Friday, October 3, 2008

Christian Warfare

2 Cor. 10:1-6 (ESV)
I, Paul, myself entreat you, by the meekness and gentleness of Christ—I who am humble when face to face with you, but bold toward you when I am away!— [2] I beg of you that when I am present I may not have to show boldness with such confidence as I count on showing against some who suspect us of walking according to the flesh. [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, [6] being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete.

Paul paints his ministry in military pictures. We wage war! We are at war as Christians. We are fighting evil. But this war isn’t carried out with swords or guns. It is carried out with the word of God, by proclaiming the word. But notice that as part of this Paul speaks of debating, and arguing with purveyors of false hood. Part of Paul’s ministry, and I would say, part of every pastor’s ministry, is destroying arguments and lofty opinions raised against the knowledge of God. These are the strongholds of hell, and Satan’s army. It is not for nothing that Luther called reason the devil’s whore. The Devil will use reason anyway he can to wage war with Christians. But we ought to be careful here two. Luther also saw reason as a gift from God, as he explains in the first article. Christians are not to be fideists, or irrational. There is a place for reason in the Christian life, and even in theology. And there is reason under girding our faith that is a gift from God. The reason is the resurrection of Christ, an historical fact. Reason has to be fought with reason. We can’t expect people to take a blind “leap of faith.” We can show the fallacies in the arguments against God. We can also show a positive argument for belief in God. That is, at one time God entered history and became man, we walked with us, talked with us, and died for us. Yet that man who made the claim to be God, proved it’s truthfulness when he rose from the grave, not as a ghost, but as a man of flesh and blood, and ascended into heaven.

No comments: