We understand that we are in the midst of a great spiritual conflict and that we ought to stand firm for the Lord (cf. Ephesians 6:10-18). As we know from examples of recent physical warfare, an often neglected but vitally important aspect of war is the battle for “hearts and minds.” It is easier to win people over with the right attitude and mindset than it is with bullets and missiles!
We should never forget that the ultimate battle for hearts and minds is taking place in the spiritual arena. The world today features and promotes all kinds of perspectives and worldviews that are fundamentally incompatible with the message of the New Testament. All we need to do is turn on the television or go on the Internet and we will find these ideas; sadly, we are losing the battle for hearts and minds.
Bias is almost always slanted against the way the Bible presents mankind and his condition. People are encouraged to separate “religion” from “life.” We are told that this universe and our existence came about through an unguided process of events, and to believe otherwise is “unscientific.” We are informed that we are nothing but overdeveloped animals, and there are plenty of people willing to profit on encouraging the passions present within mankind. We are to live as we wish to live, and we must never condemn others for the ways that they decide to live their lives. We have no right, we are told, to say that anyone else is condemned. Lust, science, tolerance: these and others tend to be the gods of this world.
Yet God calls upon believers to avoid the world and its lusts that are passing away (1 John 2:15-17). Friendship with the world is considered enmity toward God (James 4:4). This goes deeper than just our words and our deeds: it must also be true in regards to the way we think and the way we look at the world.
In the first century the Christians in Colossae were tempted to maintain belief in the philosophical ideals of their own day. Paul warns them:
Take heed lest there shall be any one that maketh spoil of you through his philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ (Colossians 2:8).
Instead, Paul encouraged the Colossians to be rooted and established in Christ, for in Him are all the treasures of knowledge and wisdom, and through Him they were made full (Colossians 2:1-10). Christ, therefore, was to be the basis and foundation of their perspective. Everything they believed or thought must be according to Christ, His way, and His truth (cf. John 14:6).
Thus it should also be today. We must not conform to this world (Romans 12:2), and this is true in thought as well as in word and deed. We must strongly affirm that God is the Creator of this world, and because of that, we are all subject to Him and His will (cf. Genesis 1:1-2:3). We must reason with people that they are made in God’s own image and more than just an animal, and ought to practice self-control (Genesis 1:26-27, 1 Peter 4:7). We must declare that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God and that salvation from sin can only be found through the blood of Jesus Christ (Romans 3:23, 5:6-11). No matter what the cost, we must warn our fellow man that condemnation does await those who do not know God and those who do not obey the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Thessalonians 1:6-9).
The war for hearts and minds is very real. Will we stand on the Lord’s side and make Christ our perspective or will we conform to the world and think like everyone else? Let us be firmly established in Christ and promote His truth before all!