This week there will be much attention on evil, especially the unseen, hard-to-identify kind of evil: the evil of demon possession and Satanic activity. A boy came up to me at our church’s Trunk or Treat who explained his costume this way: “I’m half Christian and half demon.” We didn’t discuss the theological problems with that; I just let it go and gave him some candy. It is Halloween week after all. (And while I would rather celebrate Reformation Day, let’s be honest: we live in a culture that glories in this dark and scary “holiday” instead.) So let’s get a few things straight about evil and spiritual warfare:
- There is more happening around us than what is physical. There is a heavenly realm that is normally unseen but very much real (Ephesians 1:20, 6:12).
- There are evil spirits, or demons, who hate all people made in God’s image.
- These demons seek to harm people and oppose God’s kingdom (John 10:10).
- Christ has disarmed these demonic beings and put them to open shame by triumphing over them through his death on the cross (Colossians 2:15).
- The evil, demonic forces in this world are part of what the Bible calls “darkness.”
- Christ’s incarnation broke into this dark world with “light (John 1:5).” We no longer have to walk in darkness.
- People are drawn to and love to dwell in this darkness (John 3:19). Worldly people love to be terrified by evil, love to dabble in the occult, love to remain in darkness.
Christians should not be surprised by this worldly fascination and draw toward the evil of Halloween, but we should have a right perspective on it. To help us understand the enemy’s strategies, here is an article from John Piper: A Handbook of Enemy Strategies.
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. (1Peter 2:9 ESV)