Is the media brainwashing you?

20 Jul

Romans 12:2 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.Two words that stand out to me in this passage are “conform” and “transform”. This verse suggests that we fall into two categories – either conforming or transforming.

I will use an analogy of diffusion and active transport in biology. (How geeky I know – but as a disclaimer it’s been a while since I’ve studied these things so I cannot vouch for the absolute scientific validity or depth of my example!)

Diffusion and active transport are both processes in which cells in the body obtain or release nutrients or waste products. Now diffusion is pretty much a go-with-the-flow type process. For example in a crowded room everyone spreads out – unless you have awkward personal space boundary issues (not looking at anyone in particular). In contrast active transport actually requires energy to actively pump things in against the natural flow – like salmon swimming upstream against the flow of the water.

So if we relate this back to the verse – in our passive state, if we do nothing, we will automatically flick to diffusion mode and conform to the pattern of this world. The call, however, is for us to be transformed (like active transport) to pump in the nutrients (God’s Word!), which we require to know what God’s will is!

It’s almost like our minds and desires are mould-able play dough waiting to take the shape of its surroundings. That’s a scary thought when you think about it! Many of us live oblivious to the fact.

I suppose that’s how advertising works. But on a more non-commercial note what sort of moral values and perceptions about God are we gaining from sources external to the Bible. Whether you like it or not we begin to form our beliefs based on what we surround ourselves with.

You may have heard it said that religion and Christianity brainwashes you – But I would submit to you that we are all being brainwashed period. It is up to you to decide what you want to be brainwashed by: The Word of God or something else.

So the application point here is – what are you allowing yourself to be conformed to? Do nothing and I assure you, you will naturally go with the flow and think whatever TV or magazines tell you to.

I’m not saying that we have to cut media out completely (though it would probably do those who are serious about God some serious good) but I am saying that we need to watch what the predominant conforming agent in our lives is.

So if you are serious about growing in Christ and knowing God’s will; transform your mind and renew it daily with the Bible.

Do it – it won’t happen over night… but it will happen… if you actively transform your mind!

David Cheung


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