Thoughtlessness

From J. C. Ryle:

“Not thinking is one simple reason why thousands of souls are thrown away forever into the Lake of Fire. Men will not consider, will not look ahead, will not look around them, will not reflect on the end of their present course, and the sure consequences of their present days, and wake up to find they are damned for a lack of thinking. Young men, none are in more danger of this than yourselves. You know little of the perils around you, and so you are careless how you walk. You hate the trouble of serious, quiet thinking, and so you make wrong decisions and bring upon yourselves much sorrow.”

Spurgeon On Sinful Thoughts

Charles H. Spurgeon

From the desk of Charles H. Spurgeon:

Did you ever have the light of God brought to bear upon your imagination? Imagination is the ‘play room’ of the soul. Here many a man considers that he is without law. “Surely,” says he, “thought is free.” The man gloats over sins which he would fear to commit. He finds a pleasure in thinking over lusts which his circumstances compel him to avoid. In the dark chambers of imagination the heart commits adulteries, murders, thefts, and all manner of infamies.

When the light of God falls upon the imagination, the man shudders as he learns that “as he thinks in his heart so is he”. He trembles as he perceives that the fond imagination of sin is sin. Then is the floor of imagination purged, and the foul dust and chaff are driven into the fire. Imagination then gleams in the light of God, and, having washed in the brazen laver, sings songs on her stringed instruments unto the God of her salvation, who has brought her out of darkness into his marvelous light. (“The Eye and the Light” #2109)

If We Are Just Matter, How Should We Then Live?

Gavin Beers

Rev. Gavin Beers encourages us here to think clearly and logically about the philosophy of materialism which is so prevalent among men today. If you accept this philosophy then men are no more than beasts who instinctively react to only their comfort or discomfort. In this excerpt Beers writes:

“And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul” (Genesis 2:7)

I ask you, is matter all there is in the universe? That’s a question. A lot of blank looks! But as you think about the question, ask yourself, what is that thought that you are thinking? Is it more than the random movement of molecules in the brain? I stand up here and look down from time-to-time at these notes and convey thoughts that are in my mind through words. Yes there is the physical projection of the voice; there are vibrations in the air. Your little eardrum is sensitive to those vibrations. You are translating the sound waves. My thoughts are ultimately provoking your thoughts, even if your thoughts are: What on earth has he been talking about for the last ten minutes? We are thinking. Are our thoughts more than matter? If I wanted to convince you of something and matter is all that exists, then I should get some chemical that does the work that I want it to do. Rather than stand up here and try to convince you by provoking your thoughts, I would do it in a materialistic way. So is matter all that exists, and matter all that matters? Think about your own thoughts and try to come to an answer to that question. . . .

So if matter is all that there is, how should we then live? What are the implications for life in such a world, when there is nothing more than matter?

First of all, if matter is all there is, what does it mean for morality, what does it mean for right and wrong? Sometimes we build our case and we come to a conclusion, other times we state the conclusion at the beginning for impact and that’s what I want to do here: if matter is all there is, what does it mean for morality, what does it mean for right and wrong? Very simply, there can be no right and there can be no wrong. If you meet a materialist he’ll want to try and talk in terms of right and wrong and the best thing that you can do is to immediately nail that. Cause him to see that there can be no right or wrong in his world view.

Does a mushroom know the difference between right and wrong? Nobody knows. No! Why does a mushroom not know the difference between right and wrong? Because, we might say, it’s not conscious. Ok. Does a fish know the difference between right and wrong? Everybody is starting to think now about the morality of fish. No! But the fish is conscious isn’t it? Ok. So it’s not to do with consciousness. Is a hurricane that wrecks a city and kills many people, a good thing or a bad thing? What do you think? You think it’s a bad thing? Why? In a materialistic world all we have in that hurricane is the rapid movement of air blowing a force against other bits of matter, those other bits of matter that we have shaped into houses fall upon other bits of matter, which are you and me, and we die. But it’s just the random, rapid movement of matter. Why in a materialistic world view do we conclude that that is a good thing or a bad thing? It’s just a thing.

Well then, is it morally wrong for a lion to kill and eat a wildebeest? Is it? No! Why? Because that’s what it does. It needs to eat. The wildebeest is tasty, so it eats the wildebeest. But, would it be morally wrong for me to kill you, and eat you? Yes! Why? Did we not evolve from mushrooms, through lions or something? Why is it that we at the top of the tree in this evolutionary world view, why is it that we are the only ones that have morality? There is absolutely no basis for it in a materialistic world. We are just like mushrooms, we are a bit more conscious, a bit more sophisticated – granted; but ultimately, we are reduced down to the same kind of dignity and the same kind of morality. If you desire to be consistent with the materialist view of the world, the first thing you need to do is throw out the idea of right and wrong for this reason: chemicals and a random interaction of atoms do not know anything cause right and wrong. In nature, says Darwin, the strongest or the fittest wins; that’s the law. The hurricane destroys the house, the house is heavier than the man, it squashes the man; the lion eats the wildebeest, but if he gets it wrong and jumps into a crowd of twelve wildebeest and they tear into him, then the lion is killed by the wildebeest. That’s the morality of the materialistic world view. (“Materialism: Is Matter all that Matters?”)

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