Tag Archives: political spirituality

October Series: Demons & Spiritual Warfare

Fall is here and October is starting in a week! The season of pumpkin-flavors, changing leaves and Halloween is here to stay for a while. With the season of witches and goblins stead approaching, I find no time better than now to dive deep into a topic that has always been of interest to me and that I’ve wanted to explore here at PJ! And that’s.. demons/spiritual warfare..

Having been raised in the pentecostal tradition (and still very much a part of it) ,  demonic strongholds and spiritual was always been stressed in the life of a Christian. I would like to take the next 4 weeks or so to explore different aspects. I will do so using the various forms of spiritual captivity we see represented in pop culture- film, shows, comics, etc. It will also include an examination of the “pop-culture” demonology of our time and comparing how that really holds against what is taught in Scipture and the experienes of the oppressed/margins. It will be a fun and informative series for sure! Feel free to give your input and suggestions on the matter!

RESISTERE, latin for resist: resisting the devil

“Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” James 4:7 NRSV 



In the Latin Vulgate, the translation uses resistere to encourage believers to take a stand against the Devil.  This stance is an oppositional one, but it is a prayerful, non-violent confrontation,  as it should be. This is exactly what Jesus does. When he was in the desert fasting (as many are during this Lenten season), the Evil One tempted him, showing him the militaristic glory and splendor of the Roman Empire and all of the other powerful kingdoms of the world in the first century. Rather than accepting the offer, or getting violent out of frustration from Satan’s pesky questions (I know I get annoyed when people ask me too many questions), Jesus preaches the Good News. The way that resistance happens is preaching the Gospel. #resistere

 

RESISTERE, latin for resist: the meaning of resistance

GEORGE YANCY & EVERYDAY FAITHFUL CHRISTIAN RESISTANCE

“”To resist (resistere or “to take astand”) suggests the capacity “to stand back,” to acquire an oppositional perspective vis-a-vis a given set of objects. And while every act of agential behavior is not an act of resistance, every act
of resistance is an agential form of behavior. And while
cows might be said to ‘”resist,” they do not “take a
stand.” Deborah White (1999) notes, “While some
Southern whites called such behavior ‘rascality’
[breaking tools, for example], slaves [or to be enslaved]
understood it to be an effective form of resistance” (p.
77). As we shall see, some Black steamboat workers
consciously inverted the meaning of “rascality” as a
term of self-activity to describe their informal work
endeavors. Consider Alcey. an enslaved woman,”- George Yancey, “Historical Varieties of African American Labor: Sites of Agency and Resistance,” Page 345

 

The past few months, the topic of resistance when it comes to theology has dwelled on my mind for some reason. As a Protestant, I know we are ever living in PROTEST of authority, and that Protest Tradition in and of itself becomes a norm, and therefore, authoritative. As an African-American, our community’s religious and political life has been defined by our PROTEST of White Supremacy.  When I read books on black religion and/or black theology, there is an assumed oppositional, we are poised against this or that, it’s us versus the world attitude.  As part of Christianity’s institutional racism, portraying  people of color as perpetually angry and destructive has been part of the norm, and as far as arguments against liberation  theologies play out, this is exactly the case. Scholars from POC communities have critique liberation theologies etc., for not standing FOR anything (other than survival) and standing against/being defined by suffering and sin.

Resistance means “taking a stand,” and this stand can be for standing against racism, because we are standing FOR the Kingdom of God, standing FOR racial justice and reconciliation, standing FOR love. All stands are political, and so really, that standing doesn’t have to be “oppositional” as if the lives of Persons of Color are all just about struggle. It  could be standing back in admiration, looking at a work of art, or standing in pride after reading a book, or making a sports accomplishment, or perhaps even stand up comedy! God’s very own grace is the source of all true, legitimate resistance; [ the act of resisting] is everyday, it is liberating, and it is peaceable. 

For the next couple of days, I will explore a few biblical passages, using the Vulgate, to describe the type of everyday faithful Christian resistance I am talking about.