What would you say?

So, whenever someone states that “Christianity is brainwashing” what would you say?

I would like to know your response to this question :slight_smile: !

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I’d probably tell them that when I came to Christ, my filthy brain needed a good washing - and I’ve been giving it a daily bath in the water of the word ever since - and over time, it’s being renewed and transformed.

Of course, if they’re happy with how their brains are, then this might not be for them (yet). But if they ever do decide that their brains could use a good washing, then the Bible would be the perfect place to get it.

But then, that’s how I’d probably answer. I suspect it’d catch them offguard. Might humorously defuse the antagonism that an accusation of brainwashing implies. Totally sidesteps an argument, don’t you think?

But perhaps such an approach might not fit you. Different personalities and all. You might want to hold out for some more input from others. But still, you might keep this one in mind. Who knows - maybe someday…

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The way @jlyons re-shaped the word brainwashing to brain washing is rather intriguing! Lol, had never seen it like that before!

I personally would want to open the treasure chest of questions and begin asking them thought provokers such as, “In what ways do you perceive Christianity to be a brainwasher? When did you begin to realize and observe this brainwashing process and what instigated it? Are there any other belief systems that seem to parallel this potentially problematic brainwashing? What do you perceive they all have in common and why do you perceive it? Do you see any similarities and comparisons and fundamental problems like this within some of the ones who share your personal world view? Why or why not?”

There are multiple different ways to engage in conversation and I think it depends on what kind of person with whom you are engaging. I do know that thought provoker questions (with a heart set of love not bombardment) can slowly unlock a heart’s door to contemplation and consideration to search deeper in what is truth. Just my thoughts, but looking forward to perhaps further ideas💡

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I think @ChristinaLinzey has hit a key point here, and it is similar to Ravi’s axiom that “intent must precede content.” It depends entirely on why the statement was thrown your way. For example, do they know someone who got caught up in a Christian cult? Or are they just testing you to see whether you will respond with grace or with defensiveness? Or are they friendly enough that they are just being playful? So much rests on identifying the reason for the statement. If you think they are somewhat serious, you could start with, “That’s a pretty strong statement. What makes you think this?”

As regards the statement itself, brainwashing involves psychological techniques to prevent people from thinking clearly. Cults everywhere of every kind use various pressure tactics to control others and some unfortunately do so under the Christian banner. You can and maybe should acknowledge this: there are Christian cults.

I see the Bible full of calls to think clearly, to “reason together,” to be wise, so though some people use it to manipulate, that’s not a natural part of it. Assuming you attend a decent church, the question might be an open door for you to invite them to your church to assess for themselves if the people there are brainwashed.

The key is to not react, but to engage thoughtfully and graciously. We as Christians should be honored when someone throws a question our way. It is an open door of some kind.

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When someone makes such a broad, all inclusive characterization it immediately tells me that they are really speaking of a very specific negative personal experience in their past.
I would question them as to what they find to be the most prominent identifiable manifestation of this brainwashing ?
Invariably they will identify a negative.
I would then expose them to the true washing that takes place in Christianity, a heartwashing .
A heartwashing manifested in fresh reasons for daily living , new opportunities for offering joyful praise, thanks and sacrifice to God regardless of my circumstances .
Lastly I would seize the opportunity to bow my head in front of them and approach their heart through a brief moment of joyful inner personal faith expressing that the open door of knowing Christ be revealed to them.
We will never know in this life how many imprisoned , weak and trembling hearts have been led to the Heart of Christ through such very brief moments of sincere joy filled & determined prayer for another in a very personal way .

           " When I saw the cleansing fountain open wide for all my sin,
             I obeyed the Spirit's wooing when He said , ' Wilt thou be clean' . "
                ( Margret J. Harris )
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Wow, some good thoughts here. Let me share a practical example from my career as a nurse on a telephonic advice line. I learned to first ask when someone would come on the phone with a question, “What brings up the question?” Once, a woman called and asked what would indicate a high blood sugar. I asked her, “What brings up the question?” and by probing for her husband’s symptoms realized the issue was not a high blood sugar (it wasn’t that high) but that the man was probably having a heart attack - previous history of several heart attacks, profuse sweating, very pale, low blood pressure, etc. Had I focused on her initial question and tried to answer that, I would have missed the signs that they needed to call 911. I am learning to use this same approach when people ask difficult questions about faith. Often the initial question is not the true concern.

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great thoughts!!! nothing to add here.

@ljhan40. Hope you are well. There’s already been a lot of great post responses to your question. I would just add that I’d ask “What do you mean by that?” First, try to ascertain what they really mean and where their statement is coming from. I’d also ask “What is it that Christians are brainwashed to believe?” Undoubtedly, their responses will lead in the direction you want it to especially if they mention things like “Jesus claiming to be God” or “The Bible as some divine book” or “Jesus’ Resurrection”. There is great evidence to support each of these areas as well as other claims of Christianity. So always question the questioner first. Gather information needed for your response first and then decided how you will approach their assertion.

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I am not sure about the brainwashing, but I know that I have also heard the terms before. My own family, my uncle, and even my mom have said, this, that I have been brainwashed. What they meant is, someone taught wrong teaching and I have accepted it, without thinking anything else. While people or unbelievers call, it “brainwashing”, Apostle Paul actually calls believers to have a “Reviewed mind”. Christianity is not brainwashing, but rather a “renewal of the mind” to be transformed into a new being. The old self dies and everything becomes new. For example, a gold smith or silver smith, press, under high heat, clean, smelts the gold or silver to purify it in the fire, and then the result is our clear shiny piece of metal which we adomintion.

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