Growing up in conservative Baptist circles, or any conservative Christian groups actually, a lot of emphasis is placed on marriage. Specifically a few things related to it:
- Courting is law. One does not date anyone they are interest in, they court. End of discussion.
- My Big Fat Greek Wedding is pretty much a picture of how your life should be as a young, single, Christian girl. Instead of find a good Greek boy and settle down, it’s find a good Christian boy and settle down.
- Go to Christian college, only Christian college, and usually its to get your MRS.
This is a huge topic that I started trying to tackle in one post, but it’s just not possible. So, I’m going to start with the last one on the list and move from there.
Christian College! Woohoo! Here’s a fun topic. Let’s start this off with a disclaimer: I rebelled. Yep, that’s right. This good girl is a rebel. Along with a few other people from our Youth Group.
To be fair, I understand some of the reasoning behind this. In fact, an incredible young man from our group who helped lead the rebellion against the Christian College rule fell prey to the very situation that every preacher warns us with their every breath. He fell off the bandwagon. Not only did he fall off the wagon, he jumped off, sailed ten feet, landed in a roll, and ran. This guy went from wanting to be a missionary, to not believing the Bible was true in a matter of 4 years. Granted, he decided to study Philosophy from a bunch of liberal egg-heads and he treated the words of every single professor he had (in all subjects) with so much reverence that you would have thought Jesus himself was speaking. But it was incredibly heartbreaking.
Now, here’s my logical brain taking over. My thinking is that if he was going to leave, it was going to happen regardless. Or, maybe, he put himself into a situation where he was tempted by things he wouldn’t have been tempted by otherwise. It’s hard to say.
However, the rest of us are fine. What happened was, as we all neared college, we basically told Matt he didn’t get a say and applied at local universities. We’re all still here, and now we all have degrees and (except for me) good jobs.
So here’s my problem with people being blinded about us only going to Christian colleges, aside from doctrine. I could not have gotten my degree at a Christian college. Nicole could not have taken the same caliber of classes at a Christian college. And while some Christian colleges do give out engineering degrees, they aren’t met with the same amount of respect as a public or private college degree. Also, I’ve yet to find more than a handful of Christian colleges that give out graduate degrees, and none that aren’t in ministry-related fields of study.
I got a liberal arts degree, and yeah, the classes were super liberal at times. But it taught me to not just blindly disagree with people’s beliefs and opinions, but rather to understand them in order to better understand what I think and believe myself. And then, they taught me to stand firm in that, without being completely closed off to the idea that I might be wrong. Obviously if someone wants to study Philosophy or Psychology, I think they should do it with the Bible. But my degree isn’t about that. And, sorry, Christian colleges tend to have blinders on about History and Rhetoric and Art.
Why is this all a problem?
Because it limits our options. By telling kids they have to go to Christian college, we’re telling them they have to choose from a specific list of topics to study, and we’re lowering the quality of some degrees. Now is this true across the board? Of course not. Does this mean I’m against Christian colleges? Heavens, no. I simply believe that we should stop limiting the options for growth. As long as the student is firmly grounded and stays in the Church (either at school or at home if local), then there shouldn’t be a problem. And if we are so worried about them falling by the wayside, then that’s because we believe they weren’t brought up right or grounded well. And whose fault is that?
(My other pettier reason for refusing to go to a Christian college? I wouldn’t have lasted long under the legalistic rules. Lame, I know, but that was personal and I admit it. Our family is the reason kids now wear tank tops and jeans to Youth Group. Sorry, not sorry.)