For years, spiritual warfare has been fodder for Hollywood movies. Church leaders, however, have remained fairly mum on the issue.
In his new book, “Playing with Fire: A Modern Investigation Into Demons, Exorcism, and Ghosts,” writer and podcaster Billy Hallowell makes the case for why Christians — and pastors, in particular — need to spend more time addressing spiritual warfare and the demonic.
According to a survey conducted for the book, a whopping 87% of church leaders said they agree “Satan and demonic forces have the power to negatively impact the broader culture.” The analysis, performed in partnership with HarperCollins, also found 78% of respondents agreed “too many pastors and churches ignore issues surrounding spiritual warfare and demons.”
Hallowell’s research into this oft-taboo topic has been ongoing for years. In fact, one of the most prominent “real-life stories” he references in the book is one he first reported on in 2014, when he was a senior writer at TheBlaze.
Latoya Ammons of Gary, Indiana, said her three children, whom she believed to be possessed by demons, walked up walls. The woman’s 2012 claims were confirmed by both the Gary police captain and psychologists who said they witnessed one 9-year-old child speak in “deep voices” and walk “up the wall backwards.”
During a recent interview with Faithwire, Hallowell described the Indiana incident as “the most compelling modern case” of demonic possession.
Initially reluctant to write a book on such a spiritually significant and admittedly frightening topic, Hallowell ultimately decided to pursue the matter in hopes of making the subject more accessible to believers.
Hallowell opened up about how a better understanding of the evil forces at work around us can give Christians a richer appreciation for who Jesus is.
“What really struck me in this whole process … is that you can’t really fully understand the need for Jesus and goodness until you understand what evil is,” he explained. “And I feel like as Christians, we’re not supposed to obsess about these things — I want to make that clear — but if we don’t address them and talk about them, and I think the church is really silent on a lot of these issues sometimes, how are we understanding that need?”
Knowing the facts about spiritual warfare and demons shores up people’s need for God.
“For me,” Hallowell said, “[researching this issue] really pointed me back to my need for Jesus, and that was why it was so peaceful [to write the book]. It was actually affirming. I wasn’t afraid anymore.”
To order a copy of “Playing with Fire: A Modern Investigation Into Demons, Exorcism, and Ghosts,” click here.
Watch my full conversation with Hallowell in the video above.