Friday, September 04, 2009

"Welcome back, pastor. Watch out for the demons."

So, you're a mainline pastor, part of that group of Christians often dismissed as "God's frozen chosen." You could be Methodist, Lutheran, UCC, or Presbyterian...whatever. You've just come back from sabbatical when a woman you've never met approaches you on the church parking lot to say that she's come from far away to strengthen you against demons.

Now, demons aren't really something you talk about much in mainline circles. But this woman doesn't care about that. She holds your head in her hands and begins to shout prayers. Then, after a few words with you, she gets into her rented car and drives off.

You might think to yourself, "That was weird." And you'd be right, I guess. But if you were this particular mainline pastor, you might remember a previous encounter you'd had with someone striving to fortify you against demons just as you'd ended a previous sabbatical.

Presbyterian pastor Jan Edmiston writes about this experience on her blog and concludes:
I believe in demons. I hesitate to say this because people tend to ridicule or peg those who talk this way. Mainliners tend not to talk about Dark Forces unless we are talking about old Star Wars movies.

But I believe that when God is working in amazing ways, dark forces are going to come out and mess with us. I'm not saying that people who disagree with me in ministry are evil. Not at all. But I do know that when personal power gets in the way and people become confused . . .

So, I'm girding up against the demons confident that God always wins.
When you see God doing great things in your church or in the lives of those for whom you've long prayed, bank on it: Satan and the demons of hell will attack.

That's why Paul tells us to pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17).

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