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Pastor stressed in the last sermon, the main battle between us and the enemy (Satan), is for the mind.

If it is, what hope is there for people with severe mental illness like schizophrenia, bi-polar, etc.

It would appear that the battle is completely lost in these cases vs. other cases where we can use our free will to turn against the enemy.

So how does this battle for the mind work and are some born into a losing hand to the enemy, as described above?

EDIT
This is a different question than the posted possible duplicate and here's why:

That question focus on "will they still be saved?"

While that is important, this question focus on hope while alive here on earth, not the entrance into the next life.

If such a person has that type of illness, it is as if they are stuck to live in darkness. It would seem that the enemy wins over that person.

In addition, that person can bring even more darkness to family members - and in extreme cases to many others (i.e. - random school shootings and guns in America).

Where is the hope for these people, while here on earth, to live in the light of the Lord?

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marked as duplicate by David Stratton, Caleb Feb 8 '13 at 21:03

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

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Its like asking mentally retarded people can be saved or not. This is not easy to answer. Let God be the judge. –  Mawia Feb 7 '13 at 20:06
    
@Mawia: there is an element of awareness that makes these extremely different . –  Greg McNulty Feb 7 '13 at 22:42
    
@davidstratton: see edit to question and please re-open. Thank You. –  Greg McNulty Feb 11 '13 at 19:43
    
@Caleb: please see the 2 answers already here and how they are different than the duplicate, please do re-open. –  Greg McNulty Feb 11 '13 at 19:48
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Logismoi must be taken captive as made obedient to Jesus –  user3797 Feb 14 '13 at 19:49

2 Answers 2

up vote 1 down vote accepted

Saying that the 'main battle' is for the mind would possibly be an oversimplification. Better to say the main battle is over 'faith' and the mind is one of the primary faculties which influences our heart in that matter.

The fact is once we are deceived about the truth in our mind it is very difficult to have faith. Why else would the preaching of the gospel be so central to our faith, if the mind was not important. So, for the first part of your question I would say, yes, in some ways it is primarily the mind. However, having a weak mind does not equate to weaker or stronger faith at all! I have met many people who not only had weak minds but poor theology and who yet under the poor light of it seemed more faithful to God then I was at the time. This means there is much more going on. One person may be the most correct theologian and teacher and yet live in much wickedness and another may be quite confused theologically, and be very genuine and sincere in their faith. How can this be? Who really knows yet it can be!

Faith transcends mind and emotions and passes beyond the veil of our understanding. People with mental disease and mental weaknesses can cry out to God and be saved. Also the Holy Spirit is able to awaken the mind in a subconscious level, make one sensible of their sin and show hope in the salvation offered in Christ, in ways we can't comprehend. I am sure many mentally ill people who have took a hold of Christ by faith and through the power of the Holy Spirit, will be surprised to find great rewards awaiting for them in heaven, while some esteemed biblical scholars will arrive in heaven as one escaping through the flames, with nothing but their own soul in tact. Of course in both cases the joys of heaven will be glorious, I only mean to say that those things which are despised are often valued by God and he will expose the hidden intentions of our heart when we judges all things as they should be judged. God takes into account our situation and rewards accordingly.

If I was mentally ill I would take comfort that Jesus was my wisdom. Not my mental or emotional capacity:

But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not —to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him. It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore, as it is written:“Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.” (1 Corinthians 1:27-31, NIV)

God's grace is sufficient to overcome any weakness. All weakness expose us to more temptation and sin and where sin abounds grace much more abounds (Rom 5:20). That grace is sufficient to overcome anyone's mental illness is undeniable. We see the logic of the gospel when Paul himself wanted some weakness to be removed:

Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:8-10, NIV)

Now if God's power can be made perfect in weakness and His grace can abound much more where sin abounds and since he tends to cherishes what the world despises, is it not very Godlike to glorify his name in the soul of a man who has mental deficiencies, while bringing low those who boast about their theological knowledge? You bet he will. He is God and will not share his glory with anyone.

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thank you, that is a very good and well supported answer. Regardless of entrance into heaven, it seems that there is so much darkness in the lives of these people with these illnesses and in some extreme cases brings more darkness to other people around them, almost as if the devil wins over that person, so I wonder why God won't use His grace to defeat that? –  Greg McNulty Feb 11 '13 at 19:36
    
please help to keep this question and answer open by voting to reopen, thank you! –  Greg McNulty Feb 13 '13 at 0:11

This answer focuses on the first question, of whether or not the enemy's focus is on the mind. Perhaps two questions could be made out of this.

It would seem that the main battle of the enemy is on truth in order to deceive the mind.

The Father of Distortion

In the Fall of Mankind, Satan's first statement was to question the truth of the Word of God. He completely misquotes God, who did not say "You shall not eat of any tree in the garden" as he suggests, but actually said, "You may surely eat of every tree of the garden..." except one. So, Satan distorts the Word of God in order to attack the character of God, making Him out to be prohibitive in nature when He is actually generous in nature.

Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” Genesis 3:1 ESV

“You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” Genesis 2:16-17 ESV

The Father of Lies

Next, Satan asserts that there is no consequence to sin, and even asserts that sin will be to their benefit. This is a complete lie, of course. The truth is that there most certainly would be a consequence to sin.

But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” Genesis 3:4-5 ESV

The Deception of the Mind

After this, the woman's mind was completely deceived, and it was at that point that she sinned against God.

So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.

Conclusion

So, Satan's tactic was to deceive the woman. She believed that God was not as good as she had thought He was. She believed that there would be no consequence to sin. She believed that God was withholding something good from her, and that she would actually gain from sin.

Satan is also called "the father of lies" (John 8:44) and "the Deceiver" (Revelation 12:9). So, distorting the truth in order to deceive the mind is certainly a primary focus of his.

That makes Jesus' prayer in John 17 all the more instructive, that we are sanctified by the truth, and the Word of God is truth. (John 17:17)

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thanks for answering the first part...so it seems that it is a yes... –  Greg McNulty Feb 7 '13 at 22:35
    
please help to keep this question and answer open by voting to reopen, thank you! –  Greg McNulty Feb 13 '13 at 0:11

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