Summary: We can't just "feel" our faith - we have to think, and it's time to take our Christianity seriously and renew our minds
March 6, 2016
NOTE: the powerpoint for this sermon, which includes a video and visuals illustrating the message, is freely available at this link:
The asterisks are change cues for the powerpoint points.
I’ve been thinking quite a bit lately about why people think the way they think. In other words, I’ve been thinking about our thinking.
How, for example, can two people look at this shirt I’m wearing, and one person think it’s red, which is clearly the case, and another think it’s purple, or for that matter blue or white?
We’re looking at the same thing and see two completely different things. In the case of my shirt, it could be a simple matter of color-blindness – a physical condition.
But especially in light of the current state of politics – and don’t worry, this message will have very little to do with that – we have enough division in the nation without bringing it into the church – I’ve thought a lot about how people are able to hear what they want to hear, regardless of the facts, or in reality, regardless of the truth.
This is not a case of what’s right for me is right for me and what’s right for you is right for you. That may be OK when it comes to your favorite food or your favorite color or your favorite sport or your preferred vacation destination. #
It’s not a truth that the Rocky Mountains are the best place to go for a vacation. That’s my preference, but you may prefer the beach, or the Appalachians, or even a big city where there are a lot of things you can do.
But it’s not an incontrovertible truth that the Rockies are the best place to visit on vacation. That’s a very individual choice.
But with many other things, and that includes all of the most important things, as scripture defines important, what’s truth is truth. There’s no in-between. There’s a right way to see things and a wrong way to see things.
Paul implied exactly that with Timothy (in 2 Tim 2:15) # when he encouraged him to “rightly handle the word of truth.”
Doesn’t the fact that Paul instructed Timothy to rightly handle the word of truth clearly imply that if you can handle the word correctly, you can also wrongly, or incorrectly handle the word of truth?
And there we come down to the theme of this morning’s message, titled Mushy Minds. Consider this commercial from about 6 years ago, and note how it humorously makes one of the points we’re getting at today. But it’s almost a Screwtape letters kind of tactic – mocking the very truth it illustrates.
One worldview writer called this “shamelessly direct.” #
Play Hulu video clip (embedded clip available in this sermon’s accompanying powerpoint - see link above)
Of course, mushy is what we want to avoid – and not just so our brains are not made tastier for alien consumption.
One definition of mushy is soft, which does relate to our theme today. But the 2nd definition is more related to our look at the mind this morning.
# “Lacking in precision or definition.”
Now this commercial makes us laugh about TV turning our minds to mush, but you know what? Our own thinking can get quite mushy, soft, lacking in precision or definition, depending on how much, and how carefully, we consume, and unwittingly absorb, the worldview of unbelievers.
Our minds are the source of our worldview – that is, the lens through which we see the world around us. Most issues of our day comes down to our worldview. How we think about politics, morality, character, and almost everything else of importance is shaped by how we see the world. And how we see the world can be shaped by a variety of influences in the world.
We will be molded and shaped by the things in our life, and it’s our responsibility to decide which things in our life will have the largest and most significant influence in shaping the way we see life, and everything about life.
Of course, an easy target for something that should not, cannot be, the largest or most significant influence in our worldview is media. It’s an easy target because it’s so pervasive – we cannot escape it. It’s so potentially consumptive. And it is, for the most part, very reflective of an unbiblical worldview. Television, internet, music, entertainment, movies. If these things have too large a role in shaping us, our worldview will be skewed, # even as if we were looking at the world through a fish eye lens changes how everything looks.
This is true, whether we’re talking about pure entertainment, or even news. #