Mindless Christianity

By Ps Ho Wei Liang

When I was a young Christian, converted from a non-Christian background, one of my greatest joys was the realisation that I did not have to deposit my brain at the church door, so to speak. Reading the books of Christian thinkers such as C.S. Lewis and J. I. Packer, I discovered that there were many Christians who thought deeply about the Bible, about what it means, and about how it should be lived out in the world. Indeed, the Bible encourages us to love the Lord our God with all our mind.

Yet it is unfortunate that we have often neglected the one passage in Scripture which explicitly describes the Christian mind—Philippians 2:5-11. In this passage, the essence of the Christian mind is not ultimately about how or about how much we know. It is also not about knowing the latest, most relevant or most exciting things in the world. Rather, the focus is on humility. The Christian mind is, above all, the humble mind.

The passage tells us that the pre-incarnate Christ was God, and that despite being God, He took on human flesh, came down to earth and lived a life of absolute obedience to the Father, and he did so even to the point of excruciating pain—death on the cross. This is what makes this passage so striking and so demanding for us Christians. If God can condescend to such depths, how much more should we be willing to be humbled in the course of our Christian lives?

Yet, too often much of our life is devoted to other things. We tend to fill our lives with matters which, while good in themselves, can distract us from pursuing the demands of Philippians 2. Our calendars are filled with various activities, programmes, and entertainment. Even if our calendars are to be filled with church programmes and ministry, our spiritual health depends in large part upon cultivating the mind of Christ.

How do we do this? First, it is vital that we develop a clear understanding of who God is. Without this, we can barely understand what Philippians 2 means. That can only be done through the regular reading and hearing of God’s word. Second, we need to let the Word shine light unto our pride and all our iniquities, such that we may confess them and humble ourselves to be transformed by our Lord. Only when we do so consistently will we be able to cultivate the mind of Christ.