Ideas Have Consequences

Tim

Stratton

(The FreeThinking Theist)

|

August 28, 2017

Ideas have consequences! The thoughts and beliefs one possesses shapes the course of one’s life. They influence — if not determine — our destinies. With this in mind, it is clear that the way we choose to think is vital. Our thoughts can either set us free or enslave us.

The Bible is clear that the way we think is of prime importance because our thoughts can take us captive! In fact, the Bible seems to suggest that God is more concerned with our thought life and our state of mind than anything else (Matthew 5:21-22Matthew 5:28Mark 8:33). Paul even teaches us to be in control of our thoughts. Consider two of my favorite passages in the New Testament:

Colossians 2:8 (NIV)

“See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy…”

2 Corinthians 10:5 (ESV)

“We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ”

Paul sets up the battle of ideas! Moreover, he commands us to become “transformed by the renewing of our minds” in Romans 12:2. How does this transpire? This occurs when we choose to take a stand and think according to reality – according to the way things are. Paul is clear that Jesus is God and that God is ULTIMATE REALITY! Check out Colossians 1:16 (ESV):

“For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.”

Therefore, when we take our thoughts captive to obey Christ, we are simultaneously thinking according to reality – Ultimate Reality!

I encourage each one of us to make a commitment to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. This means, I encourage you to take your thoughts captive, before they take you! All people can become transformed by the renewing of their minds by taking their thoughts captive. This might be the most important thing you ever do because everything you think –and do – is ultimately based on your worldview.

FreeThinking Ministries seeks to answer some of these BIG intellectual questions that impact everything else in our lives:

1- Does God Exist?
2- Is Christianity true?
3- Is the Bible reliable?
4- Does life continue after death?
5- Is there meaning to life?

The answer to all of the above is a resounding YES! We can appeal to logic and evidence to prove these things with extremely high degrees of certainty. When one has an intellectual understanding of reality (the way things are), then one can start to take their thoughts captive and freely choose to correspond to reality. When one chooses to take their thoughts captive and think correctly on a regular basis, transformation follows. Just as going to the gym on a regular basis and eating healthy will completely physically transform someone, when you choose to think correctly on a daily basis, you will become utterly transformed mentally!

Although beware, evil loves nothing more than to get us to doubt the truth to the big questions above. This does not mean that it is wrong to have doubts — I still have passing doubts! In fact, if you are a Christian and still struggle with doubt, let me tell you that you are in good company along with Jesus’ disciples. After all, everyone knows Thomas as “Doubting Thomas,” and Peter was in major doubt when he denied Christ three times!

What changed Thomas and Peter from doubters to bold and confident proclaimers of Christ? What transformed these guys from incompetent cowards into messengers willing to die for the gospel that would ultimately transform the planet? One Word: Evidence! Jesus said, “Touch this!” (Talk about apologetics!)

We might not have the wounds of Jesus to touch for ourselves, but God has still provided evidence. In fact, Paul says that there is enough evidence just in nature itself that no one is without excuse! Check it out:

Romans 1:20 (NIV):

“For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.”

Find more examples of this evidence at freethinkingministries.com. We want to be a “toolbox” of sorts for you. We desire to “equip the church to engage the culture!”

When one understands the truth – that God exists and has revealed himself through the person of Jesus Christ – then one has an intellectual foundation in which to take the rest of their thoughts captive. We might have occasional and passing doubts, but when evil attacks us in this manner, we can take our fallacious thoughts captive and compare them to the vast amounts of evidence we have that proves otherwise. Unlike atheism, Christianity, which is equipped with reason and evidence, is not a “blind faith” . . . Christianity is a reasonable faith!

So, I encourage you take your intellectual thoughts captive. If you need help, online resources like freethinkingministires.com, reasonablefaith.org, crossexamined.org, coldcasechristianity.com, seanmcdowell.org, and Mike Licona’s risenjesus.com are available!

When your ideas correspond with reality – and you realize that all humans really are created in the image of God – then you realize that we are all truly equal and we all really do have inalienable human rights! If one rejects the existence of God, then objective and inalienable human rights go down the drain.

Ideas have consequences!

When you see that even your enemies are created in the image of God, then you can actually grow in love with them too!

Ideas have consequences!

When you take your ideas captive and consistently take your thoughts captive to obey the teachings of Jesus Christ, you will be completely “transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:2).

Ideas have consequences!

Let me leave you with Paul’s words to young Timothy (2 Timothy 2:7 ESV):

“THINK over what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything.”

Stay reasonable (Isaiah 1:18),

Tim Stratton

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About the Author

Tim

Stratton

(The FreeThinking Theist)

Tim pursued his undergraduate studies at the University of Nebraska-Kearney (B.A. 1997) and after working in full-time ministry for several years went on to attain his graduate degree from Biola University (M.A. 2014). Tim was recently accepted at North West University to pursue his Ph.D. in systematic theology with a focus on metaphysics.

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