Any author writing a story or a full length novel based upon spiritual warfare must first do his research. Spiritual warfare is an extremely interesting subject and offers a rich tapestry on which to weave an exciting and dramatic plot, and it presents the writer with fascinating materials through which to explore ethical, philosophical, and spiritual truths.
It is a very controversial subject, and in Christian circles the spectrum of opinion ranges from total skepticism and disbelief to obsessional beliefs that everything has a demonic origin. Clearly such extremes do not present the serious writer with a reasonable storyline. But the middle ground offers a fantastic backdrop to create fiction.
Spiritual warfare, simply described, is a range of Christian activity whereby satanic demons are combated, confronted, and defeated using prayer and faith. Christians who find themselves immersed in these battles and struggles are often aided by heavenly angels. Spiritual warfare is being fought out between two kingdoms vying for power, the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of Darkness, ruled over by Satan.
For Christian writers the ground on which their research should be based is the Bible. There are many and various references throughout the Bible, both in the Old Testament and in the New Testament, to angels and demons in conflict with each other and with God’s people. The many examples in the Bible provide unequivocally proof that:
1. Angels and Satan and his demons exist and do interact with God’s people for good and ill.
2. God himself and Jesus, while on the earth, Old Testament peoples and New Testament Christians unequivocally believed in demons and their ability to inflict harm.
Anyone studying spiritual warfare will quickly find that, although there are numerous references and descriptions of angels and demons and their activities, there is not a definitive description of either. But this is not a disadvantage to the writer, for he can use his imagination, within the bounds of biblical truth, to create both angelic and demonic characters which are both interesting and, more importantly, believable. Their interaction with humans, as described in the Bible, shows that at least part of their personality must be human-like in order to have efficacious communication.
One aspect of angels and demons that I find very interesting is whether they have wings. I have done my research, and I strongly believe that they do not have wings. That is going to a topic for my next blog.
The introduction of angels and demons into a spiritual warfare story makes it possible to delve deeply into questions of good and evil which can then encompass all human faults and failings of character such as corruption, temptation and lust for power, money, and sex.
Of course it also allows the writer to paint a picture of redemption, healing, and salvation and access to the throne of God’s grace. The subject of spiritual warfare should not be labeled simply supernatural fantasy as it truly is a wonderful canvas on which to create a story that can have a direct and powerful affect upon readers’ minds and souls and all for the good. This is when fiction can be used to its fullest and most noble degree.
For those people who want to look deeper into this subject, I strongly recommend Dr. Karl Payne’s book, Spiritual Warfare, which is a balanced and very informative book.
Are any of you including elements of spiritual warfare within your book? If so, to what sources are you turning for your research?