University: Staying Pure In Modern Babylon

yale

As for these four children, God gave them knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom: and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams.

Now at the end of the days that the king had said he should bring them in, then the prince of the eunuchs brought them in before Nebuchadnezzar.

And the king communed with them; and among them all was found none like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah: therefore stood they before the king.

And in all matters of wisdom and understanding, that the king enquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers that were in all his realm.

Daniel 1:17-20

These verses at the beginning of Daniel should be glossed over on the way to the main part of the story because it is incredibly important. It was no small thing for those boys to make it through their Babylonian education, or re-education, and still maintain their spiritual integrity. Christians today send their kids to Babylonian schools and they are not emerging from the universities as Daniels or Hananiahs.

Don’t expect pagan schools to produce mature Christian graduates. They do not have a biblical environment, mission, or curriculum. Students at these institutions are indoctrinated to think a certain way. You have to understand that this is the battlefield from the beginning.

We see in the scriptures that the most important thing for any Christian student is their spiritual integrity. This means weekly worship and daily prayer and Bible study. It also means fellowship with other believers. Having like-minded friends to share the college experience is invaluable. Also, having mentors such as professors who are believers can be a big help for students.

You don’t have to win over professors in debates in class or have an alter call in the classroom. There is no obligation, in my view, to be an evangelist in that way. Just because you are Christian in a room full of pagans does not mean you have to be a missionary. However, that is not to say that you shouldn’t be a witness to your professors and classmates.

When it comes to the curriculum my advice is not to worry about changing it. It is not redeemable and neither are many of the classes that are offered. Take advantage of opportunities to share about the work of redemption that God has done in you but do not feel you have an obligation to permanently alter the course material. Think about it as an exercise in learning how the enemy thinks and behaves. It may be difficult but if you’re mature in your faith then you can learn the thought patterns without conforming to them.

I want to come back around to the spiritual disciplines you need to practice because that will make all the difference. If you do not pray, read the Bible, and worship with a church every week then not only will college be difficult for you, but life in general will be miserable. Spiritual growth comes from learning about God and learning how to practically follow the example of Jesus in your own life. Take life one day at a time and don’t worry about tomorrow. Set yourself to walking in the path that God has laid for you and focus on pleasing Him above all else.

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