CultureWatch

Bill Muehlenberg's commentary on issues of the day...

No One Believes In Me Anymore

Nov 3, 2019

I learned afresh about the reality of spiritual war while in Ghana, and the need for believers to fully engage on that level:

If you are up on your Christian music, and/or you are an old guy – like me – then you will know what my title is about. The late Keith Green released a song in 1977 with those words. They refer of course to the devil, and the fact that most folks in the West no longer believe he exists.

And the sad truth is most Christians don’t seem to believe that he exists either – at least they sure do not act as if he was real. One is reminded of the famous words of C. S. Lewis in the preface to his 1942 classic book, The Screwtape Letters:

“There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall about the devils. One is to disbelieve in their existence. The other is to believe, and to feel an excessive and unhealthy interest in them. They themselves are equally pleased by both errors and hail a materialist or a magician with the same delight.”

In my view, except for a few groups of Christians who would be guilty of the latter error, the overwhelming majority of Christians today would be guilty of the former. Sure, they will SAY that they believe in the reality of Satan and demons, but they sure do not live that way.

They seem to have no concept of the battles we are in, of the spiritual war that is going on all around us, and of the enemy powers working overtime to undo and destroy the things of God and His people. The church throughout the West is taking a savage beating, is losing in so many areas, and is compromising and crumbling massively, yet most believers seem to have no inkling of the spiritual attacks which are behind all this.

All of the incredibly horrible things we see happening in our culture today such as the abortion genocide, the war on marriage and family, and the hyper sexual onslaught are all much more than mere cases of secular left activism. Behind them all are the spiritual powers of darkness.

Satan hates God and everything about him, and he hates God’s people and everything about them. And he is working 24/7 to do all he can to stop the work of God and the workers of God. Until we wake up to this reality we will never make much of an impact for Christ and his kingdom.

I am writing this for several reasons. An hour ago I returned home from a week in Africa. While I am utterly exhausted – the week was very full, and I can never sleep when I travel – I am too pumped up to try to go to sleep now: I was so energised by what I encountered there.

I was mightily stirred in my spirit by what I saw happening there. Ghana is a spiritual powerhouse in Africa. In the short time I was there I got to know so many mighty men and women of God. They are real champions, and real heroes. We could use many more like them here in the West.

I could mention many names here but that would make this piece too long – maybe another time I will single out some of these African champs for Christ. But let me state that one of the reasons they are having such a mighty impact for God is because they fully believe in the reality of God. But they also believe in the reality of Satan, and they engage in prayer and spiritual warfare. They can see these battles taking place in a very real way.

I heard so many exciting stories of God breaking the powers of darkness there, including many homosexuals being prayed for, counselled, and delivered. These believers know that there are spiritual powers of darkness that are ever at work, and they must be dealt with.

Things like intercessory prayer, fasting and spiritual warfare are all part of this – you know, the sorts of things we speak about, but so seldom do on a regular and passionate basis here in the West. No wonder they are having such a mighty harvest of souls and are holding the line against all the secular left agenda items.

And no wonder we keep losing time and time again. Until we wake up to the reality of the spiritual war and start getting serious about it – with at the very least much more concentrated and concerted prayer – we will continue to see the other side keep winning while we keep losing.

I could appeal to many mighty saints of God here on this, but let me mention just one: the great Leonard Ravenhill. Here are four brief quotes from him that help to set the stage for what I am speaking about here.

“Many believers live as if this world were a playground instead of a battleground.”

“When a nation calls its prime men to battle, homes are broken, weeping sweethearts say their good-byes, businesses are closed, college careers are wrecked, factories are refitted for wartime production, and rationing and discomforts are accepted—all for war. Can we do less for the greatest fight that this world has ever known outside of the cross—this end-time siege on sanity, morality and spirituality?”

“The Church used to be a lifeboat rescuing the perishing. Now she is a cruise ship recruiting the promising.”

“Prayer is not a preparation for the battle; it is the battle!”

“How can you pull down strongholds of Satan if you don’t even have the strength to turn off your TV?”

I mentioned Keith Green’s song, so let me run with that. The lyrics are these:

Oh, my job keeps getting easier
As time keeps slipping away

I can imitate your brightest light
And make your night look just like day
I put some truth in every lie
To tickle itching ears
You know I’m drawing people just like flies
‘Cause they like what they hear

I’m gaining power by the hour
They’re falling by the score
You know, it’s getting very simple now
‘Cause no one believe in me anymore

Oh, heaven’s just a state of mind
My books read on your shelf
And have you heard that God is dead?
I made that one up myself
They dabble in magic spells
They get their fortunes read
You know they heard the truth
But turned away and followed me instead

I used to have to sneak around
But now they just open their doors
You know, no one’s watching for my tricks
Because no one believes in me anymore

Everyone likes a winner
With my help, you’re guaranteed to win
And hey, man, you ain’t no sinner
You’ve got the truth within
And as your life slips by
You believe the lie that you did it on your own
But don’t worry
I’ll be there to help you share our dark eternal home

Oh, my job keeps getting easier
As day slips into day
The magazines, the newspapers
Print every word I say
This world is just my spinning top
It’s all like childs-play
You know, I dream that it will never stop
But I know it’s not that way

Still my work goes on and on
Always stronger than before
I’m gonna make it dark before the dawn
Since no one believes in me anymore
Well, now I used to have to sneak around
But now they just open their doors
You know, no one watches for my tricks
Since no one believes in me anymore

Well I’m gaining power by the hour
They’re falling by the score
You know, it’s getting very easy now
Since no one believes in me anymore
No one believes in me anymore
No one believes in me anymore

One video version of the song is found here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=PhuoN1Wwj74

It is time we realised that we are in a war – a huge, protracted and costly spiritual war. And when one is in a war, only the weapons of warfare will suffice. And there can be no sitting on the fence in a time of war either. One final quote, this time from Martyn-Lloyd Jones, commenting on Ephesians 6:10-12:

The Christian life … is a warfare, it is a struggle. ‘We wrestle.’ The whole section is designed to impress this fact upon us. There is no grosser or greater misrepresentation of the Christian message than that which depicts it as offering a life of ease with no battle and struggle at all. . . . The first thing we have to realize is that the Christian life is a warfare, that we are strangers in an alien land, that we are in the enemy’s territory. We do not live in a vacuum, in a glasshouse. The teaching which gives the impression that the pathway to glory is all easy and simple and smooth is not Christianity, it is not Paul’s Christianity, it is not New Testament Christianity. It is the hallmark of the quack remedy always, that it cures everything so easily! One dose, and there is no more trouble!

[1513 words]

12 Responses to No One Believes In Me Anymore

  • Sobering post but very necessary Bill. Especially when I see so many people now celebrating Halloween as though it’s just a cute dress up party.

  • So many Christians when they get involved in Spiritual Warfare get attacked and they slacken off – I felt like that for a time.
    If President Trump didn’t get stirred up about the wickedness going on in America and the world, he wouldn’t have got to be President, it reminds me of Spiritual Warfare we have to put ourselves out there to take back what the Devil has tried to take from us.
    I remember when we felt that we weren’t getting anywhere like nothing was happening, our faith was tested beyond and then God did the impossible… through His Word.

  • God bless you for this, yet again, faithful servant of the Lord! Praying He refreshes and protects you!

  • Halloween is one of things christians dont see as evil but cute Bill. Plus non believers and some believers ( i was a sunday pew as long as it didnt affect my life ” christian “for many years 🙁 ) believed in heaven but really took not much notice of satan ,the devil etc nor did i think of hell or our Spiritual enemy or battle . Though i do now . Jesus having changed me somewhat from my past . Im still challenged by my faith ,lack of sometimes or intimacy with God yet i now realise its an on going battle till i see jesus face to face . Thank you for inspiring believers like myself to know that though Jesus Christ all things are possible. Not easy yet worthwhile . Yours in christ Carmel Parker

  • taken from end of “Garden of Allah” by Don Henley.
    even secular music taking notice….

    “…It was pretty big year for predators
    The marketplace was on a roll
    And the land of opportunity
    Spawned a whole new breed of men without souls
    This year notoriety got all confused with fame
    And the devil is downhearted babe, cause
    There’s nothing left for him to claim
    He said it’s just like home
    It’s so low-down I can’t stand it
    I guess my work around here has all been done
    And the fruit is rotten, the serpent’s eyes shine
    As he wraps around the vine,
    In the garden of Allah …”

  • Thanks, Bill, for reminding us of the spiritual warfare that fuels the evils of our secular society. I will share this article with friends who host Bible studies as this is an essential topic to be presented and discussed.

  • A true statement of America! I see it every day. The Lord has Blessed me and my wife every day. It is not his fight but that of humanity to realize what we have done. Just look at American politics. The devil is real and you can see the destruction every day. Thanks Bill for the reminder!

  • I must be getting old!!!!! As my kids especially my daughter – were great fans of Keith Green. And I was involved in a ministry fully recognising the influence of Satan (old hairy legs!). The 2019 result???? In short- this ministry has dwindled!! – no young ones taking up the work of healing and deliverance. It’s the day of the comfortable pew – again!!!!!
    Luise Cottis

  • On a related note, some overlooked links between Satanism and feminism:
    https://quadrant.org.au/magazine/2019/10/women-under-the-spell/

  • Why are we not surprised? Jesus warned us 2000 years ago that the devil is the Prince of the Air and in charge of this world. He and 2/3rds of his angels have never left.
    It is a source of great sorrow to me that Bishops in Dioceses in the denomination to which I belong have happily endorsed S.S. Marriage which in turn has brought much evil to this nation and divided the church.
    Thanks Bill for showing forth these evils which those of us who follow CultureWatch know to be true.

  • My cousin in Canada recently married and it turns out her new husband is a Muslim and she’s also become a Muslim. I didn’t know this until I challenged a statement she made on Facebook about Muslims and Christians believing in the same God.

    Pretty quickly I was accused of spreading hate, even though I was being respectful and I quoted from the Quran and referred to Muhummad’s use of violence to spread Islam. I also mentioned that he was responsible for a whole Jewish community being killed and he married a young girl. And suddenly my cousin unfriended and blocked me.

    Then her mum got in on the action, saying via email that she was defending her daughter while also saying she always made it her policy never to discuss religion. But she kept making comments that were in error about Jesus and the Bible. She said Jesus never claimed to be God and mentioned that her daughter has been reading “How Jesus Became God” by Bart Ehrman, who I later read is an agnostic.

    I challenged her respectfully with the help of my husband, who’s a Lutheran pastor and in his training at seminary he needed to study New Testament Greek and Hebrew. I also started reading “Understanding Jesus and Muhummad” by Bernie Power (which I bought at a church bookshop yesterday).

    Today my aunt went from saying she no longer wished to discuss the topic and she is just as intelligent as my husband and I, to saying that our friendship is over and she doesn’t wish to hear from me anymore. She said she was stressed and I had caused division in the family. I replied that I only responded out of love for her and my cousin. Her last words to me were “That’s not love”.

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