I keep hearing from our politicians and news anchors that the only way we can win the war against terrorists’ recruitment is by fighting an ideological war. And yet, I have not heard any ideas to counter the ideas of the terrorists who are constantly bombarding new recruits with their own theological ideas. This article is going to address warfare from a spiritual perspective. It will not just apply to our present geopolitical circumstances but it will also apply to our daily personal lives.
The scriptures tell us, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Ephesians 6:12, NIV). Spiritual darkness (and lies) can only be defeated with spiritual light (or truth). You can kill a person with a bullet or a bomb but you can only kill an idea with a better idea. “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it” (John 1:5, NIV).
We are in an ideological war but it is ultimately a theological battle for souls. It is darkness versus light. It is lies versus the truth. It is life versus death. It is Christ versus the Anti-Christ. This is a spiritual battle and it begins in the mind and heart. We have to choose which side we are going to be on. God wants you to choose life, but you have the choice. “This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live” (Deuteronomy 30:19, NIV).
There are always weapons and rules of engagement in any war. As a Christian, our war manual is the Bible, which says “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds; Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ” (II Corinthians 10:4-5, KJV). However, we are living in a time and place where political correctness has dulled, and almost disabled, the weapons of our warfare. Political correctness takes away the very weapons that are the deciding factor in this type war. It’s like going into a boxing match with your hands tied behind your back. It’s like swimming a race with a 100 pound rock strapped to your chest. It’s like going into a sword fight without a sword or going into a gun fight with no ammunition.
I recently watched an interview on CNN by Wolf Blitzer with Tulsi Gabbard, a Democratic Congresswoman from Hawaii. According to Wikipedia Gabbard is a Military Police Company Commander (Captain) in the Hawaii Army National Guard; served two tours in the Iraq war; is the Vice-Chair of the Democratic National Committee; serves on the Armed Services, Foreign Affairs and Homeland Security Committees; and is a Hindu. Blitzer asked Congresswoman Gabbard what she would do to counter the ideas used by terrorists to recruit young people. This is was what she said we need to tell these potential recruits:
“If you join them, number one, we will defeat you militarily, you will be killed. And number two, the spiritual promise that they’re selling that somehow this is pleasing to God is absolutely false, that you’re not going to heaven, that you’re going to hell if you follow that path and commit these atrocities.” (per CNN.com transcripts, aired 2/18/2015)
This is the first time I have heard someone from Congress (and on national TV) have enough guts to actually speak the truth. I know the political correctness crowd must have cringed at Gabbard’s remarks, and she probably caught a lot of flak for it, but thank God for her. Pray for her! God works in mysterious ways. If Christians won’t stand up and speak the truth, He will use a Hindu. It seems that God always has to go to His most powerful secret weapon (the woman) in tough times.
“In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary (not the men) to see the sepulchre. And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow: And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men. And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly, and tell his disciples (the men) that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you. And they departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy; and did run to bring his disciples word” (Matthew 28:2-8, KJV).
We are all in this battle together. First, you must make a choice!! Light or darkness? Truth or lies? Heaven or Hell? Second, you must not be afraid to use the armor and weapons that God has given you.
Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; (Ephesians 6:13-18, KJV)
“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword (including the knives and swords used to cut off heads by the terrorists), piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12, KJV).
We have to be courageous enough to speak the truth like Congresswoman Gabbard. We cannot fight an ideological war with no ideology! We are called to the frontlines, not the sidelines. Don’t you dare be ashamed of your faith! We are witnessing Christians being beheaded who will not renounce their faith! “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek” (Romans 1:6, KJV).
“This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success. Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest” (Joshua 1:8-9, KJV).
We encourage you today to read the Word of God. If Jesus had to use it as His sword when he was tempted (Matthew 4:1-11, KJV) why do we think we get a pass? We also have a short Bible study on our website that will help you get started. Also, get into a strong Word teaching church. If you don’t know how to find one, call us or email us and we will give you some recommended churches for your area. If you don’t know Jesus, call us or go to our website under Resources and click on Plan of Salvation. Whatever your need, New Life Network is here for you.
In His Service,
Rev. Ed & Cheryl Henderson