Central to Christianity is the goal of bringing more followers into our Enemy’s camp. It was the parting command of our Enemy’s Son to add to their ranks, and historically, the church has placed a strong emphasis on carrying out this mission. As His message spreads around the world, our forces are pushed back. Therefore, we must work to blunt the church’s efforts.
Above all else, we must encourage the belief that missions and evangelism are unnecessary. Make the Christians believe that the Enemy saves whom He will without their efforts, that He does not use individual Christians as secondary means in carrying out His purposes. If Christians can be encouraged to see their roles as unnecessary, they can be taken off the playing field. Further, strive to water down the church’s doctrine of sin. When this is done, Christians can be made to believe that good works are sufficient to secure salvation or that the Enemy will accept all humans, and therefore evangelism becomes moot. We can even depict missions as a harmful, undesirable act of cultural imperialism that should not be entered into, and we can encourage the belief that preaching is unnecessary in evangelism and that works of service suffice for the task.
Undermine their confidence by urging them to focus on their own shortcomings rather than the power of the Enemy.
If these efforts fail, make our Enemy’s followers believe that their personal efforts in evangelism and missions will be ineffective. Undermine their confidence by urging them to focus on their own shortcomings rather than the power of the Enemy—that is, they don’t know enough, don’t have the right words, can never convince someone else of the truth of the gospel. Make them feel guilty for their shortcomings in this area, but be sure that this guilt does not send them running into the arms of the Enemy with a new resolve to obey Him in faith. Instead, nurture the belief that their failures make them unworthy of Him.
Further, it is helpful to cultivate apathy toward those who are not part of our Enemy’s household. They should be portrayed as unsympathetic and obstinate. Make Christians believe that more than the mere grace of the Enemy separates them from those who do not believe.
Various other techniques can be marshaled to undermine evangelism and missions. Sow shame in the hearts of those who cannot contribute much to missions efforts, leading them to believe that their gifts do not matter. Induce His followers to believe that missions is a merely global endeavor, and that the humans in their own neighborhoods have no need of the gospel. Some Christians can be made to believe that evangelism is the work of professional clergy only and that the laity have no role, a belief that helpfully restricts the forces arrayed against us. When we focus on these tasks, we may be able to obstruct the spread of our Enemy’s church.
Rev. Kevin D. Gardner is associate editor of Tabletalk magazine and a teaching elder in the Presbyterian Church in America.