Thought Crimes and the Edge of Eternity

Anthony W. Brooks

I the LORD search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds.” – Jeremiah 17:10

The new trailer for No Quarter November came out this week and keeping with the theme of this month Douglas Wilson said something interesting. Admitting what the Bible teaches he said in summary that we don’t need to be guilty of the types of thought crimes that God abhors but the types of thought crimes that Facebook, Twitter, and others hate. This is an interesting thought.

As a Christian I believe that God knows the heart. I believe that we can sin starting in the heart because my heart is wicked. But I haven’t admitted to myself that this is the type of Orwellian thought crime expressed in many dystopian novels of the last century. Interesting. But I want to suggest that there is a difference between God convicting is of thought crimes and man convicting other men of thought crimes.

The Double Standard

All men are guilty of thought crime. This is the truth. Look at what Jesus says on adultery:

27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’
28 But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
” – Matthew 5:27-28

And what scripture says about the hearts of all men:

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” – Jeremiah 17:9

So the double standard of judging and convicting others on what they believe based on what your heart tells you is to be believed is a double standard whether they know it or not.

It is not wrong for God to convict us of thought crime because God is not working on a double standard, he is the standard. When he judges the heart, he isn’t searching his feelings to guilt trip us into caving, but judges is according to his character and being. Unlike 90% of the U.S. government, God isn’t corrupt in that way, saying one thing and doing another.

Final Thoughts

We don’t worry about how our thoughts offend God, do we? No, our thoughts tend to be involuntary. They sneak in and sneak out before we can peg them down. But, fortunately for us, Christ paid the penalty for our sin, but the responsibility for us is to train our minds to think biblically so that, when they do sneak in, we can respond appropriately.

Soli Deo Gloria!

Picture: Redbubble poster

Published by A.W. Brooks

I am a husband, father, student, and classical Protestant Christian. My thoughts hold no authority, but they might help you shape the way you see the world. Who knows?

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