By Elizabeth Prata
Soldiers in the US Civil War (1861 to 1865) fought most frequently in open fields shoulder to shoulder. The tactic might seem stupid to us now, but they didn’t have a death wish. It was the most modern war tactic they had available to them at the time, said Historian Garry Adelman at the American Battlefield Trust.
Hannibal’s Carthaginian army’s defeat of Roman soldiers at the Battle of Lake Trasimeno was the world’s biggest successful surprise ambush. WWI was a horrific advance in war tactics. “World War I accelerated the evolution of warfare, catapulting it out of the Victorian era into nearly the middle of the 20th century. The trouble was that the technology of defense had advanced much more. The combination of machine guns, barbed wire, and increasingly complex systems of concrete-reinforced trenches meant that attacks—and casualties—were bigger than ever before.” (Source).
Of course, WWII had the atomic bomb, forever changing not just the tactics of warfare, but war itself through mutually assured destruction.
War tactics and strategies change. They are always evolving. The catalyst for those changes are advances in weaponry.
Therefore, wars evolve. However, when one side of the war uses the new tactic, the other side is often slow to catch up. In WWI, “generals persisted with [outdated] mass assaults anyway, justifying them (sometimes after their failure to achieve a hoped-for breakthrough) as a strategy of attrition.” (Source).
Why write an essay about war strategies and tactics on a Christian blog? Because we often forget one important part of our walk as Christians: we are in a war.
We do not war with flesh and blood, as earthly soldiers do. We war with our own sin, but we also war against philosophies and against the powers of this dark world.
Paul used military language often. Here in Philemon 1:2a this greeting– to “Apphia our sister, to Archippus our fellow soldier…” the Greek word for soldier here means “an associate in labors and conflicts for the cause of Christ”, (Strong’s). In 2 Timothy 2:3 Paul wrote, “Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus.” And the same in 1 Timothy 1:18 fight the battle well. 2 Corinthians 10:4 Paul speaks of strongholds.
Ephesians 6:10 is famous for putting on our warlike armor, each piece not for running an enemy through with our sword, but each piece standing for a piece of spiritual armor in which to do battle.
We are in a war.
We as Christians are not unaware of satan’s schemes (2 Corinthians 2:11) but are we to suppose that his tactics never change? That as the battles over eons go forward, that satan never uses the most up-to-date weaponry available to him? He is a crafty and smart opponent. Just think, he dwelled in glory WITH God, but still managed to convince a third of the myriad innumerable angels up there with him to war against God Himself.
Satan used half truths and appeals to flesh with Eve in the garden. (Genesis 3:1b). He used lust with David. (2 Samuel 11:2) He sends demons to indwell humans. (Acts 16:16). He uses money. (Acts 19:24). He used weather with Job. (Job 1:19). He gets a King’s own decrees used against him. (Esther 3:9). He knows how to get people to use their unrighteousness to suppress the truth. (Romans 1:18).
As this long war goes on, as with any war, the tactics evolve. Satan adds to his weaponry as new weapons are invented. Here in the US we are currently engaged in a Civil War. Many people don’t realize it. They are still shoulder to shoulder infantry using outdated methods watching for the enemy, while satan employs up-to-date tactics that are apparently successful.
The latest tactic satan has included in his arsenal is technology and social media. He is warring against churches and he is warring for the mind of America.
It’s effective because his latest tactic is invisible.
The war we’re in is always one of worldviews. Satan’s aim is to perpetuate sin. He wants to drive, entice, or lead people away from God and His precepts. Our aim is to share the Gospel which creates a new man and a transforming mind into Christ’s likeness.
You might say, “Well, the war you’re talking about is political, not religious.” True, but the secular war always creeps into the religious spheres. The feminist revolution of the 1960s and 70s is now full-blown impacting churches. The race wars of the 60s and 70s is now a full blown war inside our churches (Critical Race Theory, Wokeness, White Repentance, etc). We have to recognize the dangers of the secular wars infiltrating the church.
If Christians were covered in tar and set alight as Nero did, we’d say, sure, we’re in a war. We are surely being persecuted. When ISIS lined up Christians on a beach and beheaded them on video, we say sure, that’s war. It’s persecution. That’s hard persecution. But another of satan’s schemes is soft persecution, silent and stealthy. (Jude 1:4, Galatians 2:4, 2 Timothy 3:6).
Covid was a convenient tactic to shut churches down. Many are still to this day, 7 months later, fighting to reopen or stay reopened. A masterstroke to use an invisible virus to stop the in-person preaching of God’s word. Governments aligned with satan’s worldview are savvy in grabbing and keeping their power and advancing their territory via tyranny over an invisible virus.
This week, a bombshell article by the NY Post was published concerning one of the Presidential candidates, Joe Biden. Biden used to be our Vice-President. The story alleges that Biden’s son was given a job with the Ukrainians so that the Ukrainians would have access to Biden. Seeking influence at the highest levels is always a good tactic. Haman did it. The Wise Men who had Nebuchadnezzar’s ear opposed Daniel and his friends.
However, Twitter and Facebook, two of the largest and widely influential social media sites at the present time, banned and/or limited distribution of the story. This was a major blow to distribution, and was cause for upset and outrage. It’s censorship. The Washington Examiner posted an article about the situation. Folks on Twitter posted the suppressed NY Times story line by line, just to get it out there. The outrage was not just in the US, but as far afield as Australia. Sky News called the suppression of this important news a “Disgrace!” And also a threat to democracy.
But the current civil war is bigger than this tip-of-the-iceberg smoking gun. Conservative and Christian sites online have long complained that their content is being limited or outright suppressed. Conservatives – but not liberals – are often sent to what is known as “Twitter jail” for sharing biblical precepts that oppose secular worldviews- particularly views concerning feminism, homosexuality, and abortion. Twitter jail is when Twitter administrators lock out an account and prevent the account holder from sharing its content. Facebook does the same thing.
During the summer when Antifa terrorists were rampaging in major Western US cities, people attempting to get their opinion or news out about them online using various social media sites were often also likewise suppressed in various ways. Facebook decided to “fact-check” facts from the COVID issue. I myself was ‘fact checked’/post denied, on a posting using the Center for Disease Control as a source! But it was opposing satan’s narrative and that is something satan has begun controlling access to in the public square.
Our tactics never change because they are from God and His is highest. He has already gained the victory from His Son who died for sinners, was buried and resurrected on the third day, having lived a sinless life. The Gospel is our war tactic. Satan, however, shifts like a chameleon and we must not be unaware of his schemes. Controlling the print & broadcast media and social media online is a way to transform minds away from Christ. What you think about, see, and absorb is what you become. It’s why Paul urged Christians to stay in the word, so that what we read will keep us on course and we will not drift.
God has kept His word preserved and alive for thousands of years and He will continue to do so. (Matthew 24:35). He helps his people formulate new ways to get the most important news out there. I mean, the Gutenberg printing press! But be aware, Christian, that the foe is formidable and his tactics ingenious. We are in a civil war here in America, not only politically but ultimately of worldviews that preach the Gospel and those opposed to it. What happens politically will drift into churches soon enough. Twitter, Facebook, other social media sites, and the mainstream media are enemies of Christianity and powerfully influential in limiting or suppressing the Good News.
What do we do? Be fervent in speaking truth real life, pray for boldness online amid the cancel culture, and stay in the word. Pray for opportunities to share the Good News as often s possible while we still can. And share it online often, using God’s actual word. Be wary of the political atmosphere but stick to sharing in love and kindness as often as possible from God’s word. The Lord is creative and it’s interesting to see what he is doing and what he is allowing satan to do. I’m at once concerned for us here on earth but also amazed at His ways and how He is orchestrating present history.
Take heart. no matter what, He is on the throne! And, Jesus won the war!