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March 26, 2009

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Most "christians" fall away after going to college because they were never saved to begin with, mainly being the fault of the parents (specifically the father) for failing to educate the child in the the knowledge and wisdom of God via reading the Bible, discipling and training the child in the way of righteousness, spending good quality time with the child, and living as a good example of Christ's character. Children are influenced by those they hang around most. If they hang around other children with pagan world views then they'll usually adopt the pagan culture. If they hang around their parents who barely open the Bible, spend more time watching TV, entertaining themselves and working than spending time with their family, then that is how they will perceive Christianity - just an unimportant religion. If dad doesn't consider the Bible important enough to read it, then why should I? Children that are raised in such a home obey the law of God outwardly in view of their parents but not inwardly because their hearts are not changed. If you think one hour of shallow sunday school teaching is enough to counter a full week of pagan indoctrination in public school, then you're dreaming. Jonathan Morrow’s new book may be useful for opening people's minds in what to expect in college, but it doesn't solve the source of the issue, which is parents lack of discipling their children starting at early ages when they're most easily influenced. One Chritian that really understands this well is Kevin Swanson of www.generationswithvision.com. He has a daily radio talk show that is absolutely worth hearing. When fathers take the primary role of educating their children in the ways of God, and turning "their hearts to their children", as the Bible teaches in so many places, then the child will be well grounded in Christ to withstand any attack in college. The problem is that most parents are too "busy" now to worry about their children's eternal state. God has just recently opened my eyes to the reality of this (mostly due to Keven Swanson's radio show) and has given me a strong conviction to start investing myself in my three young children now, not later when it's too late. Most parents who read this blog probably spend a lot of time discussing theology and fail to teach their children what they have spent so much time learning. At least I know this is true of myself - I can't speak for anyone else.

Perhaps we should avoid college that isn't grounded in God's Word. Possibly home schooling as far as you can go and then Christian College or no college at all.

Jesus taught us to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all of our needs will be met. Matthew 6:24-34.

pro life:

I've struggled with that issue as far as my own schooling goes, public or Christian. There are pros and cons both ways. I have found that students who have been in private or home schools have tended to lacked the social skills to confront and appeal to the general public since they are sheltered from much of life's harsh reality. I could be wrong though, and this could just be unique to my experience. But I think any child who tends to show interest in evangilism should be kept in the public system to gain those social skills. Yet I do understand first hand the frustration and difficulty for a Christian in a non-believing environment and understand how many people have no desire to be involved in public and non-Christian schools.

On the flipside, I entered a large secular university as a non-Christian who grew up in an entirely secular home, and left a Christian who eventually graduated from seminary. I know I'm probably an exception to the general rule, but it does happen.

Two good books on this topic are:

Soul Searching: The Religious and Spiritual Lives of American Teenagers (Christian Smith & Melina Lundquist Denton) has tons of quantitive data on what Christian teens in America believe ... which is often quite scary.

Why Christian Kids Leave the Faith (Tom Bisset) on the other hand is a more qualitative exploration of the topic, with personal stories and examples of the four main reasons (as Bisset sees it) that Christian kids walk away from their faith.

pro life,
I came to acknowledge Jesus as the Savior while I was at a secular college because of the Christians there who were seeking the Kingdom first by being in a secular college and spreading the Gospel. I'm glad those who shared the Gospel with me had not taken the advice to go to a Christian college or no college at all!

Jesse,

Do you think you would be lost if the Christians had not been at your school?

I see the force of pro life's position. It's not only unclear why going to college is a vital part of "seeking first the kingdom of God," Brett's figures indicate a strong correlation between going to college and losing one's faith. And what is a man profited, if he shall gain an education, and lose his own soul?

But don't get me wrong, I'm for going to college. If the faith can't endure education, good riddance to the faith.

Pro life,
Before I answer that, may I ask: do you think the Corinthians would have been lost if Paul had not traveled to them?

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