Sin and Suffering
Proponents of EMM make two major arguments:
- Because Jesus and the apostles cast out demons, we should do likewise.
- Because EMM is not forbidden by Jesus or the rest of the NT, there is no reason not to use it.
Powlison argues that the Bible does not teach us to wage spiritual warfare using EMM. Rather Scripture teaches us a different way to live the Christian life and fight our ancient foe.
The Dominion of Darkness Entails Sin and Suffering
One key to understanding spiritual warfare in the ministry of Jesus Christ is to notice that he mounted a twin-pronged offensive against the powers of evil—against moral evil and situational evil. Jesus employed two modes of warfare to address two different facets of the evil works of the devil.
- Moral evil = the evil people believe and do.
- Situational evil = the evil we experience (suffering, hardship, unpleasant and harmful events, death)
The two meanings of evil are closely linked; Satan employs both for his evil purposes.
God consistently portrays inhabiting evil spirits as situational—not moral—evil that hurt and abuse people. Sins, such as unbelief, fear, anger, lust, and other addictions, point to Satan’s moral lordship, but never to demonization calling EMM. Jesus usually approaches the sick from the angle of sufferers needing relief, not sinners needing repentance. Contrary to EMM teaching, unclean spirits are never implicated as holding people in bondage to unbelief and sin.
Whenever and wherever Jesus addressed Satan’s attempt to establish or maintain evil moral lordship, he used the non-EMM, classic mode of spiritual warfare. Jesus always used the classic mode to deal with moral evil; he used both the classic and ekballistic modes to deal with situational evil.
Jesus’ Mode of Ministry and Ours
“Eleven examples of Jesus’ works that we are called to do in a fashion different from our master. Notice three things after each example.
First, Jesus addresses genuine human needs that continue today.
Second, Jesus performs a particular action in an unusually striking and authoritative way, a command-control mode: ‘I say it, it happens.’
Third, we are told—by precept or example—to accomplish the same work but in a different way, the classic faith-obedience mode.” (p. 77)
- Pay taxes
- Catch fish
- Walk on water
- Feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty
- Speak with God’s authority
- Call people to ministry
- Forgive sins
- Confront and curse sin
- Raise the dead
- Control the weather
- Heal the sick
Reblog from Between Two Worlds