23.11.03

In Religous Studies and Christian?!?! Impossible!

I have lost track of how many people are surprised that I am a Christian, and at the same time in religous studies at a secular university. I'm going to be honest here, I used to get this warm fuzzy feeling...
"So what are you taking at University?"
"Religous studies"
this response varies, but the gist is: "Wow, and your still a Christian?" "Thats pretty impressive that your still a believer"

Yep, that warm fuzzy feeling is called pride. I would like to say that I don't get that anymore, but that wouldn't be true. I fight it, and sometimes I don't get it, but its still there. Honestly, it can be hard not to be when you start getting that response from pastors and proffessor's. Still, it's not right and I know it. Pray for me on that account.

But lately, a new feeling has been mixed in when I get into that kind of conversation. Its a quesy feeling, a kind of twisting in my gut, or sometimes a vague uneasiness. I am not exactly sure how to explain it, but I think I know, again vaguely, what the source is.

We are all given different gifts, I know this. Not everyone can argue with a philosophy prof about some obscure and abstract proof of some kind, not everyone has blonde hair either. Frankly, there are better gifts to have than intelligence. It doesn't make me any better or worse than anyone else. But, I find it disturbing that there is some kind of assumption out there, that within the secular university there exists a shadowy doom. A departmental soul eating machine which bleeds to death all who wander within its grasp, breathing anti-Christian propaganda as it stalks the unsuspecting campus for victims.

Sure, the religous studies department can be difficult for a Christian. Yes, there is some anti-Christian bias in some places. But, by and large, it is full of people with honest questions. They are grappling with truth, they don't understand it, and they ask the tough questions. Is it malicous? Some of them, for sure. So what? I would rather have someone who is slightly anti-Christian but still asking questions, even if only out of aggression, than someone who is apathetic and cotinuously being reproggramed by television. While it is definitely not true of everyone in religous studies, I have seen more honest and full grapling with Jesus within this secular soul eating department than I have in the church.

But what of all the atheists, agnostics, and pluralists that come out of that machine?
Yeah, there are a lot of them. Probably because there is no one there to help them. The prof's aren't out to help, they are there to give out information and make you regurgitate it. Your fellow students aren't there to help, especially not if the class is curved; at worst they are competition, at best a seat filler next to you in class. And the church certainly is not there to help, we are to scared to face this one.

So, sure, not everyone can get through a degree in Religous studies. As I said, we all have different gifts. But some of us can; if we weren't all steered to bible college. If we honestly believe that there is this thing that destroys our faith, shouldn't we face it? It's like we know we aren't preparing people to face the real questions that are out there, and we do nothing about it.
"Yeah, you know, lots of people have really hard questions. Its best just to ignore them, otherwise you might lose your faith."
WHAT!?!?!?

Does anyone else see a problem here?

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