Monday, May 3, 2010

2 Corinthians 10:7-18 (Strongholds Continued)

It is perfectly appropriate that Paul goes on to talk about false teachers preying on the church after he has talked about spiritual warfare. Experience teaches us that that is often the norm. Sure, false teaching and spiritual strongholds come in “non-Christian” varieties, but you can lay money that they will come on stronger once people have turned to God.

A stronghold, spiritually thinking, is a lie that affects the way people behave. For example, the lie that Europeans have already had their chance at accepting the Gospel and rejected it generations ago—therefore they are no longer reachable. That lie affects the way churches and Christians in Europe approach evangelism and church planting, or don’t approach it at all would be a better statement. In the first few verses of chapter 10, Paul said such lies must be battled with words and ideas of truth.

Now, Paul goes into more detail about his work against such strongholds, and he is not focusing primarily on the lies outside the church, but the lies of teachers “within the fold” who are coming behind him with teachings that distract and incapacitate the church.

It is no different today. If you are about the work of reaching the lost and grouping people into new communities of faith, you need to reckon with the teachers that will inevitably show up courting your flocks. They will teach them things that distract them from the Gospel calling that has brought them together in the first place. This seems to be one of the primary actions of the enemy. If a church is started, everything possible will be done to get them comfortable and inactive, or at least inactive when it comes to interacting with the lost.

Somehow we need to come up with a way to prepare planters for this aspect of the task. It is something we should deal with proactively, not responsively.

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