Sunday, September 12, 2010

throwing christians to the lions?

"if you send your kids to a secular college, you are throwing them to the lions." -anonymous

i cringed when i heard this.

i fully intend to research the topic of college students losing their faith and dropping out of church due to attending non-christian colleges. my initial research is quite interesting and contradictory at times. i can't wait to really delve into this. ...should be interesting.

in the meantime, however...

what bothers me at first glance is the assumption that the world is a horrible and hostile place. i've been praying for some time that GOD would help me get out of my christian bubble, and that i could see the world through his eyes. going back to a large urban school, i am definitely outside the bubble...and i love it! yes, there are at times anti-christian sentiments and ideas presented, i hear cursing a little more than i do in christian circles, i sit in classes with people who live alternative lifestyles. once again...i have to say...i love it! i'm not afraid of that world. it's not a horrible and hostile environment. it's a rich environment in which to share GOD's love and light. i'm not preachy. in fact, i've yet to share that i'm a christian with anyone. i smile, i talk to people, i listen, i walk to class with them, i encourage them, i thank them when they help me with something, i ask them about their plans and families, etc. just recently, i met up with someone that appeared to be involved in some alternative lifestyle. she immediately lashed out as if to hurt me before i could hurt her. i didn't let it phase me. instead, i treated her with respect, and by the end of our conversation, i think i opened the door for friendship. you see, i think she expected to be mistreated. but i know something that she may not...GOD loves her. and if i want to share GOD with her, i need to be a safe place for her just as GOD is a safe place for me. we're all afraid of the world being a hostile place. but i don't need to fear. GOD is with me. and i can share his light and peace with others.

i think a lot of our judgments about public schools being bad is rooted in a lack of faith. this has nothing to do with my research, just some observations. when we say things like "our kids will drop out of church if they go somewhere other than a christian college," i think we downplay the power of GOD. if we really believe in GOD, i think we have to believe in his power to overcome the world. i guess when i hear that we're throwing our kids to the lions, i hear "the faith that my kids have is weak. they won't make it." that's fear. that's lack of faith. but maybe we have a point there.

let me explain...

in our christian bubble, we tend to tell people what to think. this is right. this is wrong. do this. christians don't do that. but we forget something really important...WHY! why do we believe this? why do we do that? and if our response is...because the bible says so...that's a copout. we need to know what the bible says, but even deeper...why does the bible say that? does it really even say it? my philosophy...question everything. know what you believe and why you believe it. if you search for truth, you will find it. i believe in GOD, but i didn't take someone else's word for it. i questioned his existence as well. i searched and i found. and GOD seemed fine with that. i don't believe GOD is afraid of our questions. i think he relishes them.

i think we are not to fear the world. i think we should see the beauty and opportunity. the beauty is that GOD created each person and loves each and every one, and we have the opportunity to share love and light where there is little or none. i think we need to search for truth. i think we need to ask the hard questions. i think we need to hear what others believe. i think we need to spend time with people who are different from us. i think we need to learn to respect diversity. i think we need to say with our actions and attitudes more than our words that we love and follow after CHRIST. i think that when we do, we will be given the opportunity to speak the words that can bring salvation and hope to the world in which we live.

now, these are just my opinions, but i think they're pretty darn good ones. i know from experience that not everyone who goes to a christian college is a christian. i also know that not everyone who goes to a secular college is going to fall away from the faith. i'm saying let's think about this and have a little perspective.

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