It has come to this. Many larger congregations already have armed security guards standing at the entry of their places of worship. But some have taken things further. Recent fatal shootings inside church buildings are now cause for alarm, prompting guidelines regarding what can be taken inside the sanctuary. Metal detectors aren’t at the entries yet, but at least one megachurch has compiled a list of verboten contraband. The prohibited items include backpacks, fanny packs, briefcases, luggage, shopping bags, laptop bags, and boxes of any size. Subject to security check, attendees may be allowed to bring inside purses, bible covers, diaper bags (with baby present), and medical devices.
This got me thinking about other things which are prohibited in successful, market-driven millennial megachurches. So far as I know, no congregation has posted the following list at the sanctuary entry; nevertheless, such things are not allowed. It’s a mystery why these crucial matters, so important to the well-being of all believers, are avoided and neglected. The off-limits list looks like this:
- NO DELIVERANCE GROUPS AVAILABLE: With all the specialized meeting groups (seniors, singles, college, kids, the addicted etc.), why isn’t there a deliverance and exorcism group that meets regularly? Don’t ask or you’ll be escorted away as quickly as if you were carrying an AR-15.
- NO DEMONIC MANIFESTATIONS ALLOWED: This includes screaming, twitching, growling, rolling on the floor, or displaying Adam Schiff eyes. Keep those demons down if they’re aroused by the worship music, or you’ll be escorted to an ambulance providing a one-way ride to the psych ward.
- NO CURSE BREAKING PERMITTED: Contacting the pastoral staff to get an appointment for curse breaking prayers is unnecessary. They believe such ideas are nonsense, that your conversion to Christ settled such issues and renunciations of ancestral evil isn’t spiritually required. Don’t refer them to our book “Curse Breaking” unless you’re prepared for a theological tongue-lashing.
- NO DISCUSSION OF CHRISTIANS HAVING DEMONS: Suggesting that a forum be available to air both sides of the “can a Christian have a demon “controversy isn’t welcome. They think the mere mention of such a concept is biblically unacceptable.
The mystery of millennial megachurches is that, with all their attention to edgy issues, they willfully neglect the core values upon which the early church was established, including miracles such as exorcism. But perhaps it’s not such a mystery after all. Though millennial Christians like to think of themselves as more open minded than their predecessors, they are not. They retain the same time-worn prejudices against anything outside conventional theological thinking. But I remind those who could censor deliverance from their ecclesiastical spaces. If your parishioners click on YouTube and go to the “Bob Larson Exorcism Channel” they’ll see real spiritual warfare in action. And there’s no mystery to the demonstration of God’s power defeating the devil and glorifying the name of Jesus!