Imaginations Cast Down

January 17, 2013

Imaginations Cast Down

      “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ” (II Corinthians 10:5).

People in this world like to think they have good reason for rejecting what the Bible teaches.  University professors sneer at students who believe the Bible is a body of truth.  They like to think that all our advanced learning has left Bible teaching in the dust bin.  Imaginations have to do with the faulty thinking of people.  What they imagine to be the truth isn’t the truth at all. To justify their thinking they say, “The truth is relevant.”  It’s extremely important that we know how to cast down the imaginations that are raised up against the truth of God.   The thinking that the truth is relevant is the first imagination we need to cast down.

The word “relevant” means “bearing upon or connected with the matter in hand.”  (According to The Random House dictionary) When people say “the truth is relevant” they are giving the word “relevant” a meaning that isn’t found in the dictionary.  What they mean is that the truth changes over time.  Obviously, not all truth changes.  Two plus two will always be four.  Who is to say what truth changes?  It becomes subjective.  No, my friend, truth doesn’t change.  If it does we live in a world of uncertainty.  It’s true that what at one time was thought to be true is now known to be an error.  There was a time when men thought the sun traveled around the earth.  Now we know that isn’t true.

Some let their feelings determine what is true.  If they feel good about believing something they say, “For me it’s true.” Needless to say, if they have any religion it is based on feelings.  Instead of seeking knowledge, they seek experience.  Then they say “I know it’s true because I have experienced it.” For them also the truth is relevant.  The problem with feelings is that they change from day to day.

It’s true that God guides our thinking by working in our hearts.  Proverbs 4:23 says, “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.” It’s also true that God guides us through the knowledge of his Word.  Much about his will is revealed to us in the Bible.  There we find moral standards that should guide us in our thoughts and actions.  Those who are negligent in reading and studying the Bible will be ignorant of God’s truth.  God will never guide us by feelings that go contrary to his Word.

We need not be intimidated by those who follow some philosophy.  Our standard should always be that found in Isaiah 8:20.  “To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” Neither should we be intimidated by those who profess to be professionals or technicians.   In our day there is much that is called “science.”  We need to know how to distinguish between “social science” and “empirical science.” Empirical science is something that can be proven to be true in a laboratory.  That leads us to the truth.  Many great advancements have come about by means of what scientists have learned by this means.

On the other hand, social science concerns society and human behavior.  It too is a study that collects data and arrives at a conclusion.  They say, “As a rule, human beings tend to do thus and so.” Social science includes the fields of sociology, anthropology and psychology.  It is not an exact science. It is what the Bible calls “science falsely so called” in I Timothy 6:20. “O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called.”  Just because human beings tend to do “thus and so” doesn’t mean it is right.  In social science, acceptable behavior is often determined by what the majority do.  We must keep in mind that men are sinners.  David said in Psalm 116:11 “I said in my haste, all men are liars.”  For the most part, he was right, but that doesn’t make lying acceptable behavior.

There are other philosophies that are in vogue in our day.  Some people don’t realize they are following a philosophy.

Humanism says that man is capable of finding a solution for every problem without the help of God.

            The New Age philosophy is a mixture of spiritism and mysticism that leaves people disoriented in the real world.

Materialism is another philosophy.  It is the belief that we can find happiness in material possessions.

Socialism is the philosophy that says that the needs of a society are best met by letting government have control of production and the distribution of wealth.

To be able to cast down these imaginations we need to know how to reason and ask questions.  Unfortunately children aren’t being taught this today.  The result is that they are credulous.  That means they believe whatever they are told.  They can be easily manipulated to accept a false philosophy.  God doesn’t want his people to be credulous.  We should follow the example of the Macedonians who were commended because “They received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so” (Acts 17:11).

The Greek word translated “casting down” is a military word meaning to demolish by violence.  Of course we don’t resort to violence, but we should realize that it’s a strong word that demands that we take action.

Imaginations mean wrong thinking.  We need to bring our minds into subjection to a biblical way of thinking.  The words “casting down” also have in mind to take captive.  Our text says we are to bring “into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” In the old days, when wars were fought and won, the victorious soldiers returned home riding in chariots of war.  They were welcomed by the folks back home with cheers of praise.  Behind every chariot the prisoners of war were lead captive in chains.  We have been enslaved by false philosophies and we need to say, “Never again will I allow those philosophies to guide my thinking.”

Thinking biblically will never lead you astray.  The more Bible knowledge we have the better we are able to make wise decisions.  How we think is extremely important.


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