I believe the most important thing we can do in life is to think, hopefully I will stimulate some excitement to spend time expanding you minds & studying – thinking (maybe even at the expense of the TV) But be aware that ignorance is not bliss, we need to be educated if we are to be effective.
I encourage you to first watch the Video at http://www.livingwaters.com/ Titled: evolution vs God. While focusing on the Creation vs Evolution issue the content highlights how as a society thinking has been affected by the resolve of a people wanting to remove the need for there to be a God responsible for all things. I believe that ever since Darwin was used to loosen the grip of an over controlling church on society we have been indoctrinated either directly or indirectly by these beliefs.
Can you remember biology classes – teaching that we evolved from fish or apes? Have you seen the about national geographic shows? Who has seen David Attenborough? Everything on those shows leads back to millions & billions of years & evolution. Most people don’t take the time to really stop to think about the correctness of what is taught or question the basic tenants of the discussion. Basically some things are accepted without too much questioning.
The people we see in the video are “Intellectuals” who have been convinced by science that there is truth in evolution. Note the affect on their belief in God. Largely atheists initially they believed evolution was proven, but eventually conceding that they are believing because of faith in man’s teaching. It is worth looking at the whole video as it eventually gets right to the heart of the matter where they start to question beliefs that they thought were facts.
I know that in a church community there are more people who look into this topic than in society as a whole but as a straw poll how many Christians have done enough study into the evolution / creation issue so that they would have more than a blind faith in God creating the world? Or even worse may have in some way always believed in evolution.
All too easily we accept what the majority believes, that what is taught as normal, basically having foundational beliefs ingrained in the psyche of people by what is projected as right by society. In these current times this tends to lead most people away from God as our societies values become more relative & less biblical. We need to be very careful what we accept . I am going to use a couple of examples to highlight where we can be a bit lazy in our thoughts & be drawn into complacency.
Our thoughts lead to actions; both positive and negative. What shapes our thoughts is the key to how we act, if our thoughts conform with the world & society how are we to be the change agents that God designed us to be?
Romans 12:2 “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
Jesus was critically aware of this problem, but he has a plan for nurturing his people.
Mark 6:34 “Jesus came out, saw a great multitude, and he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd, and he began to teach them many things.”
He knew that they needed to be taught & led because in the lives of many the views of the individual tends to be led by the direction of society & tend to sway the majority. My own early adult life and to a certain extent my current thought processes have been critically affected by my environment. I would have been a very different person if I had not been challenged to read on a daily basis some 15 years ago. We can consciously think about change but it really takes commitment and effort to change. Habits are formed by the outworking of our thought process shaped by our environment, by what goes into our mind. Through being careful about what is put into your mind you can change your habits.
What do you want your future to be like?
How important is it for you to fulfill your God given role in the world?
In order to fulfill your role for God it is important to understand the importance of thinking. Examine your thoughts to see if you consider these issues to be important or is it ok to allow our thinking to go with the flow?
First let me share with you what I consider to be one of the most important quotes I have ever heard, partly because of what is said but more importantly because of who said it.. “WHAT LUCK FOR RULERS THAT MEN DON’T THINK” This quote was from ADOLF HITLER. Can you imagine a whole society being swayed to believe that Jews were worse than Rats? Yes even with the limited media available to Adolf he was able, through propaganda to oversee the Holocaust.
How much more is the average mind today transformed by the total inundation of media input? Yes it is more subtle & maybe it is not likely that we will exterminate a race, or is it? Think on this: during the WW2 Holocaust it is estimated that between 5.5 – 6 million Jews were killed.
Statistically in our safe developed society every day it is estimated that there are some 125,000 abortions; that is 40-50 million per year! How can this have happened ? Would a THINKING society see this as Ok ? Especially as most of this is subsidized by our health care system. I’m trying not to be personal or political here just prompting thought. Who is worse, are we more barbaric now or was Hitler? Abortion is legal and accepted in certain parts of the world because as long as values are relative without having a firm place to go to determine what is right & wrong our society is shaped by thinking that has gradually moved over the years; definitely away from what God would accept as right. How has this happened? Do we as a community really THINK about issues?
Please don’t take offense & be aware that God is a God of forgiveness & his heart for life and His forgiveness for those who have fallen in any area, but until issues are even seen as wrong, do we need to even ask for forgiveness? Do we open the door to the release God can provide? To be able to move forward in life, God will release all guilt & pain when we ask for forgiveness.
My point is that as society shifts its values well away from what was the foundational Christian structure, we are drawn along with it . An alternative is to take the time to THINK, to question, and to ask God what is RIGHT! Not just what is accepted as legal and normal in our society.
1 Cor 3:19 “For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight. As it is written: “He catches the wise in their craftiness”
Here is another example, lets start with our next generation. Are you a Simpsons fan? I actually find it very funny but at the same time I hoped my kids weren’t into it, in fact we don’t watch the show, and when our kids were at home it was rarely on; thankfully Heather didn’t find it particularly funny.
Have you thought about what is taught to our children by that show?, Who is the hero?, Who is the fool, the brunt of jokes?, What respect is given to parents? This is one show, and there are many examples where the values of a healthy home life are not just challenged but totally discarded.
Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.”
Ephesians 6:1-3 “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother (which is the first commandment with a promise), that it may be well with you, and that you may live long on the earth.”
How are we as Christians addressing this problem?
Maybe we should consider reading our bible , & encourage our children to as well. I’m not just talking about our kids, we have parents and what I do in my attitude to them shows my children how to act, maybe it will be useful when I’m older to have shown respect for my parents. This issue has a far reaching effect on society as respect for not just parents but all forms of authority is being removed.
Another issue to consider is:
1 Corinthians 7:8-9 “To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is good for them to remain single as I am. But if they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion.”
How does our society view this one? Where do we go for guidance? Womens weekly .. Cleo..Playboy.. various publications?
I’m not passing judgement here but the explosion of unmarried mothers, broken homes etc is a major social and financial burden on our society. I’m also not saying that some marriages should not end; it is just too easy now not to try.
My parents have been married for 61 years now, and I’m guessing from what I have witnessed that there has been at least 50 years of conflict & struggle; but they taught me a lesson. 32 years later Heather & I are still together , the example set for us has been invaluable, but believe me we have had our moments! The key here is not just endurance; my parents were never exposed to the thought of reading about what Gods plan was for marriage, personal development or the importance of reading the bible. If we want relationships to work we have to work on them.
The main reason Heather & I are hanging together is the fact that we have been willing to work on our issues by personally addressing our shortcomings, reading many marriage books , attending many courses and changing our basic thinking.
Ephesians 5:33 “However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.”
One of the books and courses we discovered was based around this verse; “LOVE & RESPECT” , this is a book & course I highly recommend to both married and almost married people to attend.
As Christians how much of our thinking is either shaped by the values of God or by the norms of society?
God has given us a solution, there is abundant help for us in the bible but are we prepared to devote sufficient time to overcoming the inundation of thoughts poured into us by the media? Where you get your input will directly determine how you think.
Do you spend time each day in study/prayer/meditation to get focused, and allow God to work with your spirit to shape your daily thoughts? How much time will you spare?
WHERE YOUR HEART IS THERE YOU WILL SPEND YOUR TIME
In general we are swamped with thought processes that create our beliefs & understanding of what our life should be about & how we fit in the world.
The news.. commentary shows.. eg 7:30 or insight.. today tonight.. sunrise. Etc.. radio morning shows.. & in some ways more importantly the serious talkback shows.. do they have a Christian flavour?
What would be the input to your mind on subjects such as abortion .. homosexuality.. family..relationships.. personal safety ..fear? In our society we are swamped with socially acceptable humanistic relativity: What is right in the eyes of man. I would be surprised if anyone could cite input from the media which is clearly biblical; following God’s plan.
This barrage must by definition require even more study of the word, meditation and prayer on a regular basis. How involved in positive mind changing activity are you?
Our church is currently studying “The Purpose Driven Life”, this is designed to shape our thoughts about who we are, how God has an impact on our life & what we are purposed to do for God. Unless we are engaged in this type of thought molding activity our actions will not change.
What do we need to do if we are to get guidance from God regarding what is right & wrong? How we should live ? What type of relationships should we embrace? Etc. I encourage you to read through “The Purpose Driven Life” by Rick Warren. This is even more important for you if in the back of your mind you are saying: “ahh I’m not worth much, how can I be of value?”
GENESIS 1:27 “So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” Unless you are prepared to fill your brain with the right thoughts you will be swallowed up by the worldly thinking that “you came from nothing & will finish as nothing.”
DONT BELIEVE THE LIE!
Thank God for His Blessings and the provision He has made for us in leaving the owners manual for life: THE BIBLE.
Make sure you read and understand it!