Know Your Enemy and Know Yourself

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, June 2, 2017 0 comments

by Charlie Wolcott

Sun-Tzu cites this statement as one of the three most fundamental things any military general should put into practice: “Know your enemy and know yourself and in 100 battles you will never be in peril.” The same concept should apply to any Christian, especially those seeking to be able to defend their faith. It is sadly a concept I have noticed both atheists and many Christians greatly lack in applying. If you are going to make a stand, you need to know your stuff and you need to know what and where opposition is coming from.

Do we know why we believe what we believe? Do we even know what the position we believe entails? Most really do not know what their position actually requires nor have thought through the logical implications that result. When I hear Evolutionists say “abiogenesis has nothing to do with evolution,” they are saying, “how biology started has nothing to do with how biology diversified.” In actuality, abiogenesis is the power supply for Darwinian Evolution. Without the former, the latter never takes place. On the other side, many Christians think if they just mentally accept Jesus into their hearts they get to go to heaven, but fail to see that this requires dying to self and a lifestyle of repenting from doing things our own way. So it is not just the Evolutionist who doesn’t understand their own model very much; many Christians do not either. It usually gets worse when trying to get both sides to understand the other side.

One of the great problems is a lack of listening. Most people do not listen to understand, they listen to respond. I have been guilty of this quite a bit and I am learning. It is really easy to get sucked into debates, and I love a good wrangling. It is also very easy to want to be right and very, very difficult to back off once you set your foot down. Then as a result, you are no longer trying to grasp and understand the other person, regardless of whether you agree or not, but simply trying to prove that person wrong and vindicate yourself. If you want to actually refute another person’s argument, you need to know what they are saying, and you will not know what they are saying unless you listen. If they won’t listen to you, that’s their problem.

The other great problem is not merely a lack of listening but a lack of any desire to even know the other position. I have seen several atheists and old earth creationists claim something like: “We are right, so it does not matter if we misrepresent your position or not.” Many of them do not care if they are doing nothing else but beating up a straw man of their own imagination. What about us who believe the Bible? Do you or I care enough to listen to the other side and understand what they are saying and why? There are many trolls out there that have absolutely no desire to learn anything, but there are others who honestly are looking for truth and want to see if you are going to stick with them long enough to give it. Sometimes it is not easy to distinguish between the two.

But it is not just a lack of knowing the other side that is a problem. A bigger concern is when you do not know the position you claim to believe. The vast majority of Evolutionists I have encountered, including at the PhD level, truly do not know their own model. When you hear them speak, it is as though you are hearing a parrot talking. They generally give the exact same arguments but also often use the exact same wording, and to top it off, they know nothing about their model outside those details. What is learned in the classroom, even in upper college levels, is usually a watered down version where only the “best” details are cited and rarely are the holes in the theory brought up. Many of the topics related to Evolution are rarely tied together in the classroom, despite being one big singular worldview of secular, naturalistic humanism. Big Bang, abiogenesis, and biological evolution are taught as separate units, but the teachers rarely, if ever, reveal how all three are completely dependent upon each other. And this is without addressing the implications upon history, morality, society, etc. The Evolutionists I deal with hardly ever know their own model.

However, many Christians are in the same boat of not knowing their own model. Many Christians today do not see the connections between Genesis, the exodus, the kings, and Christ. Not many see the Bible is one complete, cohesive story, but not just a story, but the records of history. Many see the stories of the Old Testament to be just stories, not actual historical events. There are significant implications to rejecting the historicity of the Bible. It means that what the Bible states on how we should live cannot be lived, because no ever did. But it gets worse than this for Christians. Many, many Christians, especially in Europe and America, have this idea that once you make a proclamation of faith, then you can live however you want and still go to heaven. While the Evolutionist tends to only know the “good” parts of their models, many Christians have the same problem. Not many preachers today talk about sin, the need for repentance, the justice of God, the holiness of God, or the wrath of God. The idea of being born again is practically completely lost, and so is the idea of living separated from how the world thinks.

Do we know what we believe and what it entails? Do we know the logical conclusions our model leads to? If we are going to argue against other positions, do we know them? There are many false teachers out there in the secular world and in the church. Unless we know ourselves, what our models preach, and our enemy’s models and tactics, how are we going to tell who is who? I am taking care not to speak about those who are claimed to be false teachers until I have read their material or listened to their material directly. I am realizing when I take quotes from others and I go back to the original sources, there is a much deeper meaning behind the quotes than what I initially heard. Little illustrates this better than listening to Eric Ludy speak about Rees Howells in an African mission declaring that no one on his mission would die during a plague. It is great boldness, but what Ludy did not mention is what Howells had to train through and lay down in order to get to that point. Howells did not just make that claim out of the blue and it was not without wrestling with God over it first. Ludy was still accurate, but I see a much bigger picture now that I have read the biography myself.

For me to speak and write, I need to come from a position of knowledge, not a position of hearsay, half-knowledge, and blind faith. To do this, I am reading far more now than I ever have. Just a few weeks ago I ordered nine books, mostly biographies of preachers and missionaries, and some “bad” books which I know have false teachings in them. I would not recommend these bad books to anyone, unless they are going to be in a position to teach and speak about warnings against such topics, yet at the same time, I don’t want my readers and audience to be dependent upon me for their information. Yet, while I am doing all this reading, I cannot let my position be determined by the ones I like. I need God to determine my position so he can operate in and through me.

Know your enemy and know yourself. In the words of Marilyn vos Savant, “Be able to defend your position in a rational way, otherwise all you have is an opinion.” Too many people just have opinions, yet they treat them like facts and expect everyone else to as well. This includes pastors and militant atheist professors. Do you know your position? Do you know your enemy’s? If so, then you will never be in peril. If not, then you are easy prey. Which are you?

This forum is meant to foster discussion and allow for differing viewpoints to be explored with equal and respectful consideration.  All comments are moderated and any foul language or threatening/abusive comments will not be approved.  Users who engage in threatening or abusive comments which are physically harmful in nature will be reported to the authorities.