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Thursday, November 20, 2008

Presenting Truth vs. Brainwashing

Because of numerous conversations I have had with different people, my mind was swimming with ideas how truth is presented to our children. What is the difference between "Truth and Brainwashing"?

Some would say all religious education is "brain washing". Some would say teaching the evolutionary theory in schools is "brain washing". Some would say that teaching right from wrong is "brain washing".

This got me to thinking that the term "Brainwashing" is used as a negative term by those who oppose what the other side is teaching.

So, if you are not a Christian, then All Christian teaching is considered "brainwashing." You may ask how else could anybody think Christianity is true? Or, maybe you were raised being taught something you didn't accept, so now you say, it was brainwashing.
I was taught evolutionary science in Public School. Some would have argued I was being "brain washed".

But both of these examples are ample proof that no brain washing took effect.
As, the person who is not a believer after being raised in a believing home, has his own beliefs, and I, as a public school graduate am not a staunch Darwinian.

I looked up brainwashing, and the definition was interesting. It wasn't absolute.
Some definitions said that brainwashing took effect by isolation, coercion, torture,
intimidation, etc. but here was the definition that stuck out to me:

""""Social scientists who study new religious movements, such as Jeffrey K. Hadden (see References), understand the general proposition that religious groups can have considerable influence over their members, and that that influence may have come about through deception and indoctrination. Indeed, many sociologists[who?] observe that "influence" occurs ubiquitously in human cultures, and some[who?] argue that the influence exerted in cults or new religious movements does not differ greatly from the influence present in practically every{[fact}} domain of human action and of human endeavor.""""


Isn't that interesting? Brainwashing has been watered down to mainstream societal influence. And that is a shame, because it takes away from the true meaning of brainwashing.

In teaching our children the truth, the catechisms, true doctrines of the church, history, science, mathematics etc, we are not brainwashing them but educating them.
There is a big difference between brain washing and educating.

The same goes for the other side of this coin. If somebody teaches or holds the belief that is foreign to me, it is not brain washing for them to express their opinion.

I think however, when it comes to children, their minds are open to whatever is told them, and they are ready and willing to receive what is taught. They do not have discernment for what is true and what is false and therein lies one of our chief duties as parents.

We MUST teach our children to be DISCERNING. We must teach them to THINK, and we cannot do that without teaching them the absolutes of truth, which we can only find in scripture. Part of that teaching includes healthy discussion and debate.

I do not want my children to repeat a catechism with perfect rote memory and never have it touch their heart. But that doesn't mean I won't teach them the truths of God's word. I know many who are afraid of the word "doctrine" because that denotes indoctrination and thus is a form of brainwashing. HOGWASH!

Our children's education, both spiritual and academic must come from a moral compass.
We don't teach them to brain wash them and therefore cause them to believe as we do.
We teach them the truths of scripture to lead them on the path of Life. We certainly have hope that they will follow that path, but there is no magic guarantee, as each man is accountable to God for what he believes and NO MAN comes to God unless the Spirit draws him.

You may be wondering where I am headed with this.....

Here is where I am headed.....

There are movements within the United States that are asking for Change. I am not talking Obama here. I am talking about "within" the church. There are wolves among us who are preaching a new doctrine and not a doctrine based upon truth but upon lies. There is a new youth movement going on and some larger churches are allowing false doctrine to come in. (check out the emergent church and the website www.deepshift.org) I can think of a more appropriate name for this site, but this blog is G rated. :)

HOW OH HOW will our Children be able to discern the truth from the Lie if they are not taught the basic tenants of the faith, based upon the absolutes found in scripture?
If we do not teach them and make sure they understand the gospel, the TRUE gospel, then we are to blame when the wolf comes in and leads them astray with a "new gospel";
a gospel that is devoid of the Cross, without a need for salvation, without a need for repentance.

We had better wake up, as it will not be "brain washing" that steals the hearts of the next generation, but lack of teaching from the Church and from our own homes that entices them away.
It is time to TRULY teach them to think and discern and stop filling their brains with mind candy. If we do our jobs as directed in scripture, we have hope that they will not be led astray by false teachers.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hmmm, I checked out that website you posted, and at first I didn't see anything glaringly "wrong," although it did seem very new-agey and nebulous and VERY full of "Dilbert-speak" buzzwords and I wasn't sure at all what their point was! Then I came upon this:

"This process gives you the help you need in identifying critical movement (both personally and organizationally) in leadership, theology, organizational structure and cultural dynamics, followed by creating strategies for implementing those needed shifts. We begin the initial phase with a time of discernment and assessment, followed by an implementation phase of an individualized transition process of un-learning, deep listening and re-visioning. We will use our consultation, coaching and training experience to help you make shifts that are discerned as meaningful to your organization and sustainable."

Yikes!! Movement in theology? "Re-visioning" "cultural dynamics?" "Shifts that are discerned as meaningful" -- discerned by WHOM exactly? It sounds like their "team" will be the ones doing the discerning, rather than each person holding their ideals up against the true and infallible holy Word of God to measure whether they are true or not! I am all for shifting my perspectives, actions, etc. to provide greater good to others--provided such shifts are COMPLETELY in line with God's will. God's, and not some new-age buzz-wordy trend-setters. Yikes again. Sounds like a case of some lie being packaged in just enough truth to sound good.

Thanks for the heads-up!

--Sarah

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