Christians are often accused of "brainwashing" their children. It strikes me as odd, because the media, the government, the public school system does the same thing--they decide what they think the public needs to know, what constitutes a "good citizen" and proceed to teach young children those ideas and philosophies. I just saw an article about school children singing the praises of our president, chanting his name to the Battle Hymn of Republic. Isn't that "brainwashing?" They also sang another song about Obama to the tune of "Jesus Loves the Little Children."
I was listening to an interview on the internet of a 50 year old woman describing her upbringing in the 1970's, during a time when the "anything goes" attitude was rampant. Her father was a famous rock and roll star, and she a child actress. It was her father that gave her the first shot of drugs in her arm, and then proceeded to molest her, and the downfall into a perverse lifestyle goes on and on. But it struck me to hear her describe her upbringing in a world where no one taught her what was right, and what was wrong. The interviewer asked her, was there anyone around you that told you that this incestuous relationship was wrong, evil? And she basically said no.
As Christians we are faulted for teaching our children the difference between right, and wrong, good and evil. We are "brainwashing" our children and not allowing them to make decisions for themselves. The lady I just described in the above paragraph is a good example of what happens when children are left to themselves. I hope she is able to recover from her past.
What values are we trying to indoctrinate in our children? The ten commandments is a good place to start--things like "thou shalt not steal, thou shalt not kill, honour your mother and father, don't lie, work six days, rest one, don't covet (basically, be thankful for what you have and don't go into debt to get what you don't.") Given the headlines in the news, couldn't our society use a little bit more of that?
We teach our kids to love one another, share, think of others first, be polite and respectful to others (including authorities), forgive, work hard and don't be lazy, tell the truth, don't gossip, and be thankful. Aren't those all commendable character qualities? Which type of person would you rather have working for you, if you owned a business? What type of neighbor would you rather have?
We also educate them against the dangers of this world--and do our best to protect them from the things that will harm them. Stay away from drugs and alcohol which alter your mind, cause you to do things you wouldn't normally do, lower your inhibitions, and in many cases lead to addictions and ruin many lives, not only yours but often innocent lives as well.
We believe that marriage is sacred, between a man and a woman, and that they should save themselves for the person that God has for them. This includes learning to discern character--what type of person would be the best for them to marry, and the consequences for failing to do this--sexually transmitted diseases, unplanned pregnancies, the heartache of divorce, etc.
Most people don't have a problem with the character qualities that Christianity tries to instill in young people. It is the God of the Bible that they have issue with, and the idea that we are created by God and are accountable to Him. But it is impossible to live righteously without it, or His power. The public schools have tried it and failed--we have all seen the tragedies taking place in our education institutions where God and the Bible is not welcome. The principles that do "work" to make successful citizens are all borrowed from the Bible.
Next time you are tempted to criticize Christian parents for "indoctrinating" their children, perhaps you better try to be a little more open-minded and realize that we are trying to train our children to love and fear the Lord, and to do good works, and to stay away from the sin that will destroy them. Consider the alternatives.