Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Fighting Indoctrination

These two girls were all over TV and talk radio the past few days. They are 13 year old twins Lamb and Lynx Gaede from Bakersfield, California, who are a pop duo named Prussian Blue.

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Pretty innocent, you say? Look again. These sweet little girls are singing about white supremecy and Nazi heroes. Nasty stuff. One interview with the twins had them explaining how they wanted to correct the "myth of the Holocaust" and other similar views. How did they come to sing hate-speech? Who molded their minds into such twisted founts of misinformation? Mom and Dad, of course.

Dad is a real piece of work. He puts a swastika on everything that doesn't move and a few things that do move, including branding the Nazi symbol on his cattle. April, the girls' mother, is certainly outspoken. "Well, all children pretty much espouse their parents' attitudes," she said. "We're white nationalists and of course that's a part of our life and I'm going to share that part of my life with my children." They've done more than share -- they have indoctrinated their girls with racism. And over the past few days, the country has gasped over such brainwashing.

But the parents' point is correct; they're just passing along their values to their kids. Isn't that what every parent does? Ex-jocks pass on their love of sports to their kids. Animal lovers share that with their children.

Let's not forget that Christians pass along their faith to their kids. No, it's not just Christians, it's people of every faith. But let's talk Christianity. We drag our kids to Sunday School (sometimes kicking and screaming), teach them prayers for bedtime and mealtime, send them to church camp, buy them Bibles with pictures, and teach them memory verses. Some denominations even take kids through catechism, for crying out loud. Is that any different than what Arayan-Mom and Nazi-Dad are doing?

The truth is that we are supposed to train up a child in the way he should go. We are supposed to pass along the knowledge and the faith we hold dear. But something almost magical is supposed to happen at some point. Our children are supposed to go from believing "because Dad and Mom say so," to believing because they have investigated the truth.

Some folks never get past that point. Their reasoning never goes beyond, "That's the way I was raised." Critical thinking never enters into the matter. "If it was good enough for my Dad and for his Dad, then it's good enough for me." The truth is, that's not good enough. Even for Christians.

I'm always happy when people tell me they've given their lives to Jesus Christ. But it also distresses me when I see that so many have no depth in their relationship with their Lord and Savior. Their faith seems to be more cultural than spiritual. Church attendance is a natural, but living a life which looks different than the rest of the world is unheard of. And for many, it's because Mom and Dad's Christian life was incredibly shallow as well. Nod during the sermon, bow your head to pray and sing out during the hymns... oh, and don't forget to shake the preacher's hand on the way out the door of the church. Like father, like son, like grandson.

One of the things I tell my congregation is not to believe what I tell them from the pulpit without checking it out first. I figure if Paul commended the Bereans for checking out his messages, I have no right to be offended by people checking up on me. After all, truth is supposed to be what it's all about. Certainly in some areas of doctrine it is hard to determine absolute truth, but it's downright impossible to get down to truth if we are satisfied with whatever somebody else told us -- even when it's someone we respect. Like Mom and Dad.

Hopefully the twins of Prussian Blue will reach the point where they seek truth instead of parroting the hate-speech of their parents. Better still, perhaps they will seek the real Truth.

Hopefully all of Christ's followers believe because of what they've learned and what they've experienced and not just because of what someone told them. But even I am not that optimistic. It is incredibly tempting to be lazy in our faith. To trust the preacher on television or our favorite author. To do as Mom and Dad told us. And to make the same mistakes those folks make.

We need to seek truth. And to seek Truth. We have to be courageous to check out what we've heard, to commit our minds to study and learning. We must do as the Bereans did. It's just too bad that we live in a day where the world calls us to stay busy and go along with what we're told. It seems there's never a Berean around when you need one.

1 comment:

g-Lo said...

well said.

thanks for sharing your thoughts.