If websites have cover stories, this was it yesterday on Christianity Today’s website. It’s a letter from a pastor to a young urban youth worker. He wanted her to be aware that “something that inevitably comes with urban ministry” is “intense spiritual warfare.”
“There are dark spirit powers in the world opposing God’s work. These dark powers seem especially active in troubled urban neighborhoods.”
What does he tell her? In a nutshell, live Ephesians 6 in the ‘hood.
After I’d read the article mentioned above, another CT story caught my eye. It was about an author whose book I’d read a little over 10 years ago. The book was part of my orientation reading as I prepared to move Phoenix to serve as an intern at this place I’d never been to before called Aim Right Ministries. I recall that it was one of my favorite books about urban ministry because it was filled with stories — stories of other folks who’d chosen to move to the city, to love people, to show them Christ.
If you don’t believe that spiritual warfare is especially active in urban neighborhoods, how do you explain that this author, Bart Campolo, who once appeared to have an active, vibrant faith, is now a humanist chaplain at USC and has been a speaker for the Secular Student Alliance? He’s still championing causes, but he’s doing it only with the arm of flesh.
God, help us to depend upon You to stand firm!