I’ve had it said to me on more than one occassion. People make statements like; ‘You only believe in Jesus because you’ve been brain washed.’
The world looks at Christianity and can’t comprehend what makes us tick. They presume we give our time, money, love, and even our very lives to Christ because somehow we’ve been brain washed.
Why would they say that?
I’ve often wondered what would make people say that sort of thing. Why would they look at the good things that Christians do and that the Church does and conclude that it must have an alterer hidden motive?
The reason is probably because that’s been their experience. Most people don’t do nice things for no reason. Most aren’t selfless. Most don’t love without expecting something in return. Most keep their money to themselves.
So why do Christians do the opposite?
The simple answer is because they love God and as a result they love people. More than this though, I realised today that Christians who have comitted to a life lived under the influence of the Holy Spirit, do what they do because they can’t help it.
Today, I realised, we Christians have been brain washed.
When people accuse Christians of being brain washed they think they’re being negative, but having our minds renewed is quite the opposite. It’s in this ‘brain washing’ that the gospel is preached, the poor are fed and the needy helped.
What a glorious mystery it is to have your mind changed by Christ.
To think one way then change to think a completely different way is nothing short of miraculous. It’s this change of mind, this renewing, or brain washing that causes Christians to act selflessly and love generously. Christians act in these unusual ways because Christ has washed their brains. They no longer think like other people. Their minds have been washed, cleansed and healed.
It’s not normal to put others first, to love your enemies and to bless those that persecute you, but in Jesus all these things are normal. It’s these attributes that become characteristic of minds that have been washed by Christ.
For the Christian, not only has your brain been washed, but there’s a need to daily continuing allowing the Holy Spirit to keep washing it.
Our minds are continually being polluted by the onslaught of messages that come our way. I’ve written about this before but it’s worth mentioning again.
Cleansing and protecting our minds, the way we think, is an ongoing process.
If you’re not careful you can easily start to believe the lies about yourself, others, and God that the world constantly broadcasts.
Romans 12:2 reminds us of the need for ‘brain washing’, for constantly renewing of our minds when it says;
‘Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.’
What’s interesting about this verse is it links our physical transformation to the renewing of our minds. The word used for being ‘transformed’ is the same word that is used in the Gospels when describing Jesus transfiguration. Jesus physically changed in front of Peter, James, and John and the writer of Romans is expecting us to change in appearance too, by the renewing of our minds.
So, not only are Christians brain washed, they need to continue daily being brain washed which will result in physical, outward transformation of our lives.
When we think differently, our lives will begin to look different.
That sounds a lot like a group of people I know who serve selflessly, give whole heartedly and deny themselves in order to bring good news to other people. And that sounds a lot like the Church.
I’ve realised that you and I may be brain washed, but I’ve also come to understand that this is exactly the way it should be.
Question: How do you go about not being conformed to the world? How do you allow your brain to be washed? Add your comments below.