Remember the words from the Apostle Paul in Ephesians 6, that we must fight against the powers and principalities of this world. We do not war against flesh and blood but against the evil projects motivated by dark forces in the heavens, which drive the wicked things put into motion by people who hold sway over institutions.
Paul could not have been more clear that (1) service to Christ means spiritual warfare, at least some if not most of the time during our walk, and (2) we can usually discern the strongholds of Satan by looking for powers and principalities. Satan is not stupid. The Bible never claims Satan lacks shrewdness. Nor does the Bible ever say Satan is complacent or lazy. Wherever there is power and money, Satan will send his dark forces to infiltrate and subvert.
Nowhere in the Bible does God ever tell us to indulge our fears and back down before evil. Plentiful verses point to the need to show courage as a form of loving God.
At times it has disheartened me to see fellow Christians shrink in fear and surrender to evil before the wealth and institutional power of people who do wrong. For instance, when Albert Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and arguably the most powerful man in the Southern Baptist Convention, tweeted his support for Southwestern Baptist leaders who had been very publicly exposed for lying and suppressing the Christian testimony of their employee, I could grow discouraged by seeing how entrenched Mohler and his cronies remain. I could lose heart.
But I won’t lose heart. There are people who do not fear Mohler enough to surrender to him. I will continue working with them. We have to stand up to people whom the Lord, through His blessed providence, reveals as wolves in sheep’s clothing. Certainly for Al Mohler to know that his protégés, Adam Greenway and Randy Stinson, publicly lied and sought to harm the career of someone who was sharing his Christian witness, and to still proclaim his support for them, no question can remain about whether Mohler (and by extension, the whole Convention) truly stands against evil. It might be that Mohler is double-minded, or torn between his desire to be true to God and his attraction to the alluring gifts of evil. It might be that Mohler has entirely delivered himself to the devil and is working day and night to bring down the Southern Baptist Convention. I do not know everything and cannot see inside Mohler’s heart. But Jesus tells us to know the tree by its fruit and the fruit by its tree. Mohler’s deeds and words are not the deeds and words of someone wholly committed to Christ and scripture. They are the fruits of someone who is at best double-minded and at worst enthralled by wicked motives.
Since Mohler is running for president of the Southern Baptist Convention, he serves now as the perfect litmus test for people’s willingness to serve the Lord with all their heart. mind, body, and soul. Our God is a God of truth. We know from scripture that God hates lies and lies come from Satan. We know that Mohler publicly affirmed his support for people who lied. If people shrink from confronting Mohler and rebuking him, then we know that those people are gripped by a spirit of fear. And a spirit of fear does not come from God.
Ergo, the Southern Baptist Convention stands at perhaps its most frightening crossroads. The Lord has given us the road map and the terms of the great testing to come in 2020. If Mohler ascends to the presidency of the SBC and his vast network of cronies remains unchallenged and entrenched, then we know that the SBC is a power and principality to be fought and resisted. And if people lack the courage to fight it, then they do not have a quibble with us, the ones who are resisting–they have a quibble with God. There’s no question who will win that quibble.