By Kenneth Thomas
One would have to not only deny the studied conclusions of learned men of our day, but many plain Bible passages as well, to argue with the truth of our title for this discussion. Our thoughts translate into our actions. Unless we learn to dismiss the thought which would lead to disobedience, disobedient we will be! Faithfulness conversely works the same way, we must engage in positive thinking which will lead to proper actions in obedience to our Lord. This being true it is extremely important that our thought patterns be guided by divine revelation through God’s word (Psa. 1:2; Jas. 1:18, 21-25; 2 Tim. 3:16-17).
As He Thinketh. . .
Solomon to whom God gave a degree of wisdom above his fellows said, “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he” (Prov. 23:7). Our Lord addressed Himself to this same subject when in Matthew 15:18-19, He stated, “But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile the man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies.”
As you can see, each of the sins listed above finds its source in the mind (heart) of man. That’s where it was conceived. When it is allowed to pass through a gestation period and is finally born as the act, it becomes sin as James states in James 1:13-15. Two of the sins listed in the context, at least, become sin when dwelt upon so as to lack only opportunity to actually carry out, those being fornication and murder. See Matthew 5:28; 1 John 3:15.
I heard a song which left in my mind the sentence structure which I used in a sermon recently called “Living As Christians in a Wicked World.” I took the title from an article I read also. Anyway the song translated into my thinking in these words, “first you think the thoughts, then you talk the talk, then you walk the walk.” You may have heard the song but regardless of that, it portrays biblical truth. If you have read this far, and if you accept the conclusions I have reached as biblical, then you will profit by studying with me further, on:
Some Things That Mold Our Thinking
David prayed in Psalm 19:14, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord my strength and redeemer.” He also pronounced the man (person) as blessed (happy) who meditates on things spiritual (God’s word), day and night (Psa. 1:2). David also said in Psalm 119:11, “Your word have I hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against you.” The apostle Paul admonished Christians to think of certain things so as to have the peace of God in their (own) hearts. “. . whatever things are true . . . noble . . . just . . . pure . . . lovely, of good report . . . praiseworthy, meditate on these things” (Phil. 4:7-8).
The Music We Listen To
If you think you can fill your mind with a steady diet of “hard rock” or “punk rock” music performed by such people as Madonna or Cyndi Lauper and not be adversely affected, then you may as well stop reading right here for you have already been overtaken by Satan’s lures! If you are already hooked on Boy George or Prince or if you enjoy and listen to such groups, as many do, like KISS (which stands for “Kids in Service to Satan” I have been told), you have a problem whether you or your family recognize it or not. It isn’t too late if you are willing to listen, but if such an article as this “turns you off,” I would say it’s mighty close to being too late for you!
Here’s how Madonna is spoken of in a magazine article in Newsweek (3/4/85), “MADONNA: The new woman as classic sex siren, she promises more than an invitation to dance.” I’m not sure of this but it appears that Madonna is a name she’s taken as a spoof and put down concerning the virgin mother of Jesus because and I now quote, “Madonna’s new album, ‘Like a Virgin’ (Sire), recently No. I for three weeks, is already ‘triple platinum.’ In 14 weeks it has sold some 3.5 million copies.” Some of the new rock and punk rock female stars and some of the males glorify the “alternate lifestyle” doctrine of lesbianism and male homosexuality. All of them glorify and advocate what has come to be called “free love.” Brethren, it’s anything but free if I may make a play on their word. It is enslaving and very costly in many cases both physically and especially spiritually (Gal. 5:16-21; 1 Cor. 6:9-10; Rev. 21:8).
When so many young people and some not so young are “turned on” by such as this my friends, if doesn’t speak well for the future of our nation. As Christians we have our work cut out for us and in too many cases we are failing since we are either ignorant of these things or involved ourselves so that few are speaking out in protest. Please read Proverbs 14:34.
When gospel preachers preach, teach and write on such topics as this, they need the parents to reinforce what is stated and written and if we would all stand together we would have a chance to succeed in supporting our children in standing together against such filth.
The Music We Listen to And, See as Well
Along the same lines as the above, yet even more devastating to the minds of young and old alike are the special rock stations such as MTV where those who tune in cannot only hear but view the contortions and bodily gyrations as vulgar, lewd motions are made with the body as the words leave not one thing to the imagination. The frenzies in the audience indicate to any honest observer exactly the intent of the performer.
I can remember when this country (at least a part of it) was so outraged at the swinging hips and vulgarity portrayed by Elvis Presley that Ed Sullivan’s show cut him off from the TV viewing audience at the waist. Today what he did wouldn’t even raise many eyebrows. We have now been conditioned to the place that we aren’t shocked anymore. We have lost the ability to blush as did Israel of old (Jer. 6:15). In order to be capable of discerning between that which is wholesome and good and that which is sinful and unwholesome in God’s sight we must spend time with “the book”I The Hebrews writer indicated this very truth saying, “. . . by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. . . Solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern (know the difference between) both good and evil” (Heb. 5:12,14).
I See Nothing Wrong With It
Too often Christians rather than being “transformed by the renewing of your minds” have been conformed to the world’s way of thinking (Rom. 12:1-2; 1 Jn. 2:15-17; Jas. 4:4). Sadly, the above statement is all too often true of many members of the body, they actually “see nothing wrong with . . . … Think a few minutes with me as you read a list of things that weak, uninformed, worldly-minded members see nothing wrong with:
1. Dancing that tends to produce lasciviousness (Gal. 5:19).
2. Addiction to nicotine (Gal. 6:17; 1 Cor. 6:12; Matt. 5:13-16).
3. Watching the filthy soap operas on TV and other filthy programs as well as attending movies where bad language and immodesty, etc., abound (Eph. 5:11; 2 Cor. 6:15-17; Phil. 2:15).
4. Reading suggestive or sometimes downright pornographic literature (Phil. 4:4-8).
5. Wearing short shorts and halters, going to public beaches and pools and mixing with others even scantier dressed (1 Tim. 2:9) and again, example (Matt. 5:13-16).
6. Listening to and telling filthy jokes (Eph. 4:29; Col. 4:6).
7. Missing the assemblies of the church for trivial matters. See no need to attend every possible service (Heb. 10:24-31; Acts 20:6-7; 1 Cor. 16:1-2; Col. 3:16; 1 Thess. 5:17).
8. Spending money they can’t afford for various things and going into debt for years for something they want, yet giving very little to Christ (1 Cor. 16:1-2; 2 Cor. 8-8; Matt. 6:33).
9. Not diligently studying the Bible and preparing for Bible classes (2 Tim. 2:15; Eph. 4:3,16; 1 Cor. 12:14-27).
10. Rarely, if ever attempting to win a soul to Christ by sending literature, setting up a home study, etc. (Acts 8:4; 2 Tim. 2:2; Heb. 5:12-14).
11. Make little or no attempts to restore the erring to Christ and faithfulness (Gal. 6:1-2; Jas. 5:19-20; Matt. 18:15-17).
12. Consistently put family and friends and sometimes jobs before Christ and faithfulness (Matt. 10:34-37; Lk. 14:26-35).
13. Not visiting the sick, shut-in, etc. (Matt. 25:31-46).
14. Never finding a needy person or family with whom to share their blessings (Eph. 4:28; Lk. 10:30-37).
What has the religion of Christ done to change you? Are you a conformed or a transformed member of the body of Christ?
Guardian of Truth XXX: 8, pp. 236-237
April 17, 1986