Students confront the topic of spiritual warfare

A fireside chat leading up to missions allows Biolans to gain a better understanding of spiritual warfare.


Marika Adamopoulos

Jehn Kubiak/THE CHIMES

Melissa Hedrick, Writer

“There is a battle going on everytime we share the gospel with somebody. This is the real thing,” said Tom Sappington, chair of the Department of Missions and Intercultural Studies at the Talbot School of Theology, during the “This is War: Spiritual Warfare” panel.

Fireside Chat Focus

In preparation for Missions Conference, the Student Missionary Union hosted a fireside chat about spiritual warfare at 9 p.m. on March 6. During the chat, a panel consisting of Marla Campbell, associate professor of intercultural studies, and Tom and Katy Sappington who have worked as missionaries in Indonesia.

Campbell expressed that while people are likely to think of extremes like demon possession, spiritual warfare also includes the daily distractions presented by the devil as he tries to divert the attention of God’s people. She also said spiritual warfare remains underaddressed in the Western part of the world because people are comfortable in their lives and do not like to think spiritual warfare as an issue.

Individual Situations

Tom said though this conflict is constant, sharing the gospel and people coming to faith in Christ is one of the easiest ways to combat the influence of the devil. He used his experience as a missionary in Indonesia to explain examples of times when spiritual warfare was very present. Overall, he said that situations are to be handled individually by the leading of the Holy Spirit.

Katy also spoke of her experiences in Indonesia and explained that the idea of deliverance has two parts: the primary dealing with demons and secondary with residual attitudes for example, bitterness.

“I think the one thing that I would like the students to understand is that we do live surrounded by spiritual beings and yet there’s no need to fear, there’s no need to think that’s strange because that’s what the Lord showed us, or what Jesus showed us,” Katy said. “We just need to be aware of our authority and to know that it’s a part of our life.”

Attendance & Response

In total, about 50 students attended the fireside chat. Sophomore psychology major Angela Park explained that she had come to hear the panel due to a Facebook invitation, the topic of spiritual warfare and Campbell being one of the panelists.

“There was one moment that it hit me that I was sitting with Christ on the right-hand side of God that I have authority over the demons and evil spirits and fallen angels and that was just mind- blowing,” Park said. “I’m looking forward to actually living that out instead of just believing it in my head.”

Megan D., senior psychology major, was one of the organizers for the event. She feels that many students shy away from the conversation about spiritual warfare because they fear it, but this fear is not necessary because believers have authority in Christ. Megan said this event, as a prelude to Missions Conference, sought to dispel any myths students would ask teachers about regarding spiritual warfare.


“Were trying to find something that connected to missions in a powerful way but was also relevant to what was going on on campus and the things we felt impressed on our hearts by the Lord were authority, intimacy with the lord [and] whose voice are you hearing,’” Megan said.

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