Ten Words That Took My Breath Away — Not in a Good Way

I apologize ahead of time for the quote I’m about to cite. It’s one of the most decisively evil things I’ve ever read. The first ten words say it all.

Don’t reason in the mind. Just obey in the spirit.

Satan will attempt to fill your child with worry, reasoning, fear, depression, and discouraging negative thoughts.

Satan frequently steals the will of God from us due to reasoning. The Lord may direct us to do a certain thing, but if it does not make sense — if it is not logical — we may be tempted to disregard it. What God leads a person to do does not always make logical sense.

Don’t reason!

Just obey!

[source: Joyce Meyer, “Battlefield of the Mind for Teens”]

I know there’s plenty of evil and irrationality in the world. I talk to people every day about very personal matters, and am well acquainted with man’s inhumanity to man in daily life. I’ve studied history, and I’m aware that Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia are only the better publicized (and organized) instances of indescribable evil. I witnessed 9/11, and then lived to see allegedly respectable people excuse away, or even celebrate, the ideology in whose name it was all done. I’m all too cognizant of the fact that what most human beings define as ethics is at war with what man’s nature, survival and ultimately celebration of life on earth requires, and that human progress to date — against all odds set by the terms of our own anti-life ideologies — borders on the miraculous.

But to see somebody in one of the freest and most rational cultures in human history (modern dysfunction notwithstanding) utter such words in the early decades of the twenty-first century — in the context of guidance and leadership for young people, no less — truly strikes me mute, if only for a few moments.

I will say one thing about the author of this quote, Joyce Meyer. She understands the basic principle at stake in human nature and human ethics. She sees, with a 20/20 clarity rare in our day, the basic issue of any individual human life (of any era), as well as the singular issue for humanity as a whole: reason versus mindlessness.

Elevating superstition above rationality and reason is a common and ultimately tragic error. But it’s not always done with such willful clarity and self-destructive purposefulness.

This quote resonates with the call to arms of any dictator, actual or potential; literal or metaphorical (as in a family or social dictator, one who controls those who willingly submit to being controlled.) “Don’t think. Just obey.” She couldn’t make it any clearer, could she?

Of course, taking the time to even listen to what she says involves an act of thought. A young person — or any person — hearing these words must call into mental focus concepts already formed through independent acts of thought, over time.

“Reason” is an abstraction with certain essentials and delimiting aspects requiring conceptual identification — which presupposes many acts of thought, combined with numerous observations over time. Ditto for the concept “obey,” as well as for the concepts “depression,” “worry,” “thoughts” — or even “God” for that matter, which also refers to a concept of a certain kind.

She’s telling you to think in order to destroy your capacity for thought — in one final act of psychological self-annihilation. All for the sake not merely of faith, but obedience.

Consider the source. Consider the woman who made these statements. It isn’t necessary to know anything about her personally. In this one passage, she tells you all you need to know about her true psychological motives: Her choice to use the word obey.

I am not religious. However, I know of people who are religious who do respect reason. They don’t merely tell you to obey. One of the most famous religious scholars of all time, Thomas Aquinas, was a strong advocate of Aristotle and reason, two things which brought the Church-dominated world out of the lengthy dark ages and into the era of the Enlightenment (giving rise, in turn, to the United States and the inventive era which followed, benefiting us to this very day.)

My response to anyone who tries to blend reason and religion would be to say, “Sooner or later, placing reason on the same level as faith will ultimately undermine your reason. You can’t have both. One has to drive the other out.”

But what can you say to a person who doesn’t merely place faith above reason, or on an equal par with reason in a hapless attempt to compromise the two? This is a woman who skips the philosophical middleman and gets right to the point: Obey.

If you want to grasp and understand the true nature of evil — the one factor that makes 9/11, Nazi Germany, the serial killer or any form of cruelty or sadism possible — then think about the motivation of people who say, write or applaud these words. They want you to shut off your soul, by any objective or real definition of that term: Your rational consciousness.

A serial killer or a Nazi does this by snuffing out your physical life. A Joyce Meyer attempts to talk you into the psychological equivalent of suicide: destruction of your rational consciousness. The thing you use not only when you think deep thoughts, but even when doing the simplest things requiring thought in everyday life: Spending your money, doing your work to earn money, deciding how to spend it, deciding what to eat, what books to read, what car to drive, how to drive it, what movies to watch, how to spend your free time, how to respond to your kids … Don’t think, just obey. Really try to wrap your mind around the implications of that recommendation — to say nothing of the person who would recommend it.

I don’t subscribe to supernatural beliefs, so I cannot credibly claim to believe in Satan. But if there’s anything close to a satanic force in the world, it’s this kind of mentality.


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