Faith Messages to build your faith

Thursday, April 16, 2015

#58 Territoriality Now: Anthropology

C. Peter Wagner: As field of cultural anthropology has 
developed in our century, an increasing number of social 
scientists, both Christian and non-Christian, are realizing 
it is not possible to fully understand the life-style, values, and 
behavior patterns of vast segments of the world's population 
without coming to terms with their supernaturalistic worldview.

Fuller Seminary anthropologist Charles H. Kraft has helped us understand this well in his remarkable book, Christianity with Power.

Kraft argues that we Westerners divide the world into "natural" and "supernatural" and then proceed to disregard the supernatural.

Even Christians, he says, 

    "We do claim to assume that God is involved in all of our
     everyday activities. And yet we often base our thinking and
     behavior on naturalistic assumptions almost as much as do
     our non-Christian neighbors and friends.'

This tends to cloud our understanding of the great majority of the peoples of the world for whom the supernatural is very much a part of daily life.

Jacob Loewen is both an anthropologist and a Bible translation consultant. He sees the Old Testament as clearly assuming the territoriality of  demonic spirits, frequently called "deities."

He cites the prophet Hosea, among others, who continually reprimand Israel for thinking like the pagans and regarding Jehovah as a territorial spirit instead of the sovereign Lord of the whole universe.

Then he says, 

    "The situation described in Hosea is very similar to the              
     situation which we described for Africa where the 
     conquerors felt  obliged to accept the gods of the 
     conquered because the latter's deities controlled the

Loewen reports that in Central and South America spirits are considered to be the "owners" of geographical or topographical phenomena.

Nomadic Indians never travel from one graphical territory to another without first securing the permission of the territorial spirit dominating the area they are about to enter.

"People never own the land," Loewen says, "they only use it by the permission of its true spirit owners who, in a sense 'adopt' them."

When anthropologist David Lan began to study guerilla warfare in Zimbabwe, he soon discovered it was closely related to the activity of spirit mediums.

These mediums were possessed by the mbondoro, spirits purportedly of dead chiefs. He found that each of these mbondoro.. 

    "is thought to rule over a specific territory which he is 
     believed to have conquered to been given when he was alive."

He calls them "spirit provinces." He says of the region he was researching,

    "Every square centimeter is part of one spirit province or

While, as a secular anthropologist, he makes no attempt at biblical
applications, Lan at least furnishes us with some basis for believing that spiritual mapping may have validity for social science as well as for world evangelization.  

(Google image and emphasis added)

#58 Territoriality Now: Anthropology
By C. Peter Wagner
(pgs. 99-100) Regal Books

     Father, when I think of praying, may I remember that Your desire is to bless those in trouble and conflict with evil forces that want to kill them, or destroy their faith, or cause them harm.
    Help me to keep in mind that You're well able to make them overcomers in Christ.
    Our battles against spirits that are determined to mess up our days of service to You are no match for Your Spirit within us.
    I ask for Your guidance and protection in the Name of Jesus. Amen.

Today’s Bible verse: Prov. 1:2 "To know wisdom and instruction; to perceive the words of understanding."

Today's praise verse:  Ps. 13:6 "I will sing to the LORD, for he has been good to me."

Today's prayer for your pastor: "Pray that God will build a hedge 
of protection around your pastor's marriage, and that he and his wife will be aware of the potential for any improper relationships. Pray that their family time will be protected. (Ezek. 22:30a; 2 Cor. 10:4-5; Matt. 19:6) [Taken from 31 Days of Praying for Your Pastor]

Today’s quote: Bob Gass Ministries - "No power is greater than the Spirit of God Who lives within you. If you abide in Christ, Satan can't control or conquer you (see Jn 15:7).Why? Because he would have to overcome Jesus to do it! (3)By understanding that you can defeat Satan because Jesus has 'given you authority over all the power of the enemy ' "(Lk 10:19 NLT). (p 16)

Our thought today: Christ has freedom to give you! Simply submit to His authority.

18th- Saturday’s post: What If?
Jean Oathout

19th- Sunday evening's post:  The Names of God
Joe Stowell

21st- Tuesday's post:  #59 Territoriality in Southern Mexico
C. Peter Wagner

23rd- Thursday's post:  #60 Spiritual Boot Camp
C. Peter Wagner

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