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Stealth Weapons

Posted May 16, 2022 by Ray Patrick

There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.

Ship Killer

AGM-158C in cruise
AGM-158C in cruise

The AGM-158C LRASM (Long Range Anti-Ship Missile) is an air-launched cruise missile designed to destroy naval surface ships. It is also a stealth weapon: its design includes many features that allow it to evade detection by shipborne air-defense radar while making its own targeting emissions nearly unnoticeable. Weapons of this type are among the most serious threats in 21st-century warfare, because they’re almost impossible to detect before it’s too late.

Aftermath of an anti-ship missile
Aftermath of an anti-ship missile

Other Stealth Weapons

Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made …

Should it surprise you to hear that the most ingenious weapons produced by human hands pale in comparison to those of the Evil One? Satan, more than any other adversary, understands the value of stealth. “We do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Eph 6:12).

On this spiritual battlefield, we are subject to hundreds of attacks per day for which our natural defenses are inadequate. One of the adversary’s most effective weapons is the unconscious message. The unconscious message is dangerous because it is communicated without the idea itself ever being directly stated. When deployed in literature, television, movies, and public discourse, these unconscious messages can slip past our conscious thought process, preventing us from logically or morally evaluating them - just as a deadly LRASM can fly unseen through an air-defense radar net.

Currently Active Threats

Mission briefing
Mission briefing

Consider this an intelligence briefing. This is a roll-up of several current threats known to be operating in the spiritual environment. Note that this list is by no means exhaustive.

Stealth Weapon 1: “Your Personal Happiness Is Paramount”

Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
This is the first and great commandment.
And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

If we love God, we ought to do his commandments (John 14:15). In the verses quoted above, Jesus himself explains that the two greatest commandments are 1) to love God and 2) to love our neighbor as ourself.

SW1 operates by injecting the unconscious assumption that the large efforts of your life, such as higher education, ought to be undertaken for your own sake alone, and can possibly help others as kind of a bonus. This point of view has no basis in Scripture. Be on guard against any impulse to serve yourself at the expense of others; this does not come from God.

Stealth Weapon 2: “Your Family And Culture Are Prisons”

You’ll find SW2 is truly ubiquitous once you keep your eyes peeled for it. Virtually every TV show or movie aimed at children and young adults has this underlying message. Even innocuous comedies somehow work this message into the subtext. See My Big Fat Greek Wedding (“My father came to America and worked his fingers to the bone to provide for my family, and wants to keep our Orthodox family culture alive. What a goofy idiot!”) or Finding Nemo (“The worst thing a father can be is overprotective - never mind if he’s totally correct about danger.”) to take two random examples.

Our culture is working tirelessly to destroy fathers and families, selling divorce to gullible women as some perverse, hedonic, “Eat-Pray-Love” fantasy that is diametrically opposed to God’s design.

Since so much of our mass-media oozes oikophobia, much diligence is required on our part. It’s hard to “train up a child in the way he should go” if the world attempts to undermine your authority at every turn.

Stealth Weapon 3: “Judge Not”

Matthew 7:1, American Popular Version. Comic by Adam4d
Matthew 7:1, American Popular Version. Comic by Adam4d

SW3 is a hacking tool that allows the enemy to hijack our tendency towards kindness. Ordinarily, sympathy for the plight of those who are suffering the consequences of sin is commendable. However, when inflated beyond what is reasonable, it can blind us to the fact that he is a sinner. We place so much primacy on our feelings rather than on justice that we lose the fortitude to name evil where it walks. In failing to do so, we are being unkind to our neighbor. If you truly seek someone’s good, you will tell him what he needs to hear. I’m sure I’m not alone in saying that I’m immensely grateful for every time someone has done this for me.

Stealth Weapon 4: “You Are A Clump of Cells”

Sometimes it’s easy to spot SW4 in action, as when a car commercial straight-up says “You Are An Electric Vehicle.” Of course, the current (at the time of this writing) debate on Roe v. Wade is another topic apt to provoke the “clump of cells” argument.

Of course, almost no one who claims this has ever really taken it to its logical conclusion (except possibly Daniel Dennett, who maintains that he doesn’t really have a mind.) If we really are the end result of millions of years of chance acting on inanimate matter, then what gives our thoughts any validity at all?

Stealth Weapon 5: “Morality Is Subjective”

SW5 is deployed on anyone who is teetering on the brink of making an immoral decision, but feels the pangs of conscience. It relies on nominalism, the view that absolutes don’t exist beyond being arbitrary labels, wholly invented by human beings. As an astute commenter on Ed Feser’s blog pointed out, accepting nominalism leads to the conclusion that there are no moral absolutes. On first reading, this would seem to vindicate the premise behind SW5, namely “there are no moral absolutes, so you can do what seems right.” However, it also removes the ability to make any moral judgement whatsoever, and no amount of scientism can replace moral knowledge, which is an entirely separate field of enquiry than natural science.

Available Countermeasures

C-RAM (Counter-rocket, artillery, mortar) defensive system in action
C-RAM (Counter-rocket, artillery, mortar) defensive system in action

As mentioned, our natural defenses are inadequate against these stealth weapons. Fortunately, we don’t have to rely on our own strength, but can borrow the very strength of God as long as we abide in him and his words abide in us! (John 15:7)

Prayer

I don’t have to know you at all to know that you aren’t praying enough. Paul exhorts Christians to “pray without ceasing,” (1 Thess. 5:17) which aside from being humanly impossible on a strictly time-based level is also impossible for us spiritually. But God seriously expects us to strive toward holy conduct (see the entirety of 1 Peter) and so being diligent in prayer is a no-brainer.

Prayer will help you against the enemy’s weapons in two ways: 1) it will keep in the forefront of your mind the knowledge that you cannot prevail alone, but must rely on God; 2) it will encourage you to remember the sovereignty of God as an antidote to trusting in the world.

From studying the parts of the Lord’s prayer (Matt. 6, Luke 11), some have distilled its essential components into an acronym: ACTS. There’s no mystical significance to it, but I think it’s a helpful thing to consider.

Scripture

Of course, unless you’re a prophet (and I think that office is closed nowadays), the Holy Spirit can only call to your mind those things which you know. Therefore, you ought to spend a lot of time in the Word of God! I reflect that, for my job, I have no trouble finding the motivation to find my commander’s intent, which is usually published in writing. It is well and good that we should serve our earthly masters (1 Pet 2:18), and to do so, we should work hard to thoroughly familiarize ourselves with what they expect from us. How much more should we learn what God has to say! If you’ve never read the Bible all the way through, start there! You will not regret it.

The Armor of God

Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

As a matter of fact, before you start a cover-to-cover reading plan, you should check out Ephesians 6. It’s full of practical advice on how to live a life pleasing to God - you literally can’t be too familiar with it. It also speaks very plainly about the real spiritual dangers we face in this world: the very source of the “Stealth Weapons” I’ve been referring to. Finally, in it Paul describes the “Armor of God,” namely truth, righteousness, the gospel of peace, faith, salvation, the Spirit, and prayer. With these things, we can know that we have protection from the enemy’s weapons.

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Topics: spiritual-warfare