So. You had made good decisions for your life and your eternity.
And then you went away to college.
You went away to college, and all of a sudden you are smarter than your parents, your siblings, and all the folks who had a part in your life.
The Bible is still true today; God hasn’t changed His mind. I’m praying you change your mind so that you don’t meet the Living God someday and experience shame and regret. Never forget, the folks who loved you as you grew into a young woman and a young man STILL LOVE YOU. Where are your professors today? Where are the young people who helped you throw aside all you were taught by the parents, the siblings, the church family who love you?
Ah, but that family–the family who loves you–is still here. We aren’t going anywhere; we’ll never back down. Because you are worth the effort.
And we aren’t going to stop praying for you. Hurry home.
Education and college are not what causes people to question their upbringing and their faith. Questioning what you learned as a child is a very normal and necessary part of growing up and having the ability to think critically. A post secondary education can be part of that and is an asset, not a liability. Pointing to colleges as the problem seems a bit misguided.
40% of the prison population did not finish high school
49% either finished HS or got their GED but got to further education
only 11% of the state inmates have any post-secondary education
And Virginia has found that post-secondary education reduces recidivism.
We should be encouraging our kids both in their faith and also to continue their education.
Every young person we know who goes to college, goes with our blessing. I would never advise a child against college if that is what he really wants to do. But I always remind them that the world beyond their “cocoon” is not always kind and that they must be on their guard. So, I encourage all our kids in their faith, I pray for them, and I encourage them to get the education they need in order to fulfill their future goals.
I understand that young people question their beliefs. But I would disagree that college is not (a part of) the problem. In TWO different discussions just this week with young people who grew up in churches Dave pastored, BOTH referred to their college education as “opening their eyes” to the futility of believing in a higher power. They were instructed, by their professors, that religion is a pie-in-the-sky escapism from reality. These young people sigh at us and condescend to us in a most irritating manner, as if they have the answers to life and we are just so wrong. I know that someday, at least some of these young folks will return to their roots; I grieve for those who will not. So, yes, I believe that colleges do hold some responsibility for challenging a young person’s faith and ridiculing beliefs that don’t fit science (because, after all, that professor is SO educated–he must know what’s true, right? ((their words))). They are not at all the whole problem, of course. We are each responsible for our own belief system. But I most certainly do see colleges whose professors step into judging and ridiculing a belief system (most specifically, the Christian faith) as a very real problem.
I have and will continue to warn kids about college professors that teach a false gospel, who use their position to treat Christianity with disrespect and “push a student around” mentally or attempt to embarrass them for the beliefs they hold. I respect and support wholeheartedly any professor who walks into class, rolls up his sleeves, and works alongside his students to teach them what they need to know about the area of study for which they are qualified.
I have four grandsons. Some of them want to go to college, a couple do not. I have encouraged those who do not want to attend a four-year institution to at least attend a trade school and get some type of trade under their belt. The world seems to expect that one should have some type of degree in order to work for them, so I’m not unaware of a need for a good education. My thoughts and prayers go with every kid I know who has moved out of their “nest” into the world. They aren’t always greeted kindly.
(Also, institutes of higher learning should not need “safe spaces” if it is their “job” to teach a kid to think outside the box. A kid should not have to have a place to “grieve” because their fellow classmate wore a flag shirt to class or flew one on his vehicle. They should not need a safe space because they saw someone in the lunchroom pray over their meal, or when someone holds an opposing view to theirs. Some days I wonder what we are really teaching kids at all.)