Are you prone to argue science or reason with those who set themselves against God? It seems to me there are two extremes in the Christain movement: one side stays out of the fight and tries to live a quiet life; the other extreme tries to “talk down” the other side using superior knowledge and wisdom. There is also a growing number of Christ followers that are downplaying that Christ is the only way to salvation.
In 2 Corinthians 5:10 it gives all sides something to ponder. It says, “Casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.” Paul uses imagery of towers or fortresses as this knowledge that tries to discredit God. It builds itself up. It lays a foundation that assumes God doesn’t exist or isn’t involved or can be found in everything, and then it builds on that layers of reasoning that supports its initial theory, never again questioning its foundations.
As Christ followers, God ambassadors, we are to “cast down arguments.” Does this mean we should arm ourselves with all the knowledge we can and use the world’s weapons (of reason and science) against them? Earlier in this chapter, Paul tells us not to do that. So then how do we cast down these strongholds? We are certainly not called to sit quietly while these towers are built.
Have you ever seen an abandoned building? A building that once was vibrant and full of activity? When I lived in Los Angeles I would occasionally take the train to work. The train took me to the central station downtown and then I would walk a few blocks to catch the bus. On my walk I would see multi-story buildings abandoned.
This is what Paul is talking about. We are not called to dis-prove the world’s knowledge (to tear the building down). We are called to help them abandon it. How? Through the Spirit. His work is to bring revelation of Christ to the world. He is the Great Convincer. I’ve been in church services where an atheist was cut to the heart and came running to God. And it wasn’t because I convinced him or had the best argument. It was the power of God.
What about those who have softened Christ’s work, by denying He is the only way to God? Paul mentions here that we are to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. Every thought we have should be filtered by what Has been revealed to us about Christ. As soon as our truth filter removes Christ, we open ourselves up to knowledge that exalts itself above God. He chose to reveal Himself through Christ. Christ, and Christ alone, is the power of God unto salvation (Romans 1:16).
The most abandoned buildings in Europe are church buildings. Why? Because they either tried to fight reason with reason or they tried to soften the gospel to better fit the culture or they kept speaking the gospel in condemning tones, all of which failed. We desperately need the power of God.