Here is a segment from an article by Scott Johnson. The full article is about unrecognized infiltration of occult into the church. Scott makes some excellent points about the need to for believers not to be naive about the workings and symbolism of the enemy today.
Scott Johnson | Contendingfortruth
There are some things to keep in mind while reading through this report:
Firstly, we need to get rid of the superstition that plagues much of the evangelical/fundamentalist world in regard to anything remotely related to “spiritual warfare”. It‟s almost as if anyone who asks more than just a couple quick questions about the subject is viewed as having a “fixation with demonism”…and will be admonished with—“you have developed an unhealthy focus, my friend”.
I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that in the church circles in which I grew up, most pastors would be reluctant to preach anything more than a quick 2- or 3-part series on Satan or demons or “spiritual warfare” (and the like)…at the risk of being described as “obsessed”. I know many people from those circles who have held to an amazingly ‘backwards’ and unbiblical notion that…if they were to engage (or “dabble” as they might say) in an in-depth study of our spiritual enemy (Satan and his minions), they would develop some sort of spiritual ‘health’ problems.
Folks who are otherwise whip-smart Bible students apparently think they‟re going to break out in hives or have their home overrun by poltergeists, if they study the enemy and his strategies. It‟s an amazing superstition, no different than pagans in some remote parts of the world who are afraid to approach the “evil forbidden mountain” (or some such thing). Imagine if there were football players who were being made to watch game films of their opposing team so as to scrutinize their strategies, weaknesses, strengths, etc. Could you ever imagine the players complaining to the coach—Coach, we don’t like this at all. You have an “unhealthy focus”. You’ve become “obsessed” with the opponent. By viewing these films, we‟re afraid the opposing players are now going to come over to our homes and…uh…haunt us. (Say what?)
Another ‘objection’ I have encountered: There is a distaste among some of my Bible believing Christian friends when delving into the matter of interpreting coded occult symbolism. I have had some folks try to offer suggestions: Rather than studying occult symbolism and the occult world…aren’t we better served by simply studying the Bible…the Truth of God’s Word, so that thereby we can then recognize the falsehoods and trickery of occultists and occultism? The problem is that it doesn’t quite work that way. In proposing such a thing we’re in danger of “spiritualizing” something which requires a practical approach. An example of what I mean by “spiritualizing” would be…if a person saw that his backyard lawn needed mowing…and instead of getting a lawnmower, he would pull out a lawn chair, sit out on the patio, and begin praying feverishly for the grass to become shorter. If you think about it it doesn’t make much sense to try to identify hidden occultists with their secret coded communications only through ‘scripture reading’. How would that be any different than, for example, the notion that one could intepret and learn sign language (for the ‘hearing impaired’) only through studying Scripture passages? I believe you could probably scrutinize God’s Word for decades, and never learn a thing about sign language. As another example, it would be like trying to use the guidance of Scripture to repair your TV set–obviously, an inappropriate application.
At this point, occultists are having veritable conversations with each other in full view of the community…and church-going folk don’t have a clue.
In this day and age it would behoove Christian people to learn to recognize some of these symbols and codes. At this point, occultists are having veritable conversations with each other in full view of the community…and church-going folk don’t have a clue. They have waltzed right into Christian bookstores, right onto the shelves with their CD’s and books…and have infiltrated churches and organizations, completely unnoticed. How many times do we see church-going young people flashing the ‘devil’s horns’ at a Christian concert..or flashing the occultic “peace sign”? I AM NOT SAYING someone is going to turn into a pillar of salt if they doodle a “peace symbol” (the upside down broken cross) inside the flap of their Bible…but there has been an accumulation of cultural and spiritual illiteracy, and a general lack of awareness regarding the world around us, which has put Evangelical Christians in a very dangerous position.
[…]There is a master plan behind this infiltration. They aren’t doing this just to be obnoxious. A trap is being set. It is a trap that is warned about on the prophetic pages of Scripture–things that pertain to “end times”. Jesus has warned of the Great Apostasy deception in His “Olivet Discourse”. That is what these satanic infiltration efforts are all about! The other day, I was having a conversation with an otherwise seemingly earnest and well-meaning Christian when, in mid-conversation, he rapped his knuckles on his desk and made the statement: “Well, knock on wood, hopefully that’ll never happen.” Knock on wood?? I suppose many would say I make too much of too little but…technically, that is a ‘salute’ to the forces of darkness. Personally, I am no more comfortable with that than someone who would give a quick “Sieg Heil” Nazi salute. I find little excuse for that level of unawareness and spiritual illiteracy among Christian people.
[…]There is a heavy price to pay for the cavalier attitude many church-goers have these days, towards elements of occult in our midst. Each person who becomes informed and aware of these diabolical schemes…is one more “light” that is pushing back the darkness and the deception. The kingdom of darkness has a critical reliance upon darkness…therefore as more and more Christians hopefully become aware of these things, it strikes a devastating, crippling blow to the enemy‟s plans.
Jhn 3:19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
Jhn 3:20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.
Jhn 3:21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.