Editorially Speaking

“This Ain’t No Thinkin’ Thing”

In the country song of the same title, Trace Adkins is singing about what he believes to be the unthinking nature of romantic love. In the chorus of the song, he sings:

This ain’t no thinkin’ thing
Right brain, left brain
It goes a little deeper than that
It’s a chemical, physical, emotional devotion
Passion that we can’t hold back
There’s nothin’ that we need to analyze
There ain’t no rhyme or reason why
Cause this ain’t, this ain’t no thinkin’ thing

It is unfortunate that Mr. Adkins, who has been married three times (and was even shot by one of his ex-wives) is as wrong about love between a man and a woman as some Christians seem to be about their relationship with Christ. Love (true love), like true New Testament Christianity, is certainly a thinking thing, and if more people would give true love and true Christianity some thought, we wouldn’t be having the unbelievable divorce rate we’re experiencing in this country, and more New Testament Christians would be functioning as the light and salt to a lost and dying world that their Lord, Jesus Christ, has commanded them to be.

In Matt. 22:37-40 the Bible says:

And Jesus said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.” This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.

Loving God with the totality of who we are, and this includes our mind, is the essence of New Testament Christianity. This is further borne out in Rom. 12:1-2, which says:

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

It has been said that some people make things happen, others watch things happen, and some wonder, after everything is said and done, just what happened. I am afraid there are too many Christians who make up these last two categories. So many of the battles are being lost today because of default. Christians either do not show up for the battle or, when they do, they are not prepared. The apostle Paul said: “Beware lest anyone cheat you [plunder or take you captive] through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ” (Colossians 2:8). To Timothy, he wrote: “Guard what has been committed to your trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge—by professing it, some have strayed concerning the faith” (I Timothy 6:20,21). Does it sound to you like Paul was saying this was going to be easy?

If one forgets that Paul was inspired by the Holy Spirit, he might be tempted to say, “But Paul was an educated man who was acquainted with philosophy and would, therefore, be more concerned with these things than we need be.” Well, one wouldn’t get very far pursuing that line of argument. Peter, an unlearned fisherman, taught that as obedient children we ought to be “sober” and “gird up the loins” of our minds and never return to our former ignorance (I Peter 1:13,14). He also said we need to “arm” ourselves with the mind of Christ (I Peter 4:1). Of course, both of these men were inspired by God and were teaching what Moses and Jesus had taught: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind” (Deuteronomy 6:5; Matthew 22:37).

It worries me that so many Christians think that thinking can be neutral. Thinking is never neutral. Human thoughts have religious roots. Either we will worship God as Creator and Lord, or we will turn away from Him. We will either be for God or against Him. This is exactly what the Lord said: “He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters abroad” (Matthew 12:30). What this means, quite frankly, is that there is a battle going on in our world for the minds of men and women. Either we will serve God with our minds or we will serve Satan.

The kingdom of light-kingdom of darkness dichotomy taught in the Bible has been lost on many 21st Century Christians. Seduced by pluralism, which says ultimate truth doesn’t matter, too many of us have thought that moral virtue can be separated from knowledge. We send our children to state-run schools where anything that resembles Bible-based religion has been effectively expunged, and then we ignorantly wonder why such a system has produced so much functional, cultural and moral illiteracy. We must not be deluded, the current educational crises is directly attributed to the removal of Bible-based morality (virtue) from the educational process. Unless there is a restoration of a transcendent, universal moral order to current education, its walls will continue to crumble. Unless we realize that the development of the intellect and moral character are intimately related, all will be lost.

There is no such thing as a moral vacuum. The intellect will either be guided by that which comes from above or by that which comes from below (cf. James 3:15-4:10). We currently live in a society where teachers, judges and politicians seek to separate virtue from knowledge. Consequently, we are paying a terrible price for such folly. Our families are falling apart as adultery, fornication and pornography run rampant. While homosexuality is sanctioned and protected by the government, drug users and pushers are openly active in our cities and towns. Instead of using “Thou shall not covet” as a guideline, greed has become the supreme ethic of the market place. In other words, “Justice is turned back, and righteousness stands afar off; for truth is fallen in the streets, and equity cannot enter. So truth fails, and he who departs from evil makes himself a prey” (Isaiah 59:14,15).

The preacher told us “there is nothing new under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 1:9). Man will either serve God with all his heart, soul and mind or he will serve Satan. Man will either pull down every stronghold, cast down every argument and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ (II Corinthians 10:4,5), or he will develop a debased mind filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness, uncleanness, greediness, envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, adultery, fornication, drunkenness, heresies, revelries, jealousies, etc. (Romans 1:28; Galatians 5:19-21; Ephesians 4:19). As Paul said in Romans 8:6, “...to be carnally minded is death.” In other words, one will either out-think, out-live and out-die the pagans, or he will spend an eternity in a devil’s hell.

How about you? Are you going to put on your thinking cap so that you can develop a transformed and renewed mind that will direct you to perform those things that are the good and acceptable and perfect will of God (Romans 12:1-2)? Well, then, instead of complaining about the deep or lofty intellectual level of some of the articles in this little magazine, as some are inclined to do from time to time, why not gird up the loins of your mind and get ready to think things out and think things through? (Incidentally, it will probably surprise some of these folks to learn that the eighth and ninth grade levels are about as lofty as we ever get.)

I remain convinced that the Christian must be ready for the most strenuous mental activity, and that he or she must never be satisfied with an unexamined faith. The Christian’s faith must not consist only of those things that are easy and superficial. If it does, it will be woefully lacking. Didn’t Peter tell us that Paul sometimes wrote those things that were hard to understand, things which the untaught and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures (II Peter 3:16)?

The Christian’s faith must be thoroughly thought out, and in doing so he may have to discard something here and there; but that which remains—his faith—will be his in such a way that nothing (philosophy and vain deceit) nor anyone (angels, powers and principalities) will be able to take it away from him. Then, and only then, will the Christian be able to give an answer for the hope that is in him with meekness and fear (I Peter 3:15).

Remember, the Christian is commanded to love God with all his mind. Consequently, and as the Negro College Fund has drummed into us over the years, a mind is a terrible thing to waste!

(All editorials are written by Allan Turner. You can contact him at allan@allanturner.com )

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