Dream word – THINK
“And it will come to pass in that day that the mountains shall drip with new wine.” NKJV
The monosodium glutamate of the mind
Chilean winemaker, Aurelio Montes, actually plays Gregorian chants to his maturing wines! Believing that the “gentle” vibrations improve both the quality and the energy of the wine, Montes has even had a Feng-Shui designed barrel room built in the form of an amphitheatre, thus allowing each barrel of wine the optimum, good vibrational exposure! Now I reckon that kind of experimentation does not provide you with best of scientific data to either ratify or deny the practice. However, Montes also teamed up with Professor Adrian North, of Edinburgh’s Herriot Watt University, to determine how music effects our taste perception of the wines, which we might imbibe. The results of this scientific testing are fascinating, as the Watt University study found that people rated the change in the taste of their wine by up to 60% depending on the type of music they were listening to! Yes, 60%! Now, apart from the basic fact that retailers can now scientifically suggest and sell music recommendations on their wine bottles, this research also raises the question, as to why music makes wine taste up to 60% better! The answers the scientists give us to this question is a, “cognitive primary theory,” where the music sets up the brain to respond to the wine, in a much more receptive way, by the music somehow turning itself into the mono sodium glutamate of the mind! Fascinating, but so what?
Well, imagine you’re driving down the road and the church sign you see is bright, welcoming and inviting. You pull into the parking lot and there is plenty of space to park. Nice! The maybe long walk to the campus, is cancelled and improved upon by the shade covered golf cart which drives you lazily to the front of the sanctuary and the drop off at the large chandelier filled, smoke glassed entrance way, which is both intriguing and attractive, as are the warm handshakes of the well dressed greeters. Just lovely, and my oh my, the gentle sounds of the indoor fountain and the crisp smell of fair trade Columbian coffee, or better still, the very over priced but very cool Starbucks brew, which draws you along tippy toed and by the aroma held nostrils, to the iced donut table, where you can grab a Krispy Kreme and then sit down to peruse the glossy and colourful, tactile and hip, sweet spot of a service order, is just delightful! In the distance, the pleasant sound of worship music, surfs the undulating atmosphere as the electronic countdown display on the triple jumbo-tron, beats the “prepare to have your desires met” drum into a rising and pulsating expectation. To top it all, you have heard that the leaders speaking today, praying today, preaching today, have just returned from the latest tributary of the river from the very throne of God Almighty, and are all blessed up and blasted all to pieces and popping with an anointing power from on high! Hallelujah and Oh my goodness, they’ve probably, hopefully, brought back the blessing with them, or at least that is what you expect they’ve done because the local Christian radio station and those famous Christian TV channels, have all been reporting on the “revival” all day, every day, for weeks now. So, when you’re finally together with a whole bunch of other expectant folks and the praise band kicks in and the smiling preacher recounts the rumours of revival as fun frolicking facts of the Father’s blessing, delivered from streets of gold, imprinted with the footprints of angelic visitation, well, it’s not long before that cognitive priming trigger is pulled and boom! You’re on the floor. Boom! You’re wallets in the bucket. Boom! You’ve bowed your heads and closed your eyes! Boom! You’ve slipped your hand up, slipped out of your seat, slipped down the front, “repeated after me,” signed the card, moved from the prospect list, to the 101 discipleship class, and oh my gosh, in the seeming twinkling of an eye, you’ve gotten saved, gotten sanctified, got set free and got signed up for membership and the club dues of 10% and all of this, I say and all of this, without one hint of conviction of sin and true repentance for a lifetime of sinning against a Holy God and I tell you what, even so, despite all that, the expected and delicious, dew drop dripping wine of pop culture Christianity, tasted better than you ever expected. I mean ever expected!
It’s only a theory of course, but I wonder if much of the circus we sometimes witness and expect, even long for and enjoy, is nothing more than the outworking of cognitive priming theory? I mean, wouldn’t the results of crowds of disappointed people later leaving the back door of the church in those coming colder months, suggest the use of this monosodium glutamate of the mind? After all, we all know that such a well sprinkled Chinese meal might satisfy you now, but in fact it will only satiate the titillated hunger pangs a wee bit, before in just a short, short time, you’re feeling starving hungry again and go looking for a fix of another kind. For the initial meal, consumed in all its tastiness didn’t in fact contain one ounce of nutritious value at all, indeed, it was a false meal, an emotional filler, a fat, heart stopping killer of a meal.
It has been my experience, that there is only one thing that can be guaranteed to be authentic and that is, a Word and Spirit convicted heart, of sinning against a Holy and wholly justifiable, very angry God. However, this I am afraid, in our present day, has become as rare as rocking horse poop.
Are all of those Sunday meeting, mega church preparations mentioned in the previous paragraphs, made for the people of God to simply gather together and then via their consumerist ways to inadvertently sin? Are these mega methods of attraction merely mental manipulation maybe? No! They are nice and culturally appropriate things. Yes, they might be even the correct use of right things. However, these culturally appropriate and right things, have been used greatly by the enemy to deceive even the very elect! It would appear, in my opinion, that we have been deceived and left child like, and are not man enough and mature enough to know the difference between the manipulation of the mind and soul, and the deep conviction of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God. Maybe, until we grow up and learn this, the use and so thorough application of this learned and inductive mega methodology, will be nothing short of a false Gospel!
Let us allow the river within us, to bubble up and flow out from us. Let us make sure that the Word of Christ dwells in us richly. Let us be filled with the Spirit. Let us pray for a personal Holy Ghost revival and most importantly, let us ask our God to turn His face towards us once more and be merciful to us. For surely, when the plutonium power of the Word and the Spirit is brought together in our praying hands, the sun like spark and effulgent flash of irradiation, will x-ray even the densest of beings, showing them clearly who they are before an Holy and an angry God. Now that’s conviction of sin, righteousness and judgement and that’s what I call “enmity to the natural man!” Bring it on!
Listen: “For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.” Romans 8:5-8 NKJV
Pray: But we are not in the flesh but in the Spirit! You, the Spirit of God dwells in us and we are alive because of righteousness. Give life then to our bodies, minds, soul and spirit and then lead us as Your children, from bondage bound fear, to open exultation and proclamation of our relationship with You, our dearest and most lovely, most Holy heavenly Father! Holy Spirit, come bear witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and comfort us in all our sufferings and assure us and help us to rightly and abundantly live off and live in, that great inheritance which is in Your Son and our Saviour, Jesus Christ the Lord. Amen!
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