Monday, June 15, 2009

What is Enemy Territory?

Boundaries exist to protect us, to guide us through what can be rocky and rough terrain. But sometimes we need to briefly step off this path. Sometimes we need to cross into enemy territory.

But what exactly is enemy territory?

Unfortunately, the description of enemy territory is anything but exact. Our enemy is methodical, diabolical, crafty, and wily. He knows lures and traps. He knows how to make his lands look attractive and alluring. He is a master of disguise. So describing what his side looks like is impossible, for it is always changing.

Nonetheless, there are some characteristics that seem to pop up frequently. So if you see one of these, tread carefully—you might be headed into enemy territory:

1. Stories with known anti-biblical content. Note: When I say “anti-biblical,” I refer to the content contradicting clear biblical mandates (do not steal, do not commit adultery) or core doctrines of Christianity (the exclusivity of Christ, the facts of his death and resurrection). Commonly disputed issues such as eternal security, free-will/predestination, eschatology, and even creation vs. evolution to an extent are not classified here because it is possible for two people to believe opposite ends of the spectrum and still be a fully committed Christian.

2. Stories with controversial content. Christianity itself can be controversial, so this isn’t a black-and-white dividing line. However, Satan loves to stir up dissension, and that’s one of his best tools to destroy our effectiveness. So be careful! Controversy may be him trying to divide and conquer.

3. Obsessively popular stories, especially in secular circles. Again, while I’ve seen this happen occasionally with Christian material, far more often people under enemy control will support their leader rather then ours. So the obsessively popular is often a sign of material scratching itching ears, Satan’s propaganda rallying his troops.

4. Unfamiliar territory. While unknown authors and unfamiliar movies don’t equal the enemy’s work, you need to approach as if it were. For it is better to err on the side of caution and discover friends than to approach “friends” and be caught in the enemy’s snare.

5. Other warning signs. This would include things like gut instincts saying something is wrong to a review laying out some concerns. Again our enemy is wily and sometimes everything can appear fine on the surface. But God holds the master plans. Listen to the promptings of His Spirit; it may save your heart—and your skin.

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