Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8 (ESV)
I love the apostle Peter, I suffer from the same “foot in mouth” syndrome that he did. As he grew in his Christian faith he became a dynamic ambassador for Jesus Christ. I pray that for myself also.
Time and time again, Christians fall into a trap that is set by the evil one sets (see verse above) in military terms it is called “divide and conquer” it is a well known military technique and begins as follows.
Step one – Confusion
Cause confusion, cause a diversion, pepper it with good stuff, step back and watch the chaos ensue. This is done in warfare by the enemy flanking, reducing visibility by means of a smoke bomb or canister that will disorientate and then the aggressor will fire from the new position making the victim think they are firing on their side and fire alongside not realizing they are harming rather than helping.
Step two – divide
At this point he victim is in disarray, radio chatter forecasts that the enemy is everywhere and the best chance of getting someone back alive is to scatter into either individual formations or at the very least smaller formations to increase the targets and to make it harder for the enemy to prevail (theory being that multiple targets are harder to catch that a formation of “sitting ducks”)
Step three – conquer
Like most plans borne out of panic, they have decreased the chances of survival, instead of increasing the targets, the confusers are able to take out the remaining victims out one by one due to out numbering and seeing the direction they are fleeing to. Eventually it turns into a huge game of “British Bulldog” with a company searching for the “strongest” one of the company who by this time is weak. Defeat ensues.
What is this to me?
We are at war dear Christian! 1 Peter 5:8 tells us that the devil will do what I have stated above, he will attempt to cause confusion, he will send in people that call themselves pastors, teach against the word of God, teach the word of God in error and lead people astray.
I am not talking “minor theological issues” such as do we do one cup communion versus little cups, or interpretational issues that have formed little quirks in peoples beliefs. I am talking about Pastors who are leading the people who are seeking Gods word astray to heathenistic, man made ideas that are contrary to the word of God.
Like the above introduction, they will state that they are on the side of the LORD. They will walk like a duck and talk like a duck, however they cause harm rather than help. They quite often introduce Jesus + something else. Regrettably these movements will be popular as they will focus on giving entertainment as opposed to the whole counsel of God. They will be very religious but not relational. This is fertile ground for the adversary as he can move onto step two.
They are easy to divide having no root in the word of God. They split from the flock, go it alone and are in a worse situation than before. Eventually they fall out of fellowship (even the bad one they chose for themselves) and become as the world.
I pray for the church
The devil will do this on a grander scale with churches. I go to a church that “benefitted” from a church split. There is nothing more harmful for koinonia of believers than toxicity of previous hurt stemming from an in amicable break up from a previous church. Regrettably, even in a Christian setting, controversy is far more able to breed than forgiveness.
This is the Devils playground. The fires of pride will be stoked and unless the heat is taken from it, I know that it will cause fragmentation and division. I have seen churches split over minor disagreements, I know a church in Glasgow that was Presbyterian in denomination, and they split from their Pastor and moved in next door with the Baptists, horrible situation and proof that even although we are forgiven, we are still fallen men and women.
I am not advising us to unite in the face of heretical doctrines; I am however stating that we should not seek to be quarrelsome, looking to divide at the drop of a hat. (Really what I am trying to say is summed up wonderfully in 2 Timothy chapter 2)
Learn from my mistakes
How do I know this, I lived this! Be careful dear Christian! If you are in a church that doesn’t teach the Bible first and last and teach it well, then get out of there. I wish that when I was younger I head read an article like this. I was young, impetuous, proud and thought I knew better.
I started by having a little Jesus and the World, thought I could get the % right! Boy was I wrong, I church-hopped, escaped accountability, hid the fact that I was slipping away from Jesus and the things of the LORD. Eventually I did not return, the hangovers became more frequent on a Sunday morning and in my opinion it just wasn’t worth the effort. I had no grounding, no roots, hadn’t read the Bible in months and eventually I walked out of a church door for the last time in a long time.
I had no beef with God; I just wanted what i wanted. I didn’t see myself at war with God. Just apathetic towards him and the blessings I had. I had to learn many slow, hard lessons before I came back, humbled, no longer proud and willing to listen this time!
My prayer for you as you read this is that you become broken, if you know someone that needs to read this then please forward it to them. I came back to God a different person. My prayer is that this article will help someone turn to God.
A vision of clarity for the church (part 1)
A vision of clarity for the church (part 2)
A vision of clarity for the church (part 3)
God bless and TGBTG