October 31, 2016

Taking Thoughts Captive

I was taken aback to see my middle-aged cousin in church on Sunday and being flippant I said, “Whoa…I wonder if the roof is going to fall in!” I then sat through the worship service beating myself up for making a joke at his expense. After the service I apologized, but he wasn’t offended and we had a good laugh when he agreed with the sentiments. Paul said, “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (2 Cor 10:5 NIV). Unfortunately, sometimes our thoughts escape and go on the run before we even know we should hold them captive.

1 comment:

Steve Corey said...


-----Tsadaq, the Hebrew root for righteousness means more then just doing right things. It means also a right way of thinking. This simply makes sense, because doing anything always follows some pathway of thought no matter how short or incomplete the thought might be. From that idea, at one time before I knew of tsadaq, I figured righteousness must involve thinking rightly as well as doing rightly. So I was quite excited to read of this Hebrew root.
-----Learning a new idea is like getting a new tool or appliance. There follows a period of time in which we discover all the ways our new tool or appliance relates usefully to all of our old tasks. It is almost like a two-stage aerial bomb. Taking thoughts captive to obeying Christ rather insinuates imprisoning or quarantining them to His authority. However, the forensic connotation of tsadaq casts a rather different light upon the matter.
-----Thoughts, ideas, and feelings are made out of parts and pieces which are also thoughts, ideas, and feelings layered more and more upon each other. Stream of consciousness flows through the frontal lobes, the “decider” part of the brain, our decision maker. It is in this little office where the “taking captive” occurs. The nature of error and evil is twist and distort. Through search and reason, if ambition and desire are high enough to cause patience and perseverance, over time the kinks, wrinkles, and twists within the layering of past thinking can be discovered and straightened to better match the truth.
----And that’s what Christ is -The Truth. Therefore, subjecting every thought, idea, and feeling flowing through the consciousness to a discovery, examination, and correction process is part of taking every thought captive to Christ. The failure to do so allows distortion to layer into both the mental levels of the individual and the cultural level of society. For both, the body of Christ was to be the salt of the earth because of this forensic function for straightening.
-----A little example makes this clear. The early twentieth century was an exciting time. Science was giving mankind all sorts of new tools. Mankind was thinking very highly of themselves, in fact, with a certainty that they were going to make utopia. For this effort, everyone’s involvement was necessary. And it was the church which pitched into the effort with the charitable aspect of subjection, the aspect of slavery to Christ, who makes for us utopia. Therefore, the mainstream churches went forth leading sentiments of the new world towards the fascist moment of the Western World, wherein many of Christ’s precious individuals were turned into stupefied collectivists. Yes, working together is beneficial. Yes charitableness is godliness. But no, subservience to other human beings always ploughs furrows for planting evil. The church shared in the errors of Nazi Germany, Communist Russia, China, Socialist Europe, and today, the collectivizing (transformation) of America with its careless application of “charity“ and “subjection“. It always pays to think a little further, to ask the next relevant question and expect an answer consistent with good reason.
-----For it is this forensic thing of always piecing clues together and discovering new insights which show different angles providing more clues. Evil can’t stand up to it when the Spirit leads it through scriptural clues. And the more truth it brings forth, the more captivating it becomes.

Love you all,
Steve Corey