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bluenote177
Member



Joined: 2005/12/11
Posts: 9


 Return to College?

Saints,
Lately I've been struggling about whether or not I should return to college in the fall. I just finished my sophomore year of college in a small liberal arts private school in North Carolina. At the beginning of the summer, my dad asked me why I was going to college. I could not give my dad an adequate answer. My dad said to me, "I don't want you going to college because you know I want you to be there" (my dad is not a believer and loves the fact that I'm at a liberal arts college). He said he wanted me to do what I wanted to do with my life, even if it involves ministry. It seems that God has spoken to me about going to college saying, "Why are you in school allowing unbelievers to teach you?" It seemed to make sense to me. I don't say all this in a cocky, self-righteous attitude; rather, I really want to pursue God's will on this matter. At times I say to myself as my other believing friend does, "Well, we should stay in this particular school to reach the lost." I agree to some degree with my friend, but I feel God is calling me elsewhere. I also must take into account that my mom said I must get a degree and I have to honor her. On the other hand I am somewhat confused, because I know to lead a victorious life in the Lord you don't need a liberal arts education or a degree. I'm not sure at this point if I should take a year off from school or go to a Bible college or a Christian school. Please pray for me and my situation. Thank you and God bless.

P.S.
I also want all of you to know that I understand throughout my whole life I will be around people who don't believe. Please don't think I want to get away to some heavenly paradise away from all unbelievers, I simply want to do God's will, whether it be in our out of school. Another thing to consider for me here is that in the Fall I am lined up to study abroad in London. I am on go for that right now and if I did go to London, I would be doing a theatre internship. I know there is tremendous freedom in Christ and am trusting He'll show me the way.

 2007/5/29 13:39Profile









 Re: Return to College?

Quote:
"Well, we should stay in this particular school to reach the lost."



"Come out of her my people, that ye receive not of her plagues." (REV 18:4)

Brother, I have a secular education in philosophy. And I was a bartender for over a decade - the LORD delivered me from it last year and my last shift at the nightclub was on New Year's Day, 2006.

My advice to you: you can't help others escape the quicksand if you jump into it with them. Continuing a liberal arts degree to "help the lost" will do as much harm to you as good to them - you seem to already have made up your mind about an arts degree. You will not get out unscathed - no more than I ought to keep bartending to reach the alcoholics... or enter a strip club to preach to naked dancers.

"And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you." (Friedrich Nietzsche)

Jesus says "come out".

"Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God... No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God." (LUKE 9:60-62)

 2007/5/29 15:31
Nile
Member



Joined: 2007/3/28
Posts: 403
Raleigh, NC

 Re: Return to College?

Brother, I have no advice for you - I'll leave that for the older brethren. But what I do have, that I will give to you, namely, my prayers.


_________________
Matthew Miskiewicz

 2007/5/29 16:03Profile
iansmith
Member



Joined: 2006/3/22
Posts: 963
Wheaton, IL

 Re: Return to College?

Hello Bluenote,

My name is Ian, I graduated from the University fo Washington with degrees in International Studies and History... After graduating from the UW I worked for a Fortune 50 company for 2 years before coming to a crossroads.

I had begun my walk with the Lord in college and didn't feel that what I was studying conflicted with what I was learning in school, but gave me a different vantage point on it. It's really easy to see the need for Christ around the world through the lenses of History and International Studies.

However after two years in the corporate world I felt myself being called towards Christian service. I applied for an internship with a missions organization and was rejected because of my outstanding student loans.

When I felt God was leading me towards his service I realized that during my years in college I had pretty much chained myself to Sodom and couldn't follow Him out.

The Lord has subsiquently provided me a job with an awesome Christian ministry where I get to interact daily with missionary organizations while at the same time recieving a paycheck so that I can pay down my school loans. But it would have been much better if I had been able to go when I heard his call.

If you plan to stay in school, count the costs. It's not just the two years left to graduate, it's also the years of debt.

There are a lot of awesome Christian organizations looking for young people. You might want to check out YWAM or Operation Mobilization among others.

If you haven't recieved a call from God, get yourself somewhere where you can listen... In college there are a lot of competing voices for your attention. Get yourself alone with God and find out what His will is for your life.


_________________
Ian Smith

 2007/5/29 16:32Profile









 Re:

iansmith, great advice!!!

 2007/5/29 18:41









 Re: Return to College?

It feels odd writing this because Bluenote and I go to the same school and are close friends, so I don't exactly know how to talk about the issue on this forum (we've discussed the purpose of us being in college between ourselves many times), especially since he/you brought it up. I have been wrestling with the same stuff in the past semester or even year, and never have I been so divided and hesitant and desperate in my walk.

So, without wanting to divert attention from Noah's question and his situation, I would like to give a few details that make this particular decision (to leave my secular school or stay) harder for me. I really want to follow the Lord's will and not lean on my own understanding. And still I know that often His will is foolishness to us (like God calling Abraham to a foreign country and asking him to forsake land and kindred). So I've been brought to my knees in my utter insufficiency to find a way out of this matter. Hence, as much as I need and seek your advice, dear brothers and sisters, I know that I much more need your prayers.

(First, I started a thread last year on this very topic. So there's a good bit of history and some good advice I've received, for which I am very grateful. Here it is: [url=http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?topic_id=13804&forum=35&12]The Truth about Secular Education[/url]. I don't remember all that was discussed at the time, yet it is a reference point of this very conversation.)

... I really don't know where I am going with this. Only the Lord can teach me His ways and I want to ask HIM and not trust in people... and still I don't know how to do both; maybe I don't have the faith to seek Him alone in secret, trusting that He will reveal His will in due time; or maybe I don't trust my brothers and sisters, who may have overcome similar struggles in the past... This lack of faith engenders much confusion and even hesitancy in me to bring up details... for I feel that I should somehow be qualified by God's grace and providence to be able to decide on this matter once and for all--for He has not left me, nor forsaken me--yet I am weak, trembling. Yet, I must say what I intended to say.

One thing that hit home with is what brother Corey wrote:

Quote:
My advice to you: you can't help others escape the quicksand if you jump into it with them. Continuing a liberal arts degree to "help the lost" will do as much harm to you as good to them - you seem to already have made up your mind about an arts degree. You will not get out unscathed - no more than I ought to keep bartending to reach the alcoholics... or enter a strip club to preach to naked dancers.



Brother, I cannot imagine myself as a bartender trying to reach the lost. It would undermine any authority I may have (how can I teach the person I'm selling drinks to why he should stop drinking?!) In this sense, I cannot stay at my school and hope to have an effective ministry, because I believe that truth is to be sought and found elsewhere and secular education has no other purpose but perhaps, as brother Art Katz said in one sermon, to disenchant you with itself--so you can see how vile and Satanic it really is for yourself and keep guard against it. I cannot stay, just as I cannot imagine how I would join--or become a member of--the Catholic church, for example, hoping to reach and save the lost or deceived in there. How could I tell them to leave the church if I myself am still there?! This makes sense, and if I have to tell the Lord right now, "I'm done with this. I quit," I can do it.

Yet, God has given me such a burden for the lost on my campus (I've been here for three years now). All the relationships I have, all the people that I have shared my faith with, all the young Christians that I feel I need to feed and help grow--I don't have the heart to leave these people! As a brother told me in a recent e-mail, which I believe was a prophetic word, "You are allowing the evil that is on this campus to continue to destroy human souls"--and he didn't even know about my decision to leave after the spring semester! So, in a way, I feel like I have invested so much in some brothers here that I cannot just leave them (if I left, who would stay?!); on another hand, how do I pass my classes, and survive all the persecution and opposition from the secular educational system, from the principalities and powers, and why would I put myself under such treatment and defy my professors for a degree that I don't esteem in the least?

So, if I stay, which is the more difficult, painful choice for me, I will stay for the body's sake and for the lost; if I leave, I will leave for myself I guess--and also for the lost, in the long run. I really want to go to a Bible college or seminary; I want encourage and be encouraged. I do agree, brother Corey, that the darkness here has been so profound and so has the lack of fellowship, that I would give up everything so that I may live and walk unrestrained together with brothers in the Lord. What do light and darkness have to do together?

Then I know that if I have to be honest, I must tell my brothers and sisters at school: "Guys, there is nothing for you here! This is a bunch of lies they teach you that defile your souls." Hence, I don't want them to stay here, just as I don't want to be here myself, pursuing the wisdom and honor of this world. But if I leave, what would happen to this voice, to those people? Or maybe, if I leave, this would make my voice even stronger?

Maybe I am departing from the simplicity that is in Christ in trying to intellectualize this matter to an extreme; maybe I have forsaken my childlike devotion to my Lord so I can only get this answer and have some temporary "assurance" and "peace" with myself. Maybe I have to heed the call, "Come out of her my people, that ye receive not of her plagues," and taking the plough, I must never look back. I pray that the Lord makes it impossible for me to make any decision: that He will guide me and keep my in the right path, even when, in my blindness, I stray. I need, like a blind man, to be led by the hand.

In Christ,
Slavyan

 2007/6/2 22:23









 Re:

I praise the Lord for He gave me perfect clarify of vision: to know that I cannot possibly be a faithful witness and "help reach the lost" when I am compromising and in sin. For being at the school I am and pursuing--or being subcribed to--the things that secular education offers disqualifies me. Thanks for the encouragement, brother Corey! I cannot jump in the quicksand. I need to take the plow and not turn back.

The Lord gave me a couple of examples of things that I was involved in here at school and in general--which I consider worldly and sinful, albeit highly esteemed practices. By simply participating in this work, I am condoning it, which means that I cannot possibly have any authority to take a stance against it. The Lord is going to deal with so much shame in my life. I am so excited and thankful!

[EDIT: Brother Noah, I will be praying for you that the Lord gives so compelling a vision of His truth and His will for your life as well as the boldness to obey!]

 2007/6/3 14:43
theopenlife
Member



Joined: 2007/1/30
Posts: 926


 Re: Thanks, Ian.

"If you haven't recieved a call from God, get yourself somewhere where you can listen."

This has been my position, not leaving school but leaving my business. I have done wedding photography for two years. Most of my clients were professing believers. They had no alcohol at the weddings, but the music demonstrated vain, worldly, and often outright wicked themes. I justified myself all the while, "ministering" nothing to them but a false condoning of their sins. "Do not share in the sins of others, but keep yourselves pure." 1 Timothy 5:22, I think.

"Ye shall even warn them that they trespass not against the LORD, and so wrath come upon you, and upon your brethren: this do, and ye shall not trespass... Deal courageously, and the Lord shall be with the good." 2 Chron. 19:10,11

Last night was my final wedding. I felt so, so dirty afterwards and repented before God. I desire never again to "sit in the seat of the scornful" without fleeing or clearly opposing it. I'm selling my camera this week with intention to take a "long walk" with God, probably from Seattle to Southern California. I want to hear Him.

I also began college in a pursuit of liberal arts. I see now that the unsaved do not need men learned in the mindset and methods of the world, but men who are liberal in the time they give to seeking God's grace in their prayers and studies of scripture. If I become content with "food and raiment" and Paul was, and "know nothing but Christ crucified" (and me with Him) I don't anticipate having time or need for a worldly career.

God bless, let us seek to live up to the name "church", the "Called OUT" ones.

 2007/6/3 15:12Profile









 Re:

Quote:
I justified myself all the while, "ministering" nothing to them but a false condoning of their sins. "Do not share in the sins of others, but keep yourselves pure." 1 Timothy 5:22, I think.



This is a great encouragement, brother, to know that the Lord is working in the hearts of many! Keep your way pure! May we be holy so we may see the Lord!

Quote:
see now that the unsaved do not need men learned in the mindset and methods of the world, but men who are liberal in the time they give to seeking God's grace in their prayers and studies of scripture.



It was amazing how this last semester I would start reading an article or a book or something for my secular classes, and read for fifteen minutes to the point that I feel so poisoned that I couldn't continue. Then I would open the Scriptures "for a little bit", only to awaken my spirit, and never would return to my homework again. The Lord made it impossible for me to relish in the sin and flippancy of others. It seems that my prayers for God to show me sin as He sees it is being answered little by little.

Quote:
Last night was my final wedding.



I rejoice in hearing this because I know how big a step it is for you, brother! For you and for those wretched souls that the Lord is going to call through you!

Just to add that I noticed some arrogance in myself here in my writing: the feeling that I can congratulate myself on finally being done with this thing... how easy it is to forget who delivered me! It wasn't me, it wasn't me!

 2007/6/3 16:59
theopenlife
Member



Joined: 2007/1/30
Posts: 926


 Re:

Quote:
It wasn't me, it wasn't me!



Amen. There is such a thing as human responsibility, but as I see it, our responsibility is to obey in His strength and then shift all credit to Him.

 2007/6/3 22:40Profile





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