Summer is ending and fall nears. Teachers assemble and arrange lesson plans and accompanying materials. Students pack their bags and resign to another year at Fundy U. For some, it’s more looking forward to seeing friends again. For others, it is a sentence to an institutional existence, one designed to stunt maturation by removing any basis for responsibility.
Where You’ll Go
Be their destiny Pensacola Christian, West Coast Baptist, Maranatha Baptist University, Snob Clones or some other equally contentious College contender for the faith, these youths can expect that all their decisions will be made for them. Presented as a policy to cultivate maturity, this is in fact a recipe for the opposite.
What You’ll Hear
In mandatory classrooms, chapel homilies and church services, youths will hear, implicitly or explicitly, that America’s wars are holy wars and God requires their support. They will hear that the best calling for women is to marry a good man and serve him well as a faithful wife and mother. They will hear that Christians are under attack on all sides, that science is not to be trusted, and that authority is not to be questioned.
Whether by direct instruction, by practice, or by both, it will be clear that dissent is not tolerated. They will know that they should be the vanguard of the most right-wing, regressive causes in the land. Some will witness young people being recruited for Cesar’s legions. They will receive status and they will be elevated for emulation by all.
What You Won’t Hear
But students will not hear of the intersection of power and corruption. And if that intersection is named at all, it will be in connection with causes the board and administrative arm of such schools deemed to be anti-Christian, un-American, left-wing, radical, and more. They will not hear that corruption and power meet in the law enforcement community.
What You’ll Do
But some will question. Some will read Os Guinness’ quote. Some will land in disciplinary hearings for infractions of rules which are not Biblical, but which reflect someone’s idea of what being Biblical might look like or mean.
Others won’t question; but they will see through the superficial rationales, the pathetic, self-serving explanations, the self-gratifying power-trips of room spies and administration lackeys and the sheer superficiality of practices which pay endless lip-service to grace and faith while inwardly dying for any lack of connection with the Spirit.
What Happens Then
Some will quit on faith. They will go through the motions, say what must be said to remain in the community, and on graduation turn their back not only on all they heard, but on faith itself. Some will go deeper, and will emerge from that process with a faith deeper, wiser and certainly more gracious than the finest faculty professions. Others will walk away but come back many years later, demonstrating that the best efforts of ‘Christian institutions’ to eradicate student faith may come to naught.
Have a good year!