism is no longer a result of sinful behavior but now it is a “disease.”  Homosexuality is no longer an abnormality as it used to be listed in the DSM-III or earlier but now it is just an alternative life style.  Drug abuse has some sociological explanation instead of it being a result of sin and brokenness in the human heart and a possible type of demonic oppression.  

As to physical sicknesses I see it can be the result of living in a fallen world (if I eat a poorly cooked piece of meat or fish or chicken I’ll probably get food poisoning or some other sickness – babies are sometimes born with disabilities. I don’t know why this happens.  We live in a fallen world and some things are hard to understand).  But physical sickness could also be a spiritual issue (as you noted in your post, either God allowing it to slow us down or its a spiritual attack in opposition to kingdom living to keep us from accomplishing God’s Kingdom purposes).  

How do we know the difference?  As I’ve been trying to say – I think it depends on the timing and circumstance of the event and that we need to pray about it and ask the Lord.   Often spiritual attacks come as opposition to the Gospel and Christian living – so it might not be uncommon to have some spiritual attack come after some spiritually enriching event (gospel preaching, witnessing, spiritual retreat, significant prayer time, or some other spiritually significant event).   But if one just goes out on a date and has bad pizza and is up all night with heartburn is that a spiritual attack?  Hard to say, maybe, maybe not.  

I am going to end this post before things get too subjective or questionable.