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« Dangerous Assumptions for Disciples: | Main | Dubious Assumptions »

Your Education Relationship: Jesus as Mentor

(This is the next chapter in the book “Hand in Hand: Deepening Your Relationship with Jesus Christ.”)

The secular history of education runs from amusing to appalling.  At one time, play comprised the primary method of education.  Much later, forced education became the norm, and schoolmasters employed the tried and true method of beating pupils to keep them in the learning mode.    Peter Gray, Ph. D., writes, “The brute force methods long used to keep children on task on the farm or in the factory were transported into schools to make children learn. Some of the underpaid, ill-prepared schoolmasters were clearly sadistic. One master in Germany kept records of the punishments he meted out in 51 years of teaching, a partial list of which included: “911,527 blows with a rod, 124,010 blows with a cane, 20,989 taps with a ruler, 136,715 blows with the hand, 10,235 blows to the mouth, 7,905 boxes on the ear, and 1,118,800 blows on the head”. Clearly, that master was proud of all the educating he had done.” (

Given the brutality of the process, one could understand that school was unpopular with many children.  Today, corporal punishment may be out, but controversy still engulfs modern education.  National standards, common core curriculum, the “new” math, diminishing scores on achievement tests compared to international students, zero tolerance policies, charter schools, school vouchers, enforced nutrition standards and transgender bathrooms just scratch the surface of issues primary and secondary schools deal with in the twenty-first century.  On the college level, the problems are even worse.  Campus safety, school loans, rising tuition costs, threatened free speech, online (distance) learning classes and transfer of credits are among the hotly debated topics in colleges and universities around the world.  Despite all of this hullabaloo, nearly one hundred percent of the academic world still says, “Get an education!” 

While there are many reasons for getting a college degree—interest in the subject matter, self-esteem, the desire and joy of learning, prerequisite for pursuing a dream—money will probably continue to be the biggest incentive.  College graduates earn about twice as much money over their lifetime than those with high school diplomas, according to the U. S. Census. That statistic remains constant, even with factoring in the cost of going to college.   So, after you have made your decision to go to college, what questions need to be answered?  How does a close relationship with Jesus Christ influence your educational choices? 

Before going any further, you need to understand is that secular colleges and universities are the antithesis of Christianity.  Not only do most of them disbelieve in the Christian faith, many professors actively teach against it and denigrate the biblical foundations that believers have been taught since childhood.  As hotbeds of atheism, agnosticism, hedonistic ideas and ultra-liberal philosophy, you will encounter the most hostile environment that you have ever experienced.  Expect your faith to be attacked with humanistic reasoning, sarcasm, ridicule, mockery and an in-your-face celebration of deviant lifestyles.  

Many matriculating students have been blindsided by this frontal assault on their faith identity and have abandoned their faith as a result.  Do not go into this atmosphere naively.  Be spiritually prepared, scripturally grounded and make sure your pastor/church relationship is strong. 

The Content of Education 

Students in higher learning will find a much different atmosphere than they experienced in secondary education.  Benign subjects like mathematics, biology, chemistry and English composition no longer comprise the bulk of the material covered.  Instead, social issues, religious foundations, political positions and other volatile subjects populate the classrooms, and the average learning setting will resemble a boxing ring more than a desk-and-chalkboard lecture space.  All basic assumptions of typical students will be questioned and deconstructed.  


In academia, the theory of evolution has become an accepted fact.  This transition has had far-reaching implications.   It offers an explanation of life without any supernatural act. Julian Huxley explains: “In the evolutionary pattern of thought there is no longer either need or room for the supernatural. The earth was not created: it evolved. So did all of the animals and plants that inhabit it, including our human selves, mind and soul, as well as brain and body. So did religion. All aspects of reality are subject to evolution, from atoms and stars to fish and flowers … to human societies and values indeed … All reality is a single process of evolution (Julian Huxley, Essays of a Humanist, New York, Penguin: 1966, p. 128). 

As students, believers need to know that creationism does not receive the respect and treatment of an alternative belief system.  It is thought of as bizarre, unworthy of serious consideration.  Evolutionists view all of life through the prism of gradual development.  (Even the term “evolutionist” is an anachronism since that is deemed the only real classification in existence).  They believe that physical and organic laws, tempered by time, account for everything known or unknown to man.  They see any gaps in evidence for the evolutionary process simply as facts not yet uncovered or deduced.  

In reality, the theory of evolution rests on extremely shaky ground.  The gaps in the fossil record, animate and inanimate realms, and between vertebrates and invertebrates pose unanswerable problems for the theory.  The Second Law of Thermodynamics which holds that things go from order to disorder, and the absence of a designer for the enormously complex organic systems of the human being also weigh in against evolution.  A number of creationist scientists have written extensively against evolution, charging it as a non-scientific belief system that conforms more to the definition of religion than it does of science.  For those students who are interested in the details of these studies, much material may be found to discredit evolution.  Regardless of these arguments, however, the vast majority of evolutionists have no inclination to doubt their theory.  

Social Liberalism 

The policies of social liberalism are entrenched in the modern system of secular colleges and universities.  These policies include abortion, same-sex marriage, gun control, affirmative action, feminism, social justice and related issues like fetal stem cell research, green energy and government intrusion to enforce their ideas.  The philosophies that drive much of social liberalism are atheistic or agnostic, and tend strongly toward humanistic beliefs.  

Believers who uphold the Bible as their standard of belief and practice will clash with most social liberals on most, if not all, of their policies.  The Scriptures decree the sanctity of life from conception to death, marriage as a monogamous union between a man and a woman, the duty to protect and defend one’s family, the distinction between the sexes, and submission to God as the final authority in all of life’s decisions.  Many of these issues will be discussed and/or debated in classroom settings, or they will be hot topics in lunchrooms, commons, or activity groups.  Also, it is highly likely that professors will require reading assignments and papers of students with regard to these subjects.  There are many stories of students receiving low or failing grades because they did not align themselves with the socially liberal beliefs of professors. 


No student in the typical college setting escapes jarring challenges to his or her beliefs.  No one can hide behind statements like, “I believe … or, “the Bible says…”  Students are forced to provide some kind of concrete evidence of their opinions, positions or belief system.  The philosophy of rationalism holds that all claims of knowledge must stand up to the test of reason.  Vernon Bourke said that rationalism is a theory “in which the criterion of the truth is not sensory but intellectual and deductive.” (Rationalism).  This means that all references to God, the Bible, the supernatural, spiritual forces or religion disqualify the argument.  Students who conform to this rule jeopardize their faith.  But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. Hebrews 11:6.  

The content, or the academic subjects taught in college deviate in substantial ways from biblical doctrine.  As reasonable as these subjects appear, and as documented as they may be, you must examine their premises well.  Impressive buildings set on faulty foundations will not last.  Neither will teachings endure when based on falsehoods.  Jesus said, “Thy Word is truth.”  Filter everything you hear back through the Word of God. 

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