by Steven Chan
The apostle Paul talks about the nature of the Christian warfare in 2 Cor 10:3-6:
“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, 5 casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, 6 and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.
- Our battle is not a physical one. We do not use physical strength to engage in this battle. “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hostsof wickedness in the heavenly places.” (Eph 6:12)
- It is a fight against “arguments and thought” that are against the knowledge of God and obedience to Christ. It is a fight for our mind – as to how we think and reason. In a news report published on Sat, 1 Oct 2016 (http://www.dnaindia.com/world/report-pope-francis-thinks-traditional-marriage-is-under-attack-from-gender-theory-2260528), the leader of the Catholic faith, Pope Francis warned of a “global war” against traditional marriage and the family, saying both were under attack from gender theory and divorce: “Today, there is a global war out to destroy marriage,” Francis said. “Not with weapons but with ideas … we have to defend ourselves from ideological colonization (acceptance of gay marriage).” Gender theory is broadly the concept that while a person may be biologically male or female, they have the right to identify themselves as male, female, both or neither.
The war of ideas that seek to colonize our minds such that we will be influenced to think and reason in the same way as the colonizers. We refer to them as “colonizers” because they seek to change the way we have been thinking about the various issues in life. They are “foreign” to our present thoughts. But they are invading our minds so that we may become captive to their way of thinking. In the context of the Pope’s remarks, he was referring to the “ideological colonization” of seeking to shape our thinking so that we can accept “gay marriages” as well as those who demand that we accept them as “male of female” according to how they chose to declare themselves – regardless of whether they were biologically or anatomically “male or female”.
The invasion of our minds, and in particular the minds of our impressionable young people, occurs through omni-channels such as news, articles on the internet, social media postings, movies, etc. … The tragic thing is that these “colonizers” win the battle by default because many of us are not aware of such “invasions” as they quietly and surreptitiously enter our unguarded minds. We are too busy fighting the physical battle of our daily work and concerns, to put food on our tables, to earn money to put our children to schools, to afford our preferred lifestyle, to be aware that the minds of our children have been colonized while we have been pre-occupied with these daily challenges. Then one day, the victory by the “colonizers” is announced suddenly to us when those we love so much, declare that they no longer share our values, thoughts and lifestyle! A well-educated child returns home to happily announce to their parents that their life partner is of the same gender as them! Horror of horrors – how did that happen? It happened when we failed to diligently our children to think as they ought to. The Bible says: “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he” (Prov 23:7).
Recall that God told the Israelites how they were to teach their children: “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up” (Deut 6:6-7). The Bible required them (and us) to engage the children to “talk” and “reason” with them on what God says on such matters so that they do not forget the almighty God, our Creator and the need for us to be subject to Him because each of us will have to give an account of our lives to Him when our pilgrimage in this life ends and we stand before Him in the Day of Judgement (Rom 14:12; 2 Cor 5:10; Ecc 12:13-14)
- The apostle Paul declared that our “weapons” for this warfare are “mighty in God for pulling down strongholds” of the mind by “casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ”.
He wrote thus: “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” (Eph 6:10-11) The weapons for this warfare are heavily reliant on our faith in God (Rom 8:31-32; 1 Pet 5:7), trusting His Grace (2 Cor 12:9; Heb 4:16) and His Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God (Eph 6:17). Rom 8:37: “in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us”.
Brethren, it is time that we wake up from our slumber and distractions, and start fortifying our faith and that of our children. Talk with them about how we ought to think about all these issues of life. Do not abdicate our personal responsibilities to the Sunday School or just the weekly Bible Class to do that for us. Will you surrender the minds of your children to those who are eagerly and aggressively influencing them how to think about such matters? The Bible tells us not to give in to the world and become conformed to their way of thinking; instead our minds ought to be renewed by God’s word and will: “ And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” (Rom 12:2).