“We know that we are in God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one.”
(1 John 5:20)
“… sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others” (Ephesians 2:2,3)
“For all that is in the world – the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life – is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it.”
(1 John 2:16,17)
We want a “Kingdom of God” culture in our world – one based on rightness, truth, love and peace. This can only be when the true God is given His rightful place among free men and women. Because of God’s respect for our freedom He does not impose His direct rule to usher us into some kind of “Brave New World” for our own good. Instead, He has chosen to wait upon us to pray fervently and to collaborate with Him under His leadership to invite Him to work in this world. I’ve had a taste of God’s goodness and its left me wanting Him more.
The above Scriptures indicate that in the present age satanic influence is very strong. Human cultures differ, but they are all presently seriously affected by demonic influence. This is the underlying reason for the misery that predominates in so many hearts and lives today.
Demonic Influence in Western Culture
While demonic influence is more overt in nations which openly practice witchcraft and idolatry on every street corner, until recently the influence of demons in western culture was more covert, yet hardly less binding.
This is a vast subject of course. I am going to make some sweeping statements which should indicate something of the extent of demonic influence in our culture in western nations. The good news is that in the gospel of Jesus Christ we have relevant solutions and strategies for pushing back the darkness and opening the door to God. Nevertheless, while we fail to discern the strongholds of evil, we will surely end up compromising with them. Here are some of the strongholds. Be sure that all of these are actively promoted by demons which reinforce these thoughts and bind people’s minds so that real faith in God is squeezed out.
Strongholds in the West:
Pluralism – the idea that everyone has the right to choose their own religious beliefs and lifestyles, that God has no authority on this point – because either He doesn’t exist, or what He says can’t be known with any sense of certainty.
Humanism – (the spirit of Greece). Tied in with this is the worship of the body, intellectualism, and the idea that “man is the measure of all things”. Therefore good looks, sporting prowess and to a lesser extent, natural intelligence are highly prized characteristics and those who possess them in great measure are the objects of adoration in our culture. This is clear when you consider the attention given to these things in the entertainment and media industries, which greatly influence the minds of western people. Truly, people today worship and serve the creature instead of the Creator, who is blessed forever.
Scientific Materialism – the idea of naturalism, that only the physical world truly exists, there is no spiritual realm (except perhaps as an intellectual abstraction). Includes the philosophy of naturalism which is the support for the theory of evolution which denies God as the Creator and Sustainer of all things. This philosophy still has powerful influence in education.
Economic Materialism (Greed) – the love of money. People will give most of their life to the pursuit of wealth and the television constantly pumps people full of desires for more and more products which only money can buy. People sacrifice many things including family and friends in the pursuit of this idol.
Sexual Lust – its hard to quantify this, but it seems like western society is pretty much obsessed with finding fulfilment through sexual experiences of all kinds and with people that God does not want them to be sexually involved with. The film industry and the newsstands are leaders in the promotion of the lie that sex is the chief end of man. Pornography has become a multi-billion dollar industry in the west. Those who indulge in it become miserable, angry and profoundly restless – possibly even violent. This contributes to the breakdown of marriages, families and growing isolation.
Influences on the Rise in Western Culture
Occultism – whether it be through wicca, new age or hard-core satanism, witchcraft is being promoted in many forms. I define witchcraft as the attempt to operate in spiritual power outside of the Holy Spirit, especially to dominate or manipulate people for selfish purposes.
There are now so many books in stores targetting teenage girls telling them how to become witches, how to enslave the boy they want, and more. Television programmes are promoting this, and people go on the internet to find out how to get spiritual power through witchcraft – not realising that whatever they themselves are becoming the victims of a cruel demonic pact.
Divination is another feature of occultism, and it is happening through fortune-tellers, psychics and astrology. All this is either the work of charlatans, or demonically inspired.
Sorcery is on the increase through the use of rock music, drugs and meditation. All this weakens the will and opens the door to demonic invasion and deception, giving rise to altered states of consciousness not permitted by God.
We see these things, especially divination, in the women’s magazines and personal columns of the mass media. Occultism is promoted through the film industry and through the New Age movement.
Postmodernism – relativistic philosophies, openness to everything except God’s authority and rewriting the rules of thinking are coming in through the intellectual and cultural movement of post-modernism. It basically says concerning all things, “Its all about you.” That’s a lie. Its all about God, actually.
Unbelief, fear and depression are all powerfully at work in western society today.The only antidote to these is God Himself, and the cross of Christ.
Demonic Influence in Other Cultures
America is deeply lawless. India is full of idolatry, poverty and darkness (though so many of the people themselves are wonderful). I am glad to report though that India in the last few years has been coming up spiritually and economically as well. Islamic nations are violent and angry. Their folk islamic practices are just more occultism – dealing with demons. Romania is dominated by a spirit of deception, envy and pride, Serbia by an aggressive, belligerent prideful attitude. Western Europe is bound by unbelief and intellectual pride.
Were it not for our confidence in the power of Almighty God one would despair when considering the vast array of spiritual power that is arrayed against the people of the world. But we need not fear! Darkness has never been able to chase away light. All we need to do is to open the door for God to shine through. This can be done by persistent praise and worship, prayer, and obedience to the voice of God. There are places in the world where truly God’s light is breaking out in marvellous ways and more and more are coming into God’s Kingdom. Among them Brazil, Guatemala, South Korea, Argentina and parts of China. We believe that Australia will not be forgotten by God either.
This page was not intended to glorify the devil at all but rather was constructed with the hope of identifying some of the strongholds we can and must overcome by faith in the name of Jesus and a faithful love for Him. In dealing with demonic strongholds we are wise to begin with ourselves. This is why personal deliverance and a daily hungering for the Holy Spirit is so important.
God bless you,