A Book Review (Part 3): Pagan Christianity?

(Continued from Part 1 and Part 2.)

Pagan Christianity?: Exploring the Roots of Our Church Practices

Authored by: Frank Viola and George Barna

Hardcover: 336 pages

Publisher: Barnabooks (Tyndale House)

List Price: $17.99 (Purchase for as low as $9.00 here.)

My Prophetic Revelation from Pagan Christianity?.

For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. (2 Corinthians 10:3-4)

There is no neutral ground in the universe; every square inch, every split second is claimed by God and counter-claimed by Satan. (C.S. Lewis)

Twenty years ago, I was working as a painter for a motel in Iowa. My life, at the time, was anything but a Norman Rockwell portrait of small town happiness. A marital separation. Two confused children. Unhappy parents. Very few friends. No car and little money. Not exactly a victorious Christian life, right?

As I was painting one morning, a divine revelation slapped me across the face. “Satan hates Christians. He and his demon horde want to destroy the Body of Christ. We need to fight.”

My mouth dropped open. I thought, oh Lord, I don’t know anything about spiritual warfare. Teach me how to fight.

I prayed. I fasted. I studied the Bible. I read books. I listened to tapes. It was slow going, but after a while, I realized that I was a member of the “Joshua Generation.” Many prophets and teachers had various revelations about fighting principalities, powers and rulers of darkness. Each confidently proclaimed that cities would soon be changed by the church’s successful spiritual warfare.

And yet, since then, little has changed. The spirit of bondage is still the ruling principality over America’s inner cities. This cruel task master has been unfazed by our spiritual warfare and intercessory prayers. Even the many ministries who have attempted outreaches into the inner cities have settled for small (if any) gains.

So, if we – the church of Jesus Christ – are the so-called “Joshua Generation”, what are we doing wrong? Why have we accomplished so little in America’s inner cities with our spiritual warfare and intercessory prayers?

Until I read Pagan Christianity?, I never asked myself, “What are we doing wrong”. I just assumed that we needed to keep plugging away. You know – more prayers, more fasting, more prophetic declarations, etc.  Same-oh. Same-oh. Ho-hum!

And to be honest, I am sure that Frank Viola and George Barna did not intend Pagan Christianity? to be a spiritual warfare guide. But the light clicked on inside me anyway, and I know that I know: We are warring according to the flesh.

As most prayer warriors know, the number one guideline for spiritual warfare is to get rid of whatever you are fighting against in your own lives first before you begin any spiritual warfare. For example, if you are praying and fighting against a spirit of lust in a neighborhood, you need to repent and get rid of the sin of lust in your own lives first. Spiritual authority is dependent on holiness and clean hearts.

Now, consider this: we are attempting to fight the spirit of bondage in America’s inner cities with an army modeled after the institutional church.  And guess what? 99% of the army is made up of Christians who are unable to walk in their royal priestly callings because of the traditions placed on them by the institutional church system.

So, in effect, we are fighting the spirit of bondage with Christians who are themselves in spiritual bondage. It is no wonder that we continue to suffer defeat after defeat in the inner cities.

Our only hope is to change the way we do church. And do it now.

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Filed under African-American, black people, Christianity, Emergent Church, Gifts of the Spirit, Home Church, Kingdom of God, Prophecy, Race, reformation, Religion

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