"For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ."
Those words evoked vivid imagery in the minds of the Corinthian believers.
The fortress atop Acrocorinthus
Paul says, however, that our spiritual weapons are "mighty through God" to the pulling down of such battlements. What are those weapons? The apostle isn't specific here, but it's not hard to discern what he means.
In the first place, since he is talking about an ideological battle, the array of weapons he has in mind must be the instruments of truth and righteousness, starting with the gospel message and the Word of God itself. In the second place, and more specifically, it seems clear that he is speaking of the same apparatus he already mentioned just a few chapters earlier, in 2 Corinthians 6:6-7:
By purity, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Spirit, by sincere love, by the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armor of righteousness on the right hand and on the left.
There's no need for a Christian employing such weaponry ever to be timid about the truth or to shrink away in the face of false or anti-christian ideologies. We don't need to compromise with such systems, try to find common ground with them, or engage their leading gurus in dialogue as if we might eventually come to some kind of profound agreement. We have weapons powerful enough to tear those strongholds down.
And we need to employ those weapons and keep at the fight as long as people are barricaded in the fortresses. The goal of our battle plan is to bring as many as possible "into captivity . . . to the obedience of Christ."
Be sure you catch what Paul is saying here. Our aim in the spiritual warfare is not to destroy people, but to liberate them. We're following the lead of our captain, who "[did] not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them."
Acrocorinthus, with the ruins of the Bema (a judge's platform, probably used for everything from tribunal to athletic events) in the foreground
People who barricade themselves in fortresses of lies and deception are enslaved to their sin and their evil ideologies. Our goal is the liberation of as many of them as possible. And we can't relinquish the fight or ease off until the battle is completely over.
The ruins of Corinth, seen from atop Acrocorinthus