Thomas McKenzie
by grace alone


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Who is the "you" thinking?

I had an interaction on one my listserves today that I've decided to pass on. I will begin with something that someone said, and then respond with what I said. I don't know the preacher that this person references. I also think that the person who wrote this loves the Lord and is a great guy (seriously).

That which was said (in part):

There is a guy whose preaching I have grown to love...his name is John Sheasby. I don't necessarily track with all of his theology, but what he preaches brings freedom to my life more often than not. He talks about our minds, saying that we have been given the mind of Christ. And that with His mind we can know the mysteries of God. He gets frustrated at preachers who cite the verse that says "neither eye has seen nor ear has heard...etc.." and teach that we cannot know God's mind or the depths of his mystery. He urges us to read the next verse that says that he has revealed all these things to us by his Spirit.

He also contends that we hear only two voices in our heads - God's and the Enemy's. We get confused when we believe the lie that we have conjured up a thought of our own - and Sheasby says that that very thought is one from the Enemy. One of his lies is to convince us that we came up with the idea of our own accord, leading us to either doubt it was God or to get prideful about our capabilities - either way the Enemy has won. So our struggle is not with hearing God, but with believing it is God who we are hearing.

I don't know...take from that what you can...I'm not sure I completely understand it all right now.

Here is my response:

Sorry, can't let it go, wish I could, damn my reactive nature.

If I understand these proposals as literal, that every thought in my mind is from God or the devil, then I must strongly disagree with this theological system. God seems to think we have our own thoughts, "my thoughts are not your thoughts," for instance. And certainly the lord of darkness does not dwell in every human mind. Unless, of course, Satan is actually the other-god (omnipresence is, by definition, divine) of some dualistic religion. Such religion would be more akin to Zoroastrianism than Christianity.

I'm sorry to hear this teacher gets frustrated with the idea of the incomprehensible mystery of God. It reminds me of a rabbi I just heard on a podcast this morning. He contends that the basic, most fundamental posture of spirituality is humility. The humility to let God be God, and put myself under his ways. The idea that I can know all (or most, or many) of the thoughts of God is, well, arrogant. And, once again, more akin to, say, Scientific Rationalism than to Christianity.

I hear a lot of things in my head. I suspect that most of them are "from me." They are neuro-chemicals functioning according to God's design. Sometimes my thoughts are inspired by his Holy Spirit. (Though I "see through a glass dimly" and therefore must suspect that they are not "pure God"). Some of them are from the demonic (though to what extent they are actually from Satan himself, it is very difficult to say). And I have resources to bounce these ideas off of: the Bible, Church tradition, reason, etc. But what I don't have is an understanding of myself as the war-zone in some wrestling match in which I am not a participant, merely the passive playground upon which the gods do battle.

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