Know Your Enemy

We must be aware of the tactics and ploys of our opponents:

Hardly anyone will win a battle against an enemy that they know nothing about. The key to any successful military operation is to know your enemy. You want all the intel you can get on their aims and purposes, their numbers and military capability, their strategies and tactics, and their strengths and weaknesses.

This has been well-known for millennia. As the 5th century BC Chinese military strategist Sun Tzu put it in The Art of War: “If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

This is true in the spiritual and cultural realms as well. If you decide to fully and faithfully serve Christ, you will come under attack, and you need to have the full armour of God on. And if you get involved in the culture wars, you also will need to know how your ideological and political enemies operate.

The Bible is full of military actions and imagery – mostly real in the Old Testament and mostly figurative in the New. Jesus for example said that before a king goes to war he must first assess the situation and count the cost (Luke 14:31-32). And Paul said that we should not be ignorant of Satan’s devices (2 Corinthians 2:11).

The longer I have been a Christian, and the longer I have been involved in the culture wars, the more I see the truth of all this. Satan is the father of lies, and so much of the other side follows in his footsteps. They blatantly and routinely resort to subterfuge, deception, lies, falsehoods, deceit, and misinformation. They will utilise every trick in the book against you.

To see this for yourself, just try setting up an interactive website that proudly defends biblical Christianity and also engages in the culture wars. You will learn very quickly exactly what I am talking about. I get many hundreds of comments each year from the other side, and after a while you sure do learn to recognise the enemy’s strategies and how the other side operates.

Based on my own decades of experience in this, let me here briefly look at five common ploys – of many – used by the other side as they seek to wear you down, discourage you, confuse you, and try to get you to give up:

‘You are all alone’

This is a standard trick of the other side: they want to convince you that you are the only one who believes this way and cares about these things. They seek to plant doubts in your mind and seek to get you to give up. They pretend they are some massive majority and that you are just some solo freak.

The truth of course is exactly the opposite. There is indeed a silent majority who is on our side – although they do need to become much less silent! And the other side is indeed just a minority, made up of a very small number of very noisy activists who try to pretend they are everywhere since they are so loud and proud.

Ignore them and keep on doing what is right. As I just read moments ago in Acts 18:9-10: “And the Lord said to Paul one night in a vision, ‘Do not be afraid, but go on speaking and do not be silent, for I am with you, and no one will attack you to harm you, for I have many in this city who are my people’.”

Lies, damned lies, and statistics

Since facts and truth mean so little to the other side, they resort to lies and mangled narratives on a regular basis. Indeed, they will throw anything and everything your way as gospel truth – no matter how blatantly false and misleading it is.

You get stuff like this all the time: ‘98 per cent of scientists believe….’ ‘Everyone knows this is false.’ ‘You are just a conspiracy theorist.’ ‘Science has proven this…’ And so on. And almost always there is no reference or back up source provided as they make their wild and unproven claims. We need to be on guard against this, and call their bluff when needed.

Answer me this’

Another very common way for trolls and opponents to overwhelm you is to just throw out a whole lot of nonsense disguised as facts and challenges. In this rhetorical technique they will throw a whole lot of claims and arguments your way, and then expect you to fully answer each one – and pronto.

You will get something like this: ‘Prove to me that God exists. There is no evidence for him. And the Bible is full of errors and contradictions. Jesus did not really die and rise again. And Christianity has caused all of our problems in the world…’

Simply trying to properly answer just one of these charges would require a small book. And entire libraries already exist with such books. But they are seeking to push an avalanche of objections and criticisms on you, knowing full well that this cannot be done justice in a short comment response. They are just trying to wear you down and overwhelm you.

‘I am a Christian but…’

I get this one all the time. Trolls and critics will come to my site pretending to be Christians when it is quite clear from what they are saying that they are no such thing. ‘I am a Christian but the Bible is full of mistakes and is not God’s word.’ ‘I am a Christian but I fully support abortion.’ ‘I am a Christian but there is nothing wrong with homosexuality.’ ‘I am a Christian but I believe all religions lead to God.’

When you hear folks denying basic Christian truths, avoid them like the plague. They just want to get you to abandon your basic Christian beliefs and become fake Christians or apostates like they are. Ignore them and don’t let them try to seduce you to the dark side.

‘You give Christianity a bad name’

Related to the above point, you will get folks coming to you all the time trying to put guilt trips on you. While often pretending to be Christians, they will claim that you give Christianity a bad reputation because of your beliefs and concerns.

They will claim that they and others would flock to Christianity if it were not for people like you. They want you to water everything down to make the faith acceptable. Um no, no matter how much you compromise, no matter how much you back-pedal, and no matter how much you try to offer a bland and nice version of Christianity, they will never be satisfied.

The truth is, they hate biblical Christianity, and will only support those who share their own views. They are the same sort of people Jesus warned about in John 3:19-21: “And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.”

There are plenty of other deceptive tactics and nasty ruses the other side will use to get you to question yourself, your beliefs, and your work for the Lord. Ignore them. We must not be unaware of Satan’s devices. We must know how the other side operates so we can successfully resist them.

And of course to say all this is not to say that we should refuse to listen to legitimate criticisms from real deal Christians. That is another matter altogether. Dealing with legit concerns from legit Christians – or others – has its place. But that is not what I have been referring to here.

As I say, lies and deception are a fundamental part of how the other side operates. It has always been that way. I finish with a quote from a woman who grew up in the Soviet Union. She discusses how ordinary people could see through the baloney of the ugly Communist system: “The rules are simple: they lie to us, we know they’re lying, they know we know they’re lying, but they keep lying to us, and we keep pretending to believe them” (Elena Gorokhova, A Mountain of Crumbs).

We too need to be aware of how our spiritual enemy – and his followers – operate.

[1457 words]

12 Replies to “Know Your Enemy”

  1. Thanks Bill, it lets us know what you go through and some of the enemy’s tactics.

  2. Thanks again Bill. Your discussion and that last quote from Elena describes the current Victorian government MPs and cross-bench MPs (who are supporting the govt./labor party: greens party, reason/sex party, animal party) and the Victorian pandemic management draft legislation being debated in the legislative council/upper house of the Parliament at the moment. See clearly for yourself what Bill describes, lots of rhetoric, lies and distortions of the truth by those in favour of the proposed law. Click on this link: https://www.parliament.vic.gov.au/video-and-audio/live-broadcasting
    then click on Legislative Council
    I implore all to please pray to Almighty God (we have a huge advantage over the enemy) that this tyrannical proposed law is defeated. Right now the numbers are very close, some recent motions put forward by the opposition in the debate only lost 18 votes to 19 votes. I also ask that you pray for Mr Adem Somyurek MP who has not been present in the chamber (an Independent, formerly with the labor party) that he will turn up to Parliament and vote against this draft law. This could result in a final vote of 19 for and 19 against and thus the legislation would be defeated. Thank you.

  3. So true.

    One of the newer techniques is the “cancal culture” where they simply refuse to enter into any discussion and simply pretend that those who oppose them don’t exist – such is the profound immaturity of this generation and, of course, this creates perfect conditions for the workers of evil to take ground. This has, in fact, become quite a powerful tool and is especially exploited by the corrupt public media but where it is really concerning is where they are able to bring in legislation to enforce the cancellation when they are only able to do that because the discussion was cancelled in the first place.

    Another one is to shame people by claiming that pointing out the detrimental effects of an immoral behaviour will simply lead to the person’s suicide or whatever. Typically called “victim blaming”, this, of course, completely ignores the fact that, as more people become involved in the detrimental behaviour, the more people will be primed to be suicidal or suffer other consequences. You are supposed to completely ignore the detriment and just continue to allow people to drag themselves and society down with the result that, in doing this, more people will inevitably suffer and in the process all of society will also suffer increasingly. Supposedly the solution to this is commonly more government spending or legislation to support people in their detrimental behaviour. Go figure. This is another technique which is proving to be quite powerful because people naturally want to avoid being shamed and so often just take the easy way out and accordingly stop shining a light on the detriment.

    I think it is clear the devil knows his time is short and is using every possible trick he can to influence people so I am very thankful for people like you who help to push back against the increasing nonsense and demonic manipulation. May God give more power to you and all those pushing back against this increasing evil, deceit and dysfunction. I think we all need to work to hone our skills in opposing these things and, hopefully, come up with some useful techniques of our own.

  4. Many thanks for this excellent post….I can see the voice of experience in it…I find that the greater the attack, the more the opponents know it’s the truth and it cuts them to the quick…they want you to disappear, so they throw everything they’ve got to see what sticks…If you treat them with aplomb, it drives them even crazier…this piece has been most enlightening…thanks once again…

  5. Thanks guys. And sure enough, right on cue, I get a bunch of angry trolls coming here telling me I am not a Christian, I give Christianity a bad name, I am a nut job, etc. And those are some of the more polite things they threw at me! At least they prove my point!

  6. Well, Bill – you know they just can’t help themselves…. 🙂 just a reflex…

  7. We also see Michael “the debate is over” despite there not having ever having been a debate. Or the silencing of us because we win in a debate so the make it so we can’t debate. The worst thing is redefining words to mean something totally different so as to complicate your ability to respond. How do you speak of Christ’s love when love has been twisted into all sorts of perversion??

  8. Perhaps ways to discern the enemy can be boiled down to three. Jesus Christ revealed them when He was led by the Holy Spirit to take Satan head on.

    1. They deny that there is an absolute truth and accuse those who claim to know the truth as being narrow-minded and bigoted – even fundamentalist terrorists. This creates a constantly fluctuating consensus of opinion – manipulated by the elite – thus causing doubt and confusion in the minds of the people. [1]

    2. They encourage, nay, force people to engage in immoral and perverted behaviour, and then tempt the state to clear up their abortions and sexually transmitted diseases thereby turning the National Health service into God. Something we have all been tempted to do with the Covid-19 panicdemic [2]

    3. They use evolution to claim that mankind has evolved to become God. We can create a universe in our own image. The beauty of this is that when politicians, like Boris Johnson wants to do something shabby, he can always say, “We are only dust and so many ounces of chemicals and water. What else would one expect?” This brings all the thrills of religion without any of the costs.[3]

    The vast majority of the public would have accused Jesus Christ of being confrontational by challenging kings and authorities. And yet it is only by firing over the enemies’ heads and drawing their fire that we can reveal and expose their position and strength, but confrontation is the last thing the church wants. Instead it wants to conform to the rulers of this world.

    [1] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-suvkwNYSQo

    [2] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HuVdwEWrNkw

    [3] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zBy3hEpRNm8&t=802s

    David Skinner UK

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