Science in Christian Perspective



P. D. Marquart, MD

From JASA 9 (December 1957): 21

This is an instructive experiment to try upon a group of people as a parlor game. Give each one a blank card on which they can keep tally for themselves. Tell them, that you are going to utter a "bad word" which they are to try to their utmost to keep out of their minds. The must work hard and keep their minds on the task at hand. Every time a naughty word comes, they art instructed to give themselves a black mark. Time them sixty seconds for the task and continue to suggest to them that they try hard. The word given may be be "devil" or "sin" etc, changing the word each time the task is repeated. They will be surprised at the number of black marks they Some of them will have
fewer black marks. Inquire, how they controlled their thoughts and the chances are that they were trying some indirect way of replacing-other fascinating topics in their minds, perhaps - even Bible verses. Then repeat the experiment with instuctions for  the whole group to try these methods of letting such a mind be in them.

""You will find that some in the group have had difficulty in controlling their thoughts and they will tell you about it privately. They will have learned a valuable lesson in controlling their thoughts. It is surprising how: many people have trouble with unwelcome thoughts coming into their minds. They blame themselves for it and consider that these suggestions are their own guilty sin and not mere suggestions which are cast into their minds from the outside.  It is better for them to realize that these are solicitations and temptations rather than personal sins but that something must be done about them lest they become an integral part of the thinking. It is evidence that evil beings exist who are able to influence the superficial consciousness with wicked ideas. Christians ofteri struggle against these blasphemous and often impure ideas, and failing in the struggle against them, they sometimes listen to the accuser of the brethren and believe they are actually headed for perdition. To such, this valuable lesson in psychology for the glory of God may help them a little. However the Christian should remember that any purely secular struggle against the enemy will end in failure unless, are we ready to plead  the finished work of Christ, in the full armor of God. One such believer resisted the devil and made him flee from him by simply repeating th e name Jesus, Jesus". We should remember that the enemy is already overcome and that he is a de feated foe (`Col. 2:15, Heb. 2:14) We ourselves, moreover, are already translated into the kingdom of His own dear Son (t& 1:13). "Nay, we are more than conquerors," but we cannot win on our own power alone.