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Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Think Not

I cannot tell you how many times I've heard this story. "I used to believe that homosexual behavior was a sin, but then a family member came out as gay and I changed my mind." We got a clear example of this recently. Lauren Daigle, if you don't know, is a contemporary Christian music darling. Recently she was interviewed on a radio show and asked about her views on homosexuality. "Do you feel that homosexuality is a sin?" She couldn't give an answer. "I can't honestly answer on that," she said. "I have too many people that I love that they are homosexual. I don't know." I was interested in the question: "Do you feel that ...?" It demanded the response. No one asked her what she thought. So what she "thought" was determined by how she felt.

We're not doing that much anymore -- thinking. Think about it. (Small joke there.) There is a crowd demanding a minimum wage of $15/hour, but is anyone thinking about where that will come from? No. They like the sound of "$15/hour." It feels good. Women's rights people are demanding the right to kill their babies at will and prosecute for murder those who kill their unborn babies (they use that term then) if they did not will it. Inconsistent and emotional. Our culture minimizes faith because Science is reasonable right up until Science declares that they're foolish for declaring, for instance, that there are actual differences between men and women. Not thinking things through. The current morality demands the right to redefine marriage so that two people of the same sex can wed, but fervently refuses to allow anything else -- polygamy, polyamory, marrying a fence post, whatever. On what basis? No logical one, to be sure. It is compassion and not reason that causes people to embrace "gender fluidity," not facts or reasoning.

We are not being trained to think. Logic classes used to be taught at the grade school level and are now hard to find at the college level. Analytical thinking, critical thinking, logic, these kinds of things are no longer part of our experience. We're not taught to think. We're not encouraged to think. It's not our purpose in life, our goal, our aim. The one and only question worth examining is "How do you feel?" And, look, didn't Jesus Himself say, "Think not" (e.g., Matt 5:17; Matt 10:34; John 5:45)?

Here's a little hint. What I just did there ... was ask you to think. Did Jesus say that? If He did, what did He mean? Because renewing our feelings is never listed in Scripture as something to do but renewing the mind is (Rom 12:2; Eph 4:23). Jesus did say, "Do not think ...", but it was the beginning of a sentence that went on to say what not to think and what to think. The feeling person would have felt good that Jesus said, "Think not"; the thinking person would have objected.

In Matthew 21 the Pharisees challenged Jesus to tell them His authority. He offered a counter question. "The baptism of John, from where did it come? From heaven or from man?" (Matt 21:25). It goes on to say, "And they discussed it among themselves, saying, 'If we say, "From heaven," He will say to us, "Why then did you not believe him?" But if we say, "From man," we are afraid of the crowd, for they all hold that John was a prophet'" (Matt 21:25-26). They thought it through very carefully ... without ever considering the truth. They were afraid. They felt like it was a no-win question. They never thought about the truth.

Scripture talks a lot about thinking. "Finally, brothers," Paul writes, "whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things" (Php 4:8). Isaiah wrote, "You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You" (Isa 26:3). Paul declared, "We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ" (2 Cor 10:5).

So, you decide. Are you going to lead with your heart (Jer 17:9) or renew your mind? Are you going to feel your way or "think on these things"? In a world that seems to be hardly able to think its way out of paper bag, where are you going to operate? In a renewed mind or by "following your heart"?

1 comment:

Craig said...

Matt Walsh write quite a bit about the Lauren Daimler thing and made some good points. But I do agree that too often people base things on feelings, not thought out responses.

I also think it’s fair to point out that the question was probably intended as a trap, rather than a serious request for a real answer.