Gospel Telling as Spiritual Warfare, Part II

3  For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh.  4  For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds.  5  We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ…  

2 Corinthians 10:3-5 ESV

A couple of days ago I wrote about how speaking the truth is a Biblical form of spiritual warfare.  Specifically in regards to sharing the Gospel of Christ with our friends/family/neighbours/co-workers/strangers/enemies and so on.  In fact, I’ve come to view this a the main idea behind Paul’s quintessential warfare passage (2 Cor 10:3-5).  It was the we destroy arguments and every lofty opinion part that first caught my eye.  That sounded like dialogue with an opposing worldview.  Digging deeper I found that others view this warfare as ideological and evangelistic as well.  It is always a good sign when your interpretation of Scripture is far from original.Countering an opposing belief is not necessarily combative in the normal sense.  We’ve already been plainly told it must not be physical confrontation.  We’re also told our real enemy is not the person we are talking to.  Our enemy is the contrary belief which keeps one from knowledge of God (and also perhaps the Enemy inspiring it).  Every time we speak the truth of God as revealed in Christ we’re combatting a belief running in the opposite direction.The Gospel (the Biblical story of God’s saving plan through Jesus) tells us in kind of a logical order that:
1)  God is
2)  Jesus is Him
3)  He has made the world
4)  He is the standard for morality
5)  He will judge the world and everyone in it
6)  He is just but also loving (these are not contrary to one another, you don’t have to choose!)
7)  We must believe in Him
The Gospel is so much more than this (I know, I know) but these are just a few key points.  Imagine having a conversation with someone now. It can be a respectful, even pleasant, conversation.  Hopefully you’ve asked them lots of questions about what they belief and cared about what they have to say.  They may have expressed some or all of these beliefs:

1)  God is not

2)  Jesus is a remarkable man, nothing more…maybe a yoga teacher or something
3)  The world came to be through the result of natural laws, nothing more
4)  Everyone should decide what is right/good for themselves
5)  Nobody can judge me
6)  If God exists, he/she is totally cool with me because he/she is just nice, right?
7)  I believe what’s best for me, you can believe what’s best for you
Do you see how beliefs can be stronghold, opinions, arguments against the knowledge of God?  Telling someone the truth, the Gospel, is a combat against beliefs that counter God’s truth.  It is an ideological battle.  I’m a pretty gentle guy really.  If it were up to me, I probably wouldn’t have chosen the imagery of battle and war.  But I didn’t get to make the call, God the Holy Spirit and St Paul did.  Next time, I’ll write about how this spiritual battle can be waged with the highest respect, the appropriate gentleness/pointedness, and the greatest love.

One thought on “Gospel Telling as Spiritual Warfare, Part II

  1. Pingback: Telling the Gospel as Spiritual Warfare III | Words of Truth & Reason

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