Satan is Controlling You!

One Christmas, my mum bought me a book called “Battlefield of the mind for teens” written by Joyce Meyer. She had just read the book “Battlefield of the mind” and having found immense value from it, bought me the corresponding book for teenagers.

I was very receptive and thankful for this book. However instantly upon reading it, I saw problems. It feels like it’s not written for teenagers, but a paranoid mother’s view of what all teenagers are – sex, drugs, and sin – that kind of thing. But even worse than that in my opinion, is the thought stopping techniques introduced from the very start of chapter 1.

What are thought stopping techniques? To put it simply, they’re any techniques a person uses to stop them from thinking critically most often without realising. Let’s use two extracts from Joyce Meyer’s book as an example.

“Your enemy is Satan himself, the ex-angel-turned-devil–and his demonic forces. Satan’s coming after you with a carefully crafted plan of attack, one you might not even see coming. In fact, you might not even believe you’re in a war at all. That’s one of your enemy’s best tricks–deception”

She sets Satan up as a demonic and evil force, aggressively attacking you and everyone else with something that is designed to cut deep and really change you. Then follows up with a list of examples of how Satan might attack you. Here is one of them:

“Come on, admit it: You have doubts about God all the time. If God was real, why would He allow those doubts to creep up inside your head?”

Here is where the thought stopping techniques come in. Generally if you have a lot of doubts about something, that would be a good indication that something is wrong, and that it should be investigated in order to find out what is true. However, this is not what Joyce is saying to do jere.

Framing doubt as one of the ways that Satan will attack you creates a situation that is impossible to investigate or lose. It assumes that there is no rational basis for this doubt, and that it is all an attack from Satan instead. This stops you from thinking critically about any doubts, simply dismissing them as attacks by Satan without any actual merit behind them.

This is what a thought stopping technique is. No matter how convincing, correct or compelling the doubt is, approaching it with the mindset that Satan is controlling your mind to make you lose faith in God will always stop you from thinking critically about your doubts.

It puts you in the situation where no matter how much evidence there is to the contrary, Christianity is always correct. It removes the possibility of being wrong.

This is massively cultish and manipulative, and a very unhealthy state for the mind to be in. Instead of feeling comfortable and happy with your own thoughts and mind, exploring doubt until you feel satisfied, you now suddenly feel like any critical thought against your beliefs is an attack by Satan.

In this situation, it is not Satan controlling your mind, but the Christian (Joyce Meyer) – there is no evidence at all for Satan trying to control your mind, but ample evidence for Joyce trying to control your mind by introducing you to this thought stopping technique.

Here is a fact: Doubt is a good thing, and an especially good thing to explore because only one of two scenario’s can happen.

The first scenario is that you doubt something, and then you find an explanation that relieves you of your doubt. This is an excellent thing. Not only were your doubts misplaced, but you understand perfectly the explanation against them, and this doubt will never trouble you again, and if you meet anyone who has the same doubt, you can tell them about what you have learned and help them.

The second scenario that can happen is that you realise that your doubt is correct. This is also an excellent thing. Your views have now changed from being incorrect to correct and once again this doubt is something that won’t bother you again, you know that your doubts were correct and you can now align your views and opinions in accordance with the new truth that you have found.

What about if this doubt, if explored and found to be correct, will have dramatically harmful consequences on your wellbeing? What if stopping your belief will make you become depressed, resume an addiction or self harm? I think obviously this is the point where exploring doubt stops becoming the win-win situation described above. If this is you, I wish you all the best, and don’t think any less of you, wellbeing is more important than having the correct view. But if you are in the position where the investigation of doubt would not result in any major significant impact to your wellbeing, I would greatly encourage you to explore doubt for the reasons explored above.

The idea of Satan controlling your mind and all of your doubts is an incredibly fringe belief I don’t believe many people reading this article will hold. But I do believe that many people, me included, fall victim to thought stopping techniques without realising. So I do encourage you to explore doubt, and to be aware of thought stopping techniques that may stop you from doing this.

Thank you.

13 thoughts on “Satan is Controlling You!

  1. I have seen this abit late but I should tell you guys this,YOU SHOULD NOT WRITE BECAUSE YOU KNOW HOW TO WRITE…and stop judging …I honestly think that talking about preachers is not gona benefit anyone,but rather doing what you think they missed in their actions is a better approach.!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What do you mean? I am writing less about Joyce and more about thought control techniques, hopefully to help people realise when others are using them, and realise when they are being used on themselves. To this extent, talking about preachers helps a lot.

      Why isn’t talking about bad things that preachers are doing a good thing? It can only benefit people!

      Suggesting that I should be “doing what you think they missed” is odd to me, I am not a Christian, I don’t desire to become a preacher, I just don’t want people to use these manipulative techniques on others.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Now, I fully admit that my perspective may be wrong. I’m a human (as far as anyone knows, anyway), so imperfection is my thing.

      However.

      If I see a Preacher or anyone else give public advice to chow down on a Twinkie laced with Ricin, I’m likely going to object. In public. And in writing.

      Wouldn’t you? I’m sure you wouldn’t just turn a blind eye.

      From a spiritual perspective, or even from a psychological perspective, thought control techniques are poison. They are a potent against the mind and spirit as Ricin is against the body.

      Rossiroad did a public service by bringing this topic to light.

      As far as judgement goes: I myself didn’t detect any judgement in the original post. Again, I might be wrong, and maybe my theological degree taught me sophistry (though I doubt it), but judgement is deciding who goes to heaven and who doesn’t. It’s not considering whether a given action is moral or not. Otherwise, we couldn’t try to advise friends to avoid sin.

      We couldn’t even recognize sin.

      Like I said, I could easily be wrong. So, your mileage may vary!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. As a Christian, I find that there are bits and pieces of truth in almost everything we say, or see, but that, contrary to what our egos would like, very little of it is “pure” truth. There are biases, mistakes, lies, and everything else all throughout, because, hey, we are mortal and limited. It takes a great deal of effort to sift what is completely true from what is not, and it takes a great deal of humility to do so with our own beliefs and perspectives.

    In that sense, I can see some truth in what she says about Satan using cunning deceptions to try and undermine our free will, doubt being one of his foremost tools. However, trying to not think about it is to lose the battle by trying not to have it. I mean, that’s like trying to “ignore” one’s way out of being raped or otherwise assaulted: giving up the fight only gives the enemy more power over you, not less. Christ himself taught by the use of questions and answers, not by cultivating a prideful, fanatic unwillingness to question oneself. No, that was more the attitude of the people who crucified Him.

    As is usually the case, there is a balance to be struck. One must hold true to the core of what one knows, especially to the highest moral standards one has, while also questioning one’s own understanding of it. One must diligently seek answers while also patiently acknowledging that one may never find them while *also* remaining faithful to the answers that one has already found. It is a very slow process, and there is nothing wrong with that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, it’s true, there are many things that we don’t know to 100% certainty and many things we know to have a high likelihood of being true though don’t know for a fact whether they are or not. Finding out when a belief is in this category is really important.

      I’m really interested that you agree to an extent with her as it means I can ask you a question I would be really interested to know the answer to: How does Satan use doubt to undermine your free will? Do you mean that he’s putting thoughts directly into your mind, or trying to lead you to things that will make you doubt?

      I completely agree with you on the idea that ignoring it is losing, that is a great analogy. It can be a very long process as you said, but it’s ultimately the best way to win.

      The only point where I disagree slightly is with “one must hold true to the core of what one knows” – what about one must hold true to the core of what is true?

      To give a very straightforward example, if all a murder knows is killing, and hating people, then it’s quite a bad idea for them to hold true to what they know, since they only know these very harmful things.

      New discoveries can also seriously change what was previously considered to be truth. Although it is seriously good to stay faithful to the true answers you’ve already found, it’s important to know that these answers could change in light of other true information. I think we can both look at something as amazing as science, and how much it has changed it’s mind over time to agree about this.

      Thank you for this interesting comment, actually I was writing a response to Terrance when I saw your comment come through so that would have meant we would have both been writing about this exact same thing at the exact same time! What an amazing coincidence! Thanks!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Have I mentioned how much I appreciate being able to talk about these important subjects with someone who disagrees but is still very respectful? Because, seriously, I do. 🙂

        To start with doubt and free will, it is a firm part of my faith that God wants us to be free and happy, both in this life and, even more, in eternity. When He tells us something is sinful, He’s telling us that it is something which will restrict us in some way. But the Devil desires us to be in bondage and miserable, so he dresses sin up as something liberating and righteousness as restricting. He whispers to us in much the same way as the Spirit of God does, with feelings, impressions, whispers somewhere in the back of our mind, working to crack the foundation on which we stand.

        For an example, say you have two young people. The two are similar in many ways, including home and family life, religion, education, temperaments, etc. Where they differ is in how certain they are of themselves, of who they are, where they come from, what the want to be, and therefore what meaning there is in their choices. Both of these young people attend the same party, where during the course of the evening, someone starts passing around alcohol or drugs or some such. These two are in the same environment, with the same people, feeling the same pressures to indulge in the pleasures of the world. But one is more certain of their standards, and the other is more doubtful. For either one of them, this evening could well be the start of what becomes an all-consuming addiction that enslaves and destroys them. But which one is more likely to fall down that path? And which one is more likely to remain free of it?

        For another example, I remember a moment from a TV show where this teenage girl went out to a party, and before she left she had to pass her father’s dress code. She looked very nice, it must be said, and her father approved. However, beneath what he saw, she was wearing something more revealing, and the moment she arrived, one of her friend’s taunted her, “You’re not really wearing *that* are you?” And the girl plastered a smile on her face as she said, “No way,” and let her skirt fall to the floor, revealing what was underneath. She was just trying to fit in, be stylish, be accepted and popular, but in so doing she gave up an inch of control over herself, instead of standing strong for what she herself might have wanted. That lost inch happened to snowball into something a bit worse that night, and it was only by the grace of another friend’s intervention that she was spared something horrible, all because she was less certain of herself and her standards. So she did something that looked liberating, but really wasn’t.

        That’s how the Devil undermines our free will with doubts. He inspires us to be less certain of what we know, which nudges us down paths that look appealing at first glance, but which ultimately make us slaves to sin, slaves to the ways of the world, slaves to our most fleeting desires, slaves to fear and hatred, slaves to our uncertainties, and slaves to him. All the good we might do gets swallowed up in selfishness.

        That’s also what I mean by holding true to what we know. Not what we know to do (like someone who knows how to kill really well) but what we know of right and wrong, and of ourselves. We may not understand the why of things at the time – why is something right, or why is it wrong – but if we hold true to what we know is right or wrong at the time, then the answers can come. And maybe (quite often) we will be proven wrong about something, but also proven right. Going to the science comparison, there are many things Newton theorized that were proven wrong by Einstein, and yet Newton’s laws remain accepted as scientific fact. Sure, he wasn’t right about everything, but he was still right, and the scientific community still holds true to it.

        So, are there things I believe that are wrong? Probably. But I am building on what I know to be right, and even if what I build turns out to need serious renovations, the foundation remains. Heck, even if I sometime need to rip out the foundation and start again, I am keeping the strongest, surest parts of it intact.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Yes it is a very rare thing and I’m very happy that we can have discussions like this, going much further into obscurity than any other conversations are likely to have, so sorry if it comes across like I’m just trying to ask difficult questions, it’s just so interesting to me and I want to know the answer! If by the way, you ever want to talk about these things in relation to something other than what I have blogged about, then I am always open to talking anywhere you want (I don’t know what platforms you usually use) if you just let me know.

          I think that naturally some sins are very tempting despite the fact that they might lead to negative outcomes. I am a little unsure about if Satan needs to dress any of this up and subtly give it to you, isn’t it that a lot of it comes across that way simply because it is?

          I understand your example, clearly you’re right about the person more likely to go down the wrong path.

          For both examples however I still feel that it is more liberating to have the freedom. The issue is the consequences and whether or not it’s a good idea to do the thing that gives you more freedom in the first place.

          This is when God would be useful, being able to know whether or not a situation is liberating in a way without bad consequences is a great thing.

          I would like to put both of us in the hypothetical situation of wanting to do something sinful. Not because we actually want to sin, but because we think it’s good, free and liberating and we are at that point in time you described where we don’t see any possible negative consequences.

          If we are in this situation, where we are really looking for any negative consequence but cannot find any at all, how can we know that God is justified in telling us not to do it without then doing it to find out?

          I am very interested in where we get our morality from, and how we know it to be true. Of course your morality comes from a completely different place from mine. What I’d be interested to ask is how we can test which one is more correct and how we can use this information to develop a better system of morality.

          I think that attitude of discovery is a very good way to go. Keeping the parts you are most sure are true, and changing anything even the renovations if turns out to be false is a truly commendable attitude many people are unwilling to have.

          Liked by 2 people

          1. Well, the short answer to the theoretical question is trust.

            The long answer is:

            If we have God’s word, and only God’s word, that something is wrong, and if we cannot divine or deduce or extrapolate exactly why it is wrong, then it is simply a matter of trust. Trust, of course, is born of experience, so what do our previous experiences tell us? My experiences tell me that it is certainly wiser to trust God. And I say that after sometimes failing to do so. Wisdom is sometimes gained from mistakes, and sometimes it is gained from avoiding them.

            Sometimes we have an explanation beforehand, and sometimes we learn the why of things only afterward, and sometimes it is our descendants who learn it long after we are long gone. The question of the moment is if we will trust God whether we have that explanation or not.

            As for where morality comes from and how we can improve our moral system… well, trust, experience, observation, discussion… in a way, it’s not entirely dissimilar to the scientific process, but with a divine coach to guide us through the process.

            Liked by 2 people

            1. That makes a lot of sense to me, in this situation where you literally only have God’s word and nothing else, you do need to have trust in order to believe that it’s the right thing to do.

              Just so that I can understand exactly, what do you mean by trust, would you say that it is faith or different to faith in this context?

              I find looking at this situation where you need trust as so interesting, because it makes me wonder about how we can approach this in the most moral way possible. Many of these situations are so common that they are covered by many systems of morality.

              What if one of these issues where we only have God’s word was talked about in both LDS and Hinduism, but they disagreed. Hinduism says that it’s absolutely ok, whereas LDS says it’s not. How would we be able to find out which one was right when their trust in their God’s morality was just as equal to your trust in your Gods morality?

              I at the same time could also be in this situation, and be experiencing this exact same feeling. I could equally not do the action, using the trust I have in myself that it may lead to consequences I’m unaware of. But then, I’m in the exact same moral dilemma of not knowing which system of morality is more correct. So it’s certainly not a question that only applies to the religious.

              I completely agree with you about building morality in a way similar to the scientific process. I am however most interested in the question of trust, especially when two people can both use it in order to justify two different and opposing actions. How can trust in your beliefs be useful if two people can use it to justify opposing conclusions?

              Liked by 2 people

  3. I’ve often wondered about the interpretation that Satan was an ongoing and active threat. In the Gospels, Jesus didn’t talk about Satan very much because, well, Satan isn’t terribly important.

    One of the only direct references I can think of off-hand is Luke 10:18: “Jesus said, ‘I have observed Satan fall like lighting from the sky.”

    Notice the past tense? Kinda suggests Satan’s not really an ongoing concern, doesn’t it?

    In the face of grace, Satan’s power isn’t only impotent. It’s irrelevant.

    Unfortunately, it’s hard to earn money extolling people to follow John 13:34 (“love one another as I have loved you”). To get people to cough up cash, you have to terrify them, then position yourself or your product as their path to salvation.

    Want to save yourself or your kids? Buy this book!

    Too bad that ignores Jesus’ actual words!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I agree with you, Satan constantly attacking your mind is not a belief found in the bible. There is also that part where Jesus goes into the desert and defeats Satan quite conclusively.

      I think you’re spot on the money with this. Convince them of the problem and then sell them the solution. My mum was likely brought in with this technique but it honestly has bad effects for a gift given as a present, because it seems crazy to the receiver.

      I don’t know if it’s just me not really being exposed to televangelists very much, but there always seems to be really culty vibes going on with all of them. Suddenly my mum started calling Joyce Meyer her guru one day after she said something like “Don’t call me your leader, I am not your leader, consider me your guru” when in reality nobody was really ever calling her leader, and guru is a significant promotion from what most viewers would really think of her.

      It’s just sad to me that this whole thing exists really. Introducing this thought stopping technique to people and making them scared only helps Joyce here. It’s disgusting.

      Liked by 2 people

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