For although we are walking in the flesh, we do not wage war in a fleshly way, since the weapons of our warfare are not fleshly, but are powerful through God for the demolition of strongholds. We demolish arguments and every high-minded thing that is raised up against the knowledge of God, taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. And we are ready to punish any disobedience, once your obedience is complete. (2 Corinthians 10: 3 – 6.)
The plural first person pronoun used by the apostle above leads me to suspect that he was talking about the apostles’ collective duties and responsibilities: for although we are walking in the flesh, etc. etc. But, whether or not that is true in no way limits the charge given. For garden variety Christians too, even in this day and age, should be about demolishing arguments and high minded things that stand against God. And there is plenty of that sort of thing out there on the religious landscape.
I have brought down a few arguments, but most have had nothing to do with my salvation or that of anyone else. We are not supposed to partake in useless speculations. But here Paul spoke of demolishing and destroying things contrary to Christ. There was a purpose. These days I don’t suspect we do too much tearing down of strongholds; and that means most of us have both an opportunity for improvement and something to get busy doing.
Just how would we go about such a task? The fainthearted probably should not apply without adding some spiritual muscle. And those who did apply might need to find a firm place to plant their figurative feet, so that those evil things could be torn down. Oh, and you must be able to hammer away at the obstacle — that takes stamina. But, what if you do not know enough about the word of God to handle a tack hammer? How would we be able to demolish anything except our own souls and that to our shame?
How could we identify what constitutes something raised up against the knowledge of God? What if we haven’t sat down long enough in the first place to identify what the knowledge of God is? Some folks will tell you that the knowledge of God can’t be identified. It is way too mysterious, or it is too high above our heads. Others say that any old truth, yours, mine, or some other, will work just fine. The apostle Paul apparently saw it differently. And the apostle said we had better bring everything into subjection to Christ. That is irrespective of whether it was based upon your notions, mine or theirs. If it did not emanate from the knowledge of God, and I must take that to mean that if it did not come from God through the Word of God, it was marked for demolition. Paul was ready to set the charges; to light the fuse. He did just that. What, I wonder, should we be doing? Preparation has a lot to do if things are to go as planned. Study and practice will make perfect. Everything else will get you in second place – and my racing buddies tell me second place means first loser.
So, if the apostles and disciples were to bring every thought captive (bound?) to the obedience of Christ, and we need to do the exact same things, it might be a good idea to be conversant with the principles of obedience to Christ. It also might be useful after the preparation to set it all in motion, to use the tools we have been given to do the work we have been asked to do. Get ready; willing workers are always needed to swing that hammer.
Paul said it was a war to them. Is it only a distraction to us?