If it is still in our Bibles that it is possible to be "outwitted by Satan," and if we still believe in the 21st century that he has clever "designs" (2 Corinthians 2:11), then it should not strain credulity that he is up to his old tricks in our day. We should not be surprised when a brother or sister brings a new demonic wile to our attention; indeed, we should commend that person and affirm that we are up against the spirit world (Ephesians 6), not the visible world. We would do well to have our antenna engaged throughout the day.
The books of Ezra and Nehemiah are like a playbook on this subject. The Israelites are minding their business trying to rebuild the Temple and the wall around Jerusalem. (Expect an intensification of demonic activity whenever the people of God are trying to build God's kingdom, whether then or now.) The principalities and powers employed the following stratagems, one after another, to scuttle their work:
- Pretense of friendship (Ezra 4:2)
- Discouragement (Ezra 4:4; Nehemiah 4:9-10)
- Hiring counselors against them (Ezra 4:5)
- Legal accusation (Ezra 4:6)
- Infiltration by intermarriage (Ezra 9:1-2)
- Ridicule (Nehemiah 4:1)
- Fear (Nehemiah 4:12)
- Fomenting internal dissension and quarrelling (Nehemiah 5:1)
So we see that Satan's strategies may be overt or may be under the radar. What follows is an example of the second variety:
A woman (I'll call her K) wrote to WORLD that she works for a marketing company. Her job is to place advertising in local grocery and drug stores. Recently she was asked to introduce an ad for the drug called "Plan B One-Step," which is being advertised as a morning-after pill that prevents pregnancy.
Something didn't sit right with K, who did research on her own and learned that the precise workings of Levonorgestrel, the active ingredient in the pill, are not clearly known by the manufacturer. The progestin may kill the sperm to prevent conception---or it may somehow inhibit the uterus from receiving the fertilized egg.
The latter would make the product an abortion pill---if we are still defining "abortion" as the termination of a pregnancy, and if we are still defining pregnancy as a state in which a sperm has fertilized an egg. The company producing Plan B One-Step pointedly claims that the pill does not "terminate pregnancy." But "pregnancy" is a fuzzy word in the public's mind---n'est-ce pas? (Most of us non-biologist types picture little half-formed fetuses.)---creating the potential for mischief with terminology.
Is this just being nit-picky? Is someone going to step up and argue that a fertilized egg isn't human life until it has been planted into the uterus? Because if we get bogged down there, ladies and gentlemen, I think we are in bad shape. If the business of being a Christian has become a matter of finding out how far we can go without sinning, we have already lost our way. It is Satan's finest strategy.
To hear commentaries by Andrée Seu, click here.