Breaking Strongholds in the African-American Family
Black churches and their leaders are at the front line of a war for the lives of people bound by fear, anger, and idolatry. Sociologists, politicians, and economists all have failed to solve the complex problems of African-American families. But...
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Black churches and their leaders are at the front line of a war for the lives of people bound by fear, anger, and idolatry. Sociologists, politicians, and economists all have failed to solve the complex problems of African-American families. But victory is available -- and believers hold the key. In Breaking the Strongholds in the African-American Family, Dr. Clarence Walker unfolds a plan for spiritual warfare using the weapons of God. Drawing from biblical characters such as Nimrod, Jezebel, and Tamar, Dr. Walker describes the various types of strongholds that imprison black men, women, and children today. He matches the weapons and strategies of ancient warfare with our spiritual weapons, providing a vital and practical ministry resource for pastors, counselors, and laypeople. Step by step, Breaking Strongholds in the African-American Family shows: - how to identify types of strongholds - how to know and use our weapons of warfare - how to train an army of warriors to work as a team - how to set up an effective battle plan. 'It is up to us to initiate battle,' says Dr. Walker, 'and therefore we must advance and move toward our target with faith and confidence, remembering that the battle ultimately is not our battle -- it is the Lord's.'
Clarence Walker is a licensed marriage and family couselor who holds a PhD in counseling from Trinity Theological Seminary and an MSW from Temple University. He is an ordained minister and the founder-director, with his wife Ja'ola, of Clarence Walker Ministries, a preaching, teaching, and music ministry in Philadelphia.
- Part 1: The Strongholds In African-american Families
- 1. What Is A Stronghold?
- 2. Types Of Strongholds
- 3. Strongholds Imprisoning African-american Males
- 4. Strongholds Surrounding African-american Females
- 5. Strongholds Immobilizing African-american Youth
- Part 2: Bringing The Strongholds Down
- 6. The Christian's Arsenal
- 7. The Battle Plan: Part I
- 8. The Battle Plan: Part Ii
- Appendix 1. Tools For Waging Warfare
- Appendix 2. Special Considerations For Churches And Pastors
- Appendix 3. Special Consideration For Individual Family Approaches
- Appendix 4. Sample Letter
CHAPTER ONE What Is a Stronghold? A stronghold is a forceful stubborn argument, rationale, opinion, idea, and/or philosophy that is formed and resistant to the knowledge of Jesus Christ. The skillful use of spiritual weapons in spiritual warfare is required to break a stronghold. For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal [weapons of flesh and blood], but mighty through God to the pulling down [overthrow and destruction] of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ (2 Corinthians 10:3--5). Let's look closer at verse 5 from the Amplified Bible. '[Inasmuch as we] refute arguments and theories and reasonings and every proud and lofty thing that sets itself up against the (true) knowledge of God; and we lead every thought and purpose away captive unto the obedience of Christ, the Messiah, the Anointed One.' In this passage of Scripture, first of all, there exists a form of spiritual bondage known as a stronghold. The Greek word for stronghold is ochuroma. It means 'to fortify through the idea of holding something safely.' A stronghold is like a castle, fortress, or it can be a stubborn argument. Secondly, the arguments, reasonings, opinions, ideologies, philosophies, and rationales are contrary or diametrically opposed to the knowledge of Christ, therefore they are satanic. Anything that opposes Christ is from His enemy, the devil, thus strongholds are from Satan and his demonic host. Thirdly, strongholds are so resilient that they require weapons in order to combat them. They are not things you can talk down or negotiate with. They don't go away with time. Spiritual strongholds will not be complained away, regulated, or picketed down. They do not self-destruct. They must be destroyed, brought down, obliterated, and demolished. One must wage warfare when dealing with strongholds. An individual must have both a soldier's attitude and a soldier's arms in order to overcome them. DESCRIPTION STRONGHOLDS ARE RESISTANT TO CHANGE. You know you are dealing with a stronghold when * A family member refuses to alter their behavior even though they know it will be of personal benefit * Marital and/or family problems have not changed over a period of time, and have even gotten worse, despite all human effort * Marriage partners or other family members are blind to their own faults, but are able to see everyone else's * Family members cannot control human desires and impulses and have no desire to do so * A family member is consistently and openly hostile to the Christian faith STRONGHOLDS ARE RESTRICTIVE. Strongholds are like an enclosure that is fortified with thick and high stone walls, similar to the walls in Middle Eastern cities that are described as being 15 feet thick and 25 feet high. When a person is bound in a stronghold, they find protection and security in that stronghold. One of the reasons why people will not give up their behavior, idea, philosophy, or opinion, even when it is contrary to God's Word, is because they find certain feelings of safety, security, and familiarity in them. The Canaanites of Jericho did not know that the very walls they thought would protect them would become their destruction. 'Now Jericho was straitly shut up because of the children of Israel: none went out, and none came in' (Joshua 6:1). None went out and none came in. When someone is bound by a stronghold, they will let nothing in and nothing out. You can give them truth all day long; you can show them love, kindness, and compassion; you can give them warnings, admonitions, exhortations, or threats, yet they won't let it in. They are well defended. Their walls are up. They are committed to self-protection and defense toward all they deem as invaders or intruders. They are either actively or passively resistant. They can be hostile or cordial in their defenses, but be well assured that they are 'shut up' to the truth, to deliverance, to help, and even to impending judgment. Thus, anyone who threatens the safety of their stronghold is the enemy, and they will fend off all who come to challenge their spiritual and psychological status quo. Anything, no matter how truthful, that does not line up with their perverted view is to be resisted at all costs. 'A brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city: and their contentions are like the bars of a castle [fortress or stronghold]' (Proverbs 18:19). STRONGHOLDS ARE RULED BY AUTHORITATIVE PRINCIPALITIES. Every stronghold has a king ruler governing the forces and reigning over the stronghold. The stronghold itself and the king of the stronghold are distinguished from each other. The stronghold must be destroyed, and the king must be defeated as well. If the stronghold is brought down but the king is not brought down, then the ruler will simply relocate, rebuild, and continue his reign. When Joshua conquered Canaan to move the Israelites into the Promised Land, he had to overcome thirty-one cities. He not only had to demolish the city, but also defeat their kings. 'And thou shalt do to Ai and her king as thou didst unto Jericho and her king' (Joshua 8:2). Notice how the Word of God distinguished the king and the stronghold from one another. Joshua had to wage war against and overcome natural rulers. We on the other hand have to wage war and defeat spiritual rulers, 'For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places' (Ephesians 6:12). Paul identified the king rulers of the spiritual Jerichos and Ais; for, unlike Joshua, our enemy is not natural, carnal, or human. This is an important factor for us to understand, because Christians are notorious for fighting human enemies and failing to see that oftentimes the people whom we fight are simply carrying out the orders of an invisible ruler who is their lord. Everybody, whether they are aware of it or not, must obey some 'lord.' Hence, we waste so much time, energy, and effort because we have not learned to identify the real enemy.