The invisible war. An ancient struggle between God and His original detractors. A handful of men have been witness to pieces of it—the apostle John, the prophet Daniel, Elisha and his servant. Scores of minds have envisioned it on page and scroll with varying degrees of success, the most memorable being John Milton’s Paradise Lost. This conflict surrounds us at every moment. The Bible describes the strings of this world being pulled by the “prince of power of the air” and his lackeys. The ideological struggles seen throughout history are not only conflicts between mortal ideologies but between spiritual strongholds and forces beyond our ken.
The famous arch-villain from The Usual Suspects, Keyser Söze, quipped, “The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist.” Not to gainsay Mr. Söze, but the greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world that he is your friend. People draw more comfort from a sympathetic, toothless devil than they do from no devil at all. Fallen man likes to identify with his spiritual father, as long as he’s like the cute guy who dances around the Duke sidelines. In the Garden of Eden, before he had a track record written down for all to read, Satan never downplayed his existence, only manipulated Eve to think he was motivated by her best interests.
When God’s judgment was meted out on serpent and man alike, Lucifer was told that Eve’s seed would crush his head, after Lucifer’s seed bruised the heel of Eve’s progeny. From that point on, history has been a series of attempts by Satan to abort God’s prophesy via the elimination of Eve’s seed. The history of the Jewish people is filled with one genocidal attempt after another, from Pharaoh to Herod, Hitler to Hamas, God’s first enemy has done everything in his power to prevent the birth of Messiah and the continued existence of Abraham’s children.
Having failed to prevent the birth of the foretold Messiah in the “House of Bread”, Satan doubled his efforts to quash all followers of Jesus after convincing Judas to betray his Lord unto death. God’s infinite wisdom prevailed and Satan’s oppression of Christ’s followers in Jerusalem only served to spread them across the region and eventually the world. Throughout the history of Christianity, whenever persecution targets the gospel, the local church grows in strength and faith. Instead of snuffing the flames, diabolical attention seems to fan the fire of faithful evangelism, giving truth to the words of Christ in John 16 when He encourages His followers to have no fear, as He has “overcome the world”.
Yet God’s enemy is nothing if not implacable. It took him millennia, but he eventually acknowledged the fact that he would never snuff out God’s people or His church. In a subtle but seismic shift, the church no longer seems to be his target. The church is now the weapon. Over the past several decades, God’s church has been fashioned into an ideological Trojan horse. Starting with President Wilson and FDR’s Great Society, the subversion of the church began in America. Left-wing clergy like Walter Rauschenbusch clarified priorities for believers with statements like, “The God that answereth with low food prices, let him be God,” in his Christianity and the Social Crisis.
This anointing of leftist political agendas by Christian terminology and so-called ministers has continued and multiplied for the past 60-70 years in America, with the fruits of progressive efforts clearly seen in our headlines and our bread-lines. When the 3rd largest church in America offers its support to anti-Zionist groups, it is safe to say that the American church is well on the way to weaponization.
In a brilliant analysis, Catholic Bishop James D. Conley of First Things put it this way, “The enemy has no interest in eradicating Christianity if he can sublimate it to his own purposes.” Instead of going toe-to-toe with the church on the various social issues of the day, why not convince the church to fight in your stead?
More and more frequently these days, we seem to be engaging with fellow believers who believe that God encourages same-sex relationships as long as they’re monogamous. They tell us that those wanting to transition to another gender should be celebrated because God wants them to be who He created them to be. We’ve learned that everyone will go to Heaven because a God of love wouldn’t send anyone to Hell for eternity. They’ve said that we shouldn’t form judgments based on behavior because Christ wouldn’t approve (which seems to me to be a judgment based on my behavior). We’re told that Christians should first seek to fill bellies and let our actions be our gospel, instead of preaching a narrow-minded, judgmental message from God’s word.
This script was written by the same mind who formed the question, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree in the garden?’” The church has become Satan’s sock-puppet and has done so willingly, even eagerly. The enemy has successfully infiltrated the church and filled it with believers who cannot tell a doorknob from a doxology. The social gospel has been elevated above the actual gospel to the point where the gospel itself has become taboo and “judgmental” because it interferes with humanitarian efforts. But what could be more humanitarian than leading someone to reconciliation with their Creator?