Thursday, February 16, 2006

The question of college

To go or not to go...

...that seems to be the question among many Christians today. Should Christian youth, seeking to serve God and know His will for their lives, even consider attending universities in this corrupted, secular world? I have been running into this question repeatedly, and I think it is one that needs to be addressed by all. My decision to post on this subject was aided when I came across a post by a young woman named Meg whose aquaintance I have never had the pleasure of making! Visit her post here to read my inspiration. You will find it dated Tuesday, January 24, 2006.

I am a student at Whatcom Community College. I am attending this school because I believe God would have me excell in knowledge and the ability to discern truth, not to mention the ability to communicate effectively. College seemed to me to be the most logical place for a person such as I--on the verge of exiting the academic realm (if it is permissable to use such lofty terms for high school)--to pursue these goals.

The realization that college certainly in not for everyone, and that many have successfully lived productive, God-honoring lives without it, has made itself clear to me. However, I would like to challenge those persons who are afraid to set foot in the door of a college classroom for fear of contamination to rethink their stance. Many seem afraid that to analyze, consider, and learn the beliefs of others will cause them to be confused about their own--perhaps even cause them to abandon their own. I reply: this is a fearful and, dare I say it, lazy attitude. If competency among Christian youth in the area of apologetics is lacking, then perhaps we should be focusing inward at our own spiritual dullness. Istead of shutting ourselves off from the world, perhaps we should be prying the bushel from off the top of the light, stoking the flame into renewed brightness, and showing it for all the world to see.

Speaking of lights: college for me is a daily mental, and spiritual excersize in doing just that--shining my light. College to me is not a place of stagnant, shortsighted acceptance of all things socially acceptable. College is not to me a time of falling away, but a time of strengthening. How can one be "in the world, but not of the world" if one refuses to confront the world? All my life I have lived in a wonderful, nurturing, Christian atmosphere. I have had a Christian home, with a Godly mother who undertook my early education. I have had a strong, Bible-believing church, and of course, Christian friends. Now, while still reserving the comfort, shelter, and guidance of these strongholds, I have ventured out into "the great beyond." At last, I am challenged to manifest Christ as I have never been challenged before. I ask myself the question daily, "Do they see Christ in me? How am I different from my classmates, instructors, peers?"

I realize that my arguments thus far have been based around my own personal fallible experience. I also know for a certainty that many who read this will have very different stories to tell regarding this subject. However, I believe that college is in many respects, a truly missunderstood concept among devout people. I merely seek to incite discussion. Therefore, do not hesitate to make your voice heard!

As a commentator on the previously mentioned blog posting explained,

"I think attending college can also be a means to strengthen our faith, and it gives us an opportunity to realize why we believe what it is that we believe. I'm not saying we need to purposefully surround ourselves with temptations on all sides, but we need to know where we stand. We are told to be in the world yet not of it, and I think a lot of times Christians shut themselves off so much from the world, to the point where they and their children become naive about it's realities. At the same time we are called to be light, but how can we let our light shine if we shut ourselves up all the time? This is just a thought, but maybe part of the reason college campuses are so anti-Christian is because we haven't done our part in getting out and speaking out? Of course if we withdraw compeletely from the college campus, it is going to be swimming in a swamp of ugly, worldy ideas with no answers and no direction."

Cassie--this may sound cliche, sorry--you literaly repeated some of the exact points I made when discussing this issue with a friend no more than three days ago! Thank you for your concise eloquence!

Saturday, February 04, 2006

New York charm

Thanks for sending the pictures Sarah...

"...and they all lived happily ever after, as it were."
The Shades Show

"Hi guys! Welcome to the Shades Show!"

"Wanna sing a song, Katie?"

"'L' is for the way you look at me...'O' is for the only one I see..."

"Tune in next time for the Shades Show on the Super Shades Network!"