The Fleshly Mind versus Christ

2 Peter 2:12a and Jude 1:10 & 19 speak of those who are like brute beast, unable to process rational thought and only able to respond to their five senses because they don’t listen to the Holy Spirit.

Natural knowledge and Natural wisdom.

We can learn. Dogs can learn. Cats can learn. All animals obtain a natural pragmatic familiarity. However, for this journey, we don’t want to confuse this natural pragmatic familiarity with certainty of truth. We steer a car by this natural familiarity form of pseudo-knowledge. We get a new car, and the steering doesn’t work exactly as our old car’s steering worked. However, we drive it until we get the feel of it by reacting to our natural senses. We could call this “knowledge,” but it isn’t knowledge unless we acknowledge God Who gives knowledge. When God reveals a matter and we acknowledge God, we can have precise, accurate, absolute, and certain knowledge of truth. But God doesn’t reveal everything, and we only accept a fraction of what He does reveal. Our carnal, sarx mind also calls to us and confuses us, so we aren’t always confident, and we’re sometimes confident when we should be questioning our confidence.

As an illustration of the problem, consider Tony, a former Christian turned atheistic evangelist. This man posted a question to a Christian discussion group and said that this was one of the questions that turned him away from Christianity. Here’s the question: “If God decided to kill most of humanity because they had turned to evil, why would He flood the planet to do so? Why cause such a loss of life?” He claimed that no one was able to answer this question in a way that wouldn’t allow him to rationalize an answer. Since he was always able to generate a rationalized response, he decided that God didn’t exist.

Christians then obediently tried to reason with Tony, and, sure enough, Tony was always able to rationalize an answer to anything the Christians proposed. One Christian asked Tony about the limitations of the human mind, and Tony agreed that the human mind is limited. He admitted that he couldn’t have a true premise, but he claimed that this limitation only kept him from absolute truth. He claimed that he could still “know” the probabilities of things being true or false. He claimed that the fact that he couldn’t have a true premise only meant that he was limited to inductive reasoning rather than deductive reasoning. Of course, that isn’t true. Both inductive and deductive reasoning require true premises. Tony brought out examples of how he’s able to function in society and keep himself alive by using the brute-beast, sarx mind.

The Christian asked how that works, and Tony said, “It works like this: I say something. You say something that appears to be related, based on your words and grammar. If it were a mess of jumbled letters, I would think we did not understand each other, but it’s not, so I say something that seems relevant. If you again respond with stuff that appears relevant, the likelihood that I am getting random responses from the universe is becoming smaller and smaller. So, I inductively conclude that I am almost certainly communicating with an intelligent being and that we almost certainly understand each other’s words, at least in broad outline.”

The Christian asked how Tony was reasoning to his original claim. Tony had already agreed that he was limited to his immediate sensations from his five senses, natural instincts, and axiomatic thinking fallacies. And yet, he felt qualified to ask God about His reasoning in sending the Genesis Flood.

Tony claimed that he “proved” the probability of the non-existence of God through inductive reasoning. Of course, Tony wouldn’t use the word “proved.” He would prefer the word “inferred.” However, for many people, both “infer” and “conclude” imply a rational thought process rather than just making up stuff and using smokescreen fallacies to hide the fact that they’re making up stuff and calling the made-up stuff true.

Tony asked God, and he asked Christians. God wasn’t specific enough in His answer to Tony, and Tony was always able to make up an argument against the answers he received from Christians. He called that “inductive reasoning.”

This true story illustrates the limitation of the brute-beast mind. Tony can use his brute-beast mind to “know” that he’s probably talking to a person rather than receiving random signals from the universe. In that case, he’s reacting to his immediate senses. However, he has to add axiomatic thinking fallacies and misuse inductive reasoning to reason beyond his immediate senses. Using the same process, Tony could convince himself of anything. He would just present his theory and test to see if he could argue against anyone who attempted to refute his theory. His theory could be the tooth fairy or the non-existence of the universe, but he would still be able to think up arguments against anyone who tried to refute his theory. The brute-beast mind can be very clever at making up stories and committing axiomatic thinking fallacies. As long as Tony allows those two methods of reasoning, he can prove anything to himself.
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“because the mind of the flesh is hostility toward God; for it is not subject to the Law of God, for not even can it be.” ~ Romans 8:7 Berean Literal Bible

This Scripture again speaks of the fleshly mind. It won’t obey God’s Law, nor can it. King James Version translated this same word as “carnal mind.” The Greek word is “sarx.” Again, this mind interprets sense data to make decisions. This animal nature craves and incites sin. To understand this word better, we’ll look at three more passages where it appears.

“For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.” ~ Romans 7:14 King James Version

“And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. . . . For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?” ~ 1 Corinthians 3:1 & 3 King James Version

“For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;” ~ 2 Corinthians 10:4 King James Version

As the natural, sarx, carnal mind depends on natural senses, the spiritual mind depends on spiritual senses. The sarx mind craves and incites sin. It can’t do righteousness. It’s deceitful and desperately wicked. In Romans 7:14, Paul says he’s carnal/sarx, sold under sin. When was he sold as a slave to sin? Adam obeyed Satan rather than God, and he became a slave of Satan through obedience. God’s natural order is obedience to God, not Satan, so Adam distorted the natural order. He passed on this sinfulness to his descendants including Paul, and his descendants all followed their distorted instincts into sin and death.

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