Before her excellent post, I'll just add a few of my own thoughts.
Seth and I in 2002 saying good bye as we left for Christmas break
I completely realize that not every Christian young person is called to the ministry. But hear me out: Bible college is not just for full time ministry workers. Whatever career a person earns a living at, I hope they still seek to be a minister for the Lord in some fashion. Many different career paths can be used in great ways to honor the Lord and increase His kingdom.
Us with Ray and Debbie Young, the co-president and his wife. She was my teacher one semester in a huge class but she always remembered my name. I *think* this is also 2002. I actually still have that shirt; just wore it on Sunday to church!
I know of a youth minister who has several sons. One of his sons did not feel led to be in full time ministry, and for a time the idea of Bible college seemed like a big waste of time since he didn't plan to work for a church on staff. He had leanings toward practicing law, and felt that he could do a lot of good as a Christian lawyer. And boy, don't we need more godly, Christian lawyers... and butchers, bakers, candlestick makers! Any secular field you can think of that is of noble origin can be a great place for a Christian to be a shining light in our dark world. (By "noble origin", I mean that no Christian bar tenders quite fit the bill!) Finally this young man made the commitment to go to a Christian college for one year, and give it his best while he was there. His reasons were:
1. To give God more time to work in his heart. This was his way of giving the Lord one more year to call him to preach if that was what God had in mind.
2. To please his parents.
Even is #2 had been his only reason, I think it would have been a good one.
He finished his year. He did not feel God calling him to preach but actually felt more sure than ever that law was the direction he should go. So he transferred to an appropriate school one year older than if he had go directly after high school.
While sitting in a huge class, the university professor began to blaspheme God, Christianity and Christians. The young man could hardly believe his ears. When the class discussion was opened, he respectfully stood in front of hundreds of students and declared that he was a Christian and didn't appreciate the untruthful slander the professor had just said. From that moment on, for the rest of his law school days, this guy was "marked". Everyone knew he was a Christian.
He later said that if it had not been for that year of Bible college, where his faith had been increased, he knows he would not have had the courage to stand up for his faith in that way. He would have done the easy thing of sitting quietly.
Bible college is not just for full time ministry workers. When our daughters are old enough, are we going to demand that they marry preachers or be Christian school teachers? Absolutely not. Our goal for them is to simply do whatever the Lord has in mind for them, whether it's be a missionary wife on a far away continent or be married to a godly business man... whatever it is that God wants for them, we want for them. We will be encouraging them to go to a Christian college because it's a great foundation as a young adult begins their life. Mrs. Fink's post to follow explains it so beautifully.
Also, I don't want anyone to think that I believe everyone should go the same Christian college that I attended. The issue should be a matter of serious prayer. My Sunday School class consists of 13 yr. old - 15 yr. old girls and something that I am constantly drilling into them is the importance of walking with God right now so that by the time they are of age to make important life choices such as what college, or what field to pursue, or who to marry, they are already used to hearing God's voice. You really don't want to wait until you are 17 or 18 yr.s old before experiencing first hand when the Lord speaks to your heart. Letting God direct your steps will never be regretted!
Lastly, I want to add that attending a conservative Christian college can be very hard. You're broke, you're tired, your room mate used all your toothpaste, you hate the food, and even more, you hate the rules. Can we all just accept that no matter where we go or do, there will be things we do not like. I am not exempt. Seth could tell you of the (unfortunately) many times I had a bad attitude about a rule I didn't understand or agree with or a teacher that was curt with me. (He however, NEVER bristled under authority one single time that I have witnessed, and I've known him a good long time now! Do you know how annoying it is when you have a rotten attitude and the person you are with all the time has a humble, submissive attitude? So often I could just stick my tongue out at him and say "Fine! You be a good Christian then!") Anyway... I'm just saying rules exist everywhere. Deal with it. It's almost funny (except that it's not really funny at all) to see people get so miffed at Bible college rules, leave school and then join the military. Um... there's no rules in the military? Every job you have, every school you attend, there will always be elements that get under your skin. It's nothing worth quitting over, or getting bitter over. Looking back now, I wish I would have seen the value of submitting with a better spirit. It's such a short season of life, after all.
Okay, enough ramblings from me. Here is Mrs. Julie Fink's post:
She Was So Glad
It was the winter of Sabrina's senior year when we took her with us up to Milwaukee, Wisconsin. My husband was preaching for our friend Dr. Noonan, and after the special event, we all climbed into his Suburban and enjoyed a leisure drive around the city.
Cities are such beautiful places at night, especially in December around the holidays.
I was sitting in the back seat with Sabrina, and as we passed by the secular college campus that sits smack in the middle of the city, Sabrina stared out the window with curiosity. I'm not sure she had ever really seen what goes on around secular college campuses ~ this was a new sight for her to absorb and consider.
After a few minutes of looking at the young people doing their thing up and down the streets of that campus, she laid her head on my lap and said, "I'm so glad that you and Dad sent me to a Christian College. I'm so thankful that you didn't send me to some place like this."
Sabrina really is such a grateful and tenderhearted girl, and when she said this, I just smiled at her and hugged her real tight. She and her sister are very precious to us, from the time they were very young girls, we had made the decision to do the best we could to provide what was right for them. And sending them to Christian College is something that we definitely knew was right for them.
The Bible reminds us of this in Psalm 1:1-2, "Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night."
The college years are filled with getting counsel, and standing and sitting with others. And if we expect our young people to be influenced in the right manner, it is important that we make sure that they are given the right kind of teaching and leading during this time.
Oh, I know what some of you are thinking. You know so and so and their faith made it fine in secular college. And I'm glad they did, but according to the Bible ~ they are the exception to the rule. And it has never been my desire to raise my children to live as an exception to God's rule.
God's Word makes it very clear that we are affected by the evil associations that we have, and I'm not going to encourage my children to believe that they are better than the teachings of God's Word. "Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners." I Corinthians 15:33
We live in a day and age where many Christian folks believe that they are above obeying God's Word. They seem to make it their goal to live in a way that challenges the truth of it, rather than live in a way that supports it.
I'm not going to live that way. And I'm not going to encourage anybody else to do it either.
A good Christian College is the place for a young person to go after high school. Not because it's a perfect place, because it's not. There are sinful people in every sector of society ~ even in the church. But just like the church, a good Christian College has been established for the purpose of strengthening the wisdom, knowledge and understanding of the young person that is preparing to serve God for the rest of his or her life ~ whether that be in full-time Christian service like my daughter Sabrina and her husband Jeremy are in, or full-time as lay people working in the world like me and her Dad did for so many of her growing up years.
We can never be prepared enough to fight our enemy the devil. "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour." I Peter 5:8
Sabrina was so glad . . . on that cold winter night as we drove through Milwaukee and she had the opportunity to witness a little bit of the secular college life . . . that her parents were nice enough to send her to a Bible believing Christian College for her to get her post high school education.
And you know what? Her parents are so glad that she was mature enough to appreciate it.