Is all warfare Satanic?
In his seemingly endless conflicts with some Corinthian believers, the Apostle Paul clearly understood that warfare is not just opposition from Satan and demons, but human reasoning and arguments of human minds: 'We are human, but we don¯t wage war as humans do. We use God¯s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments. We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ.' [2 Corinthians 10:3-5] That's right! Battling with the minds of men\women can be just as tough as battling with demons, and in some cases tougher.
Let's face it; it's always easier to blame the devil for ALL matters of warfare, isn't it, and sometimes convenient too? If we can blame the devil for trouble-making that lets us off the hook, doesn't it? And for the perspective of some, Satan alone creates spiritual conflict.
But our brother Paul understood warfare differently. Warfare can have its origin in any element infected with evil with the potential to counter God's person and purposes of His will. The foursome of Satan, the world, sin and self are evils unto themselves capable of resisting God distinctly. And the human heart alone can be just as evil as the demoniac heart, Jehovah-God saying: ¯The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is?" [Jeremiah 17:9] It's a wicked heart that influences conflictive reasoning and arguments of the human mind creating a real relational and relating battle: 'We use God¯s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments.'
According to 2 Corinthians 10:3-5, clearly Paul's warfare aim wasn't knocking down demons, but human 'arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.' Bad reasoning and arguments are strongholds of the human mind processing arrogantly independent of God and in a manner elevated beyond the reasoning of God himself. Ironically, some in Corinth both reasoned and vehemently argued the Apostle Paul and his calling was all fraudulent. And such thinking created widespread church conflict and divisions: 'For it has been declared to me concerning you, my brethren, by those of Chloe¯s household, that there are contentions among you. Now I say this, that each of you says, ¯I am of Paul,¯ or ¯I am of Apollos,¯ or ¯I am of Cephas,¯ or ¯I am of Christ.¯' [1 Corinthians 1:11-12]
Reasoning and arguments of human minds creates conflict and confusion, and must be knocked down: 'We use God¯s mighty weapons, ...to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments.' Falsehood and lies stem from reasoning and arguments rooted in human pride, and must be meant by a greater reasoning and arguing force, which is where God comes in. He clearly knows when 'thoughts are not His thoughts and ways are not His ways.' [Isaiah 55:8-10]
Like the Apostle Paul, waging war against human reasoning and arguments is worth the fight as our relational harmony, civility and peace depends on it! It's a must for God to knock down what destroys relational cohesiveness. Without it, human reasoning and arguments destroy us.