Saturday, December 25, 2010

Psychology of the Spirit

I was watching a presentation given by a neurologist, Vilayanur Ramachandran. What he had to say regarding the mind was fascinating. I saw in what he was talking about parallels regarding spirituality and our relationship with God.

I have often wondered about the mental condition of angels who sinned by abandoning faith in God for faith in Satan, and what happened to Adam and Eve from a mental health perspective when they abandoned faith in favor of listening to Satan and their subsequent belief they could be, or were, self-sufficient. This may be describing the issue in a somewhat overly simplistic way, but the reader should get the idea.

Something happened to the minds of the angels who sinned. Something happened to the minds of Adam and Eve when they sinned. Something happened to me and others when they bought into the legalistic false gospel of sabbatarianism. Something happens to people in general who buy into false religion. All mankind suffers from a mental illness that defies diagnosis. But, because all mankind suffers from this mental illness, to one degree or another, it goes unnoticed, for if everyone suffers from the same neurological disorder, the disorder is perceived as the norm. This disorder is described in Scripture, and uses blindness as an analogy for this disorder. The sufferer of this disorder is blind to the fact they have this disorder. They do not perceive there is a disorder, therefore they conclude there is no disorder.

But something is definitely missing. Something is deficient.

Scripture diagnoses the problem in general terms, and Scripture relates the cure.

Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the LORD, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward. Why should ye be stricken any more? ye will revolt more and more: the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint. From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it; but wounds, and bruises, and putrifying sores: they have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with ointment. – Isaiah 1:4-6

And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh: That they may walk in my statutes, and keep mine ordinances, and do them: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God. – Ezekiel 11:19-20

Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them. And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be my people, and I will be your God. I will also save you from all your uncleannesses: and I will call for the corn, and will increase it, and lay no famine upon you. And I will multiply the fruit of the tree, and the increase of the field, that ye shall receive no more reproach of famine among the heathen. Then shall ye remember your own evil ways, and your doings that were not good, and shall lothe yourselves in your own sight for your iniquities and for your abominations. – Ezekiel 36:25-31

And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. – Matthew 13:14-15

But though he had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on him: That the saying of Esaias the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spake, Lord, who hath believed our report? and to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed? Therefore they could not believe, because that Esaias said again, He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them. – John 12:37-40

But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick. But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. – Matthew 9:12-13

The cure is this new heart. We understand this to be God's Holy Spirit. But this is only part of the equation of the cure.

The fallen angels had the Holy Spirit, and their sin resulted in mental disorders we would recognize as severe.

We also have the example from Scripture where king Saul of Israel was given God's Spirit, and he too succumbed to severe mental disorders.

The rest of the equation for a healthy individual is faith; faith in God. The cure then is twofold; faith in God in conjunction with being in possession of God's Holy Spirit. Faith is total reliance in God.

There's a category of people who refuse the cure because they think they have already gone through the therapy. These are those who have put their faith in the “quack” physicians who impersonate Christ and His ministers. Their cure is a placebo. The basis of their cure is the old covenant law they teach to be of faith, when in fact the apostle Paul stated that the law was not of faith. Their substitute Holy Spirit is also the law, for they teach that it is that law placed within the believer, and not a Spiritual “law” that Scripture shows to be God's Holy Spirit.

The result of this bogus cure is self-righteousness, arrogance, boasting, bragging, and other symptoms of an inflated Id and Ego. From this position, there is no perception of needing to be cured; there is no need of a physician. Their “righteousness” is embedded in the law and not Christ. Christ is given lip service. They have compounded their illness with a blindness now that cannot recognize the real Christ from their contrived one that is actually the law. Christ and the law become blurred. Paul recognizes this compounded illness in II Corinthians chapter 3.

When I was undergoing the process of throwing off the teachings of the old Worldwide Church of God, there was a day where I was grasping concepts of the new covenant, but the very next day, when I went to explain some aspect of it to another member, I couldn't do it. I couldn't remember what I understood so well the day before. That is when I started writing down everything. In time, I got to the point where I looked back on the beliefs of the WCG and could hardly believe that I believed that whole web of confusion. What then really happened to my mind?

It was rewired. God intervened and fixed the mind so that it was freed up from the circularly locked rationale common with those who accepted the wrong therapy.

I and others who have escaped sabbatarian legalism are now amazed when dealing with those who are still ensconced in that legalism how tenacious their minds hold on to those beliefs and reject any and all information contrary to that belief system. Why? They have a blindness we cannot cure. Like a horse, we can “lead them to water” but we can't make them drink.

When Paul preached to Jew and Gentile, some Jews believed the message of the gospel, and many did not. What was the common denominator regarding those who rejected the gospel message and thus rejected Jesus Christ? Their reliance on the law and the righteousness they believed they derived from it.

You can't drag a sick man to the doctor if he thinks he is well. They won't even admit to the symptoms they display, for the ego refuses to recognize itself as being a “hard heart.”

It is important that you understand; Everything on this blog is based on the current understanding of each author. Never take anyone's word for it, always prove it for yourself, it is your responsibility. You cannot ride someone else's coattail into the Kingdom. ; )Acts 17:11


Robert Hagedorn said...

Do a search: The First Scandal Adam and Eve.

xHWA said...

You hit a few nails on the head in this one, Bill.