Friday, 29 November 2013

Indoctrinated or Saved...What is the Difference?

In the previous post I bring up the conversation that I had with an atheist. He makes the claim that having faith as a Christian is the same thing as having been indoctrinated into any religion. My assertion is that the two aren't even apples and oranges, more like apples and rocks.

To give a very simple example of the difference lets examine the life of the Apostle Paul. Before he was saved he was indoctrinated as an orthodox Pharisaical Jew. After Jesus knocked him off his high horse
and confronted him about his errant life directly, Paul was humbled into submission and God transformed him completely. His entire life changed from one of hating the elect to being elect, and that change was from God, and not because he desired it, or worked toward it, or met some people who indoctrinated him through a series of group mind-melding i.e. brainwashing techniques.

The same happened to me when I wasn't at all looking for it. I was very happy being in the new age movement. I had previously been involved in the SDA church, then Mormonism and then NAM. I read everything I could get my hands on that involved "spiritual" teachings, and attended all kinds of meetings of various religious groups to see what they had to offer me, and I felt that I gleaned wisdom from each encounter. When some acquaintances talked with me about the Bible and Jesus, I scoffed at them. I thought I knew so much more about all things spiritual than they did, and saw them as very naive and brainwashed. They asked me if they could buy me a Bible and if I would read it. They were a poor family, their children all dressed in hand-me-downs, and often couldn't pay all their bills. I truly was interested in reading the Bible again, hadn't done so since my Mormon days, but then only read the three or four passages that they say confirms their "truth".  They bought me a Bible and I began reading it. It was time, and God confronted me full force of how I had been living in total opposition to the true blue God of the universe and everything in it, including myself. I fully for the first time saw how I was living in rebellion to God. I was devastated. I was cut to my core. I begged this family to help me because I was filled with demons that at this point tormented me day and night and gave me no rest. I kept reading the Bible and praying...the first year after my conversion was the hardest year of my life. I was in constant prayer and in torment. Since that time the Lord has grown me through various trials in my life, and always has seen me through even the darkest of tests.

Prior to my conversion, I was indoctrinated into the SDA church, then into Mormonism, and then into various NAM teachings. After my conversion all of that became a heap of trash that needed cleaning out, and it was the Lord Himself who did it by His Holy Spirit. No "program" could have helped me or I would be dead by now, or perhaps insane. Being saved by the living God of Abraham, Israel, and the Apostle Paul is a completely different thing altogether from any kind of indoctrination, but trying to explain it to an atheist is like trying to describe colors to a person born blind.


  1. Quite the testimony you have there Susan.
    So many people try to classify Christianity as a religion but it isn't at all. The original word was the Way and that is just what it is, the Way of life; a relationship. God is living and active and so is a relationship with Him. It is living, active and growing and even death doesn't stop it because Jesus conquered death, so our relationship with Him only continues on towards getting better and better.

    Thanks for sharing,

    1. I see indoctrination and salvation as opposites. When I was first saved, every false thing that I was indoctrinated into was exposed to me for it's ugly falseness, and as I shuddered in fear and horror, God lovingly removed them away.

      It hasn't been easy, but it has been very rewarding. True about the living and activeness of our relationship to Jesus. As I confess my inability, He is loving enough to supply those things that I lack in myself, with what He has in His Spirit. I still make blunders, often, but He is faithful and that is what matters in the end. Our faith only takes us so far, but He meets us where we fall short, and strengthens us for the journey. :)


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