Before I began to write this article early this morning, I saw a commercial ad for a washing machine company on my Spotify music app. The ad showed a young mom doing the laundry while her two children who looked between 5-8 years old ran all over the house dropping their laundry everywhere and giving it over to their mom. The advert then said:  “They will never change, so the best you can do is get more out of your washing”. I could not believe my ears. That these children would never be taught how to do their own laundry and for the rest of their lives make their mom do laundry for them?! Was this a bizarre joke? What sort of message was being passed to parents and to do children?!

But wait. Are these not the sort of subtle messaging that we get every day from the media, from friends that begin to shape our thoughts, viewpoints, mindsets and ideas. We never realize how the world is creeping in and manipulating our minds. The genius of it is absolutely astounding if only it was not heartbreaking and alarming. The battle for our mind is very real and has been going on since before we can even remember. And this battle has intensified in recent years more than ever with the explosion of technology and mass media. It is so powerful and stealthy, it is an open secret but insidious, it is subversive and stealthy. It is so subtle that even so-called mature Christians have been taken prey and suckered in the name of changing with the times.

The most dangerous aspect of it is that the force of this world’s ideology is working tirelessly to shape our young people through its philosophy, movements, music, movies, art, fashion among others. And Christians and the church are none the wiser. If only we understood the power of ideas. We perish for lack of knowledge, we who have the source of light and knowledge. To change the world to become what they want it to look like, the world understands that all it requires it to take an idea and make it pervasive. And soon enough, the idea becomes the default way of thinking. Without delving too deeply into history, let’s cast a look back at the troubling effects of fake news in recent years on elections and current affairs and it would instructive in showing how powerful ideas can take over an entire civilization and shape its culture. The society is shaped by what it knows and what it doesn’t in the case of many of Christians. The reason the kingdom of the devil is called the kingdom of darkness is that operates on ignorance and the kingdom of God is light is that we come to knowledge and truth. And I want you, dear reader, to know the truth.

I give some well-known examples- ideas on evolution spawned the massive ungodly movements on abortion as the sanctity and sacredness of life was desecrated, evolution resulted in the commodification of sex and marriage as the divine nature of man was relegated to the dustbins. It also results in the emergence of atheistic beliefs as the mainstream views of many in western societies such that it has even shaken the faith of many young people from Christian homes today. It has eroded the belief of many in God, the authenticity of the bible, led to revolting ideas on sexual ideology and ended in the pluralistic thought and secular humanism of today. The evil web of evolutionary thought still continues to wreak havoc on our world today yet the world still marches forward in trying to mold everyone in this pattern including our young people. They spend a large proportion of their time every week being taught this ungodly idea. To be clear, young people are not the only victims of this trend, and I am saddened to say that many adults in the church have fallen prey to many other ideas that the world is relentlessly foisting on us.

Let me give an example. Ungodly social scientists and educators have successfully convinced the world that getting the state to educate our children is in the best interest of society and have also helped shape its curriculum. Christian parents give their children over to a godless system for 6-7 hours Monday to Friday that teaches them all sorts of God-hating ideas. They also spend most of their time in the company of peers who are probably godless and who try to influence them with ungodly ideas. Yet parents spend little or no time teaching their own children God’s word and barely manage to bring them to Sunday service and dump them in youth church hoping youth teacher might perform some miracle in their lives to make them godly. Now remember that in youth church, they are also interacting with other youths like themselves who have probably obtained similar ideas from outside the church. Then we wonder why our children have next to nothing in the knowledge of God’s word and don’t exhibit the character of the kingdom of light. I will tell us why: They have spent virtually all their time engaged with the ideas of the kingdom of darkness and we have given over our children to be taught by the world and not by God.  Our kids spend 30-40 hours being taught by the world and virtually no time with their parents. We haven’t taught them, we haven’t disciplined them and mentored them as we ought because the world has lied to us that what matters in the development of children is that they go to school, get good grades, do sports, participate in activities and make them children of hell. We leave the sex education of our children to the world, letting them teach our children all sorts of perverted ideas about sex, relationships and family to them. God forgive us, what shall it profit a man who gains the world yet loses his own soul.

We have bought into the psychological studies of the world that says we should let out children play games, watch TV to develop their minds and all sorts, yet a cursory research will show you that in the past societies, children gained maturity because they spent more time with older, wiser men and women who trained them to become men and women too. What are we teaching our children!. God help us.

As a youth teacher, I have had the opportunity to interact and spend a lot of time with youths from many Christian families. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, we are in dire straits and things are very bad. I apologize if this is harsh but it will be for our good to arouse us out of deep slumber. Christian parents have failed miserably in their responsibilities as being the teacher, trainer, model, nurturer and the discipleship of their children. We spend so much time evangelizing the world but we have failed in evangelizing our own homes. We have been trying to improve the garden of others but have left our own gardens to be overgrown with weeds. We have not been good role models to them because when they look at us, they don’t think our faith is important because we don’t walk it ourselves. Children will learn to become what they see and not what they hear you speak.

Romans 12:2 says: Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

The world wants you and I to conform to its pattern and it possesses a well-equipped arsenal at its disposal to achieve its aim. The educational system is now almost completely in its control from primary education to the university campus and its entire purpose and objective is indoctrinate our youths with ungodly ideas. The media is almost entirely now its control as it spews forth all sorts of dark ideas from premarital sex, homosexuality, drunkenness, drugs, violence and a endless list of vile acts. Let’s not even mention fashion, music, movies, reality shows, programs, social media apps like tinder, instragram etc. The world has sold us a big lie, that to survive we need to learn how to behave like it. It says for us to be relevant, we have to fit it. But do we still read and believe in the bible?. That our relevance lies exactly in NOT being like the world. IF we lose our light and salt, what good are we?.

2 Peter 1:3 says the power of God has provided us with EVERYTHING we need for life and godliness through the knowledge of Jesus Christ. Do you believe this?. Our mind need to be continually converted and transformed , even if we are truly saved. Why? Because our minds are the seats of our thoughts, imaginations and decision making and we are daily being bombarded by the world with ungodly idea that many times look like good reasonable ideas. If our minds are not transformed, we will think like the world, talk like the world and behave like the world. There would be no difference. If you are a parent, a pastor, youth teacher or just a Christian, I want you to know you are in a battle for your mind and by extension you soul. We are wrestling with the beasts of Ephesus, thoughts, ideologies and imagination that are exalting themselves against the knowledge of Christ, lies from the pit of darkness that are working hard to suppress the truth about God. On what side would you stand? We need to repent of our lackadaisical attitude and nonchalance to God’s command, and take on the whole armour of God to stand. The war is raging on, and we are fighting dragons. May God grant you the grace to fight for your mind and be set free. You will know the truth and the truth will set you free. Amen.

Photo by Lou Levit on Unsplash