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Friday, April 08, 2016

Changing Minds

The Bible actually has a pretty dim view of us humans. It includes characterizations like "the intention of man's heart is evil from his youth" (Gen 8:21), "estranged from the womb" and "go astray from birth, speaking lies" (Psa 58:3), and the like. David claims we are sinners from conception (Psa 51:5). It doesn't look good. And then it gets worse. It turns out that, while we are sinners by nature, sin rots the brain (Rom 1:28). We have sick hearts (Jer 17:9).

But we're better than that, right? We're Christians. We have the Word of God and the Spirit of God. We're not as bad as all that. Right?

Of course, if we Christians subscribe to God's Word, then we begin by agreeing that we're as bad as all that. We admit that we are sinners, that we aren't prone to doing good, that we have sin-caused brain damage and sin-sick hearts. Our aim is to "be transformed by the renewal of your mind" (Rom 12:2). This is a given.

The perception is that Christians are stubborn. To be fair, that perception can often be true. There are stubborn Christians just as there are stubborn non-Christians. The suggestion is that we refuse to change our minds, the classic, "I know I'm right; don't bother me with facts." If you're a Christian and that describes you, beware. If you're mind is not changing, you're not paying attention. If God is infinite and we are finite, there is no limit to the amount of change we need in our thinking. We ought to be constantly changing how we think. Paul calls it being "transformed". Theologians call it "sanctification". Our lives should be a constant immersion in God's Word (Titus 3:5) which is bringing about a constant revelation of errors in our thinking and perceptions. We ought to be constantly changing as we align our thinking and hearts more closely with God's thinking and heart. Christians stubborn? Sure, but that's one of the first things that should change.

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