1 Peter 1:13-19
Satchel Page – What’s your philosophy on aging? He answered, ‘It’s simple; it’s a question of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it don’t matter!
What is the Mind?
In the Bible, Old and New Testament the word mind normally refers to the inner being—the seat of the will and the emotions. “We look in vain in the Old Testament and New Testament for anything like scientific precision in the employment of terms which are meant to indicate mental operations.” Biblically, the mind is simply the “inner being” or the sum total of all our mental, emotional, and spiritual faculties, without drawing fine distinctions between them.” The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
Ryan Holiday in his little booklet ‘THE OBSTACLE IS THE WAY’
So, what if you focused on what you CAN change? That’s where you can make a difference. And what is up to us?
- Our emotions
- Our judgments
- Our attitude
- Our perspective
- Our desires
- Our decisions
- Our determination
This is our playing field, so to speak. Everything there is fair game.
What is not up to us? Well, you know, everything else. The weather, the economy, circumstances, other people’s emotions or judgments, trends, disasters et cetera. If what’s up to us is the playing field, then what is not up to us are the rules and conditions of the game. To argue, to complain, or worse, to just give up, these are CHOICES.”
David Kupelian “The Marketing of Evil”
Millions of Americans today accept ideas and behaviors that would have horrified all previous generations. WHY?
- Why is anti-Americanism becoming commonplace – among Americans?
- What’s behind the sexual revolution – in middle schools?
- Why are parents increasingly afraid to let their children watch TV?
- Why is our legal system criminalizing public prayers?
- Why do half of all American marriages fall apart – including Christian marriages?
- How is it possible that near-term babies are legally aborted – despite public disapproval?
- Why is it increasingly hard to know if experts are telling us the truth?
“The plain truth is that within the space of our lifetime, much of what Americans once almost universally abhorred has been packaged, perfumed, gift-wrapped, and sold to us as though it had great value. By skillfully playing on our deeply felt national values of fairness, generosity, and tolerance, these marketers have persuaded us to embrace as enlightened and noble that which all previous generations since America’s founding regarded as grossly self-destructive – and in a word, evil.”
Rod Dreher “LIVE NOT BY LIES” (A manual for Christian Dissidents)
“In his landmark 1966 book, THE TRIUMPH OF THE THERAPEUTIC, the American sociologist and cultural critic Philip Rieff said the death of God in the West had given birth to a new civilization devoted to liberating the individual to seek his own pleasures and to managing emergent anxieties. Religious Man, who lived according to belief in transcendent principles that ordered human life around communal purposes, had given way to Psychological Man, who believed that there was no transcendent order and that life’s purpose was to find one’s own way experimentally. Man no longer understood himself to be a pilgrim on a meaningful journey with others, but as a tourist who traveled through life according to his own self-designed itinerary, with personal happiness his ultimate goal. This was a revolution even more radical than the 1917 Bolshevik event, said Rieff. For the first time, humankind was seeking to create a civilization based on the negation of any binding transcendent order. Rieff predicted that communism would not be able to withstand the cultural revolution coming from the West, one that purported to set the individual free to pursue hedonism and individualism. If there is no sacred order, then the original promise of the serpent in the Garden of Eden – ‘You shall be as gods” – is the FOUNDATIONAL PRINCIPLE OF THE NEW CULTURE. Even church leaders, he wrote, were lying to themselves about the ability of the institutions they led to resist the therapeutic. Rieff foresaw the future of religion as devolution into watery spirituality, which could accommodate anything. In therapeutic culture, which has everywhere triumphed, the great sin is to stand in the way of the freedom of others to find happiness as they wish. This goes hand in hand with the sexual revolution, which, along with ethnic and gender identity politics, replaced the failed economic class struggle as the utopian focus of the post 1960 radical left. Christian resistance on a large scale to the anti-culture has been fruitless, and is likely to be for the foreseeable future. WHY? Because the spirit of the therapeutic has conquered the churches as well – even those populated by Christians who identify as conservative. Relatively few contemporary Christians are prepared to suffer for their faith, because the therapeutic society that has formed them denies the purpose of suffering in the first place, and the idea of bearing pain for the sake of truth seems ridiculous.”
Orwell in “1984” describes it for us
“It was as though some huge force were pressing down upon you – something that penetrated inside your skull, battering against your brain, frightening you out of your beliefs, persuading you, almost, to deny the evidence of your senses. In the end the PARTY would announce that two and two made five, and you would have to believe it. It was inevitable that they should make that claim sooner or later: The logic of their position demanded it. Not merely the validity of experience but the very existence of external validity was tacitly denied by their philosophy. The heresy of heresies was common sense.”
Rod Dreher “Live not by Lies”
In our time, we do not have an all-powerful state forcing this on us. This dictatorship is far more subtle. Under soft totalitarianism, the media, academia, corporate America, and other institutions are practicing Newspeak and compelling the rest of us to engage in doublethink every day. Men have periods. The woman standing in front of you is to be called ‘he’. Diversity and inclusion means excluding those who object to ideological uniformity. Equity means treating persons unequally, regardless of their skills and achievements, to achieve an ideologically correct result.
To update on Orwell line to our own situation; “The Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command.” Many Christians will see through these lies today but will choose not to speak up. Their silence will not save them and will instead corrode them. Under the emerging tyranny and wokeness, conservatives, including conservative Christians, learn to practice one or more forms of mental self-defense. The ones who are most deeply deceived are those who convince themselves that they can live honestly within woke systems by outwardly conforming and learning how to adapt their convictions to the new order.”
“What did it mean to live by lies? Accepting without protest all the falsehoods and propaganda that the state compelled its citizens to affirm – or at least not to oppose – to get along peaceably under totalitarianism. Everybody says that they have no choice but to conform, and to accept powerlessness. But that is the lie that gives all the other lies their malign force. The ordinary man may not be able to overturn the kingdom of lies, but he can at least say that he is not going to be its loyal subject.”