"We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ."
I have often focused on the second half of this verse. Most of the sermons, lessons, etc. that I have heard have also focused on the second half of this verse. However last night in youth group, I noticed the first half of this verse. I never realized the power in the first part of this verse. What power? The power to win the war on our minds. We know that our minds and thoughts are to be protected and jealously guarded. We know that focusing on a thought can lead to obsession with that thought. Obsession leads to action and action is sin. That is all in the second part of the verse. So what power does the first part have?
Let's look at it in detail. There are two sides in this war on our minds. The knowledge of God is against the pretensions and arguments. Do you realize there is this part of the war as well? This is the war on our intelligence. There are so many people out there promoting their various theories about the world. The easy one to point out seems to be creation vs. evolution. I'm not sure this one is quite so cut and dry as some would make it seem. I have not studied it much, so I don't want to use that example. The example I prefer to use is that of postmodernism. A really brief overview of postmodernism is this: There is no absolute truth. Everything is just the 'story' a society creates to reach it's own goals. As a Christian, you probably reacted very strongly to that definition. You should have! That is a part of the arguments and pretensions. One of my graduate classes focused rather heavily on postmodern thought. We did learn about modernism and some of the other -isms out there. Most philosophy is a reaction to a previous philosophy. So when you study one, the study of the ones before it is necessary.
As I sat in the above mentioned class listening to the discussion/lectures and as I read the assigned reading, my mind exploded with so many faults in their theories. I couldn't believe that some people actually believed and based their lives on these theories. I looked around in the world today and I saw many people living life this way. It breaks my heart that these arguments and pretensions are so rampant in our society today. They have so obviously set themselves up against the knowledge of God. As Christians, this often scares us. We don't want to get into philosophical discussions. We don't want to look behind someones actions to what the believe to be truth, which causes their actions.
We shouldn't be hiding our heads in the sand about this! We have the power to demolish these arguments and pretensions! Why aren't we using our minds this way? Why aren't we demolishing these? That word pretensions is related to the word pretend, as in NOT REAL! These are lies put out there by Satan. These are lies we have been swallowing or at least allowing them to live. Why? Why have we let our fear contain us? God gave us minds to use! It is okay to be intelligent. It is okay to read about these things and talk to God about them. We should be considering these theories out there and learning about them. We need to learn about them, so we can demolish them. We need to know what people say before we can show them the truth!
I am not advocating that you go to a street corner and start yelling about this. I am not advocating you walking into a professors office and telling him/her how wrong he/she is. I am not advocating that you throw around words like postmodernism when someone is hurting from bad choices even if that choice was postmodern. All I am saying is don't be afraid to learn about these things. When you are learning about them, keep your guard up. Pray for God to protect your mind and to help you see clearly. He created our minds, so he knows how to use them the right way. Let him do that! Prepare yourself for battle, pray and read the Bible. Talk to other Christians about these things. Then go out there and demolish the arguments and pretensions. Don't be afraid to use the mind God gave you!