1: a forcible indoctrination to induce someone to give up basic political, social, or religious beliefs and attitudes and to accept contrasting regimented ideas
2: persuasion by propaganda or salesmanship
(Merriam Webster dictionary)
Listen, dear friends, to God’s truth,
bend your ears to what I tell you.
I’m chewing on the morsel of a proverb;
I’ll let you in on the sweet old truths,
Stories we heard from our fathers,
counsel we learned at our mother’s knee.
We’re not keeping this to ourselves,
we’re passing it along to the next generation—
God’s fame and fortune,
the marvelous things he has done.
He planted a witness in Jacob,
set his Word firmly in Israel,
Then commanded our parents
to teach it to their children
So the next generation would know,
and all the generations to come—
Know the truth and tell the stories
so their children can trust in God,
Never forget the works of God
but keep his commands to the letter.
Heaven forbid they should be like their parents,
bullheaded and bad,
A fickle and faithless bunch
who never stayed true to God.
(Psalm 78: 1-8 The Message)
When you see a child who behaves well in public, what is it you always say? “The public school system sure has made a great citizen out of that boy?” Or, “Our governmental programs have certainly taught this young lady how to be a good American?”
No, you say, “Their parents must have taught them well.” If the parents are present, you might thank them directly for being such good parents. Lord knows if the kids AREN’T behaving, it’s the parents you’re going to blame, right?
So if it is this obvious that everything a child is and does is shaped by the examples set by his or her parents, then why does our culture get so bent about Christian parents setting a Christian example for their kids?
I don’t want to get to deeply into the issue of homeschooling here, because I have no personal experience with it, either as a student or as a parent. I’m just talking about the natural education every child receives from daily observation.
Education, of course, is a good thing. If we never learned anything, then we wouldn’t know anything (duh). And common sense, that is, the collective wisdom of all the I told you so’s from all the parents ever, tells us that the primary source of any child’s education is at home.
Face it; we’re all home-schooled, no matter what our diplomas say.
Our parents have us from day one, when we are completely empty glasses. From them we learn to walk, talk, eat, pee and poo where we’re supposed to. Sometimes they even teach us to read, write and count before we start school.
Most importantly our parents, and specifically our fathers, are the primary shapers of our value system, our moral compasses, our sense of right and wrong.
So is this education or brainwashing?
EDUCATION DN= BRAINWASHING
Look back up to the top at the dictionary definition of brainwashing. It’s not just indoctrination, or even FORCED indoctrination; it is forced indoctrination designed to replace one way of thinking with another.
Parents are teachers, not indoctrinators. They are filling empty glasses. A child does not yet have a way of thinking or a value system to replace.
Therefore nothing, let me say that once more for emphasis, NOTHING that a parent teaches his or her own children can possibly constitute brainwashing. This includes the passing on of Christian faith, the bedrock upon which the family has been established generation after generation.
So if giving your own children a Christian education is akin to pouring the Water of Life into their empty glasses, then by contrast, cultural brainwashing is coercing an educated person of any age to pour out their water, smash their glass, and take a deep drink from this brand new glass of fruit juice.
What do you mean it tastes like Kool-Aid?
(For an alternate beverage choice, come back for Part 10: Affirmation)