215 – Are You Ready for Attacks?

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So much of what’s happening in the world today is mind- and spirit-boggling. Things we never expected to see or experience in “The Land of the Free” are happening left, right, and center. Attacks on freedoms and faith are on the rise.

As writers, we need to understand what is causing all this. As Believers, we need to know how to prepare ourselves to respond.

But first, thank you to all our patrons on Patreon! You help make this podcast possible!

America the Beautiful?

I love watching old movies about America being a bastion for free speech, supporting the downtrodden, and protecting those who’ve been beat down. I miss those days. Sure, America is still is all of that to a certain degree, but much has changed.

180 degrees.

Not in My Lifetime!

Recently we’ve seen something I never thought to see in my lifetime: people in the world of academia––students and professors––screaming hate-filled antisemitism, calling for the death of Jewish people. Such hate speech would not have been tolerated even a few years ago..

But even hate speech is covered by the first amendment. Unless it includes:

Hateful Hate Speech
  • Imminent lawless action, or telling people to immediately commit a crime, and
  • True threats: knowingly causing someone to fear for their safety, and
  • Fighting words: words intended to provoke a violent reaction.
It’s Happening Now!

All of which have taken place in the recent anti-Israel protests on college campus.

For example, a Cornell University student was arrested for posting threats to shoot and stab Jewish people on campus, and to “shoot up” the Kosher dining room. (He was kicked out of the college after being arrested.)

Over the past ten years or so, we’ve also seen traditional and Christian beliefs attacked with increasing vehemence. Those who find such beliefs offensive spew vitriol and organize to criminalize those whose beliefs offend them. Are you ready for such attacks?

Students’ Troubling Attitudes

In 2023, Newsweek reported on a new poll from the Buckley Institute, which surveyed students at four-year colleges. The results of this poll?

“Young Americans are turning their backs on basic American principles of free speech, tolerance, and due process, in a way that’s so drastic it genuinely endangers the future of our political order. And this disintegration is only accelerating.

“The Buckley Institute has conducted this poll for nine years, yet this year, for the first time ever, more students support shouting down speakers they disagree with than oppose this kind of mob censorship…”

Censorship, Anyone?

The article goes on to say, “What’s more, 46 percent of students now believe that ‘offensive’ opinions should get other students reported to the university administration…and more than 50 percent of students literally believe certain topics should be banned from being debated on campus.

“There’s also an alarming violent twist to the censoriousness rising among Gen Z college students. A whopping 45 percent of students told pollsters it is justified to use physical violence to prevent people from expressing hate speech or making racially charged comments.

“This radical, un-American idea is only becoming more popular: Back in 2017, for example, only 30 percent of students supported this same proposition.”

Justice for All?

Something else I never thought I’d see in American is citizens being jailed, but rather than being given their rights to defend themselves, they are incarcerated for an indeterminant amount of time with no way to defend themselves or pursue justice.

Or people who demand we “follow the science” on one issue completely ignoring it when it comes to what gender people are. Try to argue, and you get attacked. Especially on social media.

These changes in America toward elitism and intolerance don’t stop with politics.

Christians Under Attack

Are you ready for an attack in your church? Hostility and violence against churches in America is at an all-time high, according to a recent Family Research Council report. They documented more than 430 incidents in 2023—more than double the number in 2022.

That’s an 800% increase in incidents since 2018 and an average of 39 attacks every month!

Christian Business Are Targets

Christian-owned businesses have been sued for not accepting jobs that go against their beliefs. Chick-fil-A has been picketed and harassed for designating some of its charitable giving to churches and church-related organizations that hold to the biblical view of marriage.

In fact, San Antonio blacklisted the company from doing business in their city for not supporting LGBTQ charities.

Christian writers have lost contracts because they won’t revise history to fit today’s agenda.

It’s Getting Worse in America

So many of us have considered America immune to attacks on faith. However, according to a 2024 study titled “The Intensifying Intolerance Toward Christians in the West”, which was conducted by the Family Research Council, most religious liberty violations in the Western world in the last few years took place in America.

Predators Where We Least Expect Them

Are you ready for an attack in places where you feel safe?

Just a few years ago the Christian publishing world was shocked when women attending Christian writers conferences reported years of sexual misconduct and harassment by male faculty members.

I knew such things were happening in churches, but I’d been teaching at these conferences for more than 20 years! And the men on faculty whom I knew––and know––well were above reproach.

However, I became more attentive––and reported the few instances I saw.

Twisted Ideals and Truth

More and more, both in the world and in Christian communities, we see the ideals and truths on which America was founded being twisted and ignored. The same for biblical truth. And anyone who resists the twisting can count on an attack.

Wrong is called right, truth is called lies, faith is called racism or worse. So what does all this mean for you and me today, in this very moment? Several things.

What All This Means
  1. We who follow the risen Christ should not be surprised or afraid. We’re seeing the fulfillment of Scripture.
  2. The adversary is hard at work. And we need to know how to identify his attacks, and how to equip ourselves to face them.
  3. We could, at any time, come under fire for our beliefs, so we need to be ready to take a stand for Christ.
  4. Bellievers cannot look to the world for our justice or to defend us.
  5. Christians who are writers MUST be grounded in God’s truth, willing to write what God tells us even if it’s not popular or puts us in the crosshairs for an attack.
Fufillment of Scripture

Jesus told us many times that, in this world, we would see trouble (John 16:33) and that the world will hate us (John 15:18-19). In 1 Timothy 3:12, Paul wrote, “Yes, and everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.”=

2 Timothy 3:1-5 tells us: “You should know … that in the last days there will be very difficult times. For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred. They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control.

“They will be cruel and hate what is good. They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God. They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. Stay away from people like that!”

Shameless Spin

David Mathis, of DesiringGod.org, says, “[As] New as the recent trend of shameless spin, and outright lies, may seem to some, Christians with Bibles in hand do not number ourselves among the surprised. Long has the devil trafficked in half-truths, subtle deception, and ‘disinformation’ — from the beginning, in fact.

“This has been his strategy, and main trick, as ‘father of lies,’ from the garden. Even if the social manifestations now appear plainer and, at times, more jarring, those informed by the truth of Christian Scripture take it in stride.

“Two millennia ago, one of our apostles informed us that unbelievers ‘suppress the truth’ and ‘exchanged the truth’ for lies (Romans 1:18, 25).”

Sound familiar? Too much so, in fact. So it’s no surprise, in light of Scripture, that such craziness is happening today.

The Adversary is Hard at Work

Scripture also gives us a clear picture of the enemy of our souls. In 1 Peter 5:8 we’re told, “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”

This comparison to a lion is especially appropriate. An article by Marshall Segal on desiringGod.org shares the following:

“Mountain lions detect vulnerabilities in their prey and attack the weakest — the young, the sick, the injured. Studies have confirmed this instinctive cruelty. It’s how the mountain lion lives, following the scent of suffering and feasting on whatever he finds.

“The enemy of your hope and happiness hunts with that same instinct, with a cold-hearted and ruthless hunger for the weak or hurting…And because he’s clever, he spends a lot of his time among the suffering.

“He lies in wait with lies, wanting to consume the fragile and vulnerable.”

The Enemy Doesn’t Give Up

Though we know from Scripture that satan’s fate is already decided (spoiler: he loses), he doesn’t give up trying to attack and destroy us. As Billy Graham wrote, “Satan never gives up and decides to let us alone, because his goal is to draw us away from God — and he always hopes he’ll be able to do this.

“And let’s face it: Sometimes he’s successful. This is why the Apostle Paul warned, ‘If you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!’ (1 Corinthians 10:12).

Never Forget The Cougar is Prowling

Just as the cougar stalks its prey, watching and waiting to spot any vulnerability, and then STRIKES with speed and vicious force, so the enemy of our souls is there, watching and waiting for any possible way to strike. With a force more vicious than we can imagine.

Know Your Vulnerabilities

So what do we do? Well, first, don’t be afraid of the enemy. He’s NOTHING compared to almighty God, who watches over and protects us.

Second, know your vulnerabilities.

And third, submit those vulnerabilities to God the very moment you realize they are there, and seek His help to address them.

Which is exactly what we’ll dig into in our next podcast!

Until then, why not do some study to prepare yourself now for the enemy’s attacks?

Strategy for Study
  1. Scripture is your first source, of course. What wisdom do you find in God’s word about dealing with the enemy’s attacks? Consider:
    • 2 Corinthians 10:4––the weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.
    • James 4:7 – Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
    • 1 Peter 5:8 – Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
    • Psalm 91 – He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. …he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler. You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day…
More Scriptures for You
    • Luke 10:19 – Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you.
    • 1 John 5:4-5 – For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?
    • Isaiah 54:17 – No weapon that is fashioned against you shall succeed, and you shall refute every tongue that rises against you in judgment. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord and their vindication from me, declares the Lord.
Books to Read
  1. Read some of the books out there about this issue. Such as:
    1.  Overcoming the Adversary: Warfare Praying Against Demon Activity by Mark Bubeck
    2. Victory Over the Darkness: Realize the Power of Your Identity in Christ by Neil T. Anderson
    3. This Present Darkness by Frank Peretti
Other Strategies
  1. Talk and pray with fellow believers, and fellow writers, about the enemy and his attacks. Cover each other in prayers for God’s protection and wisdom when the attacks come.
  2. Review Ephesians 6:10-18, ensuring you understand and are using the full armor God has given you.
  3. Be aware of attacks that come against you in your work as a writer. Take every negative thought captive the second they come to you, submitting them to the Author of Truth for verification or dismissal. Don’t let negative emotions set in when things don’t go the way you hope. Keep your focus set on The Master of all creativity. Trust Him, even when everything around you seems to be saying otherwise. He will sustain you, He will protect you.
A Final Word

As unsettling as it is to realize we are the targets of a supernatural battle, that a being that hates God hates us as well and is actively at work to “devour” us, you do. Not. need. to. be. Afraid. Hollywood and books and so many other sources of information have filled our minds with the terrifying images of satan and his work. And, indeed, the evil he perpetrates against God’s creation and people is horrific.

And yet…God is with us. Who can be against us? God is sheltering us. Who can harm us? God IS. And satan was defeated before he began.

Know, friends, as sure as you know anything, that He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. God has you covered. Never doubt that.

Amen

Over the past ten years or so, we’ve also seen traditional and Christian beliefs attacked with increasing vehemence. Those who find such beliefs offensive spew vitriol and organize to criminalize those they feel have offended them. Share on X
WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU!

What is one thing you can do today to be ready for the enemy’s attack?

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A popular speaker/teacher, she’s shared with over 1,000,000 people at more than twenty-five hundred venues across the country. Check out her latest book: Set in Stone available now and we’ll link to it in the show notes!

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2 comments

  1. Emme Gannon says:

    Thank you so much for writing about a subject that far too many are afraid to speak of. We are not called by God to go along so that we can be liked, we are called by God to be faithful. Keep being bold!

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