Read an Excerpt
Your brain is the most complex mechanism in the world and the most influential organ of your body. It enables your mind to think, remember, love, hate, feel, reason, imagine, and analyze.
The average brain weighs about three pounds and contains 12 billion cells, each of which is connected to 10,000 other brain cells. That's 120 trillion brain connections!
Some have compared the human brain to a sophisticated computer, but technology hasn't come close to duplicating its capabilities. Dr. Gehard Dirks, who holds fifty patents on the IBM computer, said that he acquired most of his ideas from studying the functions of the human brain.
Your brain supervises everything you do, from the involuntary beat of your heart to the conscious decisions of your life. It controls hearing, sight, smell, speech, eating, resting, learning, prejudices, and everything else that makes you behave as you do. Scientists tell us that the brain is our most important organ because it determines the function of the other organs and systems, including the pituitary gland, heart, and nervous system. Your unique traits, temperament, and even physical growth patterns are all controlled by your brain.
We have little or no conscious control over many of these traits, and even today, scientists disagree over the extent to which we rule ourselves. Yet most experts insist that we can regulate far more mental activity than we realize. One thing is certain: What we choose to see and hear and how we think (our philosophy of life) are the most significantinfluences on our lives, and they greatly affect all three major aspects of the mind: intellect, emotion, and will.
A major portion of your three-pound brain houses your intellect. It, too, is influenced by inherited temperament. That helps to explain why some people by nature are analytical perfectionists with good retention capabilities, while others are prone to be goal-oriented people lovers who struggle with organization and concentration.
Your intellect has phenomenal potential. Scientists inform us that the average person uses less than 10 percent of his brain's capability. If that is true, then most people die with 10 to 11 billion brain cells still unused.
The vast majority of what we know about the intellect has been discovered during the past 100 years, yet scientists anticipate that even greater discoveries await us. Thinking and memory are the chief functions of the intellect, but it also affects our intuition, conscience, sexuality, and much more. Recent studies indicate a difference between the minds of men and women, providing scientific support for the traditional claim that the sexes think differently. For example, boys and girls from primitive cultures responded differently when introduced to modern toys. Without the benefit of cultural conditioning, the boys gravitated to trucks and toy soldiers while the girls were drawn to dishes and dolls.
Since the eyes and ears are the two most important channels for communicating with the brain, how you employ these information gatherers largely determines how you think. And be sure of this: How you think will determine the way you live! It remains true, as the writer of Proverbs long ago observed, "As he thinks in his heart, so is he" (23:7).
The way you think is the result of the intellect you inherited, plus your training, plus what you have seen, read, done, and heard. Your inherited temperament also has a significant influence on your personality, helping to determine how you do things. For example, if you are an introvert, it is probably because you were born with an introvert's temperament. Although you can become more aggressive than your heritage might suggest, you will never be a spontaneous extrovert.
The philosophy of life that you adopt on the basis of what you have programmed into your mind through your reason, your senses, and your study determines the way you look at life. Whether we call this a worldview or simply the way we perceive life, nothing but life itself is more important. It will affect your morals, work drive, integrity, and life investment.
Until this generation, parents were the most influential force in helping children to develop a personal philosophy of life. That is no longer true. Modern technology has given us the Internet and WebTV and has opened countless other ways to expose young minds to incredibly enticing sounds, colors, and visual images. Through countless seductive channels, thousands of parents already have lost their children's intellects to atheistic educators, sensual entertainers, liberal clergy, Elmer Gantrytype politicians, and a host of other anti-God, amoral influences.
Ever since God first explained to Adam and Eve how to think so they could live successful, fulfilled, obedient, and happy lives, there has been a constant battle over who will control human thought processesman or God. Sooner or later, every human being makes that decision.
Because your thought processes are largely the result of the stimuli your brain has received from various senses, only by being careful can you win the battle for control of your intellect and your children's intellects.
The second significant part of your brain is what the Bible calls your "heart," your emotional center. It's not heart-shaped, as romantics tend to visualize it, but in reality looks more like a walnut. Tied neurologically to every organ of your body, it activates both feeling and movement. If your emotional center is disturbed, you will be upset all over.
Emotionally induced illnesseswhich doctors claim account for 65 to 80 percent of all modern sicknessoriginate in the heart. A person who feels angry, fearful, or tense will suffer from all kinds of physical ailments, from high blood pressure to ulcers to strokes. One list describes 51 diseases caused by an emotional center gone haywire.
A man I knew went to the doctor because of a racing heart. He discovered that fears in his mind had caused his body to simulate a heart attack. By learning to govern his fears, the man was able to slow down his racing heart.
Your emotional center is influenced by many factors, beginning with your inherited temperament. That explains why some people are excitable by nature, while others are passive or indifferent. Life experiences, education, beliefs, and, most significantly, the mind also influence how we feel.
To illustrate the relationship of the mind to the emotions, visualize a man who owns two thousand shares of AT&T, purchased at $100 a share. How does he feel as he reads his morning paper to find that his shares have dropped to $10? He feels angry, depressedeven suicidal. Once he grasps the loss of his fortune, his "heart" or emotions get involved. Now visualize the same man as he calls his broker and discovers that the newspaper made a typographical error; actually, each share is now worth $1000. A smile brightens his face and he feels relieved, even exhilarated.
The mind is to the emotions what food is to the body. For that reason, what the mind feeds upon becomes the most influential force in your life.
One of the great myths of our time is that feelings are spontaneous. Actually, they are created by what you put into your mind. Computer experts repeatedly warn us that we get out of a computer only what we program into it. The same can be said for the mind. Whatever the eyes and ears pick up, the mind processes. The other sensessmell, taste, and touchalso influence our thinking but do not have as significant an impact on our mind.
Consider the unmarried, twenty-one-year-old college student who admitted to me a serious problem with sexual thoughts. I wasn't surprised by the young man's confession since he was at the zenith of his sexual drive. In an attempt to help him learn how to control his passions, I asked, "What have you been reading and seeing lately?" After mumbling a few vague references to newspapers and magazines, he finally acknowledged a more-than-passing acquaintance with Playboy and certain pornographic books. When pressed about movies, he admitted that he had been watching X-rated movies on cable television. I then pointed out that such a large intake of pornography was like pouring gasoline on a fire.
The old truism "You are what you read" could be enlarged to "You are what you see." What the eyes feast upon forms an impression on the mind, which in turn feeds the emotions. Just as drugs or alcohol influence us physically, what we see and hear affects our thoughts and emotions.
There is growing evidence that our warnings to civil leaders a few years ago that overturning the moral laws upon which this country was built would increase crimes of sex and violence were fully warranted. In the name of free speech and freedom of the press, we have polluted the minds of our young with pornography, until crime and sexual assaults are now commonplace.
And it's not only those who hold to traditional morality who worry about the spread of pornography. Feminists demonstrating in New York recently highlighted their concern that the widespread use of pornography is a threat to them, for women become the tragic victims of rape, assaults, and even murder.
Sociologist Marvin Wolfgang has stated that the portrayal of violence tends to encourage physical aggression. Of course it does! Whatever you see or hear influences your mind, which in turn affects your feelings and your emotional center. Feelings are aroused as much by what you see and hear as by who and what you are. If you want the right feelings, then see and hear the right things, so you can generate the right thoughts.
Thousands of minors have been taken into custody for crimes that never would have been committed were it not for pornography. I once visited a sixteen-year-old in juvenile hall just after he had committed a sex crime that startled everyone who knew him. In his room we found a drawer nearly filled with pornographic filth. It was easy to understand how this lad brought disgrace upon his family and shame to himself. At a time when he was beginning to experience sexual passions, he misused his eyes to fan his desires until his emotions ignited a fire that raged beyond control. He will probably be haunted by that evil action the rest of his life.
That boy, however, was not abnormal. He simply responded naturally to an abnormal stimulus. Pornography is abnormal! Our youth seem obsessed with sex because depraved adults are providing them with the pornographic fuel with which they burn up their lives.
It's true that not all visual filthwhether from the Internet, television, R-rated movies, music videos, or booksresults in crimes of violence. But my counseling experience indicates that at the least it reduces the beautiful expression of love in marriage to a soulless activity of sexual passion. In fact, pornography is one of the leading causes of our skyrocketing divorce rate.
Another form of pornography should be mentioned as well, namely, pornographic music. As Cal Thomas says, "the new generation needed music and other forms of entertainment that would reflect its increasingly nihilistic worldview." And they got it! Take, for instance, gangster rapper Eminem. Culture critic Gene Edward Veith states, "The biggest hardcore rapperand the meanest, most violent, most lawless of them allis the white Eminem." His recording called The Marshall Mathers LP was the number one selling CD in America with more than 7 million sold.
What breaks my heart is the way Eminem gleefully raps about brutally sodomizing his mother (in "Kill You") with words too pornographic to reprint here. In "Amityville," he arranges to have his sister gang raped. He raps, "My little sister's birthday/She'll remember me/For a gift I had ten of my boys/take her virginity." As if these deplorable ideas weren't evil enough, he portrays two men performing oral sex on a third partner. Even sex with a dead animal is mentioned on the album.
As youth culture specialist Bob DeMoss told me, "Keep in mind that there are only approximately 29 million teens in America. Mathematically speaking, one-in-four young people own a copy of this socially irresponsible recording."
According to Thomas, the three major social problems today are the consequences of sex outside of marriage (venereal diseases, out-of-wedlock children, abortion), drug abuse, and violent crime. Not incidentally, he points out that the three major themes of hard-rock music are "sex, drugs, and violence."
Pornography, of course, is not the only phenomenon that influences the emotions. But it does graphically illustrate that what you see and hear greatly influences how you think, and how you think influence your feelings.
Whenever you recognize illicit feelings bubbling up inside you, here is a healthy rule of thumb to follow: Examine what you have been seeing and hearing, and ponder how your mind has been thinking. Feeling are not spontaneous. To control them, you must first control your mind.
The third characteristic of the brain is the will, which makes human beings unique from all other living creatures. No one knows where the will is located, but we suspect it resides in the brain, because it so depends on the mind and emotions. Many dying people have displayed a strong will long after most other bodily functions have ceased, but when the brain ceases to function, the will vanishes.
Like the heart and mind, the will is influenced by a person's inherited temperament, which explains why some people are weak-willed while others are strong-willed. The will is also influenced by parental training, education, and life experiences; by what a person reads, sees, and hears; and by the way in which he or she thinks and feels.
Someone has said that whenever the emotions and the will are in conflict, the emotions win. That is often true, particularly if a person's thoughts are permitted to inflame the feelings for a sufficient period of time. A friend of mine is an alcoholic, but for six years he had not touched a drop. One hot day an urgent thought flashed on the screen of his imagination: An ice-cold glass of beer would sure taste good right now. His conscious mind retorted, Don't do it! You're an alcoholic. Because the man's imagination visualized the beer in three-dimensional color, however, he convinced himself that after six years he had learned to control his problem. Within two hours he visited a bar, downed one drink, then another--and you can imagine the rest.
The importance of the will should never be underestimated. A man's life and eternal condition hang on it. If he chooses to rebel against God, his life will constantly be in turmoil. If, however, he surrenders control of his life to God, he will enjoy a life of fulfillment and oneness with both God and his fellowman.
Because parents play a significant role in training a child's will, we are alarmed at the current trend that emphasizes children's rights at the expense of parental rights. We believe it inhibits parents from administering loving discipline; in fact, many parents are already afraid of their children. Children raised in such homes will grow up without self-control and are in danger of becoming part of the "anti-values" generation that rebels against the laws of God and society. Such rebels provide ready fodder for the self-centered philosophy found in humanistic education, movies, books, and other media.
Good or Evil
Of the three interdependent areas of the human brain, the intellect is by far the most significant. It ultimately determines both our feelings and the strength and direction of our will. That is why we call this book Mind Siege. The principal question of life is this: Who will control your mind?
As far back as we can go in recorded history, we find that human beings have always been aware that life is a battle between good and evil. Thirty-five hundred years ago, evil was termed "the way of man" or "the way that seemed right to man." The good way has always been called "God's way." These two avenues of living are really philosophies of life dictating how a person lives.
The apostle Paul described the difference between the two when he wrote to the church in Corinth, Greece, where much of our I-dolatrous thinking originated:
For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect. For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the
understanding of the prudent. Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
(1 CORINTHIANS 1:17-25, KJV)
In this passage Paul outlines two opposing lines of reasoning: man's wisdom and God's wisdom. Paul showed the Greekswho in his day were the ultimate in intellectualism, science, art, literature, and philosophythat man's wisdom was inherently wrong (Acts 17:16-34). He called it foolishness (or futility). By contrast, the wisdom of God is powerfulthat is, it possesses the energy to produce godliness, contentment, ful- fillment, and meaning, to which the wise aspire (1 Timothy 6:6). These benefits are not available through man's wisdom but only through God's. Man's wisdom continues to place him among the beasts, with no way of seeing the angelic, heavenly, spiritual realms.
Perhaps an example will help make the point. The fifty-year-old head of a university science department in San Diego accepted Christ through the faithful witness of his wife and family. Several months after his conversion, this longtime Ph.D. exclaimed, "I can hardly believe I could be so dumb for so long! I thought I knew something before I was converted, but the greatest period of learning in my life has taken place these past few months." The man was not dumbjust overly educated in man's wisdom to the exclusion of God's wisdom.
Millions today are in exactly the same predicament. In fact, the battle for the mind now raging is similar to the battle in Paul's day. Our generation speaks of humanism versus biblical truth, but it is the same battle between good and evil.
More people (including Christians) are adversely affected by secularist thinking than they realize. It is the dominant worldview or philosophy of life in the Western world, having captured education, government, law, medicine, psychology, sociology, the arts, business, television, publications, movies, and radio. Sometimes it seems omnipresent.
Its buzz words and catch phrases pop up everywhere. Consider the following list: "social" justice; "hate" crimes; living constitution; sensitivity training; globalism; global governance; global security; world citizenship; coming new world order; participatory democracy; Great Society; moral equivalence; celebrate diversity; democratic socialism; cultural imperialism; question authority; patriarchy; socialized medicine; universal healthcare; military-industrial-bureaucratic-technocratic complex; political correctness; progressive left; progressive constitutionalism; cultural Marxism; cultural hegemony; feminism; feminization of the military; no-fault divorce; tolerance; partial-birth abortion; free love; quality time; homophobic; phallocentric; sexism; animal rights; gay rights; queer theory; matriarchal theory; critical theory; facilitators; progressive education; women's studies; feminist math; gay studies; gay theology; green theology; critical-race theorists; eco-theology; deep ecology; speciesism; feminist theology; liberation theology; evolving morality; victimization; lesbian power; power to the people; socialism of the heart; redistribution of wealth; primates in the classroom; liberated art; trial marriages; domestic partnerships; OBE; alternative lifestyle; "white male oligarchy"; Captain Condom; POC; agents of change; vast right-wing conspiracy.
The list is endless.
Every pro-moral citizen of Western culture needs to understand and expose this I-dolatry for the religious, philosophical, moral, and scientific foolishness it represents. So to that exposé we now turn.
THE DEVIL'S MOUTH
By THOMAS WILLIAMS
A Thomas Nelson Company
Copyright © 2001 Thomas Williams. All rights reserved.