Thursday, November 20, 2008

the armour of reality

At the beginning of the semester, students complained about spiritual apathy and a kind of blah atmosphere. We prayed for a stirring. For renewal. For something that would awaken us to a more vital and vibrant life in Christ.

Things have changed. The election bubbled up some ugly sentiments. Most of it occured virtually, in text messages and facebook chatter. That chatter, though supposedly cavalier and not intended to be significant, was. People started to avoid each other. They began to view each other with suspicion. Deeper issues were exposed into the light of day.

So where's the reality? How deep or superficial is the reality of virtual chatter and embodied behavior?

Last week a student dropped in to tell me that he had witnessed an apparition. He went on to describe the appearance of the visitation. The image was like the ghoulish figures of a bad horror movie. He reported that as he lay in bed, the apparition reached out and touched his leg and he felt the chill move up both legs and arms. As this happened the apparition called him back to the old ways, to the good times he used to enjoy. He said he rebuked the apparition in the name of Jesus and after doing this several times it went away.

This student has a history of playing on the dark side. Seances, wikka, black arts, etc. He is a recovering addict and is trying to live in Christ. He admits it's hard and he stumbles a lot. He also admitted that he struggles with whether or not he really wants to give up the old ways ... because there was something strangely seductive and powerful about them, even if destructive in the end.

Is the apparition a projection or real?

A few days ago another student told me of a dream. Christ appeared to her as a lion. The lion affirmed God's love for her, then warned her of danger. She would be attacked by the evil one. Soon thereafter, in the dream, the devil beckoned her to come over to the dark side. The devil assured her it was much more fun, more exciting.

She asked: what should I make of this? It's not usual for me to dream like this. It is real?

Colossians 2:15 Jesus disarmed the powers and authorities ... triumphing over them by the cross.
Ephesians 6:12 Our struggle is ... against the powers of this dark world and against spiritual forces of the heavenly realms. So put on the full armour of God...