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The genocidal mandate of Ephesians 6:12
By Mike Doughney


Time: Wed, 06-Oct-1999 21:59:12 GMT     
IP: 207.239.111.82

:You have to realize that the war is not with you
:as individuals, but with your father, the devil,
:who is motivating you.

When you hear the same verse repeated over and
over by Christians, and as in this case,
internalized to the point that the writer is
paraphrasing it in their own words, it's time to
take a real close look at what they really mean
when they use this Biblical quotation.

Brace yourself, as this atheist critic pulls the
Parallel Bible off the shelf and quotes the NIV
verbatim: "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."  Or from the more overtly
political King James version: "For we wrestle not
against flesh and blood, but against
principalities, against powers, against the rulers
of the darkness of this world, against spiritual
wickedness in high places."  Or the even more
direct (Promise Keeper SitG edition of the) CEV:
"We are not fighting against humans.  We are
fighting against forces and authorities and
against rulers of darkness and powers in the
spiritual world."

Now perhaps at first glance it sounds so
religious, oh-so-spiritual, for people to say that
they're battling spiritual beings, that they're
not battling other people.  But that's not what
they said!  And the paraphrasing of the poster
above clearly betrays the actual intent.

"Not against flesh and blood."  Those of us who
stand up against them are not, for them, flesh and
blood.  Our humanity is denied; there is no
acknowlegement that we are like them, other human
beings who simply disagree.  No, our status as
fellow humans who happen to share the planet with
them is not to be acknowledged. Their opponents
are seen as not human; instead, they are demon
possessed, or as the poster implies, spawn of
Satan.

This is one of those things that qualifies as
"verminization," that is, to consider one's
adversaries as less than human, the first step in
the justification of eventual genocide.
Indoctrination of this nature has preceded most if
not all of the usual genocidal events of recent
human history.

The objective of Christians of this flavor is to
define everyone besides themselves as an "other,"
as beings completely different from themselves.
Substituting "flesh and blood" with
"principalities and powers" is one step.  Saying
that we are motivated by the "devil" and not of
our own autonomous decision-making is another.
Eventually they're just preparing themselves to
deny responsibility for the consequences of
Biblical obedience.  Oswald Chambers: "If,
however, we obey God, He will care for those who
have suffered the consequences of our
obedience. We must simply obey and leave all the
consequences with Him."  It becomes very easy to
harm and kill people out of blind obedience when
you've both denied their humanity and denied that
the consequences should matter to you.  Hate and
the violent consequences of hate are not easy to
generate in a peaceful population, there must be a
considerable amount of preparation which involves
both the justification of death for their
sub-human adversaries and the denial of
consequences for themselves.  This is how this
verse is being used.

There is one other element that perhaps makes this
verse take on a life of its own among the
Pentecostals, and that is the fact that they
believe that they are motivated by the "Holy
Spirit."  Across the board, they deny their own
autonomy, preferring to attribute the motivation
of their own actions to God, or as Jim Bakker used
to say, "God told me to."  When they look at those
who stand against them, it is as if they are
looking in a mirror and seeing their evil twin.
They think they're motivated by God, and thus,
*everyone else* is motivated by Satan, "the
devil," or "demons;" their denial of autonomy
extends beyond themselves to everyone else.  There
are no bystanders for them; they are demonizing
everyone else who has not joined them in their
rituals and done "carpet time" to prove it.

Admittedly this fantasy of people as puppets of
the dark or light side of the spiritual realm
makes no sense.  But most of what they do makes no
sense, is counter-intuitive, and is not easily
understood from the outside unless you've spent a
great deal of time (as Sabina and I have) watching
what they are actually doing. Observing how this
concept of spiritual warfare manifested through
human proxies actually plays among their people is
vital to understand what they are doing and why
they do it. It is not a pretty sight, sometimes
it's very disturbing to watch, and of course
there's very little being written about it.  Back
to work :-)



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