You know, I have to laugh to myself. Do you know how many times I have heard from non-believers that we Christians are “indoctrinated” and that we indoctrinate our children? Maybe you also have heard this. But I’m not going to refute that in this blog because I would like to share another form of “indoctrination” that non-believers NEVER mention.
Ephesians 2 New King James Version (NKJV)
By Grace Through Faith
2 And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, 2 in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air (SATAN), the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, 3 among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.
I wasn’t born into a Christian home. I mean my (single) mom wasn’t a practicing Christian, but she did believe in the God of the Bible. We didn’t discuss Him much, but occasionally He was brought up in our home. Nope – I grew up in the secular world; our world of TV, music, movies and more. As I look back at the stuff I watched and ingested from the media, I realize how much 1) – things have changed (gotten much worse) and 2) it affected me.
Let’s start out with being a young child. If you grew up in the 1970’s, and the 1980’s, you should be able to relate with this.
First the 1970’s. The early 70’s weren’t too terrible as far as indoctrination that I can think of. But I was a very young child back then so I wasn’t exposed to the drugs, free love, rebellion, and disco back then. What we had were the cartoons on Saturdays, so those weren’t filling us up too much. We had shows like the Brady Bunch that still taught kids some morals and the consequences of disobeying our parents and doing things we shouldn’t. We had the Muppet Show in the late 70’s that was on once a week in the evenings. Mostly we played outside back then and weren’t so dependent on Media. No….in the 70’s our indoctrination as young children was in school, as this was the time right after prayer was removed from public schools. The 70’s were still a decent generation though. God was still referred to often in movies and such…not always in a truthful or positive light – but shows like Little House on the Prairie were still full of morality.
Then we get to the 1980’s. I was 10 years old in 1980, so this whole decade was very important in my life. It would be the time I soaked the most in, learned the most from TV and media. The decade of “Sex, drugs and rock and roll.” A lot of the music was influential, teaching us that sex outside of marriage was good, that we had to blast through many relationships to find the right one, that rebellion against parents was a powerful and good thing because we kids were gonna conquer the world. The media started to teach us to worship money and glitz and glamor. Remember the big hair? Big Jewelry? Spandex? Nike? I remember being in school and if you had an Izod polo (with the little alligator on the breast), you were in the “IN” crowd. The 80’s were a phenomenal decade for teaching materialism. ALL of these things and more were indoctrinating us all. The more we had, the better. Never mind what was going on in the world because YOU were too important for that. Groups like KISS, AC/DC, the Go Go’s, Def Leppard, Michael Jackson, etc – flooded our brains as we watched MTV for hours on end. MTV was our obsession (in my age group)…the music within those videos and the images….ALL were teaching us things. Destructive things. Immoral things. This decade led to my 20’s – which were the most self destructive years of my life. Part of it was absent and neglectful parents, part of it was relying on the media to learn about life, part of it was trial and error; something I’m sure ALL of us can relate with to a degree. I also dabbled in marijuana for a time, and drank before I even knew anything about it. When I look back at those days – 13/14 years old was way too young for that stuff. But to kids my age – that’s just what we had to do to “fit in”….to be “cool”. And today? The kids dabbling in drugs and alcohol are even YOUNGER.
As I moved into the 90’s, EVERYTHING was all about finding love for me. I burned through guys like crazy – having sex with most of them because that’s what they all expected and I thought if a girl gives a guy that – he would love her. After all – watching all those video’s during the past decade taught that to be sexy, hot, easy; it got the guys – because that’s what everyone was singing about and that’s what was portrayed in those music videos. I wanted something although I wasn’t sure what – a husband most likely. I found one. It lasted about 2.5 years because we had also learned that divorce was just as easy as getting married. We had shows like the Fresh Prince of Bel Air, Cheers, Beavis and Butthead, the Simpsons, and musicians like Bel Biv Devo, Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, Bobby Brown, Metallica, etc…..all promoting and strengthening the selling ideas from the 80’s, but amplified. More anarchy, more rebellion, more sex, more broken families, etc. It was also an age (for me) of self help. Wasn’t that the big thing in the 90’s? Self help guru’s? MORE indoctrination. YOU CAN HELP YOURSELF….YOU DON’T HAVE TO RELY ON ANYONE ELSE – ESPECIALLY GOD. Yep….that fits.
I started really learning about God and studying scripture in 1998. I got saved in 2001. I was a self-proclaimed Christian my whole life until the year I actually GAVE my life to Christ in 2008. I had no idea what that truly meant until it happened and wow – it completely changed my whole existence.
So here I sit – looking at today’s music, movies, TV shows, cartoons and more. I try NOT to watch or listen to most of it, but having a 12 and 22 year old daughter, well you simply cannot avoid it all. What I see the kids learning today is how to be superstars. When I was a kid, I wanted to be a veterinarian….then an architectural engineer. Today? The kids all want to be famous singers because of shows like American Idol, etc. They want to be famous stars because of the Disney Channel programs. It’s all about fame and fortune. We had that back in the 80’s also where all the guys wanted to be in a hair band. But it’s the GIRLS today that want this stuff.
I probably missed a TON I wanted to say – but my point is this: The world calls these things “trends” and “fads”…..when really what it is is a bunch of sheep following what they are being sold through media indoctrination. The clothes we wear, the shoes we buy, the houses and cars we yearn for, the products we use, the ways we live – ALL SOLD TO US….CONSTANTLY on the airwaves. And we follow like blind dumb sheep who have no purpose, no direction, no thoughts of our own. And it gets worse and worse with every passing decade.
I have to ask, is teaching a child about hope, inner joy and peace, love, and morals through Christianity WORSE than what the world teaches us about how to rely on others and material things for our happiness? Is teaching a child to love others more than themselves worse than teaching them to be selfish and self absorbed? Is teaching a child to be selfless and giving and compassionate with others worse than teaching them how to just be a schmooze….how to go along to get along just to get by and HOPE you succeed? Is teaching a child to have morals WORSE than what TV, music, and movies are teaching them today? Is teaching a child to live in the real world worse than teaching them to live in a fantasy one?
I think NOT.
Non-believers don’t want to believe that they are indoctrinated; they say it’s only religion that does that. BOTH can be considered forms of indoctrination. Question is – which one is more fulfilling, which one is more destructive?
My family and I prefer fulfilling.
Ephesians 2: Christ Our Cornerstone
19 Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, 22 in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.
I WISH I had been more indoctrinated in Christianity as a child; maybe i wouldn’t have been so deceived and made so many horrible mistakes in my life. Maybe I wouldn’t have done so many destructive things to myself, and others.
If you haven’t done this yet, let Christ remove the scales of sin and deprivation from your eyes today so you can SEE everything OUTSIDE of what we’ve had beaten into our heads through media…ask Him into your heart. He will show you all new things in ways you never imagined.
Peace to you all, today and everyday.