To Combat the Civil Attack against Christianity We Must Stand Firm and Withstand Evil

We are living today in an era in America when secular principals are constantly committing offenses against the fundamental truth of Christ. They are expressing this physically, materially, and by word and every lawless deed possible. They have been successful in stripping religious ideas and America religious heritage from our education systems, textbooks, and our political discourse. The sexual progressives are presently stepping up their efforts to exclude the voice of Christians, the word of God, from the public square. They are actively attacking Christians for exercising their 1st Amendment rights of religion and speech. An egregious example, is anyone who exposes the LGBT et al. agenda, stands against killing the unborn, or opposes the delusion of transgenderism is publicly labeled as bigoted, guilty of depravity, and a hater.

Sadly today, many Christian’s, their shepherds, and Churches are seen kneeling, kissing the ring of evil, hoping they will be excluded from the attacks. Most are doing this by shirking their Christian duty.  They are not standing firm and speaking Christ truth against these assaults. It was Bonhoeffer who said, “Not to speak is to speak,” and “Silence in the face of evil is evil.” Do these Christians and their clergy know this is refusing to commit oneself to Christ’s mission, which we are all called, and undermines the foundation of our covenant with God? (Revelation 3:16, Ezekiel 3:18-19, Luke 12:8, Matthew 10:32, Matthew 25:30, Luke19:22, Ephesians 5:11, Acts 4:20, James 4:17, etc.)

Many Christian’s today are in need of a clear understanding of “The Whole Armor of God.” We are to put on God’s armor to stand in His presence individually and collectivity as Christ’s Church to oppose evil. (Ephesians 5:11 NKJV) The Greek word for Church is Ecclesia, which is an assembly, whether political, Christian, or national. Christ’s Church (Ephesians 1:22-23) congregates in the wilderness called the political world, (Acts 19:39) but the Church is not of the wilderness. In John 17:15-16 NIV Jesus confirms this when He said: “My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you (God) protect them from the evil one.” Ephesians 6:10-20 NKJV gives the individual and the Church the ability to put on the Full Armor of God to be strong in the Lord and enables us to stand our ground and withstand evil in the wilderness of the world. The words stand firm and withstand are not well understood by many Christians or their clergy. They are action words, not passive words, because it takes the courage of action to change people’s hearts!

Stand firm: is to refuse to change decision, position, by taking up or maintaining a specified posture or a particular state of mind and hold the course.

Further scriptures referring to stand firm:

             Luke 21:19 (LBT) “For if you stand firm, you will win your souls.”

             1 Corinthians 16:13 (ESV) “Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.”

             1 Corinthians 15:58  (NIV) “Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.

Withstand: is to stand up against and oppose with firm determination to interfere and obstruct the course of something.

Further Scriptures referring to withstand:

Luke 21:15 (ESV) “…for I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which none of your adversaries will be able to withstand or contradict.

Acts 6:10 (ESV) “But they could not withstand the wisdom and the Spirit with which he was speaking.

The whole reason we put on the full armor is to be made strong in the Lord. The armor is a metaphor used by Paul so Christians can visualize God’s protection while fulfilling our ministry of reconciliation. (2 Corinthians 5:18) The armor is described as the waistband, footwear, shield, breastplate, and helmet that enable Christians to protect themselves as they stand their ground and withstand evil. Notice there is no protection for retreating, hiding, or being silent because the glory of the Lord is our rear guard. (Isaiah 58:8) The armor empowers us to be immoveable, facing the enemy, and speaking the word of God boldly. We are to hold our course in the storms of life, knowing full well we are partners of God who is leading the charge. (2 Corinthians 6:1 TLB) It is then, we can wield our offensive weapon, the Sword of the Spirit to oppose evil principalities. It is only the Holy Spirit that can take the spoken word of God and move men. (2 Peter 1:19-21 NKJV). The Spirit can do this because it is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit. (Hebrews 4:12 NKJV) Through the spoken word of God we are righteously obstructing the path of evil, and deliberately providing interference through the light of Christ that is enabling us to make disciples of all nations.  (Ephesians 6:10-20 & Matthew 28:19-20 NKJV) “For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.” (2 Timothy 1:7 NIV)

One example of withstanding evil in the wilderness is a youth pastor in Opelika, Alabama who wasn't going to let the Freedom from Religion Foundation, a secular principality, intimidate the local school district into ending their 100 year tradition of praying before games. Pastor Steve Bass worked with local high school students to recite the Lord's Prayer, the spoken word of God, in unison at a recent Friday night football game. Pastor Steve obstructed the path of evil, and deliberately provided interference through the light of Christ. “God gave him a mouth and wisdom which all his adversaries were not able to contradict or resist.” (Luke 21:15 NKJV) It's an amazing story of how one committed youth Pastor put on the full armor of God to stand and withstand evil. He is a hero of the faith because he stood for God’s truth in God’s presence!

The Whole Armor of God - Ephesians 6:10-20 (NKJV)

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand firm against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints— and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak. (Emphasis added)

Conclusion: Our charge as Christians like Pastor Steve Bass, is to stand being strong in the Lord with the power of His might, to withstand by obstructing evil through speaking the truth in righteousness. We prepare with the gospel of faith, to offer salvation through the word of God, the sword of the Spirit, by praying always with all prayer and petition in the Spirit, and with all perseverance we stand and open our mouths boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, for we are Christ’s ambassadors.

The time is now to take up the Whole Armor of God by employing the power God gave us to obstruct and oppose evil.

David Howard, Foxhole Ministry, Billings, Montana