What is spiritual warfare? And how is it different from malefic ("black") magic?

One Evangelical Christian sums it up with, Prayer should not be spellcasting. God is not your djinni.

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    The question itself is good, but the phrasing seems rude to me (ESL though). Maybe the black magic claim would be better split into its own question. – StackExchange saddens dancek Sep 21 '11 at 22:46
  • @dancek. I've only ever heard of "spiritual warfare" from Slacktivist (an Evanaglical Christian) and from the people he links to. And he himself is happy to refer to it in the context of malefic magic. That's the only context I know it from. – TRiG Sep 21 '11 at 22:47
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    @TRiG It's actually pretty interesting that you have only heard of it in a "black magic" context. It is quite common among the teachings and Christians I've known. To me it's all about rebuking and resisting attacks from Satan. (C.S. Lewis' The Screwtape Letters comes to mind when I think of how Satan can work against us) – a_hardin Sep 22 '11 at 17:26
  • @a_hardin. It looks like I've found an answer elsewhere (and also an answer to my question on dominionism): slacktivist.typepad.com/slacktivist/2011/09/…. – TRiG Sep 25 '11 at 3:00
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    @TRiG I believe the idea behind it is the same, but it seems that there are different ideas on how it is applied. I'll try to gather more on the different views and maybe come up with an answer that compares them. – a_hardin Sep 26 '11 at 15:10

1 Pet 5:8, KJV:

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour

Eph 6:12, KJV:

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.

1 Thess 5:17, KJV:

Pray without ceasing.

Throughout the NT believers are encouraged to always remember that we are fighting a battle against the forces of evil. The term "Spiritual Warfare" is generally used by those who acknowledge and undertake to accept this calling, "enduring hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ".

Regarding comparisons to "black magic", I would lovingly wish to draw your attention to Jesus' response to similar accusations He faced in Matt 12:22-32. In light of these words from Jesus such terms should not be bandied about since the implications are so very severe.

  • Nice quotes. I've also heard it summarized something like this: Satan is real and is actively trying to bring us down. We're "in a war" for our salvation, so we need to be ready to "defend" ourselves when satan tries to tempt us into sin. – Andrew Sep 22 '11 at 3:05
  • @Andrew: We are not in a war for our salvation. Our salvation is already assured. Whatever this "war" is about, it's not about our salvation. – Flimzy Sep 22 '11 at 3:32
  • Eph 6:12 was what came to mind for me as well. +1 – Mike Riess Sep 22 '11 at 3:33
  • @Flimzy Certainly, Jesus died for our salvation (once and for all), but we need to continue to accept this free gift, everyday, by turning away from sin and following him. Satan is always trying to get us to fall into temptation and commit sin. That's why I referred to it as a "war" for our salvation. If your comment was from a "once saved, always saved" perspective, please refer to this question – Andrew Sep 26 '11 at 4:50
  • @Andrew: No, I mean I think calling it a "war for our salvation" is simply far too narrow of a view of spiritual warfare. In other words, Satan is not trying to take our salvation away from us--He knows he is powerless to do that. He's simply trying to make us miserable, and ineffective as Christians. – Flimzy Sep 26 '11 at 4:53

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