Shortly before the prequel to this book No Small Snakes: A Journey into Spiritual Warfare went to press, my then-teenaged son and I were enjoying the summer breeze on a late-night drive in our trusty old convertible. Just that morning, I had carefully folded the windshield sunscreen and stuffed it securely under the back of the driver’s seat so it wouldn’t blow away with the top down.
That night in the outside lane, as a pickup was about to pass us, we were startled by a loud POP! FWHOOSH! Suddenly, the sunscreen leapt out behind us from under the driver’s seat and flew up above us and foreword, unfolded, and fell spread-out across our faces. In a flash of blindness, we sideswiped the pickup and shot off the freeway. Slamming from 65 to zero in seconds, an explosive blast of impact left us stunned and wedged under a foot-thick tree branch just inches above the windshield.
Dazed and covered with dirt and leaves, we managed to pull ourselves out of the wreckage and debris. Soon afterwards, a patrolman arrived to find my son and me holding each other, dusty and trembling.
The grey-haired officer studied the crumpled remains of our beloved convertible wedged under the huge branch—low enough to have crushed through the windshield and cabin of any sedan. Finally, he shook his head in amazement and turned to my son.
“Do you go to church?” he asked.
Shaken, but alive and filled with grace, we both nodded.
This book, like its prequel, presumes that ours is a planet at war. What’s more, the enemy of God quite deliberately attacks first and most fiercely those surrendered to Jesus, because we’re the only ones capable of recognizing and empowered to overcome the kingdom of darkness.
Those who are not surrendered to Jesus dare not even see the battle, because they have no power to win it. Thus opting out of the battle into denial, they bear no threat to the enemy (see 1 Corinth. 2:14).
Spiritual warfare, that is, allows no conscientious objectors, but only deluded deserters and persevering victors. To withdraw is neither honorable nor safe—but simply to capitulate to the enemy, whose objective is precisely to remove opposition from the battlefield.
I pray this book will stir you not only to acknowledge the battle in the larger world, but indeed, to face it within yourself; not to surrender to the enemy’s deceptions as a comfortably ensconced POW, but to surrender to Father God as an active, victorious combatant.
The Father of us all has set our destiny.
Jesus has blazed the trail.
Holy Spirit has empowered us to get there.
History awaits us.
Foreword: Both religiously correct morality and politically correct ideology distract us from the spiritual battle at hand.
Introduction: The Problem with Real Mysteries
Real mysteries remind us that we’re not in control.
1 Christmas, 2001: 9/11 and the Spirit of Religion
Those who kill for the Law killed the One who sets us free from it.
2 Terrorism & Spiritual Warfare: the Battle of Britain
Spiritual warriors battle for God’s supernatural deliverance.
3 Use Your Authority for God’s Sake
Those who fear praying with authority often don’t trust God.
4) Religion vs. Reality: Faithful Leadership in a Savage World
Life-threatening danger unmasks religious presumption.
5) Why Good Things Happen to Bad People: How Private Ryan Was Saved
The warrior asks, “Why me?” when good things happen.
6) Intel from the Commander-in-Chief : The Gift of Knowledge
Holy Spirit reveals the enemy's plans--and Jesus' victory.
7) If They Don’t Win, It’s a Shame: Ball Games and the Battle for Men’s Souls
A man often invests in “his” team to deliver him from shame.
8) From Dinosaurs to Demons: X-Rated Spirituality
Hollywood beckons viewers abandoned by the Church.
9) Unmasking Halloween
This ancient theater for evil now rivals Christmas.
10) Spiritual Imperialism: Secularism and White Racism
Western culture scorns spirituality and those who embrace it.
11) Homosexuality: Outing the Man-Hating Spirit
A fatherless world hosts gender confusion.
12) Depression--or Expression?: The Spiritual Battle
Ex-pression routs de-pression in a culture of re-pression.
13) “Playing” the Lottery: A Game for Losers
A gambling win can cover your shame, but not remove it.
14) Better Fat than Sad: Gluttony and Spiritual Hunger
Emotional and spiritual needs can trigger feelings of hunger.
15) Let This (Solstice) Cup Pass: Old Demons in the New Age
A pagan “wolf spirit” ceremony forces truth—with grace.
16) The Commandment to Enjoy: The Spirit of Deprivation
Children shamed for wanting good things can't receive as adults.
17) TV or God? The Principalities of Fantasy and Passivity
TV is co-opting the story which shapes our identity.
18) Gangs & The Spirit of Abandonment in Men
Gangs reflect the deep, shameful father-wound in men today.
19) Beyond Bitterness: Receiving Praise from God, not Others
Wanting something from others gives them power over you.
20) Delivered from Abortion: Healing a Forgotten Memory
The truth sets you free.
21) But Is Jesus the Only Way? The Spirit of Universalism
Those wounded by the shepherd flee to the “tolerant” wolf.
22) From Obedience to Trust: Slavery or Sonship?
Obedience is about what we do; trust is about what God does.
*To deny the power of evil is to forfeit power to overcome it.
*Religion preys upon those who learned to fear Dad’s judgment.
*When we forget what the media distracts us from, the media settles in as definition.
* When the wound becomes normative, the healed become outcasts, and the Healer gets crucified.
*A woman-hating spirit follows religion, whose shame is unmasked by feminine grace.
*Religious men killed Jesus, then as now.
*Pride before others does not heal shame, but only humility before God.
*The antidote to materialism is not frugal self-denial, but authentic spirituality.
*God commands us to enjoy His blessings, not to foster indulgence but to inspire reverence.
*Religion is about what we do for God; Jesus is about what God does for us.