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    Winter / Spring 1998 [Newsletter Banner]

Real Spiritual Warfare Defining Reality
We Are Not Immune
Real Spiritual Warfare

The New Testament is replete with warnings about the dangers of ignorance and error which lead, ultimately to "doctrines of demons" (1 Tim. 4:1) and "a different gospel" (2 Cor. 11:4). Our adversary's major strategy is one of deception, trickery, and mind games. He is most successful when he can distort the thinking and reasoning processes of Christians and convince them to accept a definition of reality that is inconsistent with the teaching of scripture. Ultimately, of course, he seeks to "exchange the truth of God for a lie" (Rom. 1:25). This is genuine spiritual warfare, and the fact that we hear so little of it from our leaders is a measure of the success of the devil's strategy.

[Winter Spring 98 newsletter graphic 3] For five and a half years, EAF has attempted to define reality for Anabaptist Christians from the perspective of evangelical orthodoxy and with a commitment to absolute truth as it is revealed in the Word of God. That is our mandate from the Lord, and that is the task to which we give ourselves "heartily, as unto the Lord." Soli Deo Gloria.

[Winter Spring 98 newsletter graphic 4] The Tip Of The Iceberg

These issues (divorce, women in leadership, homosexuality) are certainly not the only ones threatening to divide the Christian community. I could have chosen any number of topics to illustrate different ways of defining reality: abortion, evangelism, peace and justice. These thorny issues are but the tip of the proverbial iceberg. They are the points at which underlying assumptions and presuppositions become visible and impact our lives. They are but symptomatic of a deeper problem, a difference in defining reality on a much more basic, fundamental level. Ultimately the position one takes on any of these issues derives from assumptions and convictions regarding questions such as the nature of God, man, Christ, sin, salvation, and the Bible.

Not long ago I attended, as an observer, a meeting in which the participants, all members of the same denomination, were debating whether or not to amend their constitution to include words like "inerrant" and "infallible" with reference to the character of scripture. Late in the discussion an opponent of the amendment addressed the group. "The matter before us is not one of doctrine," he said. "Rather, it is a question of obeying the teachings of Jesus."

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