Monday, September 20, 2010

Spiritual Warfare Metaphors?

I'm not sure how I feel about them. I'm not sure the phrase "prayer warrior" really applies to anyone who isn't at least a person who's had some real experiences praying against more concrete manifestations of dark forces. I feel like for most of us the effects aren't that direct. (This is not to be taken to mean they are not present, but let us note that war has many indirect effects on non-soldiers.) I believe in the unfortunate pervasiveness of dark forces but at the same time the ways they work, "war" seems too violent an image for the resulting conflict. Of course, the whole thing is a war, but I think of angels and exorcists as being more the warriors. I think most of us are more like homeland manufacturers or field support. So yeah, we're fighting a spiritual war. Nothing metaphorical about that. But I'm not sure we're quite as on the front lines as we sometimes might think.

Thoughts, anyone?


Luke said...

I understand what you're saying, especially because the term "Spiritual Warfare" has a very specific meaning. Unfortunately, it has been extrapolated to mean "I'm fighting some spiritual battles." In that case, you could say that someone is a prayer warrior but not in the strict sense, although, prayer warrior is not a specifically defined term like Spiritual Warfare as far as I know.

I don't really feel like we're the manufacturers because that seems to indicate that we are doing something that the actual exorcists are using, which generally they are not. Now if we were praying for the exorcist, that might be a different story.

M.A. Schmitz said...

I think that to reduce the idea of spiritual warfare to actual 'fights' with dark forces is not really within the tradition.

The similar term 'spiritual combat' has been used for centuries to describe the experience of the ordinary Christian- fighting sin in general in the world, and more specifically, in yourself. We are part of the Church militant, after all. I think the idea is that we are all soldiers, but some people are special forces.

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