If you change someone’s mind on something, you haven’t accomplished much. Sure, it probably comes with a package including the person’s actions and words, but that’s just physics.
It’s hard to overstate the perversion of Western mythology. Let’s remind ourselves of the proper biblical approach to thinking about our existence. On the one hand, Creation is a marvelous expression of God’s character. What He has done naturally reflects His Person, and the link between Creator and Creation is a living thing in itself. The very moral fiber of His divine nature keeps Creation intact. As soon as He loses interest, it all goes away. Creation is a direct and wholly dependent fabrication of His imagination. Try Colossians 1:16-17.
Do you notice how language breaks down trying to express it? How do you pull all that higher truth down inside of Creation when Creation is just a figment in His mind?
So we acknowledge that Creation is unspeakably grand and beautiful because He is also unspeakably grand and beautiful. Why do we have so much sorrow then? The Bible doesn’t explain all the details, but God gave us a certain amount of free choice in this thing and we chose wrong. Your consciousness isn’t the issue; it’s His thoughts on the matter. So all we really know is that we somehow enter into this life flawed, and trying to pin the blame somewhere else is pointless. Whatever it was or could have been or should have been is not down that path. The only path out of this mess is accepting the Creator’s assessment of things.
Indeed, it’s so simple and easy we are rightly shocked more people don’t take it. All we have to do is embrace His assessment. He’s the one who made it and keeps it working, so why argue with Him about it? Suddenly the world becomes that unspeakably beautiful place He made it, instead of sorrowful place we made of it. Creation is not fallen; you and I are fallen. Unfortunately, we are the pinnacle of Creation, so our fallen state afflicts all of Creation in certain ways we are hard put to describe. In Romans 8, Paul doesn’t try to explain it but offers a dramatic image of how Creation moans and groans to God about being confined under or fallen nature. Creation itself is looking forward to our redemption.
In various ways, Paul and the other Apostles teach us that some measure of that redemption takes place here and now, but that the full realization is still down the road somewhere ahead of us. In that same chapter of Romans he notes how beautiful life is under that redemption right now, but how it just doesn’t compare well with what comes later. Celebrate your redemption now as a foretaste of what is to come.
Sadly, Western minds have turned that redemption into a mere cerebral exercise. That in itself is a form of blasphemy. Western Christian religion is all about proper ideas and thinking and actions, but this whole business of genuine personal connection back to God is shoved off into “Woo Land” that, not only can we not describe it, we can’t even really believe it. We can assert spiritual birth as orthodoxy, but Western thinking excludes the actual boundary layer between this fallen existence and the Spirit Realm. It’s an orthodoxy connected to nothing. Western thinking just barely accepts the notion that there is an entire brain and nervous system in your chest, but cannot possibly admit that there is any faculty above the human intellect. So whatever Western minds make of the heart-mind, it cannot be superior to the brain in our heads. It is permitted only to offer a little advice now and then.
Since God says in His word that He doesn’t speak directly to the mind, but only to the receptors in the heart, that means those who count themselves redeemed are wholly unlikely to know how to talk to God. They can stir up lots of emotion and imagine that somehow it’s not mere emotion, that this particular brand of excitement is holy and what you see at football games is secular. The problem is, however much religion and faith gets stirred up in those football rally worship experiences is as ephemeral as your team jersey. And all the orthodoxy of the teaching and endless classes in the mere words of the Bible, for all the artistry they may indulge, is still just an exercise in the brain. The heart is not reliably affected because nobody admits the heart can be engaged consciously as a superior faculty.
All that’s left is orthodoxy and activism, with some varying measure of emotion thrown in. There is no heart. Nobody accepts the true power of Romans 1:20.
For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities — His eternal power and divine nature — have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.” (NIV)
It’s all reduced to a mere figure of speech. Westerners can’t imagine a literal sensory heart that “sees” the truth in Creation. Well, Creation doesn’t witness of orthodoxy; Creation witnesses the living moral character of God. There is no such thing as “objective truth” because there is no objective reality. It’s just whatever God says it is, and since we are fallen, His truth is expressed in terms of Law Covenant. But it’s not Western law; it’s Ancient Near Eastern feudal law — you must become family or you will be a slave in the personal dominion of God. And family will remain personally devoted and loyal to the Person. That’s “Law” in the biblical sense.
If all you change is someone’s mind, then they are still a slave at best.