The Captivity Of Religious Thought

The Captivity Of Religious Thought

Posted on 28. Jan, 2010 by in Challenging Status Quo, Tradition

Thoughts are powerful things: they can be liberating and empowering, or limiting and demoralizing.

A common story told regarding the captivating power of thoughts is that of the training of elephants. As it goes, young elephants are taken and using heavy chains are tethered to stakes driven deep into the ground. The young elephant continually pulls and struggles against the chain, eventually giving up and “learning” it cannot get free. Once this has happened, even as a full-grown elephant, it can be tethered with a rope and stake because the elephant “believes” they cannot get free.

We find the same process happens in our lives when God sends us illumination of His kingdom and it’s power. We have a series of thoughts that affect how we process this illumination; unfortunately, many times these thoughts limit what God desires to do with in us.

What is the source of these limiting thoughts? They are from the traditions of men.  Speaking of the effects of the Pharisee’s’ teachings, Jesus said they were “nullifying and making void and of no effect [the authority of] the Word of God through your tradition, which you [in turn] hand on” (MK 7:13 AMP). They were nullifying the authority of the Word of God. Now how can that happen? Isn’t God’s word all-powerful? Yet they were rendering it useless. The key to grasping this is in the word “traditions.”

The word used for traditions is paradosis and means “giving over, giving up, surrender.”* It derived from paradidoomi which according to Thayer’s means: “to give into the hands (of another),”  “to give over into (one’s) power or use.” This word is used 121x and in 100 of them it us used in the negative sense of taking or handing over into captivity.

So the principle here is that the traditions of men create thought processes that take us into captivity. This captivity of thoughts, prevent us from see the truth or illumination of the Word of God, thus limiting its effectiveness in our lives.

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One Response to “The Captivity Of Religious Thought”

  1. Matt Anderson

    17. Mar, 2010

    Yes, yes, yes!!! Brother Martin, you hit it right on the head. Great insight and teaching. As a new Pastor and an established media professional, I truly understand this concept of being “stuck”. Many have been handed their thoughts and given their opinions. When asked what it means or what is the purpose, they cannot think past what they’ve been programmed to think.

    I’m currently teaching a series called “Great Expectations” based on the life of Joseph in Gen. 37-39. His great expectations, his dreams, got him thrown in a pit and sold into slavery because his brothers couldn’t see past they way things had always been. Yet, even through all of the hate and envy he kept his mind on the great expectation of what God had shown him in a dream. Dreamers SEE things that don’t exist yet and SAY things that they believe can be. Unfortunately, most folks these days are sleep walking.

    A great book to check out is called “Propaganda” by Edward Bernays, the father of Public Relations. He devised a way to use some to the techniques developed by his uncle Sigmund Freud to program the masses to respond emotionally and instinctively as opposed to thoughtfully. It’s amazing that this book, written back in 1928, brings so much clarity to the zombie culture that we live in. If effects business, families, media, government and even the church. The masses are stuck and malnourished dining daily on TV dinners made of Reality TV, professional sports and Soaps.

    I’ll leave you with this: “truth spoken in a time of universal deceit is considered an act of revolution” ~ George Orwell, 1984. You, sir, are a revolutionary with your writing! Keep it up, we’re praying for you!

    Matt Anderson
    Grace and Truth Bible Church, Senior Pastor
    Missing Peace Productions, Founder/President

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