Think About It
Some would say that thoughts are somewhat controllable, manageable, or can be held captive. Certainly, what is fed into the mind helps what comes to the mind. No one can know another person’s thoughts, which allows a measure of privacy that is necessary given thoughts are produced with little conscious effort. “I will think about it, let me think about it, I thought it was….” are phrases we use regularly but rarely authenticate. Can our thoughts alone be held accountable as action?
In the book named 1984 by George Orwell, there are a group of people who are the Thought Police. Their job is to arrest those who have committed thought crimes. Thought crimes are thinking something ideologically opposed to the Party. This is done by televisions in people’s homes and reading body language, speech, and facial expressions.[i] This seemed a far-fetched fairy tale when it was penned by the author in 1949, but has the fairy tale reached reality?
In the UK Isabel Vaughan-Spruce, a pro-life volunteer went to trial for praying silently in an abortion clinic censorship zone. She was criminally charged with violating a local Public Spaces Protection Order last December and was later acquitted of all charges by Birmingham Magistrates’ Court.[ii]
She was not protesting or causing a disturbance of any kind. She stood with her hands in her coat pocket. She made no sounds. Police approached her and asked if she was praying, which she agreed she was. They accused her of standing in the buffer zone and praying. The court had found her within her rights in her prior trial. However, she was arrested in March for silently praying again in the censorship zone and then banned from attending prayer services outside of the censorship zone.
This is a case of thought crime, just like Orwell wrote in his “futuristic” book, 1984.
The brain processes some 70,000 thoughts a day using neurons connecting with synapses that travel 300 miles per hour.[iii] It is virtually impossible to control many of those 70,000 thoughts. There are techniques to control, to a degree, negative or unwanted thoughts. People employ journaling their thoughts, meditation, deep breathing, positive thinking, gratitude, and more. Those techniques have the possibility of tamping down some thoughts that distract from normal life routines, but they certainly cannot harness all 70,000 thoughts. If one cannot control their own thoughts, how can the government hope to control anyone’s thoughts …or prayers?
Isaiah 55:8 says, “for my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways may ways.” (NIV) In I Corinthians 2:11 another verse on thoughts reads “for who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? (NIV) Today people are hooked into their electronics to such a degree that George Orwell would find several ways to deploy the “Thought Patrol.” And christians are being attacked from all directions as Satan seeks to control our thoughts. The thoughts we conjure are thoughts grown from what we observe, absorb, and accept. Whether we “think” it or not, there is a war going on for control of our lives, including our thoughts.
Combat the war by “transforming and renewing your mind. Do not conform to the patterns of the world. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing, and perfect will”. (Romans 12:2 NIV)
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[i] https://bookanalysis.com/1984/thought-police/ [ii] https://www1.cbn.com/cbnnews/world/2023/march/uk-pro-lifer-arrested-again-for-crime-of-silent-prayer-as-parliament-set-to-create-first-thoughtcrime [iii] https://healthybrains.org/brain-facts/#:~:text=BRAIN%20FACT%3A%20Every%20day%20your%20brain%20processes%20about%2070%2C000%20thoughts.