How many of you are familiar with the movie called “The Manchurian Candidate”? It is about a man who was conditioned (in the old days we used to say “brainwashed”) by the Communists to assassinate a United States figure in the hope of taking over the United States.
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Conditioning isn’t always a bad thing: it is used to help people break their addiction to drugs, it is used to train animals to save lives, and it is used to make athletes more proficient. But there is also bad use of this psychological tool which is being used against us through the media.
Newspapers tell us nothing but bad news; TV news shows horrible events of death and destruction; video games are designed so we can kill zombies and other aliens or “enemies” with reckless abandon, and the more destructive and murderous you are the more points you get. All of this exposure to violence, death, and destruction is conditioning us to become inured to it. We are, unconsciously, being conditioned to accept murder, violence against others, and illegal activities (I am thinking of the video game Grand Theft Auto) as not only acceptable but commendable.
Now, you may say, “Steve- what harm is there is killing zombies? I mean, they’re already dead?” There is no harm to the dead, but there is harm to our children because they are being conditioned to accept that they can randomly kill a certain type of being without remorse or responsibility. What I see is not a video game that has children killing zombies: what I see is a systematic approach to teaching children it is acceptable, even commendable, to kill zombies.
The next step is simply to identify a class of people as “zombies”, and the conditioning will be complete.
Hitler didn’t start by telling the German people to kill Jews, he started by identifying the problems in the country and then associated those problems to the Jews. Subsequently, people didn’t see a Jewish man or woman anymore, they saw their own suffering, they saw the food they want but can’t afford to buy, the clothing they can’t give their children and the destruction of their country. They didn’t see the person, they saw what they were conditioned to see: a thing that needed to be gotten rid of. Hitler, through his propaganda regime, made the German people see Jews as zombies.
This is, of course, a simplistic explanation, but I hope it serves the purpose of making you think about what is happening today.
The example I gave above about killing zombies is only the tip of the iceberg. We are also told what to eat and how to invest. We are told that someone else has a better deal, which erodes loyalty. It may not be a big deal when I switch from Crest toothpaste to Arm and Hammer, but the constant exposure to TV ads telling us to switch products or services for a better deal is a form of conditioning, which erodes loyalty and teaches us that we should only look for the best “deal” and ignore anything else.
From a spiritual viewpoint, the Enemy is teaching people that they should take what they want now and forget about the future. And when we forget about the future, we forget about doing what needs to be done in order to keep our salvation.
Salvation is a free gift from God, achievable through faith in Messiah Yeshua. It is a gift to us, which we cannot buy or earn. And, being a gift, it is something that once received is totally under our control. In other words, whatever is yours today you can get rid of tomorrow. The Bible is clear, especially in the warnings we find in the New Covenant letters from Shaul and Yacov (James), that apostasy is a real threat to Believers. Revelation tells us most will fall away from the faith, and Yakov tells the Messianic Jews in his letter that once someone has known Messiah but then falls away and returns to their sinful life, they are impossible to save.
The only way to prevent yourself from being brainwashed to sin is to recognize the process. This message is your wake-up call to get your kids away from games that teach them killing anything is commendable. You should make sure that what they watch (as well as yourself) on TV and in the movies is not teaching that killing is a good thing. Killing the bad guy has been part of the movies for decades, but the Bible tells us that God is the one who judges and God is the only one who should avenge.
We love to see the good guy kill the bad guy, but is that going to help you or your children become more spiritually mature?
I don’t think so.
We all need to be aware and selective of what we are watching and reading because we are being conditioned that murdering others is acceptable behavior, that leaving something we have used and trusted for years just to save a few dollars is wise, and that other sins are good because it demonstrates that you are a compassionate and understanding person. Things such as abortions at birth, drag queen pedophiles at libraries reading to toddlers, children who aren’t even producing hormones allowed to change their gender surgically, and many other sinful and perverse activities that condition us to sin, and not just to sin, but to sin and think we are doing what is right.
That’s how Satan wins souls: not by coming right out and telling you to do evil, but by conditioning you to think that doing this or that is not only acceptable and correct behavior, but he makes it fun and attaches both physical and social rewards to it.
Just because something feels good to do doesn’t automatically mean it is a bad thing, but it very well could be. That is why we all need to think about what it is we are doing and being told to do, and compare it with what God tells us to do in the Bible. If there is the slightest doubt that what you want to do is not what God says you can, then don’t do it!
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Until next time, L’hitraot and Baruch HaShem!