By Ada Brownell
Family worship at home is difficult in this day when busyness steals time. Yet, it is more necessary than ever.
Secularists, Progressives and even Communists and other religions have made it their priority to grab the hearts and minds of youth in America, and they’d especially like to brainwash those raised in Christian homes.
Brainwashing usually involves propaganda and the most successful propaganda has some truth in it, according to Jacques Ellul, author of “Propaganda: The Formation of Men’s Attitudes.”. If it were all lies, most people would resist it.
Where propaganda goes to work to change minds is in the “interpretation” of the truth, or the “slant” they place on the truth. It’s called “spin” today.
Mao Tse-Tung said propaganda can “force” people to become Marxist. His first techniques failed, but then he went to public discussion, criticism, persuasion and Marxist education, especially for children and he turned China to his way of thinking. This is spite of Mao executing an estimated two to five million people and several million were sent to labor camps.
To have the greatest effect, propaganda must base itself on existing tendencies, Ellul said, and not go against ingrained attitudes. Instead of going against what you believe, it gives you something else to believe--using your own desires and needs as a basis--and without knowing it, your attitudes are replaced.
Ellul said pre-existing attitudes fade quickly in real propaganda campaigns where it surrounds a person from morning to night, childhood to old age, in all he reads, hears, without giving him rest, a moment to pause, think or catch his breath.
Webster’s New World Dictionary says brainwashing is “to indoctrinate so intensively and thoroughly as to effect a radical transformation of beliefs and mental attitudes.”
In other words, to brainwash you is to not only change how you think, but also what you think. Furthermore, if you are brainwashed, it changes who you are.
Armies who keep prisoners of war often brainwash one person at a time, but Communists and Nazis brainwashed entire societies. In America, we not only have brainwashing in institutions of learning, but it’s done by gangs, politicians and the media. Gangs and governments can brainwash you so thoroughly you’ll kill your brother, grandmother or mother.
The media brainwashes you by portraying the majority of Christians as crooks and adulterers. A few high profile ministers have been great sinners, but if they break God’s laws, they are no longer Christians.
The media rarely mentions powerful things accomplished by Christians and Jews. Christian charities housed and fed the homeless and hungry around the world for centuries. Missionaries often bring free health care and medicine when they go to tell the world about Jesus. Christians are there, too, when disaster strikes.
Christians started and still operate most of the hospitals in the world.
Religion was the reason people learned to read. Since the Middle Ages, there has been near universal literacy among Jewish men because they were required to read the Torah by age 13.
Christians read the Jewish scrolls than read the letters of the Apostles to their congregations. The Reformation caused everyone to want to read Scripture and the first book published by Gutenberg was the Bible. Wycliff Translators are bringing literacy even to tribes with no written language because they’ll live with them and create their language.
In America, education began with families teaching their children so they could read God’s Word and eventually that evolved into schools. Most of the universities and colleges in the United States were started by Christians, and they often contained seminaries or Bible schools.
Now you can’t even use the name of Jesus in a classroom in any of those universities unless it’s used as a swear word.
I thought the active war against faith in God was bad enough when we were raising our family. There came a time when I knew I would need to counteract at home ungodly teachings my kids were forced to study in school. That’s why I devoted time to studying sections of Josh McDowell’s book, “Evidence that Demands a Verdict” during our family worship time.
Norman Lear, a writer and television executive started the “People for the American Way,” to erode the faith of youth with television programming in response to the Moral Majority in the 1980s, and PAW is still going strong. And the church wonders why it loses a large percentage of youth—even when they’ve been raised in Christian homes!
Wise parents will guard their children’s hearts and minds, and inspire them to do the same thing by filling their minds with God’s Word, giving themselves completely to God, and by shunning even the appearance of evil (1 Thessalonians 5:22).
I remember family worship when my mother had eight of us in the house, and when there were only two of us eight children left. Dad wasn’t the type to lead it, but always listened carefully. God’s Word left an imprint on my life. David hid God’s Word in his heart so he wouldn’t sin. If it worked for him, it will work for us.
Copyright Ada Brownell