In September 1939 Hitler began his march across eastern Europe by invading Poland. In the three years that followed He seized control of Eastern Europe and began what we know of as World War II. Those were terrible years for those poor people and the human suffering they went through is hard to even get your mind around. 

Six years later the war was over, Hitler was dead and those countries were free to establish their own governments and armies again. They could finally start rebuilding their torn homelands. They did begin rebuilding, but they got focused on eradicating all of the Germans from their countries. The pain of the recent past was so raw that it dominated their fears and behavior. In the next several years millions of Germans were forced out of those Eastern European countries and many of them were brutally murdered in the process. Historians have described it as a time of lawlessness and many innocent Germans suffered and died as victims of the fear that drove the Eastern European people of their day.

While the countries of Eastern Europe were focusing on removing all the Germans from their countries, Stalin was quietly infiltrating their governments with communists. The Russian communists were not seen as a threat because they weren't German. In fact they were helping drive the Germans out. In a process that would take too long to describe here, the Russian communists took over all of Eastern Europe and formed the Soviet Union. The next 40 years were more devastating to those countries than the war years had been. They lost all of their freedoms, and poverty and starvation became the normal way of life for years on end. Communism proved to be a greater threat by far than the Germans whom they were so focused on.

I'm fascinated by that history because I see a picture of something that happens to Christians a lot. We can get so focused on one threat that we can't see how the enemy is moving in the back door. I remember growing up and hearing about the threat of the New Age philosophy coming into churches. Anything that was new or different was labeled as "New Age" and soundly denounced. The problem was that a lot of young people got hurt in the process. The enemy was happy to have church leaders focus on music and clothing styles as long as they pushed people away from grace. 

The fears have changed over the years but the response hasn't. There have been so many new fears that people have picked up and then started labeling people as threats with. They typically use labels like post-modernism, liberalism, fundamentalism, emergent church, and new apostles & prophets. There are legitimate errors in most of those movements but when people get focused on fighting a label or a movement they invariably fall prey to a greater error and damage people around them. They start to resemble the infamous witch hunts of colonial America.

The answer? We're told to run this race with our eyes on Jesus. (Hebrews 12:1) There will always be false doctrines and teachers. They aren't actually our greatest threat. The greater threat is that we get our eyes off of Jesus and completely miss His heart for the people around us. He commissioned us to take the good news of the gospel to the world around us. He didn't ask us to write books and blogs chasing down every false idea or doctrine. Jesus told us that when we "know the truth" it will set us free. So spend time with Him. Ask Him to make Himself more real to you than ever before and you won't get taken out by a back door enemy.

Floyd Yutzy