For at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. (Ephesians 5:8-11)

The War Of The Flesh

Recently here at Apprising Ministries it’s seemed as if the Lord was leading me to believe that He’s said: “The battle lines are being drawn.”

The observant and discerning Christian can see that wolves in sheep’s clothing are gaining more and more ground inside the evangelical community. So, as was said elsewhere:

When principles that run against your deepest convictions begin to win the day, then battle is your calling, and peace has become a sin; you must, at the price of dearest peace, lay your convictions bare before friend and enemy, with all the fire of your faith.

A major root of the current lack of spiritual vigor among professing Christians is found in the Book of Romans chapter 8:

For 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. For 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. You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. (Romans 8:5-10)

Let’s look at the first part of verse 5 again — For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh. Could there be a more fitting statement to describe what America has become? This “one Nation under God—indivisible—with liberty and justice for all” was once filled with a robust people who cherished freedom and who loved to offer opportunity to others.

But now America has become an arrogant, self-centered people being enslaved by their own greed, sexual immorality and corruption. Oh, and the people outside the rapidly apostatizing evangelical community are even worse! Now we may smile, but there is much more truth to this statement than we may like to admit. But what you think about, and what you desire in your heart, will tell you a lot about your—self.

The Inner Nature Cannot Be Explained By Science

You know, our culture actually still uses the word “heart” in the same context as the Bible does, in that when we say: “I believe this with all my heart,” we mean I believe this way down deep inside myself. Many times the Scriptures will use the word heart to refer to the “inner man”— what we might also call our soul or our spirit. This is also where we find our “reasoning process” that sets us apart from the animal kingdom.

Now if you think about it, this is yet another reason to reject the theory of evolution. Secular scientists may try and convince us that we are simply the end result of life that began in a slimy pond of algae billions of years ago, but since we have the mind of Christ (cf. 1 Corinthians 2:16), we need only to take a moment here and think this through. The key issue is: if the big bang theory is true, then life would have had to have begun from non-life at some point.

You see how that would work? Inanimate or non-living chemicals—dead stuff to be blunt—would have had to become living somehow. But let’s not miss the real point: If there’s no God to design the heart of man—the inner reasoning process—then where else could it have come from? Science simply has no credible explanation as to why man has this conscious inner sense of reasoning that we commonly refer to as the heart.

Of course, we who are Christians—we who are theists—know that God designed man with a soul/spirit because God Himself is Spirit. And as I have just pointed out, science just does not have any real natural reasons for why we have emotions; why we love, or why man even has a conscience in the first place. But the fact remains that man truly is a cognizant ego. This simply means that we are cognizant, i.e. “mindful/aware” of our ego—where we get our word “I” or the self.

You and I are each aware of our own personalities. In other words, we all recognize that we are not each other. And it is an over-emphasis about the awareness of this self that is actually at the root of our dilemma of sin. Our sinful human nature is housed within our body—the flesh—all wrapped up together with our heart. The fact is, the doctrine of original sin shows we are powerless to harness it on our own and that’s what leads us to rebel against our loving Creator.

In the Evangelical Dictionary of Theology we read:

In the biblical perspective, sin is not only an act of wrongdoing but a state of alienation from God… It signifies the rupture of a personal relationship with God, a betrayal of the trust He places in us…sin (harmartia) is not just a conscious transgression of [God’s] law but a [weakening] ongoing state of [hatred of] God…sin…can be thought of as [an evil], personal power that holds [all of] humanity in its grasp.[1]

The Detaching Evangelical Practicing Contemplative Mysticism Ala Zen

As I close this, for now, back in the late 70’s Christian apologist Dr. Walter Martin (1928-1989) was specifically speaking about Zen Buddhism in this section below. Today there is a growing infestation of those in the church who are trying to solve this dilemma of human corruption by submerging down within themselves through the misplaced Contemplative Spirituality/Mysticism originally introduced into evanjellyfish by the neo-liberal cult operating within the Emerging Church.

Martin will now lay out some real truth:

The sad fact is that today people are looking at themselves and trying to see into–to understand and to comprehend their own nature apart from the Bible. However, the deeper you go into your own nature, the more you find out that God’s Word is true – the heart [of man] is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? – Jeremiah 17:9. You can sit cross-legged on the floor and have all the late night pseudo-intellectual conversations that you want to. You can study all the philosophy you want–and contemplate stones–and contemplate pools of water or spiders spinning webs. Hey, you can contemplate an old sack of potatoes if you want to; whatever it is you want to concentrate on.

But the truth is you are never really going to understand what’s wrong with you, and why you keep doing things that hurt others and that hurt yourself, until you recognize that man fell from his state of fellowship with God in the garden of Eden. And that this fall is not remedied by looking inside yourself, that fall is remedied by outside yourself to God–who in Jesus Christ on the Cross reconciled the world to Himself. You see, [from the influx of] these eastern cultic structures, which forms the basis for this New Age-type thinking everybody now is looking within themselves.

In Christianity God has us look out to the Cross and to the Resurrection. That is our only deliverance-through faith in Jesus Christ. The end result of this other selfish kind of philosophy is that man is taught to float along like a ping pong ball skirting over the “troubled waters” of life. What a magnificent picture of self – the sinful nature! The world around us is a churning cesspool of depravity, and do we then plunge into this filthiness with the Gospel of Jesus Christ to bring men and women and young people to a redemptive knowledge of the Master–and to freedom from sin–and the power to walk with God?

Or do we tell them that the ultimate in life is to so detach oneself from humanity and its concerns as to rise to the top of the cesspool and float along like the proverbial ping pong ball?Which way really is both practical, meaningful, and that which will produce the most for mankind? Quite obviously it’s going to be the productive world of plunging in preaching, living, answering, proclaiming and then seeing the power of God the Holy Spirit touch the lives and the souls of people and to bring them out of the cesspool of sin to glory and eternal life in Christ Jesus.[2]

As we’ve come to understand here, there is a spiritual world, which is yet another thing that science can’t explain—nor can they ever find out about it through natural means. The fact is, we live in a super-natural world; a whole different dimension of reality, and only through the Gospel of repentance and forgiveness in Jesus’ Name can we hope to navigate through it.

End notes:

[1] Walter A. Elwell, ed. Evangelical Dictionary of Theology [Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 2001], 1103.

[2] Walter Martin, Zen Buddism, CD Rom available from Walter Martin Religious InfoNet.

See also: