The Religious Spirit has turned discipleship into a soul-killing exercise of principles. Most folks don’t even know they can walk with God, hear his voice. He’s stigmatized counseling as a profession for sick patients, and so the wounds of our hearts never get healed. He’s taken healing away from us almost entirely, so that we sit in pews as broken people feeling guilty because we can’t live the life we’re supposed to live. And he takes warfare and mocks it, stigmatizes it as well so that most of the church knows almost nothing about how to break strongholds, set captives free.

Finally, the Religious Spirit makes it next to impossible for a person to break free by spreading the lie that there is no war. Be honest—how many Christians do you know who practice spiritual warfare as a normal, necessary, daily part of the Christian life? Some of my dearest friends pull back from this stream and sort of cast a concerned look over me when I suggest it’s going on. Onward Christian soldiers, marching as to war? You’ve got to be kidding me. We’re not advancing the kingdom, we’re holding car washes. We gave up the hymn not so much for reasons of musical fashion but because we felt ridiculous singing it, as you do when asked to sing “Happy Birthday” in a restaurant to a perfect stranger. We don’t sing it ’cause it ain’t true. We have acquiesced. We have surrendered without a fight.

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