Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. (Romans 8:7 KJV)
One of the most controlling concepts that many spiritually abusive groups use is the distinction between flesh and Spirit. Why? Because it’s such an undefined idea in the minds of Christians. Unlike talking about what God’s Word says, appealing to the spiritual can seem mysterious. They want you to think you don’t know the rules to this system, and you really can’t without their help. This is legalism at it’s most subtle. It takes the unknown and defines it according to the shifting minds of human leaders. You can’t ever truly be spiritual because the rules are arbitrary, based off of the imagination of the leaders’ hearts.
But the Bible defines the carnal mind very specifically, it is the mind that does not submit to God’s written law. This takes the carnal and the spiritual out the experiential realm and into the ethical. The spiritual man is defined by the Word of God. He is the one who meditates on the law day and night. Who hears God’s Word and does it. Who submits all of his thinking to the Scriptures. He does not twist the Word of truth, but accurately handles it in context. Cults can’t control such a well defined spirituality, not one based on a solid foundation of Scripture. So next time you are told that you are functioning carnally or fleshly, reply, “According to what verse in the Bible?”