The Fog of War
To kick-off the first general session, Eric Ludy, bestselling author, pastor, and lead instructor at Ellerslie Discipleship Training in Colorado, spoke about the fog of war.
Fog of war is often used to describe what a soldier goes through when he’s in actual battle, and no longer have a sense of place. In training, he has a sense of order and training. When he enters the battle conflict, he feels confused. Doesn’t know where the enemy is and often gets a sense of displacement. It’s psychologically challenging for him and makes him want to flee.
The fog of war is a very real thing in the battle for truth, and filmmakers are on the front lines. Ludy reminds us that we have an enemy that is actively seeking to destroy us. The Bible encourages us in Ephesians 6:10 to “be strong in the Lord and power of His might, wrestle not against flesh and blood.” He suggests the best way to deal with it is to recognize the battle.
In and of yourself, you’re weaker than this enemy. You desperately need one stronger to come to your aide. You need to be rescued. The stronger One has come. In Christ, you are delivered from the clutches of this ancient enemy as demonstrated in Rom. 8:31 and I Cor. 10:3.
In Christ, you have God-given weapons to humiliate this enemy. God uses us to publicly shame and mock the enemy in the name of our Shepherd Jesus.
Dismissal of concern
Ludy asked, “Are you going to audaciously enter into the devil’s theater of communications and attempt to speak truth in it? I don’t think he is going to react well to that.”
The Romance of Film
In filmmaking, you’re doing what you love, hopefully, getting paid for it, receiving credit for it and get lots of pats on the back.
As Christians, we are engaged in a battle for truth and ideas. Devil has a slice of this and you’re coming straight into his territory.
The Romance of War
Often, young men believe in an elusive romantic side to warfare. Yet, the reality of war is one where he finds himself in the bloody trenches where can hardly see straight, think straight, in foxholes filled with bodies. Pain inside is choking. No water, no food, needs to go to the bathroom, but can’t move. Can’t remember why he’s there. He’s in the fog of war. Despair is following him.
As I Peter 4:12 says, don’t consider it strange when you experience trials of many kinds.
“Why does it seem like everyone else’s life is going more smoothly than yours. Welcome to the war,” Ludy declared.
The very real threat of film
The medium of film has the potential to impact the world for Christ faster and cheaper than most anything else. Everybody encounters difficulties. But as Christians, we encounter bonus difficulties, especially spiritual challenges.
“Like automatically check the bonus difficulties box if you’re a Christian,” Ludy quipped. “The Christian filmmaker gets bonus difficulties on top of bonus difficulties!”
Prepare for war
How do you deal with the fog of war?
First, remember when the air was clearer. Remember back when you were receiving your command, your strategy.
The weapons of our warfare and strategy is given to us in the Word of God. This is our battle plan.
He used a passage from the Silver Chair from the Chronicles of Narnia to demonstrate.
In chapter 2, Aslan’s giving Jill a trust. He tells her when you go down to the edge of Narnia, you will not be able to see clearly. Remember, I will give you the signs. Do not turn from the signs. Here on the mountain, I’ve spoken to you clearly. When you get down from the mountain, won’t look as you expect them to look. Pay no attention to appearances.
The word of God is still sound and still true, even in the fog of war. Don’t retreat from the battle. Remember what you saw on the mountain. When you head down, the crazy people will await you.
“You represent something (spirit of God) they have refused in their life,” Ludy explained. “When you come down from the mountain you’re seeing Jesus Christ and His majesty. You’re fighting for Jesus that He might receive glory. For judgment is coming, and only One name for salvation – Jesus!”
He asked do you want to win the battle? According to Mark 9, you do it with prayer and fasting.
“We say, ‘I didn’t sign up for this!’ But when you said ‘yes’ to Jesus, you did say, ‘Jesus I give you everything.’ You did sign up for it, you’re just unprepared for battle,” Ludy insists.
In Adam, you cannot win. In Christ, you have the victory. You can’t fight this battle in the first man (Adam). Put off the old man, live a different life. Be a new creature in Christ.
Alternative Routes Commonly Picked Today
- Be strong in scriptwriting and in the power of good storytelling.
- Be strong in filmography and the power of field of depth.
- Be strong in the power of acting talent.
- Be strong in the power of sets.
But Ludy argues, “The way we win this battle is in Christ, and what He can produce.”
The Proper Order of Operations
It’s not that scriptwriting isn’t good or important, but he urges not to put it out of the order of operation. Be strong in Christ, first.
“The reason we’re excellent at what we do is the glory of the Lord,” Ludy proclaimed.
The flesh and spirit very much at odds with one another. Flesh wars at that which is of the spirit. We have to side with Jesus. The way we truly serve is under Him.
“Stand firm in Him if we want to see this world set free,” Ludy related. “Do NOT give up, even if it seems we’re losing ground.”
The word for fast in Isaiah 58 is ‘Tsum – the verb.’ The word for fast actually means to shut the mouth; to choose to not open and partake. To fast.
If you want to deal with that fog, do it the Lord’s way, and that’s by keeping your mouth shut. Purposely choose to be glad in the way God does things.
“Select a more difficult pattern, the more challenging way.”
Christ is our example in Isaiah 53:7, “He was oppressed and afflicted but did not open His mouth.” Jesus is showing us how to win the battle. Shut your mouth.
Christianity God’s Way
There is an Old Testament pattern for carrying the presence of God. We see it in Ezekiel 1-3. God uses glorious creatures called cherubim. In Ezekiel, God says, I chose weakness to show My strength.
“This realm of Christian filmmaking is so ego driven, so image-driven, celebrity, it’s the reason a lot of us are attracted to it. We must humble ourselves and give Jesus Christ the glory. It’s not going to be you,” Ludy concluded.
Choose a fast of saying ‘no’ to our way and ‘yes’ to God’s.
For more resources from Eric Ludy and his ministry training tools go to: Braveheartedchristian.com
Written by Terri Hall
Music by Michael Boggs