After the school shooting in Florida, Nikolas Cruz admitted guilt for what he did and that demons had told him what to do. The raging gun control debate is dominating press coverage and social media. While I believe this minimizes the real issues of personal responsibility and the decline of moral authority in our culture, there is something else more pressing. There is a spiritual dimension to all of this that our society doesn’t discuss or even acknowledge. Especially after Joy Behar said Mike Pence has a mental illness because he converses with Christ, Christians need to be prepared to defend their worldview which includes a spiritual realm that intervenes in the daily lives of the human race. If you’re not convinced, here are some Biblical reasons why Christians should embrace the possibility that Cruz was telling the truth and that spiritual warfare is real.
Starting with the obvious examples of the reality of demons, consider Jesus’ interactions with them in the Gospels (check out this article by Don Stewart). Jesus publically commands an unclean spirit to come out of a man in a synagogue (Mark 1:26). In Gadera, at the appeal for mercy from the demons in the two men, Jesus allows them to possess a herd of pigs, killing the pigs in short order (Matthew 8:28). In Luke 9:37-42, we see Jesus rebuking the demon that had possessed a boy after some of His disciples failed to do so. Some may say that demon possession no longer occurs since Jesus ascended. To counter this, consider Acts chapter 16. A demon-possessed girl who had soothsaying abilities because of the demon was healed by Paul ordering the demon out in Jesus’ name. I’d also encourage you to consider the testimonies of missionaries that your church supports; demonic activity is Biblical, and it still exists today.
But there is more to the spiritual realm than run-of-the-mill demons. If the Bible is to be taken seriously, we must consider passages like Genesis 6:1-8 and Psalm 82 if we are to have a mature Christian worldview. The former discusses “sons of God” coming down to Earth and having relations with human women and that they had offspring. This act was so heinous that God shackled them in chains until the Day of Judgment (Jude 6). This act of God was a deterrent to future angels acting in a similar way, but we see how startlingly real these spiritual beings are.
The latter (Psalm 82) depicts YHWH presiding over a council of elohim, or gods, and rebuking them for not doing their jobs concerning their human charges. If YHWH calls these beings “gods”, and Jesus quotes the passage in John 10:34 to claim authority over the leaders of the heavenly host, I think we would be wise to consider the possibility that powerful entities are in positions of power over our nations and may not have our best interests at heart. While this was written by King David thousands of years ago, The Apostle Paul makes clear in Ephesians 6:12 that we contend against these spiritual rulers even today. (As a side note, Jesus used this quotation of Psalm 82 to assert authority over all elohim since He earlier claimed in John 10 that He and the Father are one. Many commentators claim Jesus was using this passage as an earthly claim of authority over men, but they are not being true to the Hebrew or historical context. For further study, I suggest this critique by Dr. Michael Heiser, biblical scholar and speaker (video and pdf).)
My point here is that our world is awash in spiritual influence and that if a mass shooter claims that demons or angels were speaking to them, we mustn’t hastily dismiss the possibility. Besides, when the world so vehemently dismisses honest discussion on a topic, I believe we have discovered something worth further investigation. After all, Revelation 12:9 says that Satan deceives the whole world. 1 John 5 says we can overcome the evil of this world, but before you can win a battle, you must first acknowledge that you are in the middle of a war.