Weapons of warfare against atheist propaganda
As the above scripture illustrates, the spiritual walk of a Christian living in a secular world is often compared to warfare. Correction - it is not compared to warfare, scripture states Christians are in fact engaged in a protracted, ongoing war. We are locked in battle with an enemy intent on killing us. Failing that, the enemy wants to cause as much damage as possible to his foe - the creator of the heavens and the earth. Since the enemy - Satan - is powerless to harm God, he has turned his attacks on all that God loves and has created. Thus his targets have become - first and foremost - the pinnacle of God's creation: mankind - those created in the image of God.
It is that image the enemy tries to mar and efface by incessant attempts to get individuals to sin, and thus bring upon him or herself the soiling or preferably effacing of God's image. The war on mankind extends to attacks on the family (which in these days have become obvious). The numerous attempts to redefine what "family" is, the attacks to redefine what "male" and "female" consists of, are all part of the battle. Also in the cross hairs: attacks on worship of the one true God. Judging by the many religions; that is one target with which he's had much success at attacking.
But these targets are just means to an end, for the real goal is to deny God the glory he so richly deserves, by stealing that glory and appropriating it to himself. Though he tried to hide his plans, Satan could not keep them secret from the Lord God who knows the thoughts of every heart:
With that in his heart it's easy to see why Satan hates the antiphonal calling of the angels in heaven:
Yet being powerless to change anything that happens in heaven, the enemy has instead put a target on the back of every Christian. The question to Christians is, do we behave like we're in a war zone? Or do we blithely go through our existence acting as if our life is a stroll through the park; seemingly either ignorant or unconcerned about the battle raging all around us? Would a warrior in a physical battle, enter the battle field without basic knowledge of the enemy, ignorant of where the attacks might come from, and without any weapons with which to fight? A good and prudent warrior wouldn't. Yet this is precisely how many Christians live their lives, in spite of the fact that they know scripture tells us we need to live our lives prepared to fight:
Unfortunately many Christians act as if they are AWOL (absent without leave) from the battle, or they approach the battle with the over confidence of General Custer in the sad affair of the Little Big Horn.
In 1876, George Armstrong Custer was a Civil war hero who had made a name for himself at Gettysburg. Having been given command of the 7th Cavalry, he was charged with assisting with the American expansion westward by dealing with a group of native Indians who were resisting being relocated to a reservation. Lakota Sioux and Northern Cheyenne Indians joined forces in resisting, and the result was the bloody massacre of Custer and his men at the Little Big Horn, commonly known as Custer's Last Stand. Historian Paul Hutton describes the reaction to what happens as follows:
Not only was the country stunned, but as time has revealed, people were unwilling to believe that Custer could have been wiped out in one fell swoop without going out with a big fight. Thus we have the enduring myth of Custer's Last Stand, where the story is told how Custer and his outnumbered men fight valiantly against the enemy but finally succumb to their superior numbers. Forensic Historians3 today have debunked that scenario and concluded it was not so much as a valiant last stand as it was a bloody route ending in a merciless massacre. Cutler and every last one of his 220 men were brutally killed, and many of the bodies ritually mutilated.4 The reasons, conclude the historians:
Though he was ignorant of his enemy's numbers, weapons, tactics and the terrain; he didn't see that as a problem. Custer approached this assignment arrogantly and confidently, figuring this would be just another battle, another conquest. Obviously he was dead wrong.
The question is are many Christians today making the same mistake? Taking their Bible in hand, figuring the conflicts in today's age will require nothing more than to be ready to face secularists with bible verses that refute materialist theories. Taking a page from Custer's book, they spend little or no time seeking to understand the strategy and tactics of those who want to destroy Christian values and public expressions of Christianity. Scripture warns us not be unaware of the enemy's schemes. (2 Cor 2.11) Have we heeded that advice? Are we aware of one of the strongest attacks Satan is making against Christianity?
In the classic treatise on war that is still studied in military circles today, master military strategist Sun Tzu writes in The Art of War "All Warfare is deception"5. Atheists and secular combatants have mastered this art of deception. Instead of saying ideas are merely true or false, they have attempted (with great success) to define expressions of their religious worldview - the big bang and evolution - as scientific and non-religious; while expressions of the Christian worldview - Creation of the universe, the origin of life, the flood, etc. are deemed non-scientific and religious. Thus in this age of science Christian ideas are viewed as intrinsically archaic and questionable, and more importantly, to be kept out of the public square because as religious ideas they are to be sequestered away from the main streets of life due to "separation of church and state". They are wrong on both counts: The Big Bang and Darwinian Evolution are not neutral ideas; they serve as foundational pieces of the secular religion. And the separation of church and state is not meant to keep Christian doctrine or practice out of the public square; it's meant to keep the state from telling the church how to practice it's own teachings.6 Jesus came to proclaim truth (John 18.37) and we need to be about that same business. Thus we need to continuously and strenuously counter those false assertions.
In his article Responding to Atheist Propaganda7 Ken Ham outlines practical ways Christians can help be effective in this war of words. I encourage you to read the entire article, but following are key words that are strong points of contention; and the steps you can do to counter it. Just as the practice of Islam is to destroy the churches and strong holds of the enemy and erect a mosque8; likewise secularist want to destroy the Christian world view and replace it with a secular one. As the saying goes, all it takes for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing. Following are his recommendations on how you can prepare for, and be helpful in the battle. (For the full context, see the article.)
1. The use of the word science
2. The use of the word religion
3. The word intolerance
In closing, let me leave you with the challenge Ken uses as a call to action:
We know that ultimately, the Lord will win in glorious triumph. (Rev 20.9-10) But until then, which narrative is it going to be? Will we make a valiant last stand before the Lord intervenes to defeat an ever more powerful enemy (Dan 7.21, Rev 13.7); or will it be a humiliating route? The choice is yours.
3. Among those making this assessment after two decades of research:
referenced from Custer's Last Stand,
Discovery documentary, 2003
6. As historian David Barton notes regarding the wall of separation:
David Barton, The Myth of Separation, Aledo,
Texas: Wallbuilder Press, 1991, p. 42
7. Ken Ham Responding to Atheist
Propaganda, Answers In Genesis,
January 16, 2015
8.That strategy was clearly evident
after radial Islamist flew planes into the World Trade Center causing
the towers to collapse, and then attempting to erect a mosque on the
very ground where the Twin Towers had stood.