Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Our Minds Are Not Our Own

We are living in times of much mind manipulation.  Various groups make huge profits based on controlling the minds of the people.  The new pharmaceutical companies are the best example of this ability to "herd" people.  In less than five year time span since they started their onslaught of the new drug commercials that appear on every network, they have been able to legitimize numerous drugs to us that we would never have accepted previously.   In the beginning of their manipulations, they resorted to tricks to obscure information about the negative side effects of their drug products. One trick was to use a speeded up voice over in their TV advertising when mentioning drug side effects.  Another was to list the bad effects in illegible small print.  They needed these tricks to make us accept the drugs.  Now we are mentally conditioned, and we accept what they tell us.  They don't have to resort to tricks anymore.  We are not outraged when they tell us their drugs may stop our hearts, blind us, give us suicidal feelings, give us TB, compromise our immune systems, etc.  We overlook these warnings and accept what they tell us are the benefits. 

This ability to manipulate and seduce people into acting against their own best interests is now commonplace.  The pharmaceuticals are not the only ones hard at work in this area.   It's also politicians, Corporate America, the government, presidential candidates and many more.  They use all forms of media to pump your minds full of their propaganda.  Once you accept their truth, you'll do their bidding automatically, and you'll think you chose the path yourself.  You have effectively been stripped of your own God given mind.  You are now a danger to yourself and society.

This phenomena of mind control is used by the ruling elites to the best effect. The "One Percent" has launched a mental assault on the American people in recent years, and have had great success.  It's a means to maintain their oppressive power.  Just get inside the heads of your targets - learn their hopes, dreams and fears and manipulate those emotions against them.  When the One Percenters barrage white America with negative racist imagery of people of color in general and President Obama in particular, they have an end result in mind.  If middle class American racist fear prevails, then the elite can use that fear as leverage for its own ends.  The racial fear is the means, the wealth of the middle class is the ends.  The fear of the President's race is used to strip the President in the eyes of white America.  He now becomes a black muslim racist nigger jigaboo - a mythic stereotype that needs to be neutralized.  This is how the ruling elite forces the middle class to turn against their own interests.  Do we have any defense against this?

In First Corinthians 2:16 of the bible, we are told that we have the "Mind of Christ". What does this mean? It means that we have the ability to discern good from bad, truth from lies, what makes sense from the non-sensical. But we to have Truth as a foundation.  We have to be connected to God alone, not a charismatic leader.   Often, these leaders are deceptive and quickly become self deceptive.  They start to believe their own lies, and that's where the danger lies. 

Our minds are like gardens - they need to be properly tended. We should water our minds with God's wisdom and his Word.  The very heavens and nature itself shows forth the glory of God.   In fact we often sit out in nature to get our heads and minds together and ponder deep issues.  The Power and Beauty of God is reflected in all of nature itself.  Let's use our God given minds to the glory of God!

Friday, March 2, 2012

What Bible Version Is Best?

I love books and I love browsing in bookstores and libraries.  I've gone to bookstores and have browsed so long that I make the bookstore staff suspicious of me!  I imagine they're thinking, "who is this weirdo?" I can easily browse for hours at a time.  In the past, my favorite sections have been the self help and spiritual sections but these days the religion section is my favorite.  Since I've become a Christian I have coveted the bible in all its versions, as well as Christian books of all kinds. 

I have found a Christian bookstore in my neighborhood called Tammy's Bible Bookstore here in Oakland California and have lingered there for hours making comparisons of Bible versions and prices.  The sales lady is kind, curteous and helpful, yet I wonder what she thinks when I sit on the floor looking at the books?  She's always careful to smile and let me know that I'm not crazy for doing it.  It looks like I'm a mess, but I'm trying to insure that I'm buying books by people who are real about their testimony!   I feel a little self conscious when sitting on the floor, but what can I say? I'm only blessed by truth tellers!

Over the years, I've amassed a little cache of spiritual weaponry.  My little bookstand overflows with  my bible versions and testimonials and teaching books.  But I especially love my bibles, and can barely read one version at a time.  I usually read two at a time and keep a third to check certain verses that I need translated.  I love the King James Version for it's poetic flow.  I also like the New King James for eliminating the thees and thys and other old words while keeping the beautiful poetic flow.  The New Standard Revised edition reads in an interesting way because it reworks sentence structures of the verses. I like the Message for its modern American idiomatic style - it reads like poetry as well.  I dislike The Message for the same reason.  The New Living Translation version of the Life Application Bible was valuable to me in the beginning of my studies because it teaches from the perspective of the proper heart attitude that we should have as Christians.  I also enjoyed the breakdowns of the historical, political and social settings in the different time periods; and because it gives a synopsis of the personalities of the Bible. But my favorite is the Amplified because it expands on Greek and Hebrew definitions of certain words within the verse itself.  I don't have to look up words in concordances.  My flow is not disrupted as I read, and that helps my understanding of the original meaning of the Scripture.

So there it is, my chaotic little Bible study! I'm doing my best to understand as much as I can, as God gives it to me day by day.

What version of the Bible to you love?