World and Its Myths
by Carlos Mantica
Growing up in a Christian environment, my
family learned that there are three enemies of
the soul: the world, the flesh, and the
devil. We understood well that when we speak of
the world as an enemy we are not
referring to ďthe whole world,Ē meaning all
people or the human race as a whole. Instead, we
know that ďGod so loved the world that he gave
his only Son...Ē (John 3:16).
These attitudes gradually become relationship
patterns with a high potential for destruction.
One of these patterns is ruthless competition,
where you seek to be competent in order to
compete, and you seek to compete in order to crush
your neighbor, even if you have to walk over his
dead body. Other patterns are manipulation,
emotional blackmail geared to make you do what I
want, oppression, extortion, rebellion and the
desire to dominate. Showing a facade, guarding
appearances, bargaining, hiding, disguising. The
list has no end.
We also understood that it does not refer to the
cosmos, that is, creation, the universe that
came forth from the hands of God, for ďGod saw
everything that he had made, and behold, it was
very goodĒ (Genesis 1:31).
The world which the Scripture refers to
as the enemy of the soul is that society or
culture which is separated from God and is
organized in opposition to the Kingdom of God.
This world is made up of ideas, values,
attitudes, patterns of relating, and systems
that oppose Godís plan and that destroys
A definition of the world in this sense
can be described as follows: The world
is the set of ideas, values, attitudes,
circumstances, structures and systems that
oppose Godís plan, and which to a greater or
lesser degree determine peopleís thinking and
In the area of ideas, it is made up of
philosophical theories, political ideologies,
trends in modern psychology, etc. In the area of
values, the world manifests itself in a
materialism that exalts money and the pursuit of
wealth as the key to happiness. It is present in
hedonism which exalts pleasure as the supreme
The world's values have traditionally been four:
knowledge, riches, power, and pleasure. In the
area of attitudes we find mistrust, jealously,
revenge, resentment, just to name a few. These
are not merely seen as something we may have -
but as something we are entitled to pursue and
must absolutely possess in order to survive in
an increasingly cruel and dehumanizing world.
Socioeconomic systems agree with these
relationship patterns. Hardcore capitalism
protects indiscriminate struggles against each
other, so that the strongest can win. Marxism
centralizes all property and power, and manages to
have no one earn anything. In summary, the world
and its structures are shaped according to what is
inside the hearts of men and women.
Our purpose here is not to explain what the world
is, but to show you what part or aspect of the
world may be destroying ones life. We need to
gradually bring Egypt [Biblical metaphor for the
world] out of our hearts. That is why we need to
seek out the discernment and counsel of other wise
and mature Christians who can help us see how the
world may be adversely affecting us or even
destroying us - that is why repentance and a
willingness to change is necessary. As described
above, the world is the devilís gospel,
the devilís church. It is the system that the
devil once set up so that the cosmos, and the
whole world, would be destroyed by themselves
without him having to destroy them.
Something entirely new for me was to discover,
from experience, that our emotions are so closely
linked to our patterns of thinking, to the ideas
we hold, and that many of the emotional problems
psychiatrists have to deal with have their origin
in the ideas the patient carries inside his little
head. (Spiritual warfare takes place mainly in our
minds too, and the devil cannot control our
emotions unless he first controls our minds.)
These destructive ideas that are able to cause
serious emotional and spiritual problems are
what we call myths.
Definition: A myth is a falsehood,
generally accepted as truth, which determines
our acts or attitudes, and that will almost
always have negative consequences. Another
definition, which can be easier for you to
remember, is this: A myth is a piece of the
world that got stuck in my brain.
Iím going to give a few examples, so you can
better understand what a myth is like, pay more
attention to what you carry around in your
own head, and hopefully detect and discard them
before they ruin your own life.
A Few Myths
The following are falsehoods, accepted as truths
by many, many people who are paying the
consequences of carrying them around in their
No wonder so many people go through life full of
- My past determines what I now am and do, in
an inexorable way.
(This is the story told by all married couples
that have had problems in the past, as a way
to justify their present condition and to
preclude every future responsibility. They are
supported by modern pseudo-psychiatry.)
- Unhappiness is caused by things that take
place outside of myself, so I wonít be able to
attain happiness unless the circumstances
Corollary 1: I am at the mercy of
Corollary 2: Changing things will
change everything (i.e. getting a new wife, a
new job, a new government, etc.).
- I am entitled to happiness. (Says who?!)
Corollary 1: My wife (my husband) is in
the obligation to make me happy.
Corollary 2: I am being deprived of a
right of mine, and an injustice is being done
Corollary 3: I would be happy if it
were not for you.
Corollary 4: I have a right to change
the wife I have for the woman that would make
- Romance in marriage is the measure of true
Corollary 1: Love without romance is
not true love.
Corollary 2: Since I am so romantic, I
have a right to true love.
Corollary 3: You donít love me anymore.
- If God were good and loved me, these things
would not happen to me.
Corollary 1: God is responsible for
everything that happens in the world!
Corollary 2: God is my good-luck charm.
- If you offer God a portion of your life, he
takes the whole of it. You canít trust God.
(This myth was invented in Paradise and did
away with it.)
- It is Godís obligation to listen to me and
to grant me whatever I ask.
- I have a right to be trusted.
- Iím always right, and I have the right and
the obligation to demonstrate so.
Corollary 1: An injustice is done when
someone does not accept that I am right.
Corollary 2: I would be doing injustice
if I deprived others of the truth, of which I
am the sole possessor.
Corollary 3: Being right entitles me to
act as I will.
- Having good looks, great charm, a lot of
money and a lot of cleverness is all that
- It is my right to have a lot of money.
Corollary 1: No one has a right to have
money unless I have it too.
Corollary 2: It is my duty to make a
lot of money.
Corollary 3: For me to be poor would be
a crime. For others to be too rich would be a
- It is dangerous to love much, so itís better
not to love at all.
Corollary 1: Do not express your
Corollary 2: It is It is better to have a
life without love than to suffer the loss of
your loved one. (All our loved ones will depart
one way or another.)
- Every woman is my rival, unless the opposite
- Every problem has a solution, and it is
terrible not to find it.
Corollary 1: It is not possible to live
with a problem.
Corollary 2: You cannot be happy unless
things come out the way you want.
Corollary 3: Everything ought to come
out the way I want, and if it doesnít, then I
am entitled to complain to someone.
- People have a right to be informed about
everything. Me too.
Corollary 1: If someone hides
something, he must have done something wrong.
Corollary 2: I have a right to snoop
- Every form of aggressiveness must be
uprooted from a Christianís heart.
- Being loved and accepted by everybody is
Corollary 1: I am willing to pay any
price in exchange for love and acceptance.
Corollary 2: I would never do anything
that might hurt you.
- Death is the worst tragedy that can happen
- Nothing is wrong if nobody learns about it.
Corollary 1: Do it, for no one will
hear about it.
Corollary 2: If you do it just once,
nothing will happen to you.
- Having had and losing is worse than not
having at all.
Corollary 1: You cannot enjoy
something that you could lose.
- Guilt is subjective.
Corollary 1: If I donít feel guilty,
Iím not guilty.
Corollary 2: The solution to guilt is
ignoring or denying guilt.
- Children and drunkards always tell the
truth. Corollary: Anything my husband
says when heís drunk is what he actually
thinks about me.
- How can I forgive himódonít you see he has
offended me? (If he did not offend you, what
would you forgive?)
Corollary 1: Forgiving is a favor I do
to God. Corollary 2: Forgiving is a
favor I do to you.
Corollary 3: Forgiving makes me
virtuous (for it makes you happy).
- Sincerity in believing makes your belief
Corollary 1: It makes no difference if
youíre wrong, as long as you firmly believe in
Corollary 2: The important thing is to
believe, no matter what you believe.
Corollary 3: You canít be sincerely
- Sincerity absolves everything.
Corollary 1: If Iím sincere and I donít
hide my sin, Iím absolved even if I donít
repent of my sins.
Corollary 2: Iím not just absolved, but
you are now indebted to me.
- Intention is what matters.
Corollary 1: Intention justifies
Corollary 2: The end justifies the
(This is the basis for legitimizing terrorism
and almost every revolution.)
- How can God forgive me, after all the things
Corollary 1: My faults are greater than
Godís mercy and love.
Corollary 2: Christís blood, passion
and death are not enough to blot out my sins.
- Iím a child of God, but God must be ashamed
of having a child like me.
(Numbers 27 and 28 nullify the two greatest
truths of our faith, while at the same time we
allow ourselves to continue calling ourselves
- Being a man is not enoughóyouíve got to show
- You can serve God wherever you want.
- God is not in charge of the world, and if he
is, heís doing a very bad job.
- The family must be managed as a true
- When I marry him (her), Iím going to make
him (her) change.
- Resignation is the only possible course of
action in face of something inevitable or
impossible. (Resignation here means refraining
from fight. And something impossible is
something that is merely difficult.)
article is adapted from the book, From
Egghead to Birdhood (hatch or rot as a
Christian), (c) copyright 2001 Carlos
Mantica is a founder of The City of God
community (La Cuidad de Dios) in Managua,
Nicaragua, and a founding leader of the Sword
of the Spirit. He served as
president of the Sword of the Spirit
between 1991 and 1995.