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  • Direction: Educating Tiger: My Spiritual and Intellectual Journey
    bibliography of all of his 112 published writings in chronological order An exhaustive subject index is located at the back of the book as well Those who have heard Loewen speak or read his works know that he is an inveterate storyteller They will not be disappointed Some of these we have heard before but they are good stories and are used very effectively to illustrate otherwise abstract concepts However there is enough abstract elaboration to challenge the intellectual reader The stories though captivate the reader like a good novel It is very apparent that Loewen is an anthropologist and linguist Some may wonder whether he is also a theologian and psychologist His writings in regard to forgiveness seem psychologically profound to the reviewer The reader will find some stories repeated in the book This is for the purpose of illustrating different points the author wishes to make at a specific place in regard to a particular topic For the same reason one will find cross references in the body of the text Occasionally Loewen s stories seem self serving but there are as many stories which are self effacing one is impressed with the author s honesty sincerity and self exposure evident in this writing It is an intensely personal and revealing book There is no hint of intellectual sarcasm or cynicism The author mentions numerous times his current struggle to convert his tongue Having known him personally I can verify through the tone of the book that the conversion is indeed occurring The book is dedicated to his grandchildren and thus has a very personal tenor In June 1993 Loewen suffered a stroke which became a crisis point in his life It has caused him to reflect on how his life experiences have developed him into the person

    Original URL path: http://www.directionjournal.org/30/1/educating-tiger-my-spiritual-and.html (2016-02-16)
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  • Direction: The Prairie People: Forgotten Anabaptists
    Fresno Pacific University He has written two other books on related Hutterite subjects Moreover he has lived and taught in South Dakota the area populated by the Prairie People Thus the documentation includes a number of personal interviews with the Prairie People The book also contains numerous photos illustrations and tables The Prairie People takes something of a dual focus On one hand the author documents that noncommunal Hutterianism existed for a substantial part of Hutterite history In fact in America a majority of the Hutterites transplanted from Europe did not live communally the characteristic commonly connected with Hutterianism Moreover these noncommunal Hutterites preserved essential Hutterian social and theological traditions save for the community of goods Indeed they regarded themselves as true Hutterites On the other hand as Janzen points out in contrast to their communal cousins the noncommunal Hutterites failed to maintain the Hutterian distinctives They lacked a communal structure to buffer them from American culture And progressively they embraced the American society Evangelical Protestantism and a more individualistic approach to the Christian faith In fact a large number have gravitated toward the Mennonite denominations The Prairie People fills an important gap in Mennonite studies As one member of

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  • Direction: When God Opens the Door
    all existing outreach efforts to correct this At that time such efforts were geared mainly toward children and young people Since then she has been a very active participant in all these efforts which eventually culminated in the establishment of the Cornerstone Mennonite Brethren Church in Prince Rupert She is now part of that church Her coverage of the years 1945 1951 is only spotty but beginning in 1952 through 1987 there is full year by year coverage She always allows the various workers each year to give their personal reports either orally by interview or in writing This becomes a little tedious but it remains instructive The Mennonite Brethren work there began with the two Annes Anne Neufeld and Anne Isaak later Anne Isaak Peterson who applied to teach together in a two room school in nearby Port Essington where they would also have the privilege of teaching Sunday school These two women thus began an outreach toward children and young people Their reports Anne Neufeld s in prose and Anne Isaak s in poetry provide the backbone of the early coverage There actually were some antecedents to the Mennonite Brethren church effort William Duncan early in the nineteenth century began an Anglican mission in the area This mission at Port Simpson concentrated 115 largely on First Nations people The Anglicans were then joined by the Roman Catholics the Salvation Army and the Methodist Church all of whom tried to start churches in various settled areas of northern British Columbia Still later Marine Medical Mission which in time became the North American Indian Mission joined the effort When the Mennonite Brethren Church came to the area in the 1940s it was largely with Sunday school and vacation Bible schools The earliest of such efforts actually was by the Canada

    Original URL path: http://www.directionjournal.org/30/1/when-god-opens-door.html (2016-02-16)
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  • Direction: Anabaptists and Postmodernity
    of the religion and morals nay even of the fine arts the manners and the fashion This collection is most interestingly read as a series of mini dramas Anabaptist ideologue meets the spirit of the age Some of the essayists experience postmodernism as an awakening to reality a liberating tool for interrogating Mennonite culture and an instrument justifying particular directions in Mennonite art and theology Others find postmodernism to be a reminder of what was always integral to Anabaptist thought resistance to the oppression of universal affirmations and the mind forged manacles of dominant powers openness to alternate readings respect for critique trust in performance rather than dogma as a witness to the presence of Christ Still others see postmodernism as evidence of the failure of Christian theology an adolescent stage of understanding and a significant threat to a Christ centered Christianity The final essay in the collection by J Lawrence Burkholder concludes with these words F ollowing Christ in the postmodern world must be rooted in the rigor of modern conceptions but conducted freely in the context of postmodern differentiation This book brings two other books to mind Why I Am a Mennonite Essays on Mennonite Identity edited by Harry Loewen and published by Herald Press 1988 and Violence Renounced René Girard Biblical Studies and Peacemaking edited by Willard M Swartley and published by Pandora Press 2000 Anabaptists and Postmodernity could be seen as a sequel to Loewen s book It is very much about Mennonite identity written by for and about Mennonites and might be seen to confirm Frederick Buechner s assertion as reconstructed by Michael King that most history theology and art are essentially autobiography While Anabaptists and Postmodernity appears to be similar to Violence Renounced a collection of essays by Mennonite scholars trying to come to

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  • Direction: Current Research
    the Horizons Mennonite Brethren Herald 4 February 2000 4 6 MBBS Looking for More Than Our Own Reflection Mennonite Brethren Herald 20 October 2000 6 MBBS Isaac Shirley God Language and Gender Some Trinitarian Reflections Direction 29 Fall 2000 169 84 BBI Kyle Richard The Occult Roars Back Its Modern Resurgence Direction 29 Fall 2000 91 99 TC Martens Elmer A Theology of Numbers Direction 29 Spring 2000 54 63 MBBS Miller Douglas B What the Preacher Forgot The Rhetoric of Ecclesiastes Catholic Biblical Quarterly 62 April 2000 215 35 TC Terman Max The Environmental Crisis Thoughts of a Christian Ecologist Direction 29 Spring 2000 38 45 TC Thiessen Richard Mennonite Studies in Canada The Digital Environment Mennonite Life 55 March 2000 http www bethelks edu mennonitelife CBC 119 Vooys John Creation Mennonite Brethren Herald 18 February 2000 4 CBC The Fall Weeds in the Garden Mennonite Brethren Herald 18 February 2000 6 CBC Redemption The Gardener Comes Mennonite Brethren Herald 18 February 2000 10 CBC Musical Recordings and Publications Funk Tony dir and Betty Suderman pianist As Evening Shadows Fall West Coast Mennonite Chamber Choir Abbotsford B C Mennonite Central Committee Supportive Care Services 2000 Compact disc CBC A Rare Benediction West Coast Mennonite Chamber Choir Abbotsford B C Mennonite Central Committee Supportive Care Services British Columbia 2000 Compact disc CBC Warkentin Larry Lovelle Ryan and Clovis Piano solos Available as supplementary music for Hymnal A Worship Book published by Herald Press FPU Masters Thesis Janzen Gerald Isaiah and Divine Warfare in Ephesians 6 10 20 M Th thesis Vancouver BC Regent College 1998 CBC Masters Theses Students at Mennonite Brethren Biblical Seminary 2000 Bergen James Pastoral Leadership for Twenty First Century North America Four Contemporary Models Eitzen Hartwig The Same Message in Different Clothes Principles for Inner and

    Original URL path: http://www.directionjournal.org/30/1/current-research.html (2016-02-16)
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  • Direction: From the Editor: Confronting Evil
    present situation Gerald Ediger explores the question of historical precedent in regard to strategic level spiritual warfare the belief that there is a territorial dimension to the spiritual world The question of worldview is perhaps as critical in connection with this issue as with any Paul Hiebert who has been thinking studying and writing on this question for at least twenty years provides us a concise introduction to the varieties and significance of worldview options Pierre Gilbert challenges the Scriptural basis of the Third Wave worldview arguing largely from the Bible s creation and wisdom sections Sympathetic to and largely from within a Third Wave understanding Randy Friesen offers equipping principles for the spiritual battle and considers what an Anabaptist perspective has to contribute David Faber and Lynn Jost Books I Recommend provide helpful annotations for those interested in further study in this area C S Lewis once warned against two errors in regard to the demonic 1 to disbelieve in the existence of demons and 2 to have an excessive and unhealthy interest in them In regard to the latter I am reminded of a former classmate very much exercised at the lack of concern given to evil forces

    Original URL path: http://www.directionjournal.org/29/2/editorial.html (2016-02-16)
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  • Direction: The Occult Roars Back: Its Modern Resurgence
    Many Eastern cults some metaphysical bodies and the human potential and New Age movements utilize occult and quasi occult practices but not enough that scholars would label them occult 12 AN OCCULT WORLDVIEW Of perhaps greater significance for the last third of the twentieth century is the second tendency in the occult revival the widespread acceptance of the occult worldview in the West The occult metaphysical worldview has many expressions especially in the Eastern cults the human potential and New Age movements and many psychotherapies This alternative to the Judeo Christian view of reality has several general components which are described by Ron Enroth First is the promise of godhood and the divinity of humanity Nearly all forms of occult philosophy insist that the true or real human self is synonymous with God Next occult philosophy generally says that all is one God is everything pantheism There exists only one reality monism and thus everyone and everything in the material world is part of the Divine Consequently there is no difference between the natural and supernatural good and evil God and Satan 13 A third component is that life s purpose is to achieve awareness of the Divine within self realization The way to salvation enlightenment illumination or union comes by experience not by rational knowledge It is the path to gnosis the seeking of experiential knowledge through metaphysical insight Fourth is the notion that humankind is basically good Evil is only an imperfection or illusion The root of the human dilemma is ignorance not sin An enlightened person will rise above moral distinctions Thus individuals do not need redemption or forgiveness as the Judeo Christian tradition teaches Only self realization that comes via spiritual techniques leads to power It puts the 95 divine human in charge By utilizing spiritual techniques such as chanting yoga and meditation and by applying universal laws the realized being becomes master of his or her own reality and can influence the lives of other people 14 By the mid to late seventies a shift in the direction of the occult could be detected The early occult explosion from the late sixties to the mid seventies was closely related to the counterculture and the use of psychedelic drugs and was largely a youth phenomenon The most prominent tendency in this part of the occult explosion was a dabbling in occult practices especially astrology and divination In fact to many the occult was something of a pop religion a fad of the youth culture a means to proclaim the new Aquarian Age However as the more radical counter cultural context disappeared the occult arts mostly receded from public view while many occult groups lived on as isolated cults or attained a respectable presence in society 15 Closely related to this acceptable social position was the second occult tendency the widespread acceptance of the occult worldview The occult worldview and some of the more subtle occult arts penetrated the respectable ranks of society and became the foundation for the human potential and New Age movements The preoccupation with self awareness and self actualization presupposes the acceptance of many occult principles Many corporations and therapy centers have had their employees and clients engage in self awareness exercises In its higher forms the modern occult is unquestionably a quasi religious movement an attempt to find substantiation of the abilities that traditional occultism has always insisted were hidden within the human mind 16 WHY THE RESURGENCE Why did this so called occult revival occur in the late twentieth century The occult emerged for most of the same reasons that other new religions did As Jeffrey Russell has demonstrated from a broad historical view interest in the occult has grown significantly in periods of rapid social breakdown when establishments cease to provide readily accepted answers and people turn elsewhere for assurance Periods for which this generalization seems accurate are the third century A D which witnessed the decline of Roman society the late Middle Ages and Reformation era when the medieval synthesis was collapsing and the late twentieth century 17 But for the roots of the current occult revival one must turn to the nineteenth century As noted this century was congenial to occult metaphysical developments including Transcendentalism Spiritualism the Shakers Theosophy New Thought Christian Science and many 96 Eastern faiths Moreover the first half of the twentieth century witnessed the rise of many prominent occultists including George I Gurdjieff P D Ouspensky and Edgar Cayce 18 Hence by the last third of the twentieth century there existed a vital tradition from which the occult and metaphysical movements could draw Catherine Albanese points out that many people were prepared by American culture to turn toward self and the universe in their pursuit for religious certainty The Protestant tradition had generally supported the importance of knowledge or belief in religion Then the liberal wing of Protestantism modified this approach It stressed the presence of God everywhere and underscored American optimism concerning the innate goodness of human nature Liberalism s diffusiveness and lack of strong boundaries helped people to adjust to the idea of living comfortably without rigid religious guidelines The holiness tradition also had fostered a perfectionism that could easily be linked to metaphysical views At the same time the urban and corporate organization of society weighed against the development of strong community life Of necessity in their everyday lives individuals began to depend more on internal resources Thus the occult and metaphysical movements blended into the cultural mainstream 19 American culture had paved the way for the occult metaphysical movements Yet as Albanese also tells us these movements still had to deal with ordinary life Occult practices had to be perceived as having the capacity to satisfy daily needs Astrology gave people a sense of identity and assisted them in establishing secure relationships with others Self help literature helped people to take steps toward improved prosperity health and happiness in their daily situations Psychics offered physical healing and spiritual advice on

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  • Direction: Biblical Faith Confronting Opposing Spiritual Realities
    king Ps 96 4 5 10a cf Ps 18 1 2 MARK AND MATTHEW JESUS KINGDOM PLUNDERS SATAN In Mark s Gospel Jesus proclamation of the kingdom of God in word and deed is the deathblow to the opposing spiritual reality headed by Satan About one third of Mark s Gospel contains exorcistic emphases including one nature miracle in which the sea chaos is rebuked as though it were incited by demonic power Mark 4 36 41 Mark s lead story of Jesus ministry describes Jesus casting out a demon in the synagogue Mark 1 23 28 Numerous similar stories occur Further Jesus ministry is defined in its essential essence as that of plundering Satan s ranks As Matthew puts the key text If it is by the Spirit of God that I cast out demons then the kingdom of God has come to you 12 28 Marcus Borg in his book Jesus A New Vision presents Jesus and his mission as empowered by his Spirit filled relation to God 4 Jesus was first and foremost a mediator of the world of Spirit power into the material world His exorcisms and miracles should be seen in that context Borg holds that it is impossible for us as moderns to rightly grasp Jesus and his mission until we critically come to terms with our own culture Enlightenment rationalism and empiricism have defined the limits of our reality effectively excluding the realm of Spirit Jesus knew that Spirit was ultimate reality and he ministered on that basis filled with deep compassion for those possessed by demons and suffering from illness Only against this portrait of Spirit power and intense compassion can we rightly glimpse the historical Jesus the One whom his followers later described with a rich variety of christological titles 5 LUKE JESUS MISSION DESTROYS THE EVIL POWERS Luke s story of Jesus and the early church in Luke Acts makes it abundantly clear that Jesus came to destroy the powers of evil that held humanity in its oppression Luke s story turns a wide furrow showing how the gospel grows in the cradle of Judaism how Jesus ministry is empowered by prayer how Jesus anointed by the Spirit proclaims in word and deed a gospel that loosens the bonds of wickedness undoes the bands of the coercing yoke releases the oppressed into freedom and breaks apart every unjust contract 104 6 Luke s gospel story is a story of peacemaking as well Susan Garrett in her book on Luke Acts entitled The Demise of the Devil shows how Jesus gospel mission is the downfall of Satan 7 Many instances could be cited but I will note one in Luke and several in Acts In Luke 10 17 20 when the seventy return from their mission of proclaiming the peace gospel and are jubilant because even the demons were subject to them Jesus exclaims reporting apparently a visionary experience I watched Satan fall from heaven like a flash of lightning See I have given you authority to tread on snakes and scorpions and over all the power of the enemy and nothing will hurt you Luke 10 18 19 Confrontation of demonic power lies in fact at the very heart of the gospel story As James Kallas puts it The arrival of the Kingdom is simultaneous with dependent upon and manifested in the routing of the demons The Kingdom arrives in a limited localized area as the demon s rule is broken The Kingdom will arrive on a world wide basis when the world wide rule of Satan is broken The Kingdom s arrival is to be seen in the cleansing of the world which has fallen captive to and obeys the will of the God opposed forces of the evil one 8 Luke sums up Jesus ministry as that of preaching good news of peace how he went about doing good and healing all that were oppressed by the devil for God was with him Acts 10 36 38 RSV Similarly Luke sums up Paul s mission to the Gentiles as one of opening their eyes that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified Acts 26 18 ACTS THE POWER OF THE GOSPEL MISSION Most striking however is the way Luke accentuates the power of the gospel mission as victory over magic sorcery and demonic power in the opposing spiritual realities of the Greco Roman world The four key stories are Philip s and the apostles encounter with Simon Magus in Samaria Acts 8 Paul s encounter with Elymas the magician in Salamis Cyprus ch 13 Paul s exorcism of a spirit of divination from a slave girl in Macedonia ch 16 and the gospel s confrontation of sorcery and magical arts in Ephesus ch 19 In this last story some Jewish exorcists tried using the name of Jesus whom Paul preached to cast out demons from those demonized but it 105 did not work They were not themselves believers in Jesus and thus were doing exorcism as a form of magic Paul s confrontation with Demetrius the silversmith falls also into the same category in that it shows the gospel overcoming the powers of idolatry and the demons that inspire that idolatry These stories form the inclusios the beginnings and the endings of both the missionary spread of the gospel outside Jewish culture and the Pauline mission as a whole Even the Macedonian mission begins and ends with such stories chs 16 and 19 Clearly Luke is wanting to show that the gospel of Jesus Christ is in its very essence the power of God to overcome magic idolatry sorcery and every spirit reality that ruled and oppressed people in the Greco Roman world In Luke s jubilee the gospel of Jesus breaks every yoke of oppression both in the spirit world and in the socioeconomic political structures that oppress humankind In Paul s words to Elymas it dares to say to every opposing spiritual reality You son of the devil you enemy of all righteousness full of all deceit and villainy will you not stop making crooked the straight paths of the Lord Acts 13 10 PAUL S THEOLOGY OF CHRIST S TRIUMPH Pauline theology has at its center Jesus Christ s triumph over the powers in his death resurrection and exaltation to God s right hand Paul holds with boldness the truth that the gospel frees humans from all spiritual political structures of oppression as well as from the bondage to sin The gospel frees people from the spirit powers that lie behind pagan religions and philosophies and also behind the law as means for self justification Gal 4 5 8 9 Paul speaks of being redeemed from under the law and also from the elemental spirits stoicheia of the universe Col 2 8 18 23 These structures and rituals were powers that dominated life and thus destroyed freedom For the Jews it was the law not the law itself but the works of the law as a means of salvation For the Greeks the stoicheia consisted of astrological fate and fortune powers governing the cycles of nature imparted secret knowledge and other occult forms of ordering life From these texts we gain a basic understanding of idolatry itself Structures that provide order for existence are turned into ultimate values ends in themselves and thus elevated to powers over one s life and then worshiped as gods Romans 1 shows the same pattern through sinful impulses humans fail to see God s revelation in nature and therefore turn to idolatry worshiping the creation and creature instead of the Creator Hence God gave them up repeated three times Rom 1 24 26 28 106 to the course and consequences of their wickedness Only the power of the liberating gospel can free humans from this chain of sin Indeed Jesus gave himself for our sins to set us free from the present evil age Gal 1 4 Paul speaks specifically of Christ s triumph over principalities powers dominions thrones etc Astoundingly 1 Corinthians 15 24 27 claims that every authority rule and power has been put in subjection to Christ When Jesus hands over the kingdom to the Father they will be stripped of all power We find further descriptions of Christ s triumph in other portions of Pauline material Col 1 15 16 20 2 10 15 Eph 1 19 23 3 9 10 Rom 8 35 39 We find similar teaching among other apostolic writings 1 Pet 3 22 Rev 18 2 10 The New Testament view of the powers holds that they were intended in their creation to serve God but their rebellious aspirations as also in Isa 14 Ezek 28 Dan 5 6 have made them adversaries to God While these powers have a positive function within the world outside of Christ restraining evil as agents of God s wrath Rom 13 4 they readily become instruments of the demonic recall the Old Testament link between the judgment of God and the demonic Indeed these powers crucified the Lord of Glory 1 Cor 2 6 9 JESUS WAY OF DISARMING THE POWERS While Jesus life ministry was a battle against the powers his death is the final defeat of Satan the climactic holy war battle As stated by William Brownlee His exorcisms are the inauguration of a holy war which reaches its climax in His death and resurrection wherein He decisively defeated the Devil and his hordes In this capacity He is acting as the divine warrior 9 When we view Jesus as God s divine warrior to conquer evil we see a major transformation of Old Testament holy war Humans are no longer the enemy to be destroyed Rather Jesus commands Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you Matt 5 44 and bless those who curse you pray for those who abuse you Luke 6 28 With the ministry of Jesus the fight of God and God s followers against evil is directed against the spiritual powers that inspire human wickedness Paul s most explicit description of Christ s triumph over the powers says he disarmed the rulers and authorities and made a public example of them Col 2 15 i e of how they operated in the cross Philip 107 Bender regards the middle form of the verb apekdusamenos as significant He holds that the middle form indicates that Christ rather than directly attacking the authorities stripped himself off from their power thus eluding their grasp and creating a new community of power independent of these authorities 10 Finally the writer of Ephesians sees the new Christian community composed of previously hostile parties as God s witness to the principalities and so called powers a demonstration of God s superiority over them Eph 1 20 23 3 9 10 In addition the famous text in Ephesians 6 10 18 calls us to Christian warfare In this battle our weapons are not carnal or worldly but have divine power to destroy strongholds to destroy every argument that sets itself up as a proud obstacle to the knowledge of God By this means we take every thought captive to Jesus Christ Our weapons include truth righteousness the peace mission faith salvation and the Spirit empowered Word of God cf Isa 7 9b 11 4 5 49 2 52 7 59 17 Prayer is given as the important means by which we appropriate God s armor for our victorious living Eph 6 18 EARLY CHURCH SPIRITUAL CONFLICTS The Christian church over the centuries knew that spiritual warfare was its primary calling although for much of its history it failed to use only the weapons of the Word and the Spirit As Everett Ferguson says of the early church s missionary success in the first three centuries The most notable mark of the early church was its ability to deal with the spirit world in the Roman Empire I am persuaded that an important factor in the Christian s success in the Roman world was the promise which it made of deliverance from demons 11 From the New Testament onwards the Christian mission was a mission of driving out demons Martyrdom and later asceticism engaged a spiritual prize fight with this enemy The bishop s office was to tread down Satan under his feet Full membership of the Christian church by baptism was preceded by dramatic exorcisms Once inside the Christian church the Christian enjoyed if in a form that was being constantly qualified the millennial sensations of a modern African antisorcery cult The church was the community for whom Satan had been bound his limitless powers had been bridled to permit the triumph of the gospel More immediately the practicing Christian gained immunity from sorcery 108 12 Ferguson further observes that the early church fathers regarded Jesus death and resurrection as the defeat of Satan For Irenaeus Christ s victory over the devil is the key motif in developing his doctrine of the atonement 13 The preaching of the gospel is a means of the defeat of the demons It brings the victory of Christ to bear upon the oppression here and now and releases humans from Satan s tyranny By reason of his baptism Irenaeus says Christians are delivered from the power of demons and have been identified with Christ They should have every confidence that they can prevail against the demons 14 Precisely on the point of baptism the early church knew what we have forgotten Baptism was regarded as a person s exorcism in many parts of the early Christian church 15 People came to the gospel from paganism and were under the spell of the demons of the pagan religions Hence baptism was a rite of expelling the demon powers Since catechumens were usually baptized on Easter morning the six preceding weeks of Lent provided the occasion to cleanse the new believer from every defilement of the old loyalty Those to be baptized would go to the priest minister every morning for these six weeks to be prayed over These prayers were focused on the power of the gospel to break every demonic influence from the past to transfer completely from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of light WORSHIP AND WARFARE In his book Celebrating the Faith Evangelism Through Worship Robert Webber of Wheaton College describes these early church practices The sign of the cross was used to indicate the sealing of the catachumen to Jesus Christ against all bondage to every spiritual power Imposition of hands upon the candidate may have been itself an exorcistic act the mediation of divine power against all other power The priest minister also gave salt to the candidate a sign of hospitality welcoming the person into the covenant A rite of breathing was also used in which the candidate blew out every evil spirit and inhaled the Holy Spirit 16 As Webber summarizes The period of purification and enlightenment of spiritual journey preceding baptism emphasizes not instruction but spiritual recollection and readiness It brings before the converting person the essence of what it means to be converted to Christ and equips the new convert with the weapons of spiritual warfare It calls the convert into an ultimate 109 rejection of Satan and all works of evil Rejecting Satan and accepting the tradition is absolutely essential to conversion 17 That baptism and exorcism were closely linked in the Eastern and Roman Catholic communions through the centuries is well attested Henry Ansgar Kelly traces this history in his study The Devil at Baptism He tells how at baptism the priest asked the candidates Have you renounced Satan The candidates answered We have renounced him In some rites the candidates were then instructed to breathe out Satan and spit upon him Another text speaks of breathing out anything of a contrary nature to the gospel In some rites long exorcistic prayers accompanied baptism in which words were directly addressed to the devil commanding him to leave and never to return For example a part of a prayer Be rebuked and go out unclean spirit For I adjure you by him who walked upon the surface of the sea as if upon dry land and rebuked the storm of winds whose glance dries up abysses and whose threat dissolves mountains For he even now commands you through us Be afraid go out and leave these creatures and do not return or hide in them or encounter any of them or work upon them or attack them either by night or by day or at the hour of noon But go to your own Tartarus until the determined great day of judgment Be afraid of God before whom angels tremble Go out and depart from the sealed newly chosen soldiers of Christ our God 18 If we are to be God s witnessing people it is imperative that we know whom we serve and whom we have renounced The matter of allegiance is all important THE STORY CONTINUES Through some brief examples we consider now where biblical faith would lead believers today Loren Entz Mennonite missionary in Burkina Faso tells the story of how Abou a Muslim leader who became a Christian claimed Christ s power in victory against the sorcery power of the village s elders One night elders who were fetishers invited Abou in order to test him Was the power of his Jesus greater than their fetish occult power First they tried to poison him with food 110 but Abou found victory over that as he offered a prayer of thanks before he partook of the food God showed himself to be Abou s right hand and he suffered no ill effects Then the elders took him to their sacred grounds late that night Abou was placed beside

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