Webster's dictionary defines brainwashed as "to indoctrinate so intensely and thoroughly as to effect a radical transformation of beliefs and mental attitudes." When we hear the word "brainwashed," we normally think of a commune of people who can't think for themselves because they’re in a cult. They blindly follow the orders of their domineering leader whose chief aim is to be exalted and control others.
But what about the not-so-obvious forms of brainwashing? Is it possible the news media and other TV programs are trying to brainwash their viewers by slandering those who don't line up with their agenda? When a girl in high school is pressured to compromise her beliefs to be popular, isn't that also a form of brainwashing? Can it even happen in legalistic churches? Here are some common denominators in brainwashing:
1) Following a leader primarily out of fear of upsetting him
2) Feeling pressured to think or act a certain way
3) Being belittled if you don't to conform
4) The loss of spiritual joy and freedom
5) Feeling guilty, even when you haven’t done anything wrong
6) Not growing closer to the Lord in spite of being highly involved in the organization
God has called us to freedom, not bondage (Gal. 5:13). Jesus told His disciples, "You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" (John 8:32). If you’re not free, you are not experiencing the truth.
But I'd like to present a different idea about being brainwashed. Our minds are unclean and we need to have them washed! Only the blood of Jesus can cleanse our guilty consciences and set us free. "How much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?" (Heb. 9:14).
Although Jesus shed His blood 2,000 years ago, He can cleanse your mind with His blood today "through the eternal Spirit" who transcends time. Do you need your brains washed? Get honest with God, admit your sins to Him, and the blood of Jesus Christ will cleanse you from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)
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