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Brainwashing and Indoctrination ...continued


The fear element must be understood in perspective. The Bible recognises that extreme fear has torments(1). This Bible reference in 1 John 4, verse 18 uses the Greek word for extreme fear which is phobos from which we get words like hydrophobia, claustrophobia and agoraphobia describing fear of water, enclosed spaces or open spaces.

There is however a very positive side of fear which is built into the human psyche for its good. This kind of fear will cause a motorist to drive carefully when road conditions are dangerous, or make a mother hide away an implement that could injure her small child. Years ago, youngsters had a healthy fear of the policeman. And the Bible actually commends a special kind of fear (or reverence and respect), it states that "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom"(2). This kind of fear is used in the Bible's warnings; just as some Government's warnings against drink-driving or smoking point out the consequences of foolishness. It warns us to "Flee from the wrath to come"(3), "How shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation?"(4) and "Fear not him who is able to kill the body, but fear Him Who is able to destroy both body and soul in hell"(5).

The difference between brainwashing techniques and straightforward preaching of the Christian Gospel is that God has the highest good in mind for those who will hear and receive it, and it does not in any way harm the listener. In general, Gospel preaching is aimed primarily at the will of a person rather than the emotions, and it calls for a considered response to its demands. Brainwashing is a matter of coercion while the Gospel is a matter of conversion.. a free acceptance of forgiveness.

Index to the Topic
Brainwashing and Indoctrination
Legitimate Persuasion
Sinister Persuasion
Religious Persuasion
Billy Graham's methods also assessed
The Philosophy of Fear 

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