Talk:Spiritual warfare

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This kind of stuff doesn't belong in an article that's supposed to have a neutral point of view:

Spiritual Warfare

Spiritual Warfare is something we all unknowingly deal with daily. As stated in the article, authors have captured this in novels. Frank Peretti and Shaunti Feldhahn are perfect examples. Their books deal with spiritual warfare. They are able to show us, through fiction, how real this is. The angelic and demonic creatures are not seen or heard, but sometimes felt.

Spiritual warfare is not only fiction. In Ephesians, Paul tells us how real spiritual warfare is. Ephesians 6:11-17 tells us to "Put on the full armor of God so that you can take you stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around you waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with you feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God (NIV).

In these verses, Paul tells us that Christians will battle against rulers and authoritities headed by Satan. To withstand their attacks, we must depend on God's strength and use every piece of his armor. Paul is not only giving this counsel to the church, the body of Christ, but to all individuals within the church. The whole body needs to be armed. As you do battle against "the powers of the dark world," fight in the strength of the church, whose power comes from the Holy Spirit (Life Application Study Bible 1997, 2141).

Works Cited

Life Application Study Bible. Wheaton: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. and Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1997.

Systemzwang 01:26, 27 December 2005 (UTC)

You're absolutely correct that this information is very slanted. However, there is much in there, and in the portion that you deleted without moving to the Talk page, that gives insight to the topic, including the biblical source material, and the references to C Peter Wagner. He has done much to renew interest in the topic among evangelicals outside pentecostal/charismatic circles.--Gandalf2000 19:35, 27 December 2005 (UTC)

But To writes articles on Spiritual Warfare without ever makes reference to bible and to peter wagner is similar to writes on Neoi-conservatism,without any mentions to George Bush or to Leo Strauss. (unsigned comment by User:Eliecer guillen 29 December 2005)

Please feel free to return content, including the Deleted Content below, back into the article with a neutral tone.--Gandalf2000 15:21, 29 December 2005 (UTC)

Deleted content; add back in with WP:NPOV[edit]

The apostle Paul says:

For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 NIV

In Ephesians 6:10-20, he describes the spiritual armor, introducing it as follows:

Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Ephesians 6:11-13 NIV

Some Christians approach this issue incorrectly, either placing too much emphasis on it, or adding extra-Biblical teachings and practices.

Many adherents of the Word-Faith Movement as well as many in certain renewal and revival movements are, for various reasons, enamored with the concept of spiritual warfare. Inspired by - and often using the terminology of - Frank Perretti's fiction, legends like King Arthur's Roundtable, and movies such as Braveheart, they "rebuke demons," "bind Satan," and "take control of cities and situations."

Charles Peter Wagner, head of Global Harvest Ministries in Colorado Springs, Colo., is in the vanguard of the movement. He defines three levels of spiritual warfare: "Ground-level" involves casting demons out of individuals; "occult-level warfare" involves more organized "powers of darkness" [They target here New Age thought, Tibetan Buddhism, Freemasonry, etc.]; and "strategic-level warfare" directly "confronts 'territorial spirits' assigned by Satan to coordinate activities over a geographical area." Targeting cities with 'spiritual mapping,' prayer Christian Science Monitor, Sep. 23, 1999

I don't see how any of this could be considered NPOV. If this is a citation rather than your POV, then it might be usable in the article, but you'd need to cite the source.
Septegram 19:48, 17 May 2006 (UTC)

not yet there[edit]

I still think that it's not NPOV.

Some Christians approach this issue incorrectly, either placing too much emphasis on it, or adding extra-Biblical teachings and practices.

Is it an NPOV opinion that extra-Biblical teachings and practices are an incorrect approach? Systemzwang 04:23, 30 December 2005 (UTC)


We need verifiable sourcing for everything here. This article is weak without it. - CobaltBlueTony 14:27, 8 January 2006 (UTC)

Spiritual Warfare without Peter Wagner[edit]

The problem here is you delete in your editions to Peter Wagner,the MAIN author on it. Re-writes the article making reference to him.

Can you explain specifically what the problem is? I think there's a bit of a language barrier here ... BigDT 23:42, 30 May 2006 (UTC)
The problem is: your editions no gives any place to Peter Wagner. You must to makes reference to him. Him created Spiritual Warfare as theological concept. Classical Daemonology as referenced in the article,is related but no identical to SW,and acording to many writers even are oposite concepts. You must to makes mention to Kurt Koch,Don Richardson and Liberation Theology also. BIG DT How if I send my articles to your e-mail,you edit it and publish here?. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)
Honestly, I have a little bit of a problem believing that someone born in 1930 invented spiritual warfare. That aside ... if you want to make a change to the article, you can. I would suggest discussing changes here or even posting the text here for review first. That way, we can correct grammar and spelling. The problem before is that you completely replaced the text of this article with a new one that you had created and the whole thing almost got deleted as a result. BigDT 00:27, 5 June 2006 (UTC)

While the quote from Peter C. Wagner is thought provoking and adds further consideration to the topic, the rest of the article should not be deleted in its presentation. It should be added into the existing article, if it is going to be included at all. Joe Webster 21:26, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

Reliance on Bill Ellis[edit]

Bill Ellis, referred to in the original article, is currently "an associate professor of English at the Hazleton campus of Pennsylvania State University". An apparent academic admirer of his clearly says in this otherwise benevolent article: "Bill has never been part of the mainstream of folklore scholarship. His work has always been quirky." Ellis describes himself as “a member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America” and, moreover, someone “who has taken leadership positions and on occasion taught adult Sunday school and led services (Raising the Devil pxii).”

When contacted, however, the ELCA stated that they had no knowledge of Bill Ellis and “cannot confirm whether he is a member of the ELCA or one of the other Lutheran bodies.” Ellis is also a member of the International Society for Contemporary Legend Research which spends a lot of its time exploring the occult and explaining away supernaturalism, often relegating it to the quagmire of exploded superstition, urban legend and folkore.

For the “Evangelical Lutheran” Ellis, exorcism is “a means of temporarily inducing an alternative personality … beneficial to some persons for whom conventional psychological or psychiatric therapy fails (Raising the Devil p282).”

For traditionalist Old Catholic Bishop Seán Manchester, against whom aspersions from Ellis are aplenty (Raising the Devil p238), exorcism is the act of casting out demons (Mark 16: 17). It is not alternative therapy for failed psychology. Bishop Manchester has specialised for much of his life in the ministry of exorcism, opposing satanic cults and their rising influence, and is today the presiding bishop of the British Old Catholic Church. A recommendation of his work in this ministry may be found in the Reverend Kevin Logan’s Satanism and the Occult (Kingsway, 1994, p163). He has also contributed to television and radio programmes, including many documentaries, for in excess of three and a half decades, and is still consulted for television documentary projects concerned with supernaturalism, demonolatry and the occult. The target of Ellis’ pen is himself the author of several books that cover these topics. When writing Raising the Devil and the article on which the chapter was based regarding the exorcism of predatory demons by Bishop Manchester, Ellis placed significantly more reliance on a UK necromancer and occultist who had been convicted of desecration and vandalism (whom Ellis interviewed in 1992) than he did on the word of a "fellow" Christian (whom Ellis never met but with whom he eventually entered into a brief correspondence in which he attempted to make amends and play down his reliance on a convicted felon who dabbled in black magic).

British Old Catholic Church 27 July 2006

Armor of God reference[edit]

Presently, this article says the armor of God is a reference to the Roman armor. But Paul, being the Bible scholar that he was, was probably borrowing from Isaiah 59:17 which predated the Roman Empire. Joe Webster 00:12, 3 November 2006 (UTC)

A request was made for original research. This reference was added because it was an earlier reference to a "helmet of salvation" and a "breastplate of righteousnes."
We know that Saul of Tarsus, later known as Paul, sat under Gamaliel, per Acts 22:3. It is more likely than not that he was acquainted with this passage in Isaiah, and his phrasing in his epistle to the Ephesians makes a stronger connection to this passage rather than just an offhanded allusion to contemporary armaments. I am not sure what further proof is required. Joe Webster 16:51, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
A request was not made for original research. Rather, I placed that tag as a warning that a part of the article may violate the Wikipedia:No original research policy. The phrase Paul, being the Bible scholar that he was, was probably borrowing from Isaiah... uses the word "probably" which indicates conjecture. It's fine to report conjecture if it comes from a verifiable source, but as an unsourced sentence it constitutes an opinion of whoever inserted that sentence in the article. Removing the word "probably" would remove the conjectural tone, but still would require a citation to a verifiable source. -Amatulic 19:12, 12 January 2007 (UTC)

Is this revision better? Joe Webster 06:34, 13 January 2007 (UTC)

Yes, much. I wasn't familiar enough with the subject to make any edits myself. I will add that this looks like a difficult subject to make approachable to readers from non-Christian cultures. While it is well-written, I can't shake the feeling that this article's editors assume the reader already has a Christian point of view. Keep up the good work; it looks much better now than a version from a long time ago which read like a sermon. -Amatulic 21:55, 15 January 2007 (UTC)

Intro paragraph is lame[edit]

"For some, it is summed up in the following quote," but I'm not one of those "some". Can we write a proper definition? Not about impressions of how people see it as, but how it can be defined. The opening quote is lame. If you see "the struggle between good and evil" are you seeing "spiritual warfare"? I don't think so.

"Some speak of [Spiritual Warfare as being] the struggle between good and evil. Others talk of the battle between right and wrong, or between light and darkness. Still others refer to the conflict between the positive forces which seek to preserve life and order in the universe and the negative forces which tend to disturb and even destroy life and order. From a biblical perspective, however, this dualism is revealed to be an on-going conflict waged on two fronts: God and His angelic kingdom confront Satan and his demonic kingdom, while the children of God contend with the children of Satan."[1]

anti-Catholic bias[edit]

Like several other articles on Christian subjects I've seen recently on Wikipedia, this one suffers from anti-Catholic bias and is written primarily from an "in-universe" perspective, largely Evangelical, and certainly with the assumption that those reading the article either do or should understand and share those views. The section "Roman Catholicism" is very poor. The Inquisition was primarily about heresy, not "spiritual warfare" as it is defined in this article as either a spiritual struggle within an individual against demonic forces or a struggle between good and evil in the cosmic sense. Cynwolfe (talk) 16:57, 10 April 2009 (UTC)


"Christians from being effective disciples of Yeshua (Jesus)". Since when have Christians been disciples of Yeshua? I'm fairly sure most Christians consider themselves disciples of Jesus. It seems very strange to use some use disputed historical version instead of what is possibly the most recognized name in the world. —Preceding unsigned comment added by StephenFerguson (talkcontribs) 15:25, 11 August 2009 (UTC)

Yeshua was the original form of His name. It would be ludicrous to suggest that it was less valid than the modern English transliteration. --Joe Webster (talk) 05:58, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
Says who? The Yeshua / Yahshua / Yahshuah thing is not universally or even widely accepted, and involves extrapolation from the Greek of the New Testament or should I say Καινὴ Διαθήκη StephenFerguson (talk) 15:10, 12 August 2009 (UTC)

Have I wandered into Conservapedia by mistake?[edit]

This really is one of the most distressingly awful articles I've read here recently, its only saving grace being the unintentionally amusing image of a centurion used to illustrate it. The article itself is written completely from a Christian POV, with no attempt made to adopt a neutral or balanced tone. The concept of "Spiritual Warfare" itself warrants only a couple of paragraphs, if that. I'd try and rewrite it except that one of the god botherers would almost certainly change it back HieronymousCrowley (talk) 08:46, 28 August 2009 (UTC)

False Link: Kurt Koch[edit]

Hey Folks, i´m in hurry. The link leads to the swiss bishop kurt koch. The bishop is NOT the author of these warfare-literature. Greetings: Jörn Brunke, Bremen —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:22, 22 January 2010 (UTC)

Roman Armor/Weasel Words[edit]

My use of "weasel words" in this edit was an attempt to retain the reference given to the Roman armor being the model for Ephesians 6, out of courtesy. This is a common assumption since that was the armor of the day, especially by those unfamiliar with Isaiah 59:17, but it is not Biblically supported. In order to avoid such "weasel words," one would have to strike the unfounded reference to the Roman armor, altogether, along with its associated image. --Joe Webster (talk) 07:34, 25 May 2010 (UTC)

The article should have a source (perhaps from a notable textual analyst or theologian) if it is suggested that Paul referred to a helmet and armor specifically because the Romans used them. If it is a common view, such a source should be available. The point doesn't seem so highly contested that it be immediately deleted though.--Jeffro77 (talk) 08:07, 25 May 2010 (UTC)

Which brings us back to the point of how do we retain this proposition and challenge it at the same time without resorting to "weasel words?" --Joe Webster (talk) 03:48, 26 May 2010 (UTC)

Reference to Ray C. Stedman's work on Spiritual Warfare[edit]

We have worked hard to create a collection of material that relates to Spiritual Warfare here at Ray Stedman Ministries. The collection is located at This page contains references to 20 articles and a book on the subject of Spiritual Warfare. Perhaps it would be appropreate to list this page as an external reference in this wikipedia page.

Please know that I am new to using wikipedia as a contributor. I believe it would be valuable for the users of wikipedia to have access to the collection of content written by Ray on the subject of Spiritual Warfare. Thank you in advance for your assistance and feedback on this topic.

GregSims (talk) 16:31, 13 September 2010 (UTC)

Just a comment here - The "External links" section of this article appears to be a collection of various traditions' views on the topic. Many are annoying(splashpages, etc) or broken(I removed a few). ErikHaugen (talk) 20:25, 13 September 2010 (UTC)

POV and Inline Citations[edit]

In response to NPOV and lack of inline citations complaints, specific authoritative references were provided in a rewrite of the first paragraph. The original material was retained, with "citation needed tags" added, and the request for inline citations relating to the remainder of the article was kept at the top. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:31, 24 December 2010 (UTC)

POV and Inline Citations[edit]

In response to NPOV and "lack of inline citations" complaints, specific authoritative references were provided in a rewrite of the first paragraph.

All of the original material was retained, with some "citation needed tags" added, so the "inline citation" request, and NPOV complaints, still pertain to the article following the first paragraph. (talk) 21:34, 24 December 2010 (UTC)

I removed the entire first paragraph, the "authoritative texts" provided a specific view of spiritual warfare that was given undue weight based on placement in the article and volume of text. the paragraph self-confessed that spiritual warfare of this type was "almost unknown till the 1990's" while the charismatic movement has been engaging in spiritual warfare since the early 20th century. Also engaged in Peacock language.Coffeepusher (talk) 23:06, 24 December 2010 (UTC)
Professor Wagner is certainly an authority on spiritual warfare, having a PhD, and having written numerous widely recognized and widely cited texts on the subject. You removed the only legitimate references in the entire article, leaving the entire article unreferenced. If you have a source that the expression "spiritual warfare" was used in the 20's, then help out by citing it. Otherwise, the article seems to be original reasearch, and does not include actual successful warfare that has been waged under the methodology derived from Peter's seiminal work. In the absence of any reference at all, my well referenced paragraph should be the only information in the article, barring other references for the article which contain the expression "spiritual warfare". Why did you remove the sourced material, but not remove all of the unsourced material?HkFnsNGA (talk) 23:26, 24 December 2010 (UTC)
I defined the article title in the first sentence, but per CoffeePusher’s comment above, without POV and Peacock. I put in references per opening tag requests for line citations. I combined suggestions of users BigDT, Joe Webster, Gandalf2000, Septegram, and CoffeePusher on talk pages, not to include findings of spiritual warfare scholar Peter Wagner in the opening section, but to include them in a body section. I cannot find any writings using the expression "spiritual warfare" in conflict with Wagner’s basic definition of the expression. Nor can I find use of the expression in the 1920’s, as CoffeePusher suggested. Despite this, I included CoffeePusher’s assertion about the 1920's as the section's lead sentence, without citation, but with a “citation needed” tag for others to contribute more on. (talk) 00:37, 25 December 2010 (UTC)
CoffeePusher's recent edits are an improvement on my wording and placement. Nice to know someone is actually reading and thinking. Now, if only someone will rewrite the unsourced rest of this article, in a way that does not step on the toes of previous editors. (talk) 02:58, 25 December 2010 (UTC)

This article is a mess[edit]

This article is a mess. It asserts as elements of spritual warfare practices which the overwhelming majority of Christians do not subscribe to. It also gives massively undue weight to individuals who represent a very small minority of Christians. For example, for the overwhelming majority of Christians, spiritual warfare has nothing to do with burning any objects or "accusing" people of witchcraft. A reader of this article, however, gets a very different impression. Mamalujo (talk) 21:13, 2 February 2011 (UTC)

Image Removed[edit]

I see that the previous image was removed. Although it is true that spiritual warfare may not be a manifestation of physical violence, it can be helpful to have an artist's interpretation of its effects through visuals. The effects can be just as drastic. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:21, 7 June 2011 (UTC)

Demonic Influence, Culture Wars, and worldview[edit]

An important aspect of this doctrine that I don't quite see addressed in this article, at least in its Evangelical form, is the tie between warfare of the spirit and cultural warfare. This is something proponents like Bob Larson and Pat Robertson regularly stress in their arguments for the need for spiritual warfare. In this worldview ultimately everything becomes invested with a kind of spiritual significance, and Christians are expected to eschew what are perceived as Satanic influences and seek holiness. Music, books, video games, all are seen as potential avenues for the attacks of the Devil on God and His spiritual warriors. It is not just that Rock and Roll is the Devil's music - simply listening to it (again, in their theory) can put someone under demonic influence, and they claim that is in fact the purpose of such music. Maintenance of a certain worldview against all persuasion to the contrary is considered a hallmark of this concept, with, as the article does somewhat allude, the Devil continually attempting to persuade adherents to change the way in which they view the world and their cultural values. This is how Spiritual Warfare ties directly into the culture war.

Part of this too is the perceived nature of the Occult world. Books on spiritual warfare generally go into all sorts of detail regarding perceived influence of occult writers and ideas, and magickal significance of what might otherwise seem to be everyday, perhaps even insignificant, aspects of life and culture. The adherent is to become aware of these influences and be wary of believing anything that might be perceived as coming from them. This, too, is one way in which concepts such as socialism and social justice are invested (in the mind of the adherent) with occult significance - that is, the very idea becomes in the mind of the adherent a Satanic idea and therefore highly dangerous in any form it may take. These concepts, and the therefore direct translation of spiritual warfare into a cultural war are, I believe key both in understanding Spiritual Warfare as it is believed and practiced, and in understanding how this idea has directly influenced our society in recent decades. Couple with that the obsession with the occult and the perceived origins of occult practice and you have a better understanding of where these folks are coming from, as well as how this concept ties in with movements such as the Christian Patriot movement, conspiracy theory, John Birch Society, and politicians such as Sarah Palin and Rick Perry.

In my opinion without the culture war aspect you really don't quite get the sense of how Spiritual Warfare figures in the belief and practice of its proponents and adherents, at least within the Evangelical, particularly the Pentecostal, movement. Obviously I'm not going to edit the article based solely on personal experience and research, but a look into sources from the above named will swiftly provide proper reference for what I am saying and the concepts addressed here. When you realize for instance that the very concept of valuing being open to other points of view and methods of understanding is considered in itself a demonically inspired method of attack on Biblical principles, the positions and behaviour of individuals within the movement makes a lot more sense. Rifter0x0000 (talk) 12:21, 1 June 2012 (UTC)

What you are proposing looks a lot like original research through synth. Using two reliable sources to draw an independent conclusion. Now if you can find a WP:RS which directly ties spiritual warfare to cultural war without making the independent steps that you take in your above mentioned argument then we can include it in the article. If your retort is "but isn't it an obvious conclusion" then you are doing original research.Coffeepusher (talk) 00:08, 2 June 2012 (UTC)

Hurling of feces.[edit]

So far as I recall, Martin Luther once recounted being attacked by a demon in his home, wherein the demon hurled its feces at Luther, but he defeated it by hurling his own feces at it. Would this count as an instance of spiritual warfare, and if so oughtn't the hurling of feces to be added to the list of successful spiritual warfare tactics? DeistCosmos (talk) 20:02, 7 December 2012 (UTC)

Astonishing outburst by DeistCosmos[edit]

Quite happy to have a rational conversation with you. I suggest you turn your assertions into questions. Then we may be able to get along fine without throwing our teddy-bears out of the pram. All the relevant and verifiable sources are from Christian publishing houses or websites. This is about the biblical concept of spiritual warfare. Find me a non-christian source that uses the term and we can footnote it together. Hyper3 (talk) 00:27, 3 February 2013 (UTC)

Then propose the moving of this page to Christian spiritual warfare. Here is where that may be done: Wikipedia:Requested moves. The simple fact is, civilizations have perceived and sought by many enchantments and invocations to ward off or fight evil spirits, demons, bogeymen of all sorts, for thousands, perhaps tens of thousands of years. There is nothing new about it in the past few millennia, except the tendency of latecoming religions to conveniently forget wherefrom they obtained the belief structures and practices to which they have applied a thin, false veneer of original presentation. DeistCosmos (talk) 01:17, 3 February 2013 (UTC)

Chrisitian killing of a baby Antichrist in Chile.[edit]

So I added this fact to the page: In Chile, a Christian cult engaged in a controversial act of spiritual warfare when it burned a baby girl to death (after first taping her mouth shut to prevent her screams) after determining that the baby was the Antichrist. Chilean spiritual warfare act of burning Antichrist baby girl alive. It was removed with a statement of personal opinion about how this was evil, and so, not spiritual warfare. Now, you might not like it, but there's no objective doubting that, firstly, this was Christian (no other religion has an Antichrist), and secondly, that killing the Antichrist is an effort at spiritual warfare, that is warfare against a supernatural evil being. Really, I don't see why any Christian would be upset over this -- I mean, hey, you've killed the Antichrist, that means you've won right? And if you're contention is that this baby girl wasn't the Antichrist, can you offer some scientific proof of this contention? Otherwise, you've no basis to question the Christians who carried out this act. DeistCosmos (talk) 13:29, 1 May 2013 (UTC)

Christian spiritual warfare is only about prayer: Ephesians 6:12 "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." Just because people who claim to be Christians do something that they claim is spiritual does not make it so. Are you claiming that this is the general practice of those who believe in spiritual warfare? You will need to find a reliable source that makes that claim for this to be admissiable. Nowhere in the article used by you as a sources does the term "spiritual warfare" occur. Hyper3 (talk) 14:38, 1 May 2013 (UTC)
Okay, so just to be clear here: killing the Antichrist is not spiritual warfare? Because it's not solely done by prayer? DeistCosmos (talk) 15:18, 1 May 2013 (UTC)
Actual killing or actual warfare is not spiritual warfare because its not SPIRITUAL. Hyper3 (talk) 18:38, 1 May 2013 (UTC)
    • ^ Ed Murphy, The Handbook for Spiritual Warfare, revised ed. (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1996), page 13.