The Cross And The Mind
By Henry Teichrob
The most crucial issue of the twentieth century has been captioned as “the battle for the minds of men.” The mind with its abilities – to perceive, to rationalize, to project, to integrate, to analyze, to remember, to fantasize – is both a marvel and a mystery because its patterns of operation are to do with a man’s responses to life-situations.
Scripture clearly reveals that as a man “thinketh in his heart, so is he” (Prov. 23:7), and teaches that the mind is central in shaping a lifestyle when it records, “but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Rom. 12:2). What a man thinks in his mind and what he embraces in his heart determines his life’s direction.
An article by columnist Richard J. Needham, appearing (in 1977) in leading daily newspapers, provides an analysis of the plight of North American society. He reports, “A couple of weeks ago, along the blacked out streets of New York…elected authority was helpless against mobs which pillaged as blithely by day as by night. Some 2,000 stores were looted; some 1,000 fires deliberately set; some 600 policemen injured by bullets, bottles, rocks; some 4,000 looters arrested, with short-term damages placed at 1 billion dollars.”
In answering the question, “Why this explosion of violence, vandalism and criminality?” he states, “I’d hang it on the doctrine of liberalism – faith in the essential goodness of human nature.” While today’s social scientists explain that hatred, crime, violence (sin) is the result of deficient environment, Herbert Butterfield, the great English historian in his modern classic, Christianity and History, specifically warns against such faith when he states that it is essential not to have faith in human nature; such faith is heresy (historically speaking) and a very disastrous one.
There is a desperate need for revival today. In a revival God always brings into focus again the truths which have been blurred by humanistic thinking. Among God’s people today the preaching of the total depravity of man is not popular. In this age of affluence a preacher receives a much better rating if he emphasizes the concepts of being “self-made,” “self-reliant,” “self-sufficient,” and extols the methods of training by which these can be achieved.
Twentieth-century Christians easily forget that all the blessings of life come from God. In many church congregations today there is a preference for psychological explanations, “Christian” entertainment, exciting activities and so-called “successful programs.”
In the midst of it all, the consciousness of the total depravity of man becomes very faint. And the need of the redemptive work at Calvary recedes into the background. By choosing to ignore this fundamental truth, the Church of Jesus Christ imperceptibly drifts into agreement with popular opinion. If the message of man’s depravity is not preached by God’s people, who will do it?
Resolved at Calvary
It is this problem that God resolved in Christ. At Calvary the problem and the solution are brought together. There God’s answer can be realized in Christ Jesus our Lord. There we can agree with God that our only hope is the Savior. Here is the focal point of all history, personal and global. This is the starting point for receiving the “mind of Christ.”
Christians today who have been enthralled with the “wisdom of the world” need to return to the Cross. Forgiveness for “worldly thought patterns” is found here. Only then can the process of “forming the mind of Christ” be carried on as the Spirit leads us into all truth. Then the Word of God becomes that brilliant light on life’s pathway.
A renewed mind is the gateway to a transformed life. Rooted and grounded in Christ, as revealed in the Scriptures, the renewed mind develops a genuine God-consciousness, a true self-image and a Biblically-sound world-view. As the Apostle Paul realized this in some measure in his life, he wrote in Galatians 6:14, “But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.”
This is the message we must proclaim – Calvary and its applications to the human dilemma. This is man’s only hope.
– Reprinted with permission from Revival Fellowship News, No. 4 1977, Canadian Revival Fellowship.