Subject: Prayer Warriors to Zap SF Date: 6 Sep 90 13:34:26 GMT The following is from the S

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From: SECBH@CUNYVM.BITNET Newsgroups: talk.religion.misc Subject: Prayer Warriors to Zap SF Message-ID: <90249.093426SECBH@CUNYVM.BITNET> Date: 6 Sep 90 13:34:26 GMT The following is from the S.F. Chronicle's front page, 9/1/90 and is reprinted without permission. I have picked it up from a posting wn. in another newsgroup and did not see the actual newspaper article. Here it is in all it's looney glory: 'Prayer Warriors' to Battle S.F. Demons on Halloween [Texan] Charismatic evangelist Larry Lea came to San Francisco yesterday and promised to make this year's Halloween festivities in San Francisco even livelier than usual. Lea, a rising televangelist and leading proponent of "spiritual warfare," has ordered his army of prayer warriors to descent on the city on Halloween to battle the ruling spirits of witchcraft, drugs, and sexual perversion. "We need to reverse the curse on Halloween night," Lea told about 250 Northern California pastors, who joined the 39-year-old preacher for lunch at the S.F. Marriott Hotel, where they planned their Halloween assault on Satan. "This is not just kids having fun," he said. "There is actual worship of the devil." (continued on to page A4, headline:)'God's Green Beret' Plans to Assault S.F. Demons Lea, who distributes "prayer army dog tags" to his Bible-waving warriors, is part of a fast-growing movement inside Pentecostal/ charismatic Christian circles that sees satanic princes and "territorial spirits" ruling over particular cities, industries, and subcultures. Last summer in Anaheim, Lea turned out 6,000 angry free-lance exorcists for a three-day "Prayer Breakthrough" designed to "inflict serious damage" on the forces of darkness in Southern California. Nearly 7,000 militant believers showed up "to clobber the devil" in Chicago, where they shouted, stomped, brandished imaginary swords and spoke in tongues. This Halloween, Lea brings his crusade to the S.F. Civic Auditorium, where his army of charismatic Christians will come face-to-face with the costumed brigades of satanism, paganism, and promiscuity. In an interview after yesterday's pastors' luncheon, Lea said the rise of satanism and New Age spiritualism has changed the nature of Halloween. Dick Bernal, pastor of 5,500-member Jubilee Christian Center in San Jose and another proponent of spiritual warfare, says he has personally battled Bay Area spirits who told him, "this is our turf." According to Bernal, a member of the pioneer family of after whom [sic] S.F.'s Bernal Heights was named, the city is ruled by the Spirit of Perversion. Oakland is controlled by the Spirit of Murder, San Jose by the Spirit of Greed, Watsonville by the Spirit of Poverty, and Marin County by the New Age Spirit. Ever since the Gold Rush, Bernal said, the free-thinking Spirit of Self has been holding sawy over Northern California -- an "independent, haughty spirit that encourages people to join the New Age movement." "This area has been the launching pad for a lot of things we consider unbiblical -- free sex, the homosexual movement, acid rock," said Bernal, a 45-year-old preacher who became a "born again" Christian a dozen years ago. "There are strong spirits of perversion and greed." C. Peter Wagner, a professor of church growth at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena [Calif.], said the idea of "territorial spirits" ruling over specific cities is being taken very seriously among many Pentecostal Christian and other conservative evangelicals. "The Catholic Church uses rites of exorcism to remove demons from buildings. Buildings are a territory," said Wagner, who has coordinated a spiritual warfare network of Christian leaders promoting the idea. "Satan can't be omnipresent, so he has to delegate this to a hierarchy of demons." Bernal's church, which has become a South Bay powerhouse since it was founded nine years ago, holds annual conferences where teams of prayer warriors are sent out to such places as abortion clinics, New Age centers, and the offices of the San Jose Mercury News, to battle demonic forces. Meanwhile, prayer teams are dispatched to Mount Hamilton, the Santa Cruz Mountains, and the tallest buildings in the South Bay "to pray over our city." Proponents of spiritual warfare say two books have inspired their crusade -- the Bible, which often portrays Jesus as battling demonic spirits, and Frank Peretti's "This Present Darkness," a best-selling novel that has fueled the imagination of Pentecostals, charismatic Christians and other evangelicals who stress such "gifts of the spirit" as divine prophecy, faith healing and "speaking in tongues." Some observers say the movement has begun to revitalize the ranks of charismatic Christianity, which was devastated by the 1987 sex-and- salary scandals of televangelist Jimmy Swaggart and Jim Bakker, the nation's best-known Pentecostal preachers. Professor Ron Enroth, a Christian sociologist at Westmont College in Santa Barbara, criticized the "spiritual warfare" movement for overindulging in subjective revelation and divine prophecy. "Rather than facing up to the structural problems of our society, they find a demon behind every problem. They are looking for quick fixes by pushing God's buttons," Enroth said. Enroth, who is researching a book on "fringe churches," also accused Lea of putting on a "supernatural sideshow" and promoting "the latest charismatic gimmick." Lea, who has donned military fatigues in previous crusades, is "coming on like God's Green Beret and whipping people up in a militaristic manner," Enroth said. Lea said the angry intensity and militant feelings in his crusades "are not directed at flesh and blood." "We love people. The real problem is with the unseen forces -- the puppeteer making the puppet jump," said Lea, who predicts "militant power-praying will be one of the earmarks of the church in the 1990s." Lea, the former pastor of the booming Church of the Rock in Rockwall, Texas [adjacent to Dallas to the east], now serves as the "bishop" of 70 pastors and 40,000 members of churches that grew out of his Dallas-area ministry. Lea is also the former dean of the seminary program at Oral Roberts Univ. in Tulsa, Okla. Roberts, another leader in the charismatic movement, became notorious for his 1987 plea that his TV fans send him $4.5 million or else "God will call me home." During the next two months, Lea will be promoting his San Francisco prayer blitz on his daily "Change Your Life" television show, which is aired on 40 independent stations across the country. Lea says he has signed up 280,000 prayer warriors through his TV ministry, and he promises to reach his goal of 300,000 "intercessors" by the opening of his three-day Halloween crusade. -------------- END NEWSPAPER ARTICLE ---------- Clearly, this year most of the weirdos will not be the ones in costume. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- Jack Carroll Somewhere beyond both space and time, Is wetter water, slimier slime... And in that heaven of their wish There shall be no more land, say fish Rupert Brooke


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