Wednesday, January 14, 2009

sexualizing, dumbing down and the reprobate mind

I am probably going out on a limb with this one, but here goes. I am no expert, but I suspect there is a link between the so-called "sexual revolution" and the "dumbing down" of Western culture.

You don't have to know much about brain function to know that sexual thinking is a "lower brain" function. Not to be confused with romance - transcendent thinking that makes use of higher brain function - mere sexualization involves very little thinking. And Brains tend to change over time based on habitual thought patterns. The more human thinking is habitually sexualized, the less higher brain function will take place out of sheer habit. By the same token lower thinking will become ingrained. The result is all around us and our sexualized society is getting "dumber and dumberer".

"You do that and it will stay that way", is a broadly accurate description of brain function.

Amid all that civilization stands to lose, a clear and worrying consequence of such lowered thinking is the tendency of our society to become less and less concerned with the things of God. I believe there may be a link here, too, between sexualization of human thinking and the loss of theology.

Even those attempts by some religions to historically link spirituality with sex are losing ground as people lower and lower their vision of what human life is about.

The Authorized Version of the Bible (KJV) suggests that God Himself may be washing His hands of those who have lost interest in theology, when the apostle St. Paul says, "And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind..." (Romans 1:28) To the Philippians he writes that, "many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things" (Philippians 3.18-19).

What you “set your mind” on can put all of your thinking at risk of becoming foolish. And atheism is caused by foolishness. Long ago it was written, “the fool says in his heart, 'there is no God'” (Psalm 14.1) And “thinking themselves to be wise, they became fools” (Romans 1.22) Clearly the sophomoric and lame arguments against the biblical God by such new atheism champions like Oxford University's Richard Dawkins, and other best-selling authors, show that no citadels of civilization are safe from the onslaught of mental stupidity today. One is at a loss to say what is more remarkable: that otherwise intelligent, articulate and witty people advance such dumb arguments or that educated and thinking people buy them.

You decide. And then ask yourself how you and I can follow the advice of St. James and remain aware that "Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: keep oneself unstained from the world" (James 1.27).

What makes it so important to guard our thoughts is that the eternal destiny of souls is at stake. St. Paul wrote to the Romans about the hazard of what I am calling “lower thinking” when he warned, “those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God's law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God” (Romans 8.5-8).

God will not accept atheists into Heaven. Even Christians can lose their faith depending upon how their thinking is being trained. As Jesus said, "I tell you that to everyone who has, more will be given, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away" (Luke 19.26).

Already you, reader, may feel your faith has taken some hits lately, even though you might not know why. But think about it. Burns happen when living tissue is exposed to extreme heat. The damage is done and healing is difficult or impossible. In a similar way Christian faith is at risk of real damage when exposed to the amorality and sexualization around us. Or “Can a man carry fire next to his chest and his clothes not be burned? Or can one walk on hot coals and his feet not be scorched?”(Proverbs 6.27-28)

"Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul" (1 Peter 2.11).

Recognize the enemy of your soul and then, ”Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect” (Romans 12.2).