Fighting Imaginary Battles With The Devil

The fundamentalist war against Satan is as unceasing as it is uninformed. The field of conflict is so often located in such unlikely places that one has to wonder if Satan has even been told that he’s supposed to show up to fight.  Satan is evidently much like the Taliban who are known to win a strategic battle against the American way of life every time someone buys a smaller car, skips a vacation, or eats a salad. You may not even know you’re playing, but you’re losing just the same.

Allowing children to attend a secular college? The hordes of hell advance in dread array.

Canceling mid-week service? Christians tremble in fear as the fiery host drives back the faithful few.

Discontinuing your door-to-door outreach? You can almost see devil spiking the ball and doing an evil endzone dance of glee.

Gird your loins and prepare to do battle in whatever patch of lentils your pastor has chosen to defend. Maybe this time the devil will actually show up.

74 thoughts on “Fighting Imaginary Battles With The Devil”

  1. @Don. I didn’t go straight from the pits of hell status…it was a journey. I used my voice to acknowledge sin in the camp and I was promptly silenced. You are from the pits of hell when you challenge or question authority in any way.

  2. Oooo that’s the worsetreatement… that way they can show others the stages of 1John 2:19 that lead to “From the Pits of Hell” state. And you are right, no-one can come against gawds self anointed by questioning anything the M-O-g says… to question the M-O-g is to question their gawd, and to question their gawd is “Pits of hell” worthy.

    In the fundyworld they have an anthropomorphic view of hell…
    and if hell has pits….
    does the devil shave those pits or just let them grow? …like on that Boost Mobile commercial with the redhead on the bike with long flowing pits….. *shudder* eewwww now that’s pits from hell….

  3. We were ready to debut our new choir robes on Easter morning. I arrived to find that the rod holding them had pulled out of the closet walls and they were in a heap on the floor.

    The Anti-Robe faction: “See? God’s telling us he didn’t want us to buy robes!”
    The Pro-Robe faction: “The Devil’s trying to discourage us!”
    Me: “God’s trying to tell us that if we plan to put that much weight on a curtain rod, we need to use longer screws.”

  4. Yea the guy that split my church said stuff like this: The Devil is trying to produce his character in you . So he works outside you to get you to react in a sinfull manner to your circumstances. The last Two sentences may not have been an exact quote, but this next one is: “Did you know your sin nature is a clone of Satan?” -no joke. He did not say that last quote when he was with us but is was on a sermom on the new church website>

  5. do you guys know where the “pit of hell” is? maybe it’s somewhere in Downtown Gehenna, and the guys down there are responsible for producing mini skirts, Calvinistic material, NIV’s, 1960 Reina-Valera Spanish Bibles, Casting Crown CD’s and other non-fundy paraphernalia. SFL should plan a trip there someday!

  6. @Tony *lol* Casting Crowns CD’s … sorry, had to laugh. I love Casting Crowns. My best friend likes how powerful the lyrics are in the few songs she’s heard “but the music’s bad.”

    I love my church, honestly, I do. I’ve been struggling with my faith lately and the church members are very caring, helpful, encouraging, and genuinely loving. My pastor is, too, and though he has some standards I think are ridiculous, he is nothing like the “angry sweating fat guy screaming at the microphone” that a lot of people describe. But my church is re-doing the VBS songs because the island-themed music has maracas and drums in it. And the choir director (who is clapping along as we listen to the CD to learn how the songs go) asked if my two friends and me would make a CD singing these songs to the piano. I put the CD in, pressed play, and said “Really. After a long day at work and then church, I’m called to stay after church for THIS! This is ridiculous.” Ugh.

  7. Constant spiritual warfare, fabulous idea.

    Do you have any idea what this mindset can do to someone who is actually suffering an episode of schizophrenia? That, plus ‘you can be healed if you just have ENOUGH faith’, and the vicious self-loathing that I was expected to embrace for being female with a brain, are why I had to leave the church before it killed me. Literally.

  8. @Ken, that whole conversation about the choir robes… wow, the memories! I have been each of those voices at some point. Now, praise God, I’m at the “Me” voice level. It’s ‘Welcome to planet Earth Post- Eden. Stuff happens. Hang in there, trust God and get over it.” That is SOOOO liberating!!

    My husband hasn’t come as far as I have. We are recently married, but each have long histories…that’s to say we are My journey has taken me past IFB mindset further than his path has taken him, but he has his hiking boots on and is going in the right direction. Things have gone swimmingly, as they say, since our marriage a year and a half ago and we have been so blessed. Undeservedly blessed! But I know tough things will happen. That’s life. In the last couple of weeks we have had some blows — like a huge oops on the taxes that cost us a bundle, a broken windshield, a speeding ticket from the backside of nowhere Scotland. I’m thinking “that’s life in a fallen world”. My poor husband is tearing himself up trying to figure out where he has hidden sin in his life that he needs to get right to get God’s blessing back. Or it’s Satan attacking us. He KNOWS that bad stuff happens, but he can’t shake that oppressive thinking that somehow it’s his fault!! Well, the speeding ticket was his fault… Poor guy!

  9. “But my church is re-doing the VBS songs because the island-themed music has maracas and drums in it. ”

    That’s the most ridiculous I’ve ever heard. If they’re going to be that silly and legalistic, they should probably just ditch the whole island theme, because it might give the little boys there visions of coconut bras and see-through hula skirts.

  10. @ stephie – you said your pastor “he is nothing like the “angry sweating fat guy screaming at the microphone” that a lot of people describe”

    Neither was my pastor that I sat under for 27 years. He was a very soft spoken person for the most part. But as long as they “(have) some standards I think are ridiculous” then they are encouraging, supporting, and furthering a mindset that isn’t just ridiculous – it’s dangerous.

    I pray that you can find your solid ground with your faith.

  11. @Kate–I love your synopsis of life as we know it!

    I’d love for your husband to know this: The story of the Prodigal Brothers vividly shows how much Papa values relationship over rule-keeping. Papa wanted to love on both his boys equally, but the older preferred a log-book approach. “Father, I did this–you owe me that!” Younger brother also thought he had to earn his way back, but Papa just said, “Let’s party!–And big brother, you’re invited, too!” Equal love, whether you’ve kept all the rules or not. (That’s not to promote lawless living, but the best cure I know for a wracked conscience is heavy doses of grace.)

  12. @Kate–another thought. The Book of Job contains nearly 40 chapters of some of the “best theological minds of the day” trying to figure out why certain unpleasant things happened. They all got it wrong. Finally God showed up and said, in effect, “Here’s what you need to know: I am God. You are not. Accept that fact and you’ll live well.” Add to that the Christian’s standing in grace (Romans 5:1-2), and the yoke gets a lot easier.

  13. @Don–My wife and I watched “There Will Be Blood” last night. I have you to thank for my being able to recognize the source (Billy Sunday) of one of the lines the movie’s preacher (ahem, Eli Sunday) preached about gumming the devil.

    SFL–your source for enlightened film criticism!

  14. @Ken- Thanks for your added thoughts, the best two sermons I’ve encountered in weeks! Maybe years. I will certainly find gentle ways to pass these thoughts along to hubby.

  15. @Ken- I’ve just been thinking about the Prodigal Brothers. I’ve never heard it called that, and it occurs to me that we always focus on the kid that takes off with the inheritance and messes up his life. I always thought somehow the older brother was kind of ignored or slightly passed over by preachers and got the feeling that somehow his story is less important than that of his younger brother. But God put him in the story so he’s meant for more that a passing glance. I went on a hunt to an online dictionary for the the definition of prodigal which, in turn, led me to with commentary by Ken Bailey who lived in the Middle East and understands the culture. How very interesting! Maybe there’s a reason the rules-obsessed fundies haven’t given as much pul-pit time to Junior.

  16. One final; word on this one that applies to all the recent posts on this subject as well:
    When I was a dyed in the wool, hard core Fundy…. All I could say about this subject was…. ready for?……. Wait on it…….. Here it is:

    “I do believe in spooks.
    I do believe in spooks.
    I do, I do, I do, I do, I *do* believe in spooks!”

    But the Wizard gave me a medal and now I’m much better…. 🙂

    Is there a Devil? Yep!

    Are there Demons? Yep!

    Is there an Omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient Creator God in control over everthing? You Betcha!

    Scripture tells us to worry more about our own sinful flesh than outside forces. In fact, it was the Billy Sunday preachertainment photo series that popularized the idea of fighting against an external force… i.e. the Darkside. Scripture has always shown the battle with sin is an internal heart matter.

    “Go Get’em Billy!
    Show ’em what for!”

  17. haha, i remember as a kid my mom wouldnt get a a playstation becuase our pastor had said it would allow demons into our house. By the time my mom figured out that was crazy and that game consols were not spiritualy dangerous the x box had come out! lol

  18. Some people get so worked up about ‘rebuking’ and ‘binding’ Satan that it’s debatable who they’re really worshiping. I used to be one of those people, until I figured out that I’d do better to talk to God instead. I still believe Satan is out there, but he’s mostly looking to catch us as we stumble in our walk. But by confessing Christ as our savior, we have already resisted the Enemy as much as possible. Next is the *real* challenge: resisting our own nature.

  19. I attended a Bible College, which was equally a good and bad experience. After awhile I realized from listening to those people that all good things in your mind came from god, and all the bad things were from the devil. you didn’t think your own thoughts. don’t think that didn’t mess with my impressionable mind for awhile. 😯

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