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On today’s episode of Mama Bear Apologetics, we’ll be discussing a talk by Simon Brace. When I sat down at my computer to think about topics for today’s podcast, I was struck with the urge to discuss a talk (which I was present for) by a close friend. In this talk, Simon Brace tackles the use of apologetics as a means for spiritual warfare.

Main Points Covered:

  • Simon Brace has known Hillary and John for years, having been John’s best friend at Southern Evangelical Seminary, and he was tagged to be their best man at their wedding.
  • When we think of apologetics, our first thought isn’t about spiritual warfare. We often think about arguing person-to-person, or idea-to-idea, scenarios.
    • There are a number of passages in the scripture, which say that our war isn’t against flesh-and-blood, but against rulers and principalities, and against the spiritual forces of evil.
    • It is also about the idea that we’re not supposed to let anyone take you hostage through hollow-sounding philosophies which depend on the traditions of men, rather than the traditions of God.
  • In the talk, Simon turns to Ephesians 6:12
  • “Would you say that Christianity in the west is in a state of erosion or growth? For all of the efforts of Billy Graham and the various revivals and the church movements, the state of the Christian movement in the west is in an incremental and relentless decline.” Simon Brace
    • We have leaders in the Christian community which are dropping like flies.
    • Not just in America, but in the West (in Britain, France, Spain, and western Europe); the churches in Western Europe are considered tombs and mausoleums: good architecture, but they are empty on Sunday.
    • Amy witnessed first-hand, in Germany, people aren’t religious, their grandmothers are religious. The churches are respected but not attended. They are a post-Christian culture.
    • As Western Europe goes (non-religious), so does America, but we are holding out (albeit, not well).
      • In America, the doctrines are being abandoned to where they are unrecognizable. It is like a cancer cell, the doctrines are well-differentiated and have mutated beyond recognition.
      • When you look at a first-century church and their beliefs, versus our current beliefs, it is a state of progression that shows how far we have gotten from the gospel.
    • “Verse 12 of Ephesians is explicit in declaring that there are evil spiritual forces. The war is against the cosmic forces. Who would these cosmic forces be? I take these cosmic, not-human forces to be Satan, and his fellow fallen angels. And no doubt they exercise tremendous influence over man, even if men do not think that.” Simon Brace
      • When was the last time you heard a sermon over spiritual warfare, Satan, and his demons? There is a fear of scaring the people in the pews. While we may have the scriptures memorized, we need to understand that we are fighting a battle against actual demons.
      • The Charismatics vs the Charismaniacs. Growing up, Hilary learned to be frightened of the Charismatics (“They’re all weird. They’re all wacky. They’re always speaking in tongues at the same time. It’s chaos, chaos, CHAOS.”) but one of the things she learned to appreciate from them is their dedication to prayer and spiritual warfare.
      • Protestants have a tendency of over-correcting when they see someone going way off-track, which is why spiritual warfare isn’t spoken of as much in church.
      • Spiritual learning when you start learning and appreciating what different groups bring to the table.
    • “The skepticism that saturates the northeast of this country is much like the skepticism which you find in Europe. And still, the Evangelical church leadership in the West has, for the most part, their heads in the sand with respect to this phenomenon. And even those who claim to know something, they seem powerless to counteract the erosion of Christianity.” Simon Brace
      • We have an enemy that is deceptive. There is a concept of friendly fire among Christians.
        • “You’re not really a Christian if you believe … “
        • Reformed vs. Non-reformed
        • The age of the earth
        • The belief in Molinism (God’s divine foreknowledge in existence with our free will)
      • You’re fighting against your own brothers and sisters. You’ve elevated these secondary issues to be so big. People are so focused on these secondary issues that when it comes time to focus our efforts on the more pertinent issues, everyone is tired and there is silence.
      • We don’t see the enemy come in this way (in these mild deceptions), which is why they will get us when we are not paying attention.
      • “It’s funny how everybody thinks our job is to put things into their heads when, really, our biggest job is to keep things out of their heads.”

The Takeaways:

  • We have leaders in the Christian community which are dropping like flies.
  • While we may have the scriptures memorized, we need to understand that we are fighting a battle against actual demons.

People are so focused on these secondary issues that when it comes time to focus our efforts on the more pertinent issues, everyone is tired and there is silence.

Resources Mentioned:

Simon Brace on Spiritual Warfare – Simon Brace’s talk on Spiritual Warfare on YouTube.

Ephesians 6:12 – the verse that Simon references in this talk.

The Final Quest by Rick Joyner

Questions or ideas? Send us an email at askthemamabears@gmail.com.

Donate to the podcast on our website.

Unfamiliar Vocab:

The Charismatic Movement – “The charismatic movement is the international trend of historically mainstream Christian congregations adopting beliefs and practices similar to Pentecostalism. Fundamental to the movement is the use of spiritual gifts (charismata). Among mainline Protestants, the movement began around 1960. Among Roman Catholics, it originated around 1967.” (Wikipedia)

“No True Scotsman” Fallacy – The “No True Scotsman” Fallacy | Idea Channel | PBS Digital Studios (YouTube)

Quotable quotes:

“It can be said with some confidence that one of the most confusing and misunderstood subjects in the Church today concerns the nature of spiritual warfare. I hope to convince you that one of the most significant reasons for the failure of the Church to impact the culture is in part due to this misunderstanding.”

– Simon Brace

If Christians do not understand the nature of war, then how is it going to be likely that we are going to know how to fight? Click To Tweet

– Simon Brace

The false assumption is that if we have the military garb about which Ephesians speaks, then we will know what to do with the sword and the shield and all of the other items when Satan and his cohorts show up. Click To Tweet

– Simon Brace

Christian warfare is not a form of terrorism. It is a form of counter-terrorism. Click To Tweet

– Simon Brace

It is critical that we know the nature of the fight we are getting ourselves into. Click To Tweet

– Simon Brace

No doubt (Satan and his fallen angels) exercise tremendous influence over men even if men do not think that. Click To Tweet

– Simon Brace

When is the last time you heard a sermon on spiritual warfare and Satan and his demons? Click To Tweet

– Amy Davison

We are fighting a spiritual battle against actual demons that are out there for our destruction. Click To Tweet

– Hillary Morgan Ferrer

Diagnosing an illness does not remedy a situation. It is what happens after the diagnosis that matters. Click To Tweet

– Simon Brace

The enemy does not have rules of engagement, and therefore anything goes. Click To Tweet

– Simon Brace

I am convinced that some aspects of this cosmic battle serve as smokescreen to hide work that Satan would rather not have us concern ourselves with. Click To Tweet

– Simon Brace

In my estimation the evangelical church is often reigning down bombs on cardboard tents. We think that we are engaging the enemy when, for the most part, we are attending to a distraction. Click To Tweet

– Simon Brace

 

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