The Battle for the Minds of the Body of Christ
Heart to Heart

The Battle for the Minds of the Body of Christ
by Candy Summers

 Although grief stricken by all the political corruption, I find the enemy’s dominion over people’s minds much more sobering. Both in the secular community and in the Christian community, I am appalled to find how easily influenced man is by what he reads and hears without any thought as to the source or without any inclination to search for the truth.
 Time and time again while working in Bill Federer’s office (who ran against Dick Gephardt in Missouri’s 3rd congressional district), I took calls from emotionally driven people who vented their ill-directed opinions but refused to listen to the truth I tried to offer. Take for instance the woman who called and said she was so upset by Bill’s lies.
 I asked her, “What lies?”
 She told me that Bill did indeed assault that cameraman. I asked her if she was present and saw Bill assault the young man. She immediately hung up.
 Now the truth is we had many witnesses who saw the cameraman stalking Bill, elbowing him, stepping on him, pushing the camera in his face, and finally dropping his own camera. He was Gephardt’s intern. By the way, they had this man greeting everyone at the Democratic/Republican Forum. The enemy always plays on the emotions of the people.
 Then there were the people who wouldn’t vote for Bill because he had embezzled money. How did they know this? It’s true, they say, because the Post-Dispatch printed it. Good grief! How can anyone believe the liberal media that says whatever it deems necessary to push its liberal agenda? Of course these people didn’t see the rebuttal the Post printed because it was a tiny piece in the middle of the paper.
 However, the most appalling were the hateful calls we received from those who identified themselves as Christians and heatedly told us how hateful and intolerant we were for airing our commercial against homosexuals. First of all, we aired exactly what was shown on C-Span: Gephardt addressing homosexuals, assuring them he was going to promote their agenda. Secondly, isn’t it much more hateful tolerating a sexual behavior which will eventually result in a horrible death? Besides, how can Christians tolerate what God cannot? Aren’t we the loving ones, who love their body and soul enough to keep them from this horrific death and eternal damnation?
 What we dwell on by reading or hearing is what we believe, and what we believe determines our actions. Beliefs are either based on the infallible Word of God, or they are overcome and directed by the emotional whims of the flesh tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine. “Cursed is the man who trusts in mankind and makes flesh his strength, and whose heart turns away from the Lord.… For the heart is more deceitful above all things and desperately wicked; who can know it?… I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind, Even to give to each man according to his ways, according to the results of his deeds” (Jeremiah 17:5, 9, 10).
 Christians should not be looking to the ungodly for their information. “For to us God revealed them [His wisdom] through the Spirit … Now we have received not the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things freely given to us by God … But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.… For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he should instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ” (1 Cor. 2:10, 12, 14, 16).
 Besides, “He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ” (Eph. 4:11-13). Godly people should always be our source for information.
 And, too, as parents we are commanded in Deuteronomy 11:18-21 to faithfully teach God’s truth to our children day and night. This command has become much more significant to me this past year as I have clearly seen the ensuing battle for our minds. So distressed am I by what I see happening, I am determined to take every opportunity I have with my children to teach them God’s wisdom.
 Since we are what we eat, then it certainly stands to reason that we are what we feed our minds, too. And if “all Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work” (2 Tim. 3:16,17), then God’s Word should pervade every subject, while God’s law should be written on our hearts so that His law governs every facet of our lives. “As a result we are no longer to be children tossed here and there by waves, and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming …” (Eph. 4:14).
 Consider how Gephardt himself tells how to get what you want in this world. Richard Gephardt wrote the book on “the politics of personal destruction.” In An Even Better Place-America in the 21st Century (New York: Public Affairs, 1999), he wrote: “When positive imagery about your own candidate proves insufficient, negative ads about your opponent are the only alternative.” (p. 203)
 “To provide fodder for the assault on one’s opponent, negative research is now a necessity. Any scandal or embarrassment that can be dug up—no matter how dated, irrelevant, or distorted—is saved for use at the most opportune moment.” (pp. 203-204)
 “Government mechanisms, like independent counsels and ethics committees, can be manipulated to help generate, publicize and promote such charges. And the media, of course, serve as a powerful accomplice … Rumors and gossip once considered beneath the dignity of traditional journalism are now quickly disseminated.” (p. 204)
 “Our dirty little secret is that it comes so naturally to us as human beings to attack, to smear, to assassinate. The lust to retaliate with lethal force is understandable.” (p. 11)
 “So is our tendency—during times of heightened emotion, competition and stress—to revert to violence and near-violence in our social and political lives, figuratively killing one another through personal assaults upon one another’s character.” (p. 11)
 “The first step is for political leaders, at all levels of government, to refuse to participate in the politics of slash and burn. It will require self-discipline, strength, and a kind of humility on all our parts; the self-discipline to forgo the advantage that might be gained through a below-the-belt attack; the strength to refuse to use an opponent’s personal foibles as political weapons…”
 “There will be endless temptations to revert to the rules of the jungle; at times, they will masquerade as opportunities to land tough but fair blows on behalf of a worthy cause. We need the strength to say no even then.” (p. 215)
 Ignorance of the truth makes anyone a victim of tyranny, enslaved by the enemy in one’s own mind; and as a group, eventually enslaved by the State that they believe to be true, wise, and caring. If not grounded on the rock of God’s absolute Word of truth, one is carried away by the craftiness of the serpent and the deceitful scheming of his cohorts.
 “But speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him, who is the head, even Christ, from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by that which every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love” (Eph. 4:15,16). The Body of Christ is so important that it is referenced more than thirty times in the Bible. The cooperation among the body’s members is so essential to the preservation of the body that the malfunction of a single cell type can create tragic consequences and ultimately destroy the body in short order. Therefore, we must take every precaution to heed God’s warnings and commands to diligently work at making sure our members work properly so as to build up and create growth in the body.
 “This I say therefore, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind, being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart; and they, having become callous, have given themselves over to sensuality, for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness” (Eph. 4:17-19).
 Man’s thoughts guide and control his walk. Left to the corruption of the flesh, they create confusion that clouds all perceptions and judgments. Not seeing clearly, his ways seem right in his own eyes. Unlawful thoughts poison his mind with every form of impurity giving way to unbridled passions. Lest we think this cannot happen to us, remember David, for greater men than ourselves have fallen. We must guard our minds!
 “But you did not learn Christ in this way, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught in Him, just as truth is in Jesus, that in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth” (Eph. 4:20-24). If our purpose in life is to glorify God and become like God, then our chief and foremost duty is to devote ourselves to teaching our children and ourselves the truth that is in Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. Notice that God says to “lay aside the old self … be renewed … put on the new self …” We must act.
 Knowing that everything shapes our character for good or for evil, we must therefore make all of the choices for our children based on how they will influence them. We haven’t watched television in years because of the sinful garbage it fed our minds. We don’t listen to much secular music anymore because of its sinful messages. We don’t have Nintendo, and the kids probably spend just an hour a month playing games on the computer because we feel it wastes precious time.
 However, we have allowed them to waste too much of their time reading frivolous mystery books. For some time Jon has actually been grieving over all the time they have wasted when they could have been filling their minds with biblical, historical truth. Not that we don’t allow them to read some books for fun, but our children are voracious readers—reading several books a week; therefore, Jon just wants to make certain that the majority of their time is spent in meaningful learning, promoting noble thoughts that will profit them as members of the Body of Christ rather than wasting their time on meaningless emptiness, which is not only unprofitable but disabling. (We are always extremely careful in what we allow our children to read. Please don’t ever allow your children to read anything without previewing it.)
 As parents we must continually reevaluate our goals, our choices, and the evident consequences. We certainly have made many mistakes, but hopefully we will continue to make the changes necessary to raise straight arrows for God that not only reflect God’s Holy Spirit, but also will be much closer to the mark when they raise their children.
 “Therefore, laying aside falsehood, speak truth each one of you, with his neighbor, for we are members of one another. Be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not give the devil an opportunity. Let him who steals steal no longer; but rather let him labor, performing with his own hands what is good, in order that he may have something to share with him who has need. Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, that it may give grace to those who hear. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. And be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you” (Eph. 4:25-32).
 May I reiterate that so essential is the cooperation among the body’s members that the malfunction of a single cell type can produce tragic consequences and even quickly destroy the body. Every warning must be heeded, every command followed, every precaution taken to guard against invaders to preserve the body.
 The enemy’s goal is to destroy the body. He is the father of lies, a counterfeit who uses every form of trickery, craftiness, and deceit to bring everyone into his lair of bondage, making them slaves to sin. He takes possession of the rebellious spirit, the jealous spirit, those with unbridled tongues to accuse the brethren so that the members of the body waste much of their time battling invaders in hopes that the members themselves become weakened and begin destroying each other. They comment on things they’ve heard, give their opinion on matters they know nothing about, whispering accusations, leaving a trail of destruction wherever they go.
 Then there are those members who are the gatekeepers who keep watch for the invaders and slanderers. Others like the white knight cells willingly put their lives on the line to defend the honor of Christ’s members and protect His body. Exposing an enemy is one thing, destroying (murdering) a fellow member is another. All members should run to the aid of a wounded member and help restore him.
 We want our children to be wise, to think clearly, to always seek truth and justice, and to base all their perceptions and judgments on God’s Word. When they hear something, we want them to consider the source. Have I known this person long? Do they exhibit the fruit of the Spirit? Do I see good fruit in their works? Have they proven themselves to be true over the years? What do they stand to gain from this? Are they jealous, insecure, and prone to slandering others? Is what they say edifying to me or glorifying God? Is it hurting another member of the body? Or have they been on the battlefront for years, battling for the body to keep it safe from invaders?
 May our children guard their thoughts, making God and His Word their Master. Having unquestioning trust and unshakeable faith in the lover of their soul, may they be productive members of the body of Christ, building up an impregnable fortress. Being vigilant in their watch, may they always seek truth and fight for justice. To other fellow members, may they be merciful in humility and be kind and tenderhearted, helping the wounded and restoring a sick member to health. May they always conduct themselves honorably, and may they, too, be diligent in training up new members to secure the preservation of Christ’s body.
 Our primary goal in life and greatest responsibility to Almighty God is to raise up sincere Christians who will build up the body, assuring that tyranny and slavery will not take hold.
 Please note: (1) Besides my husband Jon, Bill Federer is one of the most humble, gentle men we know. Through all Satan’s attacks, he has handled himself in a most godly manner; (2) The judge who signed the order to keep the polls open after 7:00 p.m. in the City of St. Louis was Gephardt’s former Chief of Staff. Our people were at the polls after 7:00, and only one to four people were there to vote; (3) Bill was assaulted more than once and had to have a bodyguard. Because the office was broken into three times, Heather (Bill Federer’s campaign headquarters manager) was no longer allowed to open up without a male present, and she had to be escorted to her car each evening. To further protect her, Heather was not allowed to ride with Bill just in case he was run off the road; (4) The office phone lines were tapped. The investigator indicated that the office itself was also bugged; (5) The FBI searched the Ste. Genevieve office coordinator’s home and seized his personal computer; (6) The fundraising chairman was audited; (7) The yard sign coordinator’s car was vandalized; (8) The campaign chairman’s car was also vandalized. The list goes on.