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 How can a Christian Survive Secular College?



This is from "Answers from Genesis"

How can a Christian Survive Secular College?????

A: I can say from experience that being a biblical creationist at a secular college has its challenges. In addition to the normal academic pressures faced by all students, the consistent Christian must learn to be discerning about the views and interpretations expressed by his or her professors. This requires extra research as well as time (a valuable commodity while in college!). Such intellectual challenges occur in the midst of a social environment that is hostile to Christianity.

Many Christian parents are concerned that such a secular environment may lead their children to walk away from the Church. This concern is justified, since studies have shown that around two out of three Christian students from conservative churches will leave the church when they become adults.

First of all, our research shows that the problem starts much earlier than college. Nearly 90% of those students who leave the church have already begun to doubt God’s Word by the time they graduate from high school. Although they may continue to attend church with their parents, spiritually they are already gone.

Most Christian teenagers do not understand how the Bible connects to the “real world.” They have been taught “Bible stories,” but they have not been shown how the Bible’s history explains the evidence around us—from biology and geology to astronomy. Conversely, public schools use their evolutionary version of history to interpret the present world. So, students are inclined to think that the secular version of history they learned in public school is real, whereas the Bible is just a collection of interesting stories.


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Continue reading as Dr. Jason Lisle teaches Christians tips for Surviving Secular College.

[url=http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/2009/08/11/surviving-secular-college]Surving Secular College[/url]

Sincerly,

Walter

 2009/8/15 12:57
ccchhhrrriiisss
Member



Joined: 2003/11/23
Posts: 4529


 Re: How can a Christian Survive Secular College?

Hi Walter...

I understand the concern that some people might have about "secular" colleges and universities. However, I think that the problem is often incorrectly attributed to college. One could ask the same question somewhat differently: "[i]How can a Christian survive in a secular WORLD[/i]?"

The statistics in this little article also seems to indicate just how the problem begins BEFORE young people move off to college. In other words, it might not be an educational problem -- but a problem in a relationship with Christ.

I met Christ when I was a young teenager. After meeting the Lord one night while standing under the stars at a Christian youth camp, I went from being a bright, agnostic honor student in a public school to a Christian who happened to also be an honor student. Regardless of what I was taught, I began to see and question everything through the relationship that I had with God (and through the undeniable truth found in His Word). This continued through high school and college. I was able to maintain my faith in Christ (and even grow as a believer) while still graduating with high honors from a major university. In fact, I never once considered leaving the faith! Why? My relationship with Christ is EVERYTHING! I knew many other believers who shared the same experience. Our experience in college actually helped to strengthen our faith in our Lord.

I did see some students who struggled with their faith in college. However, these students seem to have been the ones who weren't firmly established in the faith to begin with. I'm not talking merely about giving in to temptation. Rather, their daily walk with Christ just lacked that certain "something" that is common in those of us who truly know and walk with the Lord. In fact, a couple of these students would call my dorm at night asking for prayer because of their unbelief and problems. They admitted that they had ALWAYS struggled with their faith.

One young man told me that he has "been a Christian as long as he can remember." He had never had that same experience that I had, where I remember having passed from death to life. You see, I can point to the exact spot (more of less) where I met the Lord in that field. Some young people who were raised in Christianity often tell me that they have no recollection of such an event. Sure, they remember praying to know the Lord when they were kids. However, some have confessed that they weren't sure if this was "real" or if they were simply trying to make Mom and/or Dad happy. I have explained to them that it is never too early or too late to make their "calling and election sure." They need to have such an experience where they KNOW THAT THEY KNOW that they have surrendered their all to the Creator of all things! I truly believe that this knowledge (and the subsequent hunger to have daily fellowship with the Lord) has served to sustain me as a believer.

In college, I heard plenty of things that went against the beliefs that I hold as a believer in Christ. However, this is no different than life in general. You cannot walk through this world without realizing as much! A walk through the grocery store, Walmart, high school or college will all reveal the same thing to true believer: We are pilgrims passing through this world. Yet it is so much more! We are Ambassadors! We are called to invite others to join us in this pilgrimage to our "Celestial City" (to quote Bunyan). What a great privilege that we have! We can invite those around us to join us in KNOWING the Creator of the universe!

The article makes a great point about the preparation of young people by believing parents. Young people who know the Lord might still have questions in their minds about certain things. They are taught by society (not just schools) that the universe is the result of a huge, lifeless physical explosion (which might be true if, in fact, God purposed such a thing for the creation of all things). They are taught by society (newspapers, books, TV, movies, schools, friends, employers, etc...) that we are merely evolved primates...who evolved from even lower forms of life who somehow accidentally came to life from primordial soup. Their questions are often sincere. Unfortunately, the Church often does a poor job of providing answers.

Last year, I attended a short seminar by the Creation Research Institute. I was eager to hear and learn from what they presented. Unfortunately, the presentation was terrible. The guy who spoke just didn't seem to know what he was talking about. It was as if he was over his head in terms of science and mathematics. He presented his opinion on topics, but no better than a typical lay believer. During the time of open questions, the presenter tried to answer many of the questions of the young men and women sitting in the audience. You could tell by the looks on their faces that he didn't even come close to answering their questions. This was confirmed when I spoke with some of them following the meeting.

Anyway, thanks for raising this issue, brother Walter. There is an epidemic in the Church today. It isn't just an epidemic of sin and unbelief. It is rooted in many false conversions. I believe that someone who truly meets the Lord will be able to withstand any slivers of doubt or unbelief that the enemy (even the enemy working through this world) might provide. I encouraged those young guys and girls at the CRI meeting to truly have a relationship with the Lord. I also encouraged them to not fear "learning" (even the things that this world might teach). Yet I encouraged them to always seek the Kingdom of God first. He would lead them and guide them into all truth.

We need people who know the Lord. We need people who KNOW that they know the Lord. We need Ambassadors who walk through this world as true evangelists of the true Good News of Jesus Christ.

:-)


_________________
Christopher

 2009/8/15 14:11Profile
TaylorOtwell
Member



Joined: 2006/6/19
Posts: 927
Arkansas

 Re:

I attended a state university and graduated last May. It is entirely possible to attend, do well, and not compromise your principles. Maintain respect for your teachers, do excellent work, and if you answer a question differently than the secular world answers it, so be it.

That being said, I personally think if the student is a female, they should live at home while attending classes if at all possible.

With care in Christ,
Taylor


_________________
Taylor Otwell

 2009/8/15 14:18Profile
JesseJamison
Member



Joined: 2009/8/15
Posts: 1


 Re: How can Christians survive in a Secular College?



Adjusting to College life, 350 miles from my Christian home and Christian friends that I grew up with, was very hard for me.

Being a Christian on a Secular Campus can pose major challenges. In the middle of fighting homesickness and trying to make new friends, you face all new forms of peer pressure. That peer pressure as well as the normal college pressures can easily pull you off your Christian walk.

So how on earth can you hold on to Christian values in the face of total hedonism and alternative ideas from those students, as well as your teachers?

If you have seen movies about college, they probably aren’t that far off from real college life. That is not to say that some colleges are more academic oriented, but many students are away from parent influences and succumb easily to drinking, drugs, and sex. After all, there is no authority figure there to say, “No.” Plus, alternative ideologies abound, which can be just as tempting as those “sins of the flesh.”

College is a time of learning about new things. You will be exposed to all kinds of new beliefs and ideas. As a Christian, those ideas will seriously make you question your faith.

Sometimes people are rather convincing in their ideas. You will hear ideas that denounce your faith in lectures and at rallies. You will even hear people on campus espousing a hatred of Christians.


[b]Being a strong Christian on a secular campus is not easy. It actually takes work – more work sometimes that high school. Yet there are ways that you can stay focused on God and His work in your life:

1. Join a Christian Fellowship group. While there are clubs and meetings for just about anything on a college campus, fellow Christians often meet beyond traditional Wednesday and Sunday services.

2. Go to church. Find a church right away and get involved in their college group. Worshiping with fellow Christians can help keep you strong. Going to church at least once a week can help keep your focus.

3. Start a Bible Study. If you cannot find a fellowship group, try getting a Bible Study together. Put up a flyer in your dorm or meeting area, and you will be amazed at the response you get.

4. Do your Devotionals. Staying rooted in the Word will help you remain strong in your faith. When you are faced with a moral dilemma, knowing the Word will help you make Godly decisions.

5. Stand up for your beliefs. If someone is putting down your faith, stand up for God. You’ll feel better knowing that you didn’t allow someone to badmouth something you love.

6. Ask for help. If you feel yourself straying from your walk, don’t be ashamed to ask a fellow Christian for prayer or inspiration. Talk to your youth leader or pastor to get advice.

No matter where you go to college, you will be faced with moral decisions. You will be confronted with opposing beliefs and immoral acts. While some situations are clearly good or bad, the situations that try your faith the most will not be so clear. Keeping your eyes on God will help you navigate through the world of college.[/b]

Galatians 5:22-25
22. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,23. Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. 24. And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. 25. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

How are we to walk in the Spirit? By reading and studying the Bible each and every day, and applying it to our daily life and our walk with the Lord. As Christians, we are called to be separate from the World.

“Come out from them and be separate,” Scriptures tell us (2 Corinthians 6:17-18) 17. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you. 18. And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.

James also tell us, “Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God” (James 4:4) 4. ….. know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.

Jesse

 2009/8/15 17:27Profile
Lysa
Member



Joined: 2008/10/25
Posts: 3421
This world is not my home anymore.

 Re: How can a Christian Survive Secular College?

ccchhhrrriiisss,

Yeah and amen. People fall away AFTER college just as well.

Quote:
waltern wrote:
Many Christian parents are concerned that such a secular environment may lead their children to walk away from the Church. [b]This concern is justified, since studies have shown that around two out of three Christian students from conservative churches will leave the church when they become adults.[/b]


This is intended for everyone, I just wanted to use Walters quote! :)

When people walk away, they were not rooted and grounded in the truth to begin with. And frankly, most so-called christian teenagers (as well as adults) are not rooted and grounded in Christ. And don't kid yourself, as parents, we cannot root and ground our children in Christ. We can provide a rooted & grounded atmosphere (fertilizer) through the church, materials, church camps, and even all the translations of the Bible for them but if [i]they don't desire rooted and groundedness in Christ deep down inside themselves[/i], they will just speak Christianese to you the rest of their life. Is that what we as parents really want?

What is Christian-ese? Our children grow up watching us and listening to practically every conversation we have, they have come to know our attitudes about certain topics or things and they know what makes us happy (and keeps us happy); and they also know exactly what we want to hear. From elementary school on, they KNOW what they need to say and do to get us to shut up and stay off their backs. Do they or do they not? (huge grin)

My oldest son told me when he was in the 10th grade that he didn't believe in God and it came out in an angry moment and I could see that this had weighed heavily on his mind and heart and he had been nervous about sharing this revelation with me. I don't want my kids to get sick physically because they think there is something they can't share with me because I might love them less. I told him it was OK if he didn't believe but that one day I knew he would! He just turned on his heels and walked out of the room! A couple of months later he came to me and said that he did believe.

[b]We NEED to trust God that He loves our children as much as He loves us.[/b] What all did God do to find you? Will He not do that for our children as well? I believe He will and indeed, I am counting on it!


_________________
Lisa

 2009/8/16 1:04Profile
ccchhhrrriiisss
Member



Joined: 2003/11/23
Posts: 4529


 Re:

Hi Jesse...

Quote:
Yet there are ways that you can stay focused on God and His work in your life:

1. Join a Christian Fellowship group. While there are clubs and meetings for just about anything on a college campus, fellow Christians often meet beyond traditional Wednesday and Sunday services.

2. Go to church. Find a church right away and get involved in their college group. Worshiping with fellow Christians can help keep you strong. Going to church at least once a week can help keep your focus.

3. Start a Bible Study. If you cannot find a fellowship group, try getting a Bible Study together. Put up a flyer in your dorm or meeting area, and you will be amazed at the response you get.

4. Do your Devotionals. Staying rooted in the Word will help you remain strong in your faith. When you are faced with a moral dilemma, knowing the Word will help you make Godly decisions.

5. Stand up for your beliefs. If someone is putting down your faith, stand up for God. You’ll feel better knowing that you didn’t allow someone to badmouth something you love.

6. Ask for help. If you feel yourself straying from your walk, don’t be ashamed to ask a fellow Christian for prayer or inspiration. Talk to your youth leader or pastor to get advice.

Good points! When I attended major secular universities, I was able to do all of the above. :-) I was very involved with a Chi Alpha Christian Fellowship while in school. We had two wonderful campus pastors (both professors at the school), including one who was affiliated with the Assemblies of God and another who had been a pastor of a Calvary Chapel for several years.

We held wonderful prayer meetings, Bible studies, and evangelical outreaches throughout my time in school. We were encouraged to encourage one another...and to open up to one another about our strengths, weaknesses, victories and temporary defeats. If I have ever attended a fellowship that reminded me of the purity and mission of the early Church, it was during my time at college! In fact, I feel that I actually GREW as a believer while attending a "secular" school.
Quote:
No matter where you go to college, you will be faced with moral decisions. You will be confronted with opposing beliefs and immoral acts.

So true! Yet this is also true of LIFE in general! I doubt that many of us live in a "Christian community" that is physically separated from the "secular" world. Most of us live, work, move, and interact with the people of this fallen world. We are not sheltered OUT OF this world, but sheltered IN Christ while we live here. As a young believer, I was able to grow and mature in Christ even while attending a "secular" public school and "secular" universities. In fact, I truly believe that I was able to be a "fisher of men" while there!

Thanks for the good points, brother. And welcome to SermonIndex! I think that you will be very blessed by the wonderful messages that you will find here. Just use the MAIN MENU on the left side of your screen to navigate through the website. You will find thousands of audio, video and text messages that will chalege and encourage you in your faith! I have been very blessed by messages from men like Leonard Ravenhill, Paris Reidhead, David Wilkerson, Carter Conlon and many others! If you need some help, just drop a PM to one of the moderators.

Again, welcome to SermonIndex!

:-)


_________________
Christopher

 2009/8/16 16:58Profile





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