The Christian and The Enemy

As Christians we understand that we are in a spiritual battle (Ephesians 6:10-12). The problem for many Christians as one writer explained is that we either over emphasis the battle; some blame every sin, every conflict, and every problem on demons, or we under emphasis it by completely ignore[ing] the spiritual realm and the fact that the Bible tells us our battle is against spiritual powers.

A difficult issue that we need to discuss in the context of spiritual warfare is the issue of the enemy. Who is the enemy? The Bible is clear that Satan and his cohorts are our enemies (Ephesians 6:12), but what about those who oppose Biblical teachings and values? What about the same-sex activist? What about the atheist? What about the liberal politician or the biased news media? Are they also our enemies?

I think that we need to tread carefully here. The Bible does talk about people who are apart from Christ as the enemies of God (Romans 5:10, 1 Corinthians 15:25). In fact it says that we were all in that camp at one time (Colossians 1:21). You could easily make the argument that anyone who is an enemy of God is automatically the enemy of the Christian.

There is, however, another very critical part of this discussion, and that is how we as Christians are to relate to our enemies. We have been conditioned by our culture to believe that the best and possibly the only way to interact with an enemy is to attack them with the ultimate goal of total victory. So we go after anyone who dares to openly, and sometimes loudly, disparage our beliefs. We want to put them in their place, to destroy their credibility, even to attack their character.

But that is not how God has told us to relate to our enemies. Instead He said love your enemies (Matthew 5:44) and if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirst, give him a drink (Romans 12:20). That’s a far different approach than many Christians have/are employed/employing. I think the problem is that we have been indoctrinated more by our culture than by our God. I’m not saying that we need to keep silent when someone takes a stand against Biblical truth, I’m just saying that we need to agree with God more than we agree with the dominant views of our culture. We need to employ God’s tactics instead of the tactics of the world. The Bible is clear that the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds (2 Corinthians 10:4). That alone should give us a clue that the standard operating procedures of this world are not to be those of the Christian.

The question for the Christian is not Who is our enemy? The question is How will we treat our enemies? If more Christians would begin to treat those who disagree with us with grace and compassion instead of anger and hostility we would stand a better chance of impacting the direction of our culture.

Stay in the Word
Pastor Steve


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