Our world and our society are in a determined war to control people's thinking. This war is visibly evident in the American-Arab struggle. America sees Arab fundamentalist religious perspectives as extremely dangerous. Arab nations see American values and lifestyles as extremely dangerous. America champions religious freedom as a right, but hates religious fanaticism. Arab peoples champion religious fervor, but hate influences that value things above people. Obviously, neither culture thinks like the other culture.

Many American influences think the key to winning Arab minds is establishing American democracy in that region. Many Arab influences think the key to winning American minds is demanding that Americans respect Arabs: "Let us take care of ourselves." American influences have urgent reasons for establishing democracy. Arab influences have urgent reasons for regarding American influences to be evil.

The "now" war is not about territories or resources. It is about minds, thought processes, values, standards, world views, and the character of human interactions.

While the effects of that war are visibly displayed by emotional demonstrations, the same war quietly is waged in our own society. Advertising targets our desires and seeks to persuade us to adopt the advertisers' perspective. Movies and television shows are consistent in the values and standards they portray. Political parties, movements, and specialized advocacies challenge us to "see things through their eyes." Hundreds of times daily, we are asked subtly or blatantly to "look at life" as someone else sees it.

The war is for minds, thinking, and perspectives. It always has been and always will be. Change a person's thinking, and you change the person. Change a people's thinking, and you change the nation. Change the world's thinking, and you change the world.

A Christian objective is to change thinking. This change first must occur among those who accept and follow Jesus because he is God's Christ. Christians can change others' thinking only when they first have changed their own.

Romans 12:1, 2 Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

He who controls your mind controls your body. He who controls both controls your life. Who controls your thinking?

David Chadwell

West-Ark Church of Christ, Fort Smith, AR
Bulletin Article, 4 May 2003

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