Dear Ministry Partner,
Claus bad for people? Is believing in elves and a North Pole
toy shop going to cause any problems? What could a little pretending
hurt? Allow me to communicate there is a well-known, growing disease
silently harming and disabling millions of people in America.
This disease does not spread through an organic biological medium
— it is promoted and spread through television, movies,
videos, DVD’s, and the printed page! It is a spiritual illness
which psychologists would probably call psychosis. And it may
be affecting you or your loved ones!
This teaching is not a medical or
psychological study of psychosis. But think about people you know
around you while reading this definition of psychosis: "a
mental disorder in which contact with reality is lost or highly
distorted." One medical dictionary said, "Psychosis
includes...mental disorders which are characterized by...impairment
of a person's ability to think clearly, respond emotionally, communicate
effectively, understand reality, and behave appropriately."
How many people have you known who were like that? Now wait before
you say, "My spouse!" or "My teenager!" This
condition is said to sometimes include "delusions" —
a false, fixed, odd, or unusual belief firmly held by the patient.
Again, have you ever tried to convince someone of something that
was clearly obvious to you — but they just couldn’t
see it? It seemed like they had a "false, fixed, odd,
or unusual belief firmly held?" I am not trying to assert
that most everyone is mentally ill. But I do want people to see
the parallel of "spiritual psychosis" with the medical
illness called psychosis.
How does a person get into this condition
— and how do you get out? First of all, realize that "reality"
and "truth" are the same thing. If someone is not in
touch with "reality", he or she is not in touch with
"truth". Also realize that "fiction" is not
reality or truth. So the more time someone spends with "something
not true", the further they get from reality or truth. Our
society is immersed in fiction. Nearly every popular movie, video,
or DVD is either totally fiction, or largely fiction. Even the
ones that say they are "based on a true story" have
really been changed so much that you might not even recognize
the true story if you study the historical facts. I am not saying
all fiction is of the devil.
There is a good use for every legitimate tool, and God
can and does use fiction — but He never intended for us
to swim and drown in it. It should be like a spice — it
adds a little to life, but should be consumed sparingly.
The Word of Faith movement (which
was a needed restoration of truth to the Body of Christ) emphasized
having faith for things through prayer in spite of what current
reality was. Unfortunately, this was taken to extremes to the
point of denying the existence of current reality. Denying reality
is actually the Christian Science religion, not Word of Faith
doctrine. But never-the-less, many Word of Faith people —
even a leading minister or two — lost touch with reality
and they lost their ministries and marriages. We have to be aware
of the reality of what is happening around us. "Be
sure you know the condition of your flocks, give careful attention
to your herds." (Prov.
27:23). I know people who have actually died because they
denied the reality of cancer in their body, and refused medical
surgery which easily could have saved their lives.
What a person needs to live, eat,
and breathe is truth. "It is written, Man shall
not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of
the mouth of God." (Matt.
4:4). Certainly the most important "diet" issue
is that we spend time in God’s Word every day. This is literally
spiritual strength with which to overcome. This cannot be emphasized
too strongly, even though we all "know it" in our heads.
The Bible reminds us, "If you know these things,
you are blessed if you do them." (John
But beyond the issue of God’s
Word is whatever else we spend time in. Jesus said, "Take
care what you listen to. By your standard of measure it shall
be measured to you; and more shall be given you besides."
4:24). What we "sow" into our lives multiplies,
and we reap a "harvest" of it. If we dwell on things
that are "true and honest" (as it says in Philippians
4:8), we will reap more of that. But if we dwell on things
that are not true (fiction), not honest (made up, distorted, pretended,
deception), then we will reap an inner world of make-believe (not
in touch with reality). If people live in an "unreal"
world, then they can’t see the solutions, the path of escape,
or even avoid the traps laid for them by the enemy! They can’t
"hear" the voice of God because they have focused their
attention of the "voices" of movie actors, TV, fictional
reading, and the main stream media outlets. Their view of reality
is obscured by too much un-reality. They often unconsciously have
their world view altered through insidious design of un-Godly
individuals who are actually pawns of the devil. People have taken
the "bait" of so much fiction, deception, and outright
lies — because it was "packaged" as entertainment,
humor, action, drama, and "interesting" images &
God actually designed us to experience
the process of becoming like what we see. What we focus on —
what is important to us — we become sensitive to and we
grow toward. A simple example is the "hand-eye" coordination
of playing baseball. My coach used to tell me, "Keep
your eye on the ball." What he meant was don’t
look up when swinging, but keep watching the ball as it comes
toward you all the way until your bat hits it. You have a God-given
tendency to unconsciously move toward what you are watching. (The
same is true of watching TV — your life moves toward what
you watch.) An example of this principle is how a mother becomes
sensitive to a baby crying at night — while the husband
sleeps right through it. A more dramatic example was a minister
I know personally. He served in the U.S. Army as a Chaplain's
assistant in Vietnam and was stationed on a jungle Fire Support
Base. He learned to sleep through artillery being fired continually
and at any time. The only danger was the Base being over-run at
night by the North Vietnamese. So even though he could sleep through
cannons going off, if the hinges of his bunker door creaked —
he would instantly wake up and reach for his M-16. That is what
he focused on — what was important to him — so he
became sensitive to it.
Truth needs to be important to us.
We need to hunger and thirst for it. The Bible says, "Buy
the truth, and do not sell it, also wisdom and instruction and
23:23). But most people pay more for their cable TV subscription
each month than they spend for truth. My father once told me that
more money is spent on pet food in America than is given to all
churches and ministries. I researched it to see if he was right,
and I regret I have to say he was correct. An investment in truth
is an investment in eternity. Truth can sometimes make us uncomfortable,
but it will save our lives. We can choose to live for the flesh
and for comfort, but "There is a way which seemeth
right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death."
14:12). Your commitment to the truth is appreciated by God
& by us. Keep living for the eternal Word!
Treasuring the Truth,
Dale & Judi Leander
P.S. — Feel free to request
one of our Bible Reading Guides to stay in God's
Word this next year. We are also offering our How to
be Led by the Spirit tape sets for guidance in your
new year. This tape set includes a teaching touched on in this
letter — Developing Spiritual Sensitivity.
And any end-of-the-year financial offerings are always appreciated
to expand our ministry.