Moods - From the Office of Dr. Clint Behrends
Posted on April 17, 2018
“The Americans combine the notions of religion and liberty so intimately in their minds that it is impossible to make them conceive of one without the other. Liberty cannot be established without morality, nor morality without faith. America is great because she is good. If America ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.” Alexis de Tocqueville 178….
Cedar Park Christian Schools are blessed with parents who understand and aspire to follow Alexis de Tocqueville’s insightful analysis of what makes America exceptional. Earnestly teaching and living Biblical values is the difference between America and other nations. When America ceases to follow Biblical morality, based in faith, it will not remain great. In today’s culture the true challenge is to remain faithful, even though the definition of success seems to have changed to be “who can amass the most things.” We forget faithfulness is what matters most.
Nancy Pearcy, in her book “Finding Truth” refers to “the stupid years.” They are the years spent turning your back on the church and looking for a more sophisticated creed to live by. For young people it occurs often when they can’t appreciate “good” because they don’t have enough experiences to objectively compare how Christianity really works compared to other philosophies. Stupid years often arise when idealism, emotionalism, and naivety displace wisdom and experience. It is interesting that even as adults who have lived with many of the negative repercussions of enticement and self-indulgence, we still need encouragement to remain steadfast in faithfulness.
As parents, we have a wonderful, but limited, window of opportunity to give children a foundation of essential critical thinking skills which they will need before they are inundated with a thousand subtle sinister messages from culture.
C.S. Lewis was correct when he said the real struggle is to overcome ourselves and our moods:
“For moods will change, whatever view your reason takes. I know that by experience. Now that I am a Christian I do have moods in which the whole thing looks very improbable; but when I was an atheist I had moods in which Christianity looked terribly probable.
The rebellion of your moods against your real self is going to come anyway. That is why Faith is such a necessary virtue: unless you teach your moods ‘where to get off’ you can never be either a sound Christian or even a sound atheist, but just a creature dithering to and fro, with its beliefs really dependent on the weather and the state of its digestion.
Consequently one must train the habit of Faith.
The first step is to recognize the fact that your moods change. The next is to make sure that if you have once accepted Christianity, then some of its main doctrines shall be deliberately held before your mind for some time every day. That is why prayers daily and religious reading and church going are necessary parts of the Christian life. We have to be continually reminded of what we believe. Neither this belief nor any other will automatically remain alive in the mind. It must be fed.
And as a matter of fact, if you examined a hundred people who had lost their faith in Christianity, I wonder how many of them would turn out to have been reasoned out of it by honest argument? Do not most people simply drift away?”
Lewis is not speaking of children in this quote, but adults. In this world, there is a constant and continuous battle, not only for the hearts and minds of our children, but for the hearts and minds of all of us. As a result, each of us needs people and the church to remind and encourage us in what we believe. We know what we need most, but what we want now often pulls us away from what we really want most.
Alexander Solzhenitsyn said:
“If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being.”
In many ways, it is a daunting life for the Christian of today to remain steadfast in the faith amidst so many allurements and contrary voices. If life were as simple as making one choice, one time, the human mind would not be so prone to compromise, confusion, and rationalizing behavior.
While salvation is the beginning of a new life and assures eternity, it does not always translate into a biblical thought process. Learning to understand what Truth is, what the Word of God says, what it means, and how to apply it to life, is unique in today’s world. We all need encouragement, inspiration, role models, and mentors to sharpen our critical thinking skills. If we expect our children to live out life as Christians, it just makes common sense that they are exposed to a consistent worldview through parents, school, mentors, and the church.
It takes the body of Christ working together.
Dr. Clint Behrends, CPCS Superintendent