Author: Juliette McNair | Student, Living Education 2021
Estimated reading time: 2 minutes, 53 seconds.
“If God has opened your mind to the truth, you are going to be in Satan’s crosshairs.”
Dr. Douglas Winnail, the Director of Church Administration, began the Assembly with a PowerPoint slide with the following statements:
The Bible is outdated. The miracles of the Bible never happened. Moral absolutes are old fashioned. There is no ultimate purpose in life. You are stupid if you believe the Bible.
These are ideas that are prevalent in a society that is waging a war against true Christianity. Dr. Winnail asked the Living Ed students, “Where do these ideas come from—why are they here?” The first step in understanding the modern war against God is knowing where these ideas come from.
Know Your Enemy
The struggle is not a physical one—it is Satan’s fight to win hearts and minds and pit them against their Creator. Dr. Winnail said, “Modern cultural wars are more than just liberals versus conservatives—it’s a spiritual war.” And if we know who is behind this war, we can understand that, as Dr. Winnail quoted, “we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against… spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:12).
“Who are the warriors in these cultural wars against God?”
There are several recent figures instrumental in tearing down belief in God and the Bible. The renowned atheist Richard Dawkins has called creationism, “God’s gift to the ignorant” and religious faith, “the great cop-out.” Christopher Hitchens, a social critic and another antagonist against Christianity, believes the real axis of evil in the world is “Christianity, Judaism, and Islam.” Bart D. Ehrman, a New Testament scholar from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, is a prominent critic of modern Christianity, authoring numerous books that seek to discredit the New Testament and the Christian belief in God. James Tabor, a former teacher at Ambassador College, is another scholarly skeptic who had commented, “If you find the bones of Jesus, the resurrection is off.”
Yet, Dr. Winnail emphasized, these skeptics are “merely the latest versions of people who have been doing this for years.” In the 19th century, Robert Ingersoll said concerning the Bible, “It has lost power in the proportion that man has gained knowledge.” Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution planted doubts on the biblical account of creation. The philosophers, Voltaire and Rousseau, played a role in turning “cathedrals into temples of reason” during the Enlightenment. Even in the first several centuries A.D., many philosophers—Porphyr and Celsus, for example—were bent on discrediting Christ and the Bible.
Critics of the Critics
Yet these warriors against God are not without their critics. John Gray, an English philosopher from the London School of Economics, calls Dawkins closed-minded, saying, “His atheism is its own kind of narrow religion.” Peter Hitchens, brother of Christopher Hitchens, was also an atheist but returned to religious faith later in life. He is a sharp critic of his brother’s book, God Is Not Great. James Tabor has been called out for his speculation on the nature of Christ because his ideas are built on the shaky ground of the Gnostic gospels.
“How do you prepare to fight?”
Dr. Winnail turned to Ephesians 6:10-18 to conclude his talk. God gives His servants weapons for defending themselves. The students were inspired to “put on the whole armor of God…” Christians must arm themselves with the spiritual belt, breastplate, shoes, shield, helmet, and sword to fight for the truth in a world at war with God. Dr. Winnail encouraged, “Seek God’s help; win the war against God.”
This post is part of our new series of student-written content for LivingEd-Charlotte. These summaries cover topics originally presented by our faculty and guest speakers in our weekly Forum and Assembly. For more Assembly-related content check out our Second Thoughts posts.