4 thoughts on “Stephanie Newton on spiritual warfare”

  1. Brent, this is very interesting. It strikes me as similar to my own Dad’s (now-retired Baptist missionary to South Korea) views on this issue. Also, I certainly believe in “Satanic” (or “demonic”) attacks or “harassments” of one type or another.

    That said, personally I find myself a bit skeptical of some ways that various people suggest to fight such “forces.” I don’t want to downplay anyone’s personal experiences–I just think things may “work out” even if we don’t know, perhaps, exactly “what” was working, if I may put it like that. For example, saying the name of Jesus out loud is something I, at least, do not feel is the type of “warfare” that I believe is called for or “effective” in itself. Some (primarily charismatic) preachers I have heard advocate saying “blood of Jesus.” I just think this sounds like too much of a “magic trick.” Another thing I hear of is “putting on the armor” (as best I understand that, going through a “ritual” of “putting on” per the “list”–don’t recall the passage at the moment, but I believe it is in Ephesians). I just don’t think that is what Paul was getting at (more “magic”), as opposed to simply using “figurative” language to point to the types of activities that really are more likely to help us in our “battles.”

    “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” Even Michael, the archangel, did not “bring a railing accusation against the Devil, but said, ‘The Lord rebuke you, Satan.'” (Thus, this “I rebuke you, Satan” phraseology does not strike me as called for, or effective.) Similarly, I don’t think “naming” the perceived demon is the real type of “warfare” that God is calling us to. I prefer regular prayer, Bible study, worship, helping others, etc., as being what “builds us up” to resist temptations that demons bring our way.

    Nonetheless, I can understand how some people can reach conclusions contrary to mine, especially by focusing on some of the EVENTS in the New Testament, primarily involving Jesus and the apostles, as compared with what is “taught” in the Epistles. In my opinion (merely), I find those to be somewhat special circumstances for the time period involved (such as, to show that Christ really was more “powerful” than even the demons, so he actually “cast them out”, and gave some followers the “authority” to do likewise–but, I think, not ALL “followers”). Again, in my opinion, we “pray for one another, that we may be healed,” as James put it in an EPISTLE. So, I simply take a different view of what God wants us to do to “fight” than what a lot of others do, and what it is that is “working,” regardless of what “other activities” may be going on coincidentally.

    1. I don’t believe in magic, either, but I don’t think anything in this testimony suggests that. Saying the name Jesus in this context is simply a form of prayer. What Stephanie says here is consistent with plenty of other first-hand accounts I’ve read.

  2. Brent, I have had the same experience as Stephanie, although not as dramatic. At times -don’t know how to explain it – there is a seizing of my mind around particular thoughts which plagued my mind, going around and around, which have caused many sleepless nights. Usually around doubts of myself, my ministry, and my ability to handle situations. In conversations with a good clergy friend, she would suggest that I was plagued by demons. I was quite skeptical, because I come from a Northeastern, liberal, skeptical, don’t–talk-about -your faith background. But when these bouts happen, I finally overcame my skepticism and took her advice, praying out loud, calling in Jesus’ name for these thoughts to be gone, and they are. My mind is at peace. It took me years to overcome my disbelief, but truly, calling on name of Jesus does bring peace.
    I worked with Stephanie at Wesley Chapel and shared the same depression stories as she. I am so happy to hear that she is medication free!

    1. Lauren, thanks for sharing that! I’ve done a lot of reading on this topic, and your testimony is similar to many other people’s. I wish more clergy were talking about spiritual warfare and Satanic attack. I’m glad your clergy friend did! It helps to recognize the enemy, as you, Stephanie, and I can attest.

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