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July 21, 2016

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A good place to prepare for college (etc.) is at http://str.typepad.com/weblog/

Just copy, paste, and go.

;-)

The way I see it, Jesus said “...Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up.” (Matthew 15:13)

And;

“My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.” (John 10:29)

So I wouldn't worry about the true believer in Christ, although God chastises us when we stray, but only to bring us near.

Also, our motive for going to school is important. But God promises, for those who make a career out of Jesus, he will abundantly provide for us all the things people work and study hard for.

““No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.

“That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are?

Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? “And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?

“So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs.

Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.” (Matthew 6:24–34)

If you already know the truth of Jesus Christ, then you don't need to go to college at all. College is for people who don't know yet and want to learn.

If you already know the truth of the Bible, why would you ever put yourself in that risky situation surrounded by confused and confusing people? Just don't go to a (secular) college at all. Stay away!

It's fine to go to vocational school to learn a practical trade. Maybe it's also OK to study engineering. But you certainly wouldn't want to study the liberal arts or that kind of thing. Why would you want to study liberal arts when you already have the Bible?

Sad

Knowing what I know now, if I were raising kids today I would encourage them to drop out of school as soon as they reach legal age. For the saved I would guide them into living the Sermon on the Mount for a career. This could involve menial labor and working dead end jobs. But God is faithful and will meet all of our needs abundantly. I retired early on my own dime, debt free, and experienced God's amazing providence over a life-time from doing this.

John, there is nothing wrong with getting an education. There is a lot to be learned from many people, even those that disagree with our viewpoint. Scripture teaches that not everything in paganism is evil. We can't just be like the Amish that separate ourselves from the entire world. Christianity needs now more than ever to make its voice heard in the educational arena. Where would we be without philosophers, thinkers, writers, artists, designers, and the like? It is true that our education system has gone down an Epicurean path. But does that mean we don't engage with it? Instead, let's teach our children the truth and equip them with the tools they need to deal with a hostile culture. If something is true, then it will stand the test of time. We cannot be light and salt in our culture if we have no thinkers, writers, sociologists, psychologists, doctors, lawyers, and the like. We must be in all these places. We can't just cede the field to the enemy.

John,

>> If you already know the truth of Jesus Christ, then you don't need to go to college at all. College is for people who don't know yet and want to learn.

Classic fallacy of ambivalence. Knowing the basics of one's worldview = knowing things in general.

>> Just don't go to a (secular) college at all. Stay away!

Or, go to a Christian college. It will, of course, run in with the bias most secularists have that secular college > Christian college. My daughter attends a Lutheran college in Milwaukee which has a respectable sciences program (e.g. an advanced nursing program in association with the highly respected Froedert Medical Complex just one block away). She is studying (after seeking her true interests as she changed majors to journalism to communications to . .. ah youth!)digital cinema photography. None of these disciplines are Christian in character, but adapt well to that mindset. Christians can be intelligent, talented, motivated, driven in any pursuit, as it in the end glorifies God.

But perhaps these youth find their goals best served in the secular university. More power to them! Need they be some ideological target for some with very narrow interests?

Jesus said we must forsake all, take up our cross and follow him. And to take no thought for tomorrow, to seek first his Kingdom and his righteousness. And God would provide all our needs. He began by saying we cannot serve God and money.

I know how this all fits together in my life, and how it works from experience. Soon after my conversion I gave up my career and plans, dropped out of college, sought first his kingdom. Worked dead end unskilled minimum wage and part time jobs in providing for my own (as Paul demands). God honored his word, provided abundantly over the course of my life, enabling me to retire early, debt free, and well cared for.

I am trying to understand alternative views to this. That we need not forsake all, must take thought for tomorrow, and are able to serve God and money. I'm in the dark on this and would like to understand how the Christian college and career people see it.

Dave,

You are defining all things by a physical location and a physical job. The mind cannot chase God if one is located in Room A rather than Room B, and, the mind cannot chase God if one's job takes place in Room C rather than Room D.

That's the only real deficiency I can see in your definitions.

Do all things for the Kingdom, but, you define "all" by physical locations and by physical things, which just won't go through.

Something must supersede all of that within the man.

Motivation is the other half you are defining here, but again you base it on physical location and a physical job.

Chasing money is error. But you just foist, but do not justify, that learning equates to the love of money.

You have to show that identity claim to be true in all cases.

Can you do that?

Dave,

In the end we can all land in whatever job you wish to define as non-sinful where the heart of the man is concerned.

That's not the point.

The point is the identity claim.

You're stating a hard fact about that so a wishy-washy "Well yeah some folks will certainly chase God over there in Job X vis-à-vis college, but "in general"....."

That just won't do because that just won't address the identity claim.

It's not about the job. It's about the identity claim.

In preparation for college, our teens would do well to listen to Dave. He's perfectly correct about things as he's demanding a purity of heart that is difficult to "have" as a teen simply because as teens we don't always "know" our own selves well enough to be prepared for several slippery slops which inevitably come along.

A look at a life lived at:

http://brennanmanning.com/

will reveal a life lived for God on both fronts, within the arena of education and within the arena of what Dave is describing.

The whole of the Mind, the whole of Life, belongs to God, from our highest to our lowest.

There can be no artificial line down the middle.

Thanks for the reply SCB. I'm here to learn about how Christians interpret Jesus' words about forsaking career and all, not seeking money, not taking thought (college?) for tomorrow, etc.

I know the way I read his words worked well in my life, even giving up my career which many suggested I modify and use to serve Christ. But I found no peace trying to do "our thing" instead of doing God's thing.

I believe many try to do their own thing, "Christianize it" and expect the best of both worlds. How many serve themselves thinking they serve Christ?

Very true Dave. The "Christianized-Self" is a good analogy about what to avoid. I think we can all draw a picture of a very spirit minded, God centered soul in the body of "A" and the opposite in the body of "B", and then put one into a college educated person and the other into someone without a GED. It just doesn't matter which body we assign said soul too. "A" or "B", it can go in both directions. I break it down to that sort of level, rather than the level of income or education, as what defines the acquiescence of the Self to God.

Perhaps this:

One clue to a bit of Self creeping in is above-average sums of debt creeping in. If one is preparing for a field in which one may earn, say, 50K per year, and one is accumulating, say, 300K in student debt (etc.) to get there, well then one may need to step back, balance that path out with a slower path so as to allow working during the journey, and so on. Otherwise, one's Self may be taking the lead, rather than calmness, wisdom, and patience, all fruits of the spirit. *WITH* the fruits of the spirit taking the lead, well, such journeys are not ipso facto money-loving. In fact, one has just placed the fruit of the spirit ahead of money as one progresses towards one's graduation.

That sort of level.......

But then that is the case with the whole of life.

Clarification:

The whole "A" and "B" thing may have been unclear.

So, in short:

Washing dishes is not a mark of the acquiesced Self.

Educated and writing theology books or physics books is not a mark of the acquiesced Self.

There's something far more fundamental than all of that.

Case in point:

Delighting in the Other, and not in the Self, that is to say, delighting in God:

I know someone who absolutely delighted in seeing God in the creation of God and in part that fueled his or her choices of college classes. It was sheer fun to see Him through His creation while studying science. In the class room. Over time things morphed, but that journey continued with that friend of mine.

And it continues still today.

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