“ROOTED IN BAD SOIL: HOW AN UNBELIEVING HEART PRODUCES FALSE IDEOLOGIES”
Part Two: Lies with Roots
Not all lies are religious in nature. But all lies have one thing in common, according to the Apostle Paul: They are “speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God” (2 Corinthians 10:5; Emphasis added.)
When such lies dominate the life of an individual or community of people – even a nation – they are characterized by Paul as a “fortress” or stronghold.
Where do such strongholds reside? In the minds and hearts of the people who believe the ruling ideology.
In 2 Corinthians 4:1-6 Paul says that Satan “has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.”
Here we see that two human faculties are necessary for people to “see” the light – or truth – of the gospel. The first is the heart. Paul refers to the “unbelieving,” and we know this is a reference to the heart because that is where faith resides. According to Romans 10:10, “with the heart a person believes,” and we would expect that the corollary is also true: With the heart one disbelieves.
The second faculty is the mind. Once the heart refuses to believe the truth, the mind can be manipulated so that it defends the unbelief.
Every parent who has raised a teenager has probably seen this tendency in action. It doesn’t matter what a parent says, if a teen has rebellion in his or her heart, you will never get the child’s mind to admit they are wrong. The mind defends the heart.
Except that this is a human flaw, not simply a teenage one. Romans 12:2 provides a similar examination of what ails all of us: The world uses pressure to mold us (“do not be conformed to this world”). To extract ourselves from this process, Paul urges us to “be transformed by the renewing of your mind,” undoubtedly by the Spirit-empowered word of God.
Why is the mind so important in this process? Because worldly truths enter the heart through the mind. In fact, every day our minds are assaulted by hundreds, perhaps thousands, of ideas. Many are internally generated; many are externally generated and, upon entrance to our minds, demand an audience. We often embrace or reject thoughts based on the ruling worldview.
In any given culture certain universally accepted “truths” are introduced to us as children, then taught and reinforced over and over again. If those truths are anchored in a scriptural view of the world – as they were for much of our nation’s history, for example – then they are not “raised up against the knowledge of God.”
But if those truths are not biblically-based, then a stronghold takes root that has lifted itself up against the Lord God Most High.
These roots into the hearts and minds of a people are what give such ideological fortresses their power. Without lies and deception, false religions and thought systems have no foundation. But when men believe the deceptions of the Enemy, these lies are given power to control.
This excerpt is from the article, “Rooted in Bad Soil,” which appeared in the January 2014 issue of AFA Journal. [www.afajournal.org/2014/January/012014rooted.html]