The Frontal Lobe and Spirituality

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"Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus..." --Philippians 2:5.

The 'mind of Christ' in us--how could this be accomplished? While most Christians are familiar with the basics of how this could be accomplished (i.e. accepting Jesus as our personal Lord and Saviour and being obedient to His will, etc.), many people are not aware that there are physical factors that affect and inhibit the process of sanctification and growth in the Christian life so that the mind of Christ would not be experienced. Some of what you are about to read would be shocking indeed.

Sometime ago I listened to an audio cassette by a Christian medical doctor who explained that various physical factors adversely affect our Christian experience. What he said, I thought, was one of the most eye-opening discoveries ever made.

This doctor explained that the frontal lobe of the brain is what makes us different from the animals. This is the part of the brain where perception, reasoning, judgment, deciphering between right and wrong, worrying, analysis, and all the higher powers of the mind take place. He stated that this is the part of the brain where God communicates with man. Anything that affects the frontal lobe, whether it be through chemical or mechanical means such as a trauma received in a bad car wreck would affect and cut off the line of communication between God and man. We have seen people with brain injuries incurred during a bad car wreck, haven't we? Sad to say that many have become 'vegetables'. While the line of communication with God has been adversely affected, this does not mean that God doesn't love and care for these people in their vegetative state.

The term 'mind of Christ' as used in this document means Christ's character--His attitude, His purpose, His humbleness of spirit, His love, His tender mercy and compassion, His gentleness and tact, His goodness and benevolence.

Medications (legal or illegal mind-altering drugs) have an adverse affect on the frontal lobe and inhibit any communication between God and man. They hinder and thwart the growth process and render a person dwarf in his spiritual attainment.

Alcohol also affects the frontal lobe. It is a well-known fact that alcohol destroys brain cells. Brain cells that are destroyed could never be replaced. Since the body does not belong to us (it belongs to God) we cannot destroy it albeit one cell at a time. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 say "What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's."

From the American Prohibition Year Book of 1912 we find these words: "Alcoholic liquors, whether fermented, brewed, or distilled, are poisonous, increasing greatly the liability to fatal termination of diseases, weakening and deranging the intellect, polluting the affections, hardening the heart, and corrupting the morals, 'bequeathing to posterity' a degeneration of physical and moral character."

Philip L. Griffin, chief probation officer of the Municipal Court of Minneapolis, says, 'Practically 90 percent of the cases that come through the court...are as a result of drinking.' Listen, October-December, 1948, page 34.

The Word of God speaks strongly against the use of alcoholic beverages. Here are some texts that clearly show God's disapproval of alcoholic beverages for consumption by His people.

Leviticus 10:8, 9 - "And the Lord spake unto Aaron, saying, Do not drink wine nor strong drink, thou, nor thy sons with thee."

Isaiah 24:9 - "They shall not drink wine with a song; strong drink shall be bitter to them that drink it."

Proverbs 21:17 - "He that loveth pleasure shall be a poor man: he that loveth wine and oil shall not be rich."

Proverbs 23:21 - "For the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty: and drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags."

Habakkuk 2:15 - "Woe unto him that giveth his neighbour drink, that puttest thy bottle to him, and makest him drunken also."

Isaiah 5:22 - "Woe unto them that are mighty to drink wine, and men of strength to mingle strong drink."

Ephesians 5:18 - "Be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit."

Proverbs 20:1 - "Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise."

Proverbs 23:29-32 - "Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes? They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine. Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright. At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder."

1 Corinhians 6:9,10 - "Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers...nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God."

Tobacco is another enemy of the frontal lobe. It is an insidious poison. "Tobacco is known to be the most subtle poison known to chemists, except the deadly prussic acid." --M. Orfila, a former president of the Paris Medical Academy.

Ty Cobb, for many years one of the highest-paid ball players in the world, said: "Cigarette-smoking stupefies the brain, saps vitality, undermines health, and lessens the moral fiber of the man. No boy who hopes to be successful in any line can afford to contract a habit that is so detrimental to his physical and moral development."

Ranked along with tobacco as enemies of the frontal lobe are products containing caffeine such as coffee, tea, colas and chocolates. Caffeinated products "temporarily excite the mind to unwonted action, but the aftereffect is exhaustion, prostration, paralysis of the mental, moral, and physical powers. The mind becomes enervated, and unless through determined effort the habit is overcome, the activity of the brain is permanently lessened. All these nerve irritants are wearing away the life forces, and the restlessness caused by shattered nerves, the impatience, the mental feebleness, become a warring element, antagonizing to spiritual progress." Counsels on Diet and Foods, pages 421, 422.

Another subtle yet vicious enemy of the frontal lobe is watching television programs and movies especially those that are questionable in nature. Many programs and shows go contrary to the Word of God and His Law, and they not only affect the frontal lobe in ways we could not begin to imagine, but they undermine our faith, our courage, and our hope for a heavenly inheritance. Think of the many programs that depict brutality, murder, adultery, stealing, cheating, blasphemy, cussing and cursing. You think we can watch these depraved programs and come out unscathed by them? "Can a man take fire in his bosom, and his clothes not be burned?" --Proverbs 6:27". We cannot be innocent and have the mind of Christ in us watching these low and debased TV shows and movies. A dynamic law of our being is that we become changed into that which we behold. When we behold evil, we become evil. When we behold good, we become good. Simple as that. The Apostle Paul was not unfamiliar with this law for he wrote in Philippians 4:8 that "...whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things." What also is undermined when we regularly watch immoral TV shows and movies is our resolve to renounce the world and the things of the world that we had made at baptism.

The doctor talked about subliminal messages emanating from the movies and TV shows that are watched daily by thousands. These subliminal messages bypass the 'security check' that is done in the brain. It is in the frontal lobe where the process of evaluating, filtering, discarding and/or keeping messages for storage in our brain take place. Subliminal messages go right to the brain unfiltered and act like a computer virus to wreak havoc with our Christian experience.

Even the kind of music we listen to, believe it or not, affects the frontal lobe. How many times the Holy Spirit must have been grieved away and the angels of God saddened by some of the music and lyrics that are being sung today.

The doctor mentioned an incident where a frontal lobotomy was performed on a man. Before the frontal lobotomy was done, he was asked what he would do if he borrowed a gold watch from a friend and he somehow lost the watch. He said that he would replace the watch or pay his friend for the price of the watch. After the frontal lobotomy, he was asked the same question. This time his reply was a shocking "I will borrow another watch from my friend." Another incident involved a very religious lady who underwent a frontal lobotomy. After the frontal lobotomy was performed, she was asked who the Holy Ghost is and what is His role in the life of the Christian. Her reply was a nonchalant "There is no Holy Ghost!"

Our spirituality rests precariously within the frontal lobe of our brain. Many things, within and without, some are within our control, others are beyond our control, cause shipwreck and devastation in our Christian experience. Injury and trauma to the brain, as well as chemical dependency (alcohol), use of mind-altering drugs and medications, etc., inevitably affect the sanctification process and efface the image of Christ in us.

Keeping the body healthy through proper nutrition, exercise, fresh drinking water (at least six to eight glasses a day), exposure to moderate sunshine, plenty of fresh air, physical and spiritual rest, temperance, and trust in our Heavenly Father will have a healthy effect not only upon the body itself but upon the mind and spirit for there is a definite correlation existing between the physical and the spiritual. A close sympathy exists between the physical and the moral nature.

Contrary to what many people believe, the brain feeds on carbohydrates, not protein or fats for that matter. It is important to note that the carbohydrates the brain needs is complex carbohydrates, not simple carbohydrates. The difference between complex carbohydrates and simple carbohydrates is this: Complex carbohydrates consist of the natural and unrefined state of the foods that God created for our consumption. Simple carbohydrates consist of foods that have been tampered with by man through the refinery processes which strip foods of their natural nutritive properties and render them almost useless to the body. While synthetic vitamins and minerals are added to the refined products, they could never be identical in nutritive quality, in the right quantity, and in their proper ratio and proportion as found in the real thing. For who has known the mind of the Lord? Has man identified all the vitamins, minerals, enzymes and who knows what else that God has placed in a pear or an apple or an orange? Can man duplicate the medicinal properties in plants and herbs without generating harmful side effects? Can he produce the synergistic effect that comes about when consumption of a combination of different fruits or different vegetables and herbs takes place? There are just too many variables and unknowns in this complex world of ours. Man might have won the quest for outer space and might have attempted to clone some of God's creation, but he would never be able to fine tune them to be exactly as they came forth from the hands of the Creator who looked at His works and said that they were good.

All we have to do is look at what happened during the building of the Tower of Babel. Read the story in Genesis, Chapter 11. God confounded the language of the people in order to put an end to the building project. Why? Because the building of this tower "is only the beginning of what they will do, and now nothing they have imagined they can do will be impossible to them." --Amplified Version. As surely as God confounded the language of the people there at the plains of Shinar, He will bring chaos and confusion to those today who try to build a modern-day version of the tower of Babel--cloning, genetically altering and tampering with God's creation. But man has not known or ever will know the mind of the Lord. He does not know all that the Creator has put into His intricate and marvelous creation.

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A frontal lobe that has been compromised through injury, mind-altering drugs and medications, alcohol, tobacco, caffeinated products, improper diet, questionable TV shows and movies, and even the wrong kind of music would not be able to do its job of evaluating, filtering, and discarding messages coming in to the brain. The evil and obscene messages and images are stored indelibly in the mind obliterating the mind and image of Christ in us.

The doctor's report shows how important the role of the frontal lobe is. It behooves everyone of us to keep our brain healthy and avoid like the plague those things which have a deleterious effect on the frontal lobe--those things which we have control over. We want our frontal lobe to be as healthy and pure as possible for it is the place where all the higher powers of the mind--perception, reasoning, judgment, deciphering between right and wrong take place--the place where God communicates with us and where the mind and image of Christ could be in us forever and ever.

"Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus..." --Philippians 2:5.

See also topic  Bible Temperance.

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