The word “controversy” and “C. Peter Wagner” stand next to one another when it comes to spiritual warfare. Wagner, a missiologist whose views on spiritual warfare have been transformed from “field” studies and from the social sciences, has made rather well known a view of spiritual warfare involving “territorial spirits.” He’s got a number of books, but today we are using his article, co-authored with Rebecca Greenwood (who wrote most of the substance of the article), in the book Understanding Spiritual Warfare (ed. J.K. Beilby, P.R. Eddy).
Wagner begins the study by sketching his experience at Fuller seminary where he was called before faculty about his controversial view, and all of this is now brought together in a book called Confronting the Powers.
What do you think of this “strategic” spiritual warfare and of “spiritual mapping”? Any experience here?
Rebecca Greenwood speaks her mind about the two major issues — her commitment to the praxis and the lack of concern with the praxis in the Western church: “I am a prophetic warfare intercessor and have actively and consistently engaged in strategic-level spiritual warfare, addressing territorial spirits since 1991” and “I have witnessed the lack of awareness concerning the enemy, especially in the Western church” (177).
Her biblical sketch includes the reality of Satan, that he is the prince of the air, that Jesus drew swords with the Satan, and that there is plenty of evidence in the Bible for power encounters. She thinks spiritual warfare occurs at three levels: ground level, occult level, and the strategic level.
Ground-level: breaking the demonic powers in individuals.
Occult-level: witchcraft, et al.
Strategic-level: power encounters with high-ranking principalities and powers. These are the territorial spirits, charged with the captivity of a large number of individuals in a territory.
At the praxis level, Rebecca Greenwood is interested in spiritual mapping. One discerns the weapons through intercessory spiritual warfare prayers. They seek to identify the spiritual conditions at work in a community. Irresponsible stewardship leads to capture. That means bloodshed, idolatry, sexual immorality and broken covenants.
Once one maps a place one then moves to “identificational repentance.” This means someone acknowledges one’s group sins and the plea that God will use the rejection of that sin by a person as a beachhead of transformation.
Next is prophetic decrees (God’s revelation to God’s people who make them known to the evil powers), acts that foreshadow doom and victory (like prayer walking), and power encounters.
She tells, candidly, the story of her spiritual warfare with abortion in Wichita KS and the Dr Tiller’s death … which was contrary to the designs of those who were praying.
I can see why Wagner was called in for questions at Fuller.