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Digging Sodom: True Spiritual Warfare

February 8th, 2013 | 3 Comments | Posted in Miscellaneous, Spiritual Warfare

shovelYou probably don’t know who Professor Steven Collins is. But you need to know.

You need to know about this archaeologist’s discovery of the Bible’s most infamous city: Sodom. It is the subject of a new book.

Why do you need to know? Because Collins, a Christian, is engaged in more than just a physical dig. He’s engaged in a monumental spiritual battle. This spiritual battle has much at stake–that is, the very credibility of the Bible and the souls of men and women.

I share it with you because it’s an example of true spiritual warfare–in contrast to the showmanship that is passed off as spiritual warfare in so many churches today.

Meet Dr. Collins

Collins is the chief archaeologist and co-director of the Tall el-Hammam Excavation Project in Jordan. But he is not some wanna-be archaeologist wearing an Indiana Jones hat and carrying a shovel. No, Collins is a serious scholar.

He has a Ph.D. in archaeology and is a member of the most prestigious archaeological societies. In other words, he has weighty credentials. And those credentials are why his findings are hard to dismiss–even by extremely secular archaeologists who would rather dismiss them.

Finding Sodom

What are those findings? In short, Collins believes he found the site of ancient Sodom–sister city to Gomorrah. It is in the region of the southern Jordan River Valley, about 14 kilometers northeast of the Dead Sea (not at the southern end of the Dead Sea, where many Bible mapmakers have speculatively placed it). Beyond that, he believes he found evidence that this city was obliterated through a catastrophic “heat event”–just like the Bible says (Genesis 19:23-29).

Controversial Claims

For those who know anything about archaeology, those are controversial claims. The reason they are controversial is because most archaeologists have dismissed the story of Sodom and Gomorrah as pure myth. They think the Bible writers made it up.

But, shovelful by shovelful of desert sand, Collins is uncovering–what he is convinced is–ancient Sodom. And, in doing so, he is showing that the Bible records real history–not just myths. He is demonstrating what the apostle Peter said: that we, Christians, do not follow “cleverly devised myths” (2 Peter 1:16). Rather, the events in the Bible–from the destruction of Sodom to the resurrection of Jesus–are events that really happened. Our faith is based on historical fact.

The Front Line of the Battle

You can be sure of this: Satan does not want unbelievers to know about the historical evidence for Sodom. The reason he doesn’t want them to know is because the evidence points to something much more important than the discovery of a city. It points to the truth of the entire Bible. And that is why I say Collins is engaged in true spiritual warfare.

Of course, you don’t need to be a scholar, like Collins, to wage spiritual warfare. Every Christian is called to the battle (Ephesians 6:10-20). Nonetheless, Christian scholars are defending the Bible at the highest levels of academia. Thus, they are on the front lines.

The universities are one of Satan’s major strongholds. From the mouths of atheist professors, Satan exerts great sway on the minds of young women and men–as well as on the media. And he won’t give up this stronghold without a fight.

Thus, I believe the type of work Collins is undertaking is what the apostle Paul had in mind when he said that Christians war against “strongholds.” That is, we war against faulty intellectual arguments that are raised against God’s truth. Paul said:

For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ (2 Corinthians 10:4-5).

Imaginary Spiritual Warfare

While Collins is engaged in a true spiritual battle, the apostles and prophets of the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) movement are teaching their followers to engage in imaginary spiritual battles through a variety of practices they have named “strategic-level spiritual warfare.” They teach that the ways to do spiritual warfare include blowing shofars (that is, musical instruments made of rams’ horns), waving banners, and verbally confronting “territorial spirits” from the mountaintops. (As if being closer to the sky when they “confront” the demons scares them more!) These ineffective NAR practices would be silly if the consequences weren’t so sad.

But Satan must be pleased by these teachings. They are a distraction from truly effective types of spiritual warfare that pose an actual threat to his attempts to blind the eyes of unbelievers so they can’t see the truth of the gospel (2 Corinthians 4:4). NAR followers think they’re fighting demons, but they’re only firing blanks.

Meanwhile, Dr. Collins is digging away and trying to get out the word that Sodom has been found. His work may not be showy. But it is a real spiritual battle with real stakes.

Here are some ways you can join his spiritual battle: pray for him, sign up to receive updates on the excavation, financially support his work, or even join him at the dig site in Jordan

I also recommend that you watch his presentation, given at a Christian apologetics conference in Canada.

I’d like to know: What types of NAR spiritual warfare practices have you seen?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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3 Responses to “Digging Sodom: True Spiritual Warfare”

  1. AFriend Says:

    Oh, I remember a practice called Deliverance in which you basically renounced “soul ties” with demons related to sins long-ago forgiven. I’ve also heard of people marching around cities or neighborhoods praying the whole time to break down spiritual strongholds. There is a book out called the Circle Prayer which incorporates Jewish mysticism and Christian prayer, I think for the purpose of spiritual warfare.

    The list could go on and on.

  2. admin Says:

    AFriend,

    Yes, those are other popular NAR practices. I think you must be referring to the book “The Circle Maker.” I hadn’t heard of it until you mentioned it, and I just looked it up on Amazon. Very interesting.

  3. AFriend Says:

    Yes, it is “The Circle Maker”. I should have looked it up myself, so thanks for double-checking! I have seen an interesting shift in NAR people embracing Jewish mystical practices over the past few years. I think Rick Joyner may be a big proponent of it.

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